Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Where will the next Bravo contestant come from?

I was watching Bravo down at the Gym this AM.  It's the only time I see such things, as I am unwilling to pay  for  the privilege of being marketed to. There I was on the treadmill sweating away my considerable pounds, being regaled by the latest antics of the cast of Fashion Show (an even lower brow  replacement for Project Runway,  but no Tim Gunn).  During the commercial break while they touted their other shows such as Top Chef, it dawned on me "these shows are all about a world that is FADING FAST, and will soon be impossible to enact".

After all, in a world already dominated by Olive Gardens, Chevys, and other chain eateries, or Gapped, Banana Republiced,  and Hot Topiced retail, who will be left to provide the ounce of skill needed to compete in Bravo's fall line up.  

With retail rents jacked into the stratosphere (pushed up by the chains stores like Walgrens, and Starbucks), along with the lowered prices and esthetic expectations brought on by the sweatshop retailers mentioned above (Old Navy dresses for $10 bucks, come on)  where is tomorrows young designer going to open shop, or even find a small boutique willing to give them a start.  How will the skill's and expertise that can only be built from public experimentation arise, if there is no longer an outlet for the creativity of individuals.

And food. ho ho ho.  Are these contestants only to come from the few urban centers that have not fully succumb to the call of the mild.  Will the next top chef be smothering deep fried chicken in gloopy cheesy cream sauce, over a bed of curly fries.

As a San Franciscan, I can still avail myself of a fine meal, and a well cut coat.  But even here in this supposed bastion of the creative and bon vivant, the center will not hold.  The tide of capitalist centralization that long ago killed the mom and pop businesses of any town USA has made serious inroads here.  Matched with the mass market media, and the failure of the world wide web to deliver anything that is not pre wrapped by google, soon the only thing new and interesting on TV will be the latest side effects warning on the anti depression drug commercials. And even the monied class will be left with the choice of Bloomies or Barneys, as the rest will be swept away in the race to the bottom.  

But It doesn't have to be this way.  If we all stay awake long enough to make good choices, and act rightly, we will not be doomed to cheese sauces on curly fries and $10 dresses.  Don't be like the City of San Francisco using lowest bid contracts, that save pennies, but lose dollars in local taxes and local jobs.  Eat in local individually owned and run eateries.  Shop in mom and pop businesses, even if it costs a tad more. The service will be better, and you may end up with the things that works for you.  

Otherwise, soon your only choice will be to do copious research online to be able to make the most minute purchase, as the chain store employee wont know, and at those wages may just not care.  Oh and sorry that $10 dress colors ran in the wash turning all your other clothes Pink.  Didn't you know Pink is the new Black.

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