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November 30, 2008



Not to excuse the shoppers' behavior, but usually stores are a lot better about setting up and enforcing orderly lines at events like this. Unacquainted humans in groups under stressful situations are always and everywhere deeply stupid. This is a known quantity, and competent event planners take it into account.

Me, I'm more discouraged by the Toys'R'Us shooting:



I was not surprised in the least to hear that this happened on Long Island. . .I just achieved escape velocity from that place, and what happened at the WalMart is completely in keeping with the LI attitude. Me first, gimme-gimme, and f-you to anyone who gets in the way. During my five years in that area, I knew six people - count it, six - who had their vehicles totaled by other drivers' idiocy (either inattention or trying to "get ahead" just one car length). One young man, a promising young post doc in chemistry, was permanently disabled when the vehicle he was riding in was t-boned by someone in a hurry to get somewhere who ran a stop light. I did know some nice folks too, but they were unfortunately outweighed by a pervasive, annoying attitude from the rest of the populace. Argh.


let's not forget the 8 month pregnant woman who was injured during the Walmart debacle and the other Walmart employees who were severely injured while trying to help their co-worker...and the shoppers who shouted "you can't close, i've been in line since yesterday morning" due to the man's death. what a world.


My 3 year old son Eli is so freaking excited about Christmas. We decorated the house last night, and his brain darn near exploded ... and he has no idea that people are supposed to buy things at Christmas time.

This morning Eli did his "Christmas dance" when I turned the tree lights on, just because all he knows is that Christmas is a party. I'm cool with that.


MSNBC already has an article about Walmart's failure to train the man for crowd control or security issues. They placed him at the door "because of his hulking frame." The man was 6' 5". It implies that since they can't charge any individual shopper lawyers will go afterthe company as one might guess. I would post the link but I'm on my ipod and don't know how to copy and paste yet.


I wonder if the common notion of Scrooge isn't a little misinformed. Years ago I read a prof argue that the pre-conversion Scrooge was articulating precisely what Dickens truly believed: i.e., why should we make a big deal of eliciting personal charity on one day of the year when we (ideally) have a state that looks after and cares for our neediest citizens? That Scrooge was finally converted to Cratchit's point of view was an intentionally bitter irony on Dickens' part.

I suspect the prof was pushing his point a little too hard, but still: these days a response like "Humbug" seems sadly understated.


Apparently the new craze is Cyber Monday. Stores offer great sales online the Monday after Thanksgiving. Maybe in the future there will be a safe way to encourage mass consumerism immediately after Thanksgiving.

dr dobson


Encouraging mass consumerism already happens every week of the year thanks to 99% of the evangelical churches in the US: "be sure to stop by the church bookstore to purchase Pastor Osteen's newest book. While there, be sure to buy the latest ram's horn and prayer cloth--Jesus will continue to bless you when you do. Amen? Amen. Be sure to pray for Israel. Have a great week."

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