Ass(oc) of the Month

Off the keyboard of William Hunter Duncan

Originally published @ Off the Grid in Minneapolis, June 12 2013

Discuss this article in Epicurean Delights, in the Forum

Can you tell what is wrong with this picture?

This is a bag of Cedar “Path and Play” wood chips, otherwise known as mulch, which we sell @ uber retail outlet. It is one of many kinds of mulch, either cedar, pine or cypress, shredded or chipped, sometimes artificially colored red, brown or black.

I called the “manufacturer,” to ask if they could define what they mean by “Virgin Forest,” because to me, “virgin forest” has a very specific meaning: Forest that has never been cut, of which there is probably less than 1% remaining in North America. The woman I spoke with, who I had been transferred to, did not even know they sold a mulch called Path and Play. Then she told me it was pine or cypress. When I told her it was cedar, she acted confused. I asked her again if she could define “virgin forest,” and she repeated that it was “forest product found on the forest floor.” I thanked her for the “information,” and let it go.

Who really knows where they get the wood they “manufacture” into shreds and chips? At first I wondered, do they really seek out forest that has never been cut, so they can tell Americans, ‘see, wood chips from virgin, previously uncut forest, what your American children deserve to romp around on!’ More likely, it is whatever cedar they can purchase on the open market, ancient trees 100x as old as any human, to immature trees growing in previous clear cuts. The statement that this is forest product found on the forest floor is a patent absurdity, conjuring images of people wandering around the forest picking branches dropped from mature trees. Industrial logging has one method and one method only – clear cut. Here is a picture of what they are doing to the Amazon, to grow Monsanto soybeans to sell to the Chinese.

Most likely, the virgin forest label is just the wit of a dipshit marketer/copy writer, who wouldn’t know a forest from a tree, writing something he/she thinks is clever, to entice the “consumer” to buy the “product.” Which 99.9% of the people shopping @ uber retail outlet wouldn’t notice, and it wouldn’t register or mean anything to them if they did. Nor do any but that 0.1% stop to wonder, where is all this mulch coming from? How can they sell so much cypress (our cheapest and fastest selling mulch by far), which is a swamp tree growing in a limited region of the southeast, in any way resembling ecological responsibility, or sustainability? Apparently the people who work for the company that “manufactures” the mulch, don’t even know what they sell, or where it comes from, or how it is harvested. And no one apparently other than this blogger is checking-in to ask, or they would have at the very least a pre-packaged answer.

Which is another reason why America, and the species known as Homo sapien sapien, is DOOMED.

I walked into receiving @ uber retail outlet, two days ago, to throw away another twenty lbs or so of shrink wrap. Every pallet of merchandise that comes into receiving, 6-8 truck loads a week, is wrapped in shrink wrap. I imagine millions of lbs of plastic shrink wrap goes into the garbage every year, just at the corporation I work for, just as every pallet of merchandise for every single retail outlet in the country, is wrapped in the stuff, none of which is recycled. Not to mention, just about everything on the pallets, known as merchandise, is destined for landfills within 5 years, resources of the earth that can never be recovered.

As I was throwing away the shrink wrap, I noticed a perfectly good front-entry door lying on a cart. Next to that on another cart, was a stack twenty high, of perfectly good $30 aluminum window screens. I asked the guy working the electric fork lift, pulling pallets off the truck docked at the gate, “they aren’t really throwing this stuff away, are they?”

“I’m just waiting on confirmation to throw it all down the chute.”

“You’re kidding me!”

Laughing. “You just aren’t immune to it yet.”

“No, I’m not.”

“After the first million bucks, you will be.”

“No I won’t,” I muttered, as I walked away.

This of course is standard practice at corporate retail outlets all over the country. See, no one will define for you why, except this blogger or critics like me, who will say that uber corp will not put it on clearance, because then the buyer won’t buy the stuff at full price. They won’t give it to thrift stores because they don’t want the consumer to shop at thrift stores, because then they won’t shop @ uber retail outlet. They won’t let employees take it, even to install it in their own home, for the same reason, and because they don’t know that the employee isn’t going to sell it. A customer bought that door as a special order, but didn’t like it. Into the garbage it goes. The window screens remain a mystery. Weren’t selling, I guess. Hundreds of millions of dollars of perfectly good merchandise, thrown in the garbage in America, by uber retail outlets every year. Perhaps billions of $ worth.

What is terrorism? Do you really suppose brown people on the other side of the planet hate us for our freedom? No, they hate us because our corporations, backed by our military, financed by our banks, have been raping their land and their people for the greater part of a century now, installing and supporting vicious dictators who care nothing for democracy or freedom, so that we might shop blissfully not knowing where the merchandise we buy comes from or where it goes when we are done with it. If we simply pulled back our military from the rest of the world and stopped buying cheap shit we don’t really need from uber retail outlets, we would not have to worry at all about terrorism, except the more usual kind emanating from our own government, visited on us in the absence of small, undeveloped countries to pillage and rape and rule over.

Which is why aspiring fascist totalitarian dictators like Senator Lindsey Graham say things like ‘bloggers should not have the right to blog.‘ Because just about the only place you can get anything like the truth about what is currently going on in the world, is on the Internet, from the alternative media. I’ve watched and read with some relish, the last several days, how much the MSM squak box celebrity ‘journalists’ have sounded very much like the alternative media, which has been railing about gov overreach since at least the Patriot Act. Shocked and astounded they are, in the revelation that yes in fact, elements within our gov have been building the infrastructure to capture, hold and analyze every digital communication on earth; it finally dawning on many, oh shit, this is serious. It has been rather fun, watching how clearly has been delineated, the line between those who believe the gov/corp/bank/military/law enforcement State has the right to control everything, and those who know that such a power is the fascist totalitarian ultimate dream, that it will be abused, that it is abused rampantly, to the great detriment and destruction of freedom for everybody.

Let’s review: this government has made it legal for the government to strip search you for any arrest for any reason, to take your DNA for any “serious” reason, to arrest and detain you for a secret reason, to detain you anywhere in the world, until you die, without ever telling anyone where you are or even that they have taken you; oh, and it is legal for the gov to kill you, if the State says you are a threat to national (State) security. Remember that, next time you hear a State/Media shill say, everything the NSA, the secret FISA court, the ill-informed and compromised Congress and your constitutional lawyer President is doing, is “legal.”

I hear a devil laugh every time I hear an American say, “I have nothing to hide.” Such people effectively saying, ‘I am OK with the State crushing anyone, as long as it isn’t ME.’ Which people are very much the sort of people who believe our corporate State is exporting democracy, that America can go on shopping unto eternity.

All that said, guess who is Associate of the Month @ uber retail outlet? LOL.

You know why? Because I am one of the hardest working people there, they want to keep me around, and because they like me. That, and unconsciously, they know that what I am being paid, relative to what is the median in this culture, for the work that I do, for the knowledge I hold, for how well I get along with people, is unconscionable. Which they at the store-level can’t do anything but hire me on @ the unconscionable wage the corporation dictates, so they do what they can to let me know how much I am appreciated 🙂

Which, my problem with the corporate/financial/military State has never been about people generally. It is about the rules, which are defined by the socio-path monsters who rise to the highest points; about the Institutions public and private they rule over, which ever more look to me demonic, very much an attempt to enslave the people, and ultimately to destroy the capacity of the earth to sustain human life.

Happy shopping.

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