The Nitty Gritty

But more than all of those I am an entertainer. I carry around a ukulele with me for the same reason a gangster carries a gun; better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it. Stage or sidewalk, Your Pal Pete shows are just where they happen.
Currently, I'm working on a musical, RagnaPOP(or she's got the bomb), set to premiere at this year's Capital Fringe Festival. I'm also working on music, comedy, and musical comedy; for kids and/or adults.
The fruit of these projects will be available on this site, so check back regularly!

Thursday, December 06, 2007


The hysteria of "dangerous" Chinese toys is a bit like the last scene in the original Invasion of The Body Snatchers where the protagonist realize he's too late, THEY'RE ALREADY HERE; and they have been for decades.

I'm back working at the toy store (where I worked before I left to finish my book)for the holidays and I have a fraction of the stress that I've had in previous years. Here's a post I wrote about it last year. I put the credit to my boss, who has made sure I haven't worked too much, but also a more zen way of being. But this whole China fear has put a new wrinkle in things. The people that are concerned about it -about 3 or 4 a day- cannot be reasoned with.
Customer: "Is this dangerous!"
Co-worker: "No, besides it's for a 9-year old, they don't put stuff in their mouth."
Customer: "So that means it's OK to buy something that will poison her?!"
Stuff like that. This by no means should be read as my not caring about the welfare of children, I'm just a big fan of keeping perspective. These recalls are happening even if there could be a threat and a very small percentage of toys have been affected. It's done wonders for my TV screen time, ABC and CBS have both been in the store in the past week to shoot stories; if you see (or have seen) a bald guy ringing up toys recently, it's me.
The problem is EVERYTHING is made in China, and has been for a long time. When I worked at The Sharper Image, people would come in and ask, "What do you have that's not made in China?" and I'd say, "You're in the wrong place." The thing that people (some one!) should be concerned about as the INSANE amount of money being poured into the (Communist)Chinese economy. Do you know what happens when so much economic growth happens in a system not designed to handle it? I think we're about to find out.

But the consumer needs to understand their own role in this. For years, people have made it clear that they'll shop where the price is lowest, they're even sacrifice customer service and get packed into "big box" stores for the privilege. Have you had problems finding a certain Lego set? Thank Target and Walmart, to keep up their required stock supply and keeping prices low they move a lot of their production to Mexico. The entire first run were defective and had to all be scraped; a year and a half later, they still haven't recovered. This is merely one example of hundreds of companies being forced overseas to keep their prices down.

In a way, it's a bit like this video, just think of the American Public as the girl and Corporate America as her parents:

Corporate America:"Isn't this what you wanted? Cheap prices? What did I do wrong?"
You've found out what the Paparazzi and Catholic Priests already know: fuck with the kids, and all bets are off.

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