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6/28/11

The Politics Behind July 4th in this Town (and much much more)

If a post were ever to get me sued or whacked, this would be it.

You see, this town more or less lives and dies by one central corporation, and the corporation lives and dies by the man in charge.

This town, to me, seems like it's run by Melaleuca.

Melaleuca is a MLM business centered on tea-tree oil, and all-natural eco-friendly products.  Think of it like a 'greener' Amway.  Well, it's based in this town, and it plays as the cornerstone of the local economy.

The man in charge is Frank Vandersloot.  Depending on who you ask, he is one of the most loved (or reviled) men in this town.

Why?

Well, the local baseball team plays at Melaleuca Field.

The annual fireworks show is sponsored by Melaleuca (and they like to remind you as often as possible).

Most of the top radio stations in the area are owned by Mr. V.

Melaleuca buys full-page spreads in the local paper whenever they wish to share their message with the world.

In recent elections, Melaleuca bought ad time on television and radio to make fun of the candidates they didn't like, even though some major bending of the rules were made (link, and it's a doozie)

In a nutshell, from the point of view of someone that's relatively new to the area, Melaleuca owns this town, and probably a good chunk of Eastern Idaho.

I guess when you have the money, you can more or less make the rules.  You don't like the kind of music they're playing on the radio?  Buy the radio stations.  

Don't agree with a development project?  Spend as much money as you need to in order to thwart your opponents.

It goes into the "If I had enough money to do whatever I want, what would I do?" mentality.  Would I try to have the entire community under MY thumb like he appears to be doing?  I don't know.

I personally don't like the company because I don't like the guy who is running it.  If you want to be influential in your community, there are more noble ways of doing it than buying as much of the town as you can.  I have my religious and political beliefs too, but if I had millions to burn I still wouldn't impose my values on others as Mr. V seems to do.

If I were sponsoring events, sports teams, or just being philanthropic in general, I wouldn't do it with such a "LOOK AT ME, AREN'T I GENEROUS???" attitude.

It's almost like they want you to worship them.  Oh glorious and generous Melaleuca, if I pray to you will you provide?  If I drink your koolaid, will you shelter me?  Death to the non-believers!!

I'm spouting off my opinions to you in a way he does to others, but I'm not simply saying "believe what I say because I'm saying it."  Look at this piece from a local news station, and see if he gives you bad vibes as well...


Don't sue me, oh righteous and all-powerful Melaleuca.  I'm poor.

So this 4th, I'm not sure what I want to do.  Sure, fireworks are nice, but by watching the show I feel like I'm supporting the Evil Empire, or validating their causes by showing them I appreciate it when they 'give back to the community.'  In my eyes, those fireworks come with a price, and not just the Chinese child-labor factories from whence they came.
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32 witty retorts:

Pickleope said...

That dude gives me the heebee jeebies. Like he'll buy a baby just to eat it and take its youthful powers (allegedly). Have you explored the wonders of sparklers?

JamieGraham09 said...

haha nice post :P

singedwingangel said...

I once was a distributor for Melaleuca. That didn't take long for me to reconsider. I have an issue with one thing being suitable to use to brush my teeth and clean my floor.. so that business was quickly scrapped. I am glad I didn't get that into it.

Zombie said...

Hope you dont get sued there man. lol.

Lady Estrogen said...

Wow - that's crazy! I thought those types of people were only in the mooovies! lol

Boycotting the fireworks would be like boycotting MacDonalds... sadly.

Charlene said...

He won't stand up and run for an office because he'd no longer have his power working "for" the people. This is an example of a daddy influence!

This happens all the time elsewhere in the country but it's not as easily pinned to an individual. It's a corporation or an industry using their "employee count" to push a local government around.

Lost.in.Idaho said...

I think Charlene hit the nail on the head. In politics there are checks and balances. One person can't have total authoritative power, so that could be why he's not interested. He'd have to play by someone else's rules...

And damn, Lady E. You hit the nail on the head. It's like boycotting one gas station for a day. Flies on a windshield...

Whiskey Girl said...

I bet he has a little penis.

Smart Ass Sara said...

So essentially, it seems that because his retort of the Post Register didn't have hoards of people clapping and cheering for HIS point of view, he's just going to buy up everything and spew it forth anyways and hope people are none the wiser? Props to the Post Register for not backing down from their story, though. People like this really need to get a grip on reality. Jeez.

Bart said...

get drunk and mack on bitches :D

AllenTesch said...

You won't get sued, you'll just disappear.

RedHeadRob said...

Start up a little community based firework thing, just for the neighborhood at first, just not on the same day.

That's how you fight back slowly!

Annabelle said...

Holy Shit!

He's Brad Wesley.

You are LIVING in the movie Roadhouse.

You should become a cooler (NOT A BOUNCER) and totally save the town one bar fight at a time.

A Beer for the Shower said...

Vandersloot is the perfect name for a cartoon villain. Something a la Rocky and Bullwinkle or thereabouts.

Melanie said...

That sucks, because sometimes you just want to kick back with a snow cone and watch some good fireworks and not have to be all political.

Alphabeta said...

He gonna shut you down!

A little road trip for 4th of July evening perhaps?

Mooner Johnson said...

Hi-dee-ho. Isn't that the guy who killed that Holloway girl? Looks like prison was tough on him. He's creepy.

Is your town where Whatsamatta U is located?

The Simple Dude said...

It's interesting to read more about that conmpany and the dude in charge.

Melaleuca sponsored a big event (Memorial Day fireworks ironically) that happened a couple years while I was working in radio. We were the media partner promoting the event so we were only involved with Melaleuca on a fringe basis, but I do remember them being a big pain in the arse.

SD
www.TheSimpleDude.com

The Empress said...

Having one person with the ability to pull all of the strings equates to a dictatorship. Not good.

tamezisclutch said...

nice posy hope you don't get sued. follow

Astronomy Pirate said...

He seems a bit like a control freak. I dunno how I would feel about that. Also, the video quality of that news story was terrible. Are they still using the same equipment from the early 90s?

Mustang Sally said...

Looks like Anabelle may be right ... He is Brad Wesley.

If I were mega rich I probably would be spending money to try to influence things I was passionate about. However there is a difference in trying to influence and taking over.

For instance, I can see buying "a" radio station, but not all of them so that what "I" wanted kept what others wanted from being said or played.

We used to have laws about monopolies, before the corporate takeover. Why do we, as a people, allow this?

Adsila said...

Ha ha, he does sound like a cartoon villain, like Snidley Whiplash.

DIYgamer said...

your posts are always entertaining to read :P

Azurikai said...

interesting view on what 4th of July is really about.

E said...

Okay being a resident of the same said community I am going to chime in... Not sure how much of that stuff is made in China since there are a couple big plants around here - neither here nor there.

The big stink occured last year when the 4th landed on Sunday. Meleluca being the sponser set it up for Saturday. There was another group claiming that he was pushing religious beliefs or whatever. It has always been moved when the fourth landed on Sunday. The national fireworks last year were on a Monday.

I don't know how you get on as an employee at that company its mostly who you know with one part nepotism thrown in. They keep students at BYU-I employed and I almost think you have to graduate from there to get a good job at that company.

Lost.in.Idaho said...

@E - Hail + Head = You

I know someone that works in the trenches there. He's LDS, and high enough in the food chain to notice you need to be "in the good ol' boy's club" in order to get a high-paying, high-ranking position there.

Or maybe it's just a coincidence that they all went to BYU, got married in the temple, go to the same ward, etc? Yeah, probably just a coincidence...

As for the 4th last year, California celebrates the 4th on the 4th. The end. If other communities, states, or the national scene want to move it a day to keep Sunday holy, it doesn't bother me too much. I just don't like the whole "this show is for you, BECAUSE WE CARE" message. Isn't that the first stage of brainwashing? Getting the victims to love and trust you?

Aaron M. Gipson said...

I know so many people who got roped into that Meleluca thing in the 90s. And to be honest, I thought that they had gone belly up long ago. But what do you know? That big spiderweb money making method of ruining your friendships actually had a face behind it. Yeah. I would be right exactly where you are as far as knowing how much power that guy had in your town.

Who would ever known that Idaho had its own version of the Koch brothers...

Lori Dyan said...

Umm....that's not who you think it is. That's Tom Cruise in Tropic Thunder. Seriously, have you seen him dance?

Lori Dyan said...

Umm....that's not who you think it is. That's Tom Cruise in Tropic Thunder. Seriously, have you seen him dance?

Squatlo said...

Gee, Brandon, what have you got against Mr. Potter? The guy is just Mr. Potter from "It's a Wonderful Life", only they don't call the town Vanderslootville.

Watching the vid I was torn between agreeing with his semi-righteous attitude about streams and forests, but then a little distraught that he's fighting a wind farm that might supplant a smoke belching coal-fired power plant, or a nuke facility.

People with unlimited resourses who live in sparsely populated rural states can pretty much control the media, the law, and the people who live there.

Careful you don't get on his bad side.

Thank, Q said...

You'd better hope he doesn't have "Grizz" on his payroll! I think certain states all have that one person who put his/her name on absolutely everything. I think it is an ego thing because if not, their name would never come up.

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