As if Wal-Mart doesn't get enough crap from Wal-Mart Watch and those damn unions wanting decent wages and benefits, now they have gone and drawn the ire of members of the First Baptist Church of Springdale. In a letter to the editor of the Northwest Arkansas Times today, Lynn Branham of Springdale attacked Wal-Mart as a profiteering porn merchant, suggesting yet another reason that the retail giant is not "family friendly." Mrs. Branham also details the tactics she has employed to subvert the corporation's merchandising of morally-objectionable products and print materials.
Lest we be smited for editing her prose or misrepresenting her position, here is her passionate and unexpurgated complaint:
"Wal-Mart exposes our children to pornography. I have put up with a lot from Wal-Mart over the recent years: racy magazines at checkout lines; displays of “personal lubricant” in high-traffic areas; trashy clothes for teenage girls; and fluorescent intimate apparel on the outskirts of the lingerie department. There the undies are so bright anyone entering the adjacent sporting goods section would be in danger of a radiation burn! But now I’m really mad. Calendar season has arrived, and once again I find my family visually assaulted with pornography — a la Sports Illustrated, Maxim and others prominently displayed at middle school eye-level in the front of the store. I got fed up this year and took matters into my own hands. I grabbed all of those pornographic calendars and “reassigned their placement.” Then I found a manager and complained. I have done this several times now.
"I thought I had won a small victory when I walked into Wal-Mart this week and didn’t see any calendars. Then I went to the pharmacy. There was the calendar display and the porno pictures were actually facing the toy section! Yes, porn was silently assaulting the children in the toy department. How’s that for sensitive product placement? Again, I removed the pornography and complained to a manager. He apologized. I wondered if he had children that frequent the toy department.
"Here is a suggestion: Perhaps a more appropriate place for these porno calendars would be among the neon thongs and gravity-defying, retina-damaging, radiation-emitting bras in the adult novelty — I mean, lingerie — section. There, the upstanding men interested in finding when the next full moon waxes would be able to get a really good look while standing among the glowing merchandise and the women interested in bright, shiny colors. Of course, the only appropriate place for pornography is out back in the dumpster. The store manager kindly said he would pass on my concerns. I decided that I would help him."