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    • briano12

      My mom has Parkinson’s. As best as the research can tell so far, it can be hereditary, and there are two genetic markers for a high likelihood that someone will develop the condition. I have them both. In two months my mom will be undergoing a series of three brain surgeries as part of the Deep Brain Stimulation treatment, one of only two non-pharmaceutical treatments for Parkinson’s. She is doing this because the medications she takes, upwards of twenty pills a day, have been increased so many times that oftentimes she is so nauseous that she can’t eat. Some nights she shakes so badly that she can’t sleep. And because Parkinson’s is a degenerative illness, she’ll never get better. There’s no “remission”. In the next few years it is very likely that she will develop other neurological impairments, like dementia. I don’t give a damn how much awareness this nonsense raises. Parkinson’s isn’t funny, and it does not deserve to be linked to some goofy-ass meme in any way.

    • briano12

      I worked retail at Borders a few years back, before all of this Thanksgiving/Black Friday jackassery really got out of hand. You know how many holidays we had off? Three: Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day. That’s it. Mind, only the manager was paid for these days, and, as Rachael’s response mentioned, we didn’t get time and a half for anything else. Not the fourth of July, not Labor Day, nothing. Those three days were the only refuge in what was otherwise an absolute shitstorm of consumerism: impatient, bitchy customers, popular items constantly being out of stock, horrible weather to drive home in after midnight, etc. The fact that retail chains have been opening their doors earlier and earlier for the past three years or so shows how little respect they have for customers, to say nothing of their employees. Basically they’re saying, “Hey, the average American is absolutely stupid for a deal, so let’s see how much we can squeeze out of them in a 24 hour period.” Yep, they EXPECT us to forsake time with kin for $20 off something that will be half the price just a few months later. Just like they expect their employees to be so desperate for a paycheck that they have to do without an actual Thanksgiving dinner. And for what? Black Friday is so named because it’s traditionally a sales day big enough to push any company’s earnings for November into the black, so to speak. But turn on the news on Monday, and you know what you’ll hear? One of two things: Black Friday sales were up marginally from last year, or down marginally from last year. There hasn’t been any significant variance to one side or another for quite a while. Know why that might be? The deals the stores offer don’t need to be as good if they can entice more people in by opening earlier. More purchases, but less savings to the consumer overall. They’re screwing us two ways, and they expect us to take part because hey, that’s what’s done the day after Thanksgiving, right? You shop. But why? There’s an entire month after Black Friday is over, and it isn’t like stores don’t immediately start their Christmas sales afterward. This is getting ridiculously long. TL;DR, if you buy into the Black Friday insanity and give up time spent with family and friends, you’re a shit son/daughter/wife/husband/friend. And, if you’re a CEO of one of the retail chains that keeps lengthening this Mobius strip of human misery, fuck you. You deserve to be dragged out into the street and shot.

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