Pot Calling the Kettle Friday

That’s possibly the worst title I’ve ever come up with.

Considering the types of shenanigans that typically occur during Black Friday, I was the only one of my friends that was looking forward to working when my store opened on November 29th. There just had to be a good story waiting for me when the doors opened at midnight, and I’d just had two on-the-scene reporting articles in the previous two weeks. Surely, Black Friday would come through just like the releases of the next-gen consoles.

However, you may have noticed that my blog is strangely absent of a Black Friday write-up. It wasn’t that I didn’t go or didn’t feel like following through; it was that the event went so unbelievably smoothly that I had zero content to work with. The customers at my store were very polite, kept their places in line, and calmly accepted the news once we ran out of PS4s and Xbox Ones. I didn’t imagine that it’d be enough to formulate a headline, so I decided to leave it be.

So, why am I writing about it now? Because I recently crossed paths with this.

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Apparently there was a story to tell, but it wasn’t in my area, right? …Right?

The story originated with an article posted by the Daily Currant, a website known for its outrageous parody articles. In this particular specimen, a woman in Chicago allegedly wrestled down three fellow shoppers and subsequently stabbed them each in the neck with a screwdriver in order to get her child the last Xbox One. Supposedly, when interviewed in jail, she said that she didn’t regret her actions in the least and would do it again. Other article highlights include patrons of a Target setting a Quiznos on fire due to a shortage of discount toasters and an admission from Wal-Mart that 5,000 shoppers were expected to die at their stores.

Of course, all of those statements are complete bullshit. The Daily Currant made it up, as just another fake news story for their satire news site. A simple glance at the bottom of the page to their other articles alone should be enough to clarify the credibility (or lack thereof) of the content.

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Okay, maybe the Kanye one doesn’t sound that unlikely.

However, trying to explain this to someone who’s already taken it at face value is only mildly easier than convincing the Westboro Baptist Church that Nelson Mandela was a pretty cool guy. The story has gone viral under the notion that these events actually happened; I myself only heard about it because it was discussed on a light-hearted news show. I had originally intended to write this article comparing the incident to the first part of the South Park Black Friday arc, as one of the shoppers shivs a security guard in his lust for discounted merchandise.

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DOCTOR WHO, NOOOO!

This plan went up in smoke the instant I started researching the story, which revealed within the first page of results that it was all a joke that’s since spiraled out of control. Wal-Mart even announced on their Twitter news feed that the story is exactly that: A story. As a matter of fact, not a single death was reported among Black Friday frenzies for 2013. The only fatality to occur happened long after the shopping itself was completed, as one unfortunate driver was too drowsy to maintain control of their vehicle after a long night of bargain hunting.

Sadly, it’s not that uncommon for misinformation to spread, especially on the internet. Shrinking attention spans and a total lack of fact-checking (or even an understanding of what that entails) has led to a bizarre paradox. More information than ever is readily available to the highest percentage of the populace ever in the course of human history, and yet we still have a significant portion of the general public that is woefully misinformed, sometimes about data that ought to have been learned in grade school. Worse yet, the ones that are the most out of touch with reality tend to be the loudest in demonstrating that they can’t tell their ass from a hole in the ground courtesy of the Dunning-Kruger effect, thereby spreading inaccurate information farther and faster.

Now, having said that, I don’t necessarily think that’s entirely responsible for what’s going on with this rumor. Rumors are easiest to spread when they contain a grain of truth. In the case of this story, the grain of truth isn’t specifically a woman killing for an Xbox; it’s the history of Black Friday hysteria. Given some of the outrageous shit that makes headlines in the wake of Black Friday sales, the idea that someone went so far as to shiv three people doesn’t actually sound that unlikely.

But consider what that says about us as a society. We’ve gotten to the point where we become so crazed, so frenzied, so depraved, that the idea of committing multiple homicide to get a great deal on electronics sounds completely par for the course. How did we end up here? What could possibly be the appeal of delving into the sort of environment where one finds themself pitted against people that they never would’ve batted an eye at on any other day of the year and being willing to come to blows in an effort to save $20 on a pocket garden hose? It’s utter madness, and anyone that thinks it has any redeeming qualities whatsoever is a sick fuck.

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One bad idea later…

…Hello, my name is Leedzie, and I’m a sick fuck who is now working on a Black Friday video game for my portfolio.

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I am not affiliated with The Daily Currant or Wal-Mart in any way, nor do I reflect their views or opinions. South Park is the property of Matt Stone, Trey Parker, and Comedy Central.

I also do not own the base image at the bottom, but I am the one that made the fighting game edits, and no you may not use it for yourself.

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About Leedzie

Leda "Leedzie" Clark is a writer and game designer with a sharp eye for detail and a kooky sense of humor. She's been a nerd as long as she can remember, and always seems to notice the wrong thing first in any given situation.

Posted on December 11, 2013, in Game Idea, Humor, Journalism, News, Video Games and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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