From Pine View Farm

Thinking Black Thoughts 2

Bruce Maiman tries to understand why persons subject themselves to shopping on the Friday after Thanksgiving and finds, as Ecclesiastes teaches us, that it’s all illusion.

A nugget:

Another study found that camping out, standing in line the night before, induces a sense of loyalty that researchers call a “collective consumption ritual.” While most of us find waiting in line torturous, these people like it. They even look forward to it. One researcher said, “For the person who’s been doing this for decades, this is as much of their Thanksgiving tradition as having turkey.”

There ya go: The orgy of greed vs. the serenity of family*!

It probably doesn’t pay to tell these people that the best deals don’t even happen on Black Friday. The Wall Street Journal found that nearly one-third of last year’s Black Friday bargains being advertised had been available previously at lower prices.

But as one analyst explained, “People associate Black Friday with good prices, and that eliminates the need to check price.”


*Methinks that dependeth on the family.



  1. George Smith

    November 29, 2013 at 2:17 pm

    Satisfaction through mass action behavior. Depressing. I’m not the type of person who has ever felt comfortable in mass actions, they easily apply to the awful and horrid in life, which explains why I find most of American modern civilization alienating. Mass action behavior, however, is absolutely necessary to making money, being in the first page of search results, or just about all things in a winner-take-all society like we have. I would assume your mailbox exploded with advertisements and organizations pleading for shopping and donations during the last two days. Mine has.

  2. Frank

    November 29, 2013 at 6:04 pm

    I’ve gotten a tremendous amount of spam from Amazon and Dell, both of whom have my email address legitimately.   Those are the main ones that got through, along with the usual uptick from various political outfits (all of which gets filtered into a special folder, to be glanced at and deleted when I get a round tuit.


    I suspect that the news coverage is part of the advertising hype; advertisers have gotten very good at duping media into doing their job for them.  I suspect that more Win8 tablets have been used for “product placement” than have been sold in stores.


    I generally don’t like crowds (although being at the Mobe is one of my fondest memories and I do like cities) and I certainly don’t like to rush.   There’s no savings that Big Box Store can offer me that would make it worth my while to camp out for three days, then get trampled by the people of Walmart.