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Christmas Gift Guide
Culture

Your annual festive people-fighting-over-electronics-at-Walmart video

Some traditions will not die. Wresting a home theater system out of someone else's hands, for example.

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And they're ready to rumble and tumble at WalMart. Because bargains. Rich W/YouTube screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

This is a time when arguments inevitably happen.

No, not at home over the dinner table. At Walmart over the gadgets that have been left on display for hordes to wrestle over.

The most arresting video, at least to my eyes, was one posted yesterday (yes, on Thanksgiving) by a gentleman who chose to film a little Walmart mayhem in Michigan City, Ind.

Here, it seemed best not to get in the way of a man in a Chicago Bears shirt. Channeling the Mike Ditka era, he wrested what appeared to be a Sony home theater system out of the hands that already held it.

What he lacked in style, he gained in sheer brute force. What he lacked in dignity, he gained in bragging rights.

He was not the only one. The techniques were not subtle, but the passion was extreme and the tactics were dirty.

This was only one of many videos that will be posted to YouTube. Each represents a small contribution to documenting America's love of the capitalist spirit.

It's about never giving up. It's about going in for the kill. It's about disrupting the status quo. It's about a thousand other cliches that are used every day to describe modern business at its finest.

Should we blame people for behaving like puffa-jacketed savages? Should we blame Walmart and the like for knowing that, as its doors open, the baser side of humanity will reveal itself in its fullest colors? Perhaps yes and yes.

Thankfully, America has begun to export this tradition. I understand that in the UK -- a recent convert to this particular form of colonization -- there were fisticuffs. Some police were complaining that stores hadn't employed enough security to cope with the hordes.

I imagine they'd assumed the English would be polite.

Oh, after you for this fine bargain.

No, sir, after you.