Friday, August 7, 2009

10 Truths You Already Suspected

Linked from SF Chronicle:

Of most interest, 9 and 10...

9) Wal-Mart is, apparently, hankering to launch a big initiative to stamp every product it sells with an eco-friendly rating label, some sort of grand, awareness-raising system to inform all Earth-conscious Wal-Mart customers -- I know, I know: oxymoron -- where every product falls on the you-are-destroying-the-planet scale. It's a rather wonderful idea that could radically transform the company's entire supply chain for the better.

Except for one thing: Wal-Mart has no plans to slap a giant label on its own bloated megastores themselves, no plans to reveal the enormous waste and
destruction Wal-Mart itself embodies merely by existing, by shipping a million
products over from sweatshops in China and Malaysia and India. Nor does it plan
to offer a Smiley-Face Local Economy Decimation rating to all those countless
small towns it's swooped into and gutted. But hey! That giant tub of HFCS-blasted caramel corn? Not all that bad for the planet. Yay!

10)
We could totally do light rail in the United States. We could totally invest in this massive, culture-altering project like it was the next man on the moon and within 20 years have this ridiculously cool, lighting-fast, super-efficient Euro-style train network connecting most major urban hubs like we were Italy and France and Japan and Disneyland all rolled into one, but with better drinks and free Wi-Fi and
superlative in-seat movies like they do on Virgin.

We could totally do it. But 50+ years of Big Auto PR bulls--t has slyly convinced us all we really can't, that no one wants it, that big dumb America loves its big dumb
open-road freedom far too much, that car culture is so embedded in our
road-trippin' nostalgia-thick psyches it can never be extricated.

Of course, Big Auto is full of crap, is now begging for table scraps, handouts,
oxygen. Who we thought we were, who we thought we had to be has essentially been a giant lie all along. Didn't you already suspect as much?