Friday, August 20, 2004

Well surprise surprise. Look at this link. It seems that one of the main persons behind the whole Navy Swift boat thing, Larry Thurlow, who, like Kerry, commanded a Navy Swift boat, has a story that seems to be falling apart at the seams. You see, Thurlow was awarded a Bronze Star for the same incident that Kerry was involved in, for coming under constant small arms fire. So, Thurlow is saying that Kerry wasn't under fire when he rescued Lt. James Rassmann from the river, so he doesn't deserve his Bronze Star. Thurlow is saying that Kerry is lying about that. But Thurlow was awarded the same metal for the same thing, so what gives?

Oh yeah, two more things. Rassmann says they were being fired on. And Thurlow won't authorize the release of his military records.


So I'm SO tired of listening to idiots call me at work and tell me that I simply must read Unfit for Command, "If I want to know the truth about this man who wants to be our President," blah blah blah.

I just have one question. When Kerry was fishing Rassmann out of the river, and bullets were flying all around, where the fuck was Dubya? Getting stoned and drunk, perhaps, and using Daddy's connections to get out of serving in any real and meaningful way?

These chickenhawks make me sick.

We're getting a lot of flack at work lately about Barnes & Noble's supposed liberal bias. Idiots everywhere online are talking all sorts of smack about stuff they don't even know about.

Here's the baldfaced truth. There's a current affairs table smack dab in the middle of the store. I counted. There are 22 books of a possibly liberal slant, 17 of a possibly conservative slant (not all of which are kind to the President, by the way, look at Pat Buchanan's new book) and 5 books that are undeniably neutral to any issues of politics, at least in the US.

Also, we have these things called 'New Release' bays, where we put new releases. I never once met a liberal complaining about the scores of anti-Clinton books coming out during his administration. But I get all sorts of flack about books critical of Dubya. So, now that Dubya is in office, of course more books by the opposition are being published. When I get in 5 books that are critical of Dubya that are new releases, and 2 books that are pro-Dubya, I HAVE to put them on the New Release bays. That's how merchandising works. New stuff gets put out so that people can notice it and buy it.

And while I'm in bookseller rant mode, we'll sell any crap to anybody at work. Seriously. I don't personally believe in astrology. I think it's idiotic. I think to read and take seriously any of that stuff is just slowly killing your mind. But I will gladly sell 5 copies of an astrology book to anyone. Why? Because I want to get paid. I like getting paid. If I don't sell stuff, I don't get paid. So, yes, I can gladly put aside any personal feelings to sell anything to anyone.

The corrollary of that is that if more people would buy the conservative books, maybe more of them would be published. But that's not the sales that I've seen. And I've looked at the sales numbers. The liberal books, at least in our area, outsell the conservative. Maybe that says something about spending habits regarding political viewpoints, I'm not sure. Maybe more conservative people are coming in and just reading the book in the store instead of buying it and taking it home. And then leaving the book on the table or in a chair when they're done, just causing more work for the booksellers. I see an awful lot of that.

While I'm dishing bookseller dirt, most of the messes made are made on Sundays, starting right after church lets out, often by people dressed in their Sunday finest. I hate working Sundays. Seriously. I'd rather work a Saturday. The messes are smaller and people buy more stuff.

But, as much as I hate working Sundays, I will grin and bear it. I will smile and give people good customer service. I'll hand that book to them with a smile, even if I think they're an idiot for reading it. And I'll keep my opinions to myself. As much as any company may have some faults, and no workplace is perfect, one of the things that I love about Barnes & Noble is their commitment to diversity of viewpoints. They don't censor. They take that seriously. And I think that's cool.

Okay, rant mode off.


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