It happened again. Someone got hurt — in this case stabbed — participating in the annual shopping mayhem known as Black Friday.

One man in Virginia allegedly stabbed another over a parking space. Such behavior, whatever it says about our culture, has become almost expected.

“Stampede” is now a word associated with shopping.

The day after Thanksgiving used to be a one-day affair when frugal shoppers looking for a deal could find one. Now it’s an international orgy that extends from Thursday — Thanksgiving in the Unites States — through something called “Cyber Monday.”

So at what point are the retailers themselves to blame for creating this totally artificial competition around shopping, which is good for their bottom line, but bad for those who get crushed by other shoppers? Speaking of which, what poor taste this industry must have to advertise “doorbusters” — especially good deals — when people have actually died from this grotesque behavior.

According to the macabre website Black Friday Death Count, four people have died since 2006, with an additional 75 injured.

— Posted by Peter Z. Scheer

Wait, before you go…

If you're reading this, you probably already know that non-profit, independent journalism is under threat worldwide. Independent news sites are overshadowed by larger heavily funded mainstream media that inundate us with hype and noise that barely scratch the surface.  We believe that our readers deserve to know the full story. Truthdig writers bravely dig beneath the headlines to give you thought-provoking, investigative reporting and analysis that tells you what’s really happening and who’s rolling up their sleeves to do something about it.

Like you, we believe a well-informed public that doesn’t have blind faith in the status quo can help change the world. Your contribution of as little as $5 monthly or $35 annually will make you a groundbreaking member and lays the foundation of our work.

Support Truthdig