My Irish Up: Declaring war on Black Friday

Mike Corrigan

Mike Corrigan

By Mike Corrigan

BN Columnist

It’s not like we don’t have enough contentiousness in this country already, we can’t be happy unless we’re starting another war on something, anything. Fifty years ago, we had a War on Poverty and, because that worked for a while, we decided at some point that war was a profitable thing to wage as long as the warred-upon thing was itself safely unpopular. Then, September 11 happened and terrorists weren’t very popular so we declared a war on terror and strung up red, orange and yellow terror lights and looked for a handy desert in which to string them up, or to string someone up. Then, we grew tired of real wars, which take effort and money. Waging war on real problems, like income inequality, joblessness, poverty, environmental depredation and on an on, that would take gumption. We don’t have gumption in America anymore, we have gridlock. But since that’s a real problem, we don’t wage war on gridlock, either.

But, we still need to fight those wars, to give people something to be upset about during the next 24-hour news cycle. So, we started imagining that even very popular things were really unpopular things, cherished institutions that we decided were being attacked mercilessly by dark forces, causing a breach of international peace on earth and goodwill toward men. Thus came some wise men, following a star, and excoriating the War on Christmas. The War on Christmas! Because, you know, Santa Claus has become so unpopular these last years. Or, the Christ child has been replaced in the creche by a cute little Arab boy. Or, we’re being too inclusive and wishy-washy by sending out Happy Holidays cards instead of Happy Hannukah cards. Whatever the problem is.

Well, I am undeclaring the War on Christmas. No more War on Christmas, and no more claiming that there is one when there isn’t. But, you know, we need a war de jour, we’re Americans and we bore easily. So I am declaring war on that real threat to world peace, Black Friday, and I am hoping some people will get all worked up and will join me and maybe we’ll get our own TV show. Though I can’t promise that we’ll have much to report.

Mike: Here we are, lurking outside Val-U-Mart at 3 a.m. for the 5 a.m. opening. Already there are 45,382 people, approximately, in line. I mean, I counted, and there are exactly 45,382 people here, but this is only approximately a line. Here’s Fran, who has been here since 6 p.m. yesterday; Fran, when did you get in line?

Fran: At 6 p.m. yesterday.

Mike: So you’ve been in line for, what… nine hours now?

Fran: I’ve been in line for… oh, about nine hours now.

Mike: Fran’s been in line since 6 p.m. yesterday, or for about nine hours now. Back to you in the studio.

Then, we’d have a little quiz at the end of the show. One question would be: “How many hours had Fran been in line when we interviewed her? Text your guess to #ihateblackfriday” and you could win genuine gift certificates! To real stores! And here’s the thing, even if we put this not-very-interesting interview (is it my fault Fran’s an idiot?) on continuous loop, we’d pull a 1.2 share in some markets. That is the power of cable. And the power of people shopping. And of pictures of people shopping. And we’d get actual sponsors for this channel. We’d let them run Black Friday ads all year round, just like the other cable stations do. No sense in putting ourselves at a competitive disadvantage.

Voice-Over: The Beard Weasel cuts facial hair like a miracle. Just put on this special attachment here and…

Man, holding face together with both hands: Aaaauuuuughhhh!

Voice-Over: Beard Weasel. Just $29.95 on Black Friday, while supplies last and the Red Cross bloodmobile is still in town.

I hate Black Friday. It is a celebration of excess and tacky commercialization of the sacred. Black Friday epitomizes the ultimate triumph of consumerism over human values. Don’t fall for it. Besides, you already have that Beard Weasel from last Christmas, just re-gift it.

And why are the only things on sale on Black Friday $30,000 cars and various electronic devices and phones, phone/tablet/notebooks, phone/GPSs, phone/Beard Weasels, etc.? Don’t Americans have anything better to do than drive around in debt, texting each other? Don’t people realize that all those test-driven new cars with big red ribbons on their roofs are bound to create more gridlock? How is spending $30,000, just because you can, “celebrating the Christmas Spirit?”

This just in. Black Friday was last week. Oh well, we’re in rerun. Channel 684.

Text your guesses to #ihateblackfriday and you might win a nice gift certificate for a Beard Weasel.

Please follow and like us: