Supermarkets are evil.
That is a fact. They conspire with their convienienceness and buying power to trap us all into a false sense of worth making us fat, apathetic and unwittingly unethical. They must be stopped before it is too late….But maybe it is already too late! Parsnip vending malnutricious community killers!
I am old enough to remember a time when supermarkets were nought but shops of novelty value and people shopped in several shops. If you wanted meat? – go to the butcher; veg? – the greengrocer; fish? – the fish monger; parsnips? – well you’re on your own with that one…and so on. Then came the supermarkets….A case in point is the urban village, Woolton, in which I grew up in. I’ve mentioned this before and I’ll mention it again. When I was a young ‘un the village I lived in had at least 2 butchers, a fishmonger, several green grocers and a little co-op selling whatever else you couldn’t get. There existed a shopping centre about a mile away on a “new” estate , Belle Vale, (I say new but the estate was already at least ten years old and falling apart at the seams) The shopping center had two supermarkets, Tescos, which most Brits will remember and Cordon Bleu, which was a kind of new idea where there would be loads of chest freezers containing ready meals and frozen goods. [Frozen goods were still kind of new…not many people had freezers as they were still quite expensive and people tended to have small fridges with iceboxes] The center also had butchers, bakers, fishmongers, greengrocers, a Woolworths, clothes shops and the like. [Belle Vale Shopping centre now has a huge newly built Morrisons (Tescos having gone up market now and moved to new premises), a Wilkinsons hardware kind of thing, several clothing outlets for Chavsters, smelly pasty shops selling smelly pasties, a scruffy newsagent (plenty of top shelf material) and a few pov shops for those who have no shame about buying frozen Chilli con Carne containing 20% “meat” of undisclosed origin, factory farmed frozen possibly unfit for human/cat/mammal consumption carcasses and other completely unhealthy 10% fat free foodstuffs.)]. People would shop in different shops. They would take their time spend time chatting to the shop keepers and other shoppers. Life was rosy and pleasant.
As time passed, a new supermarket, Sainsburys, opened in the village. This was the villages death knell. Within a few years the butchers had closed, the fishmongers converted into a travel agents, greengrocers into estate agents and Chavpalaces, the Co-Op had a brief life as a Toy shop but was turned into a bar for those who know the landlord (if you don’t know the landlord don’t expect good service). The village, on its knees, turned round a few years later and offered its already bleeding anus toward the supermarket behemoth that is Tesco for a final stab at corporate rape.
I hate supermarkets. I hate their wide aisles, shopper psychology tricks, the gaunt soulless staff, the insipid ready meals and prepacked foods, the corporate greed and faux happy face. If possible I will avoid them. Yeah I’ll admit that I have been in them on purpose. I’ll also confess that until recently I would go into them without any gripe or groan. But not anymore. I feel like I am a sleeper that has awoken to the lies and deception that supermarkets feed. The most recent time before last I awoke from my stupor, I noticed the tricks that they use so you buy unnecessary things, I saw how they coax you into “Somehow popping in for a couple of things and leaving with an entire shopping trolley”, I watched as bored husbands followed their soulless wives through the clothes section and how impatient mums chastised their bored convenience food demanding brats who were chirping like cuckoos for worms. I observed how they skilfully place healthy food next to “really bad for you” convenience goods. How they price to the point of extortion the healthy options forcing those who cannot afford it to buy shitty fatty foods.
Then on closer inspection of the foodstuffs in the aisles the “ooh that cake looks nice” transformed into “No that cake is full of fat and will kill you”, the “oooh I really fancy that” transmogrified into “How much salt? Ye Gads! Thats the equivalent of a weeks reccomended fat intake!” the spell from the Asphodel of temptation that is Tescos had failed to work on me and in one painful hour I had realised more than they would normally allow without proclaiming that I was a weirdo and having me discredited in the local press.
So I have tried for the past few weeks to avoid the evil demon of convenience. Tried my damn hardest. Shopping in the farm shop and attempting to subsist on a diet of farm shop meat and veg. The farm shop is a pleasant enough place. Open Tuesday to Sunday 10am until 6pm. Selling meat from its own back yard (literally), local food such as honey from local bee keepers, black pudding from local black pudding factories, sausages and bacon from an independent local sausage and bacon maker, jams and local veg and fruit (though I’lll confess I haven’t seen many Banana trees in Halewood). Alas they sell not bread (milk comes via the milk man). But the environment is a happy one. The owners are always glad to chat. You can see next Sundays roast lolloping in the field behind the shop. Its such a difference.
Having time off last week allowed me to shop locally. I managed to shop in a proper butchers (admittedly just for sausages), I got fish from the Fish van (this is a van that sells locally caught fish) and had I had time I would no doubt have popped into the local bakers and got some fresh bread. Again I had a revelation. Why hadnt I been to these shops before?
I’ll tell you….
They shut at 5.
I finish work at 5.
The last thing I want to do on a Saturday is shop.
Supermarkets have us by the balls of convenience. Open 24hrs. Never running out of goods. Everything under one roof. With a handy car park so you can do your more convenient monthly shop instead of running round several shops. You think to yourself that you dont have far to walk because you are only going into one shop. LIES! you have exactly the same amount of foot work to do as you shove your trolley soullessly round the building while having your ears assaulted by piped musak.
They know that working people are unable to make it to independent retailers.
They know that they have the buying power to out sell their competitors.
They know that they will always have a devout following of accolytes bend on stuffing themselves with tasteless convenience.
They know that their conveniently supplied out of season stocks of fruit and veg will sell. Knowing that the people buying them dont give two fucks about the amount of polution the transport of such produces.
And when all the local shops have closed and been converted into luxury flats/trendy bars/estate agents. When all the village and town markets have been abandoned and turned into outlets for stolen goods, bric-a-brac and tat. The value for money side of supermarkets will no longer be apparent. We will have no other retailer to compare to other than other supermarkets. We will have no refuge from their demonic “Eat me/Drink me” subliminal advertising and we will all become soulless zombies pushing trolleys laden with overpriced undernutritional processed food.
I’d go on…with a poll….but the local shop shuts in a bit……and I haven’t got time…