Saturday, November 29, 2008

What Would You Kill For?

I don't usually commentate on current events because 1) there are others better informed than me, and 2) if you wanted the news you'd be reading a news site right now instead of mine. But one news story I heard today I can't get out of my mind, so you get to hear about it.

I actually wanted to entitle this blog post "Greedy SOB's" or few other choice words that I know some of you would find very offensive. I felt that the perpetrators of this act deserved something shocking and disrespectful--BUT--out of respect to you, the readers, I've gone a different direction.

If you haven't read the story yet about a Wal-Mart employee being trampled by a rabid mob, you can catch the story here, and then learn a little bit more here.

I am apalled. Worse than appalled; I am FURIOUS! What kind of a person breaks down store doors in order to grab a shiny plastic toy 5 minutes earlier than planned? What kind of a person shoves to the ground anyone who stands between them and $10 dollars off a digital camera? What kind of a person trips on an injured man and leaves him gasping for air on the floor so they can scamper to the electronics section and grab a plasma TV? Unfortunately, there were thousands of such monstrous individuals ammassed in front of a New York Wal-Mart this morning.

Imagine those who came home from shopping, wiped the [metaphorical] blood off their feet and went inside to wrap up their "bargain" gifts! "Don't you love your new mp3 player? I stepped on a man's head to get it for you!"

I am so angry at these people! How dare they assume that the life and safety of another is worth less than the plastic and metal gadgets they heaped into their carts? I wish there were a way to prosecute every single person who stepped on or over this man in their rush to snatch something before anyone else could. These people are MONSTERS. Horrible, terrible monsters that remind us of the worst things possible about humanity--the darkest parts of our grimy souls.

I am also angry at the store. This is not a Wal-Mart tirade--I'll let someone else write that blog. This is a tirade against Any Store--because that's where this could have happened. One of your employees was killed--killed--in the line of duty serving your store. And to honor him you shut the store down--for five hours! You shuttled off the injured, cleaned up the mess as best you could, and reopened your mangled doors because not to do so would be to lose your largest day of profits of the year. Take some responsibility! Show shoppers that they CANNOT trample a man to death and just come back later to get the deal they so wanted. Close your store--close all your stores! Refuse to open your store on Black Friday next year as a way to honor your victim and prove to the crowds that you will not tolerate violence--even in the name of Materialistic Consumerism, that god of these masses.

But that will never happen.

Maybe those of you who think that it's strange for me to get so riled up over this incident are right. I know there are further-reaching tragedies occuring in the world. I am definitely not saying by addressing this one incident that this one loss is worse than the hundreds of lives lost, for instance, in the recent Mumbai tragedies. These crazy militants terrorize for their ideals--as hateful and horrible of ideals as they may be. They are wrong and their crimes have sickened and saddened the world at large. We have learned to expect such behavior from violent radical political and religious groups who value their ideals over their lives and the lives of others. But today we have been confronted with a new group of people--a group of seemingly innocuous shoppers hunting for christmas gifts for family and friends--and we have learned that from them we can expect senseless and remorseless violence for discounted price on some piece of thing that will more than likely be within in a landfill within 10 years. Which heart is uglier? The twisted heart that aligns itself to a horrible and violent cause or the apathetic heart that cares nothing for the man gasping for breath on the floor, but eagerly runs off to fill their cart with gadgets? At this moment, I feel that they have similarities we may hesitate to recognize. Both view others as objects that stand between them and their gods--whether their god is a twisted ideal or an iPod deal. And both have killed in the name of their god.

1 comment:

Uncle Tom said...

Thanks for expressing so well the outrage I've been feeling! tb