Thou Shalt Not Listen to Sarah



“Is it wrong to steal a loaf of bread to feed your starving family? Well, suppose you got a large starving family. Is it wrong to steal a truckload of bread to feed them? And, what if your family don't like bread? They like... cigarettes? Now, what if instead of giving them away, you sold them at a price that was practically giving them away. Would that be a crime, Bart?”

As funny as this line from the Simpsons is, like most great jokes, it carriers a deeper moral message. Namely - you can delude yourself in countless ways why stealing from some evil corporation or faceless conglomerate is okay, but you and I both know that stealing is wrong.

Would the Bible lie? If you said yes, then you are going to Hell. And you can say hello to all the other thieves burning down there who thought that the cookie they ate (and didn't pay for) while waiting for their Boca burger in the cafeteria wasn't a sin.

I may be exaggerating for effect, but how can we bitch and moan about corrupt corporations and evil multinationals who rip off everybody, then turn around and somehow justify stealing from them? Example: Walmart was involved in multiple legal fiascos involving under-paid and mistreated illegal immigrants. In essence, Walmart was stealing from these people: stealing their time and dignity, and by underpaying them, stealing their money.

This comparison doesn't end there. A few years ago I was shopping at “Wulmart” (no connection to Walmart), and had a small bag of bulk nuts. I was a bit peckish, so I dipped into the bag of nuts, but much to my chagrin, they were stale. Well, I wasn't going to buy stale nuts (ahem), so I left the bag on a shelf and continued shopping. When I got to the check out, just as I was about to pay, a man came up behind me and said, “and you'll be paying three dollars for those nuts.” I was flabbergasted. Turns out he was a store detective who had been on my trail the whole time. His hunch paid off, and he made the bust. I protested, but my cries of  stale nuts fell on deaf ears. Even after the manager became involved,  they would not back down, citing “hundreds of thousands in lost profits from this kind of theft”.

Whether or not that was true, I'll never know. But it forced me to evaluate my position. How can I claim moral superiority to Walmart, or uh, Wulmart, when I am guilty, even a little bit, of sharing their line of thinking?

The real way to “stick it to the man” is to boycott their overpriced garbage. It’s no act of protest to sneak cookies and coffee, it’s just sneaky. The only thing more despicable than a thief is a two-bit, yellow-bellied petty thief. By not fraternizing Aramark you would be sending a much louder message, and by stealing, you are just giving them an excuse to gouge students even further.

Even Jesus looks the other way when you are stealing to feed your starving family, but just like Fat Tony’s faulty logic, stealing from the cafeteria is never out of necessity You can afford University, you can afford to eat, and if your wallet’s a little thin, pack a lunch. Big corporations are thieves, we all know it, so don't sink to their level. You'll feel much better about your stale nuts.

//Mike Kennedy
A Great Jazz Musician

Enjoy it? Share this on Facebook


© 2011 The Capilano Courier. phone: 604.984.4949 fax: 604.984.1787 email: