Saturday, November 29, 2008

A Rant... What is wrong with people???

This post was started yesterday but had to be put on hold because the emotions that came out were more of anger and shock.  What results today, is an edited version that is a little more palatable.  We hope our message is made clear here.

Okay... I still can't calm down enough to write very clearly about this and maybe that makes me a bad writer/blogger.  TOUGH!!  We had a perfectly wonderful post to put up about our meal from yesterday along with the recipes.  But that post won't go up until we get this rant over with.

In case you haven't been near a news source all day, let us catch you up:

Last night, a 34 year old man named Jdimytai Damour had Thanksgiving dinner at his half sister's house.  Right after dinner, he went to his job at the local Wal-Mart.  He stocked some shelves and did some maintenance work around the store while a crowd of over 2,000 people gathered outside.  At a little before 5am, that crowd ended his life when they burst through the glass doors of the store front and trampled him to death.  All in the name of consumerism.

One witness said people were irate when they were told someone had died and they needed to clear the store.  They kept shopping...

There's a new meaning to the name "Black Friday."

 Yes, we are consumers as well.  We do not make every stitch of clothing on our backs nor do we make our own shoes.  However, the past two years has brought us a new awareness of the futility of over consuming.  And, as regular followers of this blog can attest, we have been focusing on a more frugal lifestyle to curb this voracious appetite we had in us to buy buy buy every time we needed some "retail therapy" or whenever a little extra cash came our way.

We're not trying to sound self-righteous.  Just making a point.

That man has a family and, although we don't know anything about him as a person, there is no person who deserves to die in the name of consumerism gone raging mob.

What is wrong with people?  The mob was so focused on buying cheap consumer goods that they didn't notice or even care that a man was lying dead, literally, under their feet?  Does this make anyone else sick to their stomaches?  What has happened to us?  What have we done to our minds that we believe this was an acceptable behavior?  When did the attention to human life become so reduced for the sake of "getting the good stuff before it's all gone?"  What have we done?  Who are we becoming?  What is wrong with us?

Over quoted probably, but ringing loudly in our ears today: "Be the change you want to see in the world."  You don't have to subscribe to all the teachings of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi to understand that this is important in so many ways.  Right now, to us, it means that we must change first.  We have made the commitment this year to cut back on our consumerism and use what we have on hand rather than buy new.  Fix it, mend it, make it ourselves.  If we must buy it, try finding it used or free (LOVE Freecycle).  When we must buy, look for goods that are produced in a sustainable matter.  If none of the above works... see if we can do without.

In addition, this year for Christmas we have committed to making our gifts from what we already have rather than buying yet another gift that people may or may not need or want.  Gift baskets full of canned goods, knitted dish cloths, hot pads, scarves and gloves and pj's Jason is making are in our plans for this year.

As with the rest of this journey we have taken along this two year path, we did it with one step at a time.  It is true that a journey of 1000 miles starts with a single step.  First you take one, then the next then the next.  What step are you, our readers and friends, going to take first?  Have you already taken the first step?  If so, is it time for another step?  Tell us here what commitment you are making or would like to make next in order to further the human journey toward a more frugal lifestyle and away from the mentality that murdered a fellow human being yesterday.  What steps can you take?  What advice do you have to offer those of us not as far down the path as you?  Speak.  Share your knowledge with us now so we can maybe spark some ideas amongst ourselves that will lead to a world where it is unacceptable for a man to die trying to fend off crazed shoppers.  Help us become a planet where children and families are not exploited to produce cheaper and cheaper goods for corporate entities to market in our retail stores.

Speak.  And end this mess.  Help us see that there is hope out there.  Speak.

talk to you soon...
The Shibaguyz


Mo said...

Even as I read the title to your post I knew what it was going to be about! I too was filled with shock and disbelief after I heard about this. Just what kind of a world are we living in when someone can die like this. So so sad. :(

Frances said...

Hello Guyz, as soon as I saw your title I knew what this was going to be about. Not listening to any news but seeing this story in the NYT, it did make me so sad and so sick in my heart about that poor man and the mob mentality that caused his death. You are right about cutting back, we have been primed for years by the government, business and advertisers to live to shop. I think it's over though. The credit is being pulled back to adjust to the reality of no more equity in houses to pilfer for that car, vacation, electronics or other luxuries that we really didn't need or could not even afford. Now is the time to start living within our means if we haven't already. If we can't afford to pay cash for it, don't buy it. That should stop a whole lot of the mindless buying. Let this man's death begin the change in our hearts and minds.

julian said...

You're right about reducing our buying - so many things that are bought just get thrown away after a short time...

Also, part of the problem is that manufacturers make things to be disposable - if only they would plan ahead for spare parts and repairable (is that a word??) products.

mr_subjunctive said...

Some of the comments I've seen on the blogs (notably Pandagon have pointed out that Wal-Mart is a lot more responsible than the shoppers: Wal-Mart could have created and enforced a line (since they knew what was going to be happening anyway, having done it every year for a while now). Other stores do things like stamping numbers on people's hands (to prevent line-jumping), renting security, handing out vouchers for the sale items before opening the doors, that kind of thing.

Also, the people in the line are not as responsible as you might think: if you're toward the front, you've got 300 people pressing on you from behind. Even if you knew there was a problem and wanted to stop and help the guy, you probably literally couldn't have, or you'd get trampled yourself. And if you're in the back, well, it's not like you know there's a guy on the floor up ahead: the only people who know that are in the front, and they're not likely to think, in the moment, to call back to you to let you know. And if they did think, you probably wouldn't hear them anyway.

Granted that we don't know that people would have stopped if they'd known what was going on, but still. I'd like to think that some of them would. I doubt that the people involved are any worse than anybody else.

I agree, though, that obviously there's something pretty fracked about a country where these kinds of sales and promotions are seen as normal. But I don't think this is something new in human nature, either.

Karen said...

So sad to lose a life to the madness of a shopping crowd. I don't even understand the whole Black Friday thing anyway, and am so bummed out by all the consumerism of the holidays, in which I shamefully participate at least to some degree. I do try to shop locally and at independent stores (Top 10 Toys and the UW Bookstore here in Seattle, mostly) and request gifts that are either made or at least purchased locally too (or GC's from independent plant nurseries like Swanson's). I'm totally with you on this rant! I have been meaning to check out Freecycle, thanks for the reminder.

Kathryn/ said...

Hi, Guyz, I think I've been so utterly absorbed by what happened in Bombay that while I knew about this sad death I've been more pondering why any of this madness is taking place. Is there a common thread? Ignorance? Misplaced values? A UK paper ran photos of the 20 most dangerous places to visit in the world. Walmart in New York didn't make the list, unfortunately, but for that poor young man, it clearly was. As I pondered those photos (Iraq,Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Haiti,Columbia, South Africa,etc.) I saw a commonality on the faces of the (largely) men portrayed and found myself asking, "What is it they share?" Brute force, for one. Aggression. Lack of caring for others. Respect. Love. Far afield as it sounds, there is a commonality that needs to be addressed in the human condition. What can we do as individuals to make a difference?For that young man in Walmart, perhaps reach out to his family,for starters. They must really be wondering WHY?

LivingSimply47 said...

I wrote about this myself today over on my blog. I just boggled my mind. I spent a LOT of today soul searching and asking myself how I can "Bring Simple Back" on a larger scale. Glad to know that you feel the same disbelief and want to take active steps.
Hugs and Love Guyz,

Anna/flowergardengirl said...

I saw the headlines for this news item on my homepage and didn't even read further because it brought back painful memories.

I know that nothing should be so adored that we would risk this kind of attitude to stampede anything in our way to gain access.

When I was a young mom, my kids played soccer. They were soccer fans and watched all the world teams compete. That year several people were killed at a soccer game because of a stampeding crowd. I was in shock so I know how you feel right now.

The first time you hear of a crowd of people having the ability to mow down a few people and not know it---it is frightening. I was thinking if that was my child--I would forever grieve.

I could not read the story about this poor employee of the big box store and the lack of compassion by the people. It's heartless. I just can't stand it. It's like dropping off puppies in an abondoned location to fend for themselves-heartless.

patientgardener said...

This hadnt reached us in the UK - its awful. I suppose it is a combination of greed and people worrying about money. Personaly I avoid shops as much as possible and beleive that if you have your health and enough food everything lse can wait. You see this sort of consumerism here in the UK after Xmas when they have the Jan sales, hopefully nothing like this will happen.

sowing the seeds said...

I find it shocking that this kind of thing could happen? Why would the store let 2000 people in at once at 5am? It all seems like utter craziness. My thoughts are with this poor man's family, right on Christmas. The world just seems to be going mad at the moment. It's good to let people know how you feel about these things,no need to edit out the anger and frustration, you are both passionate, loving humans. I would want you on my side :)

JGH said...

As if that's not enough, when they tried to close the store, some of the shoppers didn't want to leave. They justified it by saying "but we've been waiting in line since Thursday night." It's shockling enough when it happens at rugby games and rock concerts, but shopping for Christmas gifts? So much for peace and goodwill toward our fellow man.

Dave said...

I was shocked to hear that on the news. It's appalling what some people do and completely opposite anything the holiday season stands for. I despise the crowds this time of year and do what I can to avoid them.

VP said...

That's awful. And ironically yesterday was International No Purchase Day. The day for reflection about the crazy consumerist society we've become.

At least you Guyz are an example of what we could become if a substantial number of people actually started living the message of INPD. So be proud of yourselves.

Lucy said...

Unlike Patient Gardener, I did hear this on the news (in England).

Something similar happened a while back when an IKEA shop opened. (IKEA sells furniture and lampshades.)

You ask for suggestions. I feel out of this because I have never found shopping interesting and I don't like crowds so I can't imagine what all those people were doing there in the first place.

I think this may be part of the trouble when trying to move the world towards living in a more frugal way. Many of us were never big consumers so we aren't necessarily the right people to persuade others to change - we (people like me) lack the imagination to think ourselves into a position where we are able / want to buy lots of new things and anything we say sounds too much like saying 'Hey folks, wouldn't it be great if you were all a bit more like me!'

I used to think change would come solely through moral argument. I also thought change arrived at in any other way wasn't quite good enough.


But now, change enforced by cirmcumtance may be the only way forward.

Funny thing is, I've noticed a new fashion - being poor! It has become socially acceptable (even expected) to say 'of course, times are hard'.

For those of us who have never been big earners, it's quite funny. Lots of things people are scaling down to are things I would have liked to scale up to!

And I think there may be parallels with what happened in Mumbai - a sort of narrow focus that makes people relentless in pursuing their (ambiguous) goals.

And humour - you can't shoot someone with humour. You can't press forward, determined to buy a new toaster, come what may, with humour either. You are bound, at some point, to stand back and say 'what on earth am I doing?' - and stop.


Einat said...

This news is shameful beyond all reason.

Your suggestions about making gifts is a good one. For the less crafty among us, I like taking family members out to dinner at local, sustainable restaurants, or to do events rather than "stuff."

Shibaguyz said...

Mo - agreed. What do we do from here? How do we take the next step out of this kind of world? If everyone was asked to do just one thing, what would yours be?

Frances - Great suggestion there! If you can't pay cash for it, don't buy it. That kind of hits the whole issue dead center, right? Living within our means. That was a HUGE step for us. Believe me, we were the perfect model of the typical consumer. Learning the lesson and following that mantra was tough but we got there. Great suggestion: If you can't pay cash for it, don't buy it.

Also, we too agree that sometimes change must happen through some cataclysmic act in order to facilitate the change. It's just unfortunate that, in this case, it had to be the death of a human being.

Julian - Planned obsolescence is the phrase for what you are describing. It was most noticeably implemented by the commercial manufacturers back in the early 80's when they wanted to force consumers into buying new products by making sure the product they put out initially was either too difficult or too expensive to repair. They put out crap goods to ensure we would have to buy again and drove the price down to we would want to buy again rather than use conventional methods to repair them. Good point!

mr subjunctive - You bring up a couple of very good points here.
1. Wal-Mart has fought tooth and nail against the unionization of their employees. If those unions had been in place, there would have been more mandatory safety measures in place like increased security & safety barriers. In the NYT article. The local union rep was quoted as saying exactly that.
2. We agree that the mob mentality does not lead to being able to control the situation very well from inside that mob. You are likely to be trampled or crushed yourself. Our answer to that is: Don't be in that mob in the first place. If the situation is rising to that point of danger, why would a person not get out?
3. We too would like to think that some of them would have done something about it. Unfortunately, not a single one of the shoppers, at least according to the witnesses and the video cameras, did stop and help afterward. What they did was yell and complain when they were told the store was closing because an employee had been killed. They refused to leave and continued to shop.
4. Yes, using convenient BSG terms... it is, indeed... fracked! And, we agree with you that this is nothing new in human nature. It is, however, pretty fracked that we are so easily targeted by marketing and that we fall prey to these types of rabid acts of consumerism.

What do we do to stop it? What is the first step we take?

Karen - Black Friday is where the retail establishments leverage our desire to buy cheap goods for the holiday season along with the fact that most people have that day after Thanksgiving off, into pulling their businesses our of the "Red" and into the "Black." Red = negative cash flow, Black = positive cash flow.

We too have participated in this type of planned consumer gluttony for years. We even enjoyed it and made an experience out of the entire day. We're not trying to sound self-righteous like we haven't fed into this our entire lives either... we're just trying to open up a dialogue about how to change it now. We look upon it that it was our generation that probably ramped up this whole mess... now it is our responsibility to do something about it.

Freecycle is a great place to start! Good for you for taking that step. Plus, it's kind of fun... like digging through the attic to see what you can find to play with! LOL

Kathryn - Agreed. It is a human condition that reaches far beyond the one incident yesterday. However, like so many other movements in history, maybe it is this one event that we can look to as an example to drive this need for change home. Maybe we can look into the minds eye and see ourselves either in that mob or as that man in the pathway of the mob. Maybe that is the first step we must take.

Agreed. A great place to start would be to connect with the human side of this particular tragedy but also to the greater atrocities of the human condition as it stands today and see where we can reach out and connect.

LivingSimply - We'd love to hear you comment here on where your journey of soul searching about bringing simple back brought you. What is the first little step you are going to take? Please do share! It may spark something for the rest of us to latch on to!

Anna - Agreed. I know that we personally have experienced the mob mentality from both sides of the fence and it is overwhelmingly frightening. We were circumstantially caught too near the WTO riots here in Seattle. A different type of mob, but two clashing mobs that nearly destroyed our neighborhood and did a LOT of damage to property and lives on our street. It seems that even the best of intentions can turn quickly.

So what is the next step? Compassion? Respect for life? If we took one thing from your statement here, it was a reminder that someone said to us several years ago. She talked about seeing everyone with a 10 over their head. It was an exercise in always expecting the best out of someone you first meet or even people you deal with on a daily, long-term basis. The idea is that if you hold everyone you encounter in that type of light, you will have more respect for them as a fellow human and not just look at them as an object to be "encountered" then thrown aside. Maybe that is our first step?

Thanks for the reminder!

patientgardener - Yes, we go through this again with the after-Christmas sales as well. Everyone starts stocking up on items for NEXT year! Again, we used to do this as well. And we made a conscious choice just a few years ago to walk away from it. So what is that first step?

You bring up a good point that there are some folks who feel like having health and enough to eat is enough to be happy. A quick web search for Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs brings a quick reminder that there are some basic functions we all rely on. Maybe a quick re-focusing on and reminder of those is what we are missing in order to take that first step.

Personally, I can speak to this in that it does seem that I get more out of whack when something is out of place in my hierarchy of needs. Maybe it is a gaping hole in this that sends us into a panic and results in war, greed and mob mentality like we saw on Friday. hhhmmm... Thanks for that reminder. Fascinating.

Readers, if you haven't studied this concept in a while, do a quick search on Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. It really snapped us into focus here just within the past few minutes. Thanks for that PG!!

sowing the seeds - We can only hope we would live up to what you needed when it came to needing us on your side. We would like to think we have been that type of people. You honor us with such a statement. Thank you.

JGH - Again, you bring up a good point. Maybe the first step for some of us should be to "hold that 10" above the other person's head as we pass them on the street. If we all assume the best about our fellow beings, then we would treat them with more respect and honor immediately rather than casting them aside and not even notice them at all. Good point.

Dave - I'm not going to say that we don't enjoy being around the busy bustle of the holidays. One of our favorite things has been to go downtown and sip coffee or have a cocktail and watch everyone scurry around. For us, I think, it was more about just seeing our city alive and breathing. We also enjoyed the sounds and the sights of the music and lights of the season. One of the HUGE buildings downtown has performers all during this season including an aerialist that flies around between the shops. Then, as a grand finale, it snows indoors! Remember... we don't often get snow here.

For us, being a part of that was a matter of walking down the street since we lived right downtown. Now, however, we feel more like you and don't really like driving into the city and fighting with the cars and crowds.

VP - Yes, Saturday was the anti-consumerism movements answer to Black Friday. They have started a movement called Buy Nothing Day. If you do a quick search on that phrase, you can find some very interesting videos and photos. Definitely drives the message home... and some of them are quite funny.

Thank you for your kind comment. We do try to take a step at a time toward being less voracious consumers. Believe me... that was a BIG step for us! We have always been the model of a perfect consumer. But, a few little steps at a time, we have moved away from that until it seems an alien way of thinking to us.

Lucy - Agreed. It can come across as a little preachy and even self-righteous if the message is perceived incorrectly. However, we have ALWAYS been heavy consumers up until the last few years. TOTAL shopping binges. So maybe we just need to get out there and yell more loudly about how we made our change in small steps.

Something important you bring up is the fact that there are many many many folks out there who do not participate nor have they every participated heavily in the rampant consumerism culture. For whatever reason, some of you have naturally moved away from that type of life. Maybe even for some it was never an option. Whatever the case, I feel you all can play a vital role in helping the rest of us find new ways to get off the addiction we have toward consuming.

Whether you have never done it at all or whether you moved away from it early on in your lives, those of you with that knowledge can give the rest of us inspiration to take our steps. You can provide us with a new view of the world that does not include consuming to the point of killing ourselves, our fellow humans and the planet.

Your point of change through moral argument versus through change enforced by circumstance is valid and very intriguing if you think about it. Some people are moved by one, where others are moved by the other. There are people out there who can readily see the need for change through the series of moral or logical deductions leading them to that change. However, there are also those out there, like myself, who it sometimes takes a rock hitting us in the back of the head to see what is happening around us.

This, indeed, is the crux of all activist movements. Walking that fine line between those two human natures is both dangerous and necessary if you want the full impact of your message to be heard.

GREAT points!! Thank you for sharing!

Einat - This is a growing movement which we whole heartedly support as well. "Giving the gift of an experience" is something more and more folks are catching on to. A few years ago, I took this first step by buying Jason an afternoon of para-gliding for Christmas. He was more thrilled with that than anything else I got him... even though it terrified me!

There are even a number of local websites out there featuring businesses that are "experience based" in nature. That way you have an entire database of places to buy from for this type of gift giving.

And, as always, spending extra time with your family and friends during the holiday season is really the best part of it. With that in mind, your local, sustainable restaurant idea is a great one. We have a number of those here in Seattle now. We're definitely going to heck those out as possible gift giving ideas. Thanks for the great suggestion!!

To all - Thanks for this dialogue! It is at least a place to start and there are some great, diverse perspectives offered here. Keep it coming! What are you doing to take your first step?

chaiselongue said...

Like you, I was shocked and angered by this news report when I saw it yesterday. And it was supposed to be Buy Nothing Day this weekend. Unfortunately people are fooled into thinking that consumerism can make them feel good and give them what they want - but it can't in the long term, or even in the short term. We try to live sustainably - we buy locally, we hardly go to supermarkets except for a few things we can't get elsewhere, we repair things, make things last and exchange and share with our friends and neighbours. I wrote about this on my blog on Thursday. How very sad that one family have lost someone like this, just because of people's greed and the politicians' hope that people will buy them out of the economic crisis.

naturewitch said...

agree totally with your shock and anger over this incident. it's outrageous and NOT in a good way. xx

Stuart said...

Preach it guyz. I read about this story yesterday and couldn't believe it myself for the very same reasons. How deplorable!!!

We are cutting back our consumer spending this year too because, honestly, we're a little over it all. We asked our kids to recall the presents they received last Christmas from loved ones and, ashamedly, we all failed. That's not good!!!

themanicgardener said...

Excellent rant, guyz. This awful, awful event seems destined to serve as a symbol of just how mindless and inhumane our greed for "stuff" can make us--though Mr. Subjunctive's reminders about how crowds actually work seem to me important and timely. Like Karen (I think it was Karen) I've been wondering if a fund has been set up for the poor guy's family. Anyone know?

Aunt Debbi/kurts mom said...

This is so sick and sad. Crowds do stupid things, but setting up a shopping day that is so crazy bad it is labled "Black Friday" says a lot about our society. I don't believe in the shopping maddness and don't even go out the Friday after Thanksgiving.

nancybond said...

There is hope, and there is good. Your sweet selves are a prime example. Sometimes, the good just gets sucked under by the outrageous and unspeakable. I was horrified and incredulous when I heard this on the news -- I can't even get my head around that kind of greed. I'm not sure what the answer is, but I do think Wal*Mart has to take a huge chunk of the responsibility for the way they handle this type of holiday shopping. But what it all comes back to is that they shouldn't have to! People need to start exercising some restraint and exhibiting human-like behavior. Truly, it reminds one of a pack of hungry animals, willing to kill anything in the way of its catch. It's all just so sad...not just for the fatality, but as a statement on what we've become.

I love your Christmas gift ideas -- and they'll mean a whole lot more to the recipients than anything you could ever find at Wal*Mart.

In the meantime, you might see a bit of that hope and goodness in this short video:

Ilona said...

I think you have well expressed the sadness, anger, and shock we all feel in the wake of that news story- a man's life, and for what?

kris at t.m. said...

Since a lot of days are a "buy nothing day" (Black Friday especially) for me, I've been having a hard time understanding what drives the people who might break down a life in order to shop. I'm glad to see all the comments above mine and to hear you say we must be the change we want to see. My family has agreed to give charitable donations this year in each each others names - I can't wait to see what's given! Thank you for your rant and may we all have a safe and peaceful season from here on in.

Colleen said...

It's disgusting. I was just completely sickened when I read about it in the paper here. I have never understood Black Friday, but I have been unlucky enough to work retail (Target and Marshall Fields) on Black Fridays in the past, and people turn into complete animals, running in the doors screaming like morons because they're getting ten dollars off of some piece of crap that was on sale the week before if they'd bothered to buy it then. When I worked at Target, we had two fistfights, both between women, on the same Black Friday. I just don't get it...and here a man has lost his life. People need to seriously look at what they are doing. It's like "Lord of the Flies" every Black Friday, and it's gotten beyond ridiculous.

our friend Ben said...

Go guyz!!! I agree that those of us who are able should try to give homemade gifts (beautiful scarves, home-canned goods, and homemade candies and cookies in Silence's case). We pray that this ludicrous death---a human being dying in the name of consumerism---will raise awareness so that people will think before they shop.

perennialgardener said...

I couldn't believe this tragic situation either guyz! That poor family is in my thoughts & prayers. How materialistic has this nation become to value saving a $ over a person's life!

Paul Riddell said...

I've lived in Dallas for most of my life, and I joke about how the best documentary ever made about the city is Dawn of the Dead. It looks as if we're now starting to emulate the remake and not just the original.

For what it's worth, and I want to emphasize that I'm agreeing with you two, I've seen this same insane behavior for years, and not just in Dallas. Back in 1985, I took a job with a JCPenney being constructed in Appleton, Wisconsin, and the first month there was spent putting the place together. I mean that literally: I was dumping leftover display packaging, sweeping floors, cleaning lighting fixtures after the electricians installed them, the works. Even though the store had signs on all of its outside doors reading "We officially open on November 3", we still had zombielike behavior from people trying to get in. When I explained to one woman who was beating on the door with her walker that we wouldn't be open for another three weeks, I waved behind me so she could see the bare wires hanging from the ceiling and the naked mannequins, and all she could do was yell "WHY?!" (I had a similar experience with one guy who was equally determined to get in, who wanted to come inside and tell off the manager because we weren't open to his satisfaction. He was almost as bad as the woman who came in through the service entrance, literally walked over a person-high stack of 2x4s to get into the store, lifted up plastic sheeting and dodged construction workers to view clothing racks, and then complained to an electrician about how she hadn't had anyone help her for a full hour.)

The finale was my own personal experience. Three days before the store opened, we took down the plywood covering the main mall entrance, and it really was like something from a George Romero movie. People would come up, thump on the window, and leave if they didn't see any of the living inside. The day before we opened, I was assigned to vacuum out the channel for the main doorway, so I figured "It's six ayem on a Sunday morning; I won't have any problems, right?" I opened the gate, only to spend all of my time trying to tell zombies that we wouldn't be open for a day, and being told in return "Oh, I just want to look." I finally had to settle for opening the door a foot at a time and blocking the entrance with my body while I was vacuuming, and I still had morons who tried to step over me to get inside.

Between this and a truly horrible experience working for a Starbucks in the Dallas Galleria five years ago, I stay as far away from venues such as this as I can this time of the year. Speaking from experience, I'm willing to bet that some of the people who trampled this guy to death probably complained to the manager about how they couldn't find mats to wipe the blood off their shoes.

Mo said...

Hi Shibaguyz,

Wow, that's a tough one, One thing I would do??

Since I have started truly looking at the way I shop, or used to shop, I have seen a mega shift in myself, and like Lucy I was never a person who enjoyed trawling through the shops. I have definitely always been an in-and-out, buy what you need, kind of a shopper. However, now I am even MORE so, to the point that I don't go into to shops at all unless I am buying food, or an item that we truly need, and that hasn't been much at all since I started compacting.

I think we have to really start defining "want" and "need". That concept has been totally lost in our culture, and I still sometimes find myself saying "oh I really need that", and then realize what a silly thing I just said.

It is always nice to have lovely things, and to enjoy luxuries occasionally, (my new camera being a prime example), but it becomes a problem when an entire culture becomes dependent on this. Eventually I think it causes us to lose so much as individuals, and as a community.

That still doesn't really address the one thing I would do, but for me a total change in mind set away from "stuff" is the most important change that has occured.

Aiyana said...

And now the excuses for that mob's behavior have started. "No one is really responsible if the mob mentality kicks in", "They couldn't stop and put their own life in danger", "This is what happens when people don't have adequate incomes to buy what they need at regular price", and on and on. The excuses are as disgusting as the act itself. I think this is one of the contributors to the callousness that went on. Constant excuses for unacceptable acts. No one can help what they do. These savages are just that. Savages.

Victoria said...

My first step is not very original. It's to remember to use charity shops (stateside, I think you call them thrift stores). In London, they are desperate for donations because a combination of stringent parking controls, and commercial scams means that the level of donations has dropped dramatically. (The commercial schemes usually involve putting donation bags that look like charity bags through your door, so you leave the stuff outside the house instead of dropping it off at a shop.)
This weekend, I bought some cute Christmas cards from a cancer charity shop and found a VHS box set of the first series of Friends for my 14-year-old daughter for £1.50 ($2.25). It's nice to go home with a bargain AND a warm glow inside.

lostlandscape said...

I'm still thinking about the event X days later. I'm not sure that I have much to add, but I'd like to second the idea of staying out the of the mob in the first place, literally and metaphorically. I'm sure there were lots of people there who knew exactly what was happening and what they were trampling over, but giving up your free will to the mob can make you a participant in some pretty horrific things.

Yah, keep things simple. Many people around me are going to get a big hug and a treasure from the garden. Why are we talked into believing by the merchandisers that what we can offer is never good enough?

Dee/reddirtramblings said...

I like shopping for Christmas, but I do most of my shopping in small local stores light years away from the day after Thanksgiving. I also order some online. I love the idea of making my presents, but alas, this year, with four kids, I don't have the time.

However, I think the bigger issue is that stores need to stop having these outrageous "loss leaders" on Black Friday. Without their "crack" shoppers will calm down and not plan all Thanksgiving Day which stores they will hit.

That is such a sad story. I don't watch the news much anymore, but even I heard about it.~~Dee

Carolyn gail said...

As Robert Burns said " Man's inhumanity to man makes countless thousands mourn. "

The simple answer to "What is wrong with people ???" is inhumanity. A young man's life is sacrificed for material goods and in a country where life is thought to be valued. How sad that its come to this.

I love your "keep it simple " lifestyle. Growing up in the rural South we never went Christmas shopping. We had to be creative in making gifts and just enjoying each other's presence as we celebrated the birthday of the Christ child in a small country church. Those are the Christmases I remember most.

I like to donate food to the poor and our homeless animal friends at Christmas.

I wish more people would join your lifestyle away from materialism toward the true meaning of life.

Kim said...

YES! Made me sick and still makes me sick to think about it, as does thinking about those who get trampled at sporting events.

I don't know that I'm contributing to change, but I do try to treat my fellow man as I'd wish to be treated. Each and every one of us, no matter the circumstances or station, deserves a degree of respect simply because we are human beings. If we all just treated every other person with respect, the world would change.

I am trying to cut back. I am growing more food and participating in a CSA in the summer. I'm making more gifts and buying handmade when I can. Maybe that does help, too.

livinginalocalzone said...

Oh yes!! When I heard about this it made me sick. Just to think about it (which I've been doing the past week) is frightening.
I am trying to do what I can to, as another poster mentioned, treat the world (and the people in it) so as to show that everything has intrinsic value in some way and deserves respect. My CSA shares have done more than give me good food, it helps support those who also care and tend for the earth - and also help connect me to that process. Growing food this past summer and fall had even a more profound effect. And each time I knead dough, it hits home for some reason.
One of the things that I think is most important is to help young people see how their lives interact with others and how they can also be stewards of the world around them. I just fell into it from my parents, without even realizing it. As a child, things just seem to work because it is interesting, and then it becomes ingrained I think. Being the change.... something to remember.