Senior Sound-off: Manic shoppers make mad dash to sales

Every year I indulge myself on Black Friday and what all of the lines and in-store fighting have to offer. In fact, I’d go as far as to say that it’s my favorite holiday. Sure, some may (wrongly) declare Christmas as superior or Thanksgiving as a more joyous occasion, but I say a pox on your Santa Claus and store-bought pumpkin pie.
Let me ask you: Can a poorly erected Christmas tree replicate the happiness of heavily discounted big-screen televisions? Is your mom’s cooking as deliriously enjoyable as walking out of a store with bags of clothes that you’re only going to wear once? Of course not. Only a fool would think so — a fool too busy being green with envy as I raid the electronics section of the local Best Buy.
One could accuse me of being facetious — I implore you, I am not. I truly do enjoy Black Friday in the same manner that little children’s hearts warm up when they see Rudolph or the Easter Bunny. There’s just something, so dare I say, American about it all — walking into the mall, armed with money that I do not have and spending cash on things I cannot afford. Isn’t that what the holidays are all about? It’s like the spirit of capitalism and materialism all brought together for one day of celebration. And by celebration, I mean amassing a credit card debt so large that even the South Koreans would be quaking with jealousy.
So what do I get out of engaging in the Black Friday festivities year after year? The experience. You have not lived until you have waited in line for five straight hours in 20 degree weather, severely under dressed and freezing, all for a Harry Potter Blu-ray that’s only $13.99.
Yet when the shopping starts, that’s when the real magic begins. Wading through the filled spaces of Walmart or J. C. Penney & Co., petty things such as human compassion and empathy go right out the window while hungry shoppers duke it out and prey upon the weak as they hunt for sales. It’s a jungle out there and it’s glorious.
Some may sneer at such activities and point out how online stores such as Amazon make it easier to shop without the supposed unpleasantries — that’s the coward’s way out. Purchasing something is not worth it if you can’t pry it away from the cold, clammy hands of some granny looking for something to buy poor little Johnny for Christmas. There is no time to dwell on such sentimentality; Black Friday is war. When one deals in war, one plays to survive. Perhaps that should be the motto for such a spectacular holiday.
If I come off a bit too enthusiastic, it is only because I wish to declare my love for Black Friday. It is, after all, one of the few times when we’re allowed to go a little spend-crazy. Consequences be damned, I say — or at least dealt with after a week of bingeing on regret.

-Christopher Exantus
Senior English major

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