(PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)
FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
The holiday season is upon us - and by the looks of things, we ought to be ashamed of ourselves.
Some of the behavior on display as Americans hit the stores for Black Friday deals was downright disgusting, including stampedes, arrests and fights. And it’s all in the name of buying holiday gifts for our loved ones.
Here are some reports from what happened at stores around the country:
Here’s my question to you: In light of stampedes, arrests, and fights on Black Friday, what has happened to us?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
Ken in California writes:
The great experiment called the United States seems to be failing. We are not the American family capable of tolerating our neighbors' race, religion, language and, culture. The fact is, Jack: we don't like each other, starting with the halls of Congress whose members are from Blue states and Red states. There is a foreboding of disaster, a sinking feeling about our nation as those who represent us drive wedges between us. If we can't fix our government, let the chaos begin. It is already showing up in it the stores.
Will in Mississippi writes:
Department stores are jam-packed with people willing to wait hours just to purchase that very special gift for a family member or loved one. But if another shopper intrudes in any way, it's time to pull out the boxing gloves and exhibit the Christmas spirit.
Ken in New Jersey writes:
Welcome to America. We are rude, obnoxious, and violent. Just ask the countries we bully and attack every day. Shoppers are no different than our elected officials. WikiLeaks proves that.
Rahn in Minnesota writes:
What has happened is that our country has gone from "the greatest generation" to the "worst generation" in my lifetime. I have a feeling that if my grandparents' generation had an idea what has become of the country they sacrificed so hard for, they just MIGHT have NOT made those sacrifices in the first place. And our world would have been that much worse of for it.
Jerry in Silver Spring, Maryland writes:
Whatever it is it applies to only a small segment of the U.S. population. Contrary to what the media claim, the majority of Americans avoided stores last Friday.
Al in New Jersey writes:
We did better than last year; nobody was killed. That's movement in the right direction.
Ralph in Corpus Christi, Texas writes:
Sounds more like a Black and Blue Friday.
.....Seems everyone has forgotten "The Reason for the Season"
An excellent question! We've become a nation to easily manipulated by the opinions of others. We are told what to fear, what to hate, and how to act by commentators, pundits, and talking heads inhabiting every form of media to which we are exposed. As the quality of our public education systems has declined, so has our collective ability to think and decide for ourselves. We're told that the day after Thanksgiving is Black Friday and that we will line up in the wee, dark, cold hours waiting for stores to open so we can stampede in looking for bargains that we're told will be there. And we blindly go along. This trend towards a national lemming mentality is, of course, in the interest of the talking heads, but it's hard to see how it's in the interest of the country.
People lack respect for others – our instant gratification world will be our downfall.
Simple......we have turned back into animals, after 3000 yrs. of "civilization", since Roman times. So much for human nature.
Have you never seen those end of the world movies? Have you never heard of the food riots abroad? It`s just a sample of what is to come
San Francisco, California
we became the bourgosie and vanity plated lifestyle from the second rate nation status of hippocrisy.....add extra 100 million money worshipping powermongering aliens and you have the making of a has been country that will take 20 years to realize we should have demanded elsewhere places improve thier lives before we squeeze our lives to make room for those who refuse to go back and help thier people
The world is becoming more and more crowded and tempers flare when there is only one of something left. I blame a lot of this on the stores themselves who put these ads out days before advertising sale prices and when people get to the store there are only a few of the items in stock. I have seen two elderly ladies rolling their sleeves up preparing to fight each other over over a Nintendo Wi game system that one lady though they deserved more then the other lady. Had the store stocked an ample supply of them, everyone would have left and lived happily ever after. The store would have made more money and it would have been a good shopping experience instead of almost a knock down drag out.
I wouldn't get up before 8 AM, and that's pushing it, to go shopping for anything. People are nuts to get there for a 3, 4, 5, 6 AM opening. For what? save $30 after waiting outside for hours. Fortunately, I've yet to lose my mind and join them.
Isn't it great to know that greed ,averous and capitalism is still alive and well?Man I thought we were goners till friday
People believe they will find themselves "the deal of the century"....however that is not true Searching for happpiness ! You can find a deal at anytime of the yr with some research.
Most of the stampede is for "entertainment gadgets, etc"...one thing is for sure we need to get back to the America we once were. Family oriented, purchase what we can afford, work hard, and family is what makes people happy.
We're like children at heart, Jack. We all like a good new game when it's fun - and it stops being fun when someone gets hurt. Time for the adults to step in - time for the stores to come uip with a better scheme for boosting sales.
Our Capitalism & Privatization has left us so wealthy that we are fighting over the latest sale item.
A couple of weeks ago I found some steaks on sale at the grocery store so I bought 4 of them. After taking the last four steaks I thought I was going to have to fight my way out of the store.
Jack: Sometimes Americans are rude, crude, and socially unacceptable when it comes to sales and disaccounts. It is capitalism gone wild. Remember, it is the consumer who will drive this economy out of the ditch. I bet the unemployment rate for January, February, and March 2012 will drop. My Christmas wish is: Go wild America, but do not use your credit cards.
Jack: It is simple-We have convince ourselves that it is economically necessary, and it's morally right.
The whole Black Friday ordeal has become completely out of control!!!
I have 4 kids and want (and need) a good deal just like the next person, but not for the sake of injury! Watching these people run others over while dashing through the doors to save a few bucks is insane. I am embarassed for those people. There has got to be a way to continue the good deals without the chaos. I think stores should have some sort of online lottery...kind of like they do when selling concert tickets. For example: If the store gets only has 10 televisions available, then the first ten people online are assigned a number and can then go to the store to pick that item up. As for as those people who don't have a home computer, you can go to the public library and use theirs that way it is fair for all. This would put an end to the waiting in long lines, the waiting to get into the store, the waiting to check out and most of all, the stampedes. It is fair for the customer and the retailer is still getting their share too!!
Like most things, the Christmas season's true meaning has become obscured in favor of the latest toy, tech product, etc. Now the thing that matters is who can get the biggest, flashiest gift for someone. Our kids have more than they can ever play with, yet still seek more and parents have a hard time saying "no". We spend weeks getting ready for one day and are so exhausted by Christmas morning, that all we want is for it to be over. By the way, I love Christmas and wish the best for the retailers in these tough times, but am also disheartened by what I see.
What do we expect when stores open at 4:00 a.m. or sooner? Too many people were sleep deprived. Check today's headlines. How many people were trampled in stores today?
I slept in and had my usual six coups of coffee before lunch.
Las Cruces, NM
Americans are so angry with not being able to overspend and be gluttonous, they are turning against one another whether it be politically or during the season of peace on earth, good will towards others. Americans are losing civility and humanity and becoming self-absorbed, bullies with bad attitudes.
tampa, fl reality tv jack, put a bunch of people with no sense of manners in a confined space competing for a limited number of prizes leads to people acting like they are on wwf. i wasn't fooled by the phony ads this year, me and my credit cards stayed home.
What has happened is that our country has gone from "the greatest generation" to the "worst generation" in my lifetime. I have a feeling that if my grandparent's generation had an idea what has become of the country they sacrified so hard for, they just MIGHT have NOT made those sacrifices in the first plase. And our world would have been that much worse of for it.....
Goes to show you that Americans have become Romans. History is just going to repeat itself...
Jack, it is a sad reflection of our society. Wall Street crippled the world economy, shoppers turn on each other — both are just symptoms of the bigger issue. People are so concerned with themselves that they will trample others to get what they want.
Over 300 million citizens in this country. It spans 4 time zones. You take 4 isolated incidents of people being crazy, rightfully conclude that they had to do with this shopping holiday, but then try to establish some sort of national pattern?
Enough Cafferty. Seriously, enough....
We have become what the media has told us sells magazines and produces high network ratings..... Sadly, we are becoming a country that glorifies bad behavior and is self centered.
I don't know who the retailer was but two hours before the doors were to open the store handed out tickets for each "doorbuster" the customer wished to purchase. The number of tickets was equal to the number of an item for sale.
Seems to me an easy solution.
The fact that all the incidents youj mentioned happened shows rhe stress many people are under because of being unemployed.
Whatever it is it applies to only a small segment of the US population. Contrary to what the media claim majority of Americans avoided stores last Friday.
How did you spend that day, Jack?
The stores create this madness.
When Best Buy puts only 4 HDTVs under $500 in each store, you're going to get a mob scene when everybody tries to by those four TVs.
More and more I notice it is common in media to transfix the actions of the few onto the many. And by us I hope you mean those who did those things and perhaps yourself. Are you one of the "us" Jack?
Hi Jack and welcome back. Unfortunately, we have become a society of uncaring people in a lot of areas of life. There are still people who care but not when it comes to shopping. It's called selfishness.
Isn't it nice to know that the holiday season brings out the "best" in people. The mantra is: Have a nice Christmas but just don't get in my way or try to keep me from getting "mine." This is a direct reflection of the present mentality of this country. No wonder were starting to look like a third word country.
Nothing new here Jack, the American public have been conditioned to be professional consumers for about 30 years now. We base our economic prosperity on it and our self-worth is dependent on the accumulation of stuff. Black Friday merely brings those values to highly concentrated levels for all to see. As the late George Carlin once said 'The American public has been bought off by gizmos and toys'.
We have become the kings/queens of the reality shows that we are forced to watch. Sad when you cannot stand in line and not get stampeded over just to get cheap stuff made in China that will probably break down in a years time and then you will be forced to buy another one since we now live in a non resuable world. Stop the world and let me off.
Common courtesy in this country has been thrown out with the used bath water. It happened many years ago. I know it's "common" for older folks to say this about the younger generation(s), but it's now true of all ages. We've become the "ME! ME! ME!" country where the only thing that matters is ME!
Way to many people today have no respect for others. I doubt that they have respect for themselves by the way they think of and treat others. The golden rule of treating others like you would want to be treated has been thrown out along with jobs sent to other countries. In general many have been or became just plain mean.
Department stores are jam packed with people willing to wait hours just to purchase that very special gift for a family member or loved one..but if another shopper intrudes in anyway it time to pull out the boxing gloves and exibit the christmas spirit.
Incivility and selfishness... I propose that we should amend the "7 deadly sins" and make it 9, Mr. Cafferty.
Jack, this has gone on for several years now. Somebody was
trampled to death last year. Some look at it as a "challenge", others
really need to save, and most want to get what their kids want
for Christmas. If you want to go deeper, then chalk it up to the
dissentigration of what America stands for. When people lose respect
for each other, greed sets in. Politicians set poor examples, and
"grown-ups" follow their lead. The name calling that has gone on
in this Country lately boggles the mind. The list is endless. Anyway,
Merry Christmas everybody!
Sing with me, Jack! To the tune of Jingle Bells~
Wait in line
Arrests are up this year
The greedy ones will
Ruin our good cheer.
Crashing thru the door
On a one way ride to shop
Over the toys we go
Never looking to stop
This one glares at that
No niceities exchanged
Looking for a Cop
Cuz shoppers seem deranged!
Merry Christmas, Jack!
By the time I rolled out of bed the lines and crowds were gone and there was peace on earth. People were polite and smiling. My faith in the essential goodness of humanity remains intact. If there was rudeness in your community Jack, you need to move.
We did better than last year. Nobody was killed. That's movement in the right direction.
hey i was not one of the nut balls out there i stayed home there will be savings thruout the hoilidays
Welcome to america. We are rude, obnoxious, and violent. Just ask the countries we bully and attack everyday. Shoppers are no different than our elected officials. Wikipedia proves that. Moderate and remove my comment as usual. You can't handle the truth.
Jack, today's attitude is hooray for me and to hell with you. People seem to have lost respect for other people. Something's wrong with America when you stand a good chance of getting yourself hurt or killed going shopping for bargains. I think one of the reasons behind it is poor parenting or no parenting at all for the younger generation being raised today. Either people today do not know any better or they're taught not to care when it comes to showing matters and respect for their fellow man. One thing for sure they never experienced the holiday spirit in its true meaning.
Jack, we've always been like this, that's why we formed a government and made laws. Too many people, however, believe that laws, manners and common decency don't apply when those things stand in the way of getting what they want. That's always been the case as well.
As someone once said, " It's getting ugly out there". Tempers get short and emotions run high and especially so where a crowd is involved. The irony behind all of this though Jack is that all of these items that are in the stores have not even been paid for yet when people claim them. No one owns them until they are paid for at the register. The biggest culprits in all of this are the stores themselves for not providing enough security for ridicules sales that they talk about for weeks beforehand. They know a crowd of people will show up and they don't have enough of the items on hand for everyone that wants them.
This hedonistic,materialistic behavior just shows the results of a selfish capitalist society.
Writing from Fair Lawn, New Jersey.
This is the black spot of all capitalism! Maybe we should cancel all Black Friday sales and private sales of goods of any sort! Just kidding...but seriously all of these things should be taken care of to protect the life & liberty of all individuals. But at the same time I feel like there are much more important issues going on in our soil Mr. Cafferty, such as hate-crimes, crimes of other sort, domestic violence, employment, and etc. Thanks for time to share.
Retailers are probably thrilled by the hysteria that defines the American consumer these days. In reality it is a truly sad representation of our society in general, and proof that we have devolved into mindless puppets of consumerism.
Good Day to you Jack!
The American people DO NOT possess the most tangible asset
to make reasonable judgements and that is COMMON SENSE!!!
Cal from Norwalk, Ohio
Black Friday stampedes, arrests and fights; what's happened to us?
Add to this with yelling over eachother in broadcasting, out and out lies being spewed and repeated in a 24 hour news cycle, corrupt leadership and politicians driven by greed. What you have is America today!
We ought to be ashamed of ourselves but we are too polarized and self absorbed to even care.
This is NOT the America I grew up in and it is time we took a HARD LOOK AT OURSELVES to rght these wrongs!
. The great experiment called the United States seems to be failing. We are not the American family capable of tolerating our neighbors race, religion, language and, culture. The fact is Jack; we don’t like each other, starting with the halls of Congress whose members are from Blue states and Red states. There is a foreboding of disaster, a sinking feeling about our nation as those who represent us drive wedges between us. If we can’t fix our government, let the chaos begin. It is already showing up in it the stores.
Jack, what has happened appears to be a clash of two distinct groups. Group #1 is composed of the self-important individuals, who believe “the rules” don’t apply to themselves; who see themselves as “entitled” to anything they want; and have no morals or conscience, and wouldn’t think twice about screwing-over someone else for some small advantage. Group number 2 is composed of decent, honest, hard-working individuals who follow “the rules” and are generally respectful of others; but who are also thoroughly fed-up with the stupid, selfish, “me-first” attitude of those from Group #1. In public, its not too difficult to determine which group someone belongs to and, unfortunately, open conflicts are going to become more common.
Hey I have a view on black friday. televise it. Make money off it. If people want to kill each other then let them. I have been shopping on black Friday before. I have seen stabbings, 20 man brawls, even pickpocketing. If people want to be stupid let them. I for one fill be watching the news while ordering my presents for everyone online.
Jack i don't know exactly how that guy is going to keep a straight face when he tells them on death row that he was convicted and sentenced to death for killing a man over a Play Skool Weebles set.
Chalk the deplorable behavior up to an epidemic of entitlement mentality fostered by and demonstrated by the elitist conduct of our national leadership. Just wait until they start fighting over food. Birds of a feather, flock together.
What did you expect, Jack? We live in a violent self-centered society where manners and politeness are seen as a sign of weakness.
We resorted to everybode for himself and god for us all. Why cant Obama get any credit for this great economy we seem to have.
you said it Jack " we ought to be ashamed of ourselves".
We have surrendered our brains to Business. Bombarded constantly by glittering and glitzy ads on the TV, Internet, cell phones, we can't think straight anymore.
The pity is that these shoppers more often than not come out with things they hardly need, maybe things that they want or are made to crave.
Our festivals once the focal point of real joy and happiness have been commercialized to the extent of turning us into zombies.
Our society has been stirred up into a frenzy on all fronts. The frantic, desperate throngs clawing at the doors are no different than the throngs of Americans screaming for the government to keep their hands off opur healthcare. Corporate cash keeps everybody afraid that they're going to miss out, that they'll be too late, that someone's trying to steal their freedom and/or socialists have taken over "your" government and they want your guns. It's mass hysteria by design with very little real, usable information disseminated to create a rational balance. It's an atmosphere of everyman for himself.
Materialism, among other negative traits, is out of control in America. There is an epidemic of incivility, cruelty, anti-social and selfish behaviors. I see this bad behavior in all areas of our society. Unfortunately, it doesn't surprise or shock me.
Nothing has happened to us Jack. America has always been a country where insanity is a cultural norm. During this time of love and peace, civility takes a backseat to get there first or barge into the fray to get the deal of the day, get out as quickly as possible, even if we just can't wait in line, why give up a chance to be obnoxious, so we can cash in at other stores. Wouldn't change it for the world but will shop some other time.
We are becoming idiots. Complete selfish idiots. This is just another example of what X-Mas has become. A distorted plead by retailers to spend money. Black Friday, along with all the other gimmicks thrown at us between now and the forgotten meaning day, is just another example of how low people can go. I have grown to hate the month of December. As a kid – I loved it. As an adult – I hate it.
Black Friday is way out of control. From Black Friday to Super Friday (Lowes), because we dont want to offend anyone, to be called Bring Your Own EMT Friday ! People dont care about one another any longer. Someone would rather push you down then help you out. In Erie, PA, there were people standing on busy Interchange Road waiting to get into Toys R Us ! On the road ! Where are we going??
Nothing has happened to us ... there's always been a few nut jobs that go off the deep end during the Holidays. What has happen though, is an increased media spotlight on these instances.
The lack of moral character in this country is appalling. I am only 45 but I can remember a day when folks held doors for each other, said please and thank you, and looked out for their fellow man. Now people would just as soon curse at you as give you the time of day. Welcome to the new America, Rob in NC
we are becoming a third world country. our standard of living is on a decline. our moral standard has gone down. our education system is a failure.our judicial system and political system are a failure.our children are growing up with no moral standards nor respect for life. we are going backward, jack!!!!!
Black Friday just highlights the barberic side of the human character. I do not shop on Black Friday and stay out of the stores,except for groceries,until January.
Nothing really Jack. Humans have been acting like idiots forever. It's just that in todays mult- media world can see it 24 by 7 . Those who suuggest that things were better back in day should read history. The politics, the one-on one and group brutality was every bit as corrupt and nasty as it is today. And probably worse.
We've become greedy, selfish, spoiled, elitist, gluttonous, lazy, self-centered, complacent, spiteful, bias, uncaring, unfeeling, fanatical, religious zealots, unethical, immoral, egotistical, jealous, and cruel. If I have left anything out, fill in the blanks. Other than that, we are fine.
In the words of a pop song, I think we are showing our "true colors".
Apparently we are not nearly as nice as we would like everyone to believe.
I wonder if the general population started acting like this just prior to the Russian and French Revolutions?
Sounds more like a Black and Blue Friday. Bah Humbug, a bunch of grouchy, grumpy Grinches!
Ralph- Corpus Christi, Texas
Jack, nothing new , just the continuation of "The Ugly American".
David, Las Vegas
In the words of Gordon Gecko, "Greed! Greed is good." Too many of us have no spirituality. Our lives have no purpose. We need to show everyone that we have things. The more expensive the thing the better. OMG, I am channeling George Carlin. He was right!
Americans have no use for wisdom and logic anynore, just gimme something pretty and tell me what I want to hear.
What's happened to us ??
We're in phase 2 of "The Dumbing of America".
And, it's getting worse, month by month.
We don't care about each other anymore. Hell, our political pundits and politicians yap 24/7 about hating anyone who has a different belief system. I guess it's catching on, sadly. We've lost our civility and common decency. I never thought we could be convinced to stoop so low. Sad.
As you said some time ago, we have lost our civility and our moral compass. I am glad I do not have grandchildren.
The ironic thing here is that almost all of the problems stem from parents buying toys for their kids that the kids will almost certainly forget about by February. It's just another example of how Americans are obsessed with "stuff."
We've lost all respect and civility for one another. Look at the media! News networks, sitcoms, movies, they all promote "ME" and screw you. America is in decline. We no longer talk to anyone, we text. We tweet, Now how personal or interactive is that!
Black Friday has become a sporting event for some people. Only the fittest survive.
It is a loss of respect for our neighbors and when we lose respect for others we lose respect for ourselves.
I Think Its Disgusting As Well Jack This Is Not What The Holiday Season Is All About, This Is Why I Never Go Out Shopping On Black Friday Its To Dangerous And Idiotic! How Dare These People Act This Just To Save A Little Money!
Scott Stodden (Freeport,Illinois)
I agree Wall-Mart had a sale on 32 inch flat screen for less than $190.00. The Wall-Mart near me had 400 on hand when the doors open up and within 20 plus minutes they were all gone.
(Republican) leaders have set the example for all of us too follow by yelling loudly "Liar" at a presidential address. If our elected representatives can't control themselves, even at a most dignified event, how do you expect Jane and John Doe to shop responsibly? It's an ugly world out there, Jack.
It's the "Lord of the Flies" narcissistic me, me, me at any and all costs society we live in. Unfortunately the media hype of Black Friday with "You must buy NOW, you must HAVE IT NOW, you must get it NOW" doesn't help. We are not as evolved as we think we are if we are that easily swayed by the media.
Gee Jack, is it possible we're no longer civil and America as a great society is in its decline? Let's see, people talk on their cell phones all of the time risking the lives of other drivers on the road. They talk even when they should be talking to sales clerks and others who are trying to help them. We ignore others and threat anyone else like dirt. We watch TV shows that teach our children that it's okay to stab another person in the back to get ahead.
Yeah, I would say that this is just another symptom of a great society in decline.
Well Jack, what has happened is that the producers of crap have convinced a large part of the populace that they can't get by without the latest gadget. Makes no difference if you need it or can afford it. Then Black Friday rolls around and the stores advertise "2 at this price" etc. and people go nuts.
I have chosen to opt out of the whole program and do my shopping over the year, and make it something that means something rather than something that costs an arm and a leg and will be obsolete by next Christmas.
Mike from Boise
Civility has left the building, Jack. It left decades ago ...
Steve in NY
People treat each other like crap. What else is new? I worked retail from 99 or so to 07, and saw physical altercations pretty much every black friday. This isn't a new thing. It varied from shoving matches to one fist fight that a store manager broke up (which I'm sure corporate would have thrown a fit about).
Corporations set prices of a few hot items stupidly low, and ship a few (but never near enough) to each store.
Then consumers who have no self restraint stand in line from godawful early hours and fight to save a few dollars on crap they probably don't need and probably can't afford. Sometimes people who are trying to make a living get caught in the mess.
We like to blame big business, bankers and wall street for greed, and politicians for selfish behavior, Those traits are on display in a great many of us. There's not much about contemporary Americans that I find admirable.
It is the "I want" syndrome. Gifts are just a sliver of the issue of how Americans act/respond – I want medicare to stay the same (even though we can not pay for it), I want low cost healthcare (but that doctor better run every test just in case), I want no taxes (but still have all the services), I want a great paying job (but I have no advanced degree to warrant such consideration). Say hello to a nation made up of toddlers – I want, I want, I want .... can we say tantrum...
I used to work retail at a large chain store when I was in high school. The morning of Black Friday, I watched several customers get into a huge fist-fight over the last Furby in stock. Can anyone even remember what the heck a Furby is today? What was the point in fighting with strangers over a toy that isn't even on kids' radar anymore?
Not to be preachy here, but I have to point out that material goods won't make you truly happy and contented, folks. That only comes from within. Scrambling and fighting for the latest and greatest piece of electronic equipment, game or toy for your child is NOT what the Christmas season is about. Plus, it's that kind of rampant materialism which got the US and many of it's citizens in this horrible financial bind we're facing today.
BTW, You can avoid the holiday shopping hassle (and usually get the exact same or better sale prices) if you plan ahead and shop throughout the year. Might take some creative hiding, but it will save your sanity!
It is a shame some poeples lives have become so empty that all they have to look forward to is shopping. I think stores should be closed on Thanksgiving so that families can be together . Shopping has turned into a blood sport instead of sharing gifts with loved ones.
It is all about me, Jack.
What has happened to us is that we are doing exactly what we have been trained to do-mindlessly chase the newest/latest/shiniest thing that is being dangled in front of our eyes. We have been taught that only "things" are important, not other people...and next will come "Bread and Circuses", as we decline just as did ancient Rome
(only we won't be able to blame our stupidity on pewter wine cups...!)
The free market happened to us. Also, these isolated cases of foolish people are not the American norm. What an absurd question!
I worked hard to get through my undergraduate studies, and I am currently in law school. It is astonishing to me how many of my colleagues drive $50,000+ cars and have no idea what it means to work. I think the issue with these crazy people starts with our lack of work ethic and this sickening sense of entitlement that people have. People need to realize that they are not special and that hard work is still, and always will be, a requirement for success.
East Lansing, Mi.
Jack, I'll tell you what's happened to us: Reality TV. This Nation wins the prize for bad behavior, and a lot of it can be attributed to the fact that we not only tolerate "acting out," we REWARD it, in both celebrities and politicians as well as the nobodies. Why do we insist on doling out fame and fortune to the truly idiotic, greedy, and seedy among us? As long as we view these vulgar shenanigans as "entertainment" – instead of as the pathetic hallmarks of Western decline that they are – we are doomed to encore performances of these disgusting, appalling spectacles. Every single one of these people deserve a good spanking or – in this PC age of ours – at least a "time out" – permanently!!
We don't have to participate – it's not mandatory. The savings are not that signficant. It just suppose to be something fun for crazy people to do. I think it has gotten completely out of control and stores should be liable for injuries to their customers. I choose not to play in this game and say shame on businesses in the pursuit of the idol they worship – the almighty dollar.
Here's the deal. If you have to wait in line for three days because retailers are only offering two or three of the items you want buy them a few months later on ebay. If you get caught up in the sales pitch hype you become a victim not a shopper. So what if you got a good deal, if you got a sock in the jaw for your trouble that's not much consolation. It was just a short year ago that the poor Wal-mart employee was trampled. Why put your own safety at risk. Bah hum bug.
Well, Jack, it started when they began calling us "consumers". I always found this label insulting, didn't you? This is just the logical and inevitable result of worshiping money and material things. America is truly full of gross, undereducated morons. Our citizenry could more properly be called rabble. And please don't wish me a "Merry Christmas". I don't do Christmas.
People who act as described should be removed and arrested. They should not be permitted with law abiding people.
I think Christmas is so commercialized now and we should do away with Black Friday but I know that the big businesses making money will never let that happen. It's sad what we have become...Animals!
Jack it's plain and simple greed! Greed combined with a lack of being raised with manners, ethics, morality and a concern for your fellow man. It seems as if our basic values in this country are deteriorating faster than the polar ice caps and I don't see if getting any better considering how our children are being raised today.
We have mortgaged our soul to the marketing power of big business and have lost our sense of balance!
This is the silly madness that the season brings along. The people that do these rediculous stunts should be banned from shopping all together and be forced to stay at home and suffer a season of empty boxes...coal is too good for them.
Civilization is dead, Jack.
Joan in Richmond, CA
Corporate America has redefined the meaning of Christmas. Too some who are allowed to celebrate the real meaning of Christmas they don't fall for the Corporate meaning. I'm planning to attend a meaningful traditional Christmas eve come December 24. I doubt that I'll be trampled down.
This is horrifying!
People need to open their eyes and look at what is happening in the world!
There is more to this then discounts and cheap prices!
Almost seems like some form of brainwashing....
Nothing. Nothing has happened to us. You know why? These are a few isolated incidents on a major shopping holiday. To expect otherwise is foolish.
Too many have forgotten the true spirit of Christmas. They've let impatience, intolerance and greed take over.
What else do you expect when a store sells 100 TVs or whatever for 50% off all of a sudden and 500 want them? They will fight and fight and fight to get that sale.
It isn't worth it for me. The medical bills I'd have to pay for a black eye and broken knuckles would make up for the money I got off for the TV. This is why I skipped black friday.
Jason from Fairfax, VA
What has happened to us? this is America! what hasn't happened to us that has made our people an embarassment to the rest of the world? stampedes, arrests, and fights are just a scratch of the surface.
It's a big country. For every incident of bad behavior there are hundreds of incidents of people acting exactly as they should. Some people are just jerks, same as it's always been. Quit being such a sensationalist.
'Pride goeth before the fall' they say,
obviously the fall is near...
We are living the last days of the great Roman Empire
all over again my friend...
What's happened to us? Nothing new. What other explanation do we have when they say "Big Sale" and thousands upon thousands of people knowingly run in the same direction to take advantage? It's a primitive survival instinct, like stampeding buffalo, everyone starts running just because everyone starts running.
We waited in line for over an hour on Friday and had a great time. Most of the people in line and in the store were great. There were a few line jumpers but not many (and I remember them at the movies when I was a kid (LONG time ago). I think much of our problem is that the bad makes better news than the good and certainly much better than the nothing. If we don't have something bad to say, we go and find it.
And to top it off, all this for products made abroad.
Simply; Ne, Myself and I
Since women had to go to work,They are not home to teach our kids right from wrong and LOVE. Looks like things will get worst. Kids see this and they think it's cool
Have we become such an uncivil society that we must resort to such behavior? I can't think of anything, ANYTHING, that would cause me to be caught up in such an unholy mess!
What has happened to about 50% of the humans nowadays is a total lack of respect for anybody else. It's a totally narcissistic society..ALL ME!!! Out of my way, because MY time and space is MORE important than YOURS!!! Just look at the way people drive now. That's a good example of the general state of how people act towards others in this day and age.
We can end these shopping attacks. Pat-downs and X-rays at every store will do the trick.
I think what has happened to us is that the holidays are the excuse to save money. WE don't go and shop in the holiday spirit, we go an shop to save money. So it shouldn't surprise us how people behave.
Capitalism....that's what has happened to us. The idea that consumption is prosperity is the inherent problem leads an otherwise intelligent human being to think he or she cannot live without a man-made object that, if not purchased on a certain day and at a certain price, and that doing this will somehow lead to some level of personal satisfaction.
Don't take away my goodies Let someone else pay for government, let someone else fight our wars. The "me" generation thinks it's all about them. What makes it even more ridiculous is all these people claiming we are a Christian nation while all the while not caring one bit about anyone but themselves..
This just shows what we, as Americans, have turned our focus on. Material things were not part of the holidays that our ancestors used to focus on. It was family, and enjoying and appreciating the time that one got to spend with them. We need to get back to the basics when it comes to holidays and what is truly important.
Thanks Jack. As you can see I'm from Wisconsin, but was visiting family this weekend so I missed the state news. I appreciate finding out that we still have people that lack manners and common sense. This makes me sad to find we have so many people that have so much to learn yet.. I'm not talking about our schools failing here, I'm talking about parents that fail to teach there children how to act properly in society. I hope a few of these folks get a chance to meditate about how they need to change as humans while they spend some time in jail for acting so inappropriately to others. I hope a few of these folks also get black marks on Santa's list as well. Please continue to keep us all up to date in cases like this
Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Christmas Sales, Day After Christmas Sales, New Years Day Sales, Open at 3 AM, 4AM, etc. etc. I'm sure glad this is the season to be jolly and less stressful. God Bless Us All – Everyone!
Jack, that's the one day of the year I don't shop. It's insane out there and almost like taking your life into your hands. It's another sign of how unkind, selfish and uncivil so many people in our Country have become. Manners is an obsolete word. Rita Clark, Minnesota
Courtesy, politeness, manners and tact exist in very few places and with very few people. A combination of corporations and marketing have strategized that the rush-of-people, no matter who gets hurt, is better publicity than the worth of their product. It cost no more to sell the game yesterday than it will tomorrow. It is just downright frightening.
-Cowboy in Colorado
Sanity has been defenestrated and most everyone has become aggressive, brawlers. I was lucky that the walmart I worked at didn't have that much drama, but I was in the thick of it with 40+ customers just rushing the electronics and toys departments. People forgot televisions they bought (and didn't bring proof that they bought it when they got back), people were stealing merchandise from other people, and within 20 minutes, all the specials were sold out. One woman walked away with 6 $200 computers! It wasn't a boring day, but I wouldn't want Black Friday everyday.
As a society that many claim to be based on Christian values we have forgotten those same values and become self oriented. Our focus is on the big "I" and not on the teachings of Jesus. We think only of ourselves and forget that Jesus' emphasis was on helping those less fortunate than we are and treating others as we would want to be treated. In this season of Christmas celebrating the birth of Jesus, can't we focus on what he taught and really be that country based on Christian values not self focus?
Unfortunately most of those out of control shoppers weren't in line to buy gifts for loved ones, they were buying for themselves. Greed has taken over the holiday. If it really was parents lined up to buy that one gift thier child is hoping for fine, but to line up to fill your cart with 20 DVD players to sell later on ebay for double the price, shameful.
Jodi in Kansas City
Jack it is common courtesy and common sense that is lacking in society. It is a truly sad time in the history of mankind when a 100.00 TV is more valuable than a life. When obtaining an electronic device is more important than another person's well being.
When someone who serves and protects our freedom so you can go to the store and make your purchase is attacked. But what do we expect. Look at our politicians who set the example, and the greed of big business. I think it is time to turn the lights out on black Friday. I vote for no more killer sales (pun intended)
Much of America has become greedy and selfish. The most important things to us in life are money and material items. We are driven by greed. Why do you think the economy is in the state it's in? But it's ok, we are the greatest country in the world...
For most of time people have looked to the highest levels of society as role models for the way they should act. Studies have shown that for the first time in history we are looking at the lowest level of society for our role models. The crime, violence, lack of class and caring for anyone but ones self goes right along with the trend.
Over the past few years, one thing has become very apparent...this is a country of damn fools. No wonder we are so hated all over the world, just look at us. We're a nation of self-absorbed, overweight bigots who cannot manage its own issues, yet are always trying to "run things" all over the rest of the world.
So, this is the greatest nation on earth huh? I once believed that, then I realized who it was that was saying it.
God bless America.
For so many in our country, Christmas is no longer a religious celebration or even a time for family gatherings and traditions. It has become a time for greedy folks to hoard the latest trends in hopes of making a buck on eBay. Or overbuying plastic imported junk from China to give to children they feel guilty they don't spend enough time with. The family unit has degraded, foreigners are expecting their way of life to be accommodated, not to become part of our culture and greed reigns as both our president and Wall Street have proven.
Maybe they should open their stores at noon rather than 5am. That way people have had time to sleep off the built up anger of having to sit at the dinner table with their not so favorite relatives.
Ours has become a toxic society. Where Christmas is concerned, a time of year that was special has been made vulgar by commercialism starting earlier each year. Thanksgiving remains our purist holiday, but the stores are already starting to have their sales on that day. Politically, a society that no longer respects office and officeholders, that accepts machine guns and racist signs at political rallies, that talks easily about killing a president has lost its basic social standards, The greed that has taken over business goes against our basic impulses as compassionate human beings. And it's all stoked constantly by demagogues who make a lot of money doing so. The social contract has been replaced by toxins and dysfunction..
We've lost sight of what the Christmas spirit is all about. It use to be about family, friends, celebration, and modest giving. Now, retailers have hijacked this holiday and turned it into a buying orgy. Although China doesn't observe this holiday, I'm sure they greatly appreciate it.
Y'all have a stressful, shopping intensive, mall crowded, credit card maximizing, holiday season!
jack, it's sad, a very sad state of affairs. my idea of shopping: point, click and it shows up at my front door. MERRY CHRISTMAS!
No matter whether its Black Friday or anuy other day human beings are fallible creatures and are becoming increasingly selfish, demanding and violent.
It's very sad. It's Christmas time. It's about giving. How many more black Friday's should we let this kind of behavior happen? The retail industry has been hit hard like most industries during this tough economic time, but it needs to take active measures to prevent the predictable violence.
Jack, we have, as a country and a society, lost respect. It can be seen in our politics and our everyday interactions as a people. We have come to a point where we don't help each other, we don't care about each other, we have become selfish and self centered. It is seen in our political parties, with their fearmongering, our TV (which is our only entertainment); also, what we think we are owed by our government. On Face the Nation Edmund Morris did a great job of punking us out as a society.
I will have to say it is the way we have been brought up Jack. Now days kids are raised on video games etc. When I was a kid I was raised on a farm with values and hard work. We had time for play but our play was family football games and things like that. Of course friends would come over but family did more together. We had manners more then than now. People now are more focused on things and not what matters most. They do not know how to treat people or even how to take care of what they have. The way I look at it, if you can't take it with you when your gone then you probably don't need it. God Bless and lets hope this country gets back to the basics and maybe we will get out of this mess.
I guess when someone says-–don't retreat--reload
Some people get fired up!!!!!!!
Jack, it's very simple. As the middle class is being destroyed by our political and economic system the people being squeezed out need something to comfort themselves, and they turn to cheap baubles to console their dead futures. And when there aren't enough little trinkets for everyone, it turns into a war. Karl Marx must be laughing in his grave right now.
None of these rude shoppers are there to find gifts. They are buying "deals" for themselves.
We need to put the blame where it belongs. All participating "Black Friday" stores (such a description) get exactly the results they planned – angry, irresponsible, rude, selfish, and violent shoppers. My goodness, even the news media promotes these fiascos. The shoppers are being used.
Seems to me that Black friday has become more of a like holiday in its self . I call it " Holiday hell day" thats what it should be called. The sad thing is its the day after thanksgiving and we show how rude, greedy and disrepectful we can be.
For all of this I can cite the huge number of people who came to assisted those in need for both this holiday and those to come. There is a lot of good going on and a word about it is in order!!!!
Instead of complaining, go out and do something for someone else!
Are people really shopping for gifts? My impression is that it's mostly stuff for themselves. You think all these guys are going after big-screen TV's for their grandmas?
Jack . . .
Black Friday behavior such as you mentioned in your recent story is just one more example of Americans trying to keep up with a advertising and commercial inspired frenzy.
We have turned everything into a competition including holiday shopping . . . an opportunity to get something before someone else does.
How sad !
Most things that are on "sale" are products that these companies haven't been able to move off their shelves all year long.
Tis the Season.
It's the media. They advertise and hype up these prices like there will be no more sales until Christmas.
What has happened to us is that our selfish greed has been allowed to take over. It is the real reason for the financial disaster and the rest of the bubbles, not a technical problem. It is the reason leaders of corporations, and governments distribute income in a self serving mode without equity. We are a fat, greedy nation that needs diet in the worst way. Will the Government leaders take a paycut along with the workers?
Civility no longer exists. We have become a mannerless and disrespecting society, where bad behavior is routinely rewarded instead of punishing for wrongdoing. It is embarrassing to live in what America has become.
There is a real problem with the attitude people in this country have toward violence. Not only is violence generally tolerated, but it is often desired (e.g. football and hockey). I don't like violence, but I am in the minority. How do you convince someone who can just push someone else out of the way and get what they want that violence is not appropriate in civilized society?
Jim, Craig, CO
What's happened to us is that we are listening to your employer Jack, your real employer, the advertisers. Did you watch any television on Thanksgiving day? I watched three football games and I was so tired of the retail advertising for Black Friday that I actually missed the political attack ads that went away at the beginning of this month!
Add to that nearly 30% true unemployment and you've got a recipe for incivility as people who can't afford gifts are told they must buy them and that they can get them cheap if they stand in line at 3 AM.
As a society, we have lost all morality due to political correctness. We have lost prayer in school, lost respect for police, and respect for each other. Heaven forbid you spank your childs botton when they do something wrong, or say Good Morning Officer, or even Merry Christmas! The generations after mine (1964) do not know anything about respect for each other, and themselves! They have mostly come from broken homes beacuse divorce is easy, and have kids at 15. This is the generations that will be taking care of us as we age. Go back to the days of a good butt slap, no cell phones and plain fear of authority for these kids today! Personally I'm sick of it! Amen!
Nothing has happened to us, nothing at all. We are the same people who have been taught the golden rule, do community service, and donate to charities. The only reason our barbaric side emerges so prominently on Black Friday is because the things we think we need and want are finally affordable, except there is only a limited number of the affordable items we desire. We'll do anything to make sure we get our share of affordability – push people down, cut in line, steal from people who got there first and stab anyone who gets in our way. If things were affordable all year round there'd be no need for to have a Black Friday and businesses might do better too. I did my Black Friday shopping entirely online – the fastest click won – and nobody had to get hurt or lose their dignity.
We are like the Titanic. We are products of a consumer mentality that is dutifully fueled and sailing along with a deep-seated capitalist indoctrination that unfortunately, like the ship, is going down. Our kids are spoiled, and we have over-consumed and underachieved. Bigotry hides alongside religious fundamentalism and are holding hands with fear and anti-intellectualism. Cities are lined with empty malls, supermarkets and crumbling warehouses. As products of a consumer frenzy, our children have little work ethic and are dangerously short on empathy and healthy curiosity. Our position in the world is dropping like a guttered bowling ball. We are a mess. Meanwhile, our precious democracy was hijacked by an activist right-winged supreme court by declaring that billion dollar corporations can buy and sell elections. Meanwhile, we have immature, out-of-control parents beating each other up in order to buy their kids toys that probably won't last till next year...toys probably made in China.
We're a country filled with hate right now Jack. This is just another product of the climate of hate. People are just not nice to each other anymore. It's sad.
I blame the stores for opening at 4am etc. I wonder how many car accidents occured because sleep deprived people were driving to save a buck. We are greedy and selfish and have made our "toys" our idols. No one remembers why we celebrate Christmas anymore. As a Christian, that makes me very sad.
We have become a society where it has become every person for them self and its all about me and no one else matters for the sake of something trivial as material goods.
They should give that Marine reservist in Georgia that was stabbed while trying to assist in stopping a shoplifter a Purple Heart because being near a black friday crowd is akin to a warzone.
Everything that you talked about is a source of embarrassment. I am particularly concerned about the cutting in line problems. As a teacher of elementary school kids I constantly hear the complaint "He cut me in line." I tell my second-graders that they are much too grownup to care about such silly things. Apparently, I am completely wrong.
Entitlement... why shouldn't we demand to have everything we want for for ourselves and our families?
It's a warped sense of entitlement. Perks without the work. The attitude is "I'm entitled to do anything I want to anybody at any time." Sad.
There is no excuse for this kind of behavior. Everyone needs to take responsibility for our own actions good or bad. Unbelievable that so called adults would act like idiots over saving a few bucks to buy a gift that will probably be broken on Christmas Day or discarded within a few months and put in the spring cleaning yard sale in the spring. We need to return to the values of respect for one another and for the holiday, and remember why we are buying the gifts in the first place.
Its not all bad out here in the Ohio shopping environment. I honked my horn to get a guys attention trying to enter the main road so he could get out in front of me. Immediately he gave me the digital sign, even while he was holding his cell phone in the same hand, I know he was trying to tell me that I was " number one", several times...I am sure he was simply into our standard football cognition. Anyway, I felt good. I guess he got in behind me. (spooky!) Merry holiday to you too Jack.
It's been "me first and the rest be dam-ned" for at least 20 years in the US, Jack. I noticed a drastic decline in civility starting in the early 1990's. I don't know whether it's the influence of the generation that grew up in the egocentric sixties and seventies, or the growth of the of the socially isolating Internet and multiplying of personal electronic devices, or the decline of religion in our society (along with an increase in extremists), or the breakdown in class barriers, or the boom in population. Perhaps it's a combination of all, and a prelude to eventual anarchy. Scenes like those mall stampedes scare the hell out of me and make me ashamed.
Another year, another "what's happened to the spirit of Christmas?" article. People act like society is crumbling when most of these stories seem like isolated incidents caused by short tempers from lack of sleep. This is not news.
Jack: We have lost our compass, our perspective, and our morals regarding life's needs. One word summarizes it all, in my opinion, and that word is GREED. And after greed is satisfied, what do we have left?
It seems as though in these times people still prize possesions over anything else including good judgement and ethical living. What more is there that any of us really need to own to be happy? Most of us have TV's(plural), cars and lots of extra "toys" we just don't need. I suppose if things get really bad, some of these "naughty" folks will find out there is more to life than having things.
What's happened to us is what has always happened to civilizations or empires before they crumble. Generation by generation the people become more and more soft, selfish, materialistic and spoiled, until the veneer of civility wears off to the point that simple good manners become unheard of. And at that point you have a society that cannot hold itself together anymore. Read your history. It's repeating itself yet again.
I wonder how many of the big ticket items were bought as "gifts"? I bet most were bought for personal use, if one was lucky enough to get the item at all. If a store is selling X at half-price and run out, they should be willing to give a raincheck for the item and not have "while supplies last" posted on the shelf. What has this shopping frenzy got to do with Christmas anyway? And when did parents start letting their kids choose their Christmas "gift"? As gift should be a surprise!
I am wondering who needs all this stuff? People are fighting over THINGS, and then when they own the things they go home and think about getting more things.
And now our whole economy is based on it, so we actually need everyone to buy these things, to get the economy back on track.
I choose to opt out of most purchases, but have to admit I am glad the other people go buy things. Too bad they can't be civil while doing it.
It's like feeding starving dogs out of one bowl get your hand too close and your going to get bit we are all regressing back to wild animals .
Jack I work in the retail industry and I saw a bit of what you described. People were taking cuts in line and tempers were heated. We americans have turned into a bunch of stupid, glorified, materialistic bargan hunters. Living only for pleasures rather than the common good. The worst economy in history and people are fighting over this crap? You can tell when people will miss a major holiday to camp out at the store just to be the first in line. And their were three tents when I arrived at work on Black Friday at 7am. This is a discrace.
What has happened to us! We are confused about our reality, lost in our direction and mixed up with our perceptions. We are a divided people who care of nothing but instant gratifications. Lets hope it gets better.
every year a few people die, and stuff like this happens during black friday. its how it is. nothing new. we can devolve into these types of behaviors when stimulated, by a deal lets say, so i am not surprised. get used to it. i skipped the whole fiasco and only took advantage of the online deals to avoid the above.
Unfortunately, it's a disturbing sign of the times.........
Even when our sports teams win a championship, the party in the street often results in violence and death........
Next year, this shopping extravaganza will be known as "Black & Blue Friday"..................
The good thing in all this is that in 40-50 years we'll look back, reminisce, and yearn for the good ol days of 2010.
Thanks for what you do!
We the people are so stupid. What would all these stores do if no one showed up for the sales. They would just go ahead and have them during their hours. The companies that have these big sale need to be held responsible everytime somone gets hurt. The stores usually have a limited number of items anyway and that is why people fight to get them. But people have very little respect for each other anymore.
When we hear about people in other countries being killed in stampedes we think of them as uncivilized. When shoppers stampede, etc. here we along with retailers justify it as getting the best deals in town.
Jack : it Christmas Evolution has been canceled its every man for his self, dog eat dog, Better mad with all the world than sane alone
I gave up on buying Christmas gifts a few years ago. I am far less stressed and far happier making my gifts for the few people I care most amount.
Ever year people get crazier and more insane around this time of year. So, I have long ago resigned myself that just because someone wants a particular item, I do not have to be the one who stresses herself out to get it for him/her.
I have fould that most people appreciate the thoughtful, individual item I took the time to make, rather than the mass produced item made in China item.
The Corporate Consumer State has completely taken over our the country to where we now worship the materials goods. This is exactly how they now control the masses. We believe everything they tell us and that our lives will not be fulfilled with it, whatever the latest "IT" is. And we mindlessly by into this propaganda. We have also bought into the whole consumer culture to the point it now defines American society. We have become a bully society that believes the only way to "get what we deserve" is to run over, humiliate, or trample anyone or anything that gets in our way. Take a look at car commercials... since when did a person need 400+ horsepower to commute to work or to the store... of course no one does but if you pay close attention, what they are really selling is power. Power to trample all those who dare to impeade from your "pursuit of happiness."
Since most people are only like this once a year (some of course are like this all the time) I can boil it down to the holiday itself.
The religious theme of this holiday only adds to the chaos of what many perceive to be obligatory.
If we were to re-envision what this time of year should actually represent, it would be family, not money and things. But because of the religious element to this holiday, people seem to think that if they decide to not buy something for everyone on their list that they'll be seen as a "bad Christian"!
As always with religion, it's more about the perception of being a good person, rather than actually being a good person.
What's happened to us? It is simple - civility is no longer taught or valued. Incivility rules the day.
Jack, people have no shame. We use our status and "things" as a social guide because we have lost our ability to identify with ourself due to living in a land of consumers.
Things things and more things that's what seems to be important these days. The things that were important a long time like helping your fellow man, the old lady across the street or respecting your elder is gone. Its the new and cruel world more for me less for you is the new motto and has been replaced by the thing we think make us happy, when it should be Country, family and humanity.
Stony Mountain Manitoba Canada
...and yet the retailers love it!
To be fair in this discussion, many civilized people simply stay home on this day for the very reasons brought up. This annual event brings out the worst in people.
A quiet day at home with the family is much more meaningful than some cheap trinkets to put under the tree.
Black Friday has become a "reason for being" during the holiday season and it is sad because it does little if anything to economically further individuals or families.If businesses are so dependent on the holiday season in order to "make it" financially in any given year,then we've got a really strung out consumer-based economy that we can't sustain, brings out the worst in desperate people and needs to change. We can do it-if we just say no to this yearly commercial holiday feeding frenzy spectacle.
What you mean what has happened to us ..we were always loud, arrogant, aggressive nation formed by exterminating one race and enslaving other.....
Ignorance. There is a lot going around these days. Beware!
The problem is that people are living for today, not caring about the future. Just imagine if a disaster hit, smh.
I'm from Wisconsin and happened to NOT take part in the Black Friday Shopping Fiasco. I hope your viewers don't think all Wisconsinites are deranged lunatics that will threaten people over toys. From one Wisconsinite who is sane, please don't let these few stories from our State warp your mind.
A nation of clueless 30 somethings who need instant everything. Unfortunately, these are nitwits that will be running this country within the next 10 years. Thank the Lord that I am 72 and will probably (hopefully) not live to see it.
"Will the last person to leave please turn out the lights?"
Jack, have you ever been a part of a mob? Black Friday creates shopping mobs, no different than the mobs that line up with general admission tickets and people are killed in human stampedes.
It looks to me as Business as usual.
I seem to remember riots in the early 80's over cabbage patch kids. I didn't get one, and my best friend got one with only one shoe that someone had dropped on the way to the register. People were in such a frenzy that trucks were mobbed, and parents were willing to take one missing a part. Do you really think that was all about the kids? It was the challenge.
So now that generation (my generation) are the parents. I think that there is a certain excitement in anticipation of Black Friday that borders on frenzy as opening time approaches and people who are probably pretty normal for most of the year, think nothing of walking over each other to the point of causing death. I don't even think the fact that most of these goods that are on sale aren't even the best brands, it is a game, a challenge, and a thrill to win. I stayed safely home and scored awesome deals online but I can see how people buy into it. The media hypes it up to be such a big event.
Also, I noticed there were a heck of a lot of new factory store coach purses on ebay Saturday. I think a sizable portion of the people out there are trying to score these goods to resell for a profit.
Capitalism run amok. We have allowed this nation to become a corporate oligarchy. How sad for us and how frightening for future generations.
What happened to us?
Don't include "them" in the "us".
Just because some idiot low lives decide they are too important to stand in line and want to spend their welfare checks on some stupid electronic purchase, doesn't mean that the millions of other good natured, charitable and rule abiding Americans who were out shopping (maybe as my college daughter and three of her friends – who stood in line to buy gifts for a school toy collection for the needy in Worcester) are to be characterized as rude Americans.
But hey – why focus on the majority. It's more American to denegrate America. In our are it was the free market at its best. No incidences and everyone was happy. Of course that doesn't make a good story.
tsk, tsk, tsk, Jack. Lumping everyone together with that "us". Only a few, out of the thousands who were shopping, caused any turmoil. Sounds like many waited in line, for hours, for their turn. Perhaps one should look at the stores, who make them wait, have too few check out lines, and way too few employees for the holiday season.....but isn't this what they wait for all year long??? You would think they would be better prepared for the shoppers they have lured into the store. Too few items, too few sales, too few employees, and too many shoppers looking for a bargain.....that's what happened.
As long as we let Television become a babysetter for our children, and show them what they can't live without. And we adults watch reaity showes to learn how wrong our parents teachings of right and wrong and let us not forget cooperation, were, but what what really matters is winning, owning, and being first. Then this is the future that we can expect. Merry Christmas
And that fellow citizens is a prime example of how mankinds priorities are completely screwed up. We let people starve in the streets while grandma gets trampled over some freakin holiday sale.
With all the wacky rhetoric going on over the past ten years it is no wonder that people are going crazy. Desperation causes folks to do stupid things. The political atmosphere has been horrendeous, especially lately. Those folks who claim they are the ones who should be our new political leaders should learn to shut their mouths and stop inciting folks with their inuendos and false accusations. Until this is done, we will probably have to live with the fall-out from these wackos for a long, long time.
In the immortal words of Pogo: "We have met the enemy, and he is us!"
I wonder how many people want these goods for gift giving or for themselves. Also, how many of these people are just buying so they are somehow "ahead" of someone else. Ridiculous. The stores might get in the black earlier if they dropped their prices.
What a tragedy that America is heading backwad instead of progressing. This is not the country I came to in 1968. It is looking more and more like the Wild West days. There are way too many politicians and news people (Rush Limbaugh, Hannity, Republicans and some Tea Party members) who are spreading intolerance and hate. This type of destructive commenary needs to stop, it does not belong in civilized society. There is so much lack of respect, manners and plain old common sense. Until people say "enough is enough" America will continue to decline. The wealthy, evangelicals, corporate America and Rupert Murdock will sit back and gloat because they will have accomplished what they set out to do – create a third world country where people cannot think for themselves.
Well if ppl only knew that you can go online to do all ur shopping without waiting in line and it is all for the same prices, this would not be a problem. People are becoming too materialistic these days, and the true meaning of Christmas is lost.
It was the same last year and most other years. I heard someone say they camped outside all night and didn't even buy anything. He just wanted to be amoungst them. We went the day after and it wasn't crowded at all and had good sales.
This is typical herd mentality. While human may be the most adaptable species because of a larger cerebrial cortex, they still have a long way to go on the evolutionary scale. The good news is that Americans are no better or no worse than anyone else in the world. I blame the merchants who set us ignorant humans up for this.
There were thousands upon thousands of shoppers who were out on black Friday and there were a few isolated instances of bad behavior. Put it in perspective, folks and look at the positive side. Again leave it to the press to condemn an entire society for the actions of a few. I saw nothing but enthusiastic, friendly, courteous people that day. Jack (et al), you are throwing gasoline on a small fire to try to put it out. Try looking at the big picture.
And, try smiling every so often.
We're becoming more and more as the French have been for long describing us – probably they are right – ooops, someone texting stepped on my foot then walked farther, undisturbed -
I would love to see someone take a poll or conduct a study of the number of these shoppers that have opt out of paying their mortgages, rents, home owners association dues, and other similar contractual obligations in lieu of shopping, shopping and more shopping. Also, how many of these individuals have been receiving long-term unemployment benefits?
Anna, West Nyack, NY
The under educated don't realize that they are now and have been, the pawns of big advertising media and big business being guided to spend their money on things they don't really need. For a while savings was up and spending down but that has recently started to revert back to what it once was. Sad that the great recession hasn't taught more the cost of getting everything you want at the expense of their futures...
You give five examples of bad behavior in a country of 300 million, and then ask "what has happened to us?". I personally saw twenty examples of great behavior just this morning. Maybe it depends on where you look.
Jack, are you serious? Americans just want to act like their favorite "reality" show characters these days. While these shows may have different themes they all have one thing in common: the dumbing down of America. People who camp outside a store for 9 days just to be first in line for Black Friday clearly have no concept of Time Value of Money. We trample one another to enrich big box retailers and discounters to get the latest gizmo born of overseas manufacturing and complain that there's no jobs left here. The real question is: How low can we go?
A lot of people are trying to save money by getting a good deal, on junk. People are more concerned with quantity than quality, and consequently they think that getting a poorly made TV for $200 cheaper is a great thing. We're a Walmart nation, and it's pretty pathetic.
All have lost sight of what Christmas is all about. Pathetic!!!
If a tree falls in the forest, does it make a sound?
If there are no TV cameras by which to become an "instant celebrity", will throngs of people camp outside overnight and stampede at 4:00 a.m.?
Oh I LOVE it! Went down to a Best Buy just to watch. I saw an IPAD ripped from it's display stand and fly across the room like a Frisbee. Great stuff Jack, start filming instead of being a moral critic. Its just FUN. Besides you media folks created this stuff!
Where have you been hiding Jack? we are totally spoiled and when things get tough, and we dont get what we want we start the name calling, snatching, grabbing, and we turn to violence....where did all that christian love and kindness go?
What has happened to us you ask?
Post Traumatic Marketing Syndrome.
Corporations pound our heads relentlessly day and night.
This seems to be the season to spend money we don't have on people we probably don't even like, and to buy them presents they don't want or need. We are just plain nuts!!!
Just wait until the food riots start. Before you know what is happening, there will be armed cannibals roaming our cities, while millions of worthless dollars blow down the streets, in the wind
It is no small wonder that space aliens HOVER and do NOT land on this planet. No intelligent life on this rock. None, nada, zip, zilch.
No wonder most other nations hate the USA,and it's people.
What's happened to us?
Same old thing, really. The media choose to focus on the negative. I, for one, on Black Friday saw - and joked with - a former neighbor I haven't seen in years. My wife and I had fun shopping. Nobody shouted or got stabbed or even looked a bit cross. And since nothing bad happened, the media chose not to report it.
Money is the root of all evil. Looks like bargain hunters will forget their morals, ethics and humanity to save $10.00 to $100.00 off an item. After all, it is supposed to be about the spirit of giving demonstrated by the three kings under a star.
Sadly, this behavior is not limited to Black Friday. I've seen it in movie lines, concert lines, shopping lines any time of the year. But we notice it now because this is supposed to be the season of Peace on Earth. My friend's Dad was an innocent bystander who was tragically stabbed to death this month when he tried to intervene in a fight between 2 men at a business. The shopping mob mentality looks like looting, except that some of the shoppers will pay – because they have to.
Jack Cafferty sounds off hourly on the Situation Room on the stories crossing his radar. Now, you can check in with Jack online to see what he's thinking and weigh in with your own comments online and on TV.
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