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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

December 3, 2008 at 3:02 PM

A new holiday season

Noah Berger / The Associated Press

Shoppers rush into an Oakland, Calif., Wal-Mart as the store opens its doors at 5 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 28. Several hundred people lined up over night awaiting Black Friday deals.

Buy me a shirt for Christmas

Editor, The Times:

President-elect Barack Obama won; do I still need that Canadian T-shirt?

Maybe.

In the wee morning hours of Friday, Nov. 28, citizens of our planet began preparing for the ensuing day [“Wal-Mart worker trampled to death by frenzied Black Friday shoppers,” Times, News, Nov. 29]. Two-thirds of the world’s population was thinking about how they would find water. Of those who knew where it could be found, many began scouring for animal dung to use as fuel for the fires they’d burn to boil their water before consuming it.

Much of the world spent their morning wondering how they would satisfy the second-most-basic need for human survival.

But not in America; we have that need covered.

With the great liberty of running water, how did we spend our morning? We woke early and we prepared for the holiday season, the beginning of which was marked the evening prior. As we ravaged to get the lowest price on the most stuff, we trampled a man to death. “Get as much as you can,” we shouted. “Junior just won’t smile the same if he doesn’t get as much as Timmy next door.”

Many were in such a rush to get the stuff, they put themselves into cardiac arrest. But don’t fret for their health. I’m sure the coming epiphany of their gluttony will make a heartfelt anecdote for their introduction next season on NBC’s “The Biggest Loser.”

Like the lifeless perfection of a Gerome, the scene of such madness could only be one place: the mecca of palatable greed, the devil-in-a-blue-dress herself. Pixar showed us her evil in “Wall-E” — too bad Jdimytai Damour didn’t catch that flick. And you must have missed it, too, because with each ignorant purchase you dig us a little deeper into the depression we still call home.

Don’t take my words without a grain of salt. You see, my gloves are far from white, and I, too, have wants and needs. So do me a favor. While you’re there, doing your Christmas hording, pick me up a Canadian T-shirt. I think I’m going to need it.

— Marcus Luce, Bellevue

Oh, what a state we’re in

In Zimbabwe, desperate parents pray for food to fill the bellies of their starving children. In the U.S., desperate parents pull the doors off the hinges of the local Wal-Mart, trampling a sales clerk to death in order to buy a Sony PlayStation for a bargain price.

The child in Zimbabwe goes to bed dreaming of a few grains of rice. The child in New York goes to bed dreaming of a new computer game. On CNN, we watch an eerie scene as exalted shoppers haul big-screen TVs and Nintendo Wiis to the counter while someone wheels out the body of a dead man.

When the child from New York smiles at the new technological wonder under the tree on Christmas morning, he has learned from his parents an important message about what is really important to us in the land of plenty.

— Sharon Brown, Redmond

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