Dead Man Shopping by Joe Bageant

—Stonewall Jackson prays for retail sales in the lost potpourri zone

(CONSUMER WARNING: This essay contains no rant material.)

By Joe Bageant

Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and the engine of job creation.
—Ronald Reagan

I never met a small businessman yet who didn’t have one finger up his ass and the other on the scales.
—Mad Dog Howard

Like many older married men, I’d rather have my fingernails pulled out with heated pliers than go with my wife to an allegedly cultural event, which in our still quite Southern town of Winchester, Virginia, usually means attending yet another local history or genealogy lecture. And I’d rather have the late Uday Hussein personally administer the ball shockers to me than attend one of our town’s many commercial events such as First Night, First Friday, or any “celebration of” (pick your own noun) such as Winchester’s spring festival of the apple blossom, downtown days, historic main street or any of the other thinly masked events which I call “Chamber of Commerce coordinated purchasing opportunities.” Continue reading