Archive for December 2012
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 4,600 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 8 years to get that many views.
Let me be clear about this: I’m not opposed to the NRA. They serve an important purpose. In light of their response to the Newtown Massacre, though, I’m thinking that they need to make serious changes in their leadership and stances on gun reform laws. More immediately, though, I’m left wondering if they fulfilled the Christmas wishes of a certain someone by letting him decide the best course of action to deal with future school shootings.
The NRA promised meaningful contributions to help put an end to school shootings like the one in Newtown (and Columbine and Padukah and Virginia Tech and Northern Illinois… might as well bring them all up at this point). Instead, NRA president Wayne LaPierre implored Congress to appropriate whatever is necessary to put armed police officers in every school — and to do it now. I would like more than anything to understand how such complete idiocy from one of the most powerful lobbies in Congress could be on full public display, and it seems to me the only logical explanation is that after LaPierre spoke and was exiting the area, he ducked into a bathroom and removed a foam rubber mask only to reveal that it was Ted Nugent all along.
For those of you who aren’t fluent in Idiocy, I’ve worked out a translation of LaPierre’s offerings: “Gun violence is inevitable. Our children need to know that wherever they go and whatever they do for the rest of their lives, they and their children and their grandchildren can expect gun violence that we are powerless to stop. An armed presence at every turn should be as much a part of their daily routine as a “Good morning” from the bus driver, the principal greeting them at the front door of the school, and the Pledge of Allegiance. This seems the best and most logical solution, because Lord knows that the NRA isn’t going to move an inch on this issue, even if we are up to our necks in the blood of 20 kindergarten and first-grade children.”
Also, it was rather magnanimous of LaPierre to pledge all the NRA’s resources to create a model security program “for any school that wants it.” I have no doubt that the collective brainpower within the organization will come up with something stunningly awesome that will help them make money bloody hand over bloody fist since ideally they would become a public education vendor not much different than an ACT prep company.
To make matters worse, now there are more dolts lobbying for teachers and other school employees to carry guns. Some of them are pointing to tiny Harrold Independent School District in Harrold, Texas that armed their teachers a few years back as a means of added security. I wrote about it herein–it was one of the first pieces I ever put up. I’ll caution you about some of the logic that comes out of Texas, a lot of the logic that comes from school boards, and all the logic that comes from superintendents like David Thweatt, who continues to defend his district’s policy by citing that they haven’t had an incident of gun violence since they instituted the policy. How many incidents did they have before the policy?
So thanks, NRA, for once again showing how inept and insensitive you are in the face of a national crisis. You are at least consistent–you continue to show how batshit crazy you are. Hopefully, this problem will take care of itself–your extreme politics will continue to push you to the margins of the national conscious until you more of a joke than an influence. If you continue in your current incarnation, the sooner that happens the better.
Holiday shopping and savings be damned, here’s a list of things I don’t want, in no particular order of importance, so I’d appreciate it if you’d stop asking me every time I come in your store:
1. A Target REDcard, even though it will give me a 5% discount and free shipping at Target.com, not to mention Target Pharmacy Rewards.
2. A Best Buy Rewardzone card, even though it’s free to join and I can get rewards points (and even a reward certificate!) for every dollar I spend.
3. A Petsmart PetPerks card, even though it will get my cat a treat on her birthday and provide me with a thousand (!!) in-store discounts every day (by the way… my cat has approved my NOT having a PetPerks card–when I asked her, she was more interested in cataloging every bit of loose string in the house than any sort of discount program).
4. A Walgreens Balance Rewards card, despite it being advantageously positioned at the corner of Instant Points & Endless Rewards, and the reward points I would accumulate when I find myself at said intersection (which, for whatever reason, I can’t find on Google Maps).
5. A Carson’s Your Rewards membership, even though I could advance to the “Elite” level and be privy to exclusive cardholder savings, advance notice of events, and ultimately an upgraded credit card.
I know what you’re thinking: How could I possibly pass up all these crazy savings and special deals available to exclusive members such as myself at your retail outlet? All I had to do was show up and buy something–anything from a pack of gum to a toothbrush to a pair of nail clippers–and I would instantly attain some sort of preferred status that, if I’m to believe the billing, entitles me to unbelievable savings.
Here’s what I’m thinking: I don’t really want to spend any more time in your store than I have to. I don’t pleasure shop or window shop or case the malls or sales flyers or clip coupons to save a buck here and there. It’s not that important to me. What’s most important to me is spending as little time as possible in your store, and if I stop to apply for your stupendously spectacular savings scheme (which I qualify for because I have a pulse), I can feel my soul seep out of my body.
So when you ask if I’m interested in becoming a member, I always tell you, “No, thank you.” But you relent because some corporate wag way off in a fantasy land has determined that you, the soldiers in the trenches, are the best chance to garner my personal contact information and analyze my consumer preferences so the greed mongers for whom you work can find more ways to get me in your store more often and suck my wallet dry. So you ask again because it’s probably part of your work evaluation that you ask each customer multiple times every time you see them.
Again, I tell you, “No.”
But you don’t listen. You ask time and time again, each time I’m in your store. I have my limits, though, so I tell you this: “No, thanks. I’m not worthy. I don’t deserve to be a part of your program.”
You look at me, usually with your head cocked to one side and your brows furrowed.
I go on: “You don’t want me. I conduct myself with shame and dishonor. I make poor decisions. I’m financially irresponsible. People don’t like me. In fact, I’m as asshole. Several other retailers have allowed me to become part of their extravagant bonus programs but rescinded their kindness because I’m such a complete fool. I would only bring shame and dishonor to your company, and that might come back on you since you signed me up for your program. I will accept the consequences for my actions, but I won’t have you suffering. Believe me, I’m more concerned about you. But thanks for asking.”
This works. It eases the burden of bleak social interactions born from relentless consumerism by letting me tell your company and those faceless corporate wags in far-off fantasy land to STFU and let me finish my transactions and get out of your store without slowing my departure by peddling your fake discount programs. What’s more, if your supervisor overhears or witnesses this, he gets to see how asinine some people think your discount program is, and how annoyed some people get when you constantly pester them about it, and he can commend you for how effectively you handled a disgruntled customer who might even be deranged. It’s a win-win situation.
Sometimes these antics bring a smile to your face, and sometimes, like at Petsmart the other day, you say, “No problem. I’ll let you use my account.” You swipe your card (you have a card because enrolling in the program was probably mandatory once you were hired), and I get the discount you were offering without ever having to become an official dignitary.
So why did you ask me in the first place?