Showdown Looms with Corporate Parasites—Boycott Duane Reade!

2010 October 8
by Turk Studzel

Graffitists ready for DR’s opening of new 24hr outlet on Bedford Ave.

Which side are you on? Wall Street’s corporate investors, who just drove the U.S. into depression and filched billions from American taxpayers? Or Main Street’s workaday storekeepers, who struggle along with the rest of us trying to make an honest living? Residents of Williamsburg will soon have to make a choice, when the mega-corp-Walgreens-owned Duane Reade opens its second outlet in a six-block radius later this month, aggressively launching its new 24 hour store directly across the street from King’s Pharmacy, a long-time fixture of Bedford Avenue. In a gangsterish show of marketing muscle designed to whack local competition, Duane Reade’s crosshairs are fixed not only on King’s, but Northside Pharmacy too, four blocks away, which for more than twenty years has served the local Polish community.

Targeted for strip-mallification by corporate execs and their architects, will Williamsburg share the fate of so many neighborhoods, towns, and cities across the U.S. and become a place where, as Gertrude Stein once put it, “there’s no there there”? One need only glance at Duane Reade’s façade to see the ethos of a culture of disposability: sterility, homogenization, and rootless consumption—throwaway things, throwaway people, throwaway places—all the better to advance the project of late-capitalist nihilism. Under this regime, whatever loyalties we feel to the homegrown, the idiosyncratic, and the unique are to be abandoned for a suburban Parking Lot of the Mind, as the Corporate Smiley-Face beams benevolently down on us from the Eternal Shopping Mall on high.

Places like Williamsburg attract the Corporate Hive-Mind, which like a hungry parasite must latch its suckers onto sources of cultural vitality in order to exist. Vacuous and barren on its own, the Hive-Mind requires fresh cultural blood to reproduce itself and spread its pernicious influence deeper into world’s marrow. And once it gains a foothold, the corporate parasite eventually begins to kill its host by robbing the community of essential nutrients and poisoning the complex web of relationships that give a neighborhood life. Next will come Starbucks, Burger King, the Gap, Blockbuster, K-Mart, Hooters–the death knell for civilized street life.

Will Williamsburgers allow Corporate Creep to gain a foothold? Despite the aura of inevitability chain-stores like Duane Reade cultivate, they can only fatten their blood-sacs themselves with our consent. Which side are we on? The time for action is quickly arriving…

Join Facebook/I’m Boycotting Duane Reade to Save Williamsburg

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