Savage Shopping: Die to Buy! Buy to Die!

2011 November 25
by Roman Stoad

How much product can the heart hold?

Ah, what a sad disgusting race we have become. While our American congress masturbates itself to death over its pornography of principles; while our world leaders dither in perpetual indecision as they scheme to hold onto well-paying jobs at the cost of the public welfare; while the world grows ever more chaotic and selfish as the climate grows more brutal, there are only two paths of hope: 1) that we should gain a quick death, that each of us should end our individual lives without suffering more of this rampant mindless desire, and 2) that some superior species will survive us on this earth. (Or indeed that any species will survive our rapacious narrow-minded behavior.) Perhaps said species in ten thousand years or so will dig up our bones and read therein a lesson for their own survival. “Oh, go not that way, that way madness lies.” That way is the way of consumerism and not of any Lord. Perhaps they will name us Homo Shopobilus.

The savagery of Homo Shopobilus will be judged as among the most brutal of the “higher” species on this planet during our age. These fat and hairy beasts stuffed into their padded clothing roamed the city streets and the isles of malls like brutes armed with guns, pepper spray, fists and fat, pushing people out of the way, trampling children and dogs, destroying any and all life forms which might stand between them and the desired consumer object. To hell with austerity. To hell with human dignity. And what is the food upon which this bizarre species once fed? Our survivors might ask such a question. And the answer would be: entertainment consoles, video games, i-devices, designer clothing—useless crap made to flatter the ego and numb the mind. Stuff they had absolutely no need for. And furthermore this sickly, unintelligent species destroyed its own environment. Looking at us from their far away place and time, our survivors will no doubt assume that we were destined for the extinction that overcame us, indeed we seemed to pray for it in our very actions. Did we hate ourselves that much? Apparently.

Back in the present, as the seasons for fevered shopping seem only to multiply, as the capitalist system to which our species is enslaved creates ever more holidays and “occasions” for wanton spending, we have no choice but to assign some kind of value to it: public duty perhaps, or even patriotism itself. Get this economy going you poor man and woman, and spend yourself into the hole yet again so the 1% can blame you for the sad conditions of your life. And sadly enough we buy the logic. We may even see it as a kind of defiance. As one shopper cried: It’s Tahrir Square every day around here. Indeed. Is there nowhere to hide from this Cry of Freedom?

What follows are Dispatch’s from the Theater of World War III, Reports from the End of Human Honor and Dignity.

The holiday shopping season got off to an ugly start with shoppers pepper-spraying one another to battle for bargains and robbers shooting shoppers to steal their Black Friday purchases, police said on Friday.
Gunfire Erupts At North Carolina Mall: Police in Fayetteville, N.C. are looking for two suspects after shots were fired at the Cross Creek Mall early today, The Associated Press reported.
The first shots were fired around 2 a.m. outside the mall near a food court entrance. Investigators say several more shots were fired after one of the suspects ran inside the mall.
There were no injuries and shoppers were not told to evacuate.

Black Friday turned violent at Walmart early Friday when a person was shot during an attempted robbery, police said.
The victim’s family detained one suspect as another fled and police arrested that man, in his mid-20s.
Police received a report of a fight in front of the Walmart at 15555 Hesperian Blvd. around 1:50 a.m. Officers who had been patrolling near the parking lot went to the center parking lot aisle near the front of the store where they found a gunshot victim wound and the victim’s family members detaining a possible suspect, police said.

A woman wildly pepper-sprayed customers dashing for doorbuster bargains inside the Porter Ranch Wal-Mart Thursday night just 10 minutes after the store opened.
A fleeing victim cried “My eyes, my eyes,” according to a witness sending a Twitter message. The fight was reportedly over an Xbox 360 video game.
“This was customer-versus-customer ‘shopping rage,'” Los Angeles Police Lt. Abel Parga told the Los Angeles Times.
Los Angeles firefighters came to the aid of 20 injured customers, LAFD spokesman Shawn Lenske said. Injuries were minor, he said.
“A woman with two children in tow became upset with the way people were pushing in line. The witness said she pulled out pepper spray and sprayed the other people in line,” NBC4 reported. Police were said to be reviewing security tape.
“The female suspect was waiting with other shoppers for some items
wrapped in plastic to be released for sale at 10 p.m.,” Officer P. Rimkunas told City News Service. “At 10, when the plastic was ripped off, she sprayed.”
“The woman, who is still being sought, used the spray in more than one area of the Wal-Mart ‘to gain preferred access to a variety of locations in the store,'” Los Angeles Fire Capt. James Carson told the Los Angeles Times.
“She was competitive shopping,” he said.


In Michigan, a teenage girl was knocked down and stepped on several times after getting caught in the rush to a sale in the electronics department at a Walmart. She suffered minor injuries.


On Friday morning, police said, two women were injured and a man was charged after a fight broke out at an upstate New York Walmart. And a man was arrested in a scuffle at a jewelry counter at a Walmart in Kissimmee, Florida.


WAAY reports that cops said they had to use a stun gun to subdue belligerent customer Christopher Blake Pyron at a Wal-Mart in Florence, Ala.


The arrest wasn’t the only taser-aided cuffing of this holiday season. Milton Patch reports that an officer used a stun gun to bring down a man involved in a scuffle at a Wal-Mart on Thursday night.


Then there’s the case of the grandpa who was either the victim of a violent police mistake, or a shoplifter taken down with appropriate force, depending on who you ask. My Fox Phoenix reports that witnesses said a young boy was trampled by bargain-hunting shoppers at a Buckeye, Ariz. Wal-Mart. In an effort to free up his hands so he could protect his grandson, witnesses told the station that the grandpa put a video game in his pants.But police told a different story. They told MyFox that the man was trying to shoplift and when they tried to question him about the video game, he started “flailing his arms.”Police used a leg sweep to bring the man down. He hit his head and had to be treated at a local hospital, police told the station. He’s charged with resisting arrest and shoplifting.


One Black Friday Shopper made the following comment:  Stopped by BEST BUY on the way home from a movie. BlackFriday feels like a post-apocalyptic nightmare. I’ll pray for the fallen.

The website for Occupy Harrisburg is reporting that an Occupy protester was arrested at a Pennsylvania mall Black Friday morning while peacefully parodying “mindless consumerism and corporate greed.” The protester was dressed as a zombie. According to, roughly 15 protesters took part in the street theater, slowly walking through the Capital City Mall in zombie garb and face paint. Mall security told them to “wash their faces or leave the property,” the site reports:

One Response leave one →
  1. 2011 November 27
    Ando Arike permalink

    The Shopocalypse cometh! From now on in, we can only expect a rapid devolution of consumer behavior–along with an equally rapid escalation of consumer arsenals. I await breathlessly the next consumer holiday — the post-Xmas Saturnalia… These holidays will soon be punctuated by official casualty figures — like the highway death tolls of yore!

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