Black Friday Youtubery
November 25, 2007 3:17 PM   Subscribe

Time for Black Friday again and people just losing it and going fucking insane.
posted by Foci for Analysis (168 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
 
God I hate being an American sometimes. WHAT THE FUCK.
posted by empath at 3:25 PM on November 25, 2007


This is good; now I know what hell is like in advance, and can prepare accordingly.
posted by The Card Cheat at 3:26 PM on November 25, 2007 [1 favorite]


I think this is exactly what Jesus had in mind.
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 3:27 PM on November 25, 2007 [26 favorites]


How'come youtube doesn't let me seek in videos anymore?
posted by null terminated at 3:30 PM on November 25, 2007


There were stores in my state that opened at 4:00 AM. My mom used to work retail, so I know that especially with the expected crowd, that meant most of the employees would have to be there at about 2:45-3:00, in order to be in position, handle overflow, and check inventory. So they all had to leave their families or go to sleep early on Thanksgiving to- and I'm sure of this as well from previous experience too- not get any additional overtime or bonus pay to open the stores for these jackholes.

Anyone who showed up at 4 AM to encourage stores doing this nonsense gives not a single micron of a shit about other people. May the crap they bought on Friday all catch fire and explode.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 3:32 PM on November 25, 2007 [35 favorites]


I don't care if Best Buy was selling $5 bills for a dollar, it would still not be worth waiting in line that long.
posted by Kadin2048 at 3:34 PM on November 25, 2007 [13 favorites]


The anti-consumerist crowd can be such priggs. At least these videos give people a good chance to hate hate hate.
posted by KokuRyu at 3:34 PM on November 25, 2007 [2 favorites]


The best trained, most fully indoctrinated sheep consumers in the world.
posted by Thorzdad at 3:35 PM on November 25, 2007 [2 favorites]


Lest I be suspected of knee-jerk anti-Americanism, I'll point out that this sort of thing happens in Canada, too. A friend of mine worked some holiday shifts at a Toys-R-Us in Belleville, Ontario, whichever year it was that Tickle Me Elmo was the hot Christmas toy. Word got out that the store had received a shipment of Elmos (it had) and two hours before the store opened there was a disorderly mob waiting outside the front door, a mob that broke two of the doors - and an elderly woman's arm - pushing itself inside when the store opened.
posted by The Card Cheat at 3:36 PM on November 25, 2007 [1 favorite]


There's something very 'Ron Paul supporter' about their look. Desperately mistaken, yet confident. So 'right-now-American'. GIMMEE! MINE!
posted by greenskpr at 3:38 PM on November 25, 2007 [6 favorites]


Someone needs to re-edit this one with zombie grunting sound effects and Dario Argento music...

Clicky
posted by Senor Cardgage at 3:39 PM on November 25, 2007 [1 favorite]


There's something very 'Ron Paul Bush supporter' about their look.

Fixed that for you.

/ not a Ron Paul supporter
posted by you just lost the game at 3:41 PM on November 25, 2007 [1 favorite]


I appreciate the cheap hate coming from the Geek Squad guy in one of the Best Buy video, but dude, you make $10 an hour - shut the fuck up and go install some RAM.

Unfortunate, I know, but those fat Americans stampeding to the slop trough afford you your miserable job.
posted by four panels at 3:42 PM on November 25, 2007 [1 favorite]


This year I spent Black Friday at home, and Bought Nothing. Last year, however, I spent several hours of it stuck on 495 trying to get to the Wrentham outlet mall in the middle of the night. The experience was a good cure both for the desire to do the latter and any smugness I might feel about the former.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 3:42 PM on November 25, 2007 [1 favorite]


Sorry to sound like an ignorant Britisher, but what in the hail is 'Black Friday"?
posted by baggymp at 3:43 PM on November 25, 2007 [2 favorites]


Jeez guys, the third youtube post in a row? One really must have too much time to watch all that stuff.

How about every YT post from now on contained a first comment from the author explaining in one simple sentence what the thing is about?
posted by Laotic at 3:44 PM on November 25, 2007 [3 favorites]


I admit I did some shopping. But on Wednesday, not Friday. Okay, well I got an wireless adapter for my 360 on Friday.

Believe me, I felt slimy afterward. But a little Mass Effect cleared it right up.
posted by strontiumdog at 3:45 PM on November 25, 2007


Sorry to sound like an ignorant Britisher, but what in the hail is 'Black Friday"?

They don't have Wikipedia in Britain?
posted by Horace Rumpole at 3:47 PM on November 25, 2007 [3 favorites]


Every time I see one of these Black Friday videos, I wonder how different the world might be if people got this excited about voting.

Maybe people would come out to the polls if they sold $2.99 DVDs and $500 flat screen TVs and opened at 4 a.m.

I like buying stuff and getting a deal as much (or more) than the next guy, but whipped-up crowds of consumers trampling each other for frivolous luxury items frighten me more than Osama bin Laden.
posted by MegoSteve at 3:47 PM on November 25, 2007 [16 favorites]


Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving. "Black" may refer to retailers finally being "in the black" for the year, or it may refer to something more sinister.
posted by kingfisher, his musclebound cat at 3:48 PM on November 25, 2007 [1 favorite]


Black Friday is the day after the American holiday of Thanksgiving.

Most workers have the day off so they go on a shopping rampage. It's called "Black" Friday because so much money is spent in the last few months of the year that stores only go into the black for the whole year on that date.

What a world. I on the other hand bought nothing.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 3:48 PM on November 25, 2007


baggymp: wiki to the rescue
posted by Mach5 at 3:49 PM on November 25, 2007


For a second there, I thought this was one of them slaughterhouse animal cruelty videos.
posted by Krrrlson at 3:51 PM on November 25, 2007




When the fuck did Wal-Mart start selling anything that was worth running (let alone trampling other people) to get to?

I'm not inherently anti-shopping. I've got more than my fair share of useless consumer items cluttering my house up, and I've walked away from cash registers aglow with the pleasure of having handed over my hard-earned bucks for some flashy gizmo. But man alive...I cannnot for the life of me imagine getting so excited about shopping that I would a) line up for hours to do so, b) run inside the store at a full sprint when it opened, or c) shout "WOO-HOOOOOO!!!!" while doing so.
posted by Stonewall Jackson at 3:55 PM on November 25, 2007 [1 favorite]


I was afraid one HDTV from Target might not be enough to fill the void in my soul, so I bought two. Maybe I should have bought three ...
posted by itchylick at 3:56 PM on November 25, 2007 [1 favorite]


Black Friday is for bargains and in a crap economy if you must buy, it is a good time for it. On the other hand, Cyber Monday--the day when most people buy online, Dec 7,--is like jerking off: you do it in the privacy of your home. So if you detest Black Friday, be a wanker and feel good about yourself. Warning: you might lose your hearing.
posted by Postroad at 3:57 PM on November 25, 2007


This year I worked my first Black Friday in retail in about five years. It was no picnic, but it was better than some I remember*. Just about the only good thing about that day is that all the action makes the day go by quicker than usual.

*my 4 years in commissioned retail sales were different. Black Friday then just meant more money, so I welcomed it
posted by jonmc at 3:57 PM on November 25, 2007


But then there were these two hippies, gawd bless 'em...
posted by maryh at 3:57 PM on November 25, 2007 [1 favorite]


wait until it's canned goods and gasoline they're after

these people aren't americans - they're some kind of obscene cancer that's taking our country out
posted by pyramid termite at 3:59 PM on November 25, 2007 [9 favorites]


What sad movie was left sitting on the shelf at 1:15 in this one?
posted by starman at 4:00 PM on November 25, 2007


Looks like "Oceans 13," starman.
posted by Stonewall Jackson at 4:02 PM on November 25, 2007


s/Black Friday/people who haven't heard of pre-ordering or online shopping/
posted by DU at 4:03 PM on November 25, 2007


As a percentage of the shopping public, how many people actually do the 4:00 AM shuffle?

I mean to say, folks, there are people who will camp out for days for a stupid concert ticket. And they don't even scalp them.

But it's not a lot of people, all things considered.
posted by IndigoJones at 4:10 PM on November 25, 2007


s/Black Friday/people who haven't heard of pre-ordering or online shopping/
posted by DU at 7:03 PM on November 25


Should I use sed or vim to parse that?
posted by four panels at 4:10 PM on November 25, 2007 [1 favorite]


It looks like many of those people are getting their yearly exercise.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 4:11 PM on November 25, 2007 [16 favorites]


When the fuck did Wal-Mart start selling anything that was worth running (let alone trampling other people) to get to?

Their consumer electronics can be as much as 30% cheaper than at other places. It makes a difference when you're trying to run a small busines or want to buy a Wii.
posted by KokuRyu at 4:11 PM on November 25, 2007


Ah, good call. I was hoping it would be a Dane Cook movie or something.
posted by starman at 4:11 PM on November 25, 2007


"there are people who will camp out for days for a stupid concert ticket."

Not since the last century. Its all online these days.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 4:11 PM on November 25, 2007


> wait until it's canned goods and gasoline they're after

At first I was thinking this is good preparation for rationing. But then again, if this is what a holiday sale is like, if I was in America I'd start saving for a solid medieval suit of armour. And a shield. And a horse. one that can digest nuclear waste material.
posted by romanb at 4:16 PM on November 25, 2007


Gross.
posted by chococat at 4:16 PM on November 25, 2007 [1 favorite]


This shit makes me want to give away my worldly possessions and give my life over to Krishna.
posted by photoslob at 4:26 PM on November 25, 2007 [3 favorites]


Why are they all lard asses?
posted by netbros at 4:30 PM on November 25, 2007


Four words: Dawn of the Dead.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 4:31 PM on November 25, 2007 [1 favorite]


Why are they all lard asses?

Welcome to America. Land 'o Plenty
posted by null terminated at 4:32 PM on November 25, 2007


Why do they hate us, mommy?
posted by psmealey at 4:33 PM on November 25, 2007


From Morgan "Super Size Me" Spurlock: What Would Jesus Buy?
posted by jiiota at 4:42 PM on November 25, 2007 [2 favorites]


You know, I went shopping on Black Friday because I simply didn't have a choice, and I didn't see any insanity. I guess the lines were a wee bit longer than usual, but nothing worth posting a video about, complete with condescending Geek Squad Guy commentary.

Let the record show that I'm now going to refer to all arrogant asshats as Geek Squad Guy henceforth.
posted by katillathehun at 4:44 PM on November 25, 2007


"I appreciate the cheap hate coming from the Geek Squad guy in one of the Best Buy video, but dude, you make $10 an hour - shut the fuck up and go install some RAM."

i agree that he should shut the fuck up and get back to pressuring old people for 'computer tune-ups' or whatever the fuck they make their bread and butter doing, but are you saying his formidable salary dictates more mature behavior, or that his low wage should preclude mocking customers?
posted by tremspeed at 4:44 PM on November 25, 2007 [3 favorites]


What people forget is that stores have advertised loss leaders in limited quantities. That Olevia HDTV you see everyone in Target rolling around? $549. Target smashed through the $600 barrier on larger LCD HDTVs. Same TV on Amazon is over $200 higher.

But only on the 50 or so they had on-hand. No rainchecks. Store opens at 6am. So, everyone lines up to scoop up a super-cheap HDTV that will be gone before 6:15.

And while they're in the store, might as well start the Christmas shopping, right? And with that, Target has a good day.

And apparently, it was a pretty ferocious day for sales at the lower-end stores. Nordstrom and Federated (aka Macy's)? Not so much.

Black Friday is just a PT Barnum style sales gimmick. By noon, most of the stores have cleared out. I ended up in Borders on Friday afternoon (since we did Christmas at Thanksgiving thanks to family trips/obligations and had to return things), at it looked like an average Friday afternoon.
posted by dw at 4:47 PM on November 25, 2007 [2 favorites]


but are you saying his formidable salary dictates more mature behavior, or that his low wage should preclude mocking customers?

The second part of his comment seemed to imply that the people Geek Squad Guy is making fun of are the very people who ensure he's able to pay his rent, so he should maybe shut up and show some respect.

But that's just my take.
posted by katillathehun at 4:51 PM on November 25, 2007


American consumers = The only reason a great many American families don't own an elephant is that they have never been offered an elephant for a dollar down and easy weekly payments
posted by growabrain at 4:52 PM on November 25, 2007 [29 favorites]


the people Geek Squad Guy is making fun of are the very people who ensure he's able to pay his rent, so he should maybe shut up and show some respect.

At $10/hour, do you think he's actually paying rent?
posted by psmealey at 4:55 PM on November 25, 2007 [3 favorites]


... looked like an average Friday afternoon

I worked the 4PM-11PM shift at our retail sporting goods store and it was like a regular Friday night. The day shift got the crazies. Total sales for the day were 300% more than a typical Friday and 20% higher than last year on Black Friday. However, 75% of the sales occurred before I got there at 4:00. Lucky me.
posted by netbros at 4:58 PM on November 25, 2007


At $10/hour, do you think he's actually paying rent?

it's quite possible he is in some parts of the country - like mine
posted by pyramid termite at 5:00 PM on November 25, 2007 [2 favorites]


I actually used the abbr tag to add a mouse over description to Black Friday. It seems, however, that only Opera adds a dashed underline to the words, so I can see why people couldn't read the description. My apologies.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 5:01 PM on November 25, 2007


The second part of his comment seemed to imply that the people Geek Squad Guy is making fun of are the very people who ensure he's able to pay his rent, so he should maybe shut up and show some respect.

Um....yeeee-ah. You've...never worked retail, huh?
posted by kittens for breakfast at 5:03 PM on November 25, 2007 [1 favorite]


Man I look like an rank amateur compared to these people. I slept in and spent a total of $13 online.
posted by aerotive at 5:04 PM on November 25, 2007


dude, you make $10 an hour - shut the fuck up and go install some RAM.

As a retail worker making $9.25/hr plus the occasional tip, I'll let you know something. Your waitress pisses in your soup.
posted by jonmc at 5:07 PM on November 25, 2007 [11 favorites]


Yeah the "I pay your wages so shut up and kiss my ass" attitude isn't exactly endearing to people working retail.
posted by puke & cry at 5:14 PM on November 25, 2007 [3 favorites]


American consumers = The only reason a great many American families don't own an elephant is that they have never been offered an elephant for a dollar down and easy weekly payments

Having lived in the UK, I can tell you the English are the same way. The difference is that their big box stores just aren't as big.
posted by dw at 5:17 PM on November 25, 2007


... most of the employees would have to be there at about 2:45-3:00, ... So they all had to leave their families or go to sleep early on Thanksgiving to ... not get any additional overtime or bonus pay to open the stores for these jackholes.

Anyone who showed up at 4 AM to encourage stores doing this nonsense gives not a single micron of a shit about other people.


I take it you've never purchased anything manufactured by underpaid workers then, hm?

In case you are not aware, your mom wasn't forced to work for a company that treated her badly. She chose that job.
posted by hjo3 at 5:19 PM on November 25, 2007


Not since the last century. Its all online these days.

Okay, fair enough, but it holds for sporting events. And apparently in Fayetteville
posted by IndigoJones at 5:21 PM on November 25, 2007


Your waitress pisses in your soup.

shhh - if word gets out, everyone in new york will want to go there
posted by pyramid termite at 5:23 PM on November 25, 2007 [8 favorites]


Um....yeeee-ah. You've...never worked retail, huh?

Yeah, I have, actually. Who hasn't? I just think videotaping unsuspecting customers, calling them stupid among other things, and posting it to YouTube is the mark of someone I wouldn't want to work with or be helped by. Maybe I'm old-fashioned at 26, but shouldn't customers be shown respect whether they personally deserve it or not? It's called integrity, for cryin' out loud, and this guy is acting no better than the people he's mocking.
posted by katillathehun at 5:24 PM on November 25, 2007 [1 favorite]


Maybe I'm old-fashioned at 26, but shouldn't customers be shown respect whether they personally deserve it or not?

Sure. But you get the right to complain aboutthem, even in such novel forms as retail. I've always said that the truest test of a person's character is how they treat service employees.
posted by jonmc at 5:25 PM on November 25, 2007 [6 favorites]


you make $10 an hour - shut the fuck up

See, we don't create stereotypes about Americans out of thin air.
posted by blacklite at 5:26 PM on November 25, 2007 [4 favorites]


even in such novel forms as retail.

such novel forms as YouTube, I meant. Day off, drunk.
posted by jonmc at 5:28 PM on November 25, 2007 [1 favorite]


Katillathehun, he's on the Geek Squad at fuckin' Best Buy! You were thinking what, the perfume counter at Macy's?
posted by chlorus at 5:29 PM on November 25, 2007 [1 favorite]


Katillathehun, he's on the Geek Squad at fuckin' Best Buy! You were thinking what, the perfume counter at Macy's?

What makes the perfume counter at Macy's of a higher standard than the Geek Squad at Best Buy? Not being a Macy's perfume counter kinda gal, I wouldn't know. I'm basically saying the guy has a shitty attitude. I don't care where he works.
posted by katillathehun at 5:32 PM on November 25, 2007


This kind of thing happens in Europe, too. The iPhone stampedes come to mind.
posted by bz at 5:32 PM on November 25, 2007


Have these morons never heard of the Internet? For fuck's sake, people, shop online and save yourself the cost of gas (both car and intestinal).
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 5:34 PM on November 25, 2007 [1 favorite]


We were all set to Buy Nothing, then our water heater died and we took advantage of a tax holiday at a nearby big box to buy a new one, because frankly, there's being high-minded and there's being kind of stupid, and we're not stupid.

When people who don't seem to know what they're talking about get all snitty and opinionated about the folks who work retail, or anyone in any service sector/lower paying job, it makes me wonder what on earth they've been doing with their time since they turned sixteen or so.
posted by padraigin at 5:35 PM on November 25, 2007


Maybe I'm old-fashioned at 26, but shouldn't customers be shown respect whether they personally deserve it or not?

Like...on account of how they're buying stuff? Uh. No. What's so amazing about that? As someone who worked retail for a number of years, I will tell you the only reasons a customer is shown "respect":

1. The employee wants to have sex with the customer
2. The employee knows that telling the customer s/he is an asshole would get the employee fired
3. The employee wants to have sex with the customer
4. The employee finds the customer inoffensive/quiet/cool
5. The employee wants to have hot monkey sex with the customer
6. The employee is happy because s/he is imagining you dead.

Really, it can be a pretty awful job, and I'm sure working a big box store is about as bad as it can get. If anyone deserves respect, it's the employee.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 5:36 PM on November 25, 2007 [9 favorites]


Is this strictly a big city thing? I mean we have a Wal-Mart supercenter in my tiny town, but I don't exactly think that people here are lining up at 4 a.m.
posted by chips ahoy at 5:39 PM on November 25, 2007


If anyone deserves respect, it's the employee.

I'm *so* not saying the employee doesn't deserve respect. At all. I'm not even saying the customers *deserve* the respect I think they should be shown. I used to work in retail, too, and when I worked in retail, I didn't stand around, mocking the people who were coming in (and I've worked at Wal-Mart. Egads). Partly because I wanted to be the better person and partly because I probably would've gotten in huge trouble if a manager had walked by while I was having a laugh with my video camera. Given Geek Squad Guy's condescending attitude, I have to wonder how he treats other employees when he's the shopper.

But no way would I ever say that an employee of any establishment doesn't deserve respect.
posted by katillathehun at 5:45 PM on November 25, 2007



these people aren't americans - they're some kind of obscene cancer that's taking our country out


Man I look forward to Hyperbole Sunday every year. Sometimes I start getting my outrageous overeactions and grossly offensive overgeneralizations about working class Americans ready at 2am!
posted by drjimmy11 at 5:45 PM on November 25, 2007 [7 favorites]


and I've worked at Wal-Mart. Egads).

I...okay, never mind. That's too horrifying for me to even contemplate. I think you win.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 5:54 PM on November 25, 2007


Sometimes I start getting my outrageous overeactions and grossly offensive overgeneralizations about working class Americans ready at 2am!

most of the working class americans i work with stayed the hell away from all that, or at least weren't standing around at 4 in the damned morning to participate

as a genuine blue collar american union card holding factory rat, i'll say what i goddamn well please about the working class, thank you

quite bluntly, i suspect many of these people are more affluent than us - and they sure as hell are dumber
posted by pyramid termite at 5:54 PM on November 25, 2007


From one of the YouTube comments:
If only people put this much effort into things that actually matter. Sigh.
Too true.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 5:55 PM on November 25, 2007 [3 favorites]


Needs more 'Yackety Sax'.
posted by ardgedee at 5:59 PM on November 25, 2007 [4 favorites]


kittensforbreakfast: you forgot

7. the employee is on commission.

(I left retail for five years because of that. I watched some freakazoid woman who looked coked out of her mind slap her kid for crying and not only did I have to be civil, I had to keep kissing her ass because it was my job. that kind of stuff wears on you)
posted by jonmc at 6:07 PM on November 25, 2007


I think you're all missing the silver lining here: this is probably the only exercise these avaricious LardPigs™ get all year. So at least it's a start, even though many of them only seem to manage a quick-shuffling waddle when they're let out of the gates.
posted by Turtles all the way down at 6:08 PM on November 25, 2007


Is there an equivalent of, say, the Richter scale that lets you measure condescension? Because I think we'd have a record here.

I can think of something more pathetic than Black Friday shopping, and that's making fun of it here.
posted by me & my monkey at 6:24 PM on November 25, 2007 [3 favorites]


"HEY EVERYONE THEY'VE GOT MORAL COMPASSES OVER IN THIS AISLE CHEAP!"

"WHAT? REALLY?!"

"Psshh, naw."
posted by poweredbybeard at 6:28 PM on November 25, 2007 [4 favorites]


So you think getting physically violent over sale items doesn't deserve condescension?
posted by empath at 6:31 PM on November 25, 2007


tsk, tsk
posted by telstar at 6:33 PM on November 25, 2007


I bought nothing on Friday and only bought Dr. Strangelove, a toothbrush, and a tall bottle of Le Fin du Monde for my birthday on Saturday. This is the entirety of my holiday shopping.

My folks are Jehovah's now though, so I don't really have any immediate family to buy for, and my girlfriend and I agreed to save our money for a spring vacation.

I guess I don't feel like I am much better than all of this nonsense, but boy do I feel good that the combination of circumstance and choice has allowed me to decline participation in this madhouse event. It obviously seems very contrary to the stated spirit of the season.
posted by rollbiz at 6:48 PM on November 25, 2007


rollbiz, my comliments on your taste in the booze. La Fin has a great flavor and leaves you nicely swacked as well.
posted by jonmc at 6:52 PM on November 25, 2007


I didn't spend money on anything from Tuesday evening until about 30 minutes ago when I realized I'd finally run out of milk. What's really amazing about these videos is the unholy racket they make when you watch them all at once.
posted by jessamyn at 6:54 PM on November 25, 2007


Foci for analysis -- it shows in Firefox, but all I get is "Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving in the United States, which is the beginnin-"
posted by dreamsign at 6:58 PM on November 25, 2007


Actually, this is some excellent selective targeting, if someone were in a Jihadist mood.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 7:01 PM on November 25, 2007 [2 favorites]


Actually, this is some excellent selective targeting, if someone were in a Jihadist mood.

I've thought that too. Car bombs, vest bombs, meld into the crowds, blow yourself up at the front door, create stampedes.

But honestly, Al-Queda has no desire to do it. "Our martyrdom operation blew up an NYC subway train and killed 100" makes better press than "Our martyrdom operation blew up 100 shoppers in front of a bunch of suburban Des Moines big box stores on Black Friday."

If they wanted to, they could really wreak havoc across Middle America by blowing up malls and shopping centers, but they're just not big, splashy, symbolic targets.
posted by dw at 7:20 PM on November 25, 2007 [1 favorite]


New American Anthem:

They eat!
And shop!
They eat and shop and eat!
Eat eat eat! Shop shop shop!

The Bitchy and Trashy Show!

(Accepting donations through Paypal. I gots mouths to feed.)
posted by aftermarketradio at 7:28 PM on November 25, 2007


my comliments on your taste in the booze. La Fin has a great flavor and leaves you nicely swacked as well.

Thank you good sir. La Fin is a special occasion indulgence of mine. 9% ABV what?!?

jessamyn- I cannot even imagine what it sounds like when all of these videos open at once. And I actually thought about trying it, but I'm just ceasing to shudder from watching them one at a time.
posted by rollbiz at 7:29 PM on November 25, 2007


Anyone who showed up at 4 AM to encourage stores doing this nonsense gives not a single micron of a shit about other people.

I did show up when the store opened at 5am. Then again, people had been waiting in line since Tuesday for the item I wanted. Naturally, they were out but I just got a raincheck and will pick it up on Wednesday. In and out in 10 minutes, so whatever about not giving a shit.

I've been out shopping on nearly every single Black Friday for the last 8 years, and I have yet to see crazy antics. Yes, I've seen lines out the store and people lines up forever. But, I've never seen the fights or whatever people so lament. Maybe I just need to pick my spots better.
posted by jmd82 at 7:32 PM on November 25, 2007


Electronics for Christmas. How personal.
posted by AppleSeed at 7:43 PM on November 25, 2007


Well, I'd take a dvd player over a hand-turkey drawn in crayon.
posted by puke & cry at 7:51 PM on November 25, 2007 [3 favorites]


Okay, fair enough, but it holds for sporting events. And apparently in Fayetteville

Yeah, in 1997. That news story is 10 years old...
posted by Nathanial Hörnblowér at 7:52 PM on November 25, 2007


katillathehun said: Maybe I'm old-fashioned at 26, but shouldn't customers be shown respect whether they personally deserve it or not?

jonmc said: I've always said that the truest test of a person's character is how they treat service employees.

Absolutely, jonmc. All of my jobs have been service-related, and I have always treated customers/clients/patients with respect unless they show me (through their words or actions) that they don't deserve my respect.
posted by amyms at 8:03 PM on November 25, 2007


Sounds like you need Long Titles, dreamsign.
posted by Partial Law at 8:23 PM on November 25, 2007 [3 favorites]


Electronics for Christmas. How personal.

I put some books on my list. Is that personal enough for ya?

And upon watching some more of these videos, I chalk a lot of this crazy shit up to pissass control on the part of the store. At the BB store I was at, they handed out tickets to those in line (among free coffee, lots of coupons, and Elvis) for the item they wanted. That way when the store opened, you didn't have to fight over an item. Everyone calmly walked in and simply handed the ticket to the sales people inside and they got it for you. Having everyone inside like that and just saying GO is obviously a recipe for disaster.
posted by jmd82 at 8:30 PM on November 25, 2007



Why are they all lard asses?
posted by netbros at 7:30 PM on November 25


Surely it's possible to criticize behavior without criticizing looks?

WRT to whether or not these customers deserve respect from the employees, the whole thing is a setup for a lack of respect on both sides. If Walmart or whoever cared about respecting its customers, they wouldn't have these kinds of free-for-alls. As that one guy in the first video indicated, Black Friday is a contact sport, and it seems to me that you can't have a thin hide in contact sports. Besides which, as other people have noted, there's little respect being given the other way either. I would hate to be an employee in those places on this night.
posted by lassie at 8:37 PM on November 25, 2007 [2 favorites]


For anyone who is in the lower middle class bracket (where you make enough money to get by, with just a little bit extra to spend on luxuries) the deep discounts of Black Friday can be extremely important. If you are stretching your money as far as it can go, trying to keep your family comfortable and happy without living beyond your means, it's totally worth it to get up in the middle of the night and fight with the crowd for 50% off. Some of it (e.g. a HDTV) would be way too expensive otherwise.

I do find the Black Friday shopping insanity a bit, well, crazy, and I haven't participated in one for years. And the videos are funny for what they are. But the amount of condescension from a lot of people here is pretty tasteless.
posted by gemmy at 8:39 PM on November 25, 2007 [6 favorites]


Surely it's possible to criticize behavior without criticizing looks?

Not a criticism, just a question.
posted by netbros at 8:51 PM on November 25, 2007


Why are they all lard asses?

Perception bias (or whatever the fancy term is)? It's easier to see lard asses than skinny people, particularly in poor resolution, small videos with hordes of people. Us skinny people get squished in the middle and are easy to miss.
posted by jmd82 at 9:01 PM on November 25, 2007


With due respect in case I'm really misunderstanding you, that's disingenuous, netbros -- it wasn't just a comment, but a lazy and irrelevant way of encapsulating your feelings about all those videos. If you want to marvel at people's uncivilized behavior, you can do that in many, many ways without bringing their "lardassedness" or lack thereof, or any other physical characteristic they might possess into your comment.
posted by lassie at 9:01 PM on November 25, 2007 [3 favorites]


"jonmc said: I've always said that the truest test of a person's character is how they treat service employees."

Or their fellow conversationalists on message boards.
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 9:03 PM on November 25, 2007


Terrifying. Sad.

*bangs head against wall*
posted by Skygazer at 9:04 PM on November 25, 2007


Not a comment, just a question.
posted by netbros at 9:17 PM on November 25, 2007


Does anybody else wait till after Christmas to do their shopping? The bargains by then are usually better than 30% and if you wait till after new years you can usually scoop up boxed returns. That's when the REAL savings begin. Mind you to keep the relatives happy some gifts should be exchanged on Xmas. Even though I'm tilting at windmills every year I still try to convince them that if they must buy into the consumer BS, that buying into it 5 days later would be a better alternative.
posted by HappyHippo at 9:19 PM on November 25, 2007


America, land of the free cheap.
posted by dougzilla at 9:20 PM on November 25, 2007


What people forget is that stores have advertised loss leaders in limited quantities...No rainchecks.

Isn't that illegal in the USA? I thought if you advertised it, you had to offer rainchecks if you ran out.
posted by mediareport at 9:21 PM on November 25, 2007


I've worked as retail manager for some 13 of my 20 years in the job market, and can attest to the pure incompetenceand abysmal crowd-control procedures of the malls and retailers in those horrific videos.

It's patently easy to control consumers. The failure here lies squarely on the shoulders of the dipsticks managers who failed to anticiptae the consequences of their marketing schemes.

In comparison, Boxing day in Canada makes Black Friday in the U.S. look like a toddler with a lemonade stand. After my firsts experience being over-whelmed by mobs of consumerist ninnies I decided to put procedures in place to ensure order.

Rented crowd-fencing and security guards are inexpensive , and highly conducive to orderly conduct, increasing profit margins. The free coffee, entertainment, portable-heaters, wristbands, and music goes without saying.

On those limited-quantity, loss-leaders that drive the frenzy of these totally staged events, it was always my policy to prepare blank invoices in advance, for one fewer than the advertised quantity, and then work the (well-behaved and orderly) crowd in advance; dentifying those there for specific items, and then selling them any appropriate inter-connects, speaker cables , surge protectors, or extended warranties before they ever-even entered the store.

Call me crazy, but sales always went up, and after a few years of this, I actually found my regular first-in-line customers actively selling accessories and warranties to the crowd when I came out-side at 4 in the morning to pump everyone up and hand out gift certificates, movies, and CDs.
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 9:30 PM on November 25, 2007 [6 favorites]


You'll never truly know why it's called "Black Friday" until you've worked it retail. I still shiver...
posted by Pope Guilty at 9:33 PM on November 25, 2007


Isn't that illegal in the USA? I thought if you advertised it, you had to offer rainchecks if you ran outt.

Not on limited quantity items. Morons will, nonetheless, still insist that this is the case, another reason to have security on hand for these so-called "events" .
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 9:34 PM on November 25, 2007


Sounds like you need Long Titles

You rock, Partial Law. Thanks!
posted by dreamsign at 9:51 PM on November 25, 2007


Sorry, you're entirely right, netbros, it was a lazy, irrelevant question. Moving beyond the playground insults, though ...

I thought if you advertised it, you had to offer rainchecks if you ran out

If I remember correctly from first year contracts, the deal is what the offer says. If it says "$14.99 Wii's for all customers who show up on November 23," then the store is screwed, since they have offered a number of Wii's limited only by the number of people who show up on November 23, between midnight and midnight, to accept the offer. Which is why most places say, "While supplies last," or "For the first 250 customers."
posted by lassie at 9:52 PM on November 25, 2007


Trying to keep your family comfortable and happy without living beyond your means, it's totally worth it to get up in the middle of the night and fight with the crowd for 50% off. Some of it (e.g. a HDTV) would be way too expensive otherwise.

If that's the case, perhaps clothes, shoes, food for the kids and putting money in the bank for education or some other neccessity, might be a better thing than an HDTV.

All I see in those videos is gluttonous jack asses who are just going to go into more debt. Not to mention that you don't have to be a genius to figure out that if you want a REAL deal, wait until after the holidays. You can live without an HDTV or a digital camera for a little while longer. The sun will still rise in the morning. Really. It will.

But also, what else is there to do in this country but shop anyway? It's become an emotional and psychological pillar because we're indoctrinated at every turn to define ourselves by what we own and people are too stupid and boring to figure out something a little more interesting to do with their lives. Fucking hell...half the shit bought on black Friday will wind up in a landfill before the next Christmas anyway.

Only things I would fight a crowd like that for is booze or books. (Gangway fatheads!!)

//"Condescension"
posted by Skygazer at 9:58 PM on November 25, 2007 [3 favorites]


For anyone who is in the lower middle class bracket (where you make enough money to get by, with just a little bit extra to spend on luxuries) the deep discounts of Black Friday can be extremely important. If you are stretching your money as far as it can go, trying to keep your family comfortable and happy without living beyond your means, it's totally worth it to get up in the middle of the night and fight with the crowd for 50% off. Some of it (e.g. a HDTV) would be way too expensive otherwise.

I feel like I'm being roped in here, but seriously, a HDTV? A friend of mine just decided that he's happier buying a new $99 tv than going for HDTV, which would require getting the more expensive box from the cable company, then paying more for the HD signal... I don't begrudge anyone a bit of comfort, but if you want the gift that goes on giving requiring payments, this is it.
posted by dreamsign at 10:00 PM on November 25, 2007


Or what Skygazer said, especially about after-holiday sales.
posted by dreamsign at 10:01 PM on November 25, 2007


Which is why most places every smart retailer says clearly stipulates "While supplies last," or "For the first 250 customers."
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 10:18 PM on November 25, 2007


There's something very 'Ron Paul supporter' about their look. Desperately mistaken, yet confident. So 'right-now-American'. GIMMEE! MINE!

I'd love to hear more about what you mean by this. I can't help but think you are utterly misinformed about the average Ron Paul supporter.

Ron Paul supporters tend to fall into the "looming recession" category than just about any candidate running for office right now. They tend to favor fiscal responsibility, and he is, so far as I know, the only presidential candidate to openly lament the connection between federal reserve policy and excessive consumer debt.

Attack Ron Paul supporters all you want, but try to do so intelligently.
posted by mragreeable at 10:53 PM on November 25, 2007


I was at Fry's in Sunnyvale on Black Friday, just to soak it in. They advertised a Samsung 50" HDTV plasma set for $897, so a couple of other people showed up, too. Like at 2am. I got there at about 2pm and the wait for the register was 4 hours. The cops had been there at 5am to bust up a fight, the EMS was there at 5:30am to haul away 3 people trampled as the place opened, and the fire trucks and cops came again while I was walking through the parking lot (had to park several blocks away, as the parking lot was clogged with folks waiting for someone to leave; classic gridlock). For US$39.95 they had a cool RC helicopter that one of my nephews would have loved. When I multiplied the time spent in line by a nominal pay rate, I put the 'copter back.

A slight derail: as a Euro-derived white guy, I was by far in the minority. Silicon Valley is overwhelmingly other and while I was feeling all cosmopolitan and shit, it occurred to me that this is what the red staters fear. They don't want American to look like this. They think it hasn't happened yet and if they can just reduce immigration, both legal and illegal, they can turn back the tide. This faux whiteness they believe in is fostered by the areas they live in or remember from their youth, and some politicians are more than happy to exploit those misperceptions. Like Lynne Cheney waxing rhapsodic about the lilly-white, sparsely populated West she grew up in. If we could just convert the whole country to that idyllic memory, all will be well.
posted by Mental Wimp at 11:33 PM on November 25, 2007 [3 favorites]


I'm so glad I live in Hong Kong, where shopping is built into the lifestyle 365 days a year and thus is no big deal.

Then again, when stuff is given away free all Hell breaks loose.

And recently in China, a sale on cooking oil got several people trampled to death:
Three people have been killed and more than 30 injured in a stampede at a supermarket sale in China. The stampede was triggered by the rushing crowd that burst through the market doors after having lined up at 4:00am and waited for hours to purchase cooking oil, which has soared by more than a third in price in the last year in China. Carrefour, which is the world's second-biggest retailer, was reportedly offering 20% off rapeseed oil.
All I can do is sit back and marvel at the stupidity.
posted by bwg at 1:42 AM on November 26, 2007




jonmc: "Maybe I'm old-fashioned at 26, but shouldn't customers be shown respect whether they personally deserve it or not?

Sure. But you get the right to complain aboutthem, even in such novel forms as retail. I've always said that the truest test of a person's character is how they treat service employees.
"

Agreed. One of the reasons I got my current job is that I treated the receptionist with respect. Being civil pays off.
posted by aerotive at 2:50 AM on November 26, 2007


Who convinced these people shopping Black Friday was exciting? I make effort to avoid even normal Saturday shopping, much less Black Friday. I seem to recall I used to enjoy going out to watch the "fun", but not in many years. In my family, people brag to eachother how early they get their Christmas shopping finished (early, as in, August!).
posted by Goofyy at 2:58 AM on November 26, 2007


Boxing day in Canada makes Black Friday in the U.S. look like a toddler with a lemonade stand.

Maybe it's because I'm not a retailer, or maybe it's because the news reports in the States play up the dumb fights and the cattle-like mobs, but I've always thought it was the other way around. When I was younger I used to line up outside the downtown HMV, and I've stood in a Best Buy for two hours to buy a video card on the cheap. Never have I seen anything remotely as creepy as people trying to wrestle boxes away from each other or trampling one another for a cheap HDTV. Hell, while standing in the cash register line at that Best Buy, I had a couple of very pleasant conversations with similarly bemused customers about how full the store was and did you find what you wanted and oh, there was this really neat deal you might like but I didn't get it because I'm just getting this, etc.

Now that I'm not a teenager any more, I've lost my taste for waking up early to hit Boxing Day sales, but it's more because the deals have gotten a lot crappier while the crowds have gotten bigger. Why waste hours of your life lining up for stuff that maybe, in the end, you didn't really need anyways?
posted by chrominance at 3:27 AM on November 26, 2007


Is this strictly a big city thing? I mean we have a Wal-Mart supercenter in my tiny town, but I don't exactly think that people here are lining up at 4 a.m.

I guarantee you they are. I worked at a small-town (pop. 5000) Wal-Mart years ago and the Black Friday stampede was horrific. It was the year of the Furby (remember those?) and people were lined up from the layaway department in the back of the store all the way to the front. Five in the morning, and hundreds of people were there to get a crack at one of the six Furby dolls held under lock and key in the security room at the back of the store. It was surreal.
posted by EarBucket at 4:29 AM on November 26, 2007


In case you are not aware, your mom wasn't forced to work for a company that treated her badly. She chose that job.

You are adorable. Let me know when you graduate and get your first actual job and I'll be sure to come bring you cookies.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 4:43 AM on November 26, 2007 [10 favorites]


What is going on there - is it like a half price sale or something? Why is everyone obese?
posted by DZ-015 at 4:54 AM on November 26, 2007


I actually went out this year with a friend who needed someone to stay up with him for a 300$ labtop worth like 1k. We were there all night and when they finally opened... a group of douche bags got in there first and took all the coupons for everything and anything good. They were trying to sell them to people..... After telling one of them off (normally I wouldn't... but the mixture of no sleep and coffee pisses me off) I went to work and got a wopping 2 hours of sleep that day. Needless to say I will never be doing that again!
posted by Mastercheddaar at 5:58 AM on November 26, 2007


At first I felt bad for the EMS workers having to come help the people that fell and got trampled. Then I thought of all the weird places EMS workers have to probably go to help people and figured the mall maybe wasn't the worst of it for them. But then again, the mostly young healthy people that make up EMS teams are ruining their backs picking up all these large people.

It's hard for me to understand why the fervor that surrounds this experience is fun for people. And I feel like there's this pull to make everyone buy into the idea of Black Friday being a part of our holiday tradition.
posted by dog food sugar at 6:06 AM on November 26, 2007


Skygazer writes "Not to mention that you don't have to be a genius to figure out that if you want a REAL deal, wait until after the holidays. You can live without an HDTV or a digital camera for a little while longer. The sun will still rise in the morning. Really. It will."

I was under the impression that Black Friday deals involved cuts like 30% on electronics. I know there are also deals after the holidays, but that big?

dreamsign writes "I feel like I'm being roped in here, but seriously, a HDTV? A friend of mine just decided that he's happier buying a new $99 tv than going for HDTV, which would require getting the more expensive box from the cable company, then paying more for the HD signal"

Er, doesn't that mean that in a year or two his cheap TV will become unusable without paying for the expensive cable box anyway, once everything goes digital-only? (Not a snark, an actual question, because I don't live in the US)
posted by Bugbread at 6:10 AM on November 26, 2007


I haven't read all (at this writing) 134 comments, but has anyone asked yet whether 'tis dumber to stand in the Best Buy (or any) line for hours before the store opens or to go out with a toy camera in the early morning darkness and shoot a grainy video of the line-up? Cause if not, I'd like to (ask, that is, not shoot another MeFi "holier than Thou" clip).
posted by Mike D at 6:35 AM on November 26, 2007


So *this* is what they mean by "freedom".
posted by LordSludge at 6:48 AM on November 26, 2007 [1 favorite]


Well, one store had a laptop with printer for about $250.00. It's pretty easy to see why a young family with kids in school and bills out the wazoo would find waiting in line at 4:00 am for that thing pretty attractive.
posted by lordrunningclam at 6:54 AM on November 26, 2007 [1 favorite]


Mike D writes "has anyone asked yet whether 'tis dumber to stand in the Best Buy (or any) line for hours before the store opens or to go out with a toy camera in the early morning darkness and shoot a grainy video of the line-up? Cause if not, I'd like to (ask, that is, not shoot another MeFi "holier than Thou" clip)."

I'll go ahead and assume that you had asked the question, and give an answer:

It depends.

On the "lining up" side, it depends on how much money you have, how much you make, how much money you need, the necessity of what you're buying, whether you were planning on buying it anyway, or only because it's on sale, how many people there are at the particular place you're lining up, how well organized the line is, whether you're easily pushed over/trampled, or built like a linebacker, previous experience in mosh-pits, how patient a person you are, whether or not you're agoraphobic, etc. etc. etc.

On the "videotaping" side, it depends on what other plans you have, how much you enjoy making the video, your sleep schedule (would you have been up at that time anyway?), whether or not you're with friends, what other entertainment options there are where you live, etc. etc. etc.
posted by Bugbread at 6:58 AM on November 26, 2007 [1 favorite]


You know, I was all ready to be judgmental and snotty after watching those videos. But then I realized that I've waited hours in lines plenty of times to get the rail at a music concert, or stayed up until the wee hours for a pre-sale on tickets.

I suppose it's no different, in a way. Plenty of people would shake their head at me for doing that, some of them even as they went running off for that cheap HDTV.
posted by Windigo at 7:08 AM on November 26, 2007


"Stuff happens...Freedom's untidy, and free people are free to make mistakes and commit crimes and do bad things." -- Donald Rumsfeld
posted by kirkaracha at 7:42 AM on November 26, 2007


I think if people enjoy doing something, it's something for them to do. However, when bones get broken, it is time to re-evaluate crowd control on a Black Friday.

I could be all mightier-than-thou, like some people in here, and go on and on about how I don't buy anything the weekend after Thanksgiving out of some principle, but the truth is if I need something I'll go get it, any time of the year. At this time of the year, I see the crowds and I shy away. If it was like this more often, I'd avoid those stores when it happened. If voting was like this, I'd have yet another reason to no longer vote.
posted by ZachsMind at 8:49 AM on November 26, 2007


I'm walking into Fred Meyer's on friday morning, to see what super deals they might have on HDTVs. As I first come in the door, I notice a couple of women with 5-6 carts full of board games, in the checkout line. I think they must be buying for a charity or something, how sweet.
I look at the TVs, come close, but decide I have nowhere to put the current TV if I replace it, and head up to the toy department, to see what I might get for the nieces and nephews. I get to the top of the stairs, and there's another 5-6 carts full of board games, and 4 people in a team gathering even more together. Turns out they are from some indie toy store, stocking their shelves for the year on the buy 1 get 1 free special, because it ends up cheaper than thru their distributor, even after paying her staff to come shopping with her.
posted by nomisxid at 8:53 AM on November 26, 2007 [2 favorites]


I had a couple of very pleasant conversations with similarly bemused customers about how full the store was and did you find what you wanted and oh, there was this really neat deal you might like but I didn't get it because I'm just getting this, etc.

And this is precisely why I like living in Canada. When I was getting off the plane on my way home from three years working in California I was walking down the final ramp before customs. Beside me was another guy with the same typical hoser physiognomy as me: fairly big guy, carrying a few extra pounds (good for insulation in winter). Anyway, we rounded a corner to come upon a full arrivals hall, with each customs inspector in front of a lineup that was going to take at least an hour.

Now, even though my companion and I had not yet spoken or even made eye contact, we immediately looked at each other with wry grins on our faces as if to say "Ah, yes, wouldn't you just expect this. But what are you gonna do, it's just the way it is and whining isn't going to change it."

Quite a contrast to the bitching and moaning I would have heard in the same situation in Southern California. The Canadian outlook is characterized by a bemused tolerance of even the most dire situation and a shared outlook that "we're all in this together, so we might as well cooperate." Not characteristics I see demonstrated in these videos!
posted by Turtles all the way down at 9:16 AM on November 26, 2007 [1 favorite]


Shrug. The only shopping I did was at the grocery store. Besides some odds and ends to round out dinners, I think the only "luxury" item was...my usual weekly bagful of canned goods to donate to the local shelter. As long as I can keep doing that, I will, 'cause it means I'm not that bad off.

(I place that bag in the grocery cart at church Sunday morning. I notice the cart's never anywhere near full, despite my church being in a prosperous part of town.)

I'm waiting to see if my son bitches when he doesn't get much in the way of presents from me this year. It'll be a learning opportunity for him.
posted by pax digita at 9:45 AM on November 26, 2007


This can be summed up easily:

* "Fat Americans!"
* "Entitle-moos!"
* "Well, I stay home and buy NOTHING on that day."
* "Ron Paul!"

I really can't get all riled up about "Black Friday" at all.
posted by drstein at 10:11 AM on November 26, 2007


I went shopping on Black Friday, and it was fun and non-lifethreatening. There were no stampedes in JC Pennys, just hoardes upon hoardes of sweet spritzhead soccer-moms. My only regret is that my fat ass will probably be shown on the nightly news with headlines about America's grotesque consumerism. Oh, well. I got an awesome wool beret for three dollars.
posted by Marquise at 10:19 AM on November 26, 2007


Bugbread: I was under the impression that Black Friday deals involved cuts like 30% on electronics. I know there are also deals after the holidays, but that big?

Yeah, I think you can, especially when you add in online shopping. Plus better and newer models and no humiliating stampede.

Er, doesn't that mean that in a year or two his cheap TV will become unusable without paying for the expensive cable box anyway, once everything goes digital-only?

I don't think regular TV is going anywhere soon, also in a year or two they'll probably be giving away HDTVs 2 for 1 for what they're going in price now.

Windingo: You know, I was all ready to be judgmental and snotty after watching those videos. But then I realized that I've waited hours in lines plenty of times to get the rail at a music concert.

Apples and oranges.*

Unless you (or someone you're gifting is homebound) HDTV should not be so friggin' important and standing on a line at 4 AM so you can be treated like a herd animal being harvested for credit card debt is ridiculous verging on insane. No wonder politicians treat the general public so badly.

Just makes me think that people need an excuse to do something unorthodox in their lives, and being a consumer is a good way to do that. I think short of homicide (but not torture) there's not much that you can't justify with the idea of it being good for the economy.

*Life without music would be a mistake. - Friedrich Nietzsche
posted by Skygazer at 10:23 AM on November 26, 2007


The Canadian outlook is characterized by a bemused tolerance of even the most dire situation and a shared outlook that "we're all in this together, so we might as well cooperate."

If this were true, the Canadians would be "sheeple" much more than Americans, since they'd be docile and not willing to rock the boat.
posted by dw at 10:58 AM on November 26, 2007


If you are stretching your money as far as it can go, trying to keep your family comfortable and happy without living beyond your means, it's totally worth it to get up in the middle of the night and fight with the crowd for 50% off. Some of it (e.g. a HDTV) would be way too expensive otherwise.

um, sorry, no. as someone who is part of a family that lives on around $30,000 a year, this is completely out of whack and assumes that people *need* expensive new electronics to be comfortable and happy. and the idea that they would get bought for Christmas presents is beyond my understanding.

a gift or two for everyone, with a heavy lacing of handmade/homemade is the way to live well. these people are racing because they've bought the idea that the more expensive a gift is, the more you care/love someone and the more you are admired. this is a very sad state of affairs. and it's all going to kick them in the ass when behaving this way is no longer an option.

(i can't even watch these videos. it makes me feel quite ill.)
posted by RedEmma at 11:14 AM on November 26, 2007 [1 favorite]


I don't think regular TV is going anywhere soon

No, but with the digital signal and the requirements for a $100 set-top box for over-the-air signals after April 7, 2009, I think they'll be gone the way of the B&W TV within five years.

also in a year or two they'll probably be giving away HDTVs 2 for 1 for what they're going in price now.

The dollar is tanking. The $550 HDTV may not be around next Christmas. Honestly, standing in line for a chance at a $550 flat-screen is nothing. You going to mock the kids who stood in line last year for the Wii?

Apples and oranges.*

Bullshit. Same thing. The difference is that your stereotyping and your condescension can't be bothered to mock people just like you standing in line for tickets to your favorite band (which, BTW, sucks).

If it's an HDTV, it's all about the obese with credit cards. If it's the Wii, it's all about nerdy, antisocial teenagers with their parent's credit cards. If it's Miley Cyrus, it's all about spoiled children and their enabling parents.

The condescending comments remind me of that old axiom from the days of segregation: If you were poor and white, take heart, you always had the Negroes to look down on.
posted by dw at 11:15 AM on November 26, 2007


Has this thread been Godwin'd yet?

If not, please allow me.


You know who else would stand in line at 1 A.M. for 30% off electronics?
posted by Dr-Baa at 11:21 AM on November 26, 2007


DW: No, but with the digital signal and the requirements for a $100 set-top box for over-the-air signals after April 7, 2009, I think they'll be gone the way of the B&W TV within five years.

That digital tuner box for regular (standard definition) TVs will be given away with boxes of cereal by 2010.

The dollar is tanking. The $550 HDTV may not be around next Christmas. Honestly, standing in line for a chance at a $550 flat-screen is nothing.

Now that is Bullshit. The only reason there won't be $550 HDTVs next xmas is because they'll cost $350 and you know my heart bleeds for all those poor souls (myself included) who didn't dish out $500 for a DVD player. (Which are like what 40 or 50 bucks now?)


Apples and oranges.*

Bullshit. Same thing. The difference is that your stereotyping and your condescension can't be bothered to mock people just like you standing in line for tickets to your favorite band (which, BTW, sucks).


I don't recommend anyone stand on a Black Friday line-like queue for anything. Thankfully the bands that I go and see are so hip and obscure, half the time I don't even know who they are and forget about them immediately afterwards. (Anyway ticketmaster along with the credit card Cos. have corrupted the whole thing anyway and continue to shake down concert goers, but that's a discussion for a different thread.)

The condescending comments remind me of that old axiom from the days of segregation: If you were poor and white, take heart, you always had the Negroes to look down on.

Or the incredibly stupid and greedy. And who the hell is this Miley Cyrus character? Does s/he vibrate?
posted by Skygazer at 12:20 PM on November 26, 2007


I think short of homicide (but not torture) there's not much that you can't justify with the idea of it being good for the economy.

On the contrary... I heard this very defense of the Iraq War just the other day: "Even if nothing good comes of it, at least it has made a lot of jobs for a lot of Americans, so it was worthwhile and good for the economy."

You know when you hear something so amazingly, incredibly, poorly thought out that you're at a loss for words? That was me.
posted by LordSludge at 12:50 PM on November 26, 2007




Skygazer writes "Now that is Bullshit. The only reason there won't be $550 HDTVs next xmas is because they'll cost $350 and you know my heart bleeds for all those poor souls (myself included) who didn't dish out $500 for a DVD player."

Are prices really that different (and low) in the US? When HDTVs came out here in Japan, the price was prohibitively expensive, but they leveled out about 2 or 3 years ago, and the prices have stayed constant since then. TVs this year are no cheaper than they were last year.
posted by Bugbread at 1:05 PM on November 26, 2007


Or the incredibly stupid and greedy. . . .
posted by Skygazer at 12:20 PM on November 26

Is their "stupidity and greed" in any way influenced by the culture and educational system these folks have grown up under? Is this any real way different than those who would pay $40,000 just to ensure their kids get into the "right" school? HDTV/diploma . . . aren't both something one hangs on a wall to feel good about themselves? And before anyone says that a diploma will serve one better in the quest for food and shelter, I would point out that if your parents can spend thousands just to get you admitted to an ivy league school, hunger and homelessness were never on your radar screen in the first place. Rich or poor, most everyone likes a status symbol.
posted by landis at 2:51 PM on November 26, 2007 [1 favorite]


The Card Cheat: With respect, I fail to see how bitching about the border, which is a well accepted Canadian pastime given the restrictions placed on us, compares to raging into a store at 5 a.m. like a herd of rapacious, combative, sloppy acquisitive pigs.
posted by Turtles all the way down at 3:48 PM on November 26, 2007


Maybe it's because I'm not a retailer, or maybe it's because the news reports in the States play up the dumb fights and the cattle-like mobs, but I've always thought it was the other way around

My comment wasn't so much about the behaviour of the shoppers, as it was about the increase in volume on that single day. In order to be in line in time to qualify for almost any of the major advertised loss-leaders, consumers have to line-up on Christmas day, in the morning, which still boggles my mind. Most big-box consumer electronics retailers do the same amount of volume on that one day as they normally do in an average month. So, in Canada, the increase in volume is quantitatively larger, although that impact has been reduced lately, as Boxing Day has morphed into Boxing Week.

Are Canadian consumers generally more orderly and well-behaved? Well ... in my experience ... the answer is a qualified yes; but planning and crowd control is everything in this matter. As to the efficacy of shopping at events like Black Friday and Boxing day, prices have been falling about 15% a quarter for flat panels in North America, bugbread.

A top-of-the-line Pioneer Elite 42" Plasma that was $8000 2 years ago is now around $2500. Coupled with such price reductions are performance increases, as well.Two years ago there was no consumer LCD worth owning due to extremely poor black-levels and slow response ties. Today however, consumers have a wide variety of choices in LCD that approach plasmas in black level, and 6 ms response times have become pretty common.

The net result of this "race to zero" as those of us in the industry call it, is that (with the exception of the extremely limited quantity loss-leaders, most consumers could expect to pay the same price for a "drastically reduced" ( yet still profitable) HDTV abou two to three months after one one of these "events".
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 3:53 PM on November 26, 2007 [1 favorite]


Turtles all the way down writes "The Card Cheat: With respect, I fail to see how bitching about the border, which is a well accepted Canadian pastime given the restrictions placed on us, compares to raging into a store at 5 a.m. like a herd of rapacious, combative, sloppy acquisitive pigs."

The Card Cheat isn't comparing bitching about the border to raging into a store. He's comparing it to:

Turtles all the way down writes "Now, even though my companion and I had not yet spoken or even made eye contact, we immediately looked at each other with wry grins on our faces as if to say 'Ah, yes, wouldn't you just expect this. But what are you gonna do, it's just the way it is and whining isn't going to change it.'

"Quite a contrast to the bitching and moaning I would have heard in the same situation in Southern California. The Canadian outlook is characterized by a bemused tolerance of even the most dire situation and a shared outlook that 'we're all in this together, so we might as well cooperate.' "


Brief recap:
You say "Canadians are mellow. For example, they're cool waiting in lines, unlike Southern Californians, who would whinge in a line."
The Card Cheat says: "Actually, Canadians also whinge in lines".
You say: "That's a well accepted pastime".

So you were using an example which you yourself knew was untrue of how Canadians and Americans are different, and which you yourself said was irrelevant to raging in stores.

And then I say: "Why the hell would you use an example which you know is untrue and which you don't think relates?"
posted by Bugbread at 4:03 PM on November 26, 2007


PareidoliaticBoy writes "prices have been falling about 15% a quarter for flat panels in North America, bugbread. "

Whoa! Thanks.
posted by Bugbread at 4:05 PM on November 26, 2007


And to help clear up some of the confusion between Digital TV and HDTV here is a link to the FCC site which spells out how the changeover is expected to occur.
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 4:11 PM on November 26, 2007


bugbread writes: "Er, doesn't that mean that in a year or two his cheap TV will become unusable without paying for the expensive cable box anyway, once everything goes digital-only? (Not a snark, an actual question, because I don't live in the US)"

Dunno. We're not in the States. Is everything going digital?
posted by dreamsign at 4:19 PM on November 26, 2007


Huh. You're in Japan, too? If you were at the meetup and I've forgotten you, I'm gonna feel really, really stupid.

Yes, everything is going digital, both in Japan and in the US (but at different times). But reading through PareidoliaticBoy's link, I realize I overlooked the idea that it's broadcast that will be going digital, not cable (for all I know, cable already is digital), so if you have cable, presumably the change means nothing. Which, I'm guessing, is a lot of the States.

In Japan, checking Wikipedia, it seems like it's being pushed back to 2011 (it used to be, I think, 2009). So for your friend with cable, SDTV should, presumably, work fine, but if he were using a roof antenna / tv-top antenna, he'd be unable to see anything without getting an additional digital-signal/analogue-tv converter box.
posted by Bugbread at 4:31 PM on November 26, 2007


So the net result for you bugbread, is that when you return you'll be able to acquire an inexpensive HDTV which will allow you to receive free over the air HDTV and standard Digital broadcasts ( if there actually any left at that point) with the built-in ATSC tuner your TV will have.

As far as value-added service,prices of HDTV cable-boxes will fall drastically, if not to free, as cable companies, satellite services, and Internet providers all compete for your business. The money is not in the hardware, it's in the monthly content subscription.

In a nut-shell, don't sweat it.
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 4:34 PM on November 26, 2007


bugbread: I get it. Corrected. Thanks! (read this response as an honest admission of guilt, not a snarky response.)
posted by Turtles all the way down at 5:03 PM on November 26, 2007


If that's the case, perhaps clothes, shoes, food for the kids and putting money in the bank for education or some other neccessity, might be a better thing than an HDTV.

Yea, of course. But by the same token, do you put all your discretionary spending money towards your IRA/savings/college fund, etc.? No, I'd bet you don't. Most people like to try to afford a few luxuries if they can, to which an HDTV would certainly count. But if I wanted to treat myself and my family to something, why shouldn't I try to get a great deal? Even after-Christmas sales don't stand a chance to beat some of the excellent deals on Black Friday. I stand by my previous comment. The condescension towards people just trying to save some money is pretty distasteful.
posted by gemmy at 6:03 PM on November 26, 2007


Bugbread: Are prices really that different (and low) in the US?

The sense I've always gotten from Japanese friends is that everything in the states is cheaper than it is back home.

As for how the falling dollar is going to effect price, it's still up in the air, I think it signals imminent inflation, but then again it's supply and demand that ultimately rules and I don't see the Chinese or the Japanese slowing down production anytime soon.

(Thanks PareidoliaticBoy for the authoritative view of this.)
posted by Skygazer at 6:06 PM on November 26, 2007


Turtles all the way down writes "bugbread: I get it. Corrected. Thanks! (read this response as an honest admission of guilt, not a snarky response.)"

Ah, thanks, sorry about my snippy tone above.
posted by Bugbread at 3:42 AM on November 27, 2007


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