In lieu of the Oscars, I decided it was time for me to move on from being a simple movie enthusiast to an actual moviemaker. That being the case, I did what all aspiring film writers do — rehash old popular movie ideas in hopes of cashing in and making it big.
The setting: A short time ago in a land not so far away. In fact, the land happens to be right here in sunny California and the time is right now. I call this movie “Store Wars.”
Act I: A battle has been raging all throughout the middle lands of the United States, but in each case, whatever opposition there was has fallen to the Darth Vader of American capitalism — Wal-Mart. This scourge has slowly laid waste to all forms of competitive consumer goods stores all across the nation, as well as trounced the only beacon of hope in the fight against Wal-Mart — unions.
In its quest for ultimate profit maximization, Wal-Mart has routed its age-old foe on the battlefield by destroying all worker intent to collectively bargain. Wal-Mart takes the young, poor and disenfranchised under its wing by offering them an easy-to-maintain job with an opportunity to move up to management positions as long as there is no rebellion within the ranks. Newly acquired foot soldiers are actively discouraged from joining the other side, the unionist side.
From there, Wal-Mart vanquishes its rival stores by ruthlessly undercutting all prices, which they are able to do as a result of deunionization. The store has been marvelously successful at breeding mutiny within the ranks of its enemies. Union employees of other stores have been shown to be patrons of Wal-Mart almost as frequently as nonunion employees. The temptation of lower prices proves to be too strong for some.
With an army of Honduran, Bengali, Vietnamese and Chinese sweatshop workers at its mercy, Wal-Mart is able to drive down prices even further by demanding that sweatshop factories sell their materials to Wal-Mart for less and less. That way, these slave-equivalent workers are made to work 10 hours a day for the monetary equivalent of peanuts, and Wal-Mart can sell a polo shirt to the American consumer for $8.63.
Act II: After the darkness has swept across the vast expanses of the Midwest and the South, the generals of Wal-Mart look over the Rockies and eye their next prize — California. They launch a pre-emptive attack in the form of media campaigns expounding how much good Wal-Mart has done for each community it has touched. Shouts of minority women proclaiming the store as a community savior is meant to soften the opposition before the eve of battle. The blitzkrieg has begun.
However, there is still hope. While Wal-Mart may represent the dark side of the force that is American capitalism, there is a side of light that seeks to stage a challenge to the Wal-Mart war machine. While Californians are enticed by the prospect of cheap prices, they are not as privy to fall victim to the PR campaigns of Wal-Mart.
Act III: Wal-Mart has taken the fight right to the gates of the golden coast. Wal-Mart had attempted to establish a supercenter in Inglewood, but the city council denied the megacorporation. In an attempt to outflank its wily city council nemesis, Wal-Mart forced a referendum on the issue and put it to a direct vote. In a major defeat, the Inglewood people issued a stunning rebuke to Wal-Mart by voting against the referendum with 61 percent of the vote opposed. Wal-Mart is down, but it’s not out.
The climax of this epic is approaching. The armies of darkness have surrounded our borders and have started the march. The power is in your hands, people of California. If we can’t run Wal-Mart out of business, we can demand that it allow its workers to unionize, pay them above the poverty line and provide health care benefits. Are you content to see a sad ending to this fable?
In the film’s thrilling and original conclusion, Daily Nexus columnist Neil Visalvanich finds out that Wal-Mart is his father.