The creators of the ribald party game Cards Against Humanity have historically enjoyed a curious relationship with the post-Thanksgiving shopping spectacle Black Friday. This year, they are accepting donations to fund digging a hole on a plot of empty land, according to the FAQ page of their site holidayhole.com; each donation funds seconds of digging, proportional to the size of the contribution.
If donors or even the merely inquisitive are seeking more substance to the story, Cards Against Humanity creators strongly discourage it. The question posed on the FAQ page “Is there some sort of deeper meaning or purpose to the hole?” was answered with a succinct “No”; “How am I supposed to feel about this?” yielded the response “You’re supposed to think it’s funny.” The FAQ page also assures possible donors and the environmentally conscious that the hole is not harming the land in any way, and that digging will cease when the donations stop. As of publication, the effort had raised $80,454.
Antics engineered by the Cards Against Humanity creators to commemorate Black Friday have become their own sort of tradition. In 2014, the creators offered a $6 box of “bulls—t” on their website with no explanation as to what that entailed; the purchasers, who numbered over thirty thousand, were surprised to receive boxes of exactly what they had paid for in the form of cow excrement. It was later reported that the shipping cost per box was $5.80, and Cards Against Humanity donated the twenty cents of profit per box to a food sustainability charity.
In 2013, they increased the price of the game from $25 to $30 and raised over $71,000. The antithetical approach to the heavily criticized consumer holiday was explained by co-creator Max Temkin to Time magazine in 2014.
“We all really hate Black Friday, it’s just kind of a horrible day. It comes after this day where you’re supposed to be thankful for what you have, and then it’s just this whole huge media spectacle of people fighting each other to save $50 on a TV.”
This year’s FAQ page also addresses the contention that these yearly capers are meaningless and that the Cards Against Humanity creators should use their fundraising capabilities directly toward altruistic causes. In response to the question “Why aren’t you giving all this money to charity?” the creators asserted, “Why aren’t YOU giving all this money to charity? It’s your money.” In acknowledging the frivolousness of the campaign, the creators have also redirected the onus onto the consumer, both for the perpetuation of it and, on a larger scale, the incredible havoc that the consumer-fueled Black Friday has wrought on the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.
Cards Against Humanity was developed in 2010 and came to fruition via a Kickstarter campaign. Its format is fill-in-the-blank with heavily satirical answer options that often possess sexual or racially insensitive undertones, and it boasts no real connection to Black Friday except for the fact that both have likely faced accusations at some point of contributing to the degradation of society.
In spite of widespread speculation as to what implicit critique the Cards Against Humanity campaigns are leveling against American consumerism and the controversial origins of the Thanksgiving holiday, the creators concluded their FAQ page with the implication that their shenanigans are all in good fun. “You might not get it for awhile,” their final response read, “but sometime next year you’ll chuckle quietly to yourself and remember all this business about the hole.”
Cards Against Humanity has also announced a new expansion pack in light of this year’s election. Entitled the Post-Trump Pack, it will contain 25 cards dedicated to our “supreme leader Donald Trump.”
[Featured Image by Stock Photo/Shutterstock]