What Our Society Has Come to: Pepper Spraying Each Other for Video Games at Wal-Mart
This article has it all. Imagine you are in a Wal*Mart on Thanksgiving. It's 9:55 pm, and the store is set to reduce prices dramatically at ten. There's a pallet on the floor in the video game section, covered in shrink-wrap. It has new consoles for the Wii and XBox. Customers become impatient and start pushing toward the pallet. People are getting forced on top of it. Shoving and screaming ensues. Someone begins ripping and tearing at the shrink-wrap. Others push over the shelves holding video games, strewing them across the floor where they are immediately trampled. Then, a woman reaches into her purse and grabs some pepper spray, She unleashes it on the dense crowd. The Oleoresin Capsicum wafts through the store, ripping into people's throats and irritating their skin. The faces of the closest victims swell up grotesquely. And then? Shopping resumes as normal.
The pepper spray wafted through the air, [Alejandra] Seminario said, and she breathed some in and started coughing. Her face also started itching.
"I did not want to get involved. I was too scared. I just stayed in the toy aisle," she said.
By the time she and her husband, 27-year-old Cesar Seminario, got to the cash register 20 minutes later with a Wii gaming console and some Barbie dolls, the air was still smelling of pepper spray, she said.
Two hours later, sanity had returned.
Nakeasha Contreras, 20, of North Hollywood, said she arrived at midnight and hadn't heard what happened. Even if she had, she said, she wouldn't have minded: "I don't care. I'm still getting my TV. I've never seen Wal-Mart so crazy, but I guess it could have been worse."
And then there is this guy, who probably ought to be a little concerned.
Joseph Poulose, who said he was hit with the spray near the DVD and video games display, criticized the store for failing to control the crowds.
"There were way too many people in a building that size. Every aisle was full," he said. Customers were stomping on photo frames and other items on the floor, said Poulose, who tried to protect his pregnant wife from the throng of shoppers inside.
"It was definitely the worst Black Friday I’ve ever experienced," he said.
I don't think pepper spray and pregnant women are a good mix.
I'm not really on-board with the anti-consumerist movement to delegitimize Black Friday. If people want to do that, I'm fine with it, but it's not part of my political agenda. Yet, this story demonstrates just how stupid our society has become. Even without the pepper spray, the behavior of this crowd was disgraceful. They were fighting over video game consoles. People were fighting for the right to more effectively anesthetize their kids. Children don't need better video game consoles. They need a clue. You want to compete with Indian kids and Chinese kids? Read a book. You want your kids to know something? Take them to a national park. Give them musical or language lessons. Teach them to swim. Get them involved in athletics or art.
When you are pepper-spraying people in order to get a video game console, your priorities are screwed up and your kids are doomed.