Monday, October 12, 2009
The People of Walmart
File this under "Now I've Seen Everything". One of my students asked me if I'd ever seen the site PeopleofWalmart.com. I have only myself to blame because we've talked about the loss of privacy that we have experienced with the rise of technology. This site, he assured me would illustrate this concept perfectly. Little did I know how correct he truly was.
How many times have you said, "I just have to dash out to get...." or "I'm just headed over to Walmart"? I will admit I have uttered these words many, many times before.
Unlike the runways of Paris I'm not afraid that people are saying to themselves "I can't believe she is wearing..." especially since they are no better dressed than I am. While I don't see Gucci bags or Prada in Walmart, I do see the kind of people that some would refer to as Walmartians. Walmartians are said to dwell in the land that the toni-white bread folks call "Fly over country." They tend to be the guy who will give you the shirt of his back if you asked him. They might be the lady who will bring a casserole to your house because she heard you were feeling ill.
This site, turns these people into a Freak show, an excuse for liberals to poke fun at conservatives while they claim to reach out to the least of us. The very people who shun the big box stores laugh at the people who shop there because they are barely scraping by in today's economy. Even some of the residents of the upper middle class has rediscovered Walmart as they try to pay off their former excesses.
I remember one of my students, years ago, patiently explaining to me how conservatives were quick to judge people and belittle others. She then proceeded to make fun of people who lived in trailer parks, people who were fat, and Christians. The basic tried and true litany of how they were all stupid and unenlightened. She missed the fact that the what she was saying was out of sync with the message of compassionate liberal.
I could almost hear people like her laughing and saying that these people are obviously Republicans. (Can we say profiling?) I could almost see those kinds of liberals dancing with delight as though they actually had proof of life on other planets or found the body of Big Foot. "Hurry, hurry, hurry folks, step right up and see the "Teabaggers" in their native habitat." The left calls conservative African Americans "Porch N's", Uncle Tom's, and Aunt Jemima. While the far left feels the need to call Condie Rice Aunt Jemima I'm certain they would howl with rage if the same term were applied to Michelle Obama. The fact that both woman are bright, beautiful, articulate, well educated, and believe strongly in their positions is immediately cast aside if one's opinion does not march in lock step with the extremists on either side.
Funny thing is that if one tried to use such outrageous photos to illustrate the left you would be labeled a racist, right wing extremist, hatemonger, and oh yeah ignorant. Isn't that funny how that works?
When I checked out this site, I wondered about the different people I saw. What did they do for a living? Were they aware that their photo was out there and that others were mocking them? Did they care? Would they care? Did they know that the owner of the site is making $1,000 a day?
I don't know the answer but I know that from now on I will try to make sure that my hair is done, my make up is applied, and I'm dressed like I walked out of the pages of Vanity Fair next time I head on over to the place where prices are always falling.