Every year in Pamplona, Spain tens of thousands gather for the traditional running of the bulls. Officials erect wooden or iron barricades that direct bulls along the nearly kilometer long route. The coral gates open promptly at 8:00 AM, at which point the bulls begin their run, along with thousands of people who join the festivities. Several hundred people are injured every year, and its reported that sixteen have died in the last hundred years. Despite the dangers and the sheer madness of it all, tourists and locals come back for more every year to celebrate the tradition and exhilaration of the run.
In America, we have a similar event sans the bulls. It happens on the Friday after Thanksgiving Day, and despite the sheer madness of it all, tens of thousands of people around the country line up ever year to celebrate – and shop.
With 100 million Americans living a life of poverty, 48 million on food assistance, 25 million out of work, and a nation teetering on the edge of complete economic collapse, some may argue that shopping is the only way to get us back on track. We must consume, not save, and that’s what Black Friday is all about.
The term “Black Friday” originally had a completely different meaning, until banks and retailers came up with the idea of re-purposing it.
The term is often used to designate a dark financial day. September 24, 1869, is sometimes referred to as Black Friday in the United States. On this day a syndicate of New York bankers advanced the price of gold to 162 1/2, causing a panic. It sold at 143 1/8 the previous evening. The Grant Administration dumped $4,000,000 in gold on the market, the price falls in fifteen minutes from 162 to 133, and many investors were ruined. Fortunes were lost. Wall Street brokerage houses failed. Railway stocks shrank. The nation’s business was paralyzed. Another such day was Friday, Sept. 19, 1873, when Jay Cooke & Co., leading American bankers, failed. A great crash ensued in Wall Street, the center of financial operations in America, and the historic panic of 1873 began. Credit generally was impaired and many financial institutions were forced into bankruptcy. (source)
It’s also been reported, though details are scarce, that in 1869 bankers were dragged into the streets and hanged by those who were wiped out in the collapse.
Here’s a look at Black Friday 2011 from around the nation.
North Carolina Off-Duty Copy Acting As Security Pepper Sprays Walmart Shoppers While Making an Arrest:
An off duty police officer hired to help with security during Black Friday pepper sprayed an assailant, along with dozens of Walmart shoppers. About 20 people, including children, were affected by the pepper spray. (Source)
Shoppers Rush the Staten Island Mall:
Frenzy at Target:
The $2 Waffle Maker:
Pure excitement over some random Made-in-China product:
Bored of shopping? There’s no shortage of entertainment on Black Friday. A fight breaks out in a Modesto, CA Mall:
Doing it for the children:
No shortage of consumers willing to spend their money:
Getch’ You Sum!
A sea of people as far as the eye can see:
When the herd starts running, you start running!
Now imagine that the system has collapsed and this is a grocery store with people fighting for food:
DEMCAD: A Prepper’s Observations