RAVEN MACK is a mystic poet-philosopher-artist of the Greater Appalachian unorthodox tradition. He does have an amazing PATREON, but also *normal* ARTIST WEBSITE too.

Wednesday, January 8


“Capitalism” is such a dogmatic sounding word, that I’m not sure if you’re practicing something so polysyllabic you can do it ethically. But the other day I went to my local Afghan market, and thought about how it’s the type of business I like to support. I had passed by earlier on the bus and saw a dude unloading a bunch of bags of flatbread from the trunk of his car, obviously somebody who made it themselves. That flatbread was looking good as fuck in passing so I figured after I did a couple things, I’d wander my way on foot back by the market.
When I did finally get back, there was another dude in the tight aisles, blocking my path to the half-gallon of mint ayran (a must). Really all I came in for was ayran, dates, and one of them bags of that flatbread. Dude in aisle went to check out, which is just one counter, where the dudes who work there are always giving out of date candy to kids, and an old Afghan dude is generally sitting inside within talking distance of the counter, unless it’s warm, and he might be sitting outside. Dude in front of me asks about paneer, and guy behind the counter says, “No, we only get paneer in on Wednesdays.” I’d asked about goat before and they only get that on Fridays. And obviously it looks like the flatbread bags come in on Monday. I always fuck up and forget to go by on Fridays to get goat though, which bums me out, because I bet some halal goat would recharge my depleted ass.
Once I was checking out, I asked how much the flatbread bags were. (Please understand when I say “bag” I mean large ass turkey size bag with flatbread pieces larger than a pizza.) “$6.90, but there’s ten of them in there.” I had to get that, and have been snacking on them all week long. Hungry as fuck in the middle of the evening? Rip off half a piece of flatbread, grab four or five dates, I’m good. I bought enough shit this particular time I had to use a card, but generally speaking I try to use cash there. And I’ve noticed that as I’ve used cash, usually for single serving mint ayran bottles, the price can fluctuate slightly to your benefit, as both a regular customer and a cash-paying customer.
All of this, as I walked out to catch the bus with my big bag of flatbread, made me realize this is exactly the type of business I feel good about supporting. Cash between hands (hopefully) helps cut out government embezzlement of survival wealth, and a place that is filled in its tiny location, that is content in operating at that filled and functional level, only having goat on Friday, paneer on Wednesday, and flatbread on Monday, is okay by me. We always have this notion that growth should be continual, and that you need larger stores, more franchises, everything should be available at all times. That type of growth is unnatural, and thus likely unethical, no matter how you do it. Natural world is not continuous – you can get some shit sometimes, and other shit other times. It’s not all available around the calendar, at your convenience. Fuck man, life is not convenient. It takes some work and navigation and effort. That’s how it should be. Moving from providing for your life and your family and a few others to where you feel the need to accumulate wealth and control a whole arsenal of marketplaces like that… I don’t know that I think that can ever be ethical. If you’re sitting around in some faraway place contemplating how you can improve profitability (another too many syllables word to ever be simple enough to be ethical) without actually putting your ass in a market, standing around on your feet, breaking down boxes to put in the recycling bin beside the dumpster, or sweeping anything, then I don’t know if you’re thinking with all the heart you need to be thinking with. Ever. Not even on Mondays, when your work week starts, and flatbread is coming in.

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