Sympathy for the Devil

July 16, 2007: 10:07 PM ET

I just want to put in a word for John Mackey, the top soy dog of Whole Foods. You know him. He's the guy who eats no fat nor lean. He's Vegan. He walks the walk and talks the organic talk. And at the same time, he's been posting anti-competitive barbs on the chat boards in a fake name that is an anagram of his wife's. Okay, it's embarassing if, as the Wall Street Journal reports, he complimented his own hair. But Whole Foods (WFMI) is a pretty cool place. And what's the guy guilty of, really? How many of you are signed on right now with some kind of fake name? Probably all of you, right? Some of you are on as women who are men, I'm sure, and vice versa. Leave alone chat rooms for a minute, in which all kinds of people vent their spleens and sling all kinds of self-serving speculative mung by the minute. So-called news sources on the web are festooned with people who spew a raft of schweck out there, some of it rumor, some of it pure bile based on unnamed sources, people having fun trashing people, the angry, the otherwise mute, spilling their guts with no attribution required, just pure content, unattached from the invididual who sent it out into the cyber-shopping mall of the collective mind.

And now everybody's going to have a lot of fun laughing at John Mackey, and maybe he'll get into even worse trouble, and won't that be nice. And then we can all chat about it!

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