We’re the ones who created him
Yann Girard
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Where do you buy your stuff? At that big chain or the local store

You mean the big chain store that employs a hundred or so people who all live in your town? Who all live in your town, and pay rents or mortgages in your town? Who then (hopefully) patronize other stores in your town?

Who, because of their size can better weather a bad month? Or six months? Who allows their employees to buy shares in the company directly, thereby sharing in the company’s fortunes?

Yeah, there’s Wal-Mart but there’s also Publix. Size does not determine morality.

What kind of products do you buy? The ones from the underdog or from that global corporation?

You mean the global corporation that also supports ethical sourcing? The one that treats its employees well and makes a profit?

Size does not determine morality. There’s Whole Foods, but there’s also Costco.

What books do you pay money for? That indie author or that best selling author?

Both. I pay for all my art, unlike, it seems like most folks who will work for hours to find free downloads rather than minutes and a few dollars because information wants to be free.

Then they complain about how artists are not valued.

Nor do I shun an artist because they have achieved success. Instead, I feel good about their success, and hope that my support, via buying their work or recommending them to others helped with that success.

Success does not diminish the artist, it is people like you doing that with essays like this. It is your attitude that forced JK Rowling to use a pseudonym to write a non-Potter book. That statement reflects on you, not the author, the singer, the songwriter. Taylor Swift is an artist as much as Joni Mitchell is an artist. Janet Jackson’s success did not make her art less worthy than Nina Simone’s. All four of them are to be celebrated.

It is you who creates that difference, not the artist.

Furthermore…

How many times have you shunned local physical stores because they require such great inconveniences like leaving the house, and instead bought from Amazon, a company that will never do anything for your community unless you live in Seattle or they have a warehouse in your community, wherein they will treat their workers worse than a bad day at Wal-Mart.

How many times have you shunned your local stores, regardless of size and ordered from a company whose stated goal is the utter decimation of in-person retail just because actually taking the time to go shopping is too much of a drain on your valued time.

Borders and indie bookstores coexisted for decades. Amazon did all that damage, driven by people spouting this same kind of bullshit. Wal-Mart does its share of damage to smaller outfits, but they don’t constantly win. Publix, Aldi, and Wegmans are proof of that, as are hundreds of smaller businesses that survived. But even Wal-Mart does more for the communities it is in than the gem of the tech/entrepeneur eye, Amazon.

In my town, there was a great theater that played the odd releases that you couldn’t see in the big chains, the AMCs, the Regals. I went once every couple months. Liked it a lot. But not enough people went so they folded. Their last day in business, there was this idiotic “SAVE THE THEATER” thing and the parking lot was crowded, the theater was packed, and it was ultimately stupid and lazy because none of those people had set foot in that place in years. They didn’t care about it until it was gone. Now it’s a Whole Foods. That’s what this essay reminds me of.

When the only stores you can go to are fast-food places, Amazon will have won, and it will be people like you who both worked diligently to give them that victory and decried the decimation of the local community that was just too much work to actually go out in.

You want to help your local community? Accept a little inconvenience and say no to Amazon more often.

You won’t. Because you’re an entrepeneur and your time is just too valuable to waste going places and waiting in line. So when you notice that the only place you can buy things from is Amazon, do the rest of us a favor: shut up about it. It’s what you wanted, after all.

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