Cognitive Dissonance

"Democracy! Bah! When I hear that I reach for my feather boa!" - Allen Ginsberg

Posts tagged disturbing

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Report: Shoppers unfazed as man dies at Target

Family and friends were stunned by the loss of a West Virginia man who died while shopping on Black Friday as fellow bargain hunters reportedly walked around — and even over — the man’s body.

Family members told WSAZ-TV that 61-year-old Walter Vance of Logan County, W. Va., had become ill and collapsed while shopping for Christmas decorations inside Target in South Charleston. He later died after being taken to the hospital, family said.

Witnesses told the NBC News affiliate in Charleston, W. Wa., that shoppers walked around and even over Vance’s body.

"Where is the good Samaritan side of people?’ Vance’s co-worker and friend Sue Compton told WSAZ. "How could you not notice someone was in trouble? I just don’t understand if people didn’t help what their reason was, other than greed because of a sale."

The bystander effect taken to the extreme or a serious lack of compassion? I’m afraid to know the answer because either choice is disturbing. I could understand not initially noticing someone collapsing in a massive crowd - but having to step over his unconscious body to reach a bargain? That’s a new level of dispassionate. Or is it? Is this what we’ve become? Mindless consuming automatons? 

Ouch. My soul.

Filed under Target Black Friday West Virginia bystander effect consumerism compassion Charleston shopping disturbing