Unlike our professors, the corporate world responds to nothing less than the affirmation of a green exchange, however persuading the comment cards may be. I can just see it, “Yes I am the head comment card representative, and that feedback I receive makes revolutionary amendments within our corporation so keep those comments coming.”They don’t care if your food was cold or if you worked two weeks to purchase the denims they have marked up 350 percent, just as long as you contribute to another one of their business lunches with excessive caviar and heavily aged wine. But the thing is, we blindly bow our heads in acquiescence to these rising monopolies while slowly terminating the last righteous faucet of consumerism, independent markets.Our city is blending itself into the national spectrum. The same signs are repeated only two miles apart and the same specials are run from California to New York. The repetition is embarrassing. Solely in Columbus, how many Starbucks can we actually situate within our municipal bounds? (Ironically their theme color is green.) If just five of those locations could be replaced into the hands of independent merchants, bringing with them the intimacy of Victorian’s Midnight Cafe, the rugged attitude of Bernie’s, or communal sociability of Coffee Table, we would have a coffee shop for virtually every mood and personality possible. Yet groups such as Campus Partners are on a mission to aid this city in becoming a clone of every other city across the nation, but they aren’t the only ones to blame. As public consumers we religiously funnel our money into these concentrated power pools. By contributing our money to Pizza Hut instead of Flying Pizza or to Bruegger’s instead of Beekman’s we are canceling power from locality, essentially ourselves, and concentrating it onto a dangerously small populous of “Not So Good Men.” The more contributions, the more power this small group accumulates, which only allows them to concern less with opposing opinion or the respectability of ethics and more upon the ambition of revenue. If anyone has seen, “The Source” you will know that in California, Gap has placed Jack Kerouac upon billboards to show that “he wears Khakis too.” Gap has disturbingly transmuted the idea of Kerouac as an artist, and modified him into a marketing tactic. This only demonstrates the corporate neurosis with profit, while at the same time unveiling the complete lack of regard for anything that may deter from this objective. Personally, I enjoy the originality and flavor of small-scaled establishments as opposed to the cold culture and rigid regiment of corporate policy. Consequently, I find more respect to be placed within the individuals of the small business world, who believe that power still may reside within common hands. In turn I’d like to believe that they are right, so I don’t go pumping my money into crushing this belief. It may be a small contribution, but that small contribution will go a lot further in the hands of independent business than it will in a corporate statistics book. At least I can unarguably purpose that it goes toward a more ideal design.
Lisa Bhungalia is a senior majoring in English from Springboro, Oh.