Yes, I hate Black Friday.
Everything about it. The name; the way we adopt an American cultural import without critical reflection; the global retail box shifters who drive it all; the insidious advertising preying on our need for security; the impulse purchasing that the day normalises and celebrates; the embarrassing photographs of people humiliating themselves in shopping rage over a flat-screen TV. I cannot find one good thing yet to recommend it.
People, spare a thought for your independent retailers! They're not box shifters and discounters. They work hard everyday to create a shop and a trade that works for you and them. Think - ahem - of crafters and makers! Like the poor lady book-creators who stitch and bind by the midnight hours, just to put a crust of bread on the table for the children (and three teen-tickets at a fiver apiece for The Tempest at the RSC). They - we - cannot afford to offer you a 60% discount on a hand-made item, crafted with love, sold in a shop that we all work hard to support.
The whole Black Friday import is no more than a way to get you to support everything bad about global consumerism: the culture of underpaid and exploited workers in Asia, the overworking and bullying of retail staff, your own personal debt, and a great big toot for materialism. Meanwhile Black Friday rejects the things that should form part of our lives: honest fair-dealing trade, meeting the sellers and makers, and celebrating your independent shop owners.
I'm thinking all this, then I walk into the office, where Dig says, 'When do you need the car today? I'm thinking of going over to Bicester Shopping Village. I need new shoes and it's Black Friday.'