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I'm JM Fisher, Writer & Host Of The Weekly Cynic Podcast.

I'm Currently Available For All Projects Relating To Blogging, Articles & Editing.

Sunday, Scoffs And Smirks: Edition 10

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A Scoffing, Smirking Review Of The Week

Down The Rabbit Hole Of Connections, Convolutions & Conspiracies


Notice About The Future Of Sunday, Scoffs & Smirks:

Starting April 1st of 2019, This Weekly Review Will Become Part Of A Membership/Subscription Tier On Patreon, SubscribeStar & Substack Newsletter services. For Those Who Appreciate, And Find Value In My Writing And Podcasting, And Would Like To Support This Indie Schmuck In Their Creative Efforts, This Weekly Review Will Be Included In Your Goodie Basket Of Support.

More Information Will Be Available The Week Of February 25th.

Now, The Week In Fucked-Up-Dom.


ScumMart’s Crystal Ball…

After almost 20 years of indentured servitude in the Retail Business—I escaped the industry for a bit, but then desperate for a career, I rescinded my freedom—I’m still drawn to the maneuverings, rumors and portentous headlines that surround the Industry.

This week was especially exciting as Walmart embarked on its profit gobbling strategic restructuring.

According to an anonymous post on The Layoffs, a Corporate Insider, or store level manager with bootlicker access to upper echelon management, leaked ScumMart’s store restructuring initiative.

Now, I’ve been through similar revamps devised by the Intellectual Yet Idiot’s Of MBA elitism and those impelled by the pernicious arrogance of Hedge Funders.

These reorganization’s are scorched earth: a decimation of store personnel, payroll and processes that hamper the efforts of an already overburdened staff that is considered ignoble, interchangeable and disposable.

(For first time readers, I wrote about Why Retail Is Really Failing, here)

This Walmart stratagem seems particularly vile considering the company’s ownership.

(The first phase of this restructuring is already affecting the most vulnerable—do you like my Progressive terminology?—of Walmart’s workforce.)

The Walton Family, according to this Washington Post article, owns precisely 51.11 of the company. The rest of that lumbering behemoth is owned by Institutional Investors, two of the largest being Vanguard Group and the always lovably destructive, BlackRock Group. You know, the BlackRock Group, “The Largest Asset Manager In The World.”

Oh, I can only imagine the boardroom meetings and private conferences calls that formulated this overhaul.

Once these store realignments take effect, whatever semblance of customer service Walmart had, will be vanquished. Entire shifts are being eradicated and positions are being reassigned or eliminated, which means full-time associates with experience and knowledge, will be replaced with a battalion of inexperienced part-time flunkies.

Stocking crews will be reduced, or made to multi-task between customer service, cashier, janitorial and even management duties, which means your favorite products will be out-of-stock on the store shelves.

If your local Walmart store is already a trash heap or resembling the apocalyptic images 1980s New York City, prepare for Venezuelan desperation.

So, what are The Waltons and their Institutional Investor’s plotting?

Anticipating a bloated share price due to all the paring. You know, paring all the machinery that is needed to actually operate a business. But, remember, today’s modern Leadership is unfamiliar with the tangible, anything brick&mortar; it can only process NumbersNumbersNumbers. All those columns, charts, analytics, statistics…

They are Leaders, not Retailers.

Maybe some analysts employed in the gleaming towers of those Institutional Investors read Zerohedge and have been anticipating a recessionary malaise.

Yeah, right, like we haven’t been embroiled in a Depression since, oh, say, 1999…

(Remember, The National Bureau Of Economic Research doesn’t certify Depressions only Recessions.)

But, when it comes to analysts and ScumMart, don’t listen to this shill


Millennialist Revisionism: Avril Lavigne…

I was squinting in exaggerated bafflement, adjusting my laptop screen, lips mumbling…

“Wait…SPIN still exists?”

At the bottom of my screen, a banner was hovering, advertising SPIN magazine, a relic of GenX’er-dom founded by Bob Guccione Jr.

You know, the son of Bob Guccione who founded… Penthouse!

Oh, how can any self-respecting Millennial accept a paycheck from a mag—

Wait.

SPIN isn’t a magazine.

In 2012, SPIN stopped printing a tangible edition. It simply exists as a webzine.

Whew. Another 90s flashback.

Anyway, before I interrupted myself, how could any virtuous, ascendent Millennial write for a webzine of misogynistic DNA?

Oh, The Gig Economy, that’s right…

Morals vs. Money… Morals vs. Money… Money vs. Morals… Money vs—

Money.

Meager amounts of money.

Oh, and a portfolio credential! I’m sure the editors at Salon will view such as only a slight…a slight indiscretion.

Of course, I clicked that banner advertisement to quench my nostalgic intrigue, zooming through the broadband universe until I was deposited into a review of Avril Lavigne’s latest

Yeah, also, Avril Lavigne is evidently still…tangible.

Lavigne’s latest curation of anthemic banalities blended with the frequencies and rhythms that trigger insipid human minds into Spotify listens and iTunes purchases, is hailed as, and I quote from that SPIN review, “long-awaited…”

Sure.

By whom? Adult Millennial Women in their early 30s pining for the days of AOL Instant Messenger? Women who posted Sk8er Boi lyrics to their AOL Away Message to goad all those hormone raging boyz on their Buddies List into desperate, laughable flattery…

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The review begins with some bizarre Brazilian conspiracy theory about Lavigne’s death, her doppelgänger and the daring Buzzfeed reporter who revealed the hoax…or something.

Either way, it’s an excuse to interject Millennialist Feminism:

“But despite its absurdist trappings, the curious case of the Lavigne doppelgänger persists because, like all great memes, it contorts a universally understood truth: in this case, the sexist, Faustian mores of a pop industry that treats female musicians as interchangeable products, rather than authentic human beings.”

Wow. A Millennial gets it. Kinda.

Look, to achieve success and admiration, one sacrifices themself to The Entertainment Industry. You’re sexualized, plastic surgery-ized and transformed into a Corporate automaton whose accession is qualified by whomever has succeeded Harvey Weinstein.

“I’ve had to fight different people on this journey over those 17 years,” she reflected in a recent interview with the Guardian. “‘You need to do this and it needs to go Top 40’—You make those songs because you have to, but then the stuff that’s the best on record is the album tracks.”

Avril you’re signed to BMG Music which is owned by that monolithic institution known as Bertelsmann. Meaning, you take your creativity from a horde of Corporate Industry approved producers, songwriters and musicians for the entirety of your…career.

You will never escape.

Ask Kurt Cobain how his escape went.

Now, let’s venture into that Guardian article, shall we?

“Pop stars – especially women – are frozen at the age they become famous. Breaking the ice usually involves a bad-girl reinvention, if not a genuine breakdown. Somehow, this tension never affected Avril Lavigne, the Canadian pop-punk star who arrived in 2002 aged 17 with the brilliant Complicated, a heaving teenage sigh directed at some poseur (ed. note, italics added by The Typewriter Monkey ) boy. It’s not that she didn’t have an indelible look: her low-slung skate pants, tie and ramrod-straight hair are an enduring fancy-dress costume. It’s that she never seemed to want to grow up.”

Here’s the thing, Guardian scribbler, your feminist ROAR Grrrrlll pop star is an invention. She’s the poseur. Acting out her Corporate Created And Approved role as Punk-Pop “Artist” Making Her Way In The World Without Sacrificing Artistic—

I puked on my keyboard while writing that Character Description.

She is the Corporate Created And Approved opposition to another batch of Corporate Created And Approved pop songstresses of bubble gum, sexualized innocence like Mandy Moore.

In Politics, she’s Controlled Opposition.

“Her alternately fun, angsty debut album, Let Go, seemed authentic enough – she played guitar! The lyrics were handwritten! – to convince a generation of teenage girls that she, and by association, they, were more credible than Britney.”

See how the social engineering effects of The Music Business work? They market an identity. Just like Social Justice markets Identity Politics.

Here’s a classic:

“Pop is built on female resilience, which seems to have come naturally to her.”

Umm… Pop is built on Popular.

As I said earlier: art created by template for maximizing mass appeal and profit.

Just like her new Maturing Artist Phase: Black And White Album Cover, Magazine Interview Photos Of Black Backgrounds And Pensive, Faraway Stares.

Gotta cash in on the demographic of the Older, Aging, Angsty Millennial Females… Being A Crazy Cat Lady Can Be Empowering! MeowGrrrrr….

Let’s just end this segment with:

Lavigne’s Reinvention Is As Authentic As The Democratic Presidential Candidates For 2020.


Discarded Grocery Carts & Silicon Valley Bikes…

My last job, before embarking on this current career of starving artist, was located in an affluent region, one populated by innumerable Doctors, Architects, Generational Wealth of Stone Mansions and the requisite Gated Community of McTown Homes.

The most remarkable facet of this region was the encroachment of The City.

The inhabitants of The City, a racially and culturally diverse demographic of the Downtrodden, would use public transportation to visit the splendid shopping centers of The Affluent.

Once The Downtrodden of The City had made their purchases at a particular store, they would exit the retailer with their shopping cart filled with purchases and continue out onto the vast, macadam expanse of the shopping complex parking lot.

The Downtrodden would advance that cart beyond the parking lot and out onto the sidewalks, pathways and parks of The Affluent until halting near a bus stop or ostensible Uber pick-up where they would unload the cart of their provisions, leaving it stranded miles from its home.

The Progressive minded would admonish me—probably labeling me as a racist—or launch into a variety of possibilities as to why The Downtrodden would abandon that shopping cart miles from it’s home: perhaps that member of The Downtrodden had a physical ailment, such as a back issue, and that cart was a convenient walker/stabilizer or maybe The City was considered a food desert or the Affluent region had limited public transportation access because, well, it was The Affluent area and everyone could travel via their own personal luxury vehicle…

Also, I forgot to mention, that physical ailment was symptomatic of limited access to affordable Health Care.

Whew.

(Next time, maybe we can attempt a Universal Health Care law that isn’t written by Big Pharma, Big Health And Big Academia, like Peter Gruber…)

Of course, I would agree with The Progressive, these may indeed be valid reasons.

But, where’s the individual responsibility? Those old elementary, childhood maxims of Put It Back Where You Found it and such shit about Respecting Personal Property.

Oh, it’s a globalist retailer, fuck them, brah!

Yeah, but, if the store has to keep replacing shopping carts…you know, that store’s prices go up.

(This is also why areas become food deserts, retailers—especially grocery retailers—find their profit and loss becoming more loss than profit due to stolen goods, damaged displays, etc…so, they permanently close that store to protect their Globalist shareholders interests…)

Most of the time when I see shopping charts abandoned in gutters, fields or alleys, my first reaction is The Welfarian Class: If You Don’t Earn Anything, You Don’t Appreciate Anything.

(Progressive autistic screeching)

Of course, this a flippant remark, but if one objectively devotes some years to the casual observation and analyzing of humanity, you will invariably conclude that our species is fucking LAZY.

Laziness is a quality that transcends socio-economic stratum, hence my amusement at this Business Insider article titled, “Employees Keep Dumping Facebook's Free Bikes In Surrounding Neighborhoods And Police Are Hassling Local Kids Who Try To Ride Them.”

Facebook provides their privileged six and seven figure Tech Boys with free bikes meant for environmentally-friendly-hipster conveyance across their big ol’ campus. But, Tech Boys—and gals, I would presume, though, I hope I’m not offending anyone by presuming—are riding the bikes off campus and then…

Abandoning them all over The City!

HAHHAHAHAHHAHAHHAHAHAHA

From that Business Insider article,

“One local told Business Insider they had seen "bikes dumped around town three or four times a week" for the past couple of years, adding that it "used to be Google bikes, now it's FB. My assumption is that, in general, FB employees take the bikes to get places and leave them once they have no further use," the local said.”

Of course The Police, which, you know, are protecting the interests of The City’s Big Money are now detaining people who ride the discarded bikes…

“The Almanac, a local news outlet, described the Menlo Park police chief, Dave Bertini, as saying at a community forum in February about the issue that officers "treat people found riding Google bikes the same way they have approached people on Facebook bikes: They ask riders if they are employees, and if they are not, detain them and confiscate the bikes."

Facebook “has told residents that it never asked law enforcement to stop people riding the bikes.”

Let’s just say this, humans are inherently Lazy and Entitled no matter their socio-economic strata.

Also, ain’t Gentrification just grand?


Finally, Young Bored And…Dead Inside.

This week, Pew Research released their latest study on Generation Z, finding that “anxiety and depression are on the rise among America’s youth and, whether they personally suffer from these conditions or not, seven-in-ten teens today see them as major problems among their peers.”

What’s affecting all The Young?

“When it comes to the pressures teens face, academics tops the list: 61% of teens say they feel a lot of pressure to get good grades. By comparison, about three-in-ten say they feel a lot of pressure to look good (29%) and to fit in socially (28%), while roughly one-in-five feel similarly pressured to be involved in extracurricular activities and to be good at sports (21% each)”

Like I tell my kids all the time, “The Economy is shit! You lazy bitches and bastards better get yourselves a good education and a great career! And if that doesn’t work, you better stay slim and trim and marry rich! Because your Mom and I are dead fucking broke! Somebody is gonna have to take care of us!”

This study reminded me of a Guardian article about Millennials suffering from battered self-esteem and being overwhelmed by a culture—blame it on the curated, illusory perfection of Instagram—that compels them to Be Everything To Everyone or #FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out).

Millennials just cant say NO.

(Especially back in the day to their Helicopter, Late Stage Boomer Parents.)

The all encompassing problem, according to “psychoanalyst and fellow of the Institute of Psychoanalysis Josh Cohen” is “our “manically overactive, hyper-stimulated acquisitive culture.”

Oh, fuck your pretentious eloquence, it’s already been diagnosed as Consumer Culture.

Yes, not just going into debt to Live Like The Jones, but fleeing your dead-end, entry level job to blog about your travels throughout the world. You know, YOLO.

HAVING IT ALL.

Which…You…Can’t.

Being Everything To Everyone will only end in Big Pharma addiction or having only 10 followers on Twitter.

(All 10 Being Russian-Trump Bot Accounts.)

A generation bred into Collectivism and the pervasive, Inter-Connectivity of Technology is unable to just… Be.

To Be Themselves.

Who They Are, inside their heart of hearts.

You know, an Individual.


A Follow-Up…

Zerohedge had a funky article titled, “What A Way To Go? Hackers Can Turn Sex Robots Into Killing Machines, Security Expert Warns.”

I laughed.

In Episode 23 Of The Weekly Cynic Podcast, I examined The Rise of Sex Bots and a sad article from The Sun UK detailing lonely men and their sex dolls.

I made a joke similar to, What Happens In The Future When Sex Bots Are Hacked?

Welp… The Future Is Now.


Lastly… On Drinking

For those like myself who love the spiritual energy and ambiance of historic bars, Scotland’s Oldest Pub Is Reopening


As Always, Thank You For Reading.

If You Find Value In My Work, Please, Visit My Support Page.

And, Stay Cynical, My Friends.

Sunday, Scoffs And Smirks: Edition 11

Sunday, Scoffs And Smirks: Edition 9