Thursday, January 17, 2013

Apologizing, digitally

The fact that this apology does not exist anywhere on paper, that it was created in TextEdit on my MacMini, then copy-and-pasted onto Blogspot, is in a major way the reason why I need to say how sorry I am it has gotten to this.

I apologize to Borders and many small, independent bookstores (except the tiny B Dalton's that used to be in all the malls, which were - let's be honest - more of an irritation for serious booklovers) for purchasing my books on True, most of them were used, and the inventory impeccable. I grew up trolling the literally dust-filled bins of used paperback palaces, some maddeningly unorganized, most with 100 copies of crap romance novels and nothing close to what I was looking for. But now they're mostly gone because of me. The fact that Barnes & Noble might not survive 2013 is my fault as well.

I apologize to now-defunct record stores - large and small. Tower Records was closing its doors in New Orleans soon after Katrina recovery was in full swing, and I was there, scouring the shelves for deep, deep, discounts, fingering the bullet holes in the corpse. I often stopped by the Virgin Megastore in Downtown Disney before it went away, more to see what new chill compilations were out, but never to buy. In hometown Tampa Bay, after following Vinyl Fever through three locations, I even stopped trolling the 99 cent used disc bins. And all of this because iTunes allows me to purchase just one beautiful track out of an entire cd that might contain utter shite.

I apologize to all of those amazing independent cinemas that have had to close their doors. The real historic movie houses, like Tampa Theatre, only hang on due to intense corporate funding. Less glamourous palaces, like the just-shuttered Beach Theatre in St. Petersburg, were snuffed out by me, cacooned at home thanks to Netflix, who slide luscious indie and foreign film into my post office box every week.

I am deeply sorry for all the many businesses that I have abandoned in my quest for efficiency, low prices, high tech and customer satisfaction. And for my sins I now live in an area where every where I look is an Amscot, a Dollar Store, a place that will pay cash for my gold (if I had any). This is the barren landscape I deserve.

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