Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Breaking with the Bad

No items in this picture were purchased through an on-line sweatshop
 although they are fine examples of my impeccable taste in objets d'art

Speaking of morality and ethics, comes now the news that Jeff Bezos has bought the venerable Washington Post, a fact about which I care not a bean.*

I don't.  Why should I?

But I do care, somewhat, about Amazon, which made Jeff Bezos rich enough to buy a major newspaper with what is, to him anyway, pocket change.  I care about Amazon because where once I was thrilled at the idea of a massive bookstore available at a click, I now prefer Powell's for the truly obscure stuff I can't easily find; though I should probably go with The Strand Bookstore, since I've been there and I know it's not a huge warehouse of a place.  Go with what you know, right?

Which is why I prefer the bookstore where once I worked because it's locally owned, literally a "mom 'n' pop" (though the owner would kill me for saying that, lovely mother of two that she is) from whom I buy as much as possible.  And they can usually find everything, including the obscure, out of print stuff.

But why do I really hate Amazon?

Sweatshops.  Amazon runs sweatshops.  As Alec MacGillis notes at The New Republic:

Fun fact uncovered by the Morning Call in Allentown, Pa. two years ago: Instead of paying for air-conditioning at some Pennsylvania warehouses, Amazon had just stationed paramedics outside to take the inevitably heat-stressed workers to the hospital.
So, literally:  sweatshops. Here's the articles at Morning Call, if you're interested.  Lovely.  When can I order another copy of a book I can get at my local bookseller?  Hey, free shipping!  It's so worth it!

No; sorry; it isn't.  I have ordered the odd item from Amazon, now and again.  Even though I comfort myself that what I've bought lately is from other retailers, using Amazon as a marketplace, and so maybe avoiding the infamous Dickensian conditions of the warehouses; my money still supports that enterprise.

Not anymore.  Nah gonna do it.

Besides, I've got enough useless crap in the house as it is.

Can't say for certain where this came from, but it is a fine example of why I don't need anymore unnecessary plastic objects in the house.  Or objects of any composition.

*And if news reports had led you to believe, as they did me, that the WaPo had always been the property of the Graham family....naah.

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