Exhausted and Departing

Posted by in Dispatches, Projects

beast_and_us.jpgA journalist for Uptown Magazine in Winnipeg interviewed me recently about our upcoming WAL-TOWN TOUR 2007 and asked me what we wanted to accomplish with this campaign and whether we are anti Wal-Mart. I answered:

We are anti Wal-Mart. If Wal-Mart was a corporation that supported it’s employee’s rights to organize, if they were accountable to the citizens in the towns they move into instead of only to their shareholders, if they had progressive environmental policies that were sustainable, if they weren’t the largest retail force on the planet that encourages disposable consumerism, if they cared about community while practicing commerce, if they were a humanitarian leader in business instead of a leader in human rights abuses across the globe, then maybe, just maybe we would be OK with a Wal-Mart or two.

If a town doesn’t have a Wal-Mart and doesn’t want one (most towns don’t want the Mart but get one anyway) then we want to help the community in their efforts to stop this American corporation from erecting another environmentally devastating, car use-encouraging, windowless concrete eyesore. If a town already has a Wal-Mart, chances are there’s a lot of people building, supporting and sustaining alternatives, and we want to talk with them, learn from them, and pass along their experience to the next community.

That’s what our tour is about in a nutshell. What tour you ask, well…

├╝berculture is at it again: we are heading out tomorrow (Rob and myself, Sergeo one day later, and Tim and Jason head East five days after us) for another cross-Canada odyssey in search of the elusive community where citizens call themselves just that, instead of the ever-so modern and vapidly curious “consumer.” So we’re visiting 13 communities in about 16 days, and this time we’re heading North to the Yukon (as far up as Dawson City) and the NWT. We have our first presentation and screening of the doc Saturday night in Winnipeg. Rob and I need to go early and prep for the kick off, as our Wal-Mart rhetoric remains, well, rusty.

This here blog stands to be neglected over the next two to three weeks while we’re on the road, not that it has been seeing much action with the holidays, applying for PhDs, meeting funding application deadlines, etc, etc. But now some things have come together: the new fabulous Cinema Politica schedule is up on line for Concordia and several other locals, Art Threat, ├╝berculture’s newest member of the project family, was put up line and Michael Lithgow is already posting, and of course Wal-Town is leaving on a jet plane and we will be video blogging from the road, so keep checking out the Wal-Town site