Déjà Vu is that feeling that you’ve been there before. A buddy of mine who runs a local newspaper brought up a subject about which I had just discussed with another buddy of mine who owns a local TV station. Did you catch the word "local?" They were talking about how more and more people seem disconnected from the local community. Just because your house is there, and your kids go to school there, you go to church there and you sleep there, doesn’t mean you actually live there. Consequently some people don’t shop in local stores, listen to the local radio or read the local newspaper.
Not knowing what it’s called, I decided to call it "delocalization". Yeah, I know that’s a chemistry term about free floating electrons or something, but I’m going to use it to describe that emotional disconnect. Maybe you get your world news from ABC, CNN or Glenn Beck, and there’s nothing wrong with that, but what’s happening in your town? How about on your street? You’re not going to find that in the New York Times, even if you live in New York, and, in which case, you most likely aren’t reading this.
Giant and impersonal department/food combination stores, burger/taco/hotdog/chicken franchises, bathroom/kitchen/lumber/hardware chains, etc. move in and drive Mom & Pop stores out of business. Pretty soon all you have left are those chain stores and there’s nothing special about the town in which you live. It looks like everywhere else. Allow me the obvious, and brilliant, quote from Gertrude Stein. "There is no ‘there’ there."
So how do you stop this delocalization? Shop locally. Buy locally. Be locally. Yeah, you can save $0.37 on that package of weenies by driving across town and then parking six hundred yards from the front door of that big chain store, but that Mom & Pop’s Grocery, right on the corner, might stay in business if you drop in there once in a while. You might even save that much in gas. Also, when you go into Mom & Pop’s Grocery, Hardware and Handmade Pot Holders Store, it’s a great idea to let them know you saw their advertisement in the local newspaper and you saw they were having a sale on ten packs of weenies and an eight packs of buns (a topic for another Vox Box). While you’re in there, pick up the local newspaper and show them the picture of your kid’s little league team on page six and make a personal and local connection. If you do, then maybe they’ll run more advertising in the local paper, get more customers in the door so that next year when your other kid’s T-ball team needs a local store to sponsor them, they’ll be there and be able to do so. Then when you come in again in a year, with kids in ball uniforms, it’ll be like Yogi Berra said, "Déjà Vu all over again" when you point out your other kid on page six of the local newspaper.
I’m an actor, writer and filmmaker. I do weekly movie reviews of old movies and Vox Box where I look at the history of film and how it touches our culture, or anything else that catches my fancy. Please visit my blog www.MyFriendsCallMeSpike.com and follow me on twitter @SpikeHarville