The idea of Black Friday is not new in the United States, as well as in many other countries. As soon as Thanksgiving Day is over, the next 24 hours can be used by people to enjoy unbelievable sales and buy millions of good with impressive discounts. Some citizens find this opportunity impressive and unique. Many people believe that Black Friday is one of the best commercial decisions ever made. There are also groups of people who like to discuss the worth of this event and its possible effects on people. Andrew Leonard’s article “Black Friday: Consumerism Minus Civilization” is based on the claim that “healthy consumerism becomes out-of-control marketing-driven commodity fetishism” (p. 166). This author likes to investigate numerous positive and negative aspects of Black Friday in order not to define the outcome of the event, but to explain that it is possible to have both normal and wrong understanding of how to spend the Friday after Thanksgiving.
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In the article under discussion, the author does not hurry up to develop one particular position and convince the reader to accept it. On the one hand, there are several sentences about how powerful and interesting Black Friday commercials can be found on YouTube. Many “vigorous sprees of retail spending” can be approved and supported as a possibility to protect and improve the US economy (Leonard 165). Consumerism is a powerful tool to make as many goods and services available to ordinary people as possible. On the other hand, the author says that people have already gone too far and cannot stop, turning their actions and decisions into insanity (Leonard 166). It is hard to understand the limitations that can be appropriate and reasonable. Leonard refers to the commercials with a Craze Target Lady who represents the whole America with its passion to use Black Friday to its full possible extent.
Unfortunately, not all people who are ready to spend one day and one night at such shops as Wal-Mart, Kohl’s, or Target recognize themselves in the image of that Crazy Lady. This is what Leonard wants to underline in his article claiming that it is normal to use Black Friday as the period of sales to find an interesting good at an affordable price. However, when people are ready to spend a sleepless night just to get a chance and buy a thing, the rationality of such decision turns out to be equal to zero, being used with such epithets as “scary”, “wrong”, or “insane” (Leonard 165). Therefore, using the ideas and statements offered by Leonard in the article and relying on the observations that can be made the day after Thanksgiving, it is possible to say that Black Friday has already become a significant and serious concept in modern society. Still, it is overrated. People should use this day as an opportunity to meet their personal needs as consumers, but not as a day to demonstrate their scariest skills, thoughts, and possibilities to compete and get the cheapest offers.
In general, the article by Andrew Leonard is an interesting and educative source full of evidence and personal judgments properly combined and supported. It is not enough to say that Black Friday is a good or bad discovery of the 20th century that gained new standards at the beginning of the 21st century. It is normal to have both positive and negative feelings for this event. The only thing that is required is to stay a human being even if one sale is missed.
Leonard, Andrew. “Black Friday: Consumerism Minus Civilization.” The Norton Field Guide to Writing, edited by Richard Bullock, W.W. Norton & Company, 2016, pp. 164-168.