Black Friday Pictures and John Paul Quotes

A simple title for a simple post … I would note only that Blessed John Paul’s critique of our culture applies to all of us. None of us, myself of course included, is immune.

More Black Friday hatred here ….

“The more one possesses, the more one wants, while the deeper human hopes remain unsatisfied and even stifled.”

“The individual today is often suffocated between two poles represented by the State and the marketplace. At times it seems as though he exists only as a producer and consumer of goods, or as an object of State administration.”

“It is not wrong to want to live better; what is wrong is a style of life which is presumed to be better when it is directed towards ‘having’ rather than ‘being,’ and which wants to have more, not in order to be more but in order to spend life in enjoyment as an end in itself.”

“It is therefore necessary to create life-styles in which the quest for truth, beauty, goodness, and communion with others.”



  • Tex

    Does the first picture remind anyone else of Michelangelo’s “Final Judgement”?

  • Tex

    Awe. I was hoping for another witty caption call. This, alas, was not it.

  • Francis

    O.K., Judgie McJudgersons out there – some of those people look like they are actually having a good time with family members out there to get big bargains. I know some of my family members went to some of those midnight sales and they just had a good ol’ time getting a combination of Christmas gifts and items for their own homes. Big deal. Those stores are employing people and trying to be successful on the biggest day of the year. If you really want to see consumerism, materialism, and greed, publish some Christmas and/or end of year bonuses that CEO’s are paid. THAT is scandalous.

  • enness

    I do love the handful of people smiling or making goofy faces…they look like they don’t belong there, though!

  • Lorraine Stanhope

    I am taken back to our materialism. This speaks what I have come out of.
    Thank you Holy Spirit for making meso aware of this awful trend.
    Focusing on you is what this season is about.
    Small gifts are quite alright but with the intention of bringing joy to the person’s soul and love.

    • Sandra Gray

      Its sad if it was not so funny I hope all these people are equally diligent in going to Church on Sunday, or rather is this what its going to be like to get into the Gates of St.Peter and all these people have forgotten there Key to Open it (meaning have they being doing there duty to the Lord, on Sunday, Holy Days of Obligation etc. TIME WILL TELL.

  • Brendan

    Wow Tom, even for Catholic Vote this is a little haughty.

    One thing I always wonder about this – aren’t all of these people out buying Christmas presents? I assume the people out there are trying to get good deals on gifts they buy for friends and loved ones…not necessarily themselves.

    Here’s some food for thought: If, instead of mocking those people, you googled a bunch of John Paul II quotes on generosity and placed them in the same captions you might have created a intriguing (or at least somewhat different) posting for today. But instead we get the usual haranguing from the self-superior pious blogger who’s apparently shopping online this weekend.

    (Oh wait, maybe Tom has rejected materialism / taken a vow of poverty and won’t be buying any Christmas presents this year? Such a grinch!)

    • Tom Hoopes

      Actually, I interrupted completing the post to finish Amazon shopping … :-)

    • eneubauer

      I think you missed the point and in a larger context you have misread American culture. We use our ability to consume, even in the form of gift, to mask the interior pain and lack that resides in so many human hearts. Tom was just reflecting on that reality. If you have forgotten…prior to the Great Recession Americans had a NEGATIVE savings rate. Not just because we are all super generous but because we USE spending to mask our deepest, spiritual needs. JPII knew this oh to well. Hence his tremendous travel schedule for the purposes of evangelization. Finally, nothing wrong w gift giving – just give wisely. Blessings.

    • Mary

      I’m sorry, Brendan, but mob-style shopping like this is hardly a display of “generosity”–it’s not only unnecessary if someone wants to give gifts at Christmas, it’s also unsafe and irresponsible from a public health standpoint. Besides, how do you know that they are all buying Christmas presents “for their friends and loved ones”? Some are buying things for themselves, and I bet it’s stuff they don’t really need, but rather merely want. I know I’m as guilty of consumerism as anyone–I go to the KMart to get some toilet paper, and of course I come out with all kinds of other “stuff” that I could easily have not bought, but I did. Maybe I’m just totally Ms. Consumer, but I’ll bet there’s others out there like me, too. How about you, or perhaps you are a lucky person beyond the lure of materialism. I personally think it is very nice to get a view of these pictures in contrast to the unending ads for buy, buy, buy Black Friday. But perhaps you do not wish for an opposing view point to the media hype. Me, I’m sick of all the “Black Friday” commercials. There was even a Kohl’s ad that showed a young woman sticking her hand in an old woman’s face as she raced to get a deal and then taking something out of another shopper’s cart that she wanted. Oh, yeah, that makes me want to shop at Kohl’s, for sure. What is being promoted, anyway? Good deals “for friends and loved ones” or an opportunity yet again to assert one’s strength over someone else for one’s own selfish gain. And back to my original point–there’s nothing on sale that warrants taking this risk for health and safety. People die at these sales, you know–run over by their own fellow shoppers who are trying to show their gift-giving “generosity.” There is something special about homemade gifts, and you won’t kill anyone at Walmart making them. And there are so many different things to do and make, don’t even say you don’t have the time or talent to cook or bake or knit or sew–not all gifts require Suzy Homemaker skills. All that’s needed is some love and thought and imagination, and not all need hours and hours of time, either. (some would use less time than fighting the mob at the store.)

    • enness

      I can only speak for myself, but I don’t want a flat-screen TV or video games. I don’t even want a bunch of new clothes. I will live without all those things. I want my family!

    • ben

      I don’t think buying a bunch of mass produced garbage made in sweatshops is considered “generous.” This only cements the usage of sweatshops and horrible working conditions… not to mention exporting jobs overseas where people will tolerate those conditions.

      Not to mention people were actually harmed in these freak shows. Apparently no one died this year (people have died in the Black Friday mobs in he past,) but apparently this year just saw attacks and pepper spraying.

      Moreover, defending your position by asserting the other position is “self superior” and “pious” is not a good argument. Let’s say you went to see a doctor or (better yet) were reading a health blog (try to keep the contexts similar), and the doctor wrote a post about how Americans are eating unhealthy food and that leads to obesity and many diseases. Now, is that doctor being “overly healthy” or “self superior” or is he just stating facts? Would your response be to the doctor “ah, you’re overly healthy and self superior… have a Big Mac and stop telling us whats ‘healthy’?” This is the same for this post. The blogger is pointing out how people are willing to act like animals and hurt each other in order to buy cheap gifts.



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