Alaskan Artist - Elise Tomlinson
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11/17/2004: "Wal Mart Sucks"

The white Amsterdam oil paint (which I'm convinced must be haunted or something) I used on 9 of my canvases (for texture) is still frighteningly wet. A canvas I painted the same night (with white Windsor Newton oil paints) has been bone dry for days now. I have 7 paintings total (although 4 are quite small) that I can work on now. If I get desperate, my friend Maren suggested I hang some of the paintings that have the white texture only, and have some title cards up that actually explain the process used to develop the finished pieces. I've done that with printmaking exhibits in the past and I think it could be OK in a pinch.

On a different note, I watched a great Frontline last night titled "Is Wal Mart Good for America?" and it was soooo depressing. I mean, I already knew how evil Wal Mart is from a labor standpoint (read Nickle and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America) as well as how it (and stores like it) have been destroying small town communities (read Hometown Advantage : How to Defend Your Main Street Against Chain Stores and Why it Matters) but this program also looked at the issue in terms of how it has altered the way companies have to do business on a global level, in order to stay competitive and it is very bleak indeed.

I have the luxury of not having any super stores of the Wal Mart variety in my community, but I am going to take it further, and try to be more aware of where items are manufactured etc. from now on. Some would say it is a luxury to be able to afford to snub the Mal Marts of the world, and I agree...but look at it this way: people loose high paying manufacturing jobs when companies are forced to move overseas in order to produce cheap crap for Wal Mart and Co. To add insult to injury, these out of work folks are often forced into low paying retail jobs (guess where) where unions are not allowed, benefits suck, etc. and are thus forced to purchase the only cheap crap they can now afford...Wal Mart's cheap crap.

Replies: 2 Comments

on Wednesday, November 17th, holly said

I watched that too (though it only served to make me angrier and made me want to go buy Rubbermaid products out of spite) and was trying to figure out when I stopped shopping at Wal-Mart. I think it was right after I read Nickel and Dimed. It is my mission at school to get people to stop shopping there. I don't understand why it's so appealing to so many people. Even their (former) executives said the prices weren't the lowest and the merchandise was "cheap crap." Yeah, really worth supporting a business like that, eh?

Once I stopped shopping there, I realized how I really *don't* need that crap (really- what does Wal-Mart sell that people just have to have in order to live that you can't make or get somewhere else) and laundry detergent costs just the same at the K-Mart down the road. Good for you for making the effort to be a more conscientious shopper. Where things are made, how they're packaged, percentage of recycled material used- so many factors to influence a purchase (or not).

on Wednesday, November 17th, Elise said

I read somewhere that Wal Mart accounts for something like 65% of our landfill mass!

I actually do a lot of shopping at second hand stores. You can get some really cool stuff at bargain prices and you're saving it from the land fills.

Win win!