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.