Mysterious culture explained

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Last updated on July 27th, 2017 at 11:54 am

Michael Gawenda, The Age’s source of Washingtonian wisdom, doesn’t know when Thanksgiving ends and Black Friday begins.

Posted by Tim B. on 11/30/2005 at 10:08 PM
    1. Gawenda remains clueless.  He sneers at a holiday he clearly doesn’t understand, and bemoans the 1000th execution in the United States….while missing the other 1000th execution that did receive clemency.  So much for Google and journalistic research.  Capital punishment isn’t a pleasant subject, but America takes it a lot more seriously than Gawenda thinks.

      A “Swell Swill” to thetree hugging sister for the original link!

      Posted by The_Real_JeffS on 2005 11 30 at 11:44 PM • permalink


    1. I don’t think anyone can be that obtuse without it being intentional. Is Gawneda just being a prick?

      Posted by Spiny Norman on 2005 12 01 at 01:57 AM • permalink


    1. Who the hell cares about Septic bloody holidays?  I don’t give a flying fuck!

      Posted by ozpat on 2005 12 01 at 03:45 AM • permalink


    1. Well, then, ozpat, no pumpkin pie for you!

      Posted by The_Real_JeffS on 2005 12 01 at 03:52 AM • permalink


    1. I’m not sure where these phrases, Black Friday and Cyber Monday come from, but they aren’t part of our true American folkways, they’re media names for good retail shopping days. Many of us, at least I and people I know, stay away from the madding crowds as they descend upon the malls. Plenty of days left for that.

      But the meaning of Thanksgiving has never been clearer for me, personally. I love that we have this remarkable feast in thanks for our lives and for the bounty God has given us. It’s a holiday many people, here and abroad, just don’t understand.

      And I’m thankful, too, when the retail sales are up. It’s a good thing. If America goes in the toilet, the rest of the world feels the water swirling in the bowl. That’s just the way it is. People like this Gawenda creature should be thankful as well. His standard of living is more dependent upon us doing well, in the commercial world, than he would like to admit.

      It’s a global thing. He wouldn’t get it. He’s above such mundane events, after all, isn’t he?

      Posted by ekw on 2005 12 01 at 04:32 AM • permalink


    1. He’s just repeated an old urban legend, debunked at Snopes.

      Posted by walterplinge on 2005 12 01 at 05:01 AM • permalink


    1. The other day I saw “Black Friday” in the news, and thought they were referring to the Wall St. crash at the beginning of the Depression. Never heard it attached to the day after Thanksgiving before. Never heard of “Cyber Monday” at all until a couple of days ago.

      Posted by Donnah on 2005 12 01 at 08:04 AM • permalink


    1. Donna,

      Likewise. I suspect it’s the media’s Hip Buzzword Of The Day(tm).

      Posted by Cybrludite on 2005 12 01 at 08:14 AM • permalink


    1. Turkey in the Manger is the traditional season song, along with the Three Wise Men returning gifts.

      Posted by rhhardin on 2005 12 01 at 09:05 AM • permalink


    1. But is it a plastic turkey in the manger?

      Posted by Parker on 2005 12 01 at 09:24 AM • permalink


    1. Just as Snopes has debunked “Black Friday”, Slashdot has debunked “Cyber Monday” here. Not only as a term (invented just this year) but as a shopping phenomenon. Besides, any reference to “Black Friday” without homage to Steely Dan is ignorant.

      Posted by Some0Seppo on 2005 12 01 at 10:48 AM • permalink


    1. Thanksgiving is meant to be a day of gratitude (to God, to the nation, take your pick according to your beliefs) for having a life of ease and plenty, or for just being alive and free.  It has nothing at all to do with Black Friday, which is just the day that happens to fall on the day after Thanksgiving and kicks off all the Christmas sales.

      No doubt some blow-dried newscaster thought he/she was being clever by naming the day that, and it just stuck because the shopping crowds really are horrendous (and in some cases, crazy, as when they stampede stores and run over people trying to get to that rebated XBox game).  I try to put it in perspective (while hiding out at home) by being grateful that people are stampeding Christmas sales instead of storming barricades in the street.  It’s a freedom and democracy thing, therefore not something Mr. Gawenda can fully comprehend, apparently.

      Posted by RebeccaH on 2005 12 01 at 10:57 AM • permalink


    1. So has this guy somewhere heard people talk of the Thanksgiving shopping season? I certainly haven’t, and I’ve been part of quite a few Thanksgivings.

      Or does he simply categorize shopping days according to the holiday closest to it (never mind that “Black Friday” happens AFTER Thanksgiving).

      What a dolt!

      Posted by tim maguire on 2005 12 01 at 11:25 AM • permalink


    1. 10
      Away in a manger,
      No crib for a bed,
      The small plastic turkey
      Lay down his sweet head

      The stars in the bright sky
      Looked down where he lay
      The small plastic turkey
      Asleep on the hay.

      This doesn’t quite work for me.

      Posted by Nilknarf Arbed on 2005 12 01 at 06:24 PM • permalink


    1. I always attributed the term ‘Black Friday’ to positive balances in bookkeeping being entered in black ink (‘operating in the black’).

      Posted by Achillea on 2005 12 01 at 06:41 PM • permalink


    1. Commercial excesses at Thanksgiving?  The reason T-giving is one of my favorite holidays is precisely because it is uncommercialized.  You don’t buy anything but food, which we would have bought anyway.  I did spend some money at the liquor store, but don’t the libs love it when you give money to the government?

      Side note—liquor store employees are the only useful government employees.  Not sure why they know everything there is to know about alcohol, but they do, and are very helpful.

      Posted by RK on 2005 12 01 at 07:07 PM • permalink


  1. # 15

    I always attributed the term ‘Black Friday’ to positive balances in bookkeeping

    Right, the retailer finds it’s way into the black after the holiday.

    Nothing to do with how sucky the crowds are or anything. Even though they are.

    The term must have leapt from the board-room into the pop-culture lingo only very recently. I’m a thirty six year old American, who only heard the term for the first time this year.

    Initially I thought it was a negative reference as well and thought; “Man, if shopping crowds are among our biggest woes, we truly do have alot to be thankful for.”

    And we do.

    Posted by Thomas on 2005 12 01 at 08:28 PM • permalink