Saturday, April 16, 2005

In case you missed this the first time around

The world’s largest retailer, Wal-Mart, is opening separate outlets in Hawaii and Mexico. While the construction of yet more Wal-Mart stores is hardly news these days what makes these two unique is the location. On Wednesday, October 13 another Wal-Mart opened in Honolulu amidst protests from dozens of locals. The retail giant has apparently built its newest and largest Hawaiian outlet on a burial plot containing forty unfortunate deceased souls. As a gesture of good will and incredible perversity Wal-Mart exhumed the bodies and is storing them in refrigerated trailers waiting for permission from the Hawaiian State Government to re-inter the remains on site. Can anyone say ewwwwwww? In an equally creepy and violative move Wal-Mart intends to open another super-store just feet from one of ancient Mexico’s largest and most sacred ruins in Teotihuacán, a major archeological site outside Mexico City. Predictably the opening of the newest Mexico based Wal-Mart has drawn the ire of local activists bent on putting a halt to construction of the store. In fact a small pre-Hispanic altar was found buried at the construction site. Plans call for preserving the small structure under Plexiglas in what will be the store's parking lot

Ah yes, I can just envision a Wal-Mart in the middle of Arlington National Cemetery or Fort Logan National Cemetery where my grandfather lies in rest. Imagine my grandmother’s glee as Sam Walton hands her the urn containing her dead husband’s ashes and says, “It’s in the name of progress ma’am.” Picture if you will running into Casper-the-not-so-friendly-and-quite-frankly-pissed-off-ghost as you rummage through the house wares department. Casper says, “Boy if only they had Tupper-ware when I died I wouldn’t be in this mess.” Ah the rapture that would ensue as you fight denizens of the undead for a copy of Shrek 2. Have they not seen Poltergeist? Craig T. Nelson’s house was built on top of a graveyard and got sucked into oblivion only after imprisoning little Carol Ann in a freakin’ television.

Where is their common decency? Is Wal-Mart so strapped for real estate that they’ve resorted to unearthing graves en mass? When will the madness stop?

Since Wal-Mart has seen fit to desecrate the sacred ruins in Mexico I fully expect to see another super-store at the foot of Khufu’s Pyramid in Egypt or perhaps atop the Acropolis so we can buy gardening tools as we visit the Parthenon. I’m sure the Pharos will appreciate the convenience of being able to purchase pharmaceuticals and frozen waffles in the same place. Wait Khufu; don’t forget that motor oil you so desperately need as you spend eternity fighting for a decent parking spot. Teotihuacán was so named by the Aztecs as “The Place Where Men Become Gods”. Now they’re going to have to name it “The Place Where Men Become Shopping Cart Attendants”.

This sordid little venture is almost too macabre for words. Wal-Mart truly is the evil empire.