November 23, 2007

Thousands they grieve as the Black Friday rule

This is going to come off as one of those "in my days blah blah, six miles up and down hill in the snow rabble robble" posts, but I simply don't get what the purpose of "Black Friday" is. Yes, I mean I understand it's about stores making lots of money for the "official start" of the "holiday shopping season," but what, truly, is the point? Perhaps people with better economic policy backgrounds can add in, but it's not like today has a bearing on the end of a financial quarter, etc... the overall sales factors will come post-Christmas, like they always do. And because today had become so hyped and influenced by timed sales and the like, it seems like the day is now such an outlier to normal retail flow that it can't even be used as an accurate measure of how "well" the holiday shopping season is going to be.

What bugs me about it is the backlash I think the entire process now has on a lot of people. For example, I actually wanted to go shopping today because I had free time and knew there would be some great sales, but I deliberately didn't go because I knew how unbelievably insane a Northern New Jersey mall would be on the Friday after Thanksgiving. The hype and nonsense over "Black Friday" when they could have just had a simple sale like they do for President's Day or whatever is was made me not spend money today.

Finally, I am actually angered by anyone who let the stores get away with this "doors open at 4:00 AM" bullshit. What the hell makes you do that? There is nothing- nothing- that requires a sale to start at 4:00 AM, and to actually entertain that as a customer means you do not give a damn about hundreds of low-wage workers who were likely told that they had to finish up with their families on Thanksgiving extra-early so they could be at their stations at 3:30 AM before the doors open. People should refuse to show up that early simply in protest.

The only thing I could possibly imagine was the store managers all thought enough people would simply stay up Thursday night and just show up at 4:00 AM to buy stuff. That's just what we need in this country: a bunch of people spending the day gorging and drinking, then not getting any sleep so they can stumble to their cars before the sun has even risen to save 50% on tackle boxes and capri pants. 4:00 AM after-Thanksgiving sales are why Al-Qaeda hates us and quite frankly I don't blame them.

Update: Reader Chris K. writes in:

I worked a Black Friday at Toys R Us seven years ago, when Toys R Us was one of the earliest-opening stores with the biggest sale. I believe we opened our doors at 6am - which meant that the first shift started at 3am. So the 4am openings, I'm guessing, are bringing employees in as early as 1am depending on the store. (And of course, here in Dallas, one of our malls opened at 1am for reasons I cannot fathom. I have no idea how many stores in the mall actually bothered to open that early, though.)

None of that should happen. Most of that shouldn't even be legal.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 9:24 PM

November 21, 2007

200-mile parking lot yaaaaaaaaaay


Northeast Corridor Holiday Advisory

Expect extremely heavy traffic and lengthy delays on the I-95 corridor between Richmond, VA and New York City, especially between Richmond and Washington, through Delaware, and on the central and northern New Jersey Turnpike. Consider alternate routes.

There are no "alternate routes." I have to cross rivers, which involve using a bridge. "Alternate route" means "don't drive." Thanks, jerks. Maybe if I'm really lucky I'll be home by Friday afternoon in time for some leftovers.

Anyhoo, the site's going dark until Monday. Have a great holiday weekend, all.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 9:11 AM

November 20, 2007

When it's done

Please enjoy this page dedicated to chronicling the major accomplishments achieved during the development time of Duke Nukem Forever.

Either you're laughing your ass off or you don't understand this at all. That's just the way it has to be.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 4:31 PM

Well, crap

I thought it would wait until after Thanksgiving, but it looks like Republicans are starting to abandon the silly crap and start realizing that maybe they actually want a plausible candidate for their party.

I have said all along that Romney, closely followed by McCain, are the two GOP candidates I worry the most about- especially if Clinton is the Democratic candidate- and nothing makes me happier than watching the right wing try to destroy those two. McCain I don't worry about as much, not because he isn't a right-wing lunatic, but more that he's literally the hollow shell of whatever appeal he had eight years ago, and quite honestly I think voters can actually smell the failure on him. Romney, on the other hand, is leading all the initial primaries and has more money than God.

A year ago, we all knew this was going to be a fight between Romney and Giuliani, with McCain trying for a dark horse victory. December will see that happening again. With less than two months to Iowa, the Silly Season has officially ended.

Meanwhile, Mike Huckabee has secured the endorsement of Ted Nugent, Chuck Norris, and WWE wresler Ric Flair. So, yeah. Take that, Giuliani.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 9:13 AM

November 19, 2007

"Whither weatherman"

Latest comic - click here!

John Coleman is a famous TV weatherman who, a few decades ago, helped form The Weather Channel, the group that joins just about every other institution remotely connected to both climatology and rational thought in refuting Coleman's claims that global warming isn't real.

Coleman's sad blather (and yes, to reiterate, his quote in the first panel is real) is shadowed by the sheer silliness of the right-wing padding of his status in the study of climate change: "high profile member of the weather reporting community?" Umm, okay, so is Al Roker. He does specials on the Food Network. I mean, more power to you guys, but please let's stop coming up with sillier and sillier terms to make your bullshit sound more prestigious. You're a silly weatherman who's wrong about weather... and as I just said, that's really sad.

An update on the book front: As I'll probably be repeating for a while, thanks to everyone who's been ordering the book. I'm really happy you're all enjoying it, and by all means if you've received your copy feel free to write in and tell me what you thought.

Also, just as a heads-up for any readers out there who not only love the cartoon but also love helping sick children and have lots of disposable income: sometime in the first week of December or so, I'm going to auction off some original art for charity. I'm not sure what I think will be a better draw; either the original of one of my more popular cartoons or maybe the original cover art for the book. All the proceeds from the sale will go Child's Play, the charity founded by the Penny Arcade team to give toys and other gifts to children's hospitals (including Children's National Medical here in D.C.) If I can actually raise a hundred bucks or so for the charity I'll consider it an amazing feat. So stay tuned.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 12:06 AM