The internet was all atwitter yesterday with news that a Canton, OH Walmart was holding a Thanksgiving food drive for needy workers. The drive asked for donations from employees, not from customers as Business Insider and certain other outlets gleefully reported. Their exuberance was unbecoming but understandable. As America’s largest retailer and, now, grocer, Walmart is maybe responsible for a broad degradation of working life. The giant corporation pays its workers low wages in order to offer low prices, which drives smaller retailers and grocers out of business, which increases the share of the workforce earning low wages at Walmart. As a bonus, those people are also more likely to have to shop at Walmart. If you already have an opinion about this process, yesterday’s news was proof of concept.
I write this while standing up, because I am a weirdo. In my ongoing, possibly insane quest to fix my rickety body before I get too old, I have constructed a standing desk. It is not a work of great craftsmanship, but it delights me. I have come to suspect that human hamstrings were not designed for eight hours of boneward pressure each day. Standing work makes me very happy, although my standing desk does not, and so I set out to find some new means of raising my laptop to eye level. What holds things at eye level? I asked myself. That is how I lost several hours reading Amazon reviews of stands for model skeletons.
As our pageload times will attest, Combat! blog is hosted by GoDaddy, the world’s largest domain registration and webhosting corporation. I settled on GoDaddy after an exhaustive process in which I researched literally threes of hosting companies and went with the lowest bidder. If you choose GoDaddy, you’ll know where your $4.95 a month went. Their WordPress servers are notoriously slow, and I am routinely locked out of the administrative side of Combat! for hours at a time. Also, CEO Bob Parsons appears to be maybe not a great guy. I don’t know if you’ve detected this, but a lot of GoDaddy commercials have vaguely sexist overtones.
When KFC announced its new KFC Double Down sandwich on April 1st, we thought it was a joke. I use “we,” here, in the sense of “We would not like to watch Tyler Perry’s House of Pain,” or “We thank you for the prize package, but we’re just going to go ahead and sell the Segway,”—that is, in the sense of we who do not weigh 300 pounds. Frankly, we are not sure that thing is even a sandwich. The generic hallmark of the sandwich is bread, and the absence of bread is of course the Double Down’s claim to fame. Where the bland, ambitionless Whopper wastes your time with a bun, the Double Down puts bacon, cheese, and something called Colonel’s Sauce between two pieces of fried chicken. Which is great news for anyone who A) has a gluten allergy or B) wants their food to look like it’s eating food.
In a column he describes as “a great luscious orgy of optimism,” David Brooks suggests today that we all stop worrying about the state of American governance, political discourse, finance and world influence, because the country is going to be saved by—ready?—population growth. Props to alert reader/muay thai enthusiast Mike Sebba for the link. We’ve discussed the vexing phenomenon that is Mr. Brooks before (as well as the vexing phenomenon that is Mr. Brooks.) He’s either the most insightful commentator who’s still frequently wrong or the most frequently wrong commentator who still manages a lot of insights. Either way, it’s as hard to get on board with him as it is to jump off into the lake. If he weren’t a conservative, or if he were not so consistently juxtaposed with the mind-warpingly boring Thomas Friedman, we at Combat! blog probably wouldn’t be pulling for him so much. As it is, though, he’s like your friend with the stutter who wants to be a stand-up comedian: you hope the world will suddenly start to work in such a way as to make David Brooks right. Usually, that is. Today, David Brooks has written a column whose fundamental assumptions are so bafflingly stupid as to merit a big old Come On, Son.