The Americanization of our culture continues apace: on Thursday, many celebrated “Thanksgiving”, and yesterday “Black Friday”!! These celebrations, of course, followed “Halloween”. And don’t you dare quibble as to whether Black Friday was really a “celebration”. All our holidays – especially the “religious” ones – have become so commercialized that Black Friday’s actually their logical culmination!! Here is a day when the hype about “sales” will make this the most profitable day in the year for merchants across the world!!
And in fact that’s connected to the name “Black Friday” – originally connected to a stock market crash in the States on a Friday after Thanksgiving in the 1860s. That was truly “Black” – a tragic day on which so many persons were ruined. But when merchants started selling off their goods cheaply to maintain a cash flow – to keep life and limb (and their businesses) going – a trend was set.
Gradually, it became customary for businesses to announce and advertise all sorts of eye-catching sales on particular items, that were actually baits to lure shoppers into their premises. Now this tactic works even with online shopping, that’s fast becoming the norm! The items you want will surely need some accessories – especially those electronic gizmos. Just check how they weigh down your shopping carts!!The merchants know fully well that, once inside the stores, the mark was certain to pick up other items at regular prices!
Nowadays, the big boys like Amazon have algorithms that predict to a tee what YOU PERSONALLY also want to buy – and will certainly make sure you see them before you click on the “bargain”!! Overall, then, the business is gonna be in the “black” (making a PROFIT) rather than in the “red” (SUFFERING A LOSS)!! Believe it or not, some businesses do more business on Black Friday that they do for the whole quarter!!
But, in all this Americanization, we seem to’ve forgotten we had our own Black Friday right here in dear old mudland. Back on Feb 16, 1962, the PNC and their Trade Unions allies allowed themselves to be used by the CIA who wanted to oust the PPP – which they concluded was Commie!! They burnt down half of downtown Georgetown and – as our National Poet Martin Carter famously wrote – “a city of clerks became men”!!
Had to be – because, on that day, thousands of fridges and stoves and sofas were hauled away from the burning stores on the HEADS of ordinary folks!! Carter obviously concluded that you gotta be REAL MEN to perform those Herculean tasks!! But interestingly, there were as many urban women doing the heavy lifting as men!!
This was one glass ceiling the sisters broke way back then!!
…eye for GY Climate Warriors
Without comment from LRB: “COP27 was held in the Egyptian resort town of Sharm El-Sheikh…just around the corner from the world’s busiest shipping lane. Ursula von der Leyen showed up early to make deals for the EU. She signed a contract to buy rare minerals from Kazakhstan; made a timber deal – presented as a plan for the ‘sustainable development and management’ of forests – with Congo, Guyana, Mongolia, Uganda and Zambia; bought hydrogen from Egypt, and lithium and cobalt from Namibia.
“Egypt’s Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources signed seven MoUs with Bechtel, Shell, General Electric and others – covering things like the development of decarbonisation technologies, and feasibility studies for producing ammonia. Egypt’s setting up a carbon trade market in Africa, and Singapore was looking to buy carbon credits from Morocco. In side meetings, Caribbean engineers gave lessons on ways to secure funding from the Global Climate Fund and oil companies, and how to build carbon capture and storage units.”
Welcome to the real world!!
Keeping warming to 1.5 degrees now’s impossible – with an 80% chance of 2 degrees. Given the sea’s cooler than land, a global mean temperature rise of 2 degrees means at least an unlivable 3 degrees on the land.