It’s all a bit confusing really.

Black Friday can refer to the Christian holiday otherwise known as Good Friday, which celebrates the crucifixion of Christ (which, although it sounds bad, actually turned out surprisingly well for all mankind, and not even that badly for JC himself, although it can’t have been much fun at the time), the day in 1873 when the Vienna stock market crashed unleashing the Great Panic, the day following the Brexit vote in 2016 when the global financial markets lost the equivalent of $2 trillion in a single day (the largest one-day fall in history), or any one of a couple of dozen other last days of the working week deemed damned in some way or other.

So if we were to tell you that this is a story about Black Friday, you’d probably be looking for some kind of additional clarification.

Fine. Why didn’t you just say so in the first place?

By Black Friday, as we actually suspect you knew perfectly well all along, we mean the recently imported US festival where retailers flog off a whole bunch of keenly-priced consumer goods on the day after Thanksgiving (an American holiday celebrating the day in 1621 when early settlers from the Old World enjoyed a post-harvest party with unsuspecting locals who foolishly assumed that newcomers should be welcomed with open arms and hearts to their tragically under-exploited continent).

In what sense is the festival of cheapness we now know as Black Friday ‘Black’?, you may wonder. It is black, Bankstone News’ research team now believe, because this is the day above all others that most clearly reveals the hideous darkness at the heart of our consumption-crazed society – not least in the countless deaths and injuries caused as bargain-obsessed shoppers tear each other quite literally limb from limb in their insane lust for the latest attractively-priced consumer goodies.

A little known side-effect of the consumer carnage of Black Friday, however, was highlighted this week in a press release issued by unthreateningly named insurance provider Co-op, who warned that British motorists should exercise caution on this national day of darkness. Why? Because on BF last year motor accidents rose by a staggering 18%.

On a more positive note, Co-op Insurance, note, on Cyber Monday (the Monday after Black Friday, when people traditionally dress up like those silver-suited baddies in Dr Who and order stuff online) motor accidents fell by 12% last year because everyone stayed in and ‘surfed’ for bargains instead of driving around from shop to shop, there to do battle with other IRL bargain-hunters.

So, yeah, just be careful out there this Friday.

That’s all we’re saying.


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