Black Friday begins at midnight across the USA as many stores have decided to open earlier than the usual 4 am. Recently, someone said to me, “Black Friday is the only day of the year that I don’t need to be nice to anyone.”
This honest statement caused me to ponder on the following point. Are we nice because it is expected in society? Deep down do we really suppress our true nature because of societal norms? If societal norms were discarded into the landfills, what would we do day in and day out on this planet traversing the cosmos?
In the classic Star Trek: The Original Series episode Return of the Archons Kirk, Mr. Spock and company encountered the perfect society of humans. Beta III is a world ruled and protected by the mysterious and powerful Landru.
Unfortunately, the harmonious and peaceful Betans transform into humans exercising their basest inclinations and passions when the time of the “Festival” begins. Kirk and company find shelter from the mob in the home of one of the freedom fighters who want to throw off the rule of Landru and his cloaked enforcers the “Lawgivers”.
Eventually, Kirk and Mr. Spock discover a super computer created thousands of years ago by a benign ruler Landru. The computer had his knowledge and plan for the perfect society but it lacked his emotion, his soul.
It seems as though some humans think they must exercise their base instincts in order to maintain social order. Perhaps, Black Friday is one of those times when human behaviour must draw from this jungle pool of the survival of the fittest.
Culture has created the Black Friday where one ventures out into the dark to find the perfect bargain for the chosen item which must be retrieved back to their “cave”. Perhaps, the cave is buried deep in our gene mythos.
Like certain prehistoric humans, what one drags back to the cave is a necessity to continue one’s life. The cave may be one’s castle but one has to go hunting and deal with the dangers of the hunt out there in a scary world.
If you do venture from your cave on Black Friday, please show some kindness to the workers who are facing a danger as great as a saber tooth tiger with a bad tooth ache. Show a bit of compassion to your fellow shoppers if you can muster it on this “Festival”.
In case you are wondering, I will venture into the darkness of Black Friday. At the moment I have no idea of what I will return with to my cave. I sincerely hope that I will show someone a moment of kindness during this hunting trip.
Be safe out there. For there is only one of you on this orb hanging in infinite space.
G. D. Williams © 2011
The Return Of The Archons Star Trek Sci-Fi Channel Special Edition Extras
The Red Hour: The Festival
The Ghost and the Darkness Trailer