The Truth About “Mystery Shoppers”

“Mystery shopper” has to be one of the scummiest occupations. The mystery shopper is basically a low level informant, spying on underpaid retail employees and helping big corporations enforce compliance with all kinds of pointless rules and tedious protocol (which smart employees often ignore to maintain efficiency and prioritize the achievement of broader goals.)

A typical mystery shopper review would consist of something along the lines of the following:

“The employee failed to give the official FashionMart 4 point company greeting when I entered the store. The associate also took a sip of water while at the counter and leaned on it as well while sipping the drink.”

First off, almost no one follows company guidelines to the letter and the only people who fetishize them are overpaid executive do-nothings whose time is spent dreaming them up and perhaps a few overzealous cultist true believers in retail management. The only other employees that blindly adhere to them are the natural slaves of retail who never question anything and are easily exploited like pawns.

What mystery shoppers and their nefarious puppeteers do not realize, is that they are not entitled to what they have decreed as the ideal shopping experience. Why? Since they are not genuine customers, mystery shoppers do not deserve to be treated like them. By misleading the employee as to their intentions and ultimately wasting everyone’s time, the mystery shopper is not acting in good faith. If the company demands employees that employees make genuine personal connections with shoppers (a demand which is inherently oxymoronic in itself,) this is not possible with the mystery shopper, because everything about the mystery shopper’s interactions is phony. The entire premise they present for their visit is a facade. They are there to spy on you, to trick you, to watch you, and ultimately to catch you in violation of some sacred creedo on a technicality.

An employee can often sense when someone is not genuinely interested and there are all kinds of reasons why they will be inclined to be less helpful. The mystery shopper may have a resting bitch face. They may appear like too much of a busybody. It may creepily show in their eyes that they are sizing the employee up and judging their every move. Truth be told, there are plenty of shoppers which give off such an annoying vibe, that an employee will prefer the customer would just go away, concluding that the person’s business just may not be worth the potential hassle of future customer service issues, inevitable returned merchandise, arguments over warranty, etc.

The worst part about being preyed upon by a mystery shopper though, is the lack of recourse. The employee has no opportunity to face his/her accuser and refute the mystery shopper’s claims. The report is filed, and management accepts the account provided by the mystery shopper uncritically. It doesn’t matter if the mystery shopper was grossly exaggerating, failed to take into consideration possible context or misperceived the entire course of events.

In conclusion, mystery shoppers are among the lowest forms of humanity, right down there with people who eat chips loudly in public places. Employees do not owe them anything but scorn. Retail employees have enough to juggle with in the form of genuinely shitty and irritating customers: middle-aged women that ask to speak to the manager, aging suburban wiggers attempting to shoplift, fat white men with neck tattoos and Star Wars t-shirts that talk shit because they don’t understand purchasing etiquette in the 21st century. The last thing the retail employee needs is a fake customer, whose sole purpose is to tattletale and document behaviors from the perspective of those with dubious motives and a limited understanding of the situation on the ground.

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People Who Hate Each Other Against the War

The following exchange was taken from a 2002 interview with Gore Vidal on Doug Henwood’s WBAI radio show, after Henwood brought it to Vidal’s attention that Tom Metzger was offering videos of one of Vidal’s lectures for sale on his website.

Doug Henwood: There is this long-standing, kind of right-leaning nativist critique of Empire and centralizing power. What affinities or lack of affinities
do you feel in that?

Gore Vidal: Well, look at Pat Buchanan, who borrowed a great deal from me, for “A Republic, Not an Empire.” That is what I’ve been saying for half a
century, that we’re not in the Empire business, or we should not be in
the Empire business, because we’re not very good at it, and we have so
much wrong in our own country. So there is a moment, I would suspect,
that the far-right has to have something positive to talk about, instead
of worrying about getting rid of the inferior breeds, or what they think
of as the inferior breeds. So, the anti-imperial is an interesting
thing for them to take up, ’cause I’d think they’d be on the other
side. But as many people want to join that, why not?

As Trump’s schizophrenic rhetoric continues to erratically oscillate between blunt statements in support of non-interventionist principles and random threats to attack other countries under dubious pretenses, it all seems rather surreal. One begins to wonder whether it is even possible to convince our government to act in America’s interests in any meaningful capacity. Perhaps not, but who cares? We specialize in unlikely alliances and the stubborn exploration of far-fetched possibilities here, so let’s go for one more.

As Trump contemplates engaging in further military action in Syria (and who knows where else,) I would love to see a joint AltRight / far left war protest event. The sight of people who typically spend all day trashing each other on twitter (and occasionally even physically battle each other in the streets) come together for a day of solidarity against war, would send a striking message. Instead of “Unite the Right,” or “Bash the Fash,” a rally should be held called “United Against War” or maybe even “People Who Hate Each Other Against the War.”

Many on the right would reflexively point out that the anti-war left (what remains of it) despises the AltRight with such visceral ferocity, that they could never partner with them on anything, even for a moment. “Nazis” (a term which has expanded in recent years to such an extent that it could now include just about any non self-hating white person,) we are told, are to be punched, attacked, not spoken to, and certainly not courted as allies. For their part, the far right is just as much of an obstacle to any kind of cooperation, given their inability to coordinate (even with one another) except when satirizing / ironically sniping at their own movement, usually from the anonymous peanut gallery. In my observations, the far right in the US contains a significant number of people who just cannot seem to restrain themselves in any way from being aggressive assholes, even when it comes to casual conversation. It’s also worth noting in the case of Syria, much of the AltRight is less motivated by general non-interventionist ideals. Their opposition to US involvement is rooted in their admiration of Putin and Assad as leaders. They don’t wish to stay out of the war because it’s none of our business and a waste of time. Rather, they oppose it because Russia and Syria are the “good guys” fighting our enemies (ISIS, ) while Assad “protects Christians,” “is a family man,” etc. Many AltRighters would be more than eager to launch full scale Conquistadorian invasions of sovereign countries under other circumstances. The fact remains though, a lot of people who hate each other agree that we should stay out of Syria.

Given the levels of polarization among dissidents and the divergence in motivations, you might still be asking, “What’s the point in even trying to work together on this? Why bother?” Well, because in this particular instance, it would be worth it. Getting involved in another pointless and misguided war is such a terrible idea, that it is worth preventing at almost any cost. In fact, the only way supporting wars like these make any sense at all is from the accelerationist perspective, since every new catastrophic US policy blunder serves to speed up the collapse of the US from its own weight, potentially making room for something new and improved to replace it that much sooner. I won’t support the war on that basis though, even as cynical as I am. After all, this isn’t just about us. There are other countries’ fates at stake, other people’s lives being needlessly jeopardized. Instead, I’ll keep the accelerationist contingency provision in my pocket as a cheap consolation prize, a souvenir to be admired in the eventuality of yet another misadventure.

cassandrafairbanks

On a mildly encouraging note, there does appear to be an emerging market for unlikely alliances against increased intervention in Syria. Glenn Greenwald appeared on Tucker Carlson and both seemed broadly in agreement of their skepticism of the need for the US to escalate our involvement. Cenk Uygur of The Young Turks seems to be firmly against beating the War drums for military action in Syria, as is his paranoid AltLite nemesis, Alex Jones. Could a genuine AltRight figure like Richard Spencer share a stage with a far left personality, even an Antifa or prominent SJW, to denounce the war, without the spectacle turning into a total shitshow? Would anyone agree to be part of any of it? Probably not. You never know though until you put the offer out there and see what happens. To borrow a quote from the Lawgiver’s scene in Battle for the Planet of the Apes: Who knows about the future of US foreign policy? Perhaps, only the dead.

Tulsi Gabbard 2020 (or 2024) or Whom Would Magnum P.I. Vote For?

It’s difficult to muster any enthusiasm for electoral politics. The system itself is “rigged” in the sense that overcoming the legislative and judicial obstacles to implementing change is nearly impossible, even if by chance you’re lucky enough to find a candidate that actually represents your interests, AND that candidate somehow manages to win an election by a paper thin margin. Even then there’s a good chance the politician will abandon all of his/her campaign promises (or at least the ones you were hoping would be fulfilled) the moment that person is elected and takes office. Add to that the fact that I’m a cynical individual to begin with, who thinks the US should break apart into several autonomous regions and fortified enclaves.

There is no perfect candidate, and most offer nothing at all of substance. Out of all the names being floated for a possible presidential run, there is one good candidate though. I plan to vote for Tulsi Gabbard. She’s an economic nationalist and seems less likely involve the US in pointless wars. That’s enough to earn my vote. Unlike Trump, who acts like an unpredictable wrecking ball that occasionally swings in a useful direction, Tulsi has a clear and coherent vision, even if it is at odds with mine in some other critical areas. She’s also less associated with the kind of Tumblr, SJW busybody ideology that is so prevalent in the contemporary (post 2004) Democratic party. Honestly, I would not be surprised to see her caving in to pressure from SJW lobbying groups and mobs if she were to become elected. Such forces are as heavily entrenched in the democratic party apparatus as neocons, evangelicals and corporate lobbyists are in the republican party, and if even a stubborn shitlord like Trump with nothing to lose doesn’t do much to resist them…well those are the breaks I guess. I’m still going to support Tulsi Gabbard if she runs. She’s anti-interventionist (with a view trivial, if misguided exceptions.) She’s pro-choice on abortion. She supports fair trade. She’s anti-anti-white. She supports same-sex marriage. She’s in favor of universal health care and doesn’t believe all kinds of bonkers conspiracy theories about Russia. She’s an advocate for privacy rights. There’s a lot here to like. There’s enough here to like.

At the very least, if Gabbard was president, for once we could be confident that the US might at least get something out of it.

The Stark Truth: Discussing The AltRight Implosion

Podcast is available here

Topics:

How the Alt-Right is imploding and splitting into factions
The incident with Matthew Heimbach and the disbanding of the Traditionalist Workers Party
The never ending hypocrisy of preachy Traditionalists
The implausibility of success for those re-branding as American Nationalists
The parallel SJW culture in the Alt-Right that has developed in terms of being shamed into having to publicly disavow and distance yourself from people you have disagreements with
The Class Divide on the Alt-Right
Vanguardism vs. Populism
The importance of building Alternative Institutions
How we made the right decision to move in our own directions a few years ago when we saw where the train was headed
The future of all these movements
How anonymity has largely outlived its usefulness
European Identitarianism
The Balkanization of the US; secessionist movements vs retaking America as a whole
How Trump won with economic populism and social centrism but is now basically a mainstream Republican
The Scapegoat Generation – A Half-Hearted Defense of Boomers

The Bearer of “Trad” News

One of my least favorite memes/concepts employed by the alt-right is “trad” – short for “traditional” – primarily because the concept bears so little relationship or relevance to the world that we currently live in.

If you live in a technologically modern country, your way of life is overwhelmingly likely to not even remotely resemble anything that can accurately be described as “traditional”. For a way of life to be traditional, it must must follow in the footsteps of prior generations. The Amish, for example, are one of the very few subcultures within North America, who live in a truly traditional manner. They practice a low-tech agrarian mode of subsistence, in which new technologies are only adopted very selectively and only following great deliberation. Due to the exceedingly slow pace of technological change in Amish communities, sons still lead very similar lives as their fathers and grandfathers. They have the same profession (typically a farmer or artisan), practice the same religion, and participate in similar social arrangements and events. This cannot be said by over 99% of the North American or European population. If you are reading this, your way of life is likely radically different from that of your parents, whose lives were equally different from that of their parents. This can be said, at minimum, about every generation born since the earliest periods of industrialization – and possibly before that, as agrarian societies weren’t nearly as stagnant as commonly conceived of.

 

Present societies are “intergenerationally multicultural”, in that every generation practices a different culture than the prior one. Conditions differ sufficiently between generations that each generation adapts differently to their respective circumstances. Of course, generations don’t regard each other as completely alien and unintelligible, as common practices and frames of reference do link them together. However, even shared practices differ in both subtle and dramatic ways. In North America, boomers, Gen-Xers, Millennials, and Gen-Zers all speak English, but they don’t exactly speak it identically. Accents differ and new slang is introduced with every generation, the latest of which tends to be inspired by memes originating on Internet discussion forums. All living generations use automobiles, but younger generations are more likely to forego car ownership and rely upon Lyft, Uber and various carsharing services. All generations consume media entertainment while looking at a screen. However, older generations are more likely to watch cable and network television, whereas the youngest generations play video games and watch five minute YouTube clips. Boomers still advise Millennial men to pursue women using courtship rituals that worked in the 1950s, but would likely get one branded an obsessive creepy stalker today. Millennials who happen to be employed often work in job categories that didn’t exist 50 years ago. Popular musical styles vary dramatically between generations – to the point where prior generations regard new music as unlistenable. Sexual mores have both loosened and tightened in different respects. There are far fewer settings where pursuit of sex or romance is considered appropriate – For example, the days of a lawyer or detective romantically pursuing and marrying his secretary seem to be over. However, due to the ubiquitous availability of Internet porn, even the most sexually conservative Millennials know the meanings of terms like “bukaake” and “double penetration”. The once predominant ideology of the U.S., namely American exceptionalism – has been dethroned within the course of my lifetime by progressivism, and yet older generations are oblivious to this transition. Right-wing Millennials are more likely to join the alt-right – a movement that’s arguably both post-American and globalist, despite calling itself “nationalist” – than to embrace the “respectable conservatism” of William F Buckley and the National Review.

In the above paragraph, I’m not conveying any information that the reader doesn’t already know, but my point is that those who deem themselves “trad” are not exempt from the aforementioned generational shifts. If you shitpost memes about “thots” and “Chads” on Twitter and 4chan, listen to synthwave or neofolk on YouTube, or participate in a Skype group with other “trad”-minded folk, there’s nothing about your way of life that even approximates anything traditional. No generation prior to yours has spent its free time in this manner. If you attempted to explain memeposting to your grandfather, it would strike him as every bit as alien as the culture of a Muslim, if not more so. Your daily activities are as much a manifestation of modernism as that of green-haired intersectional feminists who think broadcasting their politics on Tinder is a good way to attract a man. Furthermore, if you ever end up having children (like a good “trad” should), they are unlikely to mimic your idiosyncratic customs, as they will grow up under a different set of conditions and will regard your practices as irrelevant to their “lived experience”.

I’ve observed attempts at reconstructing lost traditions, most notably Asatru – or Germanic paganism. Given that most of our European ancestors converted to Christianity at various points during the Middle Ages, depending upon location, the practice of paganism amounts to a form of historical reenactment (e.g., LARPing), based upon mythological texts written after the Norse conversion to Christianity, incomplete historical accounts and archeological digs. A religious practice is not exactly “traditional” when neither your father, grandfather nor great-grandfather had any familiarity with it, much less if you have to rely upon a potentially faulty interpretation of scattered historical remnants to reconstruct it. Also, the children of those who practice Asatru are more likely to regard Asatru as a weird eccentricity of their right-wing hippie parents than to embrace it themselves, meaning it won’t likely transfer between generations.

Others on the right have attempted to adopt traditions that have persisted unbroken in other cultures, most notably Eastern Orthodox Christianity. Unlike Asatru, the practice of Orthodoxy has been practiced in an unbroken lineage since the formation of the church. However, it also doesn’t strike me as particularly “traditional” for Anglo-Germanic descended white Americans to convert to a religion historically practiced by Slavs and Middle Easterners, particularly when so few of their white American coethnics living in the same community are likely to follow suit. As with the children of parents who practice Asatru, the children of Orthodox Christian converts are just as likely to become atheists or Buddhists as they are to embrace what they see as their kooky right-wing Dad’s LARPy religion. In the meantime, numerous Orthodox Slavs, Armenians and Lebanese remain “Orthodox” in name, while adopting the same modern lifestyles as any secular liberal in response to the incentives generated by the modern world.

One other possible option is to invent something completely new and turn it into a tradition. However, I see this as unlikely, given the rapid pace of technological and economic change during the era in which we live. A traditional way of life is dependent upon a “steady state economy”, in which available technology and economic demands don’t vary significantly between generations. Within an agrarian, pastoral or hunter-gatherer setting, traditions serve as useful intergenerational knowledge, freeing up each generation from having to repeat the discoveries and mistakes of their predecessors. Under such circumstances, traditions conducive to survival and reproduction tend to persist and proliferate, while those that don’t tend to be discorded – or kill off or reduce the numbers of those who practice them. In an industrial or post-industrial economy, all traditions end up discarded, as the practices useful to one generation don’t necessarily impart practices useful to the next. The demands required to make a living, find friends and attract a mate can change so rapidly that any given set of customs can be rendered obsolete within a decade. It is certainly possible that industrial society could collapse even in our lifetimes, but those born during this period will adopt a very different culture than ours. Furthermore, we will most certainly die before the world once again reaches a steady state economy that persists between generations.

If we actually were able to experience a traditional way of life in a small community under a steady state economy, what makes us so certain that we’d actually like it? We are not psychologically adapted to such an environment. Regardless of how “traditional” or “right-wing” one might think of themself as, each of us grew up in an atmosphere of material comfort, overstimulation and hedonism, and I haven’t witnessed a single person completely sever their addiction to it. We like comfort and convenience, digital entertainment, easy access to sex, urban anonymity, plentiful mood-altering substances, the ability to video chat with friends from other continents, vacations to remote locales, Lyft rides home when drunk, etc. Hedonism by itself is of course insufficient to make us feel satisfied, and when taken to excess, it can lead to self-destruction. Many people do find themselves uninspired and depressed by the softness of the modern world, but they generally respond not by abandoning it entirely, but by adopting surrogate challenges or mini-struggles to counter-balance it. They will take up rock climbing, crossfit, boxing, mountain biking, hiking, bushcrafting, etc, which allows them to experience a psychological state approximating pre-modern struggle for a brief period of time, before returning to their modern apartment – with packages just delivered from Amazon Prime waiting in a locker in the lobby (accessible by code delivered via text to their smartphone).

My intention is not to impart the message, “Change is inevitable, therefore it’s good, therefore embrace all of it in its entirety”. However, I don’t think we have any choice but to recognize that our identity is inescapably modern. Traditions don’t have much to offer us, hence why they long ceased to propagate themselves. Our way of life is new and bears little resemblance to those who preceded us. However, we must recognize that not every behavior that the modern world permits or encourages is to our advantage. It’s in our interest to engage with the modern world selectively, and we can only inform our decisions by observing the fallout of other peoples’ and our own bad decisions. While it would be more efficient to inherit the practices and customs of our predecessors, this is not an option in a world characterized by accelerated economic and technological change. Each generation must perpetually reinvent their culture, retaining only the practices of prior generations that prove themselves beneficial, while discarding the remainder and replacing them with something new. Our best option is to adopt an orientation of selective futurism, while purging the word “traditional” from our vocabulary. It doesn’t exist and will never exist in our lifetime.

Decay blogs at https://decay123321.wordpress.com/

Rose McGowan – “Hateful” in a Flash

Rose McGowan got heckled by some insane transwoman the other day, and the video went viral. Apparently this was because McGowan had made some “transphobic” comments in an interview with RuPaul. Basically, Rose talked about how transwomen were different than other women because they didn’t have the same biological experiences (like periods, etc.) As these were obviously empirically true statements, I suppose it’s not surprising they caused such outrage. Of course transwomen are not the same as biological women. For one thing, they are born with penises. So that’s one difference right there. Anyone could have learned this much by simply watching Kindergarten Cop.

I mean how dumb/insane do you have to be to go after someone like Rose McGowan because she “doesn’t do enough for transwomen” or whatever. Even the great-hearted among us can only politely entertain this kind of stupidity with a straight face for so long.

In all honesty, this is exactly the kind of thing that pushes people over the edge. You go through life walking on eggshells, careful to be respectful and not offend others, but you discover it’s never enough. So you just stop caring and even begin to take pleasure in offending them. Others who haven’t had quite reached their breaking point yet (some perhaps never will) wonder how you can say such “insensitive,” and “hurtful” things. but they don’t realize how you’ve come to be desensitized. Tell people enough times that they are racist/sexist/transphobic no matter what they say or do, and they will eventually decide it’s not worth trying to appease the unappeasable. This doesn’t mean they will subsequently go out of their way to be huge assholes to everyone, but they might very well stop caring so much if sharing their honest opinion or joke causes people to think they’re huge assholes. Rose McGowan’s not there yet. She’s still under the illusion that there’s a place for “white feminists” within the intersectional community. There isn’t really. These people will never accept them as their own, and the behavioral demands and speech parameters will only get more unreasonable as time goes on.

Admittedly, I haven’t seen too many of Rose McGowan’s movies. I vaguely remember watching The Doom Generation, but since I watched it at a girl’s house with a few friends on some random night in 1997, I wasn’t really paying attention. It seemed like a movie that was trying too hard to seem hip and edgy. Rose also had a small role in the movie Encino Man, which I never realized until I noticed it in her Wikipedia (it’s been a long time since I’ve seen the movie.) Perhaps, in the case of Encino Man was just too preoccupied with Megan Ward, who had already left a lasting impression on my psyche with her demonic mirror seduction scene in Amityville 1992: It’s About Time. Oh, and I forgot that McGowan had a supporting role in Scream also, where she gets killed while trying to escape through a doggy door.

The only real Rose McGowan centric film I’ve seen in its entirety is Devil in the Flesh, a throwaway direct-to-video “erotic” thriller from 1998 where McGowan plays,a psycho teenage girl who becomes infatuated with her teacher and tries to murder his fiancee (after successfully killing several other people.) I recall being highly annoyed with this film as a young man, because it did not deliver any payoffs on the sexual tension building up in the plot. It fell clearly into the “more tease than sleaze” category. People who make these kinds of erotic thriller movies need to realize that the viewers aren’t rooting for the good guys (or the bad guys for that matter.) They’re rooting for sex scenes to happen involving the most physically attractive characters in the movie, prefaced by an underlying sexual tension within the context of a forbidden premise. The viewer wants to see the teacher succumb to his psycho student’s advances (after resisting at first.) The viewer doesn’t care about him being a good guy and saving the day by rescuing his cheesy fiancee. Not in this kind of movie anyway. As a side note, in the sequel Devil in the Flesh II (this time starring Jodi Lyn O’Keefe) the girl does manage to successfully seduce her teacher, (albeit with the same predictably disappointing ending) so in this sense it is the superior film.

Fast forward 20 years and these days McGowan has a shaved head because she no longer wants to be seen as a “sex object.” It might seem strange coming from someone who wrote the paragraphs above, but I can’t say that I blame her really. Even average everyday girls get hit on or have to fend off creeps in pretty much any situation where human interaction can possibly occur. I can only imagine that for an actress with a public image as a sex symbol, this kind of attention would be amplified to unimaginable levels. At some point a girl may want to be noticed for something else, anything else. Not only that, but McGowan herself has (allegedly) been subjected to actual abuse by Harvey Weinstein and probably a few others as well.

So she’s a hardcore feminist activist now and an icon. Good for her I suppose. As a cynical, somewhat apathetic guy I find her interviews painful to watch, with all the excessive, misplaced self-aggrandizement and melodramatic talk about “bravery,” “revolutions” etc. It all comes across really awkward and delusional to anyone outside of her own head. It is also pretty lame to use “Brave” as the title of your autobiographical book about yourself. Still, I can’t bring myself to dislike her. For all her bombastic bluster, she still seems like a nice girl and a sincere person. This is a girl that had a rough time and went through some bad stuff and just wants to break free of all the bullshit. Anyone that displays an ability to stop giving a fuck about conforming to groupthink on any level always has the potential to go further, even if they ultimately choose to just embrace a bunch of other dumb stuff instead.