Another mega retailer has been brought down by rapid man-made economic climate change, and I couldn’t be happier.
Well, okay, that’s an exaggeration, I could be happier.
I feel bad for the numerous employees of that will be without jobs. I feel very bad about that, actually. It’s really difficult weather for job hunting.
The landscape is over-hunted; the oceans are overfished, and the movie set-style economy that had the whole country overspending and overborrowing has collapsed.
Jobs have migrated to other shores, with better resources and friendlier climates. Jobs are small and nimble things, mammalian when compared to the dinosaur size mega-corporations that eat too much and share too little.
The jobs left not because we asked too much of employers, like most conservatives will argue, but because we didn’t ask enough.
We let the mega fauna eat all the resources, while we retreated into fantasies of instant fame and fortune.
Just like a movie set, for most of the nineties and the oughts the country looked decked out, well-lit, and solid, but it was a facade.
We were living on a movie set--all of us--while large scale conglomerates became larger and greedier, outgrowing the avarice of any individual. And that’s the problem. We’re still trying to blame people like Rupert Murdoch, and Dick Cheney, and George W. Bush, when these are just bit players in a much larger drama.
And that drama is very, very old.
It’s the story of the accumulation of advantages. For a while competition is fierce, the playing field almost level. And then someone or something, usually propelled by chance, comes out ahead, and that lead produces greater advantages, and more wins, and greater losses for everyone else.
Pretty soon, the game isn’t a game anymore: it’s a rout. And the winners get greedier and greedier, and the losers have two choices: lose touch with reality and retreat into fantasy, or lose touch with civility and overturn the system.
It’s clear which way the United States is going: hello American Idol, goodbye American Dream.
In ecology there is a word for systems that have exhausted themselves: it’s called a tipping point.
On the other side is an irreversible slide into entropy.
A pretty glum picture I know, but I paint it in order to explain my glee that Borders has passed into extinction.
Mega bookstores are no different than any other mega-corporation. Just because they peddle books doesn’t mean they’re not in it for the money. Maybe if Borders is gone, Barnes & Noble will be next.
And if that happens, then in the compost that gathers afterwards, perhaps small independent sellers will shoot up out of the waste.
Perhaps in the death of these large booksellers, smaller and more nimble sellers will flourish, and bookstores will become various and beautiful again, rather than bloated and flat.