Friday, August 17, 2007
...'Bout sums up my day
My antipathy for Walmart is no secret. For awhile there, it was fashionable to hate Walmart, and everyone with an ounce of social consciousness railed against it. But I can't say I hate it just to fit in with the cause du jour. Nor do I kid myself into thinking I have noble objections to unfair negotiating practices, treatment of workers overseas, deplorable wages and benefits, driving mom&pops into the ground, etc. All those can be argued, and may have merit, but in my heart of hearts, I cannot claim excessive civic conscience. (I wish I did; but I know myself enough not to claim it.) No, my reasons for avoiding the Walmart experience are more banal and self-serving.
I don't like Walmart because they build ugly buildings. Architectural ugliness offends me even, and I especially don't like big boxes when they are abandoned for bigger and better locations. Walmart embodies suburban sprawl, which is another of my pet issues. Which of course reminds me that Walmart -- despite neighborhood opposition -- wants to build a store in my back yard, literally a few hundred yards away. There's very little variety in the lines they carry; everything is driven by price-consciousness -- not style, nor individuality, nor craftsmanship, nor product knowlege -- just price. Then there's the experience of shopping there. It sucks the life out of my soul, and life is short enough without wasting large swaths of it numbly pushing a cart through Walmart.
So where did I spend $80 of my back-to-school dollars today? You guessed it. I had to come home and take a bath.