Walmart's Greatest Hits... Or Maybe Not (NSFW)
Growing up in Pearland, Craig's Hlist didn't know anything was inherently wrong with Walmart. We didn't see it as trashy. How could a place where we got baseball cards and metal magazines every Saturday be trashy?
But when we got older and heard the tales of Walmart's wrongful business practices and treating employees unfairly in our law classes, we started feeling weird about stumbling in drunk on a Friday night to buy five-dollar DVDs and cases of ice cream drumsticks.
That and the checkout lines are always 12 customers deep at any time of day.
The past few months Houston has been in a tizzy over the notion of Walmart moving into the Heights, right around Washington Avenue and - weirdly enough - Dirt Bar. Inner-Loopers have been screaming and picketing ever since the idea was even brought up. The deal has all but gone through, much to the chagrin of almost everyone.
As we got older, CHL noticed that Walmart didn't sell albums we saw in other chain stores - the ones with the cool "Parental Advisory" stickers, which immediately make you want them more when you are a kid. The sticker lets you know that it contains things that could get you in trouble, be it language or artwork.
The store only sells edited music, although some older albums have slipped through the cracks, like older Metallica and whatnot. Artwork gets edited too. CHL would always save our money for a trip to the mall or, say, Target to get our profane music like Marilyn Manson and Nine Inch Nails. Apparently you can get newer NIN releases at Walmart now, but no Manson.
When Puff Daddy & The Family's No Way Out came out in 1997, it was missing a handful of songs. Biggie's Life After Death that same year was pared down to a single album. Curses that couldn't be avoided were chopped and screwed backwards so you could make them out. Kids today buying Lady Gaga's The Fame Monster don't know that she is a "free bitch," they just think that she is free. Bull-ish, right?
On the opposite end of the spectrum, some bands do allow their work to be edited, so kids in far-flung areas away from "cool" record stores, can get a hold of their albums. In 1994, Nirvana's "Rape Me" from In Utero was retitled "Waif Me." The back cover was also cleaned up to hide the dead fetuses.
This was all done with the approval of Kurt Cobain and Krist Novoselic, who remembered what is was like to not be able to get your favorite artists' albums in a small town.
The best part about all of this is that Walmart still sells super-violent director's cuts of major films and uncut versions of adult comedies in their stores. You can watch someone's eyeball get melted out of their skull with a blowtorch but you can't hear a song about vagina.
Also, you can get Blink-182's Enema Of The State with porn star Janine on the cover. CHL once heard from an older boy about the things she does in her movies, and immediately sent ourselves to church camp.
We came up with a list of albums you will never find on Walmart's shelves, even if you can grab a copy of Jackass: Number 2, in which Chris Pontius drinks horse semen, a few feet away. And Death Proof, where you can watch a carload of women get decimated by Kurt Russell's four-wheeled death machine.
It's definitely NSFW: Not safe for Walmart. Probably not safe for work, either.