MEDIA WATCH: District 299 does it again... From soft pore cornography to Wal-Mart ads

A few weeks ago, some of us at Substance chortled when District 299, a blog sponsored by the Chicago Tribune, supposedly covering Chicago's public schools, carried an ad for some orgies — or something like it — at the Excalibar Club in Chicago. From porn to economic pornography, let's hear it for the Chicago blog that covers the Chicago schools from Brooklyn.

The Walmart ad at District 299 helps Walmart put pressure on Chicago aldermen. Walmart is an enemy of unions and public schools. We visit District 299 every couple of days to see what's up, although most of our staff have avoided commenting there since they went over to the scab Chicago Tribune. But on June 21, 2010, their Wal Mart button sort of took the cake. A few weeks ago, a friend of ours from New York mentioned that he had bumped into the District 299 blogger at a New York City party. Only the Chicago Tribune could pretend that Chicago's public schools can be covered from Brooklyn. But that's the way corporate propaganda is being organized and sprayed across the world today. It's better to know a few corporate narratives, a one liner or two, and then repeat them over and over.

The interesting thing about the Tribune featuring that Wal Mart ad (how much does that cost) is that it advises going to the Wal Mart propaganda center -- and to "311." Are they really going to try and spam the "311" number with Wal Mart propaganda?

The sellout aldermen and preachers (never leave out the preachers at times like this) who are spouting the Wal Mart line about "jobs" are the same types who told the slaves what a nasty person Nat Turner was ("crazy..." etc.) or how Harriet Tubman couldn't even write (my God! she'd never have gotten into "Teach for the Confederacy" to save Alabama's public schools) -- or how John Brown was, after all,


This nonsense never chances, just the names of the propagandists and the pay they receive. "Gone with the Wind" and "Birth of a Nation" were much better pieces of propaganda for that iteration of corporate capitalist rule, but District 299 and the preacher patronage crew are doing their part for the early 21st Century, so let's now and then give them their due.


June 21, 2010 at 8:43 AM

By: chgotchr

District 299 is a wasteland

The blog was worth well something at an earlier time, but now there's no there there.

June 21, 2010 at 11:41 AM

By: John Whitfield

Be a union organizer

If you are "caught dead" in a Wal Mart,

make sure you ask that person that greets people at the door if he (she) is the union organizer, and after they say no, tell him(her) that you were wanting to talk to the union organizer.

And if you are in such a place, and there is a big shot manager talking to a group of employees huddled around, find the right moment to suggest something like: "And don't forget to join the union, to get better pay and benefits." Neeless to say, some employees will crack a smile, while the big shot manager may post a frown.

Lets organize damn it !

June 21, 2010 at 12:17 PM

By: George N. Schmidt

Wal Mart...

I'm afraid a guerilla spasm at the entrance to a Wal Mart is not my taste. As people who follow Substance know, we believe it's necessary to have at least a bit of a strategic plan (which requires a strategic objective) before jumping in. That's as true for union organizing as it is for any other worthwhile activity. Spontaneity only goes so far and lasts so long. You can't build a working class movement on great songs and some spasms of resistance. Sustained is what it takes.

While I have great respect for John Brown, my reading of history was that it took Sherman's Army (and Thomas's, and Grants, and lots of others) to even begin to abolish slavery. And then staying there to complete the job (which after 1876 was not done).

Hopefully, the organizing will be a little more strategic than a shout out to some desperate greeter, who is only standing there smiling because capitalism has undermined his hope for a comfortable "golden years."

June 21, 2010 at 6:42 PM

By: Dan Priest


One of the biggest problems working today is "union" Wake up people. Unions are past history. Look at outsourcing done today to get around overpriced union labor. Since when is it alright to set out at $11.03 or work at $9.55. Unions will be the death of the US

June 22, 2010 at 2:36 PM

By: Chris


Dear Dan:

"Unions will be the death of the US" -are you kidding ,Dan?

The slow death of the US economy started when our technologies were given to China and our industries started move out of the country.

Unions have nothing to do with.

We have no choice -we are forced to use our power we still have to protect dignity and job security.Fighting the corruption and attack on our labor should be our priorities.

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