I don't praise Wal Mart for its low prices [thanks to cheap Chinese labor], for its globalism, its job-exporting, its zeal for undermining the rights of workers.
I praise it because Wal Mart is the face of America.
What do I mean by that?
Going to Wal Mart at any time of day lets you see what America REALLY looks like. Americans in their unadultered, unfiltered selves. Life beyond the lenses of Hollywood or tourist guides.
It's so....real. And if you ago anytime after midnight, you get to see an even harsher version of reality. It's people wearing coats and sweatpants. It's craptacular and typo-laden tattoos, it's chanclas and torn jeans and guts that should have their own zip codes, it's faces that could make even someone who's weathered 2 girls 1 cup fall to his knees and empty out his stomach on the tile floor.
It's beautiful. Having been to other countries, what they are is what you see.
America isn't. You have to scratch at the surface so that you can see what's inside. It may not be the prettiest, but it's the realest you'll see people. Reality, to me, will always come before any notion of artistic beauty. Here's another thing: It's inviting.
Some of you may scoff at these nightmarish creatures, but the truth is, you are subconsciously drawn to them. A thing that the United States has that no other country has is that anyone can become an American. I could move to France right now, live there the rest of my life and die there but I would never be considered a Frenchman.
That's not the case for the United States. Anyone can and WIL eventually be drawn into the eldritch fold of these Walmartians.
America isn't Miami Beach. It isn't the concrete jungle of New York or the liberal paradise of Los Angeles. America isn't a warmongering president whose verbal gaffes will be remembered in centuries to come. America isn't her wars or it's arrogant and hypocritical foreign policies.
What is it then?
This is America.
(Image courtesy of www.peopleofwalmart.com)