Friday, November 25, 2011

The pepper-spraying Grinch at Wal-Mart

Isn't it funny how the popular press takes a story like the one about the Wal-Mart shopper who grew indignant while waiting in line, and blasted her fellow shoppers with pepper spray, and slowly morphs it into something altogether different?

Woman pepper-sprayed adults, kids at Wal-Mart sale, police say - "Authorities are searching for a woman accused of pepper-spraying other shoppers Thursday night at the Wal-Mart in Porter Ranch so that she could grab more discounted merchandise.

Twenty customers, including children, were hurt in the 10:10 p.m. incident, officials said. Shoppers complained of minor skin and eye irritation and sore throats.

"This was customer-versus-customer 'shopping rage,'" said Los Angeles Police Lt. Abel Parga."

Early reports put the number of victims at closer to a half-dozen, and had the woman reacting to others who were jumping the line while she waited patiently.

Nowhere in the original telling of the story did the woman lash out aggressively against other shoppers, but after several hours of re-telling, the tale has progressed into a Hollywood-style motif of 'shopping rage' at the mall.

America is intoxicated with its own mythos of social disintegration in conflict with its wholesome pursuit of holiday beneficence and generosity. Society unravels at ever-quickening speed, while mobs of shoppers grope the products they desire in a frenzy of patriotic consumerism.

Just look at all the myopic zombies our family and neighbors have become during the happiest time of the year, because it's a long, long way back from consumer hell to the reality of life lived on the precipice of debt peonage.

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