Black Fridays

I have received yet another email from Amazon promoting deals for “Black Friday”. Here’s the problem. Australians don’t celebrate Thanksgiving, and therefore we also don’t have a massive shopping frenzy the day after it. In fact until I started reading blogs on minimalism this year, I had never heard of Black Friday being a super-deals shopping day. I suppose the equivalent in Australia would be the Boxing Day sales.

In Australia, Black Friday means something else. It refers to terrible bushfires when a firestorm swept across Victoria and killed 71 people in 1939. We have a history of servere bushfires, with devastating events such as Black Friday, Ash Wednesday, and the recent Black Saturday in 2009 etched in our consciousness. I think most Australians are going to do a double take when they see Black Friday used to promote online shopping, particularly people closely affected by the fires.

I did a bit of research and found that Black Friday means different things in different parts of the world. In addition to the Australian association with tragic fires, there is Eyemouth disaster when 189 fishermen died, a particularly voilent women’s sufferage event in England, an Allied air attack against German ships in Norway, a massacre of protesters in Iran, and a tornado in Canada.

So here’s my point. Get your act together Amazon, and stop splashing the world with culturally inappropriate and offensive advertising.


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