Thursday, September 13, 2007

Speaking of My Home Town...

Arghhhh, I hate to start thinking about "the holidays" already but, they are coming rapidly once again. This brings to mind a situation that we have created for ourselves. We all want our goods for cheap, the cheaper the better, right ? Well, not necessarily so.

I remember the days when shopping downtown was the thing to do, then, I witnessed the death of downtown with the advent of the mall with all our favorite stores under one roof and a constant weather situation.

Now, it's the big box store that sells us crap from China and other regions unknown.

I still remember the smells and atmosphere of multi-story department stores such as H.P. King where you were waited on, hand and foot. Your Boy Scout supplies and uniforms were handled right there with it's own special counter.
I know things change...
Downtown is coming back to life but, primarily antique shops own the landscape now days.
The anti big box crowd has been around a while. I recently saw the film "Walmart-The High Cost of Low Prices." I just can't feel right about going back there after that. ( yes, I have shopped at the Wally World before. )
I never realized the cost to us as tax payers before. ( see first image above )
Do you know how much WE are paying to cover the medical insurance of
Wally World employees ?
So, I have decided to, not only NOT shop there, but to begin a campaign here at home to positively effect the bottom line for the small, independent retailer.
Holston Hardware has been around as long as I recall but, they are fighting for their life, as all
independents are. I intend to approach them and ask for their thoughts on ways to improve this situation. I am thinking of making a printed pledge for folks to sign locally. Bumper stickers, etc.
Of course, with my discipline issues, thinking along these lines may be the farthest I get without help. I think I will start a poll here on this blog to see how many people can / will make that leap. ( if they haven't already )
Wallmart-The High Cost of Low Prices is available cheap.
Robert Greenwald has made a series of highly recommended
documentaries that everyone should see.
He makes these films without thought of personal profit.
I own 8 of them so far and I wish I could get friends to gather
and watch them. ( not all at the same time, of course )
Can you travel back in time to a simpler, less materialistic and commercial holiday season?
Can I ?
What do YOU think ?

1 comment:

sp8cemunky said...

This is a really important topic. I will help you any way I can from here...I think I have some links I can pass on at least.

For the past couple years, we have made a conscious effort to do all our Christmas shopping at locally owned businesses. It has been SO much more pleasant shopping that way. The gifts are better quality usually, it points people to the businesses and I feel better about my purchases.
I haven't shopped at WalMart in years. I'm not guiltless though, because my in laws shop for stuff for us there all the time-ugh! Diapers, those sorts of things for the kids.
There has been a good thread on another arts group I frequent and theres been an excellent discussion about consumerism in general and how our current disposable culture had led us astray.
We don't need planned obsolescence in our products, concepts like that.
Our crises of energy and pollution and everything else depressing won't resolve until we start getting the average American to care and demand change with the way they spend their dollars.