Saturday, December 18, 2004

Target's (Un)Christmas Spirit

With Target's persona non grata treatment of the Salvation Army bell ringers, there is a temptation to cast the powers that be at Target as either Ebenezer Scrooge or the Grinch. However, upon reflection I note that there is a fundamental difference between Target execs and their proposed literary counterparts. In one word: Repentance. In both stories, our protagonists displayed a 180-degree change of heart, and it is this fact that endears these stories to us. Target, on the other hand, shows absolutely no sign of even suggesting that such a change is necessary and/or desirable - and that's hardly the way to endear Target to its customers. (Note to Target execs: Business 101 - It is easier to maintain customers than it is to win back those you've offended.)

So, if Scrooge and the Grinch are out, what other literary archetype can we use to represent Target? My suggestion is the dissimulating King Herod. "When you find the child, let me know where he is, so that I may worship him too" - all the while he was plotting to destroy the child, along with any other toddlers who happened to fit the bill. Yep, sounds like the unChristmas spirit to me: Pretend to celebrate, and destroy the foundations of what you're supposedly celebrating.

No comments: