Saturday, December 1, 2012

The Shopping Planet.

(Photo by Thomas Phillipi.)

It is a hundred years in the future. Whale-Mart has grown so big that now it rules the planet, in a benevolent, halcyon world of production and consumption. Wars are scheduled on a seasonal basis, with the clockwork precision of a clearance or white sale. That old stock simply must be liquidated. With accelerating climate change, and the long-term effects of high levels of toxic constituents in a fragile ecosystem, Whale-Mart is the only international corpus with the power to effect change. But, can they do it at a profit? And is it their job? Do they even have the right to impose moral choices on the ignorant masses of humanity? 

Besides, Whale-Mart is a big account to the ad boys. They have the power to survive the end of the world, and management has taken steps to ensure the succession. What good is it if no one survives to buy the merchandise? In a world of automation, robots buying products and services from other robots may be the solution to the company’s woes. Whale-Mart doesn’t even need human beings to remain a profitable, forward-looking company, poised to take advantage of changing opportunities in an agile marketplace. Perhaps the reader would like to buy shares in the company. Think of your children’s financial prospects. A little money never hurt anyone. Don’t worry about the future. Factories will continue to hum; shipping containers will continue to cross the sea, trucks will still move on our roads. Whale-Mart will still have the best prices in town, which is inhabited by no one but little machines, designed with obsolescence in mind in order to continue production of widgets and grapple-grommets. Whale-Mart continues to provide strong leadership in a challenging and growing marketplace.

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