Comedy, Tragedy, History

Shakespeare would have mined the rich lode of human foolishness on display at the Bait & Switch store.

The feudal hierarchy with which he was familiar is alive and thriving right here, in 2017, along with the same greed, sweat and misanthropy. If anything, the similarities are more precise than they might have been at any time since then, because the division between people – characters and tribes – is diamond clear. There’s no blurring of motive or outcomes here.

At the top are the owners of B&S Inc, the Kings. Every piece of gold is theirs, and any scraps they deign to toss away are bread and butter for the remaining 99%. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.

Speaking of which, there’s been a fair amount of trash talking during the week. Amongst we vassals, the division of labor is unequal and unequally paid. The favorites get more freedom to avoid the drudgery while we toilers do not. We must also not venture criticism of the lazoids, for voicing dissent is equivalent to revolution. Clearly, The Royals aren’t keen to inspire an Industrial Revolution; they’re fearful of a French Revolution.

And of course with the pressures of being a modern slave, such tensions are bound to overspill. The comic tragedy is that we’re at each other when we should really be fighting those who keep us down.

Between lie the managers, eunuchs who supplicate their masters whilst simultaneously fending off we rabble with their feet. Theirs is a precarious place in which the rewards – slightly greater than our own – must continually be balanced against the soul-killing job of being the buffer that keeps the Kings comfortable.

Delusion is rife in their ranks. The prevailing psychosis is that loyalty and honor will protect them from the God-given wrath of royalty, but it’s a false promise, for they can be replaced with Knights from another army at any time. And are.

Which is where we stand. The renaissance of 1500 has moved to the B&S gulag of 2000. Five hundred years of zero progress…just add cellphones.

Price

Nike never talks about price.

Disney never talks about price.

WalMart never talks about price.

One of the above statements is incorrect.

Which of these brands creates the warmest  feeling? Which creates the coldest?

Coincidence?

End of Days

The seeds of our demise are sown before we even know they exist. Entropy is the force we least acknowledge and most critically affects us all, despite the focus we place on apparently more urgent disasters.

Interestingly, entropy is so clear cut, figuring work-arounds is relatively simple. If we know that everything changes and ends, all we need do is note those as limiting factors and act accordingly.

Bait & Switch Inc is not good at noting big-picture stuff. The model they began with is the model that remains to this day. It’s as if Henry Ford ignored the invention of the starter-motor- deliberately – and required all of his cars to keep the hand-crank. You know, the metal handle at the front which one spun manually to start the engine turning.

The business is 25 years old, and the basic mechanics are the same now as then. Sure, there’s no compelling need to change the product, that’s a given. But delivery is everything. A Model-T is a car in the same way that an Audi RS5 is a car, but there are important differences.

So the end of the business is closer than it need be simply because managers fail to note that all businesses end. If that sounds all quantum, you’re right; superposition is an awesome way to exist. Unfortunate that B&S is stuck at the Newtonian end of things.

The End is Within Sight

Unbelievably and rather freakily, even Bait & Switch is now under attack from Amazon.

The very idea is quite at the edge of believability, and yet here it is; the Monster from Seattle is moving towards us. Slowly, yes, but everything Amazon does is characterized by growth that, if graphed, looks hyperbolic.

Which is to say that nothing is happening right now. We are still selling lots of bait to addicted fishermen, blandly bullshitting punters about the merits of off-brand bait and overpriced chum. Nothing quantifiable is apparent, there are no ripples on the water, and yet if you stand still, slow your breathing and listen, a definite change is in the water.

Tipping points don’t advertise. In the case of B&S v Amazon, all will appear business as usual until a trapdoor appears under the top line and BOOM! Everything falls into it.

Until that hour on that day, nothing will change. Binders will remain, lack of business focus will persist, underpayment of employees will not change and customers will notice that the promises never match the reality. Shopping has changed forever, and the survivors know already.