Thursday, August 17, 2006

Some things never change

One of those things is crazy liberals attacking Walmart. We all know that Diane Carman is one such crazy liberal whom the Denver Post sees fit to give a regular platform to. Her latest anti-Walmart piece is typical of the drivel and lack of knowledge of the real world common in inner city liberal establishments.

The piece starts as the standard "back to school" shopping cultural exam. It continues ad naseum for half the piece droning you into a bored lull. And then the first hard punch.....
The folks from the world's largest retailer - the same sanctimonious bunch that refuses to sell Jon Stewart's "America: The Book" and only started selling emergency contraception after legislatures in several states mandated it - stock some of the most tasteless, lewd, offensive back-to-school clothing anywhere.
She is implying (or should I say lying) that Walmart chose not to order Jon Stewart's book because he is a big lib or they don't like the politics in it or some such. The truth, which took me about 10 seconds to find, is that Walmart initially ordered the book (presumably knowing that Stewart is a lib) and then chose not to sell it when they discovered a photoshopped picture of the Supreme Court members nude inside. Walmart has a policy against selling anything that has nudity in it. They don't sell Hustler and they don't sell calendars of "artistic nudes" and if you put a naked person in your book they don't sell it. Walmart didn't CHOOSE not to carry his book, he CHOSE to make sure that his book wouldn't be sold in Walmart. And that isn't censorship, that is the free market.

Second, I absolutely love the attempt to use language to disguise what is being said. She uses the word "emergency contraception" as though Target has a drive through condom dispenser so you don't have to take all that time to go to the back of the store to find them and then wait in line to pay for them when you are all horney. Other libs like the term Plan B. Plan A1 is to take birth control pills for weeks before you start having sex. Plan A2 is to use a condom when you have sex. Plan B is to go ahead and have sex and then run to the store to get a quick fix pill. And before you send me hate mail about how important this is for women who are raped, I believe that emergency rooms should stock such drugs for dispensing to the small, although not small enough, number of such instances. Many do. The majority of "Plan B" is sold to women who were just irresponsible. Some of it is sold to women who used Plan A and it didn't work but that is as small a group as the raped women who need it. What she is really talking about here is making the morning after pills an over the counter medication. I already posted on what I see as the brilliance of Walmart's strategy on this drug here. And I may some day get around to blogging on what a terrible idea it would be to make this drug over the counter.

So what is lewd, outrageous clothing you are asking:
For starters, a vast inventory of beer T-shirts, including Coors, Guinness, Corona and Schlitz (Do they still make Schlitz?) is available at Wal-Mart, as if kids don't get enough beer advertising on TV.
So beer is lewd. I suppose you would rather kids wear T-shirts advertising French Champagne? As an aside, calling a Coors shirt lewd or obscene in Golden, CO is a hanging offense. But Golden is outside of the liberal dominated zone that I am sure Diane lives sheltered inside of so she probably doesn't know that.

And it gets better:
Among the T-shirts on sale for $6.87 are those hustling: "98% naughty, 2% nice" and "See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil, have no fun."
Many would say that I am an old conservative fuddy duddy. I am shocked and disappointed in what many people in this country allow their children to wear in public. For that matter I am shocked at what some supposed adults wear (or don't wear). If I had a daughter of school age who wanted to wear a shirt like this I would have no issue. It is a clean, mildy funny rebellion of youth. I see no offense here, particularly the latter one. Frankly, I would buy that shirt if they made it in my size for $6.87. I might buy 2 so that I had a backup when I wore out the first one.

And now we get to the punch line.
While these messages are hardly unusual for anybody who has spent even a single lunch hour strolling the 16th Street Mall, one particular item caught my eye as breathtakingly awful.

There in Columbine blue was a T-shirt sporting the words: "Welcome to the gun show."

I think it's supposed to be funny.
First, I can't imagine that Diane Carmen was shopping at Walmart. In fact, if she has any conviction to what she writes she cannot shop at Walmart. I don't carry an American Express card. I mostly stopped shopping at Target, except my phenomenal pharmacist who I just can't give up, after they kicked out the Salvation Army. The Denver area has no shortage of places to shop and if you hold the views she claims to hold about Walmart and still shops there she is a hypocrite. So I have to assume that someone called her attention to this shirt. She may have gone there to see it but she likely wasn't just shopping there.

Second, why would the people at Walmart headquarters (located in a small town in Arkansas for those of you who don't know) have any clue what a high school in Colorado's school colors are? I will grant you that it is possible that the shirt maker knew, but why would you expect Walmart merchandisers to? Or to care? They live a long long way from here Diane. Many of them have never been to Colorado except to ski or to visit Coors. It is also possible that the shirt was blue because blue is a really popular color. I would guess more than half of my T-shirts are either red or blue.

I will also grant you that the local store management in Columbine probably should have not put this shirt in the rack. When confronted the corporate management agreed.
"I don't know how that T-shirt got there," said Gail Lavielle, spokeswoman for Wal-Mart's corporate headquarters, who said that the biggest factor considered when making decisions about what will be stocked at Wal-Mart stores is customer demand - with the notable exception of censored books, music and Plan B.
That is too rich. First of all, nobody is censoring a book. Walmart censors nudity. Most mothers who shop at Walmart with their kids appreciate that I would guess. Second, the biggest argument against stocking "Plan B" is customer demand. It has to be prestocked because women can't wait for it to be delivered to the store and there just isn't that much of it sold, particularly to Walmart shoppers.

But the big lib goes further than that. Remember boys and girls, beer and guns are offensive.
Columbine High School principal Frank DeAngelis said no way would anybody be allowed to wear the gun-show shirt - or one like it - there.

"It would be insensitive to the community," explained Lynn Setzer, spokeswoman for the Jefferson County School District.

No kidding.

But Wal-Mart hardly gets a pass for letting the shirt slip into Colorado inadvertently. Honestly, try to imagine a high school in Michigan, Oregon, New Mexico, Georgia, Mississippi, Kentucky, Arkansas - or anyplace in the U.S. - where the message wouldn't be considered cynical and insensitive.
Um, OK. You see, apparently unlike Diane, I have actually been to some of those places. I would start with Indiana, which she didn't mention but is between Michigan and Kentucky, but is where I went to high school. I can tell you that shirt would have been no problem. I highly suspect that is still true. I lived 20 minutes from Louisville Kentucky and saw shirts like that there too. I just polled a friend from Michigan. Ditto. The richest claim is that this shirt would spark outrage in Georgia and Arkansas. Have you ever been to a rural community in the deep south? Guns are part of the social order. Everybody has a gun so people don't shoot other people very often. They sell ammo at the local convenience store. I would be very surprised if a good student were sent home from a rural Arkansas public school for wearing this shirt.

Then she makes a grand statement that is certifiably untrue.
It doesn't exist.
I think what she meant to say is that she wishes it didn't exist. I would bet good money that it does. If it doesn't it is only because the liberal establishment has managed to corrupt the thinking of every community in the country. If you want to stop school shootings you are much better off banning Ridilin than banning shirts glorifying beer and guns.

Update: For a few minutes this post was up with an error that it is RU-486 that Diane is talking about. It is not. After walking downstairs it struck me that I had screwed up and I corrected the post.


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