Ralphs Fresh Unfair

Jesus Juice from Ralphs
Jesus Juice from Ralphs

Christmas can be a difficult time for those of us who are not Christians and who do not celebrate it. As a result, each year, something invariably causes me to have a Christmas Gripe. Yesterday evening, I found my CG for this year, at my local Ralphs supermarket.

There are two types of Christmas music that Ralphs could have chosen to play. They could have chosen the non-denominational type, which includes Santa, Jingle Bells, sleighs, and the like. Or they could have chosen the heavy-handed religious type, including lyrics along the lines of “Jesus is our Lord and our King.” Unfortunately, Ralphs has chosen the latter. It’s no fun to be pounded with these specific religious messages while strolling Ralphs’ aisles. And given the large number of Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus, atheists, agnostics, and other non-Christians in our area, I doubt I’m the only one who feels this way.

Now, I’m sure some people would tell me just to get over it and bite the bullet each December. Or perhaps I should look for the humor and irony in it all, such as the thought of many right wing Evangelicals worshipping one of the most radical left wing Jewish activists of all time.

But I find it hard to turn the other cheek. As I noted in an email to Ralphs corporate headquarters, during these few weeks of the year where we promote thoughtfulness towards others, Ralphs’ musical selections seem rather thoughtless.

31 thoughts on “Ralphs Fresh Unfair”

  1. As an atheist I can sympathize. But the fun thing about being an atheist is that you can sample from all the holiday traditions without actually believing in any of them. The key is to have fun with it and try not to give a shit, which I admit is difficult when you’ve got Bing Crosby singing the Latin version of “O Come All Ye Faithful” in your ear. I agree that Ralph’s should know better, but then again, my Ralph’s has exactly a quarter of an aisle dedicated to making sure that all the world’s culinary cultures are represented. Their message is clearly “We don’t give a rat’s ass what kind of silly hat you wear. Just buy your crap and get the hell out.”

    We compensated for our feelings of holiday cultural isolation by making multicultural Christmas cookies. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Christmas Cthulhu, Herschel the Hanukkah Hippo, and Kwanzaaceratops.

  2. Get over it, I too an an atheist from birth, but given that Ralphs is a private company and you have choices, they choose to play whatever they want. If they want to play Minor Threat so be it, I think I would be the only one shopping there, but it’s their store and there aren’t any laws (that I am aware of) that prohibit certain styles of music, although I am sure there could be a case made for one with this happy-go-lawsuit country we have.

  3. Anonymous, I love the funny image of you shopping alone, bopping to Minor Threat. But I have to raise the Straw Man Alert as to the latter part of your comment. I said nothing about laws or lawsuits. I agree that this is purely a consumer matter regarding a company. There’s often a difference between what one has the right to do, and what’s right to do. Since I have given thousands of my dollars to this company, I let them know know my displeasure with their choice in this case, and will respond accordingly in the free marketplace.

  4. You definitely have the right to voice your opinion, I would do the same if something offended me, so we are alike in that, but I also would stop shopping there and go somewhere else. Our only power is to spend our money wisely and with companies we agree with since we have choices. Good luck and if you get a response from Ralphs, I am sure we would all like to hear about it.

  5. @anonymous, If I stopped shopping everywhere that offended me with stupid music, I’d never buy anything in stores & spend my whole life buying bulk paper towels and celery via the internet.

  6. The only thing more annoying than a recently converted christian is an “enlightened” self-righteous atheist. As much as I like your posts, Matt (thanks for the great tip about the 5-guys burgers by IKEA)You’re really just being a whiner here.

    Let Ralph celebrate his saviors birth and knock back some Rumplmintz if it helps you get through the tedium of holiday season grocery procurement. After all, they’re gonna be nailing his butt to a cross in a few months and you know what that means – Chocolate Jesus Bunnies! Till then, its just music, dude. Get over it.

  7. Additionally, this atheist enjoys some holiday music–less the Holly Jolly shit & more of Handel’s Messiah and “Hark the Herald Angels Sing.” Weird, I know. All I’m pissed about this holiday is that I lost The Little Drummer Boy Game a week ago.

  8. I’m a pastafarian and totally enjoy the spirit of Christmas, the joyful sharing and caring that goes on. I have to agree I like the generic holiday songs better than the religious ones as I’m not to fond of having anyones belief system thrust upon me. (This from 8 years of Catholic school followed with CCD).

  9. Hmm, I never said I was an atheist. And no one’s ever accused me of being enlightened, LOL! But I have wondered for years why there are no chocolate Jesuses. According to the old saying, religion is the opiate of the masses. But everyone knows that chocolate is the true opiate of the masses. Religion is maybe number two. Maybe number three, after celebrity gossip. So why not really use chocolate to sell religion? I think a chocolate Jesus could be the biggest-selling consumer item of all time. Bigger than the iPhone. Bigger than Prozac. I think I’ll suggest it to Ralphs.

  10. Ok, here’s the email response from the Kroger co.:

    “Thank you for contacting us to share your views concerning the importance of the holiday music playing in the store.

    It is important that our stores reflect the diversity of our customers, associates and society. This is true throughout the year, including the December holidays. We always want every customer and associate to feel welcomed and appreciated. As a result, we use a variety of holiday music in our stores. It is not our intentions to offend any of our customers.

    Thank you for giving us the opportunity to respond. Please accept our wishes for a happy and peaceful Christmas season”

    I guess I’ll have to listen more closely for that Kwanzaa, Chinese New Year, and other diverse holiday music that they’re playing throughout the year.

  11. The notion of simply taking your business elsewhere because Ralph’s has the right to do whatever they want is pretty poorly-thought-out. Issues like this are why companies have customer service departments.

    Kudos for telling them your thoughts.

  12. I agree with Kevin – I think it’s important that companies get this kind of feedback, so kudos.

    Also, Kevin: Christmas Cthulhu is probably the greatest idea in the history of cookies.

  13. A blogger bitching and complaining about the most mundane thing that happened to offend him (not so unique i guess). What set me off about this post is that the author wrote a letter to the company about how offended he was. This is unbelievable coming from a blog that still uses the term “tard” to refer to people it considers stupid (talk about offensive). Dude, get over it and find something interesting to write about to your readers, don’t be a douche-bag-tard sitting at home writing complaint letters and then blogging about it.

  14. This is by far the most silliest, narrow-minded post I’ve ever read on Metblogs.

    Honestly…griping about religious songs during the Christmas holidays.

    And yet liberals smirk when “right wing Evangelicals” complain about the ongoing “War on Christmas”.


  15. I happen to agree with the “take my business elsewhere” philosophy. Usually it is limited to just shitty service or product with no attempt to resolve even after I raised my hand and did a police “excuse me”. Its usually the big chain stores where I have the problem that can’t be resolved, the small locally owned stores tend to be a lot nicer to deal with when there is a problem.

  16. @really blogger:

    You are right on. This is the most vapid blog post in recent memory. I think what local metrobloggers like Mr. Mason need to ask themselves before they post is “What does this have to do with LA?” because your navel is just not interesting.

  17. Personally I’m offended that my Friday Night Lights posts were obviously not given the consideration they’re due. Not only from a questionable “What does this have to do with LA?” perspective, but they’ve totally got Matt’s post walloped in terms of vapidity and mundanity.

    Despite such a snub I nominate “really blogger,” libertad and RogerDodger to the LA Metblogs Editrollial Board to better ensure future posts will conform to their gracelessly rigorous standards of excellence.

  18. ^
    @ WIll Campbell:

    It’s LA Metblog, not ME-blog.

    Graceless is the use of “tard” – as in retard – to describe stupidity. The editorial board will be taking that up at our next meeting.

  19. I look forward to a report on the outcome of that meeting, lib. But I suspect it will mostly be about a motion made and seconded to continue to fixate and dwell on Metbloggers’ past, present and future use of “tard.”

  20. Good stuff, as always. @la_michele you get that offended by the music in so many places you shop, maybe it’s you and not the stores. Try going to one of the other dozen food related stores to get your goods, but I guess you can’t find those Red Hot Tina Buritos you like so much anywhere but Ralphs. @Kevin, short sighted, again I didn’t say not to write the stores, that is something I do if I feel strongly enough, but for you to continue to spend your hard earned money in the store that doesn’t respect you is ridiculous. You are probably the same guy who spends money on unneeded items like heart shaped ice cube trays at Ikea. Again the only real influencing power we have, unless you own Ralphs, is to stop shopping there.

  21. Woooo!!

    Will Campbell may have just lost the “whineist blogger” chocolate medallion to Matt!! :)

    This post was seriously Will Campbell territory Matt!

  22. I don’t know that I have ever even noticed music playing in Ralphs. I am usually in such a hurry and so annoyed by other shoppers that I couldn’t care less what music is playing.

  23. What was I saying about this being the most thoughtful time of the year? Peace everyone, and happy holidays.

  24. @anonymous–

    I *know*, right?! Those burritos RAWK! But yeah, I get offended the second I step out the door, so I have to keep a lawyer on retainer to sue the driveway for causing me mental anguish.

  25. I’m Jewish, and I’d much rather hear religious Christmas music than the sappy winter-themed stuff that most places play. If you’re celebrating Christmas, then celebrate it.

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