Thursday, December 11, 2008

It's the Crap-Crappiest Season of All

Let me preface this by saying that I like Christmas. I do. Every year I enjoy getting together with friends and family to feast and exchange gifts and celebrate the birth of a guy that I basically don't give a good god damn about.

But every year around this time I tend to get a little blue. Although I don't really get caught up in that "true meaning of Christmas" stuff, I find that all the shopping and commercialism does get a little sickening. Holiday sales and traffic and underpaid retail employees who work long thankless hours...not very merry. Still, jaded as I sometimes can be, I always manage to get into the spirit of things. I'm not a Scrooge, after all. You can't even call me a Grinch.

This year, though, I can't get over this Wal-Mart thing. I mean, I detest Wal-Mart on any given day, but when I think of Jdimytai Damour, who had been hired as a temporary employee, and had been sent to the front lines as the clock neared five on the morning of Black Friday, and who held his ground as ravening shoppers began beating and leaning on the glass doors so hard that they began to bow under the weight...when I think of this poor 34 year old, who just wanted to earn a few bucks, who must have been terrified trying to stem the tide, and who was hurled back and trampled when raging bargain hunters finally broke through, well, I just don't know what to make of that. I do know that I want to cry for this guy who met an end as horrible as any I could imagine.

And when I read that, in the face of tragedy, these maniacal bargain hunters, so blinded by whatever impulse would send us to Wal-Mart at 5:00 AM in search of discounted garbage, refused to leave the store. An employee had been trampled to death by an ugly, stampeding hoard, and the stampeders, in an unfathomable display of inhumanity, wanted to keep shopping. Jdimytai Damour's life was worth less to them than an additional 15% off whatever shit found its way from a sweatshop in Bangladesh to the aisles of the world's worst retail chain and, at last, into the cart of a shopper whose shoes had just flattened a temporary, minimum wage employee.

Merry Christmas.

nwb

3 comments:

Kid Shay said...

When I heard that news, it almost didn't make sense to me. It sounded like a Twilight Zone episode, a critique of how oblivious consumers have become.

Anonymous said...

Nate,

Along with this tragedy, did you see the Black Friday article with the shooting deaths in a California Toys R Us.

The story is here:
http://www.knx1070.com/Shooting-at-a-Toys-R-Us-in-Palm-Desert/3400555

What the hell is this nation comin' to?

kb

Nate and Jeff Bowler, Co-Captains said...

Yeah, I read about the Toys R Us business. I don't know what the hell is the matter with us. I do know that mixing guns and holiday shopping is a disaster waiting to happen.

nwb