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Fri Nov 28, 2014, 09:35 AM

The Meaning of Black Friday [View all]

The Meaning of Black Friday
by Guy Rundle ~ 11.28.14 ~ Guy Rundle is an Australian author and journalist

~ When Black Friday devours Thanksgiving, capitalism consumes one of its sustaining myths ~

Black Friday began as a traffic accident. Or a series of them. In Philadelphia in the early 1960s, police noted that the two days after Thanksgiving were characterized by heavy traffic, and, in the pre-Nader days of perilous auto travel, more bloody mayhem than usual.

The relationship between extra traffic and downtown sales had been observed early on, and traders were unhappy that the ominous name was sticking to one of their best sales days. Doubtless this had happened elsewhere too, but in Philadelphia business had Abe Rosen as their municipal representative. One of the country’s leading PR gurus, Rosen suggested the city rename the two days after Thanksgiving “Big Friday” and “Big Saturday.”

< snip >

So it was inevitable that “Big Friday” would revert, for “Black Friday” is constitutionally mired in sin. By the time it stuck in the 80s, it had acquired a new meaning that cemented it. It was allegedly the day that retailers finally “went into the black” — made a profit — and shopping thus acquired a civic and patriotic dimension.

< snip >

As with all aspects of American consumption in the 2000s, it acquired a surreal aspect. The many objects being hoarded and carted away were so large, the malls were so big, the cars were so oversized that the spectacle was almost a parody of consumption ...

Much more here - https://www.jacobinmag.com/2014/11/the-meaning-of-black-friday/



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