Sep 172016

Random out-of-season post: as of midyear 2016, there have been 7 deaths and 98 injuries attributable to “Black Friday” (see  This has always blown my mind – there are some soul-crushing videos on YouTube.  While the numbers may be numerically insignificant, to me this statistic is the ugliest condemnation of our society imaginable.  By contrast, 38,300 died on US roads in 2015, but I get that: various geographical, historical, and cultural factors have led to us having the most commuter-hours in the world, and some fatalities are sadly inevitable.  The future’s going to solve that problem: self-driving cars, better safety technology, medical advances, whatever.  But when you have even the occasional person being trampled to death by consumers fighting to save $30 on the lowest-end television at Wal-Mart as part of a yearly marketing event revolving around what most Americans believe is the anniversary of the birth of their most sacred religious figure…  well it should go without saying, that’s pretty fucked-up.

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