Today's New York Times story on "Black Friday"--the day the bottom line finally shifts from red to black for many American retailers--notes how bizarre post-Thanksgiving shopping has become: "Across the country, millions of Americans mobbed discount stores, raced into suburban malls and swarmed downtown shopping districts in a retail ritual whose outlandishness--and sleeplessness--seems to grow with every season." Here in Southern California, stores opening at midnight seemed to be the new thing.
Adbusters--an organization dedicated to challenging consumerism--has declared this International Buy Nothing Day. At a mall in Delaware today, seven people promoting Buy Nothing Day by wearing T-shirts that read "Ask me about nothing" and carrying empty sacks with the words "free samples" were arrested for violating the mall's rules against solicitation. (Is anti-solicitation a form of solicitation?)
Those who are looking to curb their consumerist impulses this holiday season might be interested in this post from Black Friday 2004.