Tuesday, 27 December 2011

The January sales, and the bargains people kill for

Christmas is over, and as boxing day dawned, so began the January sales.

I remember a time when the sales actually started on the 2nd of January, but it would seem this is no longer good enough, and this year some of the shops opened as early as 6:00 on boxing day.

But people were queueing outside the shops much earlier than that, in the hopes of grabbing a bargain.

Given that most of the population seem to have been spending money on Christmas for the past few months, I wonder what can be so desirable that people need to head out in search of it as soon as the sun has set on Christmas day, or more bizarrely, heading out in search of that unknown bargain, any bargain.

Every year we see reports on the news of the crowds of people rushing into the shops, having queued through the night, and often we hear of how tempers flare as people argue over items.

But this year things took a much more sinister turn, as two people were stabbed on Oxford street, one of them fatally.

Now the question of why someone would feel the need to head to the shops armed with a knife is perhaps one for another discussion. but it certainly leaves me wondering how it is that people can be so set on getting that particular item that they resort to violence. I've briefly skimmed some of the online shops, and I have to say I haven't seen anything that I would consider that much of a bargain that I would feel the need to rush out to buy it, or worse, get into a verbal or physical encounter over it.

How is it that people have become so obsessed with material goods that they lose all sense of perspective?

Someone went out looking for a bargain and paid with his life, and for the person responsible for stabbing him, he presumably faces a prison sentence. It's a high price to pay for a bargain.

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