Wednesday is my favorite day of the week, because I when my Geek in Review goes live, it means that I have between 18 and 24 hours before the slow panic of "what the hell am I going to write about next week?" kicks in.
The panic for this week was rather severe and overwhelming, because it wasn't until Monday night that I had any ideas at all.
Monday afternoon, Anne said to me, "I want Zankou Chicken tonight. Do you think you can pick it up?"
Zankou Chicken is the best chicken in the world, and as far as I know is only available in a few places in Los Angeles, including my local location in Pasadena, which happens to be next door to my Friendly Local Comic Shop.
"Of course I can pick it up," I said, visions of a comic shopping spree swimming in my head.
She went to work, I went to Zankou Chicken, and I also went to the comic shop. I bought my books, talked with the owner, and by the time I was in my car driving home, I had most of this week's column written in my head.
In an increasingly globalized world where vertically-integrated multi-national companies storm into communities, reduce our choices and homogenize our shopping experience, the Friendly Local Shop is an endangered species, and it's not just comic and book shops that are at risk.I love my Friendly Local Comic Shop as much as I've always loved my Friendly Local Game Shop, and I would hate it if they were forced out of business. In fact, I believe that in most communities, they are load bearing pillars of their respective cultures, and if we allow them to be overwhelmed and wiped out by big box stores or national chains, the next generation of geeks will be in serious trouble.
So my column this week is about why we all need to work hard to Save the Friendly Local Game/Comic/Music shops, and why it's in our best interests to do it:
While you may be able to save a few bucks on a CD at Target, if you have a Friendly Local Music Shop and go there instead, the owner may see you picking up Interpol, and suggest Joy Division. They may see you picking up The Red Hot Chili Peppers, and throw themselves between you and the register, just to save you from yourself.
While you may be able to get 10% off if you use your preferred customer card at the bookstore in the mall, is cranky manager guy going to take the time to talk with you, and suggest a graphic novel you may have missed, like Kinetic?
While you may be able to save a few bucks on the latest d20 source book in that same bookstore (if they stock it, that is) don't count on stumbling across any new games, like the boxed version of Kill Doctor Lucky, or High School Drama. And I can guarantee you that the bookstore in the mall won't stay open late because the owner really wants to do a Shadowrun one-off, and will provide pizza and Mountain Dew for any players who show up this Friday at 7.
The Geekwire is as Safe For Work as its ever been (thank you, SG Corporate Overlords!) so you can read it today with confidence. If you like it, I'd be ever-so-grateful if you'd vote it up at Netscape. (Don't waste your time with Digg; the bury-brigade as targeted me with their sock puppet army, so all of my stories get disappeared rather quickly. Good times. Good times.)