Tag Archives: Newspapers

People of Wal-Mart

This is the name of a website (peopleofwalmart.com) which features both photos and videos taken of Wal-Mart shoppers, mostly surreptitiously.  It’s a little mean-spirited, in that it doesn’t seem fair to do this to people who have no idea you’re doing it.  It’s like the paparrazzi who are so fond of taking pictures of sex goddess movie stars without makeup, slimy looking hair, and cellulite. 

On the other hand, here’s my take on it:  if you don’t want someone to take a picture of you looking like that, don’t go out looking like that.  Celebrity or not.  If you don’t care, then you’re home-free.  Go any way you like.  So that would be me–I don’t care. 

Therefore today, I think I might have made a good Person of Wal-Mart.  T-shirt, gym shorts, flip-flops, no makeup.  But not a very good one.  First of all, I would have had to weigh at least double what I do.  But you don’t always have to be fat to be a Person of Wal-Mart.  There was one photo I saw where a woman is walking her poodle in the parking lot, between giant piles of banked-up snow.  You can’t see her face, but she has nice-looking long blonde hair, is thin, and is wearing pajamas and socks and bedroom slippers.  You get the point.  There is a certain mind-set to being a Wal-Mart person. 

So, you might ask, what the hell was I doing at Wal-Mart?  The short answer is, I needed a newspaper.  Today marks exacty the third time I’ve been there since it opened four years ago.  The first two times were for emergency purchases of Ibuprofen.  By my calculations, I’ve now spent around $7.00 there.  It’s an empty protest to be sure, but it makes me happy.   

I do a lot of empty protesting now that I think about it.  Probably it’s because I’m too realistic.  I don’t kid myself that I can change anything substantially.  But I still do believe that I might say something  that plants a seed that might eventually sprout.  Really, it can, and sometimes does.  It’s such a more hopeful way to live than simply giving up and saying nothing you do makes a difference. 

So I tried not to go to Wal-Mart.  I went first to my corner convenience store, where my favorite weekend Rwandan engineering student was on duty, but they were out.  He said, go to Wal-Mart.  So I blame him. 

The reason I needed a paper was that today, an op-ed came out by a former dog rescue person regarding certain changes the County is trying to make to its Animal Control ordinance.  I was there the last time they did it, I will be there again.  You have three minutes to comment before the County Commission.  I need to make it work.  So I needed to see what was already said–no need to repeat it.  The Commissioners all read the paper. 

The big issue is tethering.  The County is proposing minor changes to it which mostly involve the type of tether that can be used.  But there needs to be a sweeping change.  As long as we tolerate dogs being tethered outdoors 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, tweaking the kind of tether is like arguing about what color to paint the walls of Hell.  Which I plan to say.

Don’t That Beat All

For those of you who aren’t from the South, this is a time-honored phrase meaning “What the fuck were they thinking?” We are prohibited from saying this out loud, due to the if-you-can’t-say-anything-nice rule. 

The occasion for this post is that today I learned that sometime in the past week, my hometown newspaper, the Tallahassee Democrat, held a “Blogger’s Luncheon.”  Apparently my invitation was lost in the mail. 

The luncheon was organized by a reader, and took place in the Democrat headquarters, where attendees wore name tags with their screen names on them.  The food consisted of sandwiches from the Dem’s cafeteria, plus whatever the attendees brought with them.  What?  This is a church supper?  They should have invited me–I make a mean coleslaw. 

I have to work hard at not being too cynical, but in this case, I’m failing miserably.  This is the last gasp of a dying newspaper. 

Don’t that just beat all?