Thursday, July 14, 2011

Wal-Mart: A Parallel Universe

Parallel Universe

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Some of you are aware that I abhor Wal-Mart from my comments at your blogs, but I don't think I've ever talked about it here on mine.  I don't talk much about politics here either.  I can't stand either one, but I do have my fair share (some would say even more than my share) of experience with, and opinions on both.  My attention, in many cases unwillingly,  is often focused in either or both of those directions. 

I see Wal-Mart as the Evil Empire.  The one that gives a face to my Corporate Hate (an honor it shares with Exxon Mobile).  I believe that at the root of all that is wrong with our country, and possibly the world, is just plain and simple GREED.  Corporations are the biggest manifestation of this IMO. 

Apart from that collective feeling, I despise Wal-Mart as an individual entity too.  I don't like the way they do business.  I don't like the way they treat their employees.  I don't like their discriminating policies.  I don't like that they think they are above the law.  I don't like that courts seem to agree with them.  I don't like their cheap ass low quality merchandise.  And I don't like to be among the unwashed masses that shop there. 

And I don't care if that sounds snobby and elitist.  Have you been there?  Then you KNOW what I'm talking about.  I get dragged in there fairly regularly ... with those members of my family and friends who do not share my disregard.  Look around any Wal-Mart for a few minutes and you will know just how we ended up with that idiot cowboy in the White House for two terms.  And yes you CAN tell just by looking.  Ever seen one of those People of Wal-Mart videos?  If not, The Empress posted one recently here that you can view, but fair warning ... what is seen cannot be unseen.  When people do not even know how dress themselves properly what can you expect?

Anyways, Tattoo (the nephew) needed a ride to Wal-Mart today and I was the lucky chauffeur.  I brought my camera with me  remembering that The Empress had dared encouraged me to take some pictures of my own at Wal-Mart.  I hadn't decided yet if I would, but I brought my camera just in case I decided in favor.  I dropped Tattoo off at the door, then went to find a parking space.

Our theme this week is Parallel.  Just before I had talked to Tattoo I had been searching through my archives, looking for something to post, and not finding much I was happy with.  You see, we've done this theme before and I had already posted all of my best work on this subject then.  So this was rattling around inside my brain while I was parking the car.  Turning off the ignition  I was looking toward the entrance, wondering if I should go in or just wait outside when I noticed the shopping carts (top photo)  ... with all of those parallel lines.

Thinking to myself, You know,  there's only been the one time I did a theme "to order".  What if ... ? ... an abstract maybe ... and I found myself removing the lens cap and getting out of the car.  Before I'd gotten all the way out of the door however, the grille on the truck directly in front of me caught my eye, like ... yeah, speaking of parallels ... so of course I snapped it.  I had bent over and gotten very close  to the grille while I was shooting, and hadn't noticed that random weird guy the next row over who was watching and laughing at me. 

When I straightened and saw him he just shook his head, still chuckling.  I grinned and said, "Um, I have an assignment ... parallels ... and the grille, it had lots of them" LOL.  You'd think I'd get used to people looking at me strange over the things I photograph, but no, sometimes I still feel the need to explain ;)  He got in his car and left while I mosied over to shoot the shopping carts, but while I was looking at him I noticed something else.

The Night has a Thousand Eyes

He was parked next to a truck that had one of those cabs made out of what looks kinda like quilted steel.  So after trying a couple of different perspectives on the shopping carts I shot one of that and then wandered over that way for a closer view.

Getting back to my car my eyes swept the parking lot ... everywhere I looked I saw more parallels.  

I didn't even need to look very far.  I looked down and noticed my own headlight.  Can you imagine the fun I would have had if I'd had a camera like this in the 70's?

So Empress, I did get around to taking pictures at  Wal-Mart, but I never got farther than the parking lot ... and I forgot all about the people.  And I think that's probably a good thing LOL.


  1. I don't hate Exxon Mobil because they make money, because lets face it they don't set the price of their product.

    However, I hate Walmart for how those douche bags make their money. Sometime in the mid 1990's those bastards forced all of their suppliers to set up shop in China to make all of the goods that Walmart sells. And Walmart told them what they would pay. Walmart bullied the suppliers into it and they claim it was in the name of the consumer to save them money. While those bastards undercut prices to force out their competition here in our country and then pay and treat their employees like shit. Oh and Walmart sets the prices of their goods.

    So yea if you want to hate someone, hate Walmart because of that. Frontline did a really good show years ago about what I just said. I hate those fucktards and I don't shop there.

  2. That they make money isn't my problem with Exxon either Oilfield, else I would have just said the industry. Remember how they let a known drunk captain the Exxon Valdez, and then refused to pay the court judgement? Then bought people off until the judgement was changed to a much, MUCH lower one? Then didn't pay THAT? Yeah, Exxon is on my shit list too.

  3. Ok that is a decent reason to hate them. I will give you that one.

    Most people (not you) tend to listen to the politicians and hate them because they make money.

    I applaud you for hating them for a great reason and not the mainstream one.

  4. LMAO, yup good thing no camera such as we have now back in the '70s! That video was so disgusting I HAD to watch the entire thing, yup, I'm in awe of sicko's so does that make me a sicko myself or just a sicko watcher? I can't believe how people dress, or the lack of clothing might be the better terminology in this case, that people will wear in public. I'm about 10 lbs. heavier than I'd like to be and I'd NEVER dress as some of them do even if I was less the 10 lbs! I personally think that they really should be in the mirror department so that they can take a good look at themselves, see what they really look like.

    When I went to Colorado Springs I found a WalMart on purpose, I wanted to actually see for myself some of these stores with such people in them, we don't seem to get the weirdos in our WalMarts here, no free entertainment when I go shopping for TP... if you can call that entertainment that is. lol There weren't any, notta one, that was picture worthy, maybe they're all close enough to fresh air that the pollution hasn't clogged up their sanity as of yet!

    Listen to me, miss judgmental. I like visiting your blog, I can vent here as well! LOL K enough of that now...

    I love your parallel photos, the one of the quilted steel with the reflection of the shopping carts is phenomenal. Some people just don't get "it", I've found myself explaining why I'm taking photos of certain things as well and if they still don't get it, too bad... buzz off I'm busy taking photos! lol Not really but it sounded good.

    Now lets all do the chant, RAH RAH RAH, we work at WalMart ... I don't know the rest, that's when I vacate the store.

    Have a great evening and thanks for the rant provoking post!

  5. I can't comment on Wal-Mart because it doesn't appear in England although I understand it owns our Asda.
    The parallel photos are a different thing and you have a marvellous collection of photos here, including the 'English' Mini. It just goes to show that parallels are all about us.

  6. Yep Darlin, you can feel free to vent here anytime :P I don't think watching sickos makes you one, how does one NOT watch a train wreck? Thanks for stopping in.

  7. Hi Bob. I didn't realize the Mini Cooper was an English car, shows how much attention I pay sometimes. I just think they're 'cute'. Glad you enjoyed the photos.

  8. I was the chef on a road trip from Canada to Mexico so have had the dubious honour of being able to shop for supplies in Walmarts along the way. One of the things that struck me - apart from the weirdos - was that EVERY single one is laid out exactly the same.

    Fan-damn-tastic photos!!

  9. We go to Wal Mart for one thing and one thing only - tires for our van. That's it - and now that we have had them all changed recently it will be years until we go back. I absolutely abhor that store and refuse to shop in it for all the reasons you listed. I truly get tired of their belief that because they ARE Wal Mart they can simply build a store anywhere they want.

    The town we previously lived in had a regular Wal Mart and when they decided they needed to be a SUPER W/M they built another one directly across the street. 8 years later and the empty shell of the first one is still standing - barren and abandon. A blight on the landscape. It is disgusting. please do not get me started on how they treat women. WOW!

    Anyhoodle - your pics are fabulous! Love them. Have a great weekend Sally. TTYSoon

  10. @ Possum: I KNOW, isn't it freaky? Only some of them are mirror reversed ... who knows why?

    SkippyMom: I was supposed to be a part of that class action lawsuit that got shutdown recently. Attorney General's office contacted me YEARS ago. When I lived in KY, one of the only decent paying jobs to be had was working at Wal-Marts frozen food warehouse.

    The thing was they didn't HIRE women for that job. It was common knowledge. Not that they SAID that obviously. The advertisements were all about getting women to come in and apply.

    And of course, with so few jobs available that paid more than minimum wage you HAD to try, even when you knew it was useless. But only ONCE did I ever hear of a woman that was actually called for an interview. It was all a big show to keep the EEOC off their backs.

    When they began to put the lawsuit together they (the EEOC) sent letters to all of us that had put in repeated applications there. Either we lost contact along the way or they decided not to pursue that angle. With the recent case I see it really didn't matter anyways.

  11. Mustang Sally...
    Loved your post, thanks for visiting....Galen

  12. Sally, we share a mutual hatred for some of the same companies. Exxon for their callous disregard for the pristine bay they befouled and abandoned in Alaska, and Walmart for the millions of mom and pops who no longer have shops because of that corporation's predatory pricing tactics.
    They move into a community, scout out the competition, take loss-leader price ads out on their competitor's products, run them out of business, then crank their prices back up to a profitable level. They insist upon having unfettered access to the books of their supplier companies, demand that they lower wages and benefits, increase productivity, all to help lower the cost to Walmart when they purchase their sweatshop goodies. Then we flock to their stores like lemmings to the sea.
    I made shirts featuring my photography website logo (my little man design) and had the words "THIS PLACE SUCKS" printed on them, mainly for my work buddies at the factory during one of our labor disputes with management. But... I love to put one of those shirts or hats on and wear it into Walmart. The clerks and other store employees just smile and nod, but can't really say anything or they'll be written up or fired. Management by intimidation is Walmart's tried and true tactic for keeping the workforce non-union, submissive, underpaid, and under the thumb. Walmart is evil incarnate.
    By the way, as a photographer, I have to say those photos are brilliant. I'd be proud to have them in my portfolio. I've never shot industrial or structural art photos, but you've inspired me to come out of the woods and start snooping around town for pix.
    Well damn done!

  13. the pictures are fantastic, as for the rest i'm with you

  14. I love your parallel photos! Very cool! As for Walmart, shopping there is what passes for entertainment where I live. Sad, I know. I try to avoid it, but sometimes it's the only place for an hour around that sells what I need. Of course, that's because they put every other small store out of business!

  15. Good post. I see the West Ashley Walmart made the news last night for a Grandma leaving her grandkids in the hot car for over an hour. Why doesn't this surprise me? I HATE WALMART!!!!

  16. My love affair with Walmart is best represented through the many posts and pictures at my blog. My personal favorite is the one titled Walmart revenge! Some things you just have to sit back and say WTF!

  17. i can agree with what you say in your first half...i have my opinions, but i don't usually talk about politics, religion, people's and corporations just starts make me boil inside...
    when i get those 'forwards' in the email of the WallyWorld, what can i say?! it amazes me that people will not just go outside looking like that...but actually go out to a public!!

    anyway...LOVE all your shots! perfect parallel worlds! i esp like the mirror effect like you're looking through those 'trippy glasses'...or a kaleidoscope! very cool!

  18. Love you and love this post! We do not love Walmart in our house. We were watching an amazing documentary exposing all of the disgusting practices of Walmart (I cannot remember the name of it) a few years ago and Henry (who was probably 7 or 8 at the time) happened to be listening to it in the other room. Every time we pass a Walmart now, Henry shudders a little. I can hear him mumble under his breath, "Evil. Evil."

  19. Wal-mart is just a black pit of awfulness. The only thing it's good for (if there is such a thing) is that, at any given time, on any given day, if you're feeling down, walk into a Wal-mart. You will instantly be the most attractive person there.

    It works every time.

  20. Hear, hear.

    I miss the small shops that have gone under as a result, where one could find well made and unique non-mass-produced items.

    At least you got some really interesting pictures out of your visit.

  21. Although I have to admit that I have shopped at Wal*Mart on a few occasions, I still have the dislike for it as you do. Not necessarily because of the evil-empire aspect of it, although I'm 100% behind the greed is ruining our country thing. Mostly, with Wal*Mart though, is just the cheap feeling of the place, and people go around the place like they drive - thinking they are the only people there.

  22. Oh, forgot to mention - great pictures. I love how you got the details of the cars, and shopping cart.

  23. Love your pics! :) /Limar

  24. Cool photos.....and along with Walmart, there is BP Oil. So, now I have to find my zen self, and send blessings to them all.

  25. We don't have WalMart here either, but judging from the opinions I've heard from Americans I've met in the last few years, everything you've said is justified.

    Amazing set of pictures. You've turned parallel into an art form!

  26. fucking hate fucking walmart...


    fucking china is a devil whore succubus and Walmart is its pimp daddyfucktard...

    and that is the good things i can say about that...

    china and walmart are beginnings of the death of america..

    the fuckass morons that continue to buy cheap shit fucking crap there are the same idiots that thought that the fuckhead stupid palin was the answer to the shit on a stick the idiot cowboy saddled us with...

    some days i am glad i am on the downhill slide...

  27. Amen on the Wal-Mart hate. They've destroyed so much in their quest to pave over the retail landscape. It sickens me to think of what we've lost because of the cultural bow wave this company has pushed toward us.

    Love these parking lot shots...each one is more brilliant than the last!

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