|Weihnachtmarkt (Christmas Market) in Frankfurt|
Don't know why I went on about all this. Maybe I was unconsciously setting up the stark contrast with the observation I meant to make at the beginning of this post. I.e., a story in USA Today a few days ago informs that among the biggest sellers on Black Friday were . . . guns. How utterly American! Nationwide there were over 129,000 background check requests filed with the FBI that day, far more--32% more, in fact--than the previous high. Nobody seems to have a good explanation for this surge. I could speculate, but it's simply easier to observe that a large portion of the American people are insane and be done with it.
*Where in the hell did this nickname come from? And when in hell did it become part of the American lexicon? Of course, "Black" as in "in the black" for the merchants is a perfectly good metaphor for our money-obsessed culture.