Thursday, November 8, 2007

Christmas Terror Has Begun!!!

There is a report out that Al Qaeda was planning attacks on malls in Chicago and L.A. during the Christmas shopping season, which began December 26 of last year, unless you finished your Christmas at the Wal-Mart buying shit to get people next year. I'm just surprised it hasn't already happened. Consider what a lone gunman or a suicide bomber with a grenade vest could do as a horde of crazed shoppers are tackling a pile of DVD players at 5:00am on Black Friday. I'm surprised it hasn't happened already. The point is that, while it is important to be vigilant for that lone kookburger out there, there's not much you can do other than enjoy the normal psychosis of the day, and maybe (legally) pack a concealed weapon.

On a related note, I'm getting tired of the China recalls. The latest is a thing of beads called Aqua Dots that give kids a date rape drug if they eat it. All I can say is that this is the result of our obsession with getting shit cheap. I can remember the 'Buy American' slogan of the 1980's, and even back then I knew it was a dumb idea prone to failure. The influx of foreign electronics is what made it possible for all of us to have cool shit, and with that price advantage, the rest of our consumer shit was headed south and offshore. With the coming of NAFTA, the process accelerated. I watched as a lot of unions whined themselves into unemployment. Now, most everything we buy is either inferior, or made in China, or both. The reason there have been so many safety recalls is our insatiable demand for lower and lower prices. Add to that an ever-growing increase in the fuels to bring stuff here and to heat the stores we use, and businesses keep pushing to get the stuff. And China is developing rapidly. Before, they were mostly a third-world country. Consider how long it took us to develop all our safety and health regulations and bullshit. The quality, or lack thereof, of all these Chinese goods is predictable. But at least it means I can afford a couple more shiny, lead-coated toys for my kids.

Of course, the other half of the problem is that we're in an insane lawyer culture. The fact is if anything comes loose or could break or might break or could be installed wrong or even looks shaky or has a screw come loose, it gets recalled. personally, I've been on my back in a dark room trying to fix a part on a thirdhand crib so my daughter doesn't fall out in the middle of the night and bounce on the floor. The fact is, sometimes you just have to fix shit so it doesn't snuff your children, then pop in a mouthful of Aqua Dots and get toasty.

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