The Clash by Ian Dickson
(via magnolia-skies)Source: seafaringgypsy
Source: The Atlantic
There’s nothing more American than stampeding stores on Black Friday to save some money on your holiday shopping. But it’s meaningless.
Not meaningless in an existentialist way, though that too. Rather, meaningless as an economic indicator. See, Black Friday sales tell us nothing about overall holiday sales—and hence the state of consumers. You can see that in the chart below from Capital Economics (via Neil Irwin). It compares the change in sales during Thanksgiving week with the change in total sales from November to January. There’s not much of a relationship, and if anything, there’s a slightly negative correlation. In other words, better Black Fridays are associated with worse holiday sales seasons.
Read more. [Image: Reuters]
It was the kind of story that every local television news station dreams about: A feel-good story of a minority who chooses the high road in the face of unfathomable oppression.
When Dayna Morales sent a receipt bearing an anti-gay message to a pro-gay Facebook page, she was likely looking to win over the empathy of a few dozen, maybe a few hundred, followers.
Instead, the receipt, bearing a hash mark where a tip should be and a message in opposition to Morales’ lifestyle, went viral. Someone, somewhere, republished it. Soon after, every local television station in New York City wanted an interview with Morales, who was all too happy to oblige.
It was the perfect story, told at the perfect time — November sweeps, when American TV stations air their most titillating news stories with the hopes of driving up ratings. Millions around the world heard Morales’ story, and thousands patroned the restaurant where Morales worked, some even going so far as to make donations.
Yes, it was the perfect story — for Morales, for the restaurant, for the media — until it wasn’t.
On Monday, WNBC found the couple who ate at the restaurant the night of November 13th. They produced a different receipt, one that showed a 20 percent tip and no anti-gay message. And to quell any doubters who questioned the difference between their “customer copy” and Morales’ “merchant copy,” the couple produced a Visa credit card statement showing the tip had been charged to their account.
Confronted with the evidence, the restaurant could offer no explanation. Neither could Morales, who told the reporter that the handwriting on the receipt wasn’t hers — even though nobody had accused her of writing it.
Two days later, friends and former co-workers are speaking out.
Friends say Morales has a history of embellishing. Some of the things they accuse her of lying about: Living in a home damaged by Superstorm Sandy, shaving her head because she had been diagnosed with brain cancer and being severely injured during combat in Afghanistan, where she served as a U.S. Marine (a military spokesperson confirmed Morales enlisted, but never served in Afghanistan).
What’s more, a former girlfriend told LoHud.com that the handwriting on the receipt that went viral last week belongs to Morales.
Morales, who took advantage of every media opportunity two weeks ago, is now turning down reporters seeking requests for comment.
This whole story makes me sad.
The Catcher In the Rye by J.D Salinger
Many, many men have been just as troubled morally and spiritually as you are right now. Happily, some of them kept records of their troubles. You’ll learn from them—if you want to. Just as someday, if you have something to offer, someone will learn something from you. It’s a beautiful reciprocal arrangement. And it isn’t education. It’s history. It’s poetry