May 6, 2005
i am running dogA couple of days ago I read the Business Section of the New York Times. How else can I keep up on my diverse portfolio of business holdings?
Okay, okay, I lost a bet.
Anyhoo, featured in this Business Section was a story on Wal-Mart, the kind of story I am as big a fan of as I used to be of UFOs back in the, uh, 70s. Extending into the now. Wal-Mart is a pernicious little (enormous) organization, not satisified only with minting money, no -- unless they're also destroying organized labor, manufacturers and every single community in which they open a store, then they're not dong their job.
The story is about Wal-Mart's continuing efforts to hold down their wages. They pay a few bucks above minimum wages, but they're at the bottom of the list of big box retailers as far as salary goes. It's a wee bit predictible: labor wants more money, so that their families actually exceed poverty level, and Wal-Mart doesn't want to give it to them, because it's money. To the public, Wal-Mart pleads that any increase in the bottom line would increase prices in their stores, thereby letting down every poor person in America who shops there. It's a nice "let's you and him fight" argument, for a total pile of horseshit.
So, there is this quote, from some retail-biz think-tank/advocate whose name is neither worth googling or even repeating. It was enraging, the good kind of enraging, the kind of enraging that used to happened before my natural inclination towards bomb-throwing was mitigated by intellectual ambivalence. This is the shit what he said:
They [Wal-Mart] don't have a responsibility to society to pay a higher wage than the law says you have to pay.
To begin. That sentiment is the sentiment that keeps me up at night, all scared for the actual soul of the nation. Seriously. Whatever society he's talking about is one I don't want to live in. It's one you need to hold the conch to speak in.
On its face, the statement is a fucking lie. Yes, corporations do have a responsibility to society, and not even paying taxes. Because paying taxes is not a responsibility -- it's an obligation. Obligations are mandatory. Responsibilities are not mandatory. Responsibilities are relative, and subjective, but they exist, and they are not obligatory. That's the difference. Corporations (especially in light of the fact that US jurisprudence treats them as entities equal to persons, rights-wise) have responsibilities to their communities, to society, to the nation, to the world, just like actual, tax-paying people do. That's just part of being a society. It's not an obligation. Corporations are as free to flip the ol' twirly bird to the rest of society as crackie is, or Joe Recidivist is. But when they do, they are shirking. And hiding behind the flag of "It's not my responsibility" is the Nathan Thurm way out.
Funny thing is that the dickweed could've replaced "responsibility" with "obligation" and he would've been 100% correct.
Yes, a brief screed this is, tinged with incoherence.
So, dickweed, Wal-Mart and the rest of you fuckwits who think that the sole reason society exists is to protect your exploitation of the resources of that society -- ain't not everyone brainwashed yet.
Oh, and I despise you. You embarrass the species. You embarrass mammals.
The rest of you, have a super weekend!
Posted by mrbrent at 5:39 PM
May 5, 2005
this is new yorkYesterday afternoon I saw a guy zipping down Eleventh Avenue (here in the NYC) on what is properly known as a "Segway". Well, not so much zipping as putting. But, yes, I saw it. It was very Battlestar Galactica. No, not the new one, the old one, with Dirk Benedict and Lorne Greene. Or maybe it was very Gattica. Definitely one of the Gats.
I hope the young man putting on the gyropogostickanator had the future humming behind his reflective shades, feeling chrome-pure and invincible, because he did not look like that at all. To me, he looked all, "Please don't take my lunch money and hang me in my locker by my underwear."
Yes, this is my life -- smoke cigarettes on fire escapes and make fun of bozos on Segways, while the British Consulate burns. Burns, I tell you! Or, well, smolders, at least in the planters outside the Consulate.
Posted by mrbrent at 12:51 PM
May 4, 2005
not scared enough yetPsst. It's the Yahoo! Box of Headlines with the 411:
• U.S. issues new warning about marijuana use
Or is it the 911? Maybe the 311?
For once, the headline deserves the link. And even the excerpt:
Government officials say recent research makes a stronger case that smoking marijuana is itself a causal agent in psychiatric symptoms, particularly schizophrenia.
Oh, and also communism and faggotry.
Don't get me wrong -- I'm as much for a nice panic overscare as the next guy. I haven't had to evacuate a building in what feels like years. But please keep their bad stinky science away from me. Incidence of two agents (in these studies, apparently, "mental disorders" and "sweet ganj") do not indicate a causal relationship. For example, divorce rates are higher in Red-voting states, and I don't remember any governmaent warnings against marrying a Republican. Maybe the disorders cause an inclination to smoke herb. Maybe, in fact, the causal relationship exists only among marijuana-huffing paranoid schizophrenics with enough time on their hands to submit to studies.
Maybe their science is so spectacularly weak because their hands are chafed and calloused from carrying so much water for a government filled with oligarchs and two-faced moralists.
Meanwhile, remember, kids: real Americans don't smoke dope! No, they just watch about thirty-eleven hours of television a week, which is like leaving your brain in a glass of Coca-Cola overnight.
And then drinking it.
Posted by mrbrent at 3:24 PM
May 3, 2005
go!Today we will give some thanks, because it truly is all about thanks givin, at the oddest times.
TMFTML makes me laff! TMFTML is mean about words like I like to be! Go!
I remember a certain other robot, but Monk found a better one! Go!
You like baby geese? So does Cardhouse! How much? A lot! Go! And then scroll down for a solid month of geese! (P.S. I'm not kidding about the geese -- that's some crackerjack writing, though also about geese.)
And finally, HULK'S NAME IS NOT GREENSLEEVES! GO!
Posted by mrbrent at 12:21 PM
stop yer pressesOoooh, Yahoo Headline Container, you wascally wabbit. I have neither the time nor the inclination for v3 of the Media Hate Five Paragraphs (Institutional Incompetence Flavor), but I do have time to share:
• N.C. man finds finger in frozen custard
Sorry, not news. No need for a severed appendage/foodstuff public awareness campaign, no need for health inspectors to step up, no need for OSHA to investigate. No need for congressional subcommittees, no need for judicial action. No need for talking heads or pundits, no need for cameras, no need for reporters and no need for television. Do not panic! It is not news! It is not the Socialists encroaching, or a breakdown of traditional values, or even the freaking hippies! No need for Zell Miller to get any more batshit than he already is! It's just an accident, like stepping on a frog.
Maybe somewhere out there is a person or two with a paraphilia about unexpected body parts hidden in their meal. Maybe, news for them. The rest of you, move along. Unless you'd like to take notes so that when you tell your grandkids about The Day The Finger Was In The N.C. Frozen Custard, you get the names right, in which case, try the paraphilia on for a while. It might suit you.
Posted by mrbrent at 10:43 AM
May 2, 2005
my new hero pt 14This fella over here has a swelled fan base already, and probably needs no more love from superannuated fanboys like me.
But, holy schamoley, this looks like the best thing since sliced gravy.
Posted by mrbrent at 5:18 PM