Only in America…

Only in America would the start of shopping season be a holiday; and only in America would the day result in death…

Wal-Mart worker dies in rush; two killed at toy store –

OMFG! What have we become, people? The death of a person would be tragic under a variety of conditions: disease, accident caused by someone else’s negligence, or domestic violence. But for a man to lose his life, at the age of 34, because of rabid, deal-crazed, shoppers?! That goes beyond tragic and into the pathetic and unconscionable.

O.k., now I was raised in this country, which means I was raised to be a consumer, and a capitalist. And sure, I’ve had things – material things – that I’ve wanted over the years (and certainly, with my own belt-strings being pulled tight this past year and a half due to the rotten employment situation, the “wants” list has grown longer). But never – ever – in my life can I remember, nor envision, there being something I needed or would want that would cause me to stampede to the extent that other people got injured, not to mention killed.

This is behavior that we expect from wild animals living in the open plain or forest when fire breaks out or there is a predator nearby; this is not behavior I expect from other members of my own race.

Shameful. My heart is very heavy with hurt tonight.

I’m re-posting here a link I put up on Tumblr earlier today, linking to AdBusters‘ page on Neil Boorman’s interesting video piece on “The Good Consumer.” His piece is stark, ironic, and haunting. He provides a good “big picture” analysis of the psychological underpinnings (and perhaps consequences) to our dependability on a consumer-driven world economy (and national/social identity).