Monday, August 16, 2010

Don't talk about my mama, my religion, my politics...oh, and Walmart!

I'm convinced Walmart has displaced the weather as the #1 subject for a conversation ice-breaker. Where the conversation goes from there can, however, be all over the be careful before you step through that door!

Last week, I posted a self-reflective piece about my Saturday morning shopping trip to Walmart and the inevitable situation of running into old friends. Apparently not on top of my sarcastic, self-deprecation game, the post provoked a plethora of diverse comments, remarks, emails and Facebook messages. My weekly visitor hits spiked to 368, even more than my apparently controversial Michael Jackson posthumous comments last year. Walmart bigger than Michael Jackson! End of times my friends...end of times.

For the record, I love running into people at Walmart, at church, in the street, at soccer games, at the gas station, in restaurants, in the yard...shew, get the point? I'm usually the reason people can't get through their shopping trips quickly or leave church immediately after services. Just ask Mrs. Tony C who's seen me talk to a complete stranger at the grocery store for 10 minutes about the advantages and disadvantages of buying store brand items and any possible connections to store brand product marketing and the New Age movement (just expect an eye roll or two).

I did have to laugh at some of the reactions and remarks (but not yours by the way) and how opinionated people really are about the world's largest retailer. The typical comments about the evil empire that is destroying our nation's economy by pushing all the 'Made in China' items didn't surprise me...though somewhat on a tangent of the subject matter. But hey, that's most of most of my post anyway.

What did surprise me were the few that jabbed at me for making Walmart out to be some kind of bad place. I received an email and a Facebook message that pointed to all the negative media attention Walmart receives, but the fact remained that the mega store was the way their family stayed in budget. Wow! Those caught me a bit off guard.

Ironically, a post on Yahoo Finance today concerning the subject of product popularity features Walmart. I don't typical venture into the cesspool of opinion in the comments section of these articles, but after last week, I felt the urge to see what consensus opinion (uh...right) on the subject might be. Wow...again! It's amazing at the diverse, sometimes adamant, opinions people have about Walmart! Who knew discount warehousing could be so polarizing...

As I'm writing this, there are a number of follow up post ideas rolling through my schismatic seeking mind to bring a Rodney King voice of reason to it all.

People, I just want to say, you know, can we all get along? Can we get along? Can we stop making it, making it horrible for the older people and the kids?...It’s just not right. It’s not right. It’s not, it’s not going to change anything. We’ll, we’ll get our justice....Please, we can get along here. We all can get along. I mean, we’re all stuck here for a while. Let’s try to work it out. Let’s try to beat it. Let’s try to beat it. Let’s try to work it out.

Rodney King, May 1, 1992 on the third day of L.A. rioting

So true brother true. What good are falling prices in the face of civil unrest and mega market disparity?


David said...

Walmart - how unimportant.

Amazing how every institution has a place in society regardless of race, creed, color, financial standing or sexual orientation.

We take seperate cars to church, my wife is always home first.

Michelle said...

It is so strange to me that "Wal-Mart" became the concern of that strange.

Who cares about Wal-Mart...geez people. I shop there...Target is better...Wal-Mart has dirty bathrooms and you might get shot in a rural-style-drive-by if you frequent the one closest to my home.

Anonymous said...

Seriously, this is so freaking funny. I have to meet you Tony C because your sense of humor is 'The New Yorker' style and quality stuff.

The email from P. Johnston is from me. I connected through Z's blog.

I remember the Rodney King days. Classic. Real classic stuff.

Tracy said...

I think I can relate to Mrs Tony C - my beloved seems to have much to discuss with total strangers as well.

David said...

??? What's wrong with total strangers????

Mesha said...