I stopped by our local Circuit City to have a look at the liquidation sale. The big letters on the red and yellow signs, primitive marketing but wildly effective. The parking lot was packed. The store was buzzing with folks fondling cameras and considering once again the 52 incher.
What explains the mob at Circuit City? It surely isn't the 10% discount. I ran into a couple of law students who were comparison shopping a tv. A quick phone call to a friend with an internet connection and they concluded that the liquidators jacked up the price of the tv before the discount. Ten percent off is insulting anyway.
It isn't the sale. Circuit City failed and we who were there flipping through the XBox 360 games less 10% were still alive, still warm, and still optimistic enough to consider, even for a moment, a big screen. It wasn't the ten percent. The draw is the basic delight at the misfortune of others. Schadenfrude.