Home > Uncategorized > Thank you, Wal-Mart, for protecting our moral fibre

Thank you, Wal-Mart, for protecting our moral fibre

December 21, 2010

I was at Wal-Mart yesterday to get exciting things like a cheap Blu-Ray player and some apples and shelf-brackets and other essentials.  And there’s a huge bin full of $5 DVD movies in the back, which serves as a kind of social network for the flu germs of people rummaging through them.

Anyway, who could resist that? I looked in the bin and found a $5 copy of Waitress.  MrsDoF and I first saw it at the Historic Normal Theater and liked it a lot.  So I nabbed it and the Mrs put it right in the player that evening.  And then…

“They censored it!”

The movie has a pivotal scene in which the title character’s husband Earl barges into the restaurant where she works, furious with her for reasons I shan’t explain, swearing and breaking up furniture.  The rest of the movie depends on that scene, but Wal-Mart Bowdlerized it down to just a thrown chair and the angry phrase; “I am very disappointed in you!”

The end of the movie therefore made a lot less sense, and to add insult to injury it was the last movie that director Adrienne Shelly made before someone murdered her at 40. I suppose in a way, it was her dying message to the world, though she didn’t expect it to be.  But hey, at least Wal-Mart protected us from the bad words in it.

Thanks, Wal-Mart.  I mean, yes; it’s an adult movie in the first place (and by “adult” I mean that it was written for actual grown-ups) but it would be valuable for kids to see it too.  Young boys would understand that it’s bad to be a controlling jerk, and young girls would learn that relationships like that can’t end well, but everyone would also find out that even jerks are human, but sometimes just insecure.  And men thinking about having an affair might realize it probably isn’t a great idea.  And old people sometimes just seem meaner than they really are.  Not a bad day’s work for a charming movie that would be on Hallmark Hall of Fame if the HHoF movies were ever that good.

I suppose this means that Wal-Mart has morally vetted every other object and media in the store and decided that it’s OK. Seems like a rather far-reaching social responsibility for a store chain to take on, but if any corporation is up to it, I guess they are.

Wal-Mart apparently approves of the checkout-aisle magazines with Photoshopped women on the cover, that drive teen girls to anorexia and even suicide trying to match that impossible standard.   It looks like they endorse the fraudulent homeopathic junk in their pharmacy on the shelf right next to legitimate medicine.  They must approve of the “Saw” movies and the “Halloween” movies and all that crap about sparkly vampires.  And I guess they don’t have any problem with Janet Napolitano making announcements on monitors in the store to remind us that if we “see something” we should “say something”.

(I see a metastasizing fascist state; who should I say it to?)

What other movies and scenes did they censor?  If I buy a book from them, can I depend on it having the author’s words in it?  Is there hexavalent chromium in my breakfast cereal but they thought it would be too disturbing to put in the ingredient list?

I ordered another copy of Waitress from Amazon.  And say, Wal-Mart; see if I ever buy another movie, book, magazine, or any other media product from you, ever again.


  • The restaurant in the movie specializes in creative pies.  The pies are on-screen a lot. I think I gained about three pounds just watching.
Categories: Uncategorized
  1. December 21, 2010 at 06:41 | #1

    Crikey. Was the movie labeled in any way as a special “Wal-Mart” (or “air travel”) edition?

  2. December 21, 2010 at 12:11 | #2

    I’m sorry, but I have to laugh. Not that Wal-Mart ruined a movie for you; I agree that whoever censored the movie made a major mistake (I’m not sure I’d blame the seller, though).

    I find it funny when people complain about what “Big Business” does while supporting “Big Government.”

  3. dof
    December 21, 2010 at 12:50 | #3

    ***Dave – nope, it just says “PG Sexual Content, Mature Theme”.

    David – I have to laugh at the false equivalency. Government is the corporation of the people for the management of the commons. It’s a job that needs to be done, and it is global in scale. But our government is proscribed by the First Amendment from censoring free speech. The fact that you can campaign for fewer glaciers and more Atrazine in the drinking water is evidence of that.

    As much as government has a job to do, it’s important that it not be woven into excessive alliances with big business, whose job it is to keep from harming said commons. Eisenhower warned about the “Military-Industrial Complex” that has become all too real.

    And yes, it is likely Wal-Mart censored the movie. I did some checking, so can you. Wal-Mart lavishly supports the so-called “Family Values” candidates who think Leave It To Beaver was a documentary.

    If they’d label the movie as censored, it would be perfectly all right. A selling point, even, for some of their customers.

  4. December 21, 2010 at 14:16 | #4

    Well, if you’d like to call it a false equivalency, you can, but it strikes me that you want the government to tell people what they can or cannot do in certain areas, placing trust in your fellow, elected, humanity, but you have no trust in businesses, who also have a vested interest in your good will.

    Yet, if you want to protest business, you simply stop going, while if you want to protest government, you cannot simply boycott. I think you are evidence that the general public has more power when it comes to businesses than government. If enough people protested the actions of a business, by mere abandonment it could be forced to close its doors, but if enough people protest government, either they have to wait until the next election cycle or a rebellion must be quelled.

    Two notes by the way. After seeing how courts reinterpret and argue over the various amendments, I put no more trust in government to stand up to its own rules, which it has the power to change, than I put in Wal-Mart looking out for the morality of its customers. I think you better keep an eye on your First Amendment before it disappears.

    Additionally, Eisenhower’s originally worded warning was against the “Military-Industrial-Congressional Complex“. Government’s not to be trusted either.

  5. dof
    December 21, 2010 at 21:19 | #5

    David, there you go again with that talking-point that liberals somehow “trust government”. It’s complete and utter horseapples and you do yourself no credit by making a meal of it. Government is our corporation and it has a number of regulatory mechanisms built in, including but not limited to a constitution with separation of powers and a Bill Of Rights, plus regular elections. We’re not supposed to “trust” government any more than we should trust the stockholder-held corporations that government holds accountable.

    It never was, and cannot be, a matter of trust. Power always needs charter and oversight. The charter of corporations is profit; the charter of our government is the general welfare. It doesn’t mean we trust them; it means that’s the job they exist to do and it’s up to us to make sure they do it well. I believe not in smaller or bigger government but in government that is the size it needs to be for the job, and that does that job well. Hence oversight.

    As for businesses having a vested interest in our good will, now I’m laughing. Corporations cracked that nut a long time ago; it’s called Public Relations and has as much to do with reality as orange groves have to do with polar bears.

    • December 22, 2010 at 14:10 | #6

      George, if you’re going to bring up Public Relations, remember to include government, “our corporation” as you call it, in your statement. How many commercials did I have to listen to on how the health care bill/law will benefit me?

      As for oversight, if there were real oversight, then why is our constitutional, limited government so different from what was originally founded? Because the people in charge of the oversight are those that are in charge. The Constitution says Congress has the right to declare war, so presidents decide to not declare war, just “police actions.” And what about the billions/trillions given to unelected individuals to spend to “save the economy” without oversight? And if you think it is all about the common good, what about the billions they are thinking about spending on the health care of a limited number of individuals, i.e., the 9/11 first responders? How is that the “common” good?

      The charter of the government is not our general welfare. If you read the preamble to the Constitution again, it says to promote the general welfare, not provide it.

      The problem with saying you want a government “the size it needs to be for the job” is that you then give them the power to say they need to do more. They claim they need to do more, and they need more of our money/resources to do it, and our income is no longer ours.

  6. December 23, 2010 at 03:16 | #7

    Whatever happened to all the Donations given in the weeks after 9/11? Isn’t there a fund already?

  7. dof
    December 23, 2010 at 16:35 | #8

    You keep scribbling with that crayon – “big” government = bad and so forth. Everyone! Please note that David does not like taxes. There, feel better? You must feel so lonely, since everyone else likes paying their taxes so much. Maybe there’s a support group somewhere. Oh wait, there is one; it’s called “The Tea Party”.

    Government is as good as we make it, or as bad as we allow it to become. I’m against incompetent – which is to say; “non- evidence-based” government, regardless of size or party. Letting itself become a tool of multinational corporations is hardly promoting the general welfare, but it’s the inevitable destiny of weak government.

    I’m with you on preventing presidents from miring us in wars. For what we’ve wasted in Iraq, we could have built a hell of a lot of infrastructure in this country, and the resulting employment would have suffused into our economy from the bottom up. But that isn’t the agenda of cheap-labor conservatives. It doesn’t bother them at all if a bridge falls down occasionally, or if half the population is too ignorant to have their kids vaccinated.

    I also agree with you about spending on health care for a few 9/11 responders, because if we had socialized health care, it would take care of everyone including them. Good catch.

    But in future, David, take a gander at my comment policy because the next time you threadjack or engage in other trolling behavior, I might just delete your comments.

  8. WeeDram
    December 24, 2010 at 01:57 | #9

    Yeah, Earl always pulls shite like that … I oughta know. ;)

  9. dof
    December 27, 2010 at 19:07 | #10

    It occurred to me yesterday that removing the scenes of Earl’s worst misbehavior makes the heroine seem a lot less reasonable in leaving him. Aligns nicely what a badly misaligned (which is to say; patriarchal) sense of “Family Values”.

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