For many years I worked in retail and ecommerce. Somehow I still can’t let this time of year pass without responding to it somehow. Last year I wrote an essay explaining “Why I don’t shop at Amazon”. I still very much stand by these thoughts . In 2017, I made a small charcoal drawing reflecting my mood and feelings, as I worked through another Black Friday season.
And this year I’ve been thinking about these words, spoken by the Prince in Tomasi di Lampedusa’s novel, ‘The Leopard’:
“When a peasant gives me his bit of cheese he’s making me a bigger present than the Prince of Làscari when he invites me to dinner”
They’ve been floating round my head, along with much of his wonderful novel since the summer. They spring back any time I read some news about say, Amazon deigning to bestow their offices on some neighbourhood or city, expecting it to promptly rollover and offer its belly for a tickle. Or when I read of any multinational technology company professing how much tax it really does pay. Do they give cheese, or dinner?