The Evil That Is Black Friday

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The Evil That Is Black Friday

Post by NightSlash »

Apparently at a Wal-Mart in New York there was a riot that resulted in one man being trampled to death and a pregnant woman having a miscarriage.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/29/busin ... f=business

And from what I also heard even when the medical team was trying to revive the guy there were people running around him into the store, not giving a s*** in the slightest. f*** these people, that's all I have to say. They must've really wanted that Nintendo Wii. :x

How can people be so heartless?

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Re: The Evil That Is Black Friday

Post by Baphnedia »

I've already posted elsewhere about exactly this. It has to do with 'when marketing goes too far'. When the PS3 came out, there were similar problems, though I don't recall any of them being life-threatening or life-taking. Black Friday will indeed be black for three families; the family of the trampled Wal Mart employee, and the familes of the two men who shot each other (fatally) at Toy's R Us.
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Re: The Evil That Is Black Friday

Post by NightSlash »

I'm reading about the Toys 'R Us thing right now. *shakes head sadly* What is it with the Holidays bringing out the worst in people?

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Re: The Evil That Is Black Friday

Post by MoonKit »

Why'd they shoot each other? Anybody have a link?

The Walmart trampling is horrible. Can you imagine dying because someone wanted to save a few bucks? :(
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Re: The Evil That Is Black Friday

Post by RedEye »

What's happening is desperation. With the economy the way it is now, people are trying to "get theirs" before "their money or the supply runs out."
People are simply afraid, so they are acting like the failed apes they are.
(Note: this is not a slam. If we had been sucessful apes, we'd still be apes.)
Then there is greed: the "I want it NOW" that advertising tries to stimulate.
There is a bit of Vanity, too: "I don't want to not have this XXXX when everyone else does." Advertising, again.

When People are under pressure, the survival drive of "Me First" surfaces, and there has been a LOT of pressure this year.

Finally, if the stores discouraged customers from waiting all night to get into an "early sale" by making them leave store property, there would be a lot fewer of these things happening. Letting lines form the day before, and into the night for "that big Sale" may be good for appearances, but as we've seen, people get hurt and in this case; killed.

Good news, though; the store's security cameras may have caught at least some of the people who trampled that fellow to death. That's encouraging.
Maybe next year...Armed Security at the doors? That would work.
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Re: The Evil That Is Black Friday

Post by Vagrant »

Oy vey, some days I'm really glad to be a rural Welshman who lives nowhere near any cities or even remotely built-up commercial complexes.

And to break off into another concept, without warning; there are many societal models out there that don't work, and they've been complained about at length. When this kind of thing happens though, I don't really know how anyone could think that capitalism works any more than any of the other failed societal experiments.

I really do feel ashamed of my race when things like this happen, that someone dies just so that someone can get something slightly cheaper. It's a bloody tragedy. My feelings pretty much echo what RedEye had to say, there.

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Re: The Evil That Is Black Friday

Post by Silverclaw »

Jesus Christ....
these people act more like a f*** horde of mindless zombies than 21st century human beings.
Its disgusting....

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Re: The Evil That Is Black Friday

Post by Xiroteus »

This is ridiculous, people are hurt or dead so people can try to save a few dollars.

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Re: The Evil That Is Black Friday

Post by vrikasatma »

Update: the police said that the woman and her baby are fine, no miscarriage.
Thank God for small favours...

This news story upset me. Not as much as the massacre in Mumbai, but it still hit me pretty hard. It's a shame when people die needlessly; it's an atrocity when the people who kill him don't even pause to consider what they've done. That's inhuman.

It's very right that Nassau County authorities are studying the tape and IDing people who trampled the man to death. Someone on Digg suggested that the people in line behind the actual killers be charged with accessory to murder and the people who trampled him charged with murder. I wouldn't go that far, it was manslaughter in the eyes of the law; I'm sure those people didn't go there for the express purpose of killing someone. As tragic as it was, it was incidental.

My Mom used to throw the "If everyone jumped off a cliff..." axiom at me. Having been in concert crowds and lines into major shows, I know how overwhelming it can be when a crowd of several hundreds or thousands starts jostling and pushing to get in. Remember the stampede at the Who show at Cincinnati's Riverfront Stadium? A week before that happened, I and a friend were seeing Kiss in San Francisco and the crowd in line started pushing when it started raining. Being in a crowd like that is terrifying, because it's pretty much a force of nature. When a mob is desperate to get in and you can't get out of line, you're in a survival situation and no mistake. If everyone jumped off a cliff, would I? Yes, I would. I have a chance at surviving the fall. I have no chance of surviving the people pushing from behind. (Side-note: I survived the Kiss line pushing by going berserk; it was one of the earliest instances of M-shifting I can remember. I turned around and started snarling, biting, claw-swiping and fang-popping at the people behind me — yes, it worked, they backed off and gave me a wide berth from then on)

Back to the Walmart stampede.
My suggestion would be to hit Walmart's corporate office with a barrage of e-mails, demanding that they implement a policy of banning members of the public from entering the parking lot between store closing the night before and the time of door opening, and that they do not open before the sun is up. It's their property, they have firm legal grounds and every right to do so; if anyone complains explain that it's a security measure and hold up this incident as proof. Hiring extra security for the night before Black Friday can't be more expensive than the up-tick in insurance premiums and the wrongful death and personal injury lawsuits that are sure to follow.
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Re: The Evil That Is Black Friday

Post by MattSullivan »

DUDE. I would kill my own mother and stomp on a puppy if it meant I could save six cents on a jug of Gatorade. :lol:
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Re: The Evil That Is Black Friday

Post by Baphnedia »

MattSullivan wrote:DUDE. I would kill my own mother and stomp on a puppy if it meant I could save six cents on a jug of Gatorade. :lol:
THAT is the quote of the day right there! Image
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Re: The Evil That Is Black Friday

Post by Aki »

Silverclaw wrote:Jesus Christ....
these people act more like a f*** horde of mindless zombies than 21st century human beings.
Its disgusting....
Well, there is a reason why Dawn Of The Dead was in a mall.

Romero had a thing with social commentary via undead ghouls.
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Re: The Evil That Is Black Friday

Post by Noir-Okami »

WHAT.
THE.
HELL?

Why bother with that and go out the day after you just stuffed yourself with turkey, to fight over an Elmo or something?
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Re: The Evil That Is Black Friday

Post by RedEye »

MattSullivan wrote:DUDE. I would kill my own mother and stomp on a puppy if it meant I could save six cents on a jug of Gatorade. :lol:
I hereby nominate Matt Sullivan as the "Quintessential 21st Century Man".
:lol:
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Re: The Evil That Is Black Friday

Post by MattSullivan »

thank you redeye :D
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Re: The Evil That Is Black Friday

Post by Avareis »

Wow, not as bad as last year, but still pretty bad. The odd thing is that the people who killed the man were asked to leave, but they got upset and continued to shop despite what happened.

Last year was worse. At a walmart no further than 3 miles from where I am, some dude bought an PS3. Two guys come up to the car with a gun and tell him to give it up. He says no and they shoot him, steal his car and are later captured....They pulled a stunt and went to prison for a piece of crap.

I hope they bring up charges against these people.

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Re: The Evil That Is Black Friday

Post by outwarddoodles »

Baphnedia wrote:I've already posted elsewhere about exactly this. It has to do with 'when marketing goes too far'. When the PS3 came out, there were similar problems, though I don't recall any of them being life-threatening or life-taking. Black Friday will indeed be black for three families; the family of the trampled Wal Mart employee, and the familes of the two men who shot each other (fatally) at Toy's R Us.
Soo...why did they have guns on themselves in a toystore anyway?
??
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Re: The Evil That Is Black Friday

Post by Baphnedia »

Some people get carry, and carry concealed permits. For everything from being paranoid to actually having a real use for them (plainclothes police or security). Those two gun-carriers made the rest look really, really bad. I don't own a gun of my own (the US Army has let me play with LOTS of toys, whether in training or in live-fire areas / combat)... I understand why some people feel they need to carry protection with them. For me, I don't carry a gun, because unfortunately, I'm not afraid to use one, and therefore will stick with more basic forms of self-defense.
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Re: The Evil That Is Black Friday

Post by Berserker »

I liked Black Friday. I picked up the new Hulk and also Iron Man for $6 apiece at Wal-Mart. Normally I hate Wal-Mart.
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Re: The Evil That Is Black Friday

Post by Werewolf Warrior »

NightSlash wrote:Apparently at a Wal-Mart in New York there was a riot that resulted in one man being trampled to death and a pregnant woman having a miscarriage.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/29/busin ... f=business

And from what I also heard even when the medical team was trying to revive the guy there were people running around him into the store, not giving a s*** in the slightest. f*** these people, that's all I have to say. They must've really wanted that Nintendo Wii. :x

How can people be so heartless?
o_o' wow that is crazy...I wonder why they would do that in a store. heck costumers dont want blood on the stuff they buy.
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Re: The Evil That Is Black Friday

Post by Kaebora »

It greatly depends on what parts of the world it is I guess. In smaller cities it seems that people overall tend to be more orderly and mindful of their fellow man. In larger cities, with L.A. and New York as prime examples, this sort of thing happens nearly every year. Only this time it became the unfortunate fact that it ended lives. This is why I tend to avoid cities that have a long history of violence and rude behavior. I can't trust that a freak accident wont happen at large gatherings when everyone around me is only thinking of their own hide.
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Re: The Evil That Is Black Friday

Post by Baphnedia »

A very astute point. The throngs are thinking of their own hides, not of each other's hides. If they started to think of each other's hides, instead of their own, the world would be a much better place.
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Re: The Evil That Is Black Friday

Post by Scott Gardener »

I enjoy Black Friday sales, and I'm a card-carrying Best Buy "Reward Zone" silver member. But, I agree, all things in perspective. Shopping goes too far when it becomes life-threatening.

I worry that Wal-Mart is going to get hit with more stupid lawsuits--not from the people who were killed, but by others such as a person "emotionally traumatized" by being one of the ones stomping on the person killed. It's clear that Wal-Mart did not have the death of its employees in mind before and when the incident happened. It was a terrible event. But, rather than focusing on who to blame first, we should focus on fixing the problem.

Last year I got a Wii as a Christmas gift for my son-in-law (who, by strange timing that's likely to occur more and more as we live longer in the coming centuries, is older than I am). I went first to the afore-mentioned Best Buy around 6 am, with the idea that I could get the console when they opened. Yes, there was a line. But, I waited. Someone came out and announced that vouchers were given out around 5 am to a previous line. Disappointing, yes, but rather than stampeding, I went around the block to Circuit City, where I soon learned that vouchers were given out there, too. I ran over to Target and found a line there, where I waited. I was the 69th person in line, and they had 72 consoles. While waiting, there was a sense of comradery; it was a social event. And, there was security quietly present as well as managers keeping us in a single-file line. We did get a little bunched up in places, but the line was a line and not a mass blob, and we were let in slowly.

The problem should be looked at as a sociological one of herding large groups of human animals. Human groups will develop a sense of purpose and a general mood. Generating hype and excitement is useful if you've got control over how that gets channeled (i.e., a rock concert or political rally), but one must build into the crowd mentality an acceptance of certain rules. When the crowd is given the directive that it is against itself, then the likelihood of destruction is all the greater.

A good example of crowd mind-sets going well and generating goodwill recently was the 2008 American Presidential election polls. Regardless of how people were voting, people were happy to see such large numbers of fellow people in the act of voting. Most of us did not mind the hours of waiting, because it meant that political apathy was over, and people cared about what was at stake.
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Re: The Evil That Is Black Friday

Post by vrikasatma »

One of the people on Digg commented that the Walmart incident happened because most of the people waiting to get in were ghetto. And Walmart's a ghetto store. "You have low-class people trying to get into a low-class store, things like this happen!" they said.

That may be a little pat (and cynical — Diggers are famous for their lack of empathy), but who knows? The Aughties are the decade of "I got mine, screw you!", and we are in a survival situation on the societal plane.

This is probably a very dark offshoot of the "retail therapy" drive. Buy myself something, make myself feel better.

Ack! Yeah, that reads terrible. I blame sleepiness.
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Re: The Evil That Is Black Friday

Post by Ceekur »

It's really upsetting to hear about a story like this. Black Friday is a day known for its early store openings and crowds/lines, but a death resulting from this is just ridiculous. Even worse is the shoppers who didn't care after being told to leave. It's good that some of the cameras may have caught the ones who were more directly involved in the death though.

It's scary to think about "herd mentality" arising when there's a large group of people, but I suppose that's basically what it is. Besides crazed shoppers, it's related to riots breaking out, mobs, and possibly many other occurances.

Regardless of such psychological pressures though, there is no using them as an excuse for causing a death or saying you wouldn't have done such a thing if you weren't in a group.
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