I hate Black Friday. I despise the doorbusting zombies lining up at 4 AM. I despise the traffic. I despise that I have a legitimate reason to go to Target today, but I WILL NOT because it’ll be filled with white eyed maniacal moms and zombie dads trying to grab some vital toy to keep up with the Joneses, a “new” HDTV to replace their “old” one (or to supplement the 5 they already have throughout their house) or the bargain profiteers who are looking to buy and flip.
I’ve lined up many times at the front doors of a comic book convention, waiting for the “go” signal to run to the dollar bins to scoop up deals. I get that. There’s no ad campaign with horribly placed AC/DC music (I’m looking at you Wal-Mart) or news reporters outside begging people to come describe the “atrocities” and bargains.
When I wait in line for a comic con, I’m going to a small business or private seller and supporting them. I’m not plowing through Target or Best Buy trying to grab a mass-produced object that most likely you’ll find on Amazon for the best price once those 5 doorbuster deals are swept up by the people who camped out at 3 AM starting on Tuesday.
I just don’t get the mad consumerism. I’m going off my blog focus a bit, but if Occupy Wall Street wanted to protest big corporations and greed mentality, lock arms in front of Toys R Us on Thursday morning.
What I enjoy, really enjoy, about comics is being able to find something that is a bargain “just for me”, or maybe finding a Holy Grail book and not caring if it’s priced 100-110% over market value so I can complete a collection/run. I enjoy talking to the vendors, discussing our favorite books, and then trading topics, ideas, leads, or even physical books at the end of the day. It feels really good to be a part of those transactions, and a month later when I see that person again, they are excited to see me.
Compare that to retail in 2011.
Compare that to Black Friday.
After work, I’m swinging over to my favorite comic book store. They do indeed have a “Black Friday Sale”, just like they have a July 4th sale, Presidents’ Day sale, and many other holiday sales. But the difference is that if I walk out empty-handed, I don’t feel defeated. On many sale days, I end up buying a non-sale item.
Kick Black Friday in the kidneys this year. Do something else. Buy something meaningful rather than material for someone this year. And for the love of God, use your damn turn signals, obey stop signs, and remember that many of us on the road today were working, not shopping.