I was wondering why there seemed to be so many more people in Westfield than usual.
Queues in every shop; shoppers actually bumping into us as we walked from one shop to another. Then I saw a large advertising sign:
‘Black Friday Specials’
What the hell is ‘Black Friday’?
Over the past few days, I had noticed a few uninvited emails popping into my in-box with something about ‘Black Friday’, which I had just deleted. But it was not until I saw the sign in the shopping centre, that (being a bit slow on the uptake) I realised that this (somehow 'special') Friday had something to do with shopping. But what, exactly, I had no idea.
So, once I was home, off I went to read what Mr Google had to say.
At first, when I ‘researched’ ‘Black Friday’ all that came up were ‘Black Friday’ sales advertisements.
There they were for Kmart, Amazon, The Good Guys, Myer and all manner of retailers, including pharmacies and even airlines and newspapers!
I wasn’t really interested in sales, so I searched for ‘What is Black Friday?’
Here, folks, is what I discovered:
- “Black Friday, in U.S. history, Sept. 24, 1869, when plummeting gold prices precipitated a securities market panic. The crash was a consequence of an attempt by financier Jay Gould and railway magnate James Fisk to corner the gold market and drive up the price.
That didn’t sound right, so I looked a little further and found:
- “Black Friday is the name given to the shopping day after Thanksgiving. It was originally called Black Friday because the volume of shoppers created traffic accidents and sometimes even violence. ... In the 1950s, people began calling in sick the day after Thanksgiving to give themselves a four-day weekend.”
What the hell? It’s obviously some crazy American thing.
But, but…we, here in Australia, have never celebrated Thanksgiving…I’m so ignorant I don’t even know what the Americans give thanks for.
Later, I read that Australia has been using the ‘Black Friday’ selling campaign for about five years. Who noticed? Not me!
So, next question:
Australia and 'Black Friday'?
Without the Thanksgiving marker, or any public holidays, Black Friday is currently not a big event in Australia. ... Cyber Monday, the Monday after Black Friday, popular for online shopping super sales, has even lower awareness in Australia”.
Cyber Monday!!!!!!???? Cyber Monday??? Cyber bloody Monday????
What on earth is that supposed to be? I must have been living under a rock, as I have never encountered these strange commemorative sales days.
In Australia, our ‘Black Friday’ used to be all about the horrendous bushfires of 1939:
“The Victorian bushfires of 13 January 1939, known as Black Friday, were the culmination of several years' drought in the state, following by high temperatures and strong winds. These conditions fanned several fires – some of which had been burning since early December – into a massive fire front.”
We have had other, even worse bushfires.
One referred to as ‘Black Saturday’ in 2009, killed 173 people.
So, really, our ‘Black’ days are nothing to celebrate!
To any intelligent Australian, using the term ‘Black Friday’ as a maniacal selling tool should be nearer to an insult than an encouragement to go out and buy, buy, buy!.
Actually, ‘Black’ any day is nothing to really celebrate in U.S. either.
“Black Thursday is the name given to Thursday, October 24, 1929, when panicked investors sent the Dow Jones Industrial Average plunging 11 percent at the open in very heavy volume. Black Thursday began the Wall Street crash of 1929, which lasted until October 29, 1929.”
So, this ‘Black Friday’ is just another marketing ploy dreamed up to get the gullible out and about, with their credit cards at the ready.
I truly think Australia could well do without it.
PS: The picture I have used to accompany this little whinge was taken on Australia’s ‘Black Friday’ in 1939.