Black "Friday" has been terrorizing America for at least the past 24 hours, and videos of Walmart shoppers tearing at store displays like lions shredding an antelope have begun to hit YouTube. The video you see above shows two separate incidents of people nearly crushing each other as they ravage for phones and things. If you close your eyes for a few seconds at any point, it sounds like you're watching Cloverfield.
Knick-knack monster Wal-Mart is facing an uncharacteristically well-organized worker strike this Friday, on what is one of the busiest shopping days of the year. The company is scared enough to try to get the NLRB to tell the company's own employees they can't protest. Since we can't imagine that that long-shot attempt at crushing dissent will be successful, you should be ready for Wal-Mart Black Friday: Protest Edition.
This upcoming Thanksgiving week will be a long one and difficult, although hopefully it will not be without its bright spots for each of you. Some things you must resign yourself to now: you will almost certainly end up purchasing your own weight in electronics on Black Friday, if not being used as part of a human battering ram to entire the local big box store at 2:00am. You will do so knowing that the person selling you these electronics has probably been forced to sell his or her children as indentured servants to Wal-Mart in exchange for a bathroom break.
Say what you will about Cyber Monday and the surge of online consumerism in the days that follow — it does tend to remove an element of risk from the holiday shopping experience. For example, there's an almost zero percent chance that you'll accidentally stab yourself with a hypodermic needle while browsing brassieres at Wal-Mart if you buy those brassieres with a computer.
The most reviled woman in America at the moment is without a doubt the Wal-Mart pepper sprayer, whose cold, bald avarice eclipsed all other Black Friday crimes. (The most reviled woman in the U.K. is this one, but that's another story.) Yet despite turning herself in to police, she still walks freely among us. Why? Could there be any doubt as to her culpability? We've all seen the video capturing the moment, in which we can clearly make out, uh, a bunch of people screaming in a Wal-Mart?
Yesterday's zeitgeist-iest Black Friday shopper—the California Walmart-woman who allegedly pepper-sprayed a crowd of fellow Xbox seekers, creating the scene captured in this video—surrendered to the authorities Friday night, but was released without charge. Before she left the police station, officers asked her for pepper-spraying protips.
Even without waffle-iron rioting and bloody police beat-downs, the standard Black Friday shopping experience is utterly terrifying. Just watch this video featuring hundreds of shoppers storming the Urban Outfitters at Thousand Oaks Mall in California and tremble at the sight of so many people running toward the khaki fashions.