Unconnected Dots

So I was walking through Target tonight. Just sort of roaming. I needed razor blades, and they tend to be the cheapest at Target. In my head I just sort of allowed Target a pass in the anti-Walmart dogma I held onto. I was blinded by something or other, there was a real blind spot.

You see, I have railed against the box store for years. I do not buy books at Barnes and Noble, I go to Et Als books store. I do not buy music at Best Buy, I go to Inner Sleeve Records. I do not get coffee at Starbucks, I go to Jeannies. I do not wear Nike shoes. I sort of tried this life.

But honestly I failed. I engaged as a cog in the Economics of Scale. I bought the Veggie Pattie at Subway, when I fell of the wagon I went to Taco Bell. I own Fruit of the Loom underwear, and we can only assume some poor child is working for nickels a day, and making that stuff. I own a SONY stereo.

You know I hide that all in this sort of wrapped up version of the anti-corporate me. Ranting against whatever, chiding a girl I know for literally making her drive to NYC for a tour of the America’s Starbucks. I subscribe to a ton of Zine, leftie content…yadda yadda.

Vegetarian, not yet vegan. Thats me in a lump. That right there says all for me that I need to say.

Tonight I was walking around Target, and I saw they sold clarinettes. And other musicial instrumentation. I was exploring the cheap audio gear, as I have a bit of a jones for that (being a Sonic Youth fan). I called Bill, the editor of this here sheet, and he was in the middle of dinner (Sorry Bill), and he hit me with like three sentences of truth bombs. For whatever reason they hit me so hard. I think I went and sat down by the Target pharmacy.  (Yeah, don’t even get me started on the idea that those employees have oxycontin in the room)

These stores are not just benevelont forces in communities. They seek to take it all away from us. To create the service based city, where we all work there…and then we spend there. Little automatons in red aprons. Selling stuff, so later on we can afford to buy stuff.

They have CDs, books (bad books though so we still have hope), and drugs. They have co-opted the Pharmacy. And that lady in there sucks. When my brother was injured this last time they were the only ones open, it was the end of her shift…and she sucked. Sally at 29 knows my name, my brothers name, my parents names. She may not always be happy to see me, but she always pretends. This lady at Target barely gave me the instructions as she threw the bags at me.

I have been living a lie. Not shopping at Best Buy or Wal Mart is not enough. I have to actual go find the things I need for daily living. I need to buy from the producer, or at least a local person. I will not get into the media, I simply will not have that discussion…because as we know this city is not cranking out a lot of content right now.

So heres what I am looking for — and maybe you all can help me — these are some of the staples of my life:

I need razor blades. I use one of two razors, both Gilette products. Like my father, I want to make my razor my razor for life. My Dad had the same razor for my whole life. So, Gilette razor blades.

I need toilet paper.

I need paper towel.

I need lightbulbs.

I need CD-R. I go through about 100 a month.
I need Systene, and Refresh Gel Drops.

I like to buy socks on a regular basis.

Toothbrush, and toothpaste.

I like Dial soap, but again, is there a local alternative?

I need deodorant…boy do I ever.

Laundry Detergent.

So you intrepid buy local cats…where does a guy go for these things?

What about Car Repair? Sears versus the local guy?


8 responses to “Unconnected Dots

  1. I need toilet paper. Go to Downtown Grocery

    I need paper towel. Ditto

    Toothbrush, and toothpaste. Downtown Grocery

    I like Dial soap, but again, is there a local alternative? Treasure Mill on Thomas Street (by Spring Garden Restaurant) sells a locally made soap.

    I need deodorant…boy do I ever. Downtown Grocery

    Laundry Detergent. Downtown Grocery

    What about Car Repair? Go to Kemps. No unnecessary work and reasonable

  2. Okay, monday I am shopping at Downtowngrocery.com

  3. Quality Foods IGA is locally owned and operated. With the exception of a pharmacy, they probably have pretty much everything you need. Trigs’ base of operations is Rhinelander. Mills Fleet Farm hails from Appleton. Menards is from Eau Claire. All of these companies are privately held so they don’t have to please their stockholders like Walmart or Best Buy.

    Locally grown meats and produce makes good sense, but beyond that you’ll have to bend to the global economy. Gone are the days of the local blacksmith, wheelwright, and local producers for local consumers. That notion actually left in the late 1800’s with the coming of the industrial age. Nowadays I’m just happy if I can find a product made in the USA.


  4. Interesting statistic…my grandfather and father held the last blacksmith contract from the city of chicago

  5. Have to agree with Michael on this one, but will also add that most native cultures around the world had trading partners from quite a distance away. So I guess we have to pick and choose.

    I would agree with Kemps as a good auto place, although S&W Auto next to Hadley’s (another local place :-)) is my first choice. I have used local car places for the past 20 plus years with very good results.

    One direction I hope to move the blog in the direction of highlighting local people who actually make and do things and locally owned businesses, I do think this subject is very important.

  6. definately downtown grocery. They really do have everything.

  7. Check out the Small Mart Revolution, a book excerpt is posted on Alternet.org today:


    The big box stores are a drain on the local economy and your savings are not as much as you would expect compared to the local shops.


  8. I’m all over Dino-Motive (in Weston? or is it Schofield?) for car repairs. And believe me, my car spent a lot of time there this summer.

    Other than that, screw it, I’m big-box all the way.

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