September 1, 2009

"If you've ever wanted to explore the world of Wal-Mart but don't live near one, this site is for you."

"Everyone at these stores seems to be topless, pantsless, toothless or all of the above."

HuffPo sniffs (in a piece about various websites HuffPo readers might want to stoop to read).

52 comments:

Dark Eden said...

It always amazes me that the people on the left who claim to be champions of the common man have such hatred and contempt for us.

Paul Zrimsek said...

One of the things you can find at Wal-Mart is a digital camera with functioning auto-focus.

VW: palish (adj.) Having a tendency to wink and to give one's children odd names.

MayBee said...

Huffpo is making fun of topless and bottomless people?

Huffpo? Home of the nipple slips and pantyless limo exit photos?

Jeff with one 'f' said...

From a recent thumb-sucker about FDR and BHO at Salon:

"While the right was rejecting its gloomy elitism and embracing the mass society and populist politics, liberalism was moving in the other direction. Liberal intellectuals, shocked by McCarthyism and the rejection by the voters of the urbane Adlai Stevenson for Dwight Eisenhower, concluded that the American people themselves were the problem. In "The Age of Reform" and other works, the influential liberal historian Richard Hofstadter argued that the Progressive and Populist movements, far from being the precursors of New Deal liberalism, were reactionary movements by downwardly mobile professionals or farmers suffering from "status anxiety." Seymour Martin Lipset and other sociologists and historians including Daniel Bell and Peter Viereck argued that many members of the working class had "authoritarian personalities" and that populism here as in Europe could lead to fascism. Although more accurate historians and pollsters demolished their caricature of working-class Americans as proto-Nazis suffering from "status anxiety," the damage had been done. The New Left of the 1970s and 1980s, clashing with socially conservative blue-collar "hard-hats," were if anything even more hostile to the white working class, and sought allies instead among blacks, immigrants and various "social movements," most of them staffed and run by members of the college-educated upper middle class.

Whereas progressives and populists alike had been able to invoke the people against the interests, the mid-century liberals and many of their successors on the center-left to this day fear the people even more than they fear the interests. They worry that if liberals rile up the crowd against Wall Street, the rampaging mob, like the torch-bearing Transylvanian villagers in the old Universal Pictures Frankenstein movies, might turn on the universities or carry out political pogroms against minorities. "

Hoosier Daddy said...

It always amazes me that the people on the left who claim to be champions of the common man have such hatred and contempt for us.

Doesn't amaze me in the least.

Big Mike said...

It always amazes me that the people on the left who claim to be champions of the common man have such hatred and contempt for us.

Doesn't amaze me either.

EnigmatiCore said...

That's the problem with the unwashed masses. They are unwashed.

vw: sclessa- what the left wishes for the SCOTUS

Lem said...

That man had been snared by a green ambition of sorts.

But now he has seen the light.
He went to Wal-Mart seeking redemption.

Randy said...

I'm with Hoosier Daddy and Big Mike.

AJ Lynch said...

It's as if liberals get a user manual that instructs them that Walmart = bad, Costco and co-ops = good.

wv = blessedr

hawkeyedjb said...

People on the left celebrate the things that make life harder and more expensive for working proles (cap-and-trade, land-use restrictions) and hate the things that make life easier (like Wal Mart).

Then they spend their spare time preening over their moral superiority. It's a good life, and one that can be lived without bumping up against the toothless masses.


[adecles: Sophocles' younger brother, who went into the advertising biz]

Paddy O. said...

I think the unwashed masses buy people magazine and watch TMZ for quite the same reason. This is paparazzi for the unfamous, but still curiously interesting.

And really, did you look at the pictures on that wal-mart site? Those aren't the "average" folk, hoi polloi. Those are people with a pretty big lack of self-awareness, and that tends towards being fascinating whether celebritney or hillbilly.

I bet the great number of wal-mart shoppers at the store when any of these pictures were taken were snickering and pointing as well.

Laughing at others is the great middle and lower class past time. That's why America's Funniest Home videos, and related shows, were so popular.

There's a lot of "limousine liberals hate the little man" evidence out there, but I don't think that site shows it.

Also great link over there is the what "hipsters hate site". Mostly making fun of the slumming, formerly upper-middle/upper class trying to find some supposed authenticity.

EnigmatiCore said...

"There's a lot of "limousine liberals hate the little man" evidence out there, but I don't think that site shows it. "

The point, you missed it.

That the people in the photos would cause a chuckle is not difficult to comprehend, and that the chuckles come to be is not evidence of 'limousine liberals hat[ing] the little man.'

However, suggesting that this is what you find at Walmart, and specifically at Walmart as opposed to various places in life, is that evidence.

hawkeyedjb said...

"However, suggesting that this is what you find at Walmart, and specifically at Walmart as opposed to various places in life, is that evidence."

Indeed. You could probably take a similar set of photos at one the low-rent Hispanic-oriented mercados in LA or Phoenix, where people also go in search of bargains. But sneering at those folks wouldn't fit the narrative.

m00se said...

Sorry, how is this different from Ann making fun of men wearing shorts?

Just asking...

Paddy O. said...

Yeah... I see your point, but honestly I don't necessarily agree with it being all that offtrack.

Wal-mart is a really interesting place to people watch. Ever gone there at 2 in the morning? Fascinating.

It's interesting to find the places where people engage in self-unawareness. Wal-mart might fit into a narrative, but there's a big part of that narrative which is just true.

Stepford wives and husbands are cookie-cutter and boring. What's the chances of finding someone interesting.

Wal-mart really is a place people somehow feel comfortable going while sloppy, unmade, uncaring, etc. That makes for a really interesting slice of life, even for those of us who go to wal-mart for the cost savings.

Really, this is just making public what I know a whole lot of people have been doing on their own for a long while.

Wal-mart is great because it kind of is funny in a way. Have a sense of humor about it. Laugh at yourself if you need aspirin at 2 am but don't feel like changing out of your pajamas, or if it's 95 degrees and 99% humidity, and it's just time to go pick up some chips or a gift for the nephew.

Wal-mart isn't the great bastion of American conservative values. It's a goofy store, with lots of stuff, for cheaper prices. It's goofy, and American's are goofy. That's what makes us fun to hang out with.

Yeah, some of those at Huffpo might sneer, but I think the other sites listed show there's just a sense of humor about different characters. No different from the awkwardfamilyphotos.com, or the Sorry I missed your Party site.

traditionalguy said...

It is fascinating that those on the most Educated professional career tracks and the University Faculty often have the gut need to control their image as Non-Wal-Mart shoppers and Non-Mcdonalds eaters.We call that "Fear of Man" in the faith community. It is what people get when they no longer have the Fear of God available to them. But reality based thought celebrates the Wal-Mart as a great place to find things and Mcdonalds as a great place for certain foods. It is true that Costco, like Whole Foods, has the superior employee benefits package, which may command some loyalty to shoppers who like people.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

It's as if liberals get a user manual that instructs them that Walmart = bad, Costco and co-ops = good.

They are both good.

After attending a Labor Board hearing today and representing the oppressive capitalist pigs against the poor and downtrodden people (a disgruntled ex employee who wants to extort even more un-earned money from the company). I plan to go shopping at both places.

BTW: at the Wal Mart I shop at you see many BMWs, Lexus, Mercedes, Lincolns, Caddies and many many expensive earth shriveling carbon spewing 4x4s. Maybe the Huffpo could take some pictures of those people, but of course that would go against the meme that only the toothless knuckle dragging rubes shop there.

former law student said...

"No shirt, no shoes, no problem!"

G Joubert said...

What they really hate about Wal-Mart is Wal-Mart's enduring vigorous resistance to organized labor. That's the wellspring from which all that hatred spews, and big labor is the one behind keeping it flowing.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I do have to admit that there are some "wide load" women who shop at Wal Mart who just drive me nuts.

My husband says if they get any wider they'll need outriggers. I say if they were told to haul ass it would take two trips.

They waddle sloooowwwwlllly down the middle of the aisle and stop randomly so you can't get past them. Totally oblivious that there is anyone else in the universe. MOOOOOOVVVVVVE!!! damnit.

When I go to Wally World I am usually looking for a particular item or items and know what I want and where it is in the store. I want to get my stuff and get out. There are a lot of bargains in common household items.

I buy all of my ordinary, work in the yard and in the house t shirts there. After all I can stain a 35$ Ralph Lauren t shirt just as easily as a $6 White Stag. My hubby buys his "plumbing" work boots there since a $30 pair of work boots get just as much ick on them as a $150 pair of Red Wings.

It's called buying for practicality and not for status.

knox said...

Paddy O, great comment. I still think the Huff-Po readers' love for the site is probably coming from a different place. : )

G. Joubert, the labor issue is a big source of the contempt for Wal-Mart. I'm sure that where the origins lie.

But I think that's only part of it. Wal-Mart provides so many goods and services to the poor, at a cheap price. A lot of liberals want the poor to be utterly dependent on the government, and they don't want a corporation to be seen as helping in any way. And now Wal-Mart is even encroaching on healthcare with their in-store clinics... they *must* be stopped!!

knox said...

They waddle sloooowwwwlllly down the middle of the aisle and stop randomly so you can't get past them. Totally oblivious that there is anyone else in the universe. MOOOOOOVVVVVVE!!! damnit.

And the bigger they are, the more oblivious... don't get me started.

(hugs, wide loaders!)

former law student said...

When I go to Wally World I am usually looking for a particular item or items and know what I want and where it is in the store. I want to get my stuff and get out.

dbq shops like a man

I can stain a 35$ Ralph Lauren t shirt just as easily as a $6 White Stag.

I remember when White Stag was a luxury brand -- sportswear sewn in Portland Oregon.

$30 boots -- Made in China
$150 Red Wings -- Made in Red Wing, Minnesota (and Missouri and Kentucky)

Oligonicella said...

DBQ --

I have learned a trick which does wonders against both the wide-aisle blockers and cotton-heads that stand and ponder. I have learned how to imitate the high-pitched beeping of a WalMart stock truck. People part like the Red Sea when they hear it coming. They glare as I pass. I get to where I want.

former law student said...

Wal-Mart provides so many goods and services to the poor, at a cheap price.

Which poor? I haven't noticed many big box stores going into the ghetto. Does the bus go to your local Wal-Mart?

former law student said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dust Bunny Queen said...

dbq shops like a man

LOL. When I buy generic pumps for work, I know the brand that fits. (Hush Puppies) and the size that I like. I go to the store, or order on line, once a year and buy 5 pairs in basic black, navy, brown, patent, red and taupe. 15 minutes and I'm good for the year. Who cares what my feet look like at work since they are usually under a desk anyway? The first time I went shoe shopping with my husband, he was shocked. He thought he was going to have to cook his heels in the mall for hours.

Dress shoes. Now there's another story.

I remember when White Stag was a luxury brand -- sportswear sewn in Portland Oregon.

Yes, me too. Plus they carry Catalina sports wear that was also upper end, in my youth. Still good quality especially for the price. I was pleasantly surprised to see those brands still available.

$30 boots -- Made in China
$150 Red Wings -- Made in Red Wing, Minnesota (and Missouri and Kentucky)


Muddy cow pie laden fields and septic tank sluge made in local ranches and backyards.

TosaGuy said...

"Which poor? I haven't noticed many big box stores going into the ghetto. Does the bus go to your local Wal-Mart?"

Some cities like Chicago have big-box ordinances that are designed to not let Walmart in the city.

Several Walmarts have been constructed in the middle of Milwaukee in lower income areas. They specifically took over a parcel that Target abandoned. They do a fantastic business.

Dark Eden said...

"Which poor? I haven't noticed many big box stores going into the ghetto. Does the bus go to your local Wal-Mart?"

I live in a poor black/latino neighborhood that would fairly safely qualify as 'the ghetto.' And yes the bus goes to the local Wal-Mart, which I know from personal experience. And I also know from personal experience that plenty of blacks and latinos shop and work there.

mrs whatsit said...

News flash for FLS: not all poor people live in the ghetto. Some of them, if you can believe it, are even white! The traditional site for a WalMart is in a rural area like the one where I live, where there are no ghettos for miles around and many if not most residents are bluecollar or poor. When WalMart arrived in our town, it did two great things for the local economy: it provided affordable shopping close to home for people who don't have gas money or reliable cars to carry them an hour to the nearest big city shopping area, and it offered them regular, non-seasonal, entry-level jobs with the possibility of promotion and no expensive educational prerequisites. Sneer all you want, but not many of those who have fun sneering at the poor who shop at Walmart have done anywhere near so much as WalMart has to give them an economic boost.

Ann Althouse said...

"Sorry, how is this different from Ann making fun of men wearing shorts?"

I'm not sneering at a segment of society -- eg, people who shop at Walmart. I'm singling out individuals who actually do the behavior I criticize. It's the difference between stereotyping and judging people as individuals!

Ann Althouse said...

"One of the things you can find at Wal-Mart is a digital camera with functioning auto-focus."

I'm guessing these are cropped bits of much larger photos. You can't get right up in someone's face and take a photo.

Maguro said...

I think the guy without the shirt is just looking for the organic bread-slicer.

Paddy O. said...

Let me point out again, it's not just wal-mart they're laughing at on that link. Look at the Hipster page. That's pretty much the majority readership of Huffpo right there--being mocked as hating hipsters. Both are hilarious, both are mocking a stereotype, and they point almost entirely opposite cultural directions in the mocking.

Shanna said...

Wal-mart is a really interesting place to people watch. Ever gone there at 2 in the morning? Fascinating.

I would say that is true of just about anywhere that is open at 2 in the morning. I don't see these folks making fun of the people at a club or the hospital or waffle house (although I'm sure they would love to make fun of waffle house, if they know what it is).

BTW: at the Wal Mart I shop at you see many BMWs, Lexus, Mercedes, Lincolns, Caddies and many many expensive earth shriveling carbon spewing 4x4s. Maybe the Huffpo could take some pictures of those people, but of course that would go against the meme that only the toothless knuckle dragging rubes shop there.

Ditto, at least there are several walmarts to choose from (I live in Arkansas, Walmart is the hometown store here) and if I go to certain one’s they are like this.

Shanna said...

Wal-Mart provides so many goods and services to the poor, at a cheap price.

Which poor? I haven't noticed many big box stores going into the ghetto.


FLS, it's the rural poor. You know, there are a HUGE number of poor people who don't live in some big city silo ghetto. Most of them probably live out in rural areas.

Paddy O. said...

Althouse hell will be staffed by these people (scroll down.

"I would say that is true of just about anywhere that is open at 2 in the morning."

That's true, but Wal-Mart differs from the rest you listed in that it is really big, there are a surprising amount of people, and these people aren't really purposefully doing something that requires a certain outfit. They're just being themselves, in a relaxed way that shows a lot more personality than a church foyer or a hospital. Airports also make tremendous people watching places, but nowadays there's all that hassle of security, so you can't just go and hang out there.

haldduston said...

I seem to recall seeing photos of an older, larger, shirtless man in or around Martha's Vineyard as well. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Randy said...

HuffPo readers are an interesting bunch. So interesting that HuffPo has to go to great lengths to hide just who they are. Apparently, T&A stories so dominate their top ten reads and emailed, they revised the rules to hide the fact that their oh-so-enlightened readers were remarkably like the average reader of The Sun.

(wv: imalib ;-)

save_the_rustbelt said...

I have warned my family members about a probable tragedy at Wal-Mart that could happen any time.

A 400 pound woman wearing spandex will explode, and the resulting spandex sharpnel will kill numerous shoppers and staff.

My family has been instructed to move over at least three aisles anytime they see a short heavy woman in spandex pants.

Ignore this warning at your risk.

Freeman Hunt said...

Which poor? I haven't noticed many big box stores going into the ghetto. Does the bus go to your local Wal-Mart?

Yes, the bus here does stop at Wal-Mart. You will often see people on the outskirts of the parking lot waiting for it.

Also, if you go to a poor city where Wal-Mart stores are allowed, you will usually find one. There is an outrageously popular one in San Ysidro. Constantly packed.

Freeman Hunt said...

My favorite Wal-Mart haters are the ones who say, "I would NEVER shop at Wal-Mart. I only shop at Target."

Heh. Pardonez, moi! I should have noticed you had such discriminating taste!

Wal-Mart is one of the few places you can go that is totally class integrated. You will find the poorest through the richest people in there. You'll find nearly penniless immigrants who are there to spend their last three bucks on ramen and millionaires picking up value packages of toilet paper. It's great. You can meet any sort of person.

Except of course the insufferable HuffPo elitist who only shops at Target, thankyouverymuch.

former law student said...

In summary: Which poor shop at Walmart?

- rural poor
- urban poor if the city govt allows (e.g. Milwaukee, San Ysidro, Dark Eden's city)

And yes, you can get there without a car.

Thanks, everyone.

Freeman Hunt said...

Incidentally, I stopped into my hometown yesterday which is also the home of Wal-Mart. I had forgotten how incredible the fast food service is there. It's a small town but does huge lunch business because the Wal-Mart home office is there. You will never have a faster and friendlier drive through experience than you will in Bentonville, Arkansas.

former law student said...

I only shop at Target.

When I've been to Wal-Marts, I've noticed they carry shot shells and brush pants, which Target does not at any price.

Freeman Hunt said...

When I've been to Wal-Marts, I've noticed they carry shot shells and brush pants, which Target does not at any price.

Such is also the case with Blackberry smartphones. You might want to get one with your shells and brush pants so you can note the best hunting locations with your GPS.

Pogo said...

In life it is best to practice humility, for the chances of appearing ridiculous increase exponentially the further away from age 20 you get.

This asymptotic imperative haunts us, by which we approach the fair look of youth's full flower, then veer away in slow decrements, only to end up on someone's web page in rotund unloveliness.

For the most of us, beauty ain't even skin deep, it's more like a forlorn hope.

Salieri: "Mediocrities everywhere... I absolve you... I absolve you... I absolve you all."

knox said...

Well, I am guilty of lurrrrrrrving Target. But it's nothing to brag about, for sure.

Paddy O. said...

The Time article on this is interesting. The owners of the site are apparently regular wal-mart shoppers. They seem like pretty likable people, actually.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Sorry, how is this different from Ann making fun of men wearing shorts?

As a frequent ( at least during Summer ) shorts wearing adult male, I'd say it is quite different. Ann is pointing out a particular fashion choice that she disagrees with. She is not implying that the people who wear shorts are inferior to her enlightened crowd.

peter hoh said...

FLS, there's a Walmart in St. Paul, right on the busiest bus line.

I shop there about as often as I shop at Target.

Walmart sells a greater range of craft items and sewing supplies -- including cloth by the yard. Much better range of automotive products at Walmart, too.

As mentioned, hunting and target shooting gear, ammo, and big ass hunting knives can only be found at Walmart. Aquarium fish are another thing you won't find at Target. Live plants, too. (Target sold orchids a while back. No for, IIRC.)

Target has some very good private label grocery items.

My local Walmart has a way of shutting down cash registers just before closing. I was in another long line at 10:00 tonight. Sure, I saved a buck or two on that 2 gig SD card, but it took me about 20 minutes longer than had I headed to Target.

My local Target seems to call an "all hands on deck" and makes a real effort to move all the last-minute shoppers through their lines as quickly as possible at closing time.