Tag Archives: zombies

Center For Disease Control Zombie Apocalypse Guide

It may be time to start building that perimeter wall, folks.  After Image: CDC zombie apocalypse guide.watching the 2008 movie Quarantine the other night, I felt my first authentic fear of zombies.  I started experiencing the basic status-quo terror of zombies as a 9-year-old, when, having moved from Northern California to a remote property in Southern Oregon, I created a fantasy that zombies began shuffling up our gravel driveway whenever I rested my hands over my stomach in bed at night.  I realize that this makes no sense, but hey I was nineContinue reading Center For Disease Control Zombie Apocalypse Guide

A Walk Among the Dead

I visited the cemetery on Crystal Lake Drive on a weekday in June of 1999.  I was enrolled in an experimental university course called The Philosophy of Death and Dying, and this was an assignment.  It was sunny, with white clouds filling niches in a wide summer-blue sky, and I managed to miss the torrent that came about five minutes after I left. It was Oregon, after all, where one can never rely on consistent weather.  I’d never visited a cemetery before with the intent to record impressions. I’d also never experienced the weird sensations that came on that day under my feet.

I arrived and walked to the river, a space in the trees signifying its presence. I sort of naturally made this my beginning and ending point for this walk. I took note of the clumps of water plants clogging the river’s surface, an old rowboat tied to the bank, still above the water’s edge, wind in the trees, thick grass, and a strong wish suddenly to stay there beside the slow-moving water. Wild poppies and chamomile flowers crowded in at my feet.
Behind me, the cemetery was divided into two kinds of sections. The farthest away was for raised stones, and the first section I walked through was for ground-level stones. Flags from Memorial Day waved from almost every grave, creating an illusion of life through movement. Other movement in the yard was created by a Blue Jay hopping in the grass
to eat worms and insects, then landing on a grave stone, and a Gray Squirrel loping like a sail from one large tree to another at my approach. There were all types of trees of different sizes. I speculated during my walk on whether this sense of life in the graveyard was due to the life of the wind made visible by flags, the awareness of the dead themselves, or the leftover intentions of those who inserted the flags.

Store-bought bouquets dotted almost every grave. Stones had depressions under them and were old, weathered, rainstained,
cracked, and lopsided. I took a straight diagonal. Starting out into the empty lawn, I had my usual air of bohemian flippancy. Soon a reticence touched down on me, like one of the white clouds turning to gray and descending to within an arm’s reach. I started not wanting to be there.  The first grave started to change that. A not-so-subtle tingling went up the bottoms of my feet into my calves. I started to see images of the dead bodies, the bones, resting a couple of meters under the ground, sealed off from this shining, wonderfully breezy day. I decided then and there that no one would ever bury me. I want to be scattered over a river and in forests and mountain meadows and such, a little bit of me returned to each variety of
natural space.

As I found myself reading aloud names and dates and such, I noticed my flippancy dissolve, and it became interesting to be there. I read a lot of the tombstones, and I was particularly moved by the graves for folks who died in 1881, 1885, and 1888. It was such a long time ago. I wondered how the stones had gotten to this cemetery, whether the cemetery was that old,
whether the stones were that old. A hundred years is a long time to a human being.

All throughout this walk, the weird and unexpected tingling energy rode up from the ground into my feet. Once when I squatted, the tingling graduated to the seat of my pants. I also kept having a weird sense that there was a consciousness
present over the yard. Somehow the dead seemed to be enjoying this day. I was taken aback by this sensation, because I did not expect to feel anything at all while there. I’ve been to a couple other graveyards and felt nothing at all. This was really, really strange. I spoke the following into a micro cassette recorder and feel like it deserves to be included:
There is a kind of presence, I don’t know, all these stones, like, this solid sort of a – you can’t just run freely through here without noticing that there’s this…feeling – I’m getting a really strong feeling out of the ground.
Just standing there on the surface with the dead under the ground made me sad for their captivity. I noted each time I touched a stone, and after walking for a while, I felt like paying respect to all the graves I walked over. I said a “Thanks” of sorts. Just as I started looking for a baby grave, I found one of a three year old. I sat down in front of it to ponder the enigma of Wilbur’s death. But here is what I recorded:
Good or bad for my spirit, I believe in vibratory influence – vibrations of today and in a cemetery of all the vibration that’s here and all the time and energy that is spent in a certain vibration in this cemetery by the living, plus the presence of the bones of those who have lived – I believe all of that contains vibration and there’s a vibration that’s left here – just from every single thing that’s ever happened here, or every person who’s ever lived who’s been buried here – lot of vibration that’s left over that continues to emanate a presence or an influence upon – a contribution to the world.
Then I closed my eyes at the kid’s grave. It felt funny, like floating, and I didn’t feel still at all, not solid, not in one place. When I started back the way I’d come, I said goodbye to the little kid in the grave as if the stone was conscious. It was funny – I did it unconsciously. I never had a feeling or any ideas for why he might have died. I did walk away with a sense that people had lived to old ages long ago. I thought the modern idea about not taking your stuff with you when you pass on could mean that all these people were left with was bones, pure and simple, no toys. I ended up back at the river, and I took note of two things I hadn’t noted before. Two large dead trees crisscrossed the channel near the boat, and lots of new growth in
grasses and other weeds was occurring up against dead material. My walk among the dead was kind of like that.

The Hopi Prophecy Revisited

At the Oregon Country Fair this past week, I was lucky to motivate myself to get to the tipi in Community Village where a presentation was being held on the Hopi Prophecy.  I wove through the wide strands of people looking for clothing and other gear to enhance their appearance and enjoyment, and with purpose I arrived at the white towering canvas structure in time to claim a comfortable cushion and accept a shell of sage leaves to smudge myself.  The Hopi Survival Guide had frightened me as a teenager when I read it, but the message of the prophecy lingered beyond the dire warning of the direction human beings have been heading, that of choice.  I wanted to come to this talk at the Country Fair because whoever was revisiting it at this time could have something current to suggest about one of the oldest prophecies on record.

The tipi filled up, and a prophecy cloth was shown to us.  It depicted the actual drawing relaying the prophecy on the rock wall.  The cloth had been created by a man officially asked by the last native elder in charge of sharing the prophecy to carry on the teachings after his death.

The points that the speaker considered important centered around a third kind of major disturbance in the scale of time, shown as the third circle on the bottom horizontal line, after the rightmost vertical line, and the figures lined up atop the top horizontal line.  These figures’ heads are disconnected from their bodies as they travel the path of disconnection, basically the opposite of a spiritual path.  Immediately, I noticed that the third disturbance, as indicated on the speaker’s cloth, bore a striking resemblance to a symbol that I wrote about in a previous blog article, that of a pyramid with its apex hovering above its main lower two thirds.

The two symbols, that of people with their heads disconnected from their bodies and that of the disconnected pyramid, which is so common and yet strange nevertheless, seemed also to be obviously related to one another.  The discussion in the Community Village tipi centered around this symbology of disconnection.  The prophecy appears to indicate an inner sort of war, a time where people are stuck in their heads, disconnected from their hearts.

In my studies of mythology during a college exchange to New Mexico, I gained insight into recognition of symbols within the variation of depictions by different hands, in diverse cultures, and at various times.  The cloth shown to the group in the tipi during the Country Fair had a distinctly pyramidal third disturbance symbol, where in the example I found online (shown above) the symbol is not immediately recognizable as related to the pyramid I mentioned.

Human senses are deeply affected by environmental and internal stimuli.  For instance, perception is easily dulled with repetition of things we know to be untrue or ridiculous, as with television commercials or talk shows.  Entrainment to such low-frequency patterns of thought act on the mind to discount and eventually not see a variety of options outside of what is presented.  Eating food with chemical additives like energy sodas and neon orange snack foods has an emotional impact on the human organism, dulling and confusing our sensory capacity.  The kind of recognition that one can have, therefore, as a result of specific stimuli has validity.  In other words, you sometimes have to be in the right mood or state of health to see or be drawn to something, for instance a connection.

To me it is definitely possible that the Hopi Prophecy warns modern people of what is already perceptible as the early stages of a kind of global media pop-corporate culture seduction including pod-to-pod living and an all-encompassing drive for fame and wealth.  From personal mp3 playing device pods that block out the sounds of Nature and communication from other people, to the automobile that surrounds us in a slightly larger pod of glass and steel and carries us directly into our home box or pod from our work pod, we are distinctly cut off from what is real in this world right now as a mass culture.  Subliminal advertising doesn’t even have to be in use if soulless music is played in grocery stores.  Media conglomeration continues to squelch local perspectives and diverse reporting of what is news-worthy.  There are so many additional examples of disconnection in this society (U.S.) that I’m sure I don’t need to go into them here.  Perhaps it’s not quite as all-encompassing as in the movie The Matrix, but the similarities could be worthy of thought.

Here are the important questions as I see them:  how could this kind of disconnectedness have been foretold by an ancient people?  And more importantly, why is it worth being warned about?

I think that the first question is a whole other article, so I will say that I think they were deeply connected to their natural sensory ability and leave it at that for now so I can move onto the second question.  Disconnection is a serious threat to the survival of our species.  Whether you believe it or not, the fact is that humanity exists inside a living system where connectivity is the name of the game.  Everything affects and is affected by everything else.  If you’ve ever experienced synchronicity, you’ve witnessed the magic of how your seemingly routine decisions can help another person’s manifestation come about, and vise versa.  The casual conversation you have on the commuter train with a stranger on the way to work triggers you to see a musical performance at which you run into an old acquaintance who has just the information you were looking for, etc.  We are all connected in a mysterious web of energy whether we utilize it or continually block ourselves off from recognizing it.  Connection can be as simple and yet profound as being in the right place at the right time because a friend tipped you off to something good.  In terms of global systemic balance, do you think it is better to tune in and turn on to what your intuition is telling you or to stop and check your facebook messages every time the bing goes off on your smart phone?

I would like to bring into this question the symbol of the levitating pyramid cap.  There is an interesting video series that interprets this symbol in an uncommon way.  After watching the exploration of levitation via complex symbol magnetics, I decided that it is perhaps possible that the “Free Masons” called themselves free because they had discovered how not to have to lift a finger to build with stone.  Regardless of that particular interpretation, the floating pyramid symbol is almost everywhere you look.  I even saw it at the Oregon Country Fair!  Who knows why or what it means?  It does get used a lot by conspiracy theorists though to “prove” their theories, thus inspiring fear.

Fear itself seems to be mainly a kind of disconnection from reality, reality being the bioenergetic fact that human beings can create material substance from thought via emotional frequency. I postulate, then, that the Hopi Prophecy is a warning against separating from our nature, our inherent powers of creation, our basic connection to Nature and to each other, and an admonition to reconnect within, and to act in strong accord with the deep frequency of the heart chakra.  In this way, we can save ourselves from our own darkness.

On Sunday night of the Country Fair, I sat on a bale of straw next to my new friend and fellow camper Octavia, who is a good friend of Brian Stroud and his wife.  The wire and L.E.D. crystal she carried to illuminate her way and lost later that night reminded me of The Dark Crystal, and the way the Skeksis merged with the urRu again after the crystal was reunited with the shard.  I wonder if this is the meaning of the Hopi Prophecy.

 

Apocalypse Power

We’ve all heard the term “conspiracy theory.”  This is the idea that a master plot is being carried out by an elite group to take control of humanity.  There are several tangents of conspiracy theory, from government control, to alien take-over, to hollywood satanism.  After reviewing a number of explanations and analyses of these theories, I would like to bring some points I haven’t seen yet into the conversation.

While the main message of the conspiracy analyses I have digested seems clearly to be “get ready for suffering,” I’d like to insert Franklin D. Roosevelt’s deeply wise statement here, that the only thing to fear is fear itself. Those of us interested in personal and social evolution and grappling with ideas about how to best handle things like the Patriot Act and corporate personhood, for instance, can stock our toolboxes with methods for getting and staying connected to source energy from within our personal energy bodies.*  Such enables those seeking a source of personal power or a stronger footing from which to do their best work to sidestep the destructive energy of such theories as well as that of various energy vampires who out of their own fear endeavor to hold back the light of the awakening soul.  That mouthful basically means that within your auric field, you are safe, if you learn how to nourish and utilize its fascinating qualities.  It also means that there are many people in the world who avoid their own truths, feelings, and shadow selves by tormenting anyone they see shining brightly.  It seems easier to them to push others down than heal their own suffering and rise to a new frequency.

When I use the term ‘source energy,’ I intend to point the reader toward a consideration of whatever conceptual version of Great Spirit with with she or he resonates.  When I say ‘God,’ I get a Christian vibe from that word.  I learned from the Bahai faith, which I studied in college, to tolerate Christianity for its basic teachings of love and service to a higher good for all humankind, even though I can’t find the same attitude towards its mass murder of women intent to channel healing (W.I.T.C.H.es) back in the 15th to 18th centuries.  Native American spirituality has always held strong sway with me, matching up with my own earthy sentiments in terms of a natural diety who wants humanity to evolve toward greater health, love, and harmony with Nature.  As a natural mystic, in the style of Alan Watts and Van Morrison, I’ve chosen to weave that with a practice of Taoism, which fits my observations, studies, and experiences of the world.  My sense is that it doesn’t matter what name a person gives to what has been called ‘higher power,’ or how exactly one practices reverence for this entity or energy, in accordance with basic shalls and shall nots of energy exchange, such as respect for life, which goes without saying for the most part.  And I should probably say for the sake of clarity that I believe there to be only One, thereby rendering any arguments of satanic worship fitting into the definition of higher power irrelevant.

Having said all this, the main focus of this piece is the use of focus for protection.  Or, to be more precise, sidestepping of unwanted experiences or circumstances.  In my study of manifestation, which began when I lost a job in 2006, I’ve learned how closely it relates to Taoism.  Allowing events their neutrality opens the path to deeper experience and opportunities one might have missed were focus frozen on what has happened and how much seems to be wrong with that.

How this relates to conspiracy theories as presented in videos like ‘Are You Ready?,’ ‘Satanic Hollywood,’ future world map projections, and similar story lines is that fear is the main tool of such supposed agendas, yet the expose efforts available online as mentioned above just generate more of the same fear.  The tone of all the documentaries I’ve watched and articles I’ve read is the same, a warning.  There aren’t many solutions or action-plans is this material.  The movie Zeitgeist Moving Forward looks at one man’s design ideas about human settlements as a solution and does address the fact of our unique power as human beings to withstand and avert disaster from a spiritual base.  But after viewing the movie I was left with an unquantifiable dread and no idea how to get to a safe place, so to speak.  The message of hope seemed obscured.

Granted, not everyone will share my response to conspiracy theory.  Some may digest it wholly as fact and spend the rest of their lives scrambling to build a zombie-proof fortress underground.  Others might dismiss it all and keep on gardening, programming, trading stocks, or whatever they are currently doing.  The message of conspiracy theorists, regardless, is to be afraid, and this discussion responds by suggesting an option for transmuting generated emotional thought patterns with regard to the integrity of the energy body.

So here’s the crux of my argument.  Because conspiracy theory seeks to generate the energy of fear within you, it leaves its weakness open, and that weakness is the need to scare you.  Once you recognize that weak spot in the conspiracy argument for what it is, you can simply know that fear generates patterns of energy within your bioenergetic organism that create that which is feared, and you can then change your frequency to that of love and appreciation.  What this simple but powerful act does is move you out of the channels that lead toward the apocalypse or satanic alien takeover or nibiru collision or being in the wrong place at the wrong time, to be quite blunt.  There are many scenarios for apocalypse, and I won’t go into them because why dwell on what is not desirable?  In fact, that is exactly what this work is about.  A great film about focus in this context can be found on Youtube, combining the coexistence of quantum physics and conspiracy theory.

One final point I’d like to make in the conversation about conspiracy theories is that fear of an apocalypse of any kind serves to motivate awakening individuals toward the development of inner spiritual-energetic resources that appear to be designed to serve the well-being and survival of the human being, regardless of the state of the environment…  This is a Taoist perspective.  Fear or empowerment?  The supposed perpetrators of global attack on grassroots people can’t get you if you can get connected to the only real source of energy there is.  By doing this you can get on with the unfolding of your unique gift to the world and participate in the evolution of humankind toward greater good for all life.  That’s my $.02.

*I will be teaching a workshop in the near future on an effective way to get and stay connected to Universal energy currents that heal and protect us from within our personal energy bodies.  Keep an eye on my calendar if you would like to attend, or sign up for my newsletter to be notified of dates and locations.

 

Costco Only Place Big Enough for Zombie Meetups?

Breaking News:  Zombies have been seen using big-box stores to meet.  The implications are grave, with possible strategy sessions for infiltration and takeover occurring during these Z meetups.  This article breaks down an analysis of what’s happening and makes recommendations for nipping further outbreak in the bud.

The scene:  Milling about somewhat aimlessly, several shoppers were observed recently in Wal-Mart displaying behavior indicative of infection with the zombie virus.  Symptoms observed included leaning on shopping carts to displace normal (and sometimes abnormal) body weight, trudging as if in trance, staring into space, and eating while in the store, thereby spending half a day inside.  Glaring fluorescent lights gave many the appearance of under-eye bags and slightly gangrenous limbs.

The issue at hand for discussion is how contagious the disease is, and whether or not the zombies’ use of big-box stores will spread the virus or could perhaps contain it, as the types of people who shop at Wal-Mart may be of a similar demographic.

Sourcing demographic information for Wal-Mart might be as easy as making several trips there and extrapolating the data collected to stores nation-wide.  Several photographers have already begun documenting certain regular appearances of what seems to be a specific and unified population visiting Wal-Marts across the country.  The typical behavior of those infected seems to include habits similar to those detailed in the article documenting Black Friday earlier in this blog.  Shuffling, slumping posture, empty gaze; lack of eye-contact, missing consideration for others present, surrender to store conditions and situational dangers associated with the general shopping frenzy, etc.

Stores like Wal-Mart are possibly a kind of breeding ground for the zombie virus.  They may be, however, places where these creatures are actually being contained to some degree, cut off from portions of the population less susceptible to consumer culture/adverting.  They do leave the stores to sleep at home, though, and this commute may expose others to the disease.  It is unlikely that many shoppers of Wal-Mart use public transportation to get to and from the store, so the car (or personal transport pod) shields people from direct contact.  Family members can be considered exposed and infected for the most part.  Neighbors most-likely are either safe from transmission for the time being, as modern suburban and urban design leaves out public gathering spaces or pleasant walking routes to and from homes.

Keeping up with the Joneses as a sort of way of life in America has implications for cross-pollination, much of the supplies used for growing a greener, more uniform “monolawn” coming from big-box stores, where zombies no doubt at least make visual contact with one another and susceptible parties some of the time.  Observation does impact choice.  Store culture, malls and big-boxes in particular, establish mores for dressing (to hide the unique soul and any human vulnerabilities), behavior, and lifestyle choice.  Elements of this ‘culture’ include product tastings, interactive displays, food courts, and sales.

Recognition among shoppers occurs via products stacked on carts for purchase, attendance at sales ‘events,’ and the clothing worn by participants.  Even if shoppers do not interact verbally, they are visually reassured by each other of their normalcy (fitting into American standards) and subtly encouraged to spend even by their level of purchasing power in comparison with each other.

The virus may therefore be being transferred in stores like Wal-Mart and Costco via a subtle strand which links sensory hubs without requiring any physical contact between people.  Disease transference by proximity without touch frustrates the standard triage and patient zero medical containment approach.  Without an understanding of how to prevent the subtle yet pervasive suite of disease transfer avenues at play in shopping centers and big box stores, containment and protection turns difficult.  Touch made unnecessary and replaced by visual prompting then supported by a competition-based set-up (get the new deal before your neighbor does) makes elusive the hero’s approach.  Being aware of the elements of transference of this disease is usually not sufficient to make any difference.  It is like a child throwing a pebble in a pond already bombarded by rocks tossed by a group of adults, the ripple is not enough to effect a change in the wave pattern.

Additional obstacles include sound controlled inside the stores to cue passivity, dullness of mind, and consumption, including probable subliminal advertising tracks under the musak.  Developing and maintaining a strong mind and healthy sensory reception template as an individual is not so difficult, especially if one starts out in a less susceptible place within, such as with basic progressive consciousness or little time spent inside these kinds of stores.  However, even talking with the infected in these places becomes ineffectual because the hero and the infected are both surrounded by multiple streams of sensory interference.  One might be able to maintain independence from the virus while the other remains unable to make a mental bridge to lead them out of the inundation and system domination occurring in effect via their lack of appropriate protections against the stimuli all around them in the big box or the mall.

The issue of zombification affects more than might originally be obvious, such as what people wear or think.  One major area of importance remains the nation’s food supply.  Those who shop at big-box stores make up a large portion of the mainstream population and therefore determine supply within the heavily-controlled boundaries of what the stores offer up for purchase.  Perhaps reports on factory-farmed beef sales are weighted by contracts between big-box stores and those producers, the infected being largely unquestioning of the back story of the food on display, by way of their disease.  In this way, these kinds of stores make perfect breeding grounds, petrie dishes for zombie ‘culture’ to grow like a silent fungal colonial takeover.  Meanwhile, the animals in factory farms suffer unspeakably and zombies gobble it up like fresh brains.

Without comment or improvement (more human and humane considerations), the pseudo-places commonly referred to as malls and shopping outlets are projected to remain hot breeding grounds for the zombie virus.  The method for infection is largely unrecognized, and therefore unchecked, and infection is thus spreading steadily in the ways postulated above.

The actions one could take in prevention of further spreading of the disease include a general list of basic activism.  Letter-writing to Congress, the Senate, and the big-boxes, regular use of  the technique of visualization of a much more sane store structure and relationship with suppliers, including accountability for inhumane treatment of food animals and corporate pollution generated by production facilities as well as consideration for local and organic growers, is one major avenue of containment of this plague.  It is easy also to boycott, as if one thinks about it, none of the things sold at them are that necessary.  The lower prices are not actually low at all, when one stops to account for the loss of life, ecosystem integrity, indigenous communities, and small farms that are just some of the parts of the equation not shown on typical accounting sheets.  Shopping instead at local cooperatives, buying directly from local farms, and visiting farmers’ markets are easy and fun ways to change the tide. Another action with concrete results is to create or join a community discussion/action group, one in which members write letters to the editor of local and national newspapers and create artwork to expose and encourage discussion about what is happening inside big-box stores.

For more information or to make inquiries, please feel free to become a follower of this blog, leave a comment, or contact the author directly.

Black Friday

Black Friday.  Biggest US shopping day of the year, treated like a holiday.  Stores open up in the middle of the night and offer sales.  People stream in from their homes, some never touching their beds, packing tote bags full of circled ads, hand-held television sets, and a will as strong as any athlete to win.  Only at Black Friday winning is about grabbing the sale items before anyone else.  Each year, at least one person is trampled to death somewhere in the United States on Black Friday, by other shoppers more eager to get their deals than respect the lives of shoppers with less of an iron will than them.
A group of 4 or 5 friends grabbed a video camera, a still camera, and a voice recorder and stayed up ’till dawn in order to interview these people while they waited in lines at the Malls and big stores for Black Friday.  We thought it would be revealing to talk to these folks and find out what motivated them to wait in lines all night long just to shop.  We shared a sort of fascination for uncovering the intriguing reasons behind the popular support for this consumer holiday.
I have never particularly enjoyed shopping myself.  I do it more because I occasionally need something from a store.  So I expected to be disgusted, but what our little group found surprised even me.
We started at the Lloyd Center Mall.  One woman waiting at the front of a line for Old Navy in the mall wore a pink sweatshirt and carried her own personal television to watch while waiting to shop.  I can’t imagine what was on at that hour of the night, infomercials maybe?  I haven’t owned or watched a television in over a decade, unless you count that one time I met a date in a sports bar, where something like 15 T.V.s guaranteed that any direction I looked in kept me up to date on the basketball game.
Strangely drawn to her pill pink coat, we made our way over and talked to her first.  Her family, she proudly told us, had come to Black Friday for the past 25 years.  We asked her why she had a television along, and she explained that she used it to keep up with what was going on.  I held my tongue, because I didn’t have anything nice to say.
Another woman in the line had brought along a tote bag that she had stocked with an organized 4″ thick pile of ads she’d carefully removed from newspapers in anticipation of the night.  I was more surprised at the way she showed these to us as if nothing was at all wrong with any of it than I was by the pile of ads on the edge of careening forth from the bag at any moment.

My team of compatriots loosely interviewed and interacted with those waiting in line.  Not carrying a recording device, I was free to roam, observe, and converse, some of which was caught on tape and some recorded for posterity in my memory.  From what I could tell, people in the lines were blissfully engaged with the event.  They didn’t question the situation in the least, and they actually reacted defensively when questioned in some cases.  One grade-school teacher gave our cameraman an earful after he engaged her in a playful dialogue about American consumer culture.
Later in the night, we discovered a tired line stretching the equivalent of two city blocks creating a pseudo-social scene in front of Best Buy out by the airport.  Moisture from a light rain reflected from the dark pavement and created small puddles in the low points of the asphalt landscape.  At the front of this line, a gaggle of about 6 twenty-something kids giddily shared with us their plan for buying as many laptops as possible and reselling them for a profit.  They had eaten their Thanksgiving dinners in line.
I was struck by my observation that a number of people I talked with displayed an almost humorous attitude towards what they were doing, as if they were aware on some low level how F-ed up it was to stand in line for three days and nights to buy electronic gadgets.  To me, their upturned lips were a thin veil hanging between their decision to be there and their full sensory awareness.  Despite how close some of the Best Buy line seemed to admitting their craziness, all of these folks stood their ground, like I might at any time seek to pull them out of their place in line.  The energy of the scene felt dysfunctional, disturbing, akin to that of a factory farm or other place where you know things aren’t right.
Everyone on my team agreed that the richest material by far of the night came from Wal-Mart.  At first not being allowed to enter with recording devices seemed indicative that something going on inside was officially being hidden from scrutiny.  After about fifteen minutes of useless haggling, we actually got past security due to a more pressing issue suddenly needing the attention of the security staff.
When we got inside, all of us were simply blown away.  Everywhere, people pushed shopping carts loaded higher than their shoulders with crap.  They drove the carts in all directions, and so it was simply mayhem inside the store.  The strong lights, the muzak, and the drone of urgent voices (oxymoronic perhaps, but true) all combined to make me have to physically and psychically shut down my natural flight responses.
I witnessed one young man narrowly miss tripping an elderly person walking gingerly with the aid of a cane, after which he unaffectedly ran onward toward whatever product special was calling his name.  It was like watching ice-skating championships – I held my breath and then let it out only after the elderly man carried on in an upright position.
One of the most bizarre elements of the scene was the effect created because shoppers were made to wait in lines filling the store from wall to wall until 5 a.m., when check stands opened.  My team of hobby investigative journalists couldn’t break through the lines inside the store and had to walk around to the ends of them to exit the building.  I felt like I had a numberof years ago when the bus I was on sat in traffic for an hour in an attempt to leave New York City one weekday evening a few years ago, utterly trapped.
Our still-photographer began pushing a cart filled for display with all of the store’s supply of GPS for automobiles.  This one act carried much weight, as many people proceeded to glare at her or check out the stack of green boxes as if shopping in her cart.  That’s when I first noticed the eyes of Black Friday shoppers.  Each person’s attention seemed to dart around jaggedly, no one made eye contact, and all body language was slumped and shuffling.
I realized that people had to slip inside a kind of zone to blend in and get into what was occurring in that unnatural place.  People couldn’t unfurl their senses there, or they’d all be burnt off, singed beyond later functionality in the real world outside by a deadening combination of atmosphere, program, and a landscape that bred disconnectedness.
It seemed an agreement made silently within each individual person, some mixture of observation and feeling that when set produced a sort of zombie stance that stuck to the program of buying and milling about, getting excited about gadgets, distracted and lured by packaging.
After we went home, exhausted and simultaneously awakened by what we had witnessed first-hand, I was lucky to speak to a former employee of three stores regularly participating in Black Friday.  She unabashedly told me that people shopping seemed like they had an uncontrollable illness, a need for a bargain so deep that they didn’t realize anything that was going on around them.