Professor, What If…? Short takes 11/29/09

1.Wal-Mart in Upland, California forced to close for two hours when shoppers got out of hand on Black Friday. Please, can we all stop shopping at this horrible corporation? Do we want the future to look like the one in Wall*E? (Not the fat-hating part, but the world taken over by Wal-Mart part.)

2.Huffpo reports that “First Ever Store for Porn Apps Launches.” Yup, that’s just what we need in this world, more porn. Especially porn on the go. And we thought texting while driving posed a problem. Wait until porn apps promote wanking while driving…

3.More troops to Afghanistan? Yeah, cuz we need more war in the same way we need more porn. I am disappointed in you Obama. Sorely.

4.IRS filed $79,000 lien against Governor Schwarzenegger. So, we in Calif our governed by a man who can’t pay his own bills? Hmmm, no wonder our state is in such an economic dilemma. Maybe he could sell off some of those Hummers to pay his debts.

5.Entertainment Weekly ( 12/4/09) notes in it’s Hit List that “Heidi Klum hits the runway in lingerie six weeks after giving birth.” Guess, the mommy myth so cogently critiqued by Susan J. Douglas is still going strong. Soon women will jump off the delivery table straight into a pair of high heels or exercise shoes. Nothing more important for a new mom than losing the weight or getting the sexy back. Gag.

5 thoughts on “Professor, What If…? Short takes 11/29/09”

  1. I lived in Upland for most of my life, asking a town like that to boycott WalMart is pretty classist. Those who cannot afford anything else do not deserve any of the shame thrown upon them by blanket statements like “everyone should stop shopping at WalMart.”

    1. I understand that my call to stop shopping at Wal-Mart is easier for some than others (and this is, as you point out, related to location and other available shopping options in particular areas). Unfortunately, Wal-Mart has forced many to choose to shop within its walls by forcing the competition out, by positioning itself as the only viable place to shop in many rural communities, and by offering the lowest prices on many staple goods. However, these low prices come at a very high cost (as the film Wal-Mart the High Cost of Low Price details). The workers (both those at Wal-Mart in the US and those at sweatshops around the globe) do not share in Wal-Marts huge profits. For those who feel they have to shop there out of economic necessity, they can still be active in the movements that call upon Wal-Mart to instigate fair labor practices, etc. This too is somewhat class based though — for one, much of the information is online and, for two, having the time to participate regularly in social justice movements is itself a marker of class privilege and leisure time. I know that some cannot afford to stop shopping at Wal-Mart and you are right that my blanket call was problematic. But, I also know of many who can afford to shop elsewhere and still choose not to. One of the wealthiest women I know locally is an avid Wal-Mart shopper and no matter what I say, I cannot convince her they are not a company she should be supporting.

  2. Professor,
    regarding point #3
    what if we immediately pulled all troops out, would the people of Afghanistan be better off? As horrible as it is there now, and as terrible as our policies to Afghanistan have been since at least the 1980s, I believe it is better there now, than it was ten years ago. My proof, women currently serve in the Afghan parliament.

    And since we overthrew the Taliban, I believe it is our moral obligation to stabilize the country. “We broke it, we buy it.”

    1. I don’t think it is better — in fact, many groups report it is MUCH worse, especially for women (see, for example, CodePink, Women Against War, NOW, Feminist Majority Foundation). NPR actually did a story last week by an Afghani woman who addressed your proof — she basically said this is a ruse to make people think things are better when for MOST women, things are much, much worse.
      And, we helped to CREATE the Taliban (as we helped to create/arm/incite much of the Middle Eastern conflict now going on). We de-stabilized this part of the globe long, long ago and our policies have generally made things worse, not better. We are not there for moral reasons. We are there for power, profit, greed — IMPERIALISM!!!
      We certainly have contributed to further “breaking” the country, but IT IS NOT OURS TO BUY!

  3. All this crap about “the US and UK have to stay in Afghanistan because it would be worse if “we” leave” spectacularly misses the point. “We” (and don’t even start me on that usage) have no right to be there at all. Whether it would be “better” or “worse” if “we” left is none of our business – because Afghanistan is none of our business.

    Saying that the US and UK need to stay in Afghanistan to “fix” it is like saying that a rapist ought to become his victim’s trauma counsellor.

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