off the fence & thanks

You know how sometimes you’ve got one of those festering wannabe-commitments that just hasn’t marshaled up the political will to make it into reality? A few months back, one of mine finally made the jump after more than a decade in the holding pen.

Few people remember the name now, but Jdimytai Damour is the guy who many of us will keep in mind as we continue to avoid a certain behemoth retailer that’s got a fetish for trampling, whether it be running roughshod over local, regional, and national economies wherever it operates, or merely allowing its own employees to be killed by “overenthusiastic” bargain shoppers.

This is the same corporation that’s refined loss-control security measures to a high level, with video cameras seeing and recording virtually every square inch of the store property.

It’s one thing to underpay your employees so badly that they’re on assistance while still working (while living in mom’s basement, of course, since the wages are too low to support a person), to finagle their hours so they don’t qualify for benefits, to drive all your competitors out of business so badly that their former employees now work for you at drastically reduced pay & benefits, etc .. but it’s a whole nother thing to put your employees in harm’s way and then do nothing to apprehend the guilty after Something Really Bad™ happens.

You can tell we live in a really strange and fcuked-up place when it’s perfectly acceptable to trample a person to death (in the same business location where he works, no less) in search of shopping bargains, and when ostensibly law-abiding citizens feel little or no guilt or shame or remorse for having killed a fellow human being.

But by the same token, you can also tell you’re in a business run by really messed-up and sick people when that same business does literally nothing to preserve the scene of the crime so that the guilty can be apprehended. There is the abovementioned video system recording everything in an around the store 24/7. There were people with blood on their boots, shoes, heels, sneakers, and sandals. Did the store authorities freeze the registers, seal the exits, and tell everyone to stop right where they were so that their footwear could be examined before it rubbed off any more of the evidence? Did they ask everyone passing through the registers/exits to take a few steps on a large sheet of white paper (perhaps the back of some spare wrapping paper) while writing on it the name of each shopper? Of course not. Doing so would have interfered with that little “Bargain Shopping Über Alles” ditty we’re humming to ourselves 24/7.

Oddly enough, the same big blue company I’m talking about, the one we think of as the invincible juggernaut of bigger-box retailers, has had a few good in-your-face losses. It’s extremely gratifying to know that in certain markets around the world, the locals are organized enough to recognize batshit-insanity and to deal with it appropriately. Its failures in Germany and Korea tell us that if we want to, we can deal with it as others have.

There’s no mystery to it: just make sure to do your shopping elsewhere. Keep in mind that every cent you spend at someone else’s store means keeping that store in business while denying yet another sale to the business that doesn’t deserve to be in business. Sometimes this means spending a little more; sometime it means spending a little less. You can always make use of the opportunity to mention casually what you’re doing and why. Stores survive or fail based on incoming foot traffic. Speak out & be heard.

Everyone here is familiar with the way high entropic losses are an essential feature of monocrop agriculture. The same applies to business organizations too. Oversimplicity (and not efficiency itself, duh) is the straightest path to hell. Clearly, community XYZ is less prosperous when it’s got only one large retailer at the edge of town versus what it had before, which was a thriving local economy containing many different producers & retailers. The big-box store outside town buys its products from outside the region and usually from outside the country; the profits generated from sales do not remain in the economy; the store workers get paid the bare minimum needed to retain them in that market. Contrast that, if you will, with a thriving local business community.

So if you’re in the mood to show the local businesses how you feel about all this, just exercise a little care about where you spend your money. Voting with your dollars is far more effective than using your once-every-two-years one-per-citizen ballot. And if you can’t get everything you need from local stores, at least give them the first shot at providing what you seek, and move on to the other stores only when you can’t find whatever-it-is locally.

30 Replies to “off the fence & thanks”

  1. I’m hearing you, Nudge, loud and clear! And I’m fully on board with the concept of stashing that cash. That way I can get to it faster, to smell it, and touch it and roll around in it — whenever the need arises.

  2. Nudge, great rant. “Evil Wal*Mart Must Die!”(TM), that’s my motto.

    On the bloody shoes on paper idea, I recall that in Truman Capote’s book “In Cold Blood”, they caught the two killers by the footprints they left on some cardboard that was on the floor of the basement where they had killed the head of the household with a knife to his throat.

    bunn, somehow it’s not fair that a rabbit can gain nourishment from eating his cash.

  3. Bloody shoe prints at the scene is also how they caught OJ–NOT. Talk about an epic fail…

  4. Nahhh… no need to eat cash, dear doom. Certainly not when I’m living in a verdant paradise that’s already year round full of tasty edibles. If the supply line of organic carrots and lettuce gets disrupted, we have plenty of dry rations. And it that runs out, no biggie — then I go outside and eat whatever looks good. And there’s plenty of it, trust me. You monkeys, on the other hand, need to work a lot harder to feed yourselves. I don’t envy you in the slightest.

    Burning money: now that makes much more sense as far as non-intended uses for the stuff are concerned. Maybe you should light your cigars with Benjamin’s? That would make you look cool in front of the girls. Don’t begrudge me my simpleton pleasures… please.

    JR, the race starts at a civilized 12:00 a.m. here on the West Coast. Massa is already grumbling about being handicapped without KERS. He’s honest though, I guess… in the same way that Jerry Sloan is about his team’s prospects having to face the Lakers in the first round. Okay, I’m outta here for the afternoon. Ciao.

  5. god, i read this thing about 3 times without being able to understand it. all three times i kept thinking that rico wrote it, and it just wouldn’t compute. then i saw that nudge wrote, and suddenly, everthing slipped back into place. the world was back on it’s axis, thank god.

  6. ya, walmart. first place, honestly, i don’t really, in my heart of hearts, give even a small bit of a fuck about JD, niether do about 200 mil. other shoppers. yesterday, true shit, i needed some printer paper and some envelopes. so i jumpe on trusty 10 yo mtb, no fucking piece of shit , lateeda insight for me, cause i’m not a fat fuck fucking loser and i go to kinko’s, the local downtown print shop, who dosen’t have shit for inventory, staples and walmart. of course i bought at walmart. why? cause they had what i needed at better than half the cost of kinko’s or staples, which are just other corporate shitholes that haven’t gotten the bad press that walmartmart gets. i got a new fishing lisence at walmart while i was there.

  7. I bought a lifetime NY fishing license about 20 or more years ago so I only need to buy hunting licenses at the local discount mart. I went to fish Lake Champlain last Tuesday for catfish with my 88 yr. old fishing partner. He is a cranky stubborn ultra-conservative curmudgeon, but is a good fisherman. We caught some bullheads but the big cats evaded us.

  8. How bout a photo? Or even a logo? some kind of graphic image. Many of my readers don’t read. Just send one to me if you can’t place it, I’ll do the grunt work.

  9. You talkin’ to me, JR? What is a logo? I don’t really own a digital camera, just borrow one occasionally. Your readers want to see a stringer of bullheads? They’re not very pretty. Kind of yellowish brown with fleshy horns and whiskers on a face only another bullhead (or a bullhead fisherman) could love. My 88 yr. old fishing partner looks somewhat similar. If I did have a pic, in the future, how would I send it to you – I’m not good with electronic gadgetry. I’d have to get my nephew to send it.

  10. Thanks for the rant appreciation moment :) .. it’s almost worthy of its own smiley face.

    On the web you can find a Wal*Mart frown done up just like their stupid logo. The one I was hoping to find, and didn’t was with X’s for the eyes and some cap-in-yo-ass marks.

    The only time I’ve been in one of those stores since the killing was when my boss took me along on a little biz excursion (in his shiny new Compensator 9000, of course) and stopped there to go to the Subway sandwich store within for lunch. Was not planning to be there again. I’ll drive out of my way to find a real store now if that’s what’s needed.

    As Far pointed out in a comment on the other blog, the Prole*Mart work force is finally getting unionized anyway.

  11. Dave, I can assure you, me & the Rico are totally different people. Uhh, he’s someone else but I don’t know who he is either. I’ve got the video surveillance team ready to go on short notice for whenever.

    We’re expecting some obfuscation anyway. Perhaps he’ll tell me to get to a certain restaurant and ask the head waiter for someone named ‘Manny’ (or whatever) who will then hand me an envelope with directions to exit the restaurant on the other side of the building and take a certain cab that’ll be waiting there. And so on, until he’s sure I’m not with anyone.

  12. Nudge, can you please explain the title of this post? You’re “off the fence”. Regarding what? The trampling death of a Wal*Mart employee, err, associate? Or something else? And, you’re thankful. Again, regarding what exactly?

    I can’t believe you were holding back because of fear of Wal*Mart retaliation?

    “more than a decade in the holding pen”? WTF?

    I liked everything about the post except the title and no pictures, as JR has already pointed out.

  13. Hi Doom .. off the fence finally about not doing bidness with Prole*Mart. I had been thinking about it for a long time (and was prepared to for a few moron years) but the employee death thing finally got me motivated. I had never set foot in any of their stores until 1994 anyway .. and the guy I was with back then (engaged to, really) was a big fan of their low low prices and what he called “wholesome American family-oriented business attitude”.

    I confess to being a horribly slow thinker. Once took 3 years trying to think up the right arrangement for a living room (not 3 years doing nothing but that, of course .. it was more like a background thought process) and when the right idea finally came into focus, it was beautiful and well worth the wait.

    Spent probably 12+ months thinking about starting my own blog, too, and mostly being worried about not having enough to write about.

  14. JR, you know this computer shiz messes me up.

    GB, sure, if you’ve got pictures of the ugly fish, go for it. But first I have a question: are those the bottom-feeding type, and if so, are they safe to eat? I ask only because Genital Eclectic has a reputation for having polluted a few too many rivers & lakes in that part of the land. The one that most people don’t know about was an old pipeline that went from KAPL, up on the hill, down to the Mohawk river. A lot of the nasty stuff leftover from making the bombs got poured down the drain, and at one point someone traced lines of this radioactive sediment far up and down the river.


  15. Nudge, try this as an ice breaker moment: see my post, above. Click on second link to smiley WM logos. Select middle logo with mouse, then drag it to your desktop, converting it to a JPEG file. Send copied file as an attachment to e-mail message to JR saying, “Please use this picture with my latest ZK post” or something like that. Don’t tell him I put you up to it, or he may not do it. Technically, you’ve both violated some copyright law, along with Google, and might get sued by Prole*Mart, but I doubt they have time to chase all the little fish like us. Besides, we have a ZK lawyer (bunn bunn) to defend us. Thanks.

  16. Look, Nudge… Sweetie, I know it’s really tough for you to spell swear words, but FCUK* is the name of an overpriced, trendy clothing chain. They have a store on Newbury street. It’s like the GAP for idiots that think black t-shirts with euphemistic, “suggestive” language in white letters is still cool.

    Sending an unintended shout-out to corporate interests probably isn’t what you want. Or am I missing something?

    I started reading Amis’ Money (a suicide note) again. I don’t know what the fuck is going on. Don’t mind me. Carry on.

    *It stands,”ostensibly,” for French Connection UK – how European.

  17. No, sorry, GB, it was aimed at Nudge. Just wish she would brighten up her posts with images. Just cuz hardly anybody reads anymore. I’ve got a business to run here. This isn’t a library.

  18. OK. Just checking in. Bif and Bunn (and I guess Nudge whenever she decides to show up) are doing a great job.

    I’ll be back in a couple of months or maybe a week. Depends on how long it takes Richard Branson to get sick of me (wish me luck).

  19. Yeah, I don’t know if I said anything about that before. Nice painting. But when has CFN been about graphics. Never. The timing if anything shows he ripped that idea off of Bunn Bunn. And at least Bunn had the good taste to stay American… errr… uhh… you know what I mean.

  20. JR, enjoy the traffic jams today! The Kenyan national race, err, the Boston Marathon, always messes up the city something fierce.

    OK, point well taken about nobody actually reading today, but what’s wrong with that? Think of it as a sort of front-door filter that’ll turn away the sort of visitors you don’t want on the blog anyway. I do images & such over at the other blog (example below) but the interface there is easier to deal with.

    Someday I will graduate to wordpress alright .. the controls are oh so much better.

  21. See that’s the problem with this country. I can’t believe they sell captain crunch at Walmart. I mean, I love the stuff, but it is so unhealthy. They probably sell beer there too.

    If this country was run by Lockheed Martin we would only have access to Cheerios and Fat-Free Cornflakes, but what is better is your kids would only have access to them too. See what I’m saying?

    We know who we are working for.

    I was helping my brother-in-law renovate his basement and taking a breather outside when his next-door neighbor came over trying to get away from his wife with a bowl packed full with marijuana. I haven’t smoked for about 4 months. I had to say I was good after two bowls.

    Now if Lockheed Martin were given greater authority and were monitoring that kind of activity, I might have forgotten about weed altogether.

    But they failed. Now I don’t give a shit and am wondering about meth again.

    We know who we are working for.

  22. “Now if Lockheed Martin were given greater authority and were monitoring that kind of activity, I might have forgotten about weed altogether.” –JR

    Not to make you paranoid or anything, but who’s to say they weren’t monitoring you guys and building a dossier should you ever have interest in challenging TPTB?

    “Conservatives of all varieties (political, social, religious) don’t much like it when their unsavory deeds are exposed. And conservatives are not shy about using law enforcement in an abusive fashion to achieve their goals, particularly when those goals involve money–as they almost always do.” –Legal Schnauzer

  23. “…who’s to say they weren’t monitoring you guys and building a dossier should you ever have interest in challenging TPTB?”

    Having interest in challenging TPTB is probably just about everybody that supposed to be getting a tax cut.

    Unsavory deeds are bipartisan, particularly when is about money.

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