cyclofiend.com - peripheral thoughts & notes

November 2005
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Wrath of the Post-Its©
Filed under: general
Posted by: The Cyclofiend @ 10:21 pm

I need a better mnemonic system… As it is with such things, topics and thoughts occur to me when I’m working on, um, work. So, I fish out a Post-It© Note (or, is it Post-It Note©?) and jot down whatever little shard seems to have been chipped off the rapidly dulling flint of my brain. Luckily, I am not afraid to dispose of these jems. But, I still end up with several little one-liner notes, many of which don’t make quite that much sense when held up to the good light. Or maybe my chops are just too darned rusty to turn those things into something interesting to read.

Like last weekend, when the phrase “The Women Run on Sunday” occurred to me as I passed some early miles on the fixed through the more residential neighborhoods. I kept seeing all these women out at 7:30 or 8 am, striding along the roads and walkways. My brain conjured up some vision of men sleeping in, getting ready to watch the NFL games. Somehow that drive to keep themselves healthy as the bulk of my gender chose a more passive and snack-food oriented path struck me as a key example of what, in general makes most women smarter than most men. There were some further thoughts, but they got bogged down and deleted when I first tried to outline them in words. The whole thing still doesn’t really go anywhere, and I’m still not writing it with the clarity of the images I had then. Maybe that’s what keeps me writing.

This morning, as I realized the clocks had again jumped ahead by a half hour or so, hastening my exit, the idea “Regionalism is Good” got scrawled on the happy, yellow 3 inch square. It came from seeing the Wal*Mart Movie* over the weekend. It seems conspicuously trite now, but then again, it’s the sort of simple truth which warrants some inspection. When my wife and I travelled around the country a number of years back, we normally tried to find unique places for food, entertainment and what have you. It was reasonably hard back in the mid-90’s. The thing that frustrated and saddened us both was that most people seemed to like the consistency of the various fast-food spots, convenience stores and discount retailers. The exact how and why of that is beyond my brain tonight. Maybe there’s a metaphor in animal (and arguably royal) blood lines - how they tend to narrow over time and eventually bring out the best of inbreeding. If you are raising goats or dogs, it means they are reasonably susceptible to the certain maladies and diseases. What does it mean for a culture?

*“Wal*Mart - The High Cost of Low Prices” mini-review: Good film, with a bit of restatement of obvious facts - kind of like “Supersize Me” in that sense. I mean “fast food is bad for you” is about the equivilent of “large corporations really don’t care about you and will do everything they can to leverage their advantages of scale”. Unless you’ve been sucked in by the bouncing happy face

(..and let me digress for a second to say that from a marketing message POV, those are frigging perfect ads. Why? Because the image that you walk away with is that all the prices are always dropping. Compare that to a supermarket ad where they list potatoes at 5 pounds for 5 bucks and hope that the grocery store down the street doesn’t run 5 for $4. They sidestep the whole price issue on specific items entirely and have people coming in convinced they have the lowest price…)

and have ignored books, news reports and such, it’s hard to be suprised that such a large and discount oriented retailer would source cheaply, underpay employees and cut a wide swath. Nevertheless, it was stunning to hear specifics of using public-assistance programs as health care for their work force, for example. The whole film could’ve been trimmed a bit - it felt like there was some repetitions of things and interview sections which weren’t that sharp. But, a number of folks seemed genuinely suprised by the scope of their deeds. It does have the potential to shake people up enough that they may question their actions.

I gotta get to bed. There’s another Post-It© over here, but that one says “Saturday - Noon - Haircut”, so I’m pretty sure that’s not a writing topic…

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