Resisting The "Black Friday" Frenzy
Garrison Keillor has this:
It was on this day in 1889 the jukebox made its debut at the Palais Royale Saloon in San Francisco. It was called a "nickel-in-the-slot player" and was built by the Pacific Phonograph Co. and installed by entrepreneur Louis Glass and his business associate William S. Arnold.
The jukebox consisted of an Edison Class M Electric Phonograph inside a free-standing oak cabinet to which were attached four stethoscope-like tubes. Each tube could be activated by depositing a coin so that four people could listen to a single recording at one time — the sound equivalent of the peep-show nickelodeon. Towels were supplied so that Palais Royale patrons could wipe off the listening tubes between uses. Despite competition from player pianos, this primitive jukebox was a big hit across the country. In its first six months of service, the nickel-in-the-slot earned more than $1,000.
Significantly, no explanation of what a jukebox is, is now required, but soon, all too soon, there will have to be a definition. Will the definition have the words "record player" or "78's" or "45's" in it? In fact, a jukebox is just another of those things that we thought we needed to have at some point, but now see that we no longer need it. It's obsolete, along with several generations of improvements on it. Just ask Spotify.com. Or Pandora. Or cassettes. Or 8-tracks.
Today is also the crazy shopping day. No, I am not shopping. It's not because I have no confidence as a consumer. Or because I'm concerned about the financial abyss. Not at all. It's just amazing how quickly the nation is expected to shift from piously giving thanks for all manner of things to glee at its voracious, uncontrolled consumption. And I'm not ready to change the channel just yet. I'm staying on gratitude for today, too. There's plenty of time to acquire more things later on, no matter what panic, no matter what frenzy those Christmas songs provoke.
Join me. And Chuck D. And fight the power. You won't have to drive to the mall. You don't need to find a parking place. You don't have to be pushed or shoved. Instead, keep your internal gratitude generator running for another beautiful day. Just abstain, just say "no" to today's expected shopping frenzy. As they say, "You'll be happy you did."