Tracker Pixel for Entry

Your dignity is worth more than a black Friday discount

by Rob Port | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | Say Anything | November 24th, 2015

“It’s become a Thanksgiving holiday tradition,” a colleague told me recently. “We eat the turkey, and then we watch videos of people being trampled at Black Friday sales on YouTube.”

That’s about the gist of it. The holiday shopping phenomena which has good people, otherwise upstanding and model citizens, throwing aside their dignity to stampede and fistfight over discounted merchandise and should serve as a mark of national shame.

Indeed, retailers who once upon a time gleefully stoked the fires of rabid consumerism with “doorbuster” sales - which in some cases were actually beginning on the Thanksgiving holiday - are now sanctimoniously eschewing the whole ordeal.

But let’s face it. The problem was never really the retailers. The problem is us. We the people. Retailers can advertise all the wild deals they want, but there are no shopping riots without a lot of people choosing to show up and lose their minds over half-priced toaster ovens or something.

Those shoppers could choose to stay home. They could choose to do their shopping on another day, or in another venue. Heck, they could choose not to let a dispute over cheap consumer electronics come to blows.

They don’t. Which is why efforts to solve the “Black Friday” problem with legislation are misguided.

Though there was an attempt to do just that here in North Dakota earlier this year. The Legislature considered SB2208 which would, if passed, have prohibited any lease agreement from including a provision that stores open on Thanksgiving or Christmas.

It was introduced by state Senator Dave Oehlke, a Republican from Devils Lake, and the intent was to try and keep holiday shopping in a box by stopping shopping malls and the like from forcing stores to abide by expanded Black Friday hours.

Shopping malls, after all, want all of their stores to be open when the mall is open.

The legislation passed in the state Senate on a 27-19 vote, but ultimately failed in the House 22-66. That was the right outcome. The government doesn’t need to get between negotiations between commercial tenants and landlords, and generally the marketplace should dictate business hours not bureaucrats and politicians.

Which brings us back to the “Black Friday” problem. This phenomena only exists because the public seems to want it. They keep showing up for it.

I can’t imagine why. But it takes all sorts, I suppose. Some people like to watch baseball, other people like to do battle over cheap snow blowers.

But here’s the thing: It’s all voluntary. You don’t have to participate. If Black Friday disgusts you, then stay home and do your shopping at a more reasonable time.

“What about the workers,” you’ll ask me. Well, what about them? I can understand not wanting to work grueling holiday shopping hours. I’ve worked retail. It’s not fun. But lots of people have to work on holidays. First responders don’t get the day off. The hospitality industry - the bars and restaurants and hotels - all work similarly tough holiday hours.

Airline pilots and cab drivers and energy industry workers all stay on the job, not to mention the men and women in the military. Why should retail workers be singled out for our sympathy?

And, hey, if they don’t like the hours they should work on moving their careers in a different direction.

Anyway, the solution for Black Friday is to ignore it. Perhaps not a gratifying solution for the social media populists demanding action, but an effective one none the less.

If you stay home on Black Friday your chances of getting trampled, or squaring off with a grandmother over the last blender on the shelf, drop to zero.

RECENTLY IN

Say Anything

Recently in:

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Savanna’s Act passed unanimously in the U.S. Senate on Friday and will move to the U.S. House of Representatives.The bill, S. 1942, is named for Savanna LaFontaine-Greywind, a member of the Turtle Mountain Band…

by Ryan Jankeryan.janke78@gmail.comI held it off for as long as I could, but the other day, I caved. I thought I was doing okay. I made all the strong arguments. I applied the five canons of rhetoric, just like you’re supposed…

Saturday, December 15th, 3-6pmJunkyard Brewing Company, 1416 1st Ave N, MoorheadCome bare the elements with us for a good cause. Bring your spare winter gear to be donated to Churches United for the Homeless. Coats, gloves, boots,…

by Josh Boscheejoshua.boschee@yahoo.comphoto courtesy of Mitch MarrEight words that perfectly describe the beautiful spirit of Kim Winnegge."I have given my whole life to words."Those of us who knew her remember these words as a…

Gadfly

Affluenza

by Ed Raymond

What happens if conspicuous consumption becomes global?The latest National Geographic has an editorial “The Global Peril of Inequality” by UCLA Professor Jared Diamond which the entire world should read. The author of many…

FARGO - A collection of memories from High Plains Reader's annual Cocktail Showdown. Participants were judged on creativity, flavor, and presentation; and this year we added a new category. Like years before, each establishment was…

by Ben Myhrebenmyhre35@gmail.comUs North Dakotans love our Knoephla soup. I am no exception. I have fond childhood memories of sitting in my grandmother’s kitchen making this dumpling soup. From then until today, my taste buds go…

Music

Snow and Flurry

by HPR Contributor

by Jacques Harvieux jacquesthejock@gmail.comMosh pit etiquette 101: The mosh pit is located front and center of the stage.Create a sizeable ring.When the music starts unleash mayhem. If you fall - get up immediately.If somebody…

“The Diary of a Teenage Girl” director Marielle Heller beautifully translates another personal autobiography to excellent results. “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” is based on the confessional 2008 memoir of literary forger Lee…

SEBEKA, Minnesota – Nearly a century ago the nation was racked by inclement weather, soaring unemployment, and despair following World War I and the lucrative Roaring 20s. The 1930s were an era of dust storms and lunch lines,…

by Ryan Jankeryan.janke78@gmail.comFargo-Moorhead Community Theatre presents “A Christmas Story: The Musical” which is underway at the Stage at Island Park and will run through December 22. It has been promoted as a show both…

Those who have been reading my articles for a while may remember when I interviewed Zachary Tooker about the Level Two Comedy Club at the Radisson in Fargo. While the club may have unfortunately closed, Tooker has not ceased…

by Gabrielle Herschgabbyhersch@gmail.comphotography by Logan MacraeEver wish you could go to your favorite brewery without leaving your house? Finally, you can (sort of). Kilstone Brewing is now doing limited can releases of some…

I’m a big man, I’m tall and powerful, but this also causes some issues in the body department. I suffer from acute scoliosis in my lower back, and pain radiates from this area on a daily basis. I have only ever had one massage…

by Devin Joubertdevinlillianjoubert@gmail.comIt’s that beautiful time of the year that’s filled with seasonal decorations, sparkly lights, warm family gatherings, and delicious feasts. I love everything about this time of the…

“(Søren) Kierkegaard…has opened our eyes to the shallowness of much of our pseudo-Christian life, and to the outright deception in politics which Christianity has been made to serve.” - William Hubben“The people starve…