October 29, 2016

Flotsam & Jetsam

Sam Smith - Your editor wasted the better part of a Maine afternoon looking for a small screen TV to replace a broken one. A seventeen mile drive to the nearest Walmart found only big ones. Across the highway at Radio Shack I was told they weren't selling them any more. So I went about twenty miles to the east to Sears, the store where I used to buy everything including my suits, and their former large television section had nothing but beds in it. "We don't sell TV anymore," I was told. Judging from the number of cars outside they don't sell that much of anything anymore.

I lucked out at a second Walmart down the road but can anyone tell me what's happening. Does this have anything to do with Hillary Clinton's emails?


vemene said...

I suspect it reflects the general bifurcation of the display screen market into giant home theater and phone/tablet/laptop viewing habits. Almost nobody needs a TV sitting on a counter in the corner of the kitchen anymore; they just prop up a Wi-Fi tablet and stream the content. When it comes time for The Big Game or the long-awaited Pay-Per-View Movie Premier or just a session of binge-watching Netflix, people park themselves in front of a billiard-table-sized 4K-resolution display and flip on the 5.1 Surround Sound and immerse themselves in the experience.

Similar to why no one makes tabletop radios any more: you can listen to your playlist on earbuds connected to your smartphone, or else you are providing the soundtrack to a get-together and need a nice hefty boombox to really belt out the jams.

That said, there is pretty much no accounting for Hillary Clinton.

Anonymous said...

It has everything to do with the 'off-shoring' of production facilitated by the myriad 'trade' deals pursued under the Reagan/Bush/Clinton/Bush/Obama/soon-to-be-Clinton-again continuum. That, along with consolidation and mergers of industries resulting in near monopolistic control of the mythical 'free market' that now offers little or nothing in the way choice. As the wikileaks email revelations seem to indicate, it appears another Clinton administration has been laying the foundations and groundwork for even more of the same policies of neofeudalism---so, with that regard your adventurous plight had everything to do with the Clinton emails.

fowlbruce said...

In the sense of generation gaps, yes. Small televisions these days have been replaced by slablets. Otherwise, simple supply and demand which you have demonstrated conversance previously. Large televisions are still considered appliances by most of the population, including the young, so delivery to residence is of increasing importance as the automobile is abandoned. So yes, you and the Secretary share a generational block preventing understanding of the latest progress of the quantum mechanics revolution.

Anonymous said...

There are hundreds of them on line, Sam.
One b&w with AM/Fm radio for $28.
That's the cost of about 3 packs of cigarettes in some states.

Anonymous said...

Cathode ray tube tvs are required for watching most of what cable does best such as tcm and reruns of What's My Line. The peak era for movies was over after the The Asphalt Jungle, and for tv by the last season of Dobie Gillis. Walt Disney's turn to theme parks should have warned that movies were done as a public cultural form by 1955. The US is incapable not only informing the public but of convening a group like Dorothy Kilgallen, Arlene Francis, Bennett Cerf and John Charles Daly on a game show. Americans are unlikely to currently tolerate the humor of Bob and Ray or James Thurber. It is true that previous generations are outdated and corny. But with the creeping militarization of culture it may be that American culture will survive in Anglophone Canada as a sturdier vessel for English language spoken arts while the US embraces the genres of ancient Rome, such as chariot racing and animal combats.

Anonymous said...

I thought no proper Lefty would think of giving their business to Walmart - as opposed to giving Walmart the business. Stay away from that place.

Anonymous said...

"Stay away from that place."
The sad reality for many in remote or rural areas is the fact that no alternatives exist. Those that do don't necessarily represent any change of ethos for the better---there are reasons a lot small, independent businesses failed to compete with the Bentonville behemoth. It's not uncommon for rural merchants to take advantage of the lack of proximity to competition and alternatives. Price fixing among local merchants is not an irregular occurrence. What's more, folks end up paying these premium prices for exactly the same kind of Chinese junk found at a Walmart.
In short, given the nature of globalized consolidation, the nature of current merchandising philosophy and practices, options and opportunities to take advantage of ethical alternatives are not reasonably available to millions of people attempting to survive on tenuous incomes.