Fifty nine minutes at Wal-mart on New Year’s Eve

Fifty nine minutes at Wal-mart on New Year’s Eve
by alex nodopaka
She and I stand at the movie ticket booth exactly five
minutes before the movie starts at 9:25 PM when the
ticket mistress announces the movie starts at 10:30
one hour later than we thought. My better half sees my
rictus. Swears she called the information booth and
that it informed her of the starting times. Well, it doesn’t
matter really since we are in a vast shopping mall
where it’s easy to slaughter the old year and start a
new one. I mean what better function is there than
shopping til we drop by showing our capitalistic
consumerist philosophy except that about 25 minutes
earlier all the stores have closed on account
of the grandiose 2010 event. So we step outside and drive,
I mean drive the Mercedes oh I say about 3 blocks at most.
We park and enter the gates of the advertizing caricature
slashing and dicing prices to smithereens. And wow am I
impressed by the rock bottom price of every item except
that I envision those kindergarten children slaving
for 2 bits a day. My stomach revolts. Is this what we
mean when we claim we give them jobs and pull them
out of poverty as I glance the brightly lit Hollywood sign
high upon the hill along Mullholland Drive above
Studio City. Oh yes, I discard the by now useless
specially-made glasses after seeing Avatar in stunning
3-D at $12.50 a pop. Hell I can’t be my  brother’s keeper.

0 thoughts on “Fifty nine minutes at Wal-mart on New Year’s Eve

  1. I didn’t think it was distinctly either one personally. I just think it got confusing and that the actions could have been clarified a bit better.
    This is what I thought: They went to the movies and got there on time. Then they were told the movie would actually be playing an hour later, and the speaker possibly implies that this hour wait is a ploy by the mall to make you hang around for awhile and get seduced by all the glittery shit in the stores, then spend more money, only those shops are closed because of the holiday. Then the speaker and his movie-going companion decide to go to wal-mart, because that’s a shop that’s still open and what else are they going to do? So they go around wal-mart talking a bunch of shit about slave labor in real hipster fashion, but then they go to the movie anyway. It’s real glittery, and it makes the speaker realize he’s been kind of a hypocrite (he should have realized that when he bought a benz in my opinion), and then the piece ends on an “ah, fuck it” kind of apathetic note.
    It’s confusing because it seems like he’s still in wal-mart when he throws away his glasses, symbolic of him not going to see the movie but he says he did see the movie.
    Is this right? If so, I think it’s about the way we’re conditioned to act in a consumer society and that we have hollow feelings of dislike over injustices around the world, and that they’re hollow because we contribute to the injustices. And IF this is correct, I’d like to say that
    I don’t want to knock the writer because he’s a Ukrainian humanitarian for all I know AND I like this writing style but I’m kind of sick of this message. Pointing out that people are d-bags for being privileged and not caring about third world countries is about as effective as being privileged and not caring about third world countries. I downloaded Avatar. I buy my clothes used. There’s my contribution. We’re not all dicks in southern California 🙂
    I could have gotten something wrong over the implied meaning. Do tell if so.

  2. It meanders like a lost shopper who forgot why they came to the store in the first place.
    Perhaps a list next time? Or just get lost in the infectious rhythm of the squeaky wheel leading you down the aisles.
    As a rant on trite Movie theatre moralism, it doesn’t tie back into the Wal-mart experience cleanly. Looking for a connection I found one but it is tenuous linking the Other in far distant lands (like the Na’vi) with the Other in far distant lands ( like Shanghai) http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/01/world/asia/01china.html
    What caught my attention was the brief affair in the first stanza. That would have made this piece. At the end, I was expecting risqué not cliche. Maybe shop Target.

  3. Misener, Matt & Halifax.
    I appreciate your time reading & commenting. Each of you has perfectly well-taken points with the exception that in a poem there’s no need to truly make any linear sense in terms of a developing story. You all got bits & pieces of it.
    So did I in the sense that I throw mud at myself in terms of hypocrisy (the Mercedes & the short ride). The real moral of my story is that I don’t consider myself my brother’s keeper in an indiscriminate manner. There are racing horses & horses arses. It’s for us to choose which we want to be. The Mullholland Drive reference is pure sarcasm. Too many actors receive mega-millions in acting fees but Hollywood Blvd is a sham and a shamefully crass avenue.
    Alex

  4. Sort of shopping for your priorities? Comparing down compromise and conviction to get the best price. An interesting assertion, if that’s the case.
    Is lowest cost a consideration? Imagine the savings child-labor would create. A McMoral Value Menu of judgements. Not that fuzzy thinking value I place on the idea of childhood innocence. No, the real value. The one you can measure. Like the choices you make when shopping at Walmart. In every buying in moment when how much you save is weighed against a list of things you’d never want done to other people. I guess it always comes to that. Always.
    In a dichotomy like that, when everything is damned if you do; damned if you don’t, it is useless to try and see in 3-D. And damned if I care, would be the only conclusion.

Leave a Reply