First came Hamburgers, General Motors, Halloween … now it seems Black Friday has gone global. What is this new US cultural export product and why is it spreading like a consumerist plague to countries that never had the opportunity or cultural need to give formal thanks for first colonists surviving a frozen winter/accepting hospitality from native peoples/getting rid of the British/eating a turkey — or whatever Thanksgiving was originally about before the shopping really started? In other words; we get the shopping, but not the festival that goes with it.
For instance, I’ve had a slew of enthusiastic posts from Brazil about Black Friday becoming a major consumer holiday there, that has resulted in overloading for call centers, crashing CRM systems and a frenzy of online shopping. Europe’s getting it too. London Guardian reports: “Black Friday sales stretched across the Atlantic (to the UK) with Apple, Currys, Dixons, PC World, Asda and Amazon all offering special US holiday discounts.” What’s going on?
Black Panthers, Black September, Blackjack, Paint it Black and Back to Black I can handle, but not Black Friday. Thanks America, but please take your Friday back — or should that be Black?