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Diaper Rash Realities Of Politics
By Keith
Nov 1, 2003 - 9:38:00 PM

HOLLYWOOD If you must take the bus to get to a major grocery store these days, then you're in big trouble. The MTA, Ralphs, Vons and Albertsons are currently all out on strike (OK, technically some were locked out, but the effect is the same), and there doesn't seem to be much movement from either labor or management on major sticking points. It could be a lengthy strike.

Now, ordinarily this would be a positively delicious scenario to an old political revolutionary like myself; "Power to the People", "Off the Pigs" and all that. Makes me want to storm and occupy a college administration building. In fact, I did stand with picketers in front of "Rock'n'Roll" Ralphs on Sunset to show my solidarity with the working class (as I gazed hungrily at the store entrance). But something has changed this time around, throwing my socialist fervor into a complete quandary.

Though I honor the picket lines to protest corporate enslavement of the proletariat, I have subsequently discovered that only the major supermarkets carry the "low iron" baby formula we need for our infant daughter. Anything else gives her a skin rash and diarrhea (I wonder if Marx went through this?). So I have to hustle all over town to try to find it, through Hollywood traffic no less, scouring the shelves of unfamiliar markets to no avail, as I pass Ralphs which stocks plenty of the stuff. It's enough to turn an ardent socialist into a corporate shareholder! Reality will do that to you, and it's why I've spent a lifetime avoiding it. But thanks to the current situation, I'm forced to confront the contradictions that occur when theory slams head-on into reality.

If I'm compelled to cross strike lines to feed my child, then I've compromised my politics, making me the 2nd worst type of scum; a hypocrite. But if I don't cross strike lines, then the baby will be miserable, possibly making me the worst type of scum; a negligent parent. I didn't bargain for this. I've always been a loyal foot soldier in the war against unfairness and inequality, always supporting the "have-nots" against the haughty elites who plunder and rape us all in the name of their "bottom line". Corporate evil manifests itself through its world-view that only profit is absolute; everything else is relative. Everything else is expendable. This needs to be fought tenaciously, with violence if necessary. The greed and corruption of capitalism (anyone keeping up with Halliburton's lock on Iraqi reconstruction projects? Check it out, but be prepared to get P.O.) are literally destroying our culture, in the process earning the scorn of much of the rest of the world with values that make a mockery of human decency.

Ralphs, Vons and Albertsons evidently support those "bottom line" values, and for that earn my contempt. On the other hand, does anyone know where else I can find "low iron" baby formula?

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