Okay, you probably already know this. This Internet stuff has been around for awhile now.
In the world of online journalism, it is the ‘clicks’ and ‘comments’ that count. And nothing on the non-porn side of the Internet generates more clicks or comments than this word: Wal-Mart.
(“Surprised Cat” videos run a close second.)
Maybe it is a subliminal thing regarding the hyphen, but people react to Wal-Mart. If I use it enough, I will come up on ‘Wal-Mart’ Google searches. Wal-Mart, Wal-Mart, Wal-Mart.
So, yes, I am pandering, shamelessly trying to up my ‘click count’. Shoot me - I have a family to feed. And, for good measure, add a comment to the end of this column.
Ironically, I am Wal-Mart neutral. I do not shop.
(Honestly, if I was not married, I would still be trying to coax just one more dab of toothpaste from that sample Crest they gave me when I moved into my dorm. Safe to say, my smile would have a lot less dazzle. That, and I would be wearing a t-shirt that declared “The Pack is Devine”. You would give me a dollar and ask me to move along.)
I do have this one strong Wal-Mart opinion: If Wal-Mart would change its name to “Heritage Goods and Local Produce Market” and took a piece of property on 76th Street and raised its value from 4 million to about 10 million dollars or more, we would cheer. All of us – in short skirts and shaking our poms.
Heck, we would all pitch in and help them dig the foundation - an Inside the Bubble barn-raising, of sorts. We would have a Property Tax Bill Burning, complete with s’mores.
Face it, peeps - 76th Street has become the Street of Empty Dreams. One more vacant building and U2 will be writing a sad song about us. There will be celebrity charity concerts held in our behalf. It will be embarrassing. Hales Corners would offer aid – it would come to that.
You can picture the video, can’t you? An artsy, grainy black and white panning of Leath Furniture, Borders, Ballys, the south end of Southridge, the Bowling Congress. The Edge providing urgency with that staccato guitar, Bono crooning about ‘the street with no shops’. It will not be our finest hour.
Let’s do all we can to bring shoppers back to 76th Street. I miss swearing about the traffic.
Wal-Mart has connections. Wal-Mart can apply tremendous pressure on their suppliers, right? How hard would it be to come up with stylish 3D glasses that apparently transform the word “Wal-Mart” to “Heritage Goods and Local Produce Market?”
We would all be happy, and a little - but just a little - cross-eyed. Macy’s officials would be asking to set up shop in that mall on that busy street in Greendale.
I may not be a shopper, but I do know this: Business generates business.