I wrote that heading yesterday as part of my rant about stupid products, and I meant it in a fairly broad sense, but it’s also worth reflecting on the fact that for one Wal-Mart employee last week it was completely true. Lemmiwinks mentioned this incident a few days ago, and I’d seen some commentary on US sites as well, however today we have confirmation of what plenty of people speculated would occur as the man’s family have sued Wal-Mart for his wrongful death.
I hope this man’s family take Wal-Mart to the cleaners. It’s just disgusting that a person has to lose their life because a bunch of people have convinced themselves that they absolutely must buy discounted consumer goods. Fuck Wal-Mart and fuck this crazy obsession with consumption. Let’s put this into perspective, this mob, outside a store at 5am, weren’t lining up for UN food packages for their starving families, they weren’t trying to evacuate from an area hit by natural disaster, they were trying to save fifty bucks on a DVD player! Since when did consumption become a sport?
I’m sure some people will accuse this man’s family of ‘cashing in’ on his death, but I have no doubt that no amount of money will replace a family member taken so cruelly and in such a display of humanity at its worst. Besides which, organisations like Wal-Mart only understand dollars and cents, if this incident does not hurt them economically they will have no reason to try to reverse the mass hysteria that retailers have spent years cultivating for ‘door-buster’ sales.
I hope that this incident gives pause to our local retailers who have modelled their Boxing Day sales on America’s Black Friday and that they choose to place people’s safety and a bit of decorum above their profit motive.