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comment by kleinbl00
kleinbl00  ·  318 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: What happened when Walmart left

I've noticed a peculiar thing happening to my psyche. Whenever I hear the words "intersectionality" "privilege" or "coal miner" I find myself losing all sympathy and empathy. My hackles are raised, my interest in debate plummets and I go full "plague on both your houses" mode.

I have a couple friends in West Virginia and I don't give a fuck about West Virginia. As a country, we were talking about doomed fucking coal jobs in the '80s. And when your two choices of employment are the Walmart and the prison, your local economy is end stage already.

And can we level for a minute? Those of us who grew up in the Mountain West were surrounded by ghost towns left skeletonized by an end of mining, agriculture, ranching, you fucking name it. Everybody moved the fuck on. And while I appreciate that the mortgage is an excellent instrument for trapping workers in place for better predation by corporations, fuckin' take the hit and leave.

I spent a lot of time driving through rural Arizona back in the late '90s. I spent a little time driving through rural Arizona in 2010. Know what I saw? New ghost towns. Places where it made sense to live when Clinton was president but totally didn't when Obama was. Empty houses, empty stores. Fuckin' sunrise, sunset. Know what we call the people who left squalor and risked everything to find new opportunity? YOUR ANCESTORS. Know what we call the people who stayed? We don't. They've been forgotten by time.

    Given her mother’s health issues, Nicole Banks tries to compensate for Walmart’s departure by seeking out fresh fruit and vegetables in the surrounding area. But it’s not easy. The nearest replacement store, Goodsons, is too expensive, she says, and other Walmarts are an hour’s drive away along Appalachian roads that are as tightly coiled as the copperhead snakes that live in the local forest.

I mean, eat a dick. I grew up an hour from a fucking Taco Bell. Walmart? The first Walmart I ever saw was a two and a half hour drive away and even at the tender age of 11 I could tell it was a blight upon the community.

    It was into this stunning setting that Walmart descended in 2005 on the site of an old Kmart, like the spacecraft of alien botanists that lands in the forest at the start of the movie ET. And there it sat: a massive gash of concrete encircled by nature’s abundance.

Talk about burying the lede. So a store with higher profit margins crashed, so Walmart came in with lower profit margins, until even they were just losing money. But somehow this is about Walmart leaving rather than fuckin' McDowell County returning to the primordial "largest mixed mesophyte forest in the world" as is good and just and righteous and proper. Know how many people live on South Georgia Island? Two. Know how many lived there when whale hunting was legal? Hundreds.

    Wanda Church has been unemployed since that day when she cried as Walmart’s doors were closed for the last time; the company offered her a night shift at the next store along, but she couldn’t stomach the hour’s drive either way and wasn’t prepared to leave her home.

That howling sound you hear is every urban commuter reading this article and screaming at the top of their lungs that their commute is over an hour and that's just the way it is princess.

    The company had worked with all the employees who had lost their jobs to find them suitable transfers or give them severance pay. “We look forward to continuing to serve our Kimball area customers when they visit our stores in Bluefield, Princeton and MacArthur,” she said, (without referencing the hour’s drive.)

There are THREE fucking Walmarts within an hour. Workers at any supermarket chain you care to mention are quite used to suddenly having a shift an hour away. This happens in major metropolises and yes, I can say with authority that Walmart does it, too.

This is literally liberal disaster porn talking about those poor fuckers in coal mining country who no longer have a Walmart across the street but can drive 40 minutes to get to one. They're fuckin' 40 minutes from the goddamn interstate; time was going to forget them sooner or later and sincerely - from those of us "scots irish" who grew up in the goddamn desert, welcome to thunderdome, bitch.

Articles like this? They make me want the opioid crisis to accelerate, Obamacare to crash and global warming to destroy the economy of appalachia even faster. If the only thing that kept you hanging on was the talons of Bentonville Fucking Arkansas, you were ready to shuffle off the coil a long fucking time ago.

Get busy livin' or get busy dyin' and either way, know that I'm all the fuck out of sympathy.

    Being a schoolteacher, Phillips has a theory for what happened when the store closed. “Socialization. We lost our socialization factor. Now it’s hard to keep track of people, there’s no other place like it where you can stand and chat.”

    There was something else Phillips lost with Walmart’s departure. To illustrate the point, he reaches into his red pick-up truck and pulls out a loaded Para Ordnance Warthog .45 handgun and waves it at us, telling us not to freak as the safety is on.

    “Bought this in the Walmart parking lot,” he says. “Guy sees me reading a gun magazine and asks me was I carrying. He offered to sell me the Para warthog and I got it for $775.” Phillips took his new possession home and added to his collection of 140 firearms.

no words

cgod  ·  317 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Giving people in shit town universal basic income scares me. it's a life line for places that would be better off dead.

user-inactivated  ·  316 days ago  ·  link  ·  

That's a really interesting point.

Most people know I'm a Libertarian and that includes the support of the free market economy in most places, which of course includes wage transactions between adults. Moreover, where government subsidizes, the free market is interfered with. Wal-Mart is a good example of government making their low prices possible by offering social welfare programs for their workers, which allows their workers to be paid less and still maintain a sustainable lifestyle. I'm not saying it's a life of luxury, but they would likely have the basic necessities at that point.

However, where I think I depart from most L-Party is that I don't know how, in the age of automation of soon to be everything, that it will be possible for the free market to function. At a certain point, no matter how much innovation and development creates new jobs, there will not be enough jobs to sustain the population. Transitioning to the age of plenty will be damn near impossible to do well and especially knowing when that begins in earnest, and when we're still subject to the Luddite fallacy.

I'm also concerned that we may try to transition to early, and slow development of society otherwise. For all the ills heaped on capitalism, life is better than it ever has been for more people than ever. There's more food, there's cleaner water, there's less disease. These developments did not come from the USSR. Of course, you could also argue that altruist heroes like Jonas Salk who literally just gave away the polio vaccine (see below for an interesting side note) have done some good, the development of most vaccines does not come from similar places and instead comes out of the same labs that make boner pills.

It's going to be a really interesting thing to watch that transition from old to new as we go through the next 50 years.

SIDE NOTE: As pointed out by Robert Cook-Deegan at Duke University, “When Jonas Salk asked rhetorically “Would you patent the sun?” during his famous television interview with Edward R. Murrow, he did not mention that the lawyers from the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis had looked into patenting the Salk Vaccine and concluded that it could not be patented because of prior art – that it would not be considered a patentable invention by standards of the day. Salk implied that the decision was a moral one, but Jane Smith, in her history of the Salk Vaccine, Patenting the Sun, notes that whether or not Salk himself believed what he said to Murrow, the idea of patenting the vaccine had been directly analyzed and the decision was made not to apply for a patent mainly because it would not result in one.

francopoli  ·  313 days ago  ·  link  ·  

This is why I am on the fence for UBI. There are a lot of places here in the Ohio Valley that need to fucking die already. The only reason they are still 'functional' is the massive amount of US taxpayer dollars for food stamps, welfare, price supports, etc. Even the stores are supported with tax breaks. The median age in these shitholes is 50 PDF link to the state report on aging All the kids with brains get the fuck out, and those that stay have no jobs, no real education and no hope because every adult in their life is a loser. This creates a culture where nobody wants to improve themselves because why bother? Nobody wants to go for a career path because they see a broken system and nothing else. And then they vote for "Make America Great Again!" then cry six month's later when the federal dollars keeping their families alive are all the sudden on the chopping block.

Rural America is dying. And after the last two weeks of tech support hell in Banjostan? Fuck 'em. Let em rot.

(Opinion may change after sleep and/or astronomy)

wasoxygen  ·  316 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    Wal-Mart is a good example of government making their low prices possible by offering social welfare programs for their workers, which allows their workers to be paid less and still maintain a sustainable lifestyle.

We had some good discussion on this subject.

I ended up convinced that when a Walmart worker starts receiving benefits from a rich uncle (be it Uncle Sam or some other relative), that worker is less inclined to continue working at Walmart; if Walmart responds with any change it will be to make the job more attractive, such as raising salary or benefits.

How Welfare Hurts Walmart is a short argument from a source you may sympathize with.

Public Assistance, Private Subsidies and Low Wage Jobs is a long argument from a minimum wage advocate.

Both point out that the Earned Income Tax Credit is an exception: it is a benefit that requires having a job, giving more incentive to work. But other benefits not tied to employment reduce the incentive to work. When people have less incentive to work, employers must sweeten the pot.

    But what about other programs like food stamps or housing assistance? These means tested public assistance programs are not tied to work, and we should not expect them to lower wages. Let’s take food stamps, which are available to eligible families whether or not a family member works or not. Indeed, when people are not working, they are more likely to be eligible for food stamps since their family incomes will be lower. Therefore, SNAP is likely to raise, and not lower a worker’s reservation wages—the fallback position if she loses her job. This will tend to contract labor supply (or improve a worker’s bargaining position), putting an upward pressure on the wage. Whether or not wages are increased is an empirical matter: there is evidence that the initial roll-out of the food stamps program across counties in the 1970s lowered work hours, consistent with an increase in the reservation wage. The key point is that it is difficult to imagine how food stamps would lower wages. And if they don’t lower wages, they can’t be thought of as subsidies to low wage employers.
user-inactivated  ·  316 days ago  ·  link  ·  

So I like Caplan's argument that social welfare programs make unemployment more palatable. But his justification of supply and demand ignores social pressures which encourage employment over jobless welfare use. I don't that's an insignificant impact. In fact, I think it's probably one of the main factors in the decision.

And if you have a floor amount of money where it is 'worth it' to take a job and dedicate your time to employment, then Wal-Mart benefits from that floor being otherwise occupied by government programs. You can prove this the same way he 'proves' his theorem, which is to ask 'If I was in charge of Wal-Mart, would I encourage a social pressure to take employment even when the pay is not at the level which produces a meaningful wage?' Of course I would, because then I can pay less as the worker gets an less tangible, but very valid, value of respect and participation in the employed labor force.

Another example on another end of the employee would be a retiree who takes Social Security. It's available to workers and non-workers, but Wal-Mart wouldn't have access to a group of workers that they prefer to hire in that position (nice old people) if those old people were still working in the job that they otherwise were able to retire from with the aid of social security.

The EITC is our greatest hope of a UBI in the near future. And was actually the idea of the EITC in the original Friedman plan, which he called a 'guaranteed income.' There's better sources than that, but his book (which is like Gospel to me) is harder to link.

wasoxygen  ·  314 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Caplan might be counting the palatability of public assistance as one of the "other things equal" when comparing the effect of a public benefit on Walmart salaries. I don't know how much of a factor such shame is.

    Some parents, she said, don’t encourage their children academically, and even actively discourage them from doing well, because they view disability as a “source of income,” and think failure will help the family receive a check.


    And if you have a floor amount of money where it is 'worth it' to take a job and dedicate your time to employment, then Wal-Mart benefits from that floor being otherwise occupied by government programs.

I disagree (though I thought the same way before the Salary Quiz conversation).

Say my floor is $2000 per month to work part time at Walmart. Anything less than that is not worth the trouble and I won't work at Walmart at all.

Say a new benefit appears that gives me $500 per month. Does my floor now change to $1500? No. It's the same miserable work and I demand the same $2000 to do it. The extra $500 makes me more comfortable than I was before. If I make any change at all, it will be to increase my floor, since I need the income from Walmart a little less now.

I think the right way to take palatability into consideration is to estimate a shame cost. If I have to choose between rubbing a magic lantern every month to get $500 or applying for a government benefit for $500, I'll take the lantern. Even if the lantern only gives me $450, I'll choose the lantern. But if the lantern payoff drops to $250, I'll swallow my pride and get on the dole.

So what appears to be a $500 public benefit is only worth $250 to me. It is still a benefit, and it still has the effect of increasing my wage floor for working at Walmart.

Therefore, if I ask myself

"If I was in charge of Wal-Mart, would I encourage a social pressure [against accepting public assistance]..."

it's clear that I would encourage such social pressure, because it reduces the value of the "competition" from public benefits. If that pressure is sufficiently large, it will completely eliminate the value of the alternative form of income. Then we are back where we started, before the benefit was introduced, and my wage floor is back to $2000.

cgod  ·  315 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Which Friedman book is your Gospel?

I've read some of his work and it's all been interesting and educational.

user-inactivated  ·  315 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Capitalism and Freedom is the one I was thinking about when I said that. But I also really like his 18 page essay "Why Government is the Problem (Essays in Public Policy)". It's much to short to be a book, but it's concise.

cgod  ·  315 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I've started but never finished capitalism and freedom a few times. I got something out if what I read, don't know why I never finished it.

am_Unition  ·  317 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I've noticed that the most vocal proponents of UBI are usually very ambitious people. But they seem pretty out of touch with everyman, who condemns everyotherman for using gov't assistance anyway. Sense: not made.

Either way, the information age (/automation/whatever) is commoditizing intellect. People scared of that? Too bad for them, I guess, it doesn't end well.

user-inactivated  ·  317 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I wasn't gonna post this opinion piece, but since you brought up UBI, here's a link . . .

Mark Zuckerberg’s got some cheek, advocating a universal basic income: It is a bit rich for Facebook’s CEO to back the idea of people living on a meagre state handout while his company does everything it can to minimise its tax bill

I don't know if I agree with her completely, but she does kind of have a few good points.

am_Unition  ·  317 days ago  ·  link  ·  

It's not a bad piece. And calling out Zuckerberg on his bullshit needs to be done.

    We should be fighting for a society in which everyone has the right to a decently paid job that provides them with autonomy and fulfilment; not a future in which a big chunk of the population is consigned to exist on meagre state handouts.

Sure, but if there aren't any jobs...?

    We’d be naive to buy into the idea that the owners of the robots would happily carry on paying the rest of us a basic income if it no longer suited them.

Agree. Just look at what the wealthy are doing right now with our nation's politics. If they keep up this pace, the torches and pitchforks are coming out even before the semi and taxi drivers lose their jobs (~6 to 8 years, I would guess). The problem will solve itself after enough people suffer, right?

Woof, this is a cold-hearted thread. But what's a guy to do? Grassroots discussion like this is a good start, since our politicians seem to have no interest.

user-inactivated  ·  317 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    The problem will solve itself after enough people suffer, right?


oyster  ·  318 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Back when my sister was on maternity leave she started to feel really isolated where we live so she joined a beer league softball team. It never would have even occurred to me that maybe she should have just hung out in a Walmart parking lot like those annoying kids with there energy drinks to stand and chat. 140 firearms for the guy who waves guns around in parking lots, I wonder what he thinks of the whole toddlers killing people thing.

blackbootz  ·  318 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    This is literally liberal disaster porn

I agree. I've been thinking a lot about what Paul Bloom said on the dangers of empathy. Unmitigated empathy--vicariously feeling the emotional state of these people who got the shitty end of a shitty stick--seems like a moral good. It can be a way to marshal motivation or to signal your other-centeredness. But it burns you the fuck out. It blinkers you to things knowable, like the death of an individual you learn the name of, at the expense of things unknown. A thousand deaths is just a statistic, even though objectively a far worse thing than an individual death.

keifermiller  ·  314 days ago  ·  link  ·  


I've been trying to get a handle on this one. It started showing up on my facebook via my brother's incessant sharing of Progressive/Liberal/Academia/Left Theological memes.

My question is: "How is this different from ye old solidarity?"

The answer I've arrived at thus far is that identity politics shattered solidarity by focusing on individualism, and inter-sectionalism is the result of trying to band-aid it back together with an intellectual bent.

Haven't gotten farther than that, though.

kleinbl00  ·  314 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I got into a fight with my roommate over GamerGate. He watches a lot of Prager Institute videos. As well as videos of ISIS blowing shit up. His cousin was one of the guys dragged through the streets of Fallujah.

My other roommate once hung his head and sighed that he didn't want to burn his shoes because he liked them.

To no one's surprise, we had a discussion about intersectionality.

Argument in the affirmative: "Intersectionality" is the concept that the social experience of a person who is a member of more than one disadvantaged group is different than the social experience of a person who is a member of a single disadvantaged group and that the social experiences of all people should be accounted for based on their individual experiences. For example, the challenges faced by a black jew are different than the challenges faced by blacks and the challenges faced by jews. The challenges faced by a gay asian are different than the challenges faced by gays and the challenges faced by asians.

Argument in the negative: academic considerations aside, "intersectionality" is largely used in practice for woker than thou one-upmanship. A transgender woman of color comes to the poker game with more purity points than a transgender white woman, for example.

The author of this article professes to be "a QTPOC (queer, trans person of color)" and writes that "I have sought out QTPOC-only spaces to heal, find others like me, and celebrate our differences." Now - speaking as a white male, I have to get Google out in order to determine the difference between "queer" and "trans." Google is not helpful. It gives me tables. But simply asking the question gives me woker-than-thou combat:

    Germaine Greer—feminist, academic and no stranger to controversy—has angered transgender activists and found herself the subject of an online petition following comments she made during a BBC interview that “post-operative transgender men are not women.”

We work with a lady who does gender stuff. My wife strives to be not only open, but welcoming to the LGBTQ community, and we run all our copy through friends in that community in order to ensure that everyone feels included. Nonetheless, it took me aback when I saw the acronym "LGBTQIAPK!" where the "!" apparently stands for two-spirit, which back when we were studying Native Americans in the '80s, was called berdache, which was celebrated, which was something held up as why Navajos had their shit together better than white people, but now apparently gets you in more trouble than if you call Navajos Navajos instead of Dine because we've gotten to the point where in order to have authority within the ever-more-fractious gender minority community, it's not enough to be gay, or lesbian, or LGBTQ. You are now LGBTQIAPK!-friendly or you're the enemy.

    LGBTQIAPK- the version of a body who has gone through tumblr and after the qiapk its just fake

Thanks, UrbanDictionary.

The problem, as I see it, is that the academics are 100% right but their viewpoint is rarely expressed in the howling echo chamber of minority politics. There are far more people with passion than knowledge in some spheres. Thus, you are far more likely to encounter woker-than-thou than you are "respect the intersectionality of disadvantage" which, now that I typed it out, is not the way to interact with the people you have to persuade to respect the intersectionality of disadvantage.

I put a social worker through grad school. Her professor of woker-than-thou ("Poverty & Inequality") was taught by a gay Indian man who was also a follower of Osho. And, of course, his intersectionality was gay, person of color, member of a repressed minority sect. Except fuckin' Osho was Rajneesh who may or may not have authorized the largest bioterror attack in the United States in order to take over the county council of Bumblefuck, Oregon.

And I'm sorry, but you had my sympathy up until you decided that your status as a member of an apocalyptic cult whose founder had dozens of Rolls Royces allowed you to double down on wokeness and this was fuckin' 1997 and that's why everyone who isn't knee-deep in AntiFa bullshit gets triggered by the word "intersectionality" because if conversation is a poker game, "intersectionality" is pushing all your chips into the pot so that you can bluff your opponent into folding.

bfv  ·  314 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Stuff like this making the rounds says to me that the backlash is well underway.

kleinbl00  ·  314 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I love this on many levels:

1) ""

2) erudite, well-reasoned, well cited arguments that Fleisch Kinkaids about 15 points above Tumblr's reading ability

3) An easy 3000 words of rhetorical armor that still falls to "check your privilege"

The radical left is in deep hysteria at the moment. It ebbs and flows and was almost this crazy in 2004. But I think you're right - we've got this, after all, even if it spawns shit like this.

bfv  ·  314 days ago  ·  link  ·  

As with most of what's wrong with the Left, blame the hippies.

keifermiller  ·  314 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Damn Boomers! First they ruin our leftists, then they ruin our jobs!


I think I remember you posting that a while back. I know that article has made its way into my mental list of "ways to start an argument with family", at any rate.

user-inactivated  ·  318 days ago  ·  link  ·  

The woods already ate the lead town and spring water resorts in Missouri. It's prettier now. I hike there.

user-inactivated  ·  318 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I remember the last time we talked about the mid-west a bit and you talked about ghost towns. It's stuck with me since and I'm thinking that's the direction people are gonna have to go, one way or another, and just accept it.

I actually didn't post this article because of "woe the Mid-West" or "woe the economy." I posted it because this is the first article I think I've ever read where people discussed their emotional attachment to the store, which is something I never even thought possible. I mean, if I lived there, I'd think of Wal-Mart with a bit of resentment, maybe making a joke about how they're the community anchor, dragging the whole ship down with them.

I'm also curious as to whether or not anything will rush in to fill the gap Wal-Mart leaves behind. At the very least, a decent small grocery store would do very well.

Edit: Though I will admit, I think an hour drive for a near minimum wage job is more than a bit too much. Now if it paid $15 an hour, then I'd probably start to think different.

kleinbl00  ·  318 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    I'm also curious as to whether or not anything will rush in to fill the gap Wal-Mart leaves behind. At the very least, a decent small grocery store would do very well.

That's just it, though. It won't. This is how towns die - there aren't enough people within range for a grocery store to make sense.

This is Reserve, NM. Specifically, this is Tubby's place, or Uncle Bill's Bar. I used to know why it was called Uncle Bill's bar. It's run by a guy named Tubby. Tubby made it out to San Francisco for the Summer of Love in '67 in Berkeley and then his dad (also not Bill) got sick, so having spent four years as a paratrooper in Vietnam, having spent a summer as a hippie in the Bay Area, Tubby came back to tend to things at home.

We drove through Reserve in 2000. We were on our way to the Very Large Array and we needed gas. The gas station, which is next to Tubby's, was also the grocery store. Somewhere I have a picture of its "notions" shelf - there's a bottle of Elk Rage next to a Barbie Doll and below that, cans of chili and dog food. We asked where we could get a bite to eat on the road to Datil and were told "nowhere." We asked what we could eat there and were told "Tubby could thaw us a pizza." So we paid $8 for Freschetta and $3 for Budweiser and ate peanuts and threw the shells on the floor as was customary. And sure 'nuff, once we left Reserve we saw no civilization for 130 miles.

Wikipedia informs me that when we passed through Reserve, it had a population of 387. It now has less than 300. Wikipedia also thinks it has two grocery stores which is purest bullshit. It had one place where Elk Rage and Barbie sat side-by-side and where they had to come unlock the pumps to gas us up because it was after 7pm. Reserve is going to die. Make no mistake about it. Once Tubby is gone, nobody will take the bar from him. And guaranteed - everyone in and around Reserve knows this. Their community has been dying for decades. It is the forgotten hinterlands; the only thing anybody knows about Catron County (if they know anything) is Silver City and The Boxcar Children. Much like Stephanie Meyer had never been to Forks, Gertrude Chandler Warner had never been to Silver City. Otherwise we wouldn't have this:

We'd have this:

And the difference between Reserve, NM and whereverthefuck WV this article is set is that nobody ever paid any attention to Reserve, NM.

Multiply times a million for ALL OF THE AMERICAN WEST. I recognize that Bumblefuck WV gets all the press because it's a 5-hour drive from DC while Bumblefuck NV doesn't because it's a 5-hour drive from Reno but for fuck's sake, if Walmart becomes the place where you fuckers come to socialize you are already dead, they're just picking your husk clean while you can still empty your own pockets.


You know what's wrong with this country? We've given politicians a reason to leave dead-enders in place long past the point where they can live like humans because that's the bullshit gerrymandered way the electoral college works. If we were pure popular vote all these places would be semi-agrarian wastelands just like they were when they were originally settled and no one would expect any different.



user-inactivated  ·  318 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    And the difference between Reserve, NM and whereverthefuck WV this article is set is that nobody ever paid any attention to Reserve, NM.

I mean, in all honesty, no one paid much attention to Appalachia, okay, that's a bit of a stretch, until we had a bunch of politicians shouting "coal country" ad nauseam for however long they've been shouting it. Five bucks says we'll see something similar happen in the gulf states when oil falls out of fashion.

kleinbl00  ·  318 days ago  ·  link  ·  

What the fuck ever, dude. WPA, TVA, goddamn all of bluegrass music, fuckin' hatfields and clampetts, mutherfuckin' Snuffy Smith, fuckin' Pogo, My Entire Goddamn Life has been chockablock with goddamn hillbillies and how they're the real Americans while all us half-wetbacks out here ceased to fucking matter as soon as Billy the Kid was dead.

"Real America" has been some fuckin' hillbilly down in the goddamn holler since fucking 1866.

user-inactivated  ·  318 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I mean, I guess if we're willing to ignore the massive cultural influence that is L.A., the tech influence that is silicon valley, the educational influence that is New England, the economic influence that is New York, and the political influence that is D.C., maybe that'd be a sound argument? There's a lot of different facets to America and it's not like the mid-west has a monopoly in ideas of what makes this country what it is.

Shoot. We all have our problems. Ample attention has been given to the housing crunch that is taking place on the west coast, about the jobs being lost pretty much everywhere period, the amount of hay wireness that the environment is wreaking on us, from hurricanes and disappearing coasts to messed up farmlands and tornadoes, to outrageous wildfires. You can shit on the mid-west. That's fine. You can say its inhabitants made its bed and now they're forced to lie in it and that's fine. The mid-west isn't the only place getting attention though. It wasn't yesterday, it's not today, and it won't be tomorrow.

kleinbl00  ·  318 days ago  ·  link  ·  

No mutherfucker sit down. Your statement was

    I mean, in all honesty, no one paid much attention to Appalachia

Which, as evidenced by every name I posted, is rank bullshit. Sure - there are other parts of the country. Sure - they get media coverage. But for as long as I can remember, paeans to "real America" have always put it east of the Mississippi and south of the Mason-Dixon line. "Country" music is all about Nashville. Fried chicken is for Americans and clam chowder is for effete snobs. Yeah - New England has done a lot more for education. New York is a commerce hub. DC is where the laws are made. But whenever "real Americans" are portrayed, they're portrayed via the outsize influence of those fuckin' coal miners from fuckin' rural Appalachia.

Population of Appalachia: 25 million. Population of California: 40 million.

But we're the fuckin' outlanders over here. Probably 'cuz we got 2 senators and Appalachia has 24.

    The mid-west isn't the only place getting attention though.

There are more people working for Sears than there are working for the coal industry but I don't wake up every goddamn morning to someone spewing bullshit about the plight of Sears workers.

user-inactivated  ·  318 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Can we chill for a bit? I'm trying to have a conversation here, not a nasty argument. I know we disagree a lot, but at least on my end I can very much say that our disagreements don't come from a place of antagonism.

When I said no one paid much attention to Appalachia, I mean no one paid much attention to Appalachia in the news and I don't think that you're accurate in your assessment that Appalachia is considered American culture. Anyone could do that with almost any movement. I could choose the subgenre of surf culture and point to movies populated by the likes of Annette Funicello and Frankie Avalon, the T.V. show Gidget, bands like The Ventures and The Beast Boys, and on and on. That's easy. Obviously I could talk about Westerns and how a huge characteristic embraced by Westerns are the ideas of independence, ruggedness, and determination, and that those ideals are a base thread in America's ideals to this very day. Half the movies you see on TCM take place in cities like New York, Chicago, or L.A. or feature rich ass folks in rich ass houses doing rich ass things and being glamorous as shit. Modern movies are very much the same way. I can go on and on about the art scenes from various metro hubs, movements in labor and politics that came out of this region or that, and so on and so forth. It's not all about senator counts either. California and Silicon Valley are economic powerhouses and they use that influence like a fucking club sometimes. Sonny Bono and the whole Copyright Term Extension Act is a great example or companies like Facebook and Google dodging taxes like Neo dodges bullets is another example and let's not forget DRM.

I know that retail is more important than coal mining in terms of job numbers. I'm the one who started the tag #retailhell and I even went back to before I even joined Hubski and retroactively tagged some threads with that tag. Retail is a mess and it's scary, partly because it's a mess, but also because so many people who depend on retail for employment already have so little to begin with. I could post retail news all day every day, mergers and acquisitions and layoffs and stock values and on and on. It's all I ever see sometimes. But I don't want to post about retail every day, because I don't want to sound like a broken record for one (which leads to conversations like this) and because I honestly think that at this point, as far as large corporate retail is concerned, I don't think things are fixable until things get well past broken so we can see the pieces we have left to work with. That's something I don't want to spend too much time thinking about.

kleinbl00  ·  318 days ago  ·  link  ·  


- started the thread with a hulk jpg

- explained how the term "coal miner" shuts down my empathy pathways

- stated that I go into "full plague on both your houses mode"

I'm not going to calm down on this one. Your argument, as a midwesterner, is that somehow the part of the country you live in is not grossly overrepresented in popular culture. Why did Clinton lose the election? She didn't fellate the midwest and the south enough. Why should liberals be ashamed? We didn't consider the fucking south. Where's "Middle America?" somewhere with lots of white people in industries that no longer exist because (A) NAFTA (B) the collapse of family values (C) immigration (D) all of the above. Where do the limey fucks go to write a human interest story about Walmart? Fuckin' coal country. This article: boo hoo I have to drive an hour to Walmart.

This article:

Angelinos are leading a Dickensian existence.

But hey, what's the advice?

    I just don't understand the appeal of spending all your money to live in LA.

Midwesterners reading about strife in cities: "why would you live in a city? Come to the midwest where everything is cheap!" Midwesterners reading about strive in the Midwest: "liberal elites in cities don't understand just how rough it is here in real America."

Sure, it's all about Hollywierd. As evidence, Frankie and Annette. One of 'em is even still alive!

    California and Silicon Valley are economic powerhouses and they use that influence like a fucking club sometimes.

When you throw up ogres like Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul... Facebook and Google and taxes oh my? Oh yes. Let's do go there.

Art scenes? My art scene didn't vote to put a wall up to keep your art scene out. My art scene isn't trying to take your healthcare away. And you're right - you don't want a fight but you clearly missed the cues that I am out of fucking patience with all the goddamn human interest stories about those poor benighted ex-coal miners and their woebegone Walmarts.

user-inactivated  ·  318 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I didn't miss any clues. I was trying to change the tone of the conversation to where we could both benefit from a discussion void of vehemence and bitterness. That didn't work. So for tonight, the conversation ends here.

steve  ·  318 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    "Real America" has been some fuckin' hillbilly down in the goddamn holler since fucking 1866.

Bumper sticker....