Thursday, June 5, 2008

Day Two - Plenty of Social Dilemmas on the Horizon

Hey Extraterrestrials:

It's been brought to my attention that there are two major events on the horizon. These being: a)Hilary Clinton has conceded to the inevitable and b)Lakers/Celtics epic battle for NBA supremacy resumes today after a 21 year hiatus. Which one plays on my mind more? Hmmm...let's see...I'll put it this way, I won't be losing sleep over the elections.

Other matters of planetary importance:
Since I'm contributing thoughts to the universe, it seems these thoughts ought to fall more into the positive and uplifting category rather than the negative and destructive. Of course this may change daily. Tomorrow I may feel like blowing everything the fuck up.

I'll start with the challenge:
Like a spreading fungous, it seems no matter where you go there are signs of an attempt by the corporate superpowers to takeover and homogenize our way of life. Blatantly obvious are the areas of restaurants (e.g. Applebees, TGIF, Cracker Barrel), clothing stores (Kohls, TJ Maxx), general merchandise (Wal Mart, Target), and sporting goods (Dicks). Less obvious are the attempts to control our food source by placing patents on seed technology, effectively putting the squeeze on our nation's farmers to fall in line with this corporate mentality. The single purpose behind these corporate pirates are to suck us hardworking folk into handing over our hard earned cash for inferior quality goods, with fewer choices for stuff that we never really needed in the first place.

The good news is...
There seems to be a growing awareness of the need to counter this invasion with a determination to keep local business strong; even if it means paying a bit more for the things necessary to our survival. There's a dedicated resistance to the homogenization of our country as seen in local food co-ops, restaurants and coffee houses (brewing up excellent blends of fair trade beans I might add), among other things. The push toward locally grown organic produce and other grocery items is becoming more widespread as well (check out the 100 mile diet gaining in popularity around the continent at I'm fortunate enough to live in a place with a positive, pro-active attitude toward local business and healthy living. Downtown Bloomington still maintains its community atmosphere with many local merchants digging in and holding on (curse you Panda Express and Dunkin' Doughnuts) despite being sandwiched between corporate strip malls on both the east and west sides of town. I'm sure there are many other cities and towns around the country that are doing just the same, willing to fight to keep their identity.

Keep this in mind next time you decide to drive through a Starbucks for your morning caffeine jolt or think that an 89 cent beefy burrito is a suitable option for lunch. Isn't there another place owned by locals you could patronize that would serve you up something even better?

Hee Haw


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