Monthly Archives: November 2011

Why abuse “evil” corporations?

I  have  become quite interested in the Occupy movement on my FB page. There are several people constantly posting pictures, quotes, stories, etc. of the people who are doing the occupying. There are those who shout “Nothing is free”, “Get a job”, “Go home” “I paid for my college education, you pay for yours”, “Dirty Hippies”, etc. They delight in reporting the number of tampon and condom wrappers as if that debases the people who are there.

This morning, this picture was posted.

The message that I glean from this poster is, “You are all using products made by the ‘evil’ corporations you are attacking. You are all hypocrites. See how much better life is with all these wonderful corporations providing all those things which you now feel are necessities in your lives. Now just go home and shut up.”

I will admit that I use many of the products corporations produce as mentioned in this picture. I drive a car, take a train, ride a bus, and fly. I do not grow my own cotton or wool or dye them with natural dyes like beet juice. I buy manufactured clothing. I use cardboard boxes, a cell phone, and a camera. I correspond by using my computer. I stop at stop lights and am thankful they are there. That does not mean I have no right to expect the corporations that provide these material goods and services to be fair and ethical.

No one disagrees that corporations make products which consumers buy. The disagreement is whether these products are of good construction and are safe for the consumer and for the environment, whether they were made by workers making a living wage or in sweatshops, whether the corporations paid fair taxes. All of these positive  conditions can occur if the corporations have their customers, their neighbors, and their workers first in their minds rather than how large a house (or houses), how big a yacht, how extravagant their parties, and how many zeros appear in the bank accounts of the CEO and major stock holders. Some people just don’t get that message.

It is possible for business to be conducted with a fair profit. I haven’t heard of anyone saying all corporations should be non-profit. But when companies poison the earth with their toxins, fix prices, nickel and dime customers (that should probably be $50 and $100) with all kinds of fees, etc, etc, etc, ad nauseum to the point of destroying entire lives and lifestyles, it is time for people to rise up and voice complaints. No company needs to make billions in profits on the backs of the lowest 99%.

I do not know where this will end. I feel it would be a good step to start with eliminating the idea that a corporation is a person. Another step would be to turn out every person in Congress to run again without any payments by the lobbyists who currently own them. Yes, there are some good people in Congress. If they are honestly good, let them be re-elected but hold every Congress person to a limited term. A Congress person should not be allowed to “serve” longer than any president. A third step should be to limit the time served in courts. The life time appointment idea was made at a time when life spans were in general half of what they are now. We need leaders who will hold these corporations responsible to the earth and the people they serve. Paid off Congress and judicial persons will not do that.

I support the Occupy movement. I support the idea that banks should work with people whose houses have been foreclosed. I support banks releasing the trillions of dollars they are hoarding until after the election in an effort to get people to believe it is entirely the president’s fault that the economy is as it is. I support honesty and fairness. I guess I’ve been on the wrong side all my life but I like my side.

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Why doesn’t Santa stay in stores year round?

I try to start my day with positive uplifting information. Today was not one of those days. I read in our local paper about Santa arriving in Hurst this weekend.

Really?

When I was really young all we had was a parade when Santa came to town. He then sat on his “throne” in the department store and we stood in line to see him. I remember gazing at the wonderful window displays downtown. My Christmas in Illinois was not unlike Ralphie’s Christmas in Indiana.  A few years later when I was in third or fourth grade I could watch THE Parade on Thanksgiving Day on television. By that time I was no longer taken to the parade but it was still a thrill to see Santa arrive at the end in his big sleigh.  Thanksgiving Day ( or a day close to it) meant the start of Christmas to the children.

Now stores are putting up Christmas decorations before Halloween and sometimes immediately after the Back to Schools sale. And Santa is arriving earlier than ever. November 5? Really? The stores say “they are starting early because there is a demand.” Really? It’s not from mothers who are hassled and harassed every day by young children who demand to know how much longer. It’s not from fathers who traditionally wait until the last day to shop any way. Who is actually causing the demand?

This event is taking place at Bass Pro Shop,  which features “fishing tackle and equipment, hunting, camping, marine, and outdoors supplies, plus clothing”. Firefighters are going to pick him up at the “remote sleigh parking area” and drive him to the food court. I’m curious as to who is picking up the tab for this ride.

The shop has a Santa’s Wonderland on display with a crafts section and a train display. The columnist who wrote the news article called it “Occupy Stores event.”

I have accepted the fact that Christmas and commercialism go hand in hand. After all, Macy’s first parade in New York was way before my birth. It was done to draw people to the Macy’s store instead of Gimbel’s. I guess maybe it was in answer to Gimbel’s parade in Philadelphia. I don’t know. Maybe I have that backwards.

That’s not the point. Actually, today I am not certain as to what my point is. Other than Americans have allowed their children to be persuaded and manipulated by mass media and mass commerce from the time of their birth. Little girls no longer are allowed to be little girls. They are bombarded by clothing and behaviors that were once reserved for mid teens. Babies before they can walk are entered into beauty contests. By the time they are three, they are sexual objects.  They all want to be like teenagers even when they are as young as kindergarteners. The milk they drink is laced with hormones that start their puberty by second and third grade. Little boys? They have their pressures too.

What does that  have to do with Christmas? Santa to me is the spirit of giving. Christmas is a time of wonder for little imaginations. We have turned it into a season of me me me. Parents go into debt trying to satisfy the greed they nourish in their children that so often starts with early Christmas.

Almost two months is an awfully long time for children to have to wait. Seven weeks is an eternity. If Santa comes the first weekend in November, by Christmas all the joyous feelings will long be gone. Attention spans are just not that long. Anticipation will be replaced by apathy. Either that or the stress caused by the unending anticipation will cause their little bodies more harm.

My argument has nothing to do with the birth of Jesus which is well known to not have occurred on December 25. So responders, if any, do not have to go into the real “reason for the season”.

It has to do with the insatiable desire to hook customers at a younger and younger age. It has to do with robbing children of their childhood. It has to do with stores like Bass Pro Shops baiting children to try to get their fathers to shop early. OK that’s sexist I know but look at what they sell.

America has gone crazy with Christmas. I think it’s time to restore the sanity. I’d love to hear that this event was a big bust. Not that I have anything against the store. My beef is with stores like them who are like the Grinch who stole Christmas! Let’s keep the Christmas season at least confined to the month before the actual date. That’s long enough for any child to have to wait. Otherwise, let’s just keep Santa in stores year round and he can become an ignored fixture that kids pass by without paying any attention. We can then admit that there is no longer a “season” for joy and GIVING!

 

 

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