Saturday, February 07, 2015

Bullseye: Walking Dead in the Wake of Retail Failure

The tramp stamp of the retail world.
It was with a perverted sort of curiosity that I wandered into the nearest Target this past Thursday.  After just two agonizing years attempting to expand its financial reach into the Great White North, the retail giant is heading back to the good ol' US of A with its tail tucked firmly between its legs and short one overpaid CEO.  It was all eerily familiar, what with Canadian retail staple Zellers closing its doors just before Target moved into the neighbourhood.  In fact, Target bought up many of Zellers' previous locations when they advanced their troops northwards, so for many outposts, this would mark the second time that their regiment had abandoned them in the face of an insurmountable enemy.  Historically speaking, this is what you would call "the old one-two."

All of the vultures had been circling for sometime by the time word finally came down the ranks this week: Store closing. Liquidation.  Everything must go.  Dutifully, I took my place among the flock, and swooped in as much for the potential deals as for my own morbid fascination with the death of this retail god and the fate of all of his acolytes.  I typically try to avoid making eye contact with sales associates in any store, as I prefer to shop freestyle, but this time was different.  I tried to drink in as much as I could, tried to read what was going on behind the dead eyes of these walking damned roaming the store, answering questions from all the squawkers about price reductions while facing the liquidation of their own future.

Thursday, February 05, 2015

We're the Guardians of the Galaxy, Bitch: Hearts and Legs Stolen, Ancient Ruins Plundered

It turns out that the largest obstacle that GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY had to overcome also turned out to be its saving grace.  What GUARDIANS had going both for and against it was a thick veil of obscurity (outside of a very tight, very virginal cabal of hardcore comic book adherents).  On the one hand, obscurity--anonymity's step-brother--is a barrier to achieving glory.  It's a pit you have to kind of claw your way out of, inch by inch, until you reach the top and start shouting your name at the top of your lungs until people begin to recognize or you get locked up in an insane asylum with an all-you-can-eat smorgasbord of electric shock therapy and the drooling faces of doomed souls.  On the other hand, obscurity can act as a shield against preconceived notions, giving you the freedom to create yourself in whatever or whoever's image you are so inclined, even if it's a cybernetic, anthropomorphic raccoon.

If you had told me a year ago that I would be trying to reconcile the fact that not only might GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY be my favourite Marvel movie so far but also one of my favourite movies from 2014, I probably would have punched you in the face, gouged out your eyes and used them as dice, and fucked your sister without so much as a phone call the next morning.  Luckily for those in proximity to me, GUARDIANS turned out to be great.  Which worked out well, because I already have boxes full of eye-dice in my basement I'm still trying to figure out how to store effectively.