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Black Friday spectacle is waste of time, money - The Red and Black : Opinion

Black Friday spectacle is waste of time, money

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Posted: Friday, November 23, 2012 7:00 pm | Updated: 10:44 am, Mon Sep 16, 2013.

I don't need to buy anything on Black Friday.

I have more than enough clothes — enough that I probably need to weed out a few for charity.

Nor do I need bargain DVDs, half off books or 70 percent off games. Between buying games at the Autumn Steam Sale and some spur of the moment Kindle shopping, I've got more entertainment than I'll touch for the next year.

But still, I'm getting up at 5 a.m. to add to the mindless throngs.

Trust me, I protested, to the point where my father yelled at me to stop being a rebel. I still won't be buying anything.

Black Friday is one of those American holidays that sheds a light on the bad side of capitalism — thronging en masse to push strangers out of the way so you buy more things you really don't need in the name of "saving money."

Few people who participate in Black Friday only buy what they need, which is how saving money works. You only save money if you spend less on something you were going to buy anyway. Buying $100 worth of $5 DVDs that you wouldn't have touched otherwise doesn't count.

We've all seen the ads. "Store doors open at 4 a.m. Come get 50 percent off whatchamacallits and $10 thingamabobs to add to the collection of thingamajigs crowding your shelves from last year's 4 a.m. opening. Then complain in one week how you don't have enough money, but defend your purchases by saying you 'saved so much.' Happy Black Friday!"

To think, on Thanksgiving we were all so thankful for what we already had.

I don't need more jeans from Bass Pro Shop. But my dad thinks I do.

So I'll be out there while people complain about the crowds they're contributing to. I'll also listen to my parents complain about the hour, as if participating in this madness was mandatory.

You don't have to go just because J.C. Penney decides to open at 3 a.m. to sell $2 neckties. You also don't have to roll out of bed with your checkbook just because there are three for $5 pot holders.

It's not mandatory. It's just a gimmick.

So if you don't need anything but just want to "save money," do us all a favor. Stay at home.

When you do actually need something, it'll be a dollar better spent.

— Tiffany Stevens is the variety editor of The Red & Black

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