Friday, November 28, 2008

Getting Trampled to Death vs. Attending a $20 Million Party.

Some poor schmuck got trampled to death by Wal-Mart shoppers in Long Island this morning at 5 AM, when the doors were opened and the so-called "Blitz Line" rushed in. Emergency crews took the guy to the hospital, but witnesses said that he was clearly dead already at the store, which means that by the time the last lard-asses were stepping on him what they were actually stepping on was a dead piece of meat.

Of all the ways to go, I'd say getting trampled to death by frenzied Wal-Mart shoppers is probably one of the worst. It's wrong on so many different levels that dying at the tentacles of a snuggly positioned kandiru while it gets intimate with your prostate gland is probably preferable--it's at least more natural. Getting trampled to death by consumer crack-heads while they make a dash for DVD players that are 50% off--dying like that doesn't just amount to murder, it amounts to a condemnation of an entire way of life.

Notice the sick irony here: Those drooling herds of compulsive hoarders of plastic junk were trained enough to take what they wanted to the check out stand and pay for it, even though the force of their mad stampede was clearly great enough for them to have robbed the place in a riot if they'd wanted to--but they weren't civil enough to refrain from stomping someone to death on their way to their discounted Holy Grails. Modern Wal-Mart shoppers will obediently pay for their products, but they won't mind literally crushing another human being's trachea in the process.

I've seen riots with rioters a hundred times more in control of themselves than these animals. There is a shred of political purpose in riots which lends them an atmosphere a cut above that of a chicken feeding frenzy. Granted, rioters are pissed-off young men with the single-minded purpose of destroying what are the symbolic objects of their hatred, but even as they smash the world up around them, at the very least they keep an eye out for one another. These Wal-Mart animals, on the other hand, consider one another as the enemy. Rioters stick together; Wal-Mart shoppers compete against one another to buy the garbage that they should be boycotting. People like that will never gain control of their own destinies.

The man who died was a 34 year-old temporary maintenance worker. And that is what Wal-Mart does, of course, keeps people temporary so the fear of getting fired never leaves them and sets up permanent residence next to the fear of getting sick and having to die because they don't have the money to pay for treatment. The numerous other permanent residents of that psychological Abu Ghraib that workers are forced to endure are the fear of never making enough money to be able to get married, the fear of having kids get sick, and the fear of having your television companion be your sole companion for the rest of your miserable, dead-end, fucked-up life.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the planet, "stars" were attending the most expensive party ever thrown. At least they were called "stars," because from what I was able to tell from the pictures they were mostly second-"tier" people that I've never heard about. The party reportedly cost anywhere from $20 to $40 million.

Dubai's Palm Jumeirah Island is the perfect symbol for what happens when backward desert nomads, the Sheikhs building the resort, suddenly get rich after they agree to repress their own people for the sake of Colonial England: namely, ridiculously over-the-top displays of wealth that seem the perfect settings for 70s disaster films.

Dubai, dubai...hmmm, reminds of something. Oh, yeah, Mumbai.

I don't know how close to 200 jihadists can be involved in an operation that shuts down an entire city without intelligence services from here to India hearing a peep about it, but the suggestion is that they were, erm, clueless. The only way to explain is to say that most of the boots on the ground, or cheap Nike knock-offs on the ground, as the case may be, didn't know where they were going to be deployed until the last minute. But, still, how is it that nobody noticed 200 some odd people loading on to a boat along with 200 some odd Kalishnikovs, grenades, RPGs, and bombs? Sound fishy.

UPDATE: "BLITZ LINE" Starts Here. Go to photos 9 and 11. New York Daily News sucks ass to begin with. Hope you pay your photographers a living wage, assholes.


nazarian said...

The staff hired as 'temporary' have that status so that they do not qualify for such benefits as health insurance. The same goes for part-time employees as well. Wal-Mart is known to keep its 'associates' in part-time status in order to avoid qualifying them for health insurance, 401k and other benefits even though their benefits suck.

I don't know if you know this - their biggest fear is for their workers to unionize. Quite a lot of their resources at the managerial level is spent on thwarting any attempt to unionize.

Ani said...

Here's a bio of the guy who got trampled. He'd just lost a job somewhere else, and got this as a temporary one for the holidays. All so sad and ridiculously pointless. I've always considered these Black Friday etc. shopping events more like the running of the bulls, with people in it for the "sport".

Armen Filadelfiatsi said...

Shrink it, Ani-jan:

Ani said...

This story just keeps on getting sadder:

A line-cutting dispute among shoppers who waited for hours outside a New York Wal-Mart and those who stayed inside their cars led to the stampede that killed a store worker, Newsday reports.

Nassau police said Wednesday that the conflict among shoppers who remained in their cars and those who waited in the cold weather fostered a "mob mentality" that led to the death last week of 34-year-old Jdimytai Damour, according to the paper.
Damour was asphyxiated last Friday while trying to shield a pregnant shopper from the throngs of bargain hunters pushing their way into the Valley Stream, N.Y., store.