• The height, and depths, of consumer idiocy

What does it say about consumerism gone amok when a 34-year-old Wal-Mart temp employee is killed in the crush of bargain-hunters mindlessly streaming into the store when it opened for business the day after Thanksgiving?

It happened today in Valley Stream, Long Island, NY. At least four other people were injured in the mob scene, police said.

“He was bum-rushed by 200 people,” co-worker Jimmy Overby, 43, told the New York Daily News. “They took the doors off the hinges. He was trampled and killed in front of me. They took me down too. … I literally had to fight people off my back.”

A police statement said shortly after the store’s 5 a.m. opening time, shoppers “physically broke down the doors, knocking (the worker) to the ground.”

A metal portion of the door was crumpled like an accordion. Witnesses told the Daily News that before the store was closed, eager shoppers streamed past emergency crews as they worked to save the worker’s life.

I can understand the energy of such concerted mass effort when it is something like the crowds that have been protesting against the government in Thailand this week, but shopping? Well, when you can pick up a 50-inch high-def plasma TV set for less than $800, it’s every man for himself. That’s become The American Way.

crowd

[Go here for scenes captured at the site of the tragedy.]

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About Bill Dowd

Webmaster/social media coordinator for the Southern Rensselaer County NY Rotary Club.

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