When South Park became South Krap

south park

For many years, South Park has been in a state of slow, but noticeable decline. Ever since Chef got brutally and symbolically killed off in “The Return of Chef” (s10, ep1), things just haven’t been the same. Since 2007, each new season of South Park has gotten steadily worse, and in my opinion, season 18 is the very worst in the whole series.

To understand how South Park suddenly became what I call “South Krap”, let’s take a good look at each of the episodes, starting with the worst opening episode I’ve ever seen in any TV show (and that includes The Simpsons by the way). I already talked about “Go Fund Yourself” in great detail a few months ago, so I’ll try and condense my argument into something simpler. It had one of the worst possible plots of any episode, wherein the boys try to set up a start-up company so that they can make money by doing nothing. That episode spammed swear words so repetitively that they were devoid of context, almost as though the writers think comedy is nothing more than dirty words.

Immediately after that, we had “Gluten Free Ebola”, where the story continues right after the previous episode. The boys try to win all their friends back by throwing a party for Scott Malkinson, a boy with diabetes (you may have seen him in last year’s “Black Friday” trilogy). However, panic quickly ensues after the people of South Park start believing that gluten “makes your dick fly off”, which the writers have sadly decided to play straight. Terribly unfunny and poorly written, it was then followed by the even more redundant “The Cissy”, where Cartman pretends to be transgender and gets his own bathroom, while Randy tries to deal with his dual identity as pop singer Lorde.

This could have had a lot of potential, but it turned out to be painfully disappointing.

In my opinion, “The Cissy” was extremely disappointing, and in my opinion, this is mainly because the writers waste a lot of the potential this episode could have had. More specifically, in this episode, the writers betray one of the show’s core values by being nice to Lorde. After Sharon explains the reason why “young people like Lorde so much”, the next scene shows people being influenced by “Lorde’s” music, and the reporter for Spin magazine proceeding to delete his article, all to the tune of the singer’s latest tune. If that isn’t the biggest case of cosying up to a trendy celebrity, I don’t know what is. Another thing that really irritates me is that Cartman shouts nearly all the time, very angrily in fact, and that just creates a negative atmosphere that makes it harder to laugh. Is this a comedy, or a drama?

Of course, it’s not nearly as bad as “Handicar”, which also happens to be the latest episode to not feature the four main characters. In my opinion might just be the worst South Park episode ever made. Why? Well, aside from the writers’ reckless caricaturing of children with special needs, there was nothing funny about the episode at all. The episode’s choice of subject matter was very poor (who even cares about ride-share apps anyway?), but it was executed in an even worse fashion. For me, the Wacky Races scene perfectly illustrated how antiquated South Park had became, and I think that it’s ironic that South Park, already an empty shell of its former self, managed to make itself look even more like an embarrassingly dated relic.

south park wacky racers
Am I the only one who cringed when I saw this?

It’s worth noting that the first three episodes had an episode-to-episode continuity, which they put in order to seem like they were being experimental. That’s fine, except for the fact that they already did it before in Season 3 (with the first two episodes), much of Season 4, and all of Season 6. They’ve essentially taken an old idea and made it seem new. All it actually does is show a total lack of effort on the part of the writers.

The fifth episode, “The Magic Bush”, had a lot of potential, but the writers just wasted it on another sub-par South Park episode. It opens with Cartman being his usual horrible self, and eventually persuading Butters into using his dad’s drone to spy on Craig’s mom. The ensuing frenzy causes drones to descend upon the town until they are lured away by another drone, one that carries a blow-up doll that is supposed to look like “Craig’s mom”. This episode tries to touch on the issue of privacy, but the writers seem to have trouble dealing with the fact that they’ve irredeemably failed at doing so. The writers, through Cartman, make the assumption that privacy is dead and gone, when in fact it isn’t. If privacy is gone, we’ve just let it slip away. The last nail in the coffin for this episode is the minstrel singing about Craig’s mom. Not much more needs to be said on this one.

In the sixth episode, “Freemium Isn’t Free”, the only thing that’s even remotely funny is the fake ad for drinking responsibility, but that’s merely a hollow attempt to recapture the style of humour present in Season 5, but without any intelligence whatsoever. The rest of the episode is simply unfunny and, may I add, stupid. The premise is based around so-called “free-to-play” games, but they do it in such an incredibly dumb way. They assert that the “mium” in “freemium” means “not really”, and I think the writers only did this because they assume we’re all stupid. The “muim” in Latin actually means “too”. It’s also really annoying that the writers constantly compare freemium gaming to the alcohol industry, saying that they’re exactly the same, when in truth the alcohol industry is far worse because everyone accepts it. The only good part of the episode is when Satan shows up, only for it all to go down the tubes with the cheesy and utterly banal introduction of “the Canadian Devil”. Like the other episodes, “Freemium Isn’t Free” should be avoided like a plague.

south park
It does have one good lesson – anything that says “give us your money” up front isn’t good satire.

The seventh episode, “Grounded Vindaloop”, is both a premature and immature jab at the Oculus Rift. In this episode, Butters is tricked by Cartman into wearing a fake Oculus Rift for his own amusement. We already had an episode where Cartman tricks Butters into doing something stupid in the same season. Did we really need another one with even stupider acting? Here, however, this takes on a new low as Cartman seems to made Butters lose all perception of fantasy and reality. After Butters lands in the hospital, Cartman tricks Butters again into thinking he’s no longer in reality in a bad Matrix parody. It turns out that the whole episode is actually Cartman stuck wearing a real Oculus headset (never mind that the actual Oculus Rift isn’t even out yet), and in the virtual reality, he’s in complete denial. It’s nothing new, and there’s no jokes to speak of.

Like in the other episodes, there’s way too much shouting and overuse of the f word. There’s also a racist caricature of customer service call centre that isn’t even funny at all. All the writers do in this episode is make the story sound much more convoluted than it actually is. What’s even worse is that the characters take the whole plot seriously, like it actually is The Matrix, and the ending was simply a failure in my eyes. The only shred of potential came from the short moment when we saw a real life version of the characters, and it was too short to be worth it.

The eighth episode, the unfortunately titled “Cock Magic”, really seems to show that the writers are running out ideas, right down to the title. One thing that’s apparent is that the writers seem to be under the illusion that playing Magic: The Gathering is “hardcore dude stuff”, even when it’s chickens playing the game against each other. Call me crazy, but if I ever played Magic: The Gathering, I wouldn’t play it with people who treated it like freaking football. Bizarrely enough, however, this isn’t the worst episode in the series. In fact, it’s one of the funniest, but for completely wrong reasons. The main source of humour in this episode is the age-old homophone, causing confusion between roosters and…let’s just say I’d rather keep my quiet dignity here. Randy’s stupidity in this episode is taken to an absurd new level at a birthday party, and it’s actually really funny, until the actual police force gets confused to the point of stupidity. The episode ended on a rather awkwardly high note, with Randy’s “magic” scoring a few laughs, but the actual ending was quite dry and quick. To be fair, this is one of the best episodes of the new season, but that’s not saying much. In fact, if I were to keep watching it, it’d get old just like the rest.

After a blatantly self-indulgent two-week gap, the semifinal episode, “#REHASH” begins a two-part story of trashy pop culture. It starts with Ike watching PewDiePie play the latest Call of Duty, in an overly cynical view of contemporary culture. Later on, it becomes clear that the writers are attempting a pointless cynical jab at young people for no reason, as if Kyle assumes that all “kids these days” are the same. Immediately afterwards, Cartman’s usual awful self takes perhaps the dumbest, laziest turn as he becomes a pastice of PewDiePie, giving him total freedom to be as horrible, whiny and pathetic as he wants. Even worse is the fact that every kid and toddler in the show thinks that actually playing games in a living room is “for old people”, even though that’s how video games are supposed to be played. I can’t help but think that the South Park writers are surrendering to the times, rather than being the defiant anti-conformists that they were in the 1990’s, complete with the message to that “commentary being the content”.

south park cartman
And once again, the writers have given the baby what he wants.

In the episode’s side-plot, Randy (a.k.a. “Lorde”) is about to play live with trashy pop celebrities Iggy Azalea, Nicky Minaj and Miley Cyrus (all of whom weren’t even fashionable when they were new), and he somehow can’t deal with it, for reasons already elaborated on in previous episodes. At the inappropriately named “Women of Rock” concert, Lorde gets into a fight with Iggy Azalea, who is apparently mad at Lorde seeing “herself” as a more positive role model. Later on, we see a holographic Michael Jackson being apparently summoned by Azalea, almost as though the dead themselves are being rehashed. To me, this is truly symbolic, as the writers themselves are rehashing a TV show that has been technically dead since Chef left the show. Sure enough, the Michael Jackson hologram runs amok, just after people realize that the Lorde they looked up to was actually a middle-aged man in a dress. Naturally, Randy tries to bring the crowd back by acting like the other pop stars, much to the crowd and Shelley’s disgust. Afterwards, the hologram company tries to stop the runaway Jacko hologram with another hologram, of the rapper Tupac Shakur, who later sleeps with Randy’s wife.

I’m glad that the South Park writers are finally taking on the trashy pop musicians, but I think that they might be doing this the wrong way, mainly because they’re being far too objective of them. Where’s the writer’s perspective? What’s the harm in us seeing Lorde kicking the crap out of everyone (including the record producer) after being exposed for who he was. Instead, we get Randy rubbing his crotch in front of a whole crowd.

In the season finale, “#HappyHolograms”, Kyle continues his concerns for how the most important things are now trendings, and voices his concerns on Twitter. Later, he’s visited by Bill Cosby (the same Bill Cosby who we now know was a rapist), the only person who even remotely represents Kyle’s values at all, except he’s a hologram. Unfortunately, Kyle’s idea gets hijacked when Cartman appears in it via his online persona. Speaking of holograms, Randy is still pursuing the hologram conspiracy, while the writers recycle the Michael Jackson joke that was funnier in Season 8. Cartman’s commentary pollutes the episode, and the TV executives are willingly giving Cartman as much power as he wants, in what is very symbolic of the South Park writers always letting Cartman run amok, all while Stan and Kyle are being passed off as grumpy old men.

The writing in this episode is just as despicable as the previous episode, particularly because the writers assume that America’s police force is still racist. I know they were trying to reference something, but let me be frank before I stray away from the point. One racist police officer does not accurately represent an entire national police force. Besides, the jokes about racism are just getting old, and are starting to sound just as racist as the characters telling them. The story is written in almost exactly the same way as the other newer episodes, and with no improvement whatsoever. Every dead celebrity possible was crammed in, and in the most tasteless way possible (with the most tasteless being Kurt Cobain’s hologram and the singing snowman ass). All the while, numerous fictional tweets are shown throughout the episode, as the writers try and portray Twitter as the most prominent thing in the world. Meanwhile, the episode continues to reference past episodes, before culminating in an unfashionably idealistic and sappy ending that represents all that is low about new South Park. The episode takes a new low when PewDiePie is summoned to stop Cartman in the lamest possible way, while once again committing the cardinal sin of being nice to a celebrity.

If you consider an annoying gamer in the corner of a YouTube video a celebrity.

All of what I’ve said in this entire article can be summed up into one central point. The newest episodes of South Park were complete, unmitigated crap, but it goes beyond just that. The newer episodes represent a show that has gone so far past its prime that it now resorts to the lamest, haphazardly gathered plots the writers could find, having run out of good ideas. If that’s not enough, the ratings for show have reached an all-time low. Episodes 7 and 10 in the new season both hold the record for what might possibly be the lowest ratings in the show’s history.

With that in mind, why can’t South Park just die already? This is a show that stopped being funny over a decade ago, and yet because South Park is such a popular merchandising brand, the producers are interested in keeping it going just so they could milk the brand for all it’s worth. This is the kind of show that needs to go off the air before it goes even more stale than it already has, and no matter how the writers tried making the show better, they only made it worse. There’s no creative energy left in the show, and I’m absolutely certain that the next batch of episodes is going to be just like season 18, but much worse.

I can tell from a mile away that South Park is suffering the same fate as The Simpsons, in that it has become yet another mindless cartoon with none of the intelligence, wit, edge, or artistic merit that older episodes had. In my opinion, South Park may as well be over and done with, but as long as there’s profit to be had, I have a distinct feeling that the producers aren’t going to let South Park go without a fight.

Looking for heroes

sainsbury's christmas advert

We in the UK seem to revere everything to do with the military, and at this time of year, there’s no better example that Sainsbury’s latest trashy advert, which attempts to romanticize the story of the Christmas Truce, and the First World War in general. I find this very baffling since soldiers are basically just people who carry out the military orders of a higher power, but the near constant talk of “heroes” and “sacrifice” wreaks of outdated jingoism.

It wouldn’t be so bad if the story we get wasn’t so terribly sentimental. If this were a film, then it might have been fine, but for a supermarket commercial, that’s incredibly low. Then again, something like this shouldn’t be too surprising. After all, Britain has an insane amount of respect for the armed forces, but it’s not just that. All over the world, humans are constantly looking for heroic figures to revere, but in today’s world, we’re more likely to turn to fiction.

Today’s world is full of doubt, misery, fear, loathing, and sorts of crime and murders that make people grieve for humanity. It doesn’t help that the actions of the “real heroes” (i.e. the trying to change the world for the better) take way too long to make a significant impact on the world for most people to take them seriously. The cold truth is that people want immediate results. In the real world, this means turning to the military for role models, which is how war is so easily romanticized.

These days, however, war isn’t entirely popular, so most of us turn to the silver screen, where we find our heroes amongst the likes of Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis, Jet Li, and pretty much any other Hollywood actor playing a heroic role. If it’s not the silver screen, we turn to video games, where it is often the case that you are your own hero, and that’s more than could be said for action films.

the expendables 3
Which these days have gotten so laughable that the producers have to resort to resurrecting ageing stars.

You might be forgiven for thinking that I’ve strayed away from the point, but I haven’t. My point is that humans want heroic figures who can make it easier for us to think that the world isn’t such a bad place, whether it be King Arthur during the Medieval ages, or an action hero today.

I also wanted to focus on how easy it is to fall prey to romanticized visions of conflict here in the UK and America. There are other parts of Europe, and indeed the world, that would be baffled by the way we trivialize the bloody work of soldiers, and how Sainsbury’s might have reduced the Christmas Truce to a saccharine Christmas slogan for selling their wares. I’m certainly baffled, but whatever your definition of hero is, I’m sure we can all agree that cheapening the memory of the First World War is not the best way to advertise Christmas spirit.

Romance, rom-com clichés, and marriage

Complete with shallow people.

They say romance is dead, but I say it isn’t. It’s just that romance in the traditional sense has been given a poor representation by years of senselessly moronic romantic comedy films and TV sitcoms. Whenever I hear anyone talking about these movies, they usually focus on the horrible clichés, including one of the formulaic plot scenarios in the Hollywood playbook. In that scenario, a girl is about to marry a guy who she has a good relationship with, but when some stupid and clearly desperate-looking man comes along and says he “loves her more”, she just goes with him. That sounds to me like the ending of The Graduate, but from what I’ve heard, it’s the basic premise of tons of romantic films trying to copy the successful, cash-grabbing formula.

We know that Hollywood producers are doing this for a reason, and that reason is because they want to brainwash an entire generation of little girls into having low standards, and rushing into relationships that end all too quickly. That being said, I’m wondering why Hollywood targets the worst kind of brainwashing trite specifically at a female audience. We see it all the time, through fashion, pop music, Barbie dolls, trashy entertainment and lifestyle magazines, vacuous TV shows, and of course, Hollywood rom-coms.

For me, the central problem is Hollywood’s aggressive glamorization of marriage, which has only enforced the archaic perception of marriage as the ultimate symbol of love between two people. The other part of this problem is that Hollywood simultaneously attacks marriage, using TV sitcoms to propagate the equally false idea that marriage is somehow the worst thing that can happen to man, or the equivalent of “putting him on a leash”. The old cliché of men being “whipped” by their wives or girlfriends is a big part of the demonization of marriage, but this view is mainly targeted at men, while women are simultaneously brainwashed into expecting marriage. That’s the thing that really puzzles me. Why sing praises of marriage, and simultaneously disparage it in the stupidest way? Furthermore, why does Hollywood send conflicting messages about love and romance to begin with? Is it really is an entity with no value system of its own?

We’re living in the year 2014, and as far as I’m aware, most relationships don’t operate the way they do in romantic comedies or TV sitcoms. Why then, are we constantly being told that they do, and we do we constantly believe and expect these clichés? The only reason these clichés survive is because so many people go to watch these movies (and I’m pretty sure the prime demographic is basically a bunch of middle-aged Stepford wives). Trashy chick flicks like The Other Woman, The Proposal, and Runaway Bride have made upwards of $300 million, despite the fact that they are unintelligent, have no artistic value, and serve only to brainwash a new generation of Stepford wives, and impressionable young girls who might become Stepford wives in the future.

stepford wife
Do we really need more of this in the future?

It is inexorably clear that Hollywood is brainwashing generations of people with tired old romance clichés, but it wouldn’t be so bad if any of those clichés were grounded in reality. Instead, we get the same outdated messages that overstayed their welcome decades ago. The fact that people still pay to see these movies is simply baffling to me, especially since, if you know how they’re made, they’re all tired and predictable. You just know that the two main characters are the ones who’ll end up being together in the end, so way spend your wages watching the same thing happen over and over again?

Will it ever end? Considering the amount of money that rom-coms and sitcoms make, it’s unlikely. Will we ever learn? I highly doubt it, and perhaps that’s the saddest part of the whole thing.

An emerging adult’s Christmas

Christmas is usually seen as a magical and wonderful time of year where everybody’s happy. That’s how we’ve taught children to look at it. As we get older, it gets harder to feel the old Christmas magic we loved when we were kids.

charlie brown
If you remember this, you’ll know what I mean by Christmas spirit.

But nowhere is this more obvious than when you come to the point of being parents yourselves. I’m not a parent, and I don’t identify as an adult yet, but seeing years of my parents preparing for the Christmas season, I have a pretty good idea of how much of a nightmare Christmas can be for parents, mainly because we give kids incredibly high expectations of what a perfect Christmas might be.

At the age of twenty, I find that every year has been the same thing, and usually, Christmas is the one time of year where it shouldn’t matter as long as I feel good, but nowadays, I have plenty of pressing matters that make it much harder for me to get into the Christmas spirit, whether they’re assignment-related issues or something else.

For me, a Christmas for adults would be one where, while I still enjoy the banquet of the Christmas season, the commercialism of the holiday shouldn’t matter. This year, I’m celebrating Christmas a little differently, in that I use it to reflect on past joys that slowly disappear in the slow, yet horrible transition to adulthood.

This isn’t meant to be purely depressing. After all, I’m sure Christmas time signifies different things to different people. For me, it signifies the joys experienced in childhood, and the things that, I feel, are far too easily taken for granted when we’re kids. That’s why I still enjoy the holiday as an emerging adult, because it reminds me of a seemingly distant past that I might slowly be losing a connection with,

A game of desperation


Even with any semblance of recovery, these are still desperate times, and desperate times breed desperate people. Naturally, there’s always something out there to exploit the desperation of the damned, and one of the biggest exploiters of the people happens to be the lottery.

It’s really a machine of exploitation. It works by selling people false hope of winning a usually high cash prize, and getting people to buy lottery tickets, fuelling the lottery machine with money. It also works by selling lottery scratch cards, which more often than not cause you to waste more money than you’ll ever hope to win from them. If you win at all with a scratch card, you’ll most likely only win less than £5. If you’re hoping for more than that, you’ll be severely disappointed.

If you ask me, the lottery is simply a massive scam, in much the same way as casino gambling is a massive scam. After all, where does all the money you spent on lottery tickets and scratch cards go? It goes into the pockets of the people who run the lottery organization, and I’m willing to bet that they live lives of opulent luxury, all from the money they leeched from the masses.

I think the reason that the lottery has any appeal in the eyes of the dregs of society is because they are so desperately writhing in failure that they’re hoping that money falls from the sky. The lottery provides this illusion, while also providing the illusion of how to get said money. Unfortunately, we live in a world where many still believe you can (or sometimes even should) get something for nothing, and it seems like all the lottery does is reinforce this belief. In a way, the lottery isn’t just scamming innocent people. It’s also slowing down the progress of mankind by making it easier to cling to idea of money for nothing. In my opinion, to get rid of the lottery would be a great service to mankind, as it would make it easier to accept that you don’t get something for nothing.

Why video games are an art form

child of light
If video games couldn’t be art, then this wouldn’t be possible.

The late Roger Ebert once described video games as an non-artistic medium incomparable to other art forms, such as film and music. In 2006, he once stated that video games “don’t explore the meaning of human beings as other art forms do”. Of course, he would later retract everything he said about video games being non-artistic, if mainly because it made him look foolish. Still, however, there are those who make the case that video games cannot be art because of the client-based nature of the industry.

I believe that those who don’t think video games can be art are ignoring a fundamental truth about video games. Video games can be an art form because nowadays, making them invariably involves a level of creative expression. Of course, since the programming and gameplay side isn’t very artistic on its own, the key to games being art lies in how it can immerse you in a universe that isn’t yours. For this, you absolutely need plot, characters, music and visuals to be treated just as well as the actual gameplay.

One of the reasons why I love video games is because you can create stories and characters that, for some reason, you simply can’t tell in movies, TV shows, or in the art world (you can probably tell them in graphic novels, but I digress). For me, this is where the artistic expression lies, along with the story, and this happens in a lot of video games (even if many of those games happen to come from Japan). Yes, I’m aware that games aren’t supposed to be totally about story, but there are games that do this right. Child of Light is a very good example of an artistic game, complete with sublimely creative visuals and writing that befits the game’s overall style perfectly. Dragon’s Crown is another heavily artistic game, if mainly on the visual side of things (FYI: Dragon’s Crown happens to be one of my all time favourite games).

What I’m trying to say here is that video games offer an opportunity for creative expression that would virtually go to waste in almost any other medium. If we go around thinking that video games can only ever be a commercial product, then we limit our creative ambitions in every possible way, and when we limit those creative ambitions in the pursuit of making money, we end up risking a major setback for the idea of video games as an art form, dooming video games to a status that prevents them from being taken seriously as a form of human culture.

The idea that video games can’t be artistic because of the nature of the industry is something that is making me highly sceptical of the video games industry as a viable creative path, but I don’t want to have to give up just because of what I’m seeing as the doomed, pessimistic ravings of the closed-minded. I might be somewhat biased on this subject, but in the end, I believe that a larger emphasis on creative expression is just what the video games industry needs. After all, we’re living an age where many games just copy each other to leech off the success of more successful titles, and where some of the hottest-selling franchises of the time make a cash cow sequel every year, while doing almost nothing new.

To me, this is a sign that game developers don’t see any value in the potential for creative expression present in video games, and unless something changes, I worry that the games industry might degenerate to the point that creative expression isn’t valued at all. It’d be as though the games industry would go back to the 1970’s, when video games really were just high-end toys.

Friday in Hell

black friday

I’m sure we’re all familiar with Black Friday – that one day in the American calendar when major retailers open early and offer massively discounted prices, drawing in a horde of customers who will likely barge their way through each other in order to get some of their Christmas shopping done as early as possible. As many people also know, Black Friday is also notorious for the levels of violence that ensue amidst a shopping frenzy gone mad (to the point that it was inevitably parodied in South Park).

Of course, all that used to be just an American phenomenon, but now, in a rather worrying twist of fate, it has made its way to UK shores, and it looks like it’s here to stay. Initially, the only UK retailers that observed Black Friday were online retailers like Amazon (which still has Black Friday deals every year). Last year, however, Asda began rolling out Black Friday in stores, and after that apparently was successful, other UK retailers began adopting Black Friday, along with its shaky sales tactics.

Naturally, UK stores were swamped by rampaging shoppers competing for discounts, and instances where the police have intervened and made arrests. Fortunately, I was in college at the time, but I heard about it, and it didn’t take me too long to form an opinion.

For me, Black Friday’s UK arrival is simply the next step in the homogenization of British culture into a more American culture. The fact that it’s Black Friday is even worse because, as far as I’m concerned, Black Friday is merely an over-glorified orgy of materialistic animalism that serves no purpose other than to oil the machine of consumer culture. It proves that you can easily get people to buy into a consumerist mindset by combining an already commercial holiday with hugely discounted prices on items that retailers know people will want to buy for Christmas.

For someone like me, who opposes the new dogma of consumer culture, to actually experience something like that would be literally my idea of Hell. Everybody going with the flow and degenerating themselves into something less than animals just for some Christmas shopping that you could easily do online, and without the hassle of being mobbed to near death by a crowd of frenzied shoppers. To me, Black Friday represents madness, but apparently people are fine with it, and by the time I’ve written this post, stores are probably still open in America, and the madness might have died down here in the UK. In spite of that, I know that this will continue year after year, as many people will continue to lose themselves to the frenzied madness as the Christmas season begins. In a way, everything I’ve written here about Black Friday will still be relevant, because the offers of Black Friday are so seductive to the masses that it seems that nobody ever learns from the previous year.

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