The world is too much with us; late and soon, Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers: Little we see in Nature that is ours; We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon! The Sea that bares her bosom to the moon; The winds that will be howling at all hours, And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers; For this, for everything, we are out of tune; It moves us not.–Great God! I’d rather be A Pagan suckled in a creed outworn; So might I, standing on this pleasant lea, Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn; Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea; Or hear old Triton blow his wreathed horn. — William Wordsworth, 1802
Yeah, what Wordsworth said.
I am saddened by something that just happened in my home county of Lexington — or rather, the way it happened. Doug Ross already alluded to it — approvingly, of course. Therefore it is my duty to demur. Here’s the lowdown:
By Mike Fitts
Published Dec. 8, 2010
Amazon is coming into Lexington County — and the county’s blue laws are going out.
Part of the deal that landed Amazon, announced Tuesday, includes a requirement that the county end the blue laws, which generally restrict shopping before 1:30 p.m. on a Sunday.
Amazon’s distribution center is likely to operate at all hours, seven days per week. According to Lexington County Council Chairman Jim Kinard, to ensure there is no problem with its operations, the company asked that the law be changed.
“These guys apparently had never heard of blue laws,” Kinard said.
Amazon’s request for the deal was one part of the big investment that it is making in Lexington County. The company plans to build a $100 million distribution center in the county’s Saxe Gotha Industrial Park alongside Interstate 26. It is expected to employ 1,249 full-time workers and 2,500 part-time staffers during holiday rush seasons….
First, that’s awesome that the community is getting 1,000 jobs.
It’s not so awesome that something that culturally set the community apart from other, more hurried, communities was set aside willy-nilly, without any sort of community conversation.
Yep, I’ve heard all the arguments against blue laws, and I haven’t heard a good one yet. Count me among those who remembers (way, way long ago, like in the 60s) and misses the times when we truly got a day off on Sunday, a day when no one expected us to engage in the hustle-bustle of the other six days because we couldn’t. (And the biggest canard spread by those who advocated modernity on this is the one about how we can CHOOSE not to run around like headless chickens on Sunday. No, we can’t. If you can do something, the world — the expectations of your family, your neighbors, your employer, everyone — will crowd you into participating on some level. Ours is an interconnected universe. Don’t make me quote John Donne, too.)
Again, I’m glad that the community is getting this shot in the arm. And if I had been in the position of those officials needing to act quickly to make it happen, I might have done the same thing. And I certainly understand Amazon’s unwillingness to get caught in a legal bind.
But I just hate that it had to happen this way, so that the community didn’t get to have a conversation about what it was trading away.