Black Friday Luancy Dwindles Due To COVID Pandemic

The whole concept of Black Friday is absurd. The rush to have more ‘things’ at the expense of trashing Thanksgiving all so corporate retailers can make more money is not only unseemly, it is down-right ugly.

Every year at this time I write about one of the saddest events that dominate our society.   Days before Thanksgiving there is a never-ending stream of news stories about Black Friday, and the national economy.  That Friday every newscast will be dominated by shoppers who rush ahead of others, and are all stressed out over not getting that item which was drastically reduced for sale at 2:00 A.M.  Too many lives are driven on that day by everything except the real reason for the holidays.

In the past, on this blog, I have written about my disgust with stores that open early to make more money, along with people seeming to care more about shopping like wild animals than sharing time with those around the dinner table on Thanksgiving.  While I know that my views on this matter are in the minority, I am also aware that every year there is a growing number who share my perspective, and are pushing back on the senseless over-commercialization of the holidays.

This year, however, due to the pandemic I think Black Friday is on the run!

The thrust from the business sections of newspapers about this year’s event can be summed up this way. Retailers can scrap the insane middle of the night openings and in-store only doorbusters. In the place of that many retailers are spreading deals across several days or weeks, along with expanding online and curbside pickup options. Dampening the desire for Black Friday and reduction in hours at stores, and limiting the number of shoppers is a consequence of the pandemic.

Many of us are old enough to recall not so many years ago when Thanksgiving was a day for being at home with family while the juicy turkey roasted in the oven.  Halloween had taken place several weeks before, and Christmas would follow in a month.  There was a distinct feel and attitude about Thanksgiving.  I recall many years back when my family all said one thing we were thankful for before we started to eat.  The day was spent at home, with lots of laughter, some board games, and then more food.  Thanksgiving had a traditional routine, an American feel.  It was modeled on what the day was meant to be about.  I think my memories about Thanksgiving are the average ones for the nation as a whole.  It was not just ‘another day’ for shopping, or preparing for a blow-out sale.

The pandemic is most dreadful, the loss of life stunning and unnecessary. We should have had a president who understood the gravity of the public health crisis and implemented proper federal planning.

But even now in the midst of crisis, there will be greedy merchants and foolish shoppers who will still spill into these unhealthy places to cough on each other and spread more of the virus.

Come for the sales, go home with the virus. Oh, and Happy Holidays!

And so it goes!

Under-Educated Trump Supporters Being Played, Again

When will they learn? How much money will angry whites give to their cult leader this month? When will those who store their resentments like a camel does water move on in life? Donald Trump is hoping not any time soon, as he is hoping to gather a large slush fund on his way out of the White House.

And why not? He and his brood have profited mightily during his term in office. Why not milk the cow one last time?

The Washington Post column sums up the latest grifting by Trump.

Trump isn’t really trying to overturn the election. He’s simply running one more scam before he leaves office that would enable him to enrich himself.

That’s the way it appears, at least, from the scores of fundraising emails his campaign has sent out since the election. He seems to be asking for funds to challenge the election, but the fine print shows that the money could let him line his own coffers. The tin-pot-dictator routine looks more as if it’s about passing the tin cup.

Trump is urging Please contribute ANY AMOUNT RIGHT NOW to DEFEND the Election.

”But at the linked site to the “OFFICIAL ELECTION DEFENSE FUND,” the legalese at the end says something rather different:

Sixty percent of the contribution, up to $5,000, goes to “Save America,” Trump’s newly created leadership PAC. And 40 percent of the contribution up to $35,500, goes to the Republican National Committee’s operating account, its political (not legal) fund.

Should we be surprised?

Trump has used the presidency itself for self-enrichment, so there’s no reason to think an election defeat would stop him. He has funneled vast amounts of taxpayer dollars and political supporters’ funds to his hotels, golf clubs and various properties around the world. Over the years, he has used his charity for self-benefit, he has had favorable treatment by foreign governments, and he has had hundreds of millions in debt forgiven by creditors.

Only after reaching the first maximum would a single penny go to Trump’s “Recount Account,” and only after reaching the second maximum would a penny go to the RNC’s legal account.

Clanton, Mississippi

When one can clearly imagine, as if it is were a real scene, the okra growing, the heat rising off the land, the back-country roads, the courthouse square, and the coffee shop where locals gather early in the morning for grits and coffee…well, you know you have picked up a gem of a book.

Clanton. Mississippi has long been that fictional place where John Grisham takes his readers. He has crafted several books with engaging legal plots using Ozzie the sheriff, Dumas the local newspaper reporter, and of course the young lawyer, Jake Brigance. There is the rough-edged divorce lawyer Harry Rex Vonner, and the at-times drunk owner of the building housing the law offices, Lucien Wilbanks. The racial atmosphere of fictional Ford County is a constant and powerful theme, as much as is the tightly packed dialogue that Grisham excels at in whatever book he has written.

Shortly after the election, and in dire need for a change of focus, I picked up Grisham’s latest Clanton treasure, A Time For Mercy. If there are tonics for the soul in book form, this one is clearly an example. The storyline plot is tragic and yet the escape to Clanton, a place so wonderfully designed to capture the readers’ imagination and allow for some genuine laughs and smiles, makes for an adventure.

Roughly 25 years ago I started reading Grisham’s first book, A Time to Kill, on the back lawn of the Hancock family home before a Sunday cookout. It was his first book and one set in Clanton. (I have a rather odd memory of memorable books and where I read a portion of them.) The author has stated that he was not overly fond of that first effort at a book, but there is no getting around the fact his use of ”local charm’–both good and bad–is something he is a master at creating.

I have been reading Grisham books for decades and enjoy the fast plotting and engaging characters he develops. But it is Clanton, and the mood of the place which he uses as a device to wrap around his courtroom creations, which gives that added dimension this reader loves.

If you wish to travel to a locale without a car or plane and stay safe during this pandemic, while also stepping way back from the political chaos I suggest visiting Clanton, Mississippi.