Recap of Events-A Wal-Mart employee has been stomped to death by a crowd of consumers who, having smashed the double glass doors of the store, bolted in to take advantage of the bargains the day after Thanksgiving, notably the 50 inch plasma televisions for $798, the mini- vacuum cleaners for $28 and the 10.2 megapixel digital cameras for $69.
Note-The details recounted here can be verified in the sale circulars in the Saturday edition of the New York Times.
Back to the Facts-The day after Thanksgiving, known as “Black Friday,” is the biggest shopping day in the United States, even bigger than Boxing Day on the day after Christmas.
Around 2000 shoppers waited all night in front of the doors at the Wal-Mart in the Green Acres shopping center of Valley Stream, Long Island in Eastern New York. As the scheduled opening of 5 in the morning grew closer, the more the crowd became agitated. At 4:55, a charge came from the back that had thrown the first cluster onto the double glass doors which then smashed, allowing the crowd to rush forward.
The store employees, who from the inside tried to contain the stampede were either taken away or knocked over. In the case of Jdimytai Damour, a 34-year old man of Haitian origin, he was stomped to death.
An hour later, when the Wal-Mart loudspeakers announced to the crowd that they had to leave the store because an employee had been killed, some shoppers balked, refusing to leave the building, yelling that they had waited all night for the doors to open.
Note: If the recounted events up to now are rigorously exact, the list that follows is imaginary. What doesn’t change is the veracity of the story, except the names.
List of shoppers Who Had Been the First to Stomp Mr. Damour to Death-M. Jay Bradwyn. Mr. Alonzo Reid. M.H.L. Sheppard. Mrs. Betty Hicks, who was going to buy a pink tutu for her granddaughter Lee Ann who will be in her Christmas dance play at school. Mrs. Marie Girardeau. Mr. Duke West. Mrs. Cheryl Middleton. Mrs. Jessica Alexander, who was going to buy an Infrawave fast backing microwave sold at the superstore for $89.99 (with a 40% discount). Mrs. Sue Smith. Mr. Marcus Crawmer. Mrs. Rachel Thomas. Mr. Van Thouc Nguyen. Mrs. Susan Foody and her son Brad. Mr. Carlos Seranno. Mr. Abdel Malik Allami. Mrs Alice Herb. Mr. Christopher O’Neil, etc.
And many others in the crowd: Mrs Nancy Walsh and her friend Mrs. Lauren Meehan. Nancy had almost stumbled onto Mr. Damour, but Lauren fortunately pulled her up by the arm, warning Nancy that someone had just fallen there. They came too late for the digital 10.2 megapixel camera. Nancy made due with the DVD of “The Incredible Hulk” for $9, some extension chords for the outside and a game of three balls to go with the microwave.
Note : I have not written this column. I pulled it from the news like a whale that I had just pulled from the sea, and it’s just as disgusting.
I’m not talking about an employee’s murder. I’m not talking about a simple news story. I’m talking about a system that consists entirely on the consumption that keeps repeating to us that it is THE biggest marker of civilization.
Do you know where you can put yourself in this civilization that has 2000 idiots spending the night in front of Wal-Mart?
ANOTHER NEWS BRIEF THAT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH ANYTHING, BUT IS RELEVANT JUST THE SAME -In the capital of a country in Africa that I will not name, Immaculate is employed in an NGO. One night last week, when she was going home, the matalu (a small private bus that supplies public transportation), the matalu that she took was mowed down by two traveling salesman on the edge of the road, killing them instantly.
The driver had been saved. The passengers and the crowd of passersby’s who came to help in the accident dashed to strip the victims of their clothes and shoes and loot their poor knocked over wares: chewing gum, cigarettes and other minute articles.
The Quebecian collegaue of the Immaculate who told me this story ended his e-mail saying, “ what news story is possibly more frightening than that the war which shows us a society that has lost its decency and its values.”
Its decency and its values? You’ve given me an idea, young man: send this Immaculate with the pretty name here. We will find her a job in a Wal-Mart.