If You’re Boycotting Whole Foods You’re a Mark


The above hausfrau is Jackie Sheeler, an older woman stuck in her punk phase. She’s an awful poet who’s in an awful band that she promotes on awful websites and her YouTube channel of course. She’s also one of those teary-eyed lefties boycotting Whole Foods because the guy who helped found it apparently disagrees with her. Like many lefty hipsters she brooks no dissent and made one of the most unintentionally hilarious videos ever to be posted on the Internet entitled “Fuck You, John Mackey” in which she yells at a man who will never know who she is and actually breaks down into tears in places. I was going to embed it but after some critical comments on her page (my own comment was quite tame I assure you) she not only disabled comments, but disabled embedding as well.

You know, because a woman shouting profanities into a camera aimed at supporting a boycott designed to destroy some guy’s livelihood just because they happen to disagree on a social policy shouldn’t have to have her ideas challenged.

Besides being awfully thin skinned for a 50-something “punker” and “poet” (and we’ll use both terms very loosely) who must surely receive criticism all the time, Jackie Sheeler’s video also reveals something I think is far worse than her general awfulness in the fields of poetry, music, blogging and mature behavior. She’s a mark.

Some of you may not know what a mark is but those of you who are familiar with “rasslin” or worked as a carny will know that a mark is a sucker. But marks aren’t just any suckers. Marks are a special kind of sucker who does the work for you, they con themselves. The best definition of what a mark is comes from the infamous 1996 Brian Pillman promo in Philadelphia wherein after giving the fans some “inside baseball” remarks about the management in different wrestling promotions he tells the cheering crowd:

“A mark is a guy who spends his last $20 on crack cocaine. A mark is a guy who believes O.J. didn’t do it. And a mark is each and every one of you sorry sons of fucking bitches

At which point the offended crowd did what marks do, which is yell and scream at this person who “betrayed” them. I’ll let the causal observer draw whatever parallels they will. Brian Pillman was an improvisational genius at little bits of theater like this because he understood the essence of the mark, especially the so called “smart mark” who knows wrestling is staged and thinks himself better than fans who don’t. Even though he pays the same price for tickets.

Marks think they’re special. They think they are in on some joke or secret with you even though they aren’t, and they think it makes them better than other people who “don’t get it” which is exactly the attitude that makes it easy to get them angry at a show, or get them to throw away money on traveling carny games they know are rigged, or get them to pay a couple of dollars more for grapes at a Whole Foods which basically charges customers a “cool” premium to shop there. Marks do these things because they think, on some level, they’re connected to who or whatever it is they’re opening their wallets, hearts or legs for.

It’s well known that con artists never target people who know they’re dumb, but people who think they’re smart. A good con plays on the arrogance and pretensions of a mark, it makes them feel good. Here’s a comment from a long time Whole Foods customer (now boycotter) I found on the Whole Foods forum which sums up how all marks think, and why they will never catch a break:

 So for every poster/commenter here that says “I will now shop at WholeFoods” I have a couple of things to say. NO YOU WON’T! First you don’t live close enough to an urban center that has a WholeFoods store. Secondly – you are not the type of customer that WholeFoods caters to – their base of customers that HAVE disposable income, care about where their food comes from and are world-aware, progressive, liberal. In other words – you will continue to shop for your sodas, white bread and bags ‘o junk from the local quickie mart. This is a blow to WholeFoods regular, consistent, healthy, open-minded base of customers. I will NOT be spending the very considerable amount of cash that I have spent FOR YEARS and YEARS at WholeFoods any longer. Fortunately I have several choices and I care about where my dollars go. Good luck with that strategy Mr. Mackey! I’ve know fools in my life – I’m just sayin’…

Yes, yes, there’s a special grocery store for special people just like you. Complete with faux velvet ropes and a guest list printed on recycled paper.

Whole Foods has milked these suckers for years, with their organic this and gluten free that and the whole time they were taking their money Whole Foods was laying out a nice BBQ spread and serving up some of the best pre-prepared London Broil you’ll ever eat, which should have clued all these “progressives” into the fact that maybe some red meat eating regular Americans were crashing their party. Whole Foods never told any of these marks that they were their ideological soul mates, they simply built a combination health food/high end grocery store chain which had broad based appeal. Hell, I shop there every once and a while because I love their black cherry chicken wings.

But part of the Whole Foods strategy has been to let people like the commenter above and Jackie Sheeler think they belonged to some sort of special club. If Sheeler and the boycotters seem less like dismayed consumers and more like jilted lovers that’s because in essence they are. Whole Foods threw them a wink and a knowing smile and Sheeler and company gave it up like a the last barfly left at closing time. Now it’s the next morning and Sheeler just woke up and found Whole Foods on the phone making plans to meet some Libertarian and it’s hit her that she wasn’t so special after all.

That’s what the Whole Food boycott is about. Reality is hitting these marks in the face and they don’t like it. They paid higher prices to go to Whole Foods because it was “their” store, full of people who preferred to be around them and made them feel special. They thought John Mackey created his chain of grocery stores because he loved them, and now they realize Mackey just wanted to make a little money. Unwittingly, John Mackey wrote an op-ed that is the equivalent of Pillman’s “each and every one of you” speech. At least that’s how people like Sheeler are hearing it. And now that they’ve been exposed they’re embarrassed, angry and reacting as only marks can.

The lesson all these angry “progressives” should be taking away from this is to not be a mark. Bartenders don’t really think you’re interesting, strippers aren’t going to go home with you and Whole Foods is just a supermarket chain looking to turn a fast buck. There are plenty of people who will play along with whatever fantasy you’ve created when it pays off for them. Instead of getting mad about that you could simply stop creating those fantasies. That’s what I would do, but I’m not a mark.

If you’re a mark boycotting Whole Foods have fun, but this won’t be the last time you get your panties in a bunch. After Whole Foods it’ll be The Gap or Progressive insurance or even, I don’t know, your precious Obama.  What I do know is that if you put so much of yourself into things that are ultimately unimportant to everyone but you, you’re always going to be disappointed. But it isn’t the John Mackeys of the world that are disappointing you, it’s you.

10 thoughts on “If You’re Boycotting Whole Foods You’re a Mark

  1. Sooo…. I read through Mackey’s piece and I actually don’t see it as a slap in the face. I mean, he’s right. If people take care of themselves, they’re less likely to have most of the problems American’s have today. How is that a slap in the face when it’s common sense?

    Hell, if I’m having trouble finding a job after my baby is born (I’m in one of the hardest-hit states), I may just go apply for one at Whole Foods (it won’t pay nearly what I was used to making while working, but I bet the hours would be more flexible, the benefits sound great… maybe even better than what we get through my husband’s job, and I’d get a discount… I happen to be a huge fan of their honey teriyaki wings!) I know someone who worked there for a time and he quite enjoyed it.

    Does asking “where is the common sense?” make me a bad Liberal? Oh well…

    BTW, Rob, the husband and I watched an episode of “Penn & Teller: Bullshit” about “Organic Foods” that I thought you’d get a chuckle out of. (Seriously, the hippie couple in it alone is worth the watch.)

  2. Exactly my point. Mackey is a Libertarian, he promoted a libertarian idea, so where’s all the outrage coming from? Hurt feelings because these “liberals” are really just elitists whose feelings were hurt when someone they built a fantasy around disagreed with them.

  3. DodiaFae, Whole Foods has been on Fortune’s “Best Companies to Work For” list every year since they started compiling the list more than a decade ago. You could do much, much worse than a job at Whole Foods. Several years ago I saw a John Stossel piece on the health care benefits offered by Whole Foods, and frankly, I’ve been impressed ever since. Their plan is generous, but at the same time, it’s fiscally sensible and encourages personal responsibility.

    And to answer your question, looking for common sense might make you a bad liberal, but it makes you a good citizen with an open mind and that’s more important.

  4. Damn you Rob Taylor. That’s 3 minutes and 27 seconds of my life I will never get back. LOL…what a psycho woman.

    I confess, I used to shop at Whole Foods when I worked in Ann Arbor but couldn’t afford it that often. My husband and I joke about it now. As much as I liked John Mackey’s piece, I just can’t bring myself to shop at the store in Ann Arbor (or A2 as the locals call it – puke) because of the smug in the air. Good for him though (even if he didn’t mean to piss off the left).

  5. Forgot to mention that I checked the comments on that link you provided to the Whole Foods site. What stereotypical nonsense! In my 20s, I worked at a health food store called Good Food Co. that was the size of your average Whole Foods, and many of the people who came in were conservative Christians.

    They believed that eating healthy was part of keeping the body as a temple to God which I believe is mentioned in the Bible. I’m sure there are all types who shop at Whole Foods, not just people who wear their progressiveness on their T-shirts.

  6. OK, so even far-left Mark Morford agrees on the point of it being silly to boycott Whole Foods… though he doesn’t agree with Mackey, at least he did a bit of research before he flipped out about it. He also made an interesting comment in his article:

    “Whole Foods ain’t exactly a tiny hemp-n’-beans farmer’s market by the side of the road and anyone who can afford to shop there is, it’s safe to assume, largely immune to the health care woes of the 47 million uninsured Americans who are currently loading up their carts with orange soda, Coors Light and liquid cheese over at Safeway and FoodCo and Walmart.”

    I think the most important part of that sentence is the last part… Hello! If you’re loading up your cart with orange soda, Coors Light, and liquid cheese, that’s a large part of your health problems right there, and I think it’s part of the point that Mackey was trying to make. Eat some freekin’ vegetables, for crying out loud!

    This is what I mean… no common sense… no personal responsibility for their own health. And I know people who eat like this and who feed their children like this (hopefully sans the Coors). And I believe that most of the children these days who are diagnosed with ADD/ADHD actually suffer from poor diet and sleep patterns (as do many physicians.) Not to mention the obesity problems the children of this country face.

    There are a ton of common ailments (and ADD/ADHD diagnosis are becoming increasingly more common) that can be fixed with proper diet, and it’s cheaper and healthier in the long run than taking all the drugs that would be prescribed for them otherwise.

    Trish, I skipped the crazy woman clip… I just couldn’t be bothered. x^p

    Also, many of the Whole Foods stores I’ve shopped at (there are a large number of them where I used to live and work, and a couple here, too) had a large number of the Jewish community shopping there… there was one largely Jewish city nearby (where the closest WF to where I lived was located) that even had double carriages for those who keep Kosher (so it was explained to me) to make it easier to keep foods separate.

    On the plus side, I have noticed that many other supermarkets (as Mark Morford pointed out) have followed suit and have started selling organic foods, even created their own organic store brands. Some of it is a bit less expensive than it would be at WF, some not so much (I know that soy milk and rice milk, for example, are cheaper at WF than at my local supermarket… you can even get discounts at WF if you buy certain items by the case (but you have to ask a store clerk for help… they’ll get you a case from the stock room.)

  7. ARG… I really need to start reading through my comments a little better before submitting…

    My comment about the diets and sleep patterns of children causing behavioral problems… I meant it to say that physicians agree, not that physicians suffer the same problems.

    Sorry about that.

  8. I agree and more importantly the elitism of the writers and boycotters, who think poor people just can’t eat right (so they clearly need them to help) is unbelievable. Last I saw they sold vegetables and fruit in Safeway.

  9. This woman is deranged. Just look at her. These are the kinds of people responsible for turning the US into a hell hole. No, its not as bad yet as most other places in the world, but it will get there in time. Not even the Left can ruin things that fast. But if left unchecked, this is exactly the kind of moron that will make the act of abortion tantamount to a mercy killing. Who would want to live, let alone raise a kid, in a world run by these jackasses.

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