Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Salvation on Aisle 105

God, I love to see a mighty giant flounder in its own stew of filth. Seems that obese empire, Wal-Mart, has been flailing about and it's all I can do to make some popcorn, stir a cocktail and twitter my toes with glee.

With documentaries ("Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Prices") and consumer groups ( actively hating them, the retail giant is also facing strong civic resistance from coastal communities to arrival of their boxy girth. Not only do they face heaps of lawsuits regarding overtime pay, they also are the subject of the nation's largest class-action lawsuit alleging sexual discrimination on behalf of 1.5 million women.

Yes, you read me right: One million and a half. So, imagine a group the size of Philadelphia made up entirely of enraged women and you've got a clear picture.

So, that smug yellow smiley-faced bastard? A dude, apparently. (WM also faces a lawsuit from a French company who trademarked that logo years ago but I'm sure they will crush this claim. I mean, come on, Wal-Mart beaten by the French? Fuggettaboutit.)

Despite their desperate strategies, the organization of their 'PR situation room' and their market-driven efforts to join up with environmental organizations, their sins in the eyes of many remain unforgivable. And so, much like our own political scene, the grabby hand of religion has crossed that bridge of commerce and joined forces with the underworld: Wal-Mart has hired a nun.

Or rather, ex-nun. But really, it's a habit that's hard to break, is it not? Harriet Hentges, 65, will soon face critics of Mal-Wart's policies around employee treatment, environmental issues and inventory sourcing. I'm sure she'll put a folksy human face on all the ugliness in no time at all and it will be like one big ice cream fucking social.

A seasoned colleague based in New York told me that in his work as a public relations expert, he once met with a representative from Wal-Mart – one of their many lawyers – and the meeting was unforgettable. "He was the creepiest, scaliest person I'd ever been around. He was wearing a very expensive suit – he definitely did not buy it at Wal-Mart – and had the deepest fake tan I'd ever seen. All that was missing was a large fin out his back. After the meeting, I instinctively ran to wash my hands."

You can just hear the conversation at the marketing meeting: "Hmmmm, oily sharks don't play well in those liberal enclaves . . . I know! We'll appeal to their annoying sense of decency! We'll get all Mother Theresa on their ass!"

Ms. Hentges resume alone reveals that Wal-Mart knows what time it is (their dwindling stock price notwithstanding.) This is a woman of God who has worked in war-torn regions in the Middle East as the VP of the United States Institute of Peace. (Wait? We have our name next to the word 'Peace' somewhere????) Ironically, this group is funded by Congress, the same group funding wars in these same regions. Sure seems like a conflict but I'm sure God has The Answer …

Hentges is also former Executive Director of the League of Women Voters. Well, this should certainly help when putting those mouthy 1.5M bitches in their place.

Honestly, best of luck to Harriet in her new mission. Though she may have faced the terrors of war and the darkness of Satan, this is a different beast altogether. She's going to need more than a crucifix, a shopping cart and a list of key messages – she's going to need a miracle.

Now then, bow your heads: Let us pray – for Harriet's sake - that the Lord is not more of a Target fan.


mamaloo said...

Excellent post!

After watching "THe High Cost..." I had to have my jaw re-wired - that's how far it dropped and I couldn't get it back up!

When talking to people I often get the same response: but if an employer can get away with - insert nefarious employment practice here - then the more power to 'em, and if folks don't like it, they can go get another job. I, not being terribly politically savvy, don't know how to classify that response, except maybe a jerks sense of social responsibility.

Anyway, thanks for the black humour!

Howard said...

You, ma'am, are such a great writer. I love your style -- both stinging and funny, but with morales and crap.

You just made my weekly roundup again. :)

Rosie said...

From habits to cheap coordinated woven knits, my lord.

We'll see how long this chick lasts.

Kath said...

From what I hear, God really prefers IKEA.

Right Karen?

Shmeder said...

First, I was laughing my ass off from your post. Then I decide to leave you a message stating my joy.

I read the comments and read a comment left on YOUR blog to me from someone else (umm... that would be Kath). I am still laughing.

I didn't think this could get any better. Kath, is right. If there is a God he loves Ikea. If he loves me he would put one in Denver motherfucker.

Thanks ladies.