Friday, November 28, 2008

Black Friday: The Wrong Kind Of Tent City, Populated By Swine

By Manifesto Joe

I'm a night-shift worker, and my wife isn't working right now for family reasons. After midnight, when I got off work, we went out in the wee hours after Thanksgiving to feed a cat belonging to a friend who's out of town.

Cruising back to our house, we passed a neighborhood electronics store. There was a small mob scene there at 2 a.m., with cars all over the lot. People were lined up in front of the store. Folks had brought pup tents and other amenities for camping out.

We were on the eve of "Black Friday," the day after Thanksgiving, when many stores open extra-early for early Christmas shopping and offer big discounts on limited supplies of certain items.

At this electronics store, apparently people were camped out to get first dibs on the latest Blackberries, Ipods, and half a dozen other types of electronic horseshit that I don't know about and really don't care to.

It was rainy and a bit cold in the early-morning hours in this city. And here were these people, seemingly without lives other than this (or perhaps to root purposelessly for the Dallas Cowboys).

I started asking my wife if she would pull our Honda Civic Hybrid up next to the line of pup tents, where I would yell, "You fucking fools!" She didn't think that was a good idea.

I gave up quickly on the idea of doing anything like that. Fools are normally determined to remain so. But I got to fantasizing about things it would be wonderful to do.

It would have been good to go down to Homeless Row, in the worst district of this city, with big pots of hearty stew for everybody. Then, after everybody has eaten and feels better and stronger, we pass out magnums of malt liquor to anybody who wants it. Let's get everybody loosened up a bit.

Then, we pass out the ax handles. And bring in the trucks. And we go visit the tent city in front of the electronics store. We clean the area out, much like 1930s vigilantes would have cleaned out one populated by hapless vagrants.

Yeah, it's just a fantasy. But please understand, we've got the wrong kind of tent cities in America right now, especially in times when so many people are being put out of their houses and are sleeping in cars. Yes, I understand that two-thirds of the U.S. economy is fueled by consumer spending.

But why do so many Americans have to behave like imbecilic swine about it?

Manifesto Joe Is An Underground Writer Living In Texas.


Burr Deming said...

I'm kind of the side of your wife on this one. While your reaction is understandable and well expressed (as usual), it would have been ... um ... excessive.

Best wishes.

Manifesto Joe said...

I'll reiterate that this was strictly a fantasy scenario. Unfortunately, many of the people camping out to ransack stores on Black Friday are too literal-minded for morbid fantasy. They are actually swinish enough to trample a clerk to death, per the Wal-Mart in New York, or to shoot people in a Toys R Us, per the California incident. We saw yesterday just how far Swine Nation has gone. And those incidents occurred after, I repeat, after my posting.