Not a lot of accumulation in the Space Junk closet this week, unless you count the Jurassic World trailer (Star-Lord riding a motorbike with a gang of velociraptors), and news of the will-it-or-won’t-it be-released-today trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens (as of this post, it has been… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OMOVFvcNfvE). And since many are out participating in that most beloved Thanksgiving tradition known as “Black Friday” – the day when everyone swarms their local stores and malls at ungodly hours for bargains on clothes, electronics, and even firearms – I thought it would be the perfect time to discuss other times when the words “Black Friday” didn’t refer to the madness of marathon shopping.
The use of the term on a yearly basis began prior to the 1960’s in Philadelphia, where the annual Army-Navy football game was played during the weekend after Thanksgiving, snarling traffic and creating chaos. Not long after, the term caught on nationally as a reference to the day when retail stores would begin operating “in the black” (turning a profit) after experiencing months of operating “in the red” (not turning a profit). But before it became associated with the beginning of the Christmas shopping season, “Black Friday” was a reference to other events throughout history and in the world of entertainment, a few of which I’ve highlighted below:
** November 22, 1963: the Friday on which President John F. Kennedy was tragically assassinated in Dallas, Texas.
** A Friday in 1992 when the script for “Aladdin” was presented to Jeffrey Katzenberg, who decided it “didn’t engage”, then decided to engage more of the writers’ time, demanding that the whole damn thing be rewritten without changing the release date.
To be fair, however, Katzenberg’s tactic worked as it led to Princess Jasmine becoming stronger, Aladdin being rewritten as a “little rougher” and more “like a young Harrison Ford” (ummmm….okay), and the parrot Iago being reworked from stodgy and British into comic relief voiced by the least British organism on the planet- Gilbert Gottfried (I guess they needed a backup plan for when Robin Williams couldn’t bring the funny – and if you know me you know that last comment is TERRIBLY sarcastic. No one, and I mean NO ONE could crack more ribs with laughter than the late Mr. Williams, especially when he was armed with only his imagination).
** November 19, 1993: a Friday when production on “Toy Story” temporarily hit the wall because…wait for it… Disney execs didn’t like it (seriously, Disney execs????? I bet these guys don’t get invited to many holiday office parties – everyone’s too afraid they won’t like what they find and will demand a reorganization).
** Friday, October 13, 1989, the day on which the stock market experienced a mini-crash. And speaking of stock market crashes….
** “Black Friday” is also the name of a Steely Dan song that can be about anything from a stock market crash to a tale about Satan meddling in human lives. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UVQKiqCZ9No
And that’s it for this very special edition of the weekly cleanup! Our regularly scheduled programming will resume next Friday. Until then, remember …