Black Friday loses steam in U.S. ... In another sign of our decline as a superpower, the most American of all holidays took a hit this year. We're speaking, of course, about Black Friday, when U.S. residents re-create the Pilgrims' early-morning forays to trade the Wampanoag tribe wampum beads for a variety of colorful diseases. The New York Times reports on figures from the National Retail Federation that Black Friday sales were down 11 percent this year. Digitally speaking, the average American who shopped over the weekend spent $159.55 online, a 10.2 percent drop from last year.
... But sparks anarchy in the U.K. Because who needs Thanksgiving to have a sale? Black Friday has been growing in popularity in the United Kingdom, and this year marked the first that high-street stores joined their online counterparts in offering deep discounts to U.K. shoppers. And in true Black Friday tradition, sales were characterized by violent scenes across the country. According to the Telegraph, "Shoppers have behaved 'like animals' as supermarkets were criticized for allowing sales frenzy to descend into chaos and violence." That's the spirit!
Chinese ads = no pun. To paraphrase John Lennon, repression doesn't know how to deal with nonviolence and humor. Case in point: an edict from China's State Administration for Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television banning puns and other wordplay from the country's ads. Chinese is rich in homophones, and the country has a tradition of wordplay. But the administration insists, "Radio and television authorities at all levels must tighten up their regulations and crack down on the irregular and inaccurate use of the Chinese language, especially the misuse of idioms." If you don't watch your language in China, the SAPPRFT will do it for you.
Would you like fries with your host? Thanks to crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo, miracles can happen. At least that's the hope of Lux Dei Design, an agency that is trying to co-brand Christianity and McDonald's. McMass is a scheme to reverse declining attendance by bringing McDonald's franchises in-house ... Errrr, in-church. While it's difficult to determine the sincerity of the exercise, the target fundraising number is a no-fooling $1 million. So far, the campaign has raised $192 of that number, which may cover its promotional video.