Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Prince may very well NOT be the best thing to come out of the Gopher State. Maybe.

I hate, hate, hate when people of comfortable means and reasonably undamaged reputations sellout and shill for big corporations. I'm talking to you, Gene Hackman (Lowe's), John Mellencamp (GM), and Toby Keith (your own adventures as an ass clown, also Ford.) Alright, so Toby Keith doesn't count because I'd wager that his work in commercials is probably much better than anything else he's done musically. Actually, I think he may play that logo-emblazoned guitar from the commercial in concert. He's that thorough a sellout.

Allow me to digress from my periodic TK rant. My point is, I know John Mellencamp has lent his name to many charitable efforts and his body of work is not entirely embarrassing. Dude married a supermodel, too. Hackman has one of the most impressive resumes of any film actor ever. I'm all for making a buck, but why do these guys, and many more like them, have to sell their integrity for some corporation that will do fine without them? As Bill Hicks said, "Do a commercial and you're off the artistic roll-call forever."

But that's not what this post is about. I do this to merely highlight the fact that I have almost no body of work to speak of, my reputation is not worth protecting, and I never was on any artistic roll-call. Also, I am in no way being compensated for what I am about to write. In short, I'm not selling and I was never IN to begin with. To the point:

TARGET is a badass store. There you have it. That's what this post is about.

I know, I know, it's a big corporation that builds big-box stores that happen to be red instead of blue like that other really big store, and they really don't need any volunteer help from the likes of me. That other store (the big blue one), however, is put to shame by Target's philanthropy: Target gives a higher percentage of it's profits to charity (around 5%) than any other company in America, by a long shot. Plus, they don't sell tobacco products or firearms, so they've got principles.

But who gives a shit about all that when they carry loose-leaf, organic black tea IN THEIR OWN BRAND! What other store has that? Okay, what other store in a place like Knoxville? I'm still amazed by this. I have been in some pretty nice grocery stores in some pretty high-rent communities and never have they carried anything more exotic than Celestial Seasonings. I'm always on the lookout for some loose tea and I never find it. Of all places, TARGET has it in its Archer Farms brand. And it's ORGANIC! Who'da thunk it?

Also pleased to find there on my lunch hour:
-Method brand body wash (paraben-free; thanks Allie!)
-Pure and Natural brand bar soap- this stuff is vegetable-based and comes in 100% recycled packaging. Plant the box it comes in and it'll sprout Baby's Breath because the paper is embedded with seeds. Far out.
-Tom's of Maine deodorant. This actually isn't tough to find, but I've been meaning to give it a try.

I know, for someone who likes to rip on smelly hippies at every turn (fer godsakes, put some shoes on and wash yer damn hair!), I sure do sound like one. I'm okay with that. I just really dig the fact that I can go into a flourescent-bright store that for all intents looks like a place that harbors evil (albeit not the BLUE variety) and buy the hippie-dippy shit I like. Who said the squares won?


Meaghan said...

I absolutely LOVE Target. We have to drive 30 minutes to go to one, so we don't go that often. But it's a big treat for me when we do go. All of my reasons are completely girly, but I'll look out for some of those products you mentioned. They sound like they'd be worth a try!

JustinS said...

And you can buy those Prince CDs there while you're at it.

Ok, so this might be the lamest comment I've every left anywhere.

Oh, wait! I know how to make it relevant...

So what if one of those artsy fartsy stypes shills for Target? Since we're all in agreement that the place passes the sniff test, do they still lose their street cred for lending their voice/face/badonkadonk to the Target cause?

sid said...

I have to say that as a South African I find it highly hilarious that you guys can simply buy a gun at a supermarket.

surviving myself said...

you can plant the fucking box???

that is pretty cool.

Allie said...

Wow! I haven't really looked around Target in awhile. I will have to check this stuff out! I am so thrilled at the idea of their organic tea! It's hard to find loose leaf at my local grocery store, and I think the natural foods store is overpriced when it comes to tea.

nancypearlwannabe said...

Target is my very favorite store. I am, quite literally, in there at least every other day. LOVE.

Although I feel the need to mention that while the Method products are paraben-free and come in artfully designed packaging, I have never once liked a Method product that I've tried, from hand soap to cleaner to shaving cream.

Jacob said...

You're right on the tea (although I just buy all of my tea from, but Wal-Mart does have their own line of fair-trade organic coffees now, which seems to be part of a larger attempt to attract more upscale customers. Something about fair-trade and Wal-Mart seems incompatible though. It's kind of like getting parenting advice from a rapist.

Sid: Wal-Mart didn't start off as a grocery store, but more of a redneck department store. When I was a kid, almost all of them were just clothes, hardware, sporting goods, toys, music, and electronics. Sometime in my teens they started popping up with all of that plus a grocery store and now often has a tire and oil change garage in the back along with a gas station out front. They basically move into small towns and kill every local business in one fell stroke. The guns are a holdover from the general store days. They don't sell handguns though. Just hunting rifles and shotguns.

And you'll never find a worse produce section than what you find in a Super Wal-Mart.

Julie said...

Target rocks. I'm quite the fan although I've had to cut back considerably on my trips there now that I'm poor. It's just too easy to find something cool that I should buy.

As to the celebrities... I suppose you and your movie going lady friend should learn to accept their shilling of the products. The money they earn from those commercials allows them to maintain their lifestyle even when they earn peanuts for those indie flicks. There might be no more 'art' in cinema if not for Lowe's.

laurie said...

i can't go to target because i want to buy everything. so my husband goes.

we used to shop at the oldest target store in the twin cities, but it was recently torn down and a huge one, twice its size, sprung up in its spot. yikes. scary.

Mickey said...

meaghan- I'll let you know how they go.

justins- Yes. If you need the money, you get a pass. Otherwise leave the commercials to the actors who actually need a job.

sid- It really is ridiculous, isn't it?

surviving myself- Yeah, we'll see if it works.

allie- I hadn't been in there in a while either. They've really got some good stuff.

npw- What is there not to like about hand soap? We've used that and their home cleaning products. So far, so good. And I actually take issue with their packaging. It's a little over done.

jacob- Nice rapist analogy.

julie- Nobody is that poor. And the second part of your comment doesn't make sense to me. Gene Hackman is set for life.

The Modern Gal said...

I think you've found the secret to a happy life.

Aaron said...

Ah, sir, this is a timely and well reasoned post. You see, I too love The Target, and Mara and I just tonight went in there for what was out third visit in four or five days. Two in a row, actually. We may keep this up and see how many consecutive days one can go about this.

I bow before the red target.

em said...

Do you like Walmart's new "save the environment" commercials? Lametastic. Target's nice.

I am tired.

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Mickey said...

laurie- In my exhaustive research, I did read about the razing of the original Target. Sometimes you can't stop progress, I guess.

modern gal- I wouldn't go that far. It's a nice store.

aaron- Save some for the rest of us. (I can't end a phrase with "rest of us" without wanting to add "Festivus.")

em- I don't think I've seen those, but the thought alone makes me gag. Get some sleep.

celular- You blow goats. A hug.

Courtney said...

Target is the promised land. A hug.

That is all.

Beej said...

You've changed, man.

Mickey said...

courtney- I repeat, it's just a store. They just want our money. I guess I wasn't clear on the limits of my effusion.

beej- Aw, that hurts. I promise I'll balance this out by ripping hard on something in the very near future.

Chris said...

For some reason it doesn't bother me when actors do voice-overs in commercials. You don't see them and their name doesn't appear on the screen, so it doesn't quite tarnish their reputation so much as playing a guitar with a big Ford logo on it. (Although, as you say, TK never had a reputation to tarnish.)

Speaking of Ford, we went to the Atlanta Zoo last weekend (go ahead, skewer me, hippies and vegans). And right between the African Plains and the Asian Forest, we got to walk through a section labeled "The Ford African Rain Forest," with a big Ford logo on the sign. So absurd I couldn't help but laugh out loud.

Amber said...

lol How funny Hippie Chick just started playing on my playlist.

Anyways...I have been on a natural/organic/whathaveyou deodorant quest and Tom's of Maine failed my test. I did end up stinking like a "damn hippy" instead of smelling like nothing or just natural. Seriously, it was bad. But, that stuff works different for everyone.

Target is badass!!

Mickey said...

chris- I'm laughing too. There's nothing like donating large sums of money as long as you can get some gain out of it.

Noelle said...

Target is great despite itself. Finding out that they did something evil would be like finding out Obama's acting like a normal politician. My only point of contention is that I can't seem to find the Method dish soap I once used and liked. Also, the Target around these parts is way too small.

Stefanie said...

Sorry; I know I'm way late to the party on this one. Just falling behind on blog reading again.

I have heard people say that Target isn't any better (big box retailer-wise) than the big blue box. I refuse to believe it. If nothing else, the fact that Target is so present in my community (being based in Minneapolis and all) makes me feel like shopping there is almost as good as shopping a local, independent store. (Almost.)

Has Knoxville been blessed with the wonder that is SuperTarget yet? (If not, I am sorry.)

Mickey said...

noelle- No, it's not perfect. But considering the alternative...

stephanie- I figured you'd be onboard. And yes, that's a SuperTarget that I visited. It's just like Target, but super.

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