"It's disgusting when you see people line up in stores drooling to just buy stuff," said Buehlman, 38, who e-mailed about 100 friends and family this year urging them to abstain from buying anything today. "People have such a hard time going inside themselves to fix things, they try to buy stuff to fix things on the outside."
I ate lunch at a restaurant with television on Friday and caught a little bit of one cable news network's Black Friday coverage.
While this one of the busiest shopping days of the year, it is also one of the slowest days for real news, which means news operations struggling to fill time between paid commercials are tempted to run what amount to free commercials about the Christmas shopping rush.
One reporter I saw was doing a live report from the aisles of what looked like a Wal-Mart or Target store. The sound was off, so I could only guess at what he was saying. But judging from the graphics full-screened during the report, it was another of those 'What's Hot' lists.
When I was a reporter, I always thought those stories were basically bogus. Some marketing company sends out press releases announcing that a client's product is 'hot,' content-starved news outlets report it as fact, and the reportage makes the press release reality. How many times have you seen one of those 'What's Hot' lists, and you've never even heard of half the stuff on it?
I'm doing my Christmas shopping (what there is of it) online this year.