crossposted at firedoglake 30 nov 2008 and oxdown 29 nov
A man was crushed to death and a woman lost her baby in the madness that is post-Thanksgiving shopping.
I am trying to put myself in the place of those who were lined up, eager to shop for certain items that had limited availability, those folks who wanted to be Good Parents for their child and secure the wii or other urgent item.
I've always been leery of the phrase "I would kill for..." because we are not so evolved that we wouldn't. Taught my children not to say the word kill unless they meant it. Words lose their meaning if they are used in mundane ways. Take care to use the words kill, freedom, God, love, "Help!" when it matters so that these words don't lose their meaning.
A man--a temporary employee--was killed, and a baby was killed, so that good parents, well meaning parents, could be the first in line to get the Christmas items their own children desired.
I am trying to imagine the first person who stepped over the body of the fallen man. Or those who rushed past the stricken pregnant -- but pregnant no longer -- woman on their way to the toy counter. It is human. But very dark. Our first story in recorded human history is that we screwed up. Not sure we've evolved very far past that.
Christmas is deliberately scheduled to be just after the winter solstice, a reminder that light will come again, but maybe not so soon. [Hope this doesn't get me disbarred as a Presbyterian elder.] Those of us with winter depression know that Candlemas on Feb 2 is the better holiday, with the promise of spring coming soon.
But there is darkness all around. I have worked in a country drowning in darkness from the Soviet years, and recognize that my own dear nation is falling into the abyss.
We get trapped in what we feel is the right thing to do. It is an easy armchair condemnation of those shoppers - safely far away - who went too far. Let us be careful to look in the mirror and consider how far we would go, if we had so little money after economic collapse, and such an urgent opportunity to provide for our own.
UPDATE: Peter Goodman of the NYT has much more on this tragedy.