Saturday, November 29, 2008

Mobs and Discounts

When materialistic shopping becomes an idol, people may die, as did this poor Wal-Mart employee.


Anonymous said...

Human life taken for a slight discount on things that no one needs is a tragic start to this annual materialistic frenzy. People absorbed in such greed have set aside their humanity to join the ranks of animals.

a said...

What is specific referent to the "such greed" that you describe?

Are you implying that people who went to Walmart early to save money "set aside their humanity" but act as animals? Or just people at that Walmart? Or just (or some of) the people who participated in that death?

And what does "set aside humanity" even mean?

Be specific.

I'm construing this as a scathing indictment against my mom who went to Walmart early to buy our family gifts after my father lost his job. We haven't had any gifts or bought anything this past year. And the Christmas present my mom purchased for herself, food, hardly seems to fall under the category of something that "no one needs." You need to be sensitive to those of us who hurt.

I pray that this will blossom into a discussion that will be marked by humility and love.

Douglas Groothuis, Ph.D. said...

Strange cymbol entity:

You are a bit prickly, I aver. The criticism is not for people looking for bargain (but if it concerned a TV, that is anthoer story), but of the rapid behavior of the crazed shoppers. One can shop smartly, of course. The greed concerns hurting others to get a good deal.

Douglas Groothuis, Ph.D. said...

We should also pray for those who stampeded and killed this man.

Anonymous said...

Symbol person,

Dr. Groothuis responded correctly-- "such greed" does indeed refer to the madness that took place at this Wal-Mart store (though this type of reckless "stuff tunnel-vision" tends to happen elsewhere as well, but thankfully death as a result is uncommon).


You are absolutely right that we should pray for these individuals. Thanks for mentioning that.

Darrell said...

Off Topic:

It's possible that the "symbols" are a variation of 'leet speak -- an internet shorthand that exchanges symbols for letters.

In this case !()/V\PK1/N is probably something like "Lompkin" or "Lompkim."

Yes, it's strange, but what do you expect from a self-avowed "Evangelical Nudist."

I smell a troll here.

Ok..back to the discussion...

a said...

It is leet speak, but it is lumpkin, which is where I live in Georgia.

Douglas Groothuis, Ph.D. said...

Layers and layers of esotericism here: what is leet? And why not use your real name. I do.

Gem said...

I don't use my real name either for reasons of privacy and safety. One never knows when one will irritate someone online and they will be angry enough to stalk. There is only one of me in google so I am easy to find and several of my children and their whereabouts (schools, sports teams, etc) show up on the very first page of google results (and they are beautiful children!).

My daughters 16 and 20 shopped at a Walmart early Friday and found the experience very unpleasant and potentially dangerous. The store was so crowded that they could not easily move around. People were rude. There was one area cordoned off with blood on the floor from a fist fight which had erupted over a children's riding toy.

They said their experience in the Target and BonTon was much better.

Darrell said...

About 'leet. According to Wikipedia:

L33t or Eleet (sometimes rendered leet, 1337, or 31337), also known as Leetspeak, is an alphabet used primarily on the Internet, which uses various combinations of ASCII characters to replace Latinate letters. The term is derived from the word "elite", and the usage it describes is a specialized form of symbolic writing. Different dialects of leet are found on different online forums.

That's a pretty fair summation.

Daniel said...

Similarly, but nothing to do with that guy's weird name:

I also heard that two people at another Wal-Mart somewhere else got into an argument over the last of a certain item. And guy shot the other, in the store. Not sure if he died or how it ended. But that and the topic of this post makes me sick.

By the way, I did most of my Christmas shopping online.... less chance for death.

John Stockwell said...

Basically, humans do act like other
species of animal when placed in similar
situations. This has nothing to do
with "greed", and everything to do with
the fact you put people in a mob situation
and they will act like a mob.

If you want to argue that Walmart is
not taking proper care of its customers
and employees, then I am sure that this
will be echoed by a future lawsuit against
WallMart. No doubt there is negligence
when these types of things happen. That
is why we have courts and laws.

To try to blow this into some anti-capitalist rhetorical discussion is just reaching. You could create a similar situation with anything that puts people in a similar situation.

Douglas Groothuis, Ph.D. said...

Humans are not reducible to animal status. No animals could write what Stockwell did, wrong though he is.

The mob was there, partially, because of greed--a moral vice. The mob acted out of greed and mass hysteria. These people are responsible for their actions and should repent before God.

I gave no rant against capitalism, but against vice. I do not equate the two. Avarice is a problem in every society; it is not caused by free markets.