Black Friday, Or: How Cthulhu birthed us from his greed womb and ruined gravy
Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. It’s a holiday that revolves around gratitude and food, and I really can’t think of a better premise for a holiday. Yes, there’s that whole creepy “Pilgrims and Indians” history to it that makes you slightly ashamed to be an American, but, to be totally honest, most American history should make you ashamed to be an American, so we should either sever ourselves completely from the past, or maybe just let it slide.
Also, gravy is like, one of my favorite things. Gravy is so goddamn good.
But it’s getting ruined by capitalism. Capitalism is ruining gravy.
You’ve heard of Black Friday: the day after Thanksgiving where Americans flock to the stores in droves to find Christmas presents, the day that is so terrible to behold that they named it after the day of the murder of our Lord and Savior.
It’s a day that frankly shouldn’t exist, because hey, we should all be measured and modest in our buying of gifts, and should not act like the parents in Jingle All the Way, partially because they were behaving psychotically, and also partially because those parents were Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sinbad*.
*Yes, that is the last Jingle All the Way reference I will ever make on this blog.
But now, the holiday is spilling over into Thursday. It’s becoming Black Thursday. It’s interfering with gravy consumption. It actually already has been. I have one Uncle that has worked in retail, and I remember when he was working at Best Buy, he would have to leave the Thanksgiving party early because he would have to wake up at 2 in the goddamn morning to go get the store ready for the onslaught of atrocious bargain-hunting human beings who were camped out on the sidewalk, waiting for the store to open at 4 a.m. Back then, I thought it was a shame that he had to skip out on time with family to satiate a bunch of weirdos’ consumerism. Back then, I used to joke, “Some day they’ll be doing sales on Thanksgiving! Ha! Ha!”
Now I can see clearly: Thanksgiving becoming Black Thursday is the only way this could have played out. Because Christmas is no longer Christmas: it is the event horizon of the black hole of capitalism. At some point – my guess is 1992, with the precipitating event being the box office success of Home Alone 2: Lost in New York – the pile of money the Masters of the Universe made off of the holiday season hit critical mass, and it started collapsing in on itself like a dying star.
It began to suck in days further and further out, and Thanksgiving, having some heft of its own, took a while to pull in. But it has been pulled in, and now we can only expect things to accelerate, until the entire year is absorbed into Christmas season, and then, some year in the not-too-distant-future, it loops around, and comes into contact with the Christmas from the year before.
I’m not sure what happens when two black holes collide (though I’m sure there’s porn that could illustrate. Hey-o!), but I imagine it’s catastrophic. I imagine that’s what caused the Big Bang: some intergalactic catastrophe brought on by the rapacious consumerism of The Great Old Ones. Thanks for birthing us from your greed womb, Cthulhu!
My point is that if you are even thinking of going to a store on Thursday, and it’s not a last second gravy top-up, you should have “Horrible Person” tattooed on your head. Because you’re keeping those people at the store from being with their families, and just because you hate your family so much that you are using “buying them things” as an excuse to get away from them for the one day of the year that is truly devoted to being thankful for your family. May Cthulhu have mercy on your soul.