What is there not to be learned about the oligopolistic institution that sells macrogak, literally and utterly unimaginatively The Beer Store, that governs most beer sales here in Ontario from this gorgeous photo published in yesterday's Toronto Star. It was taken by Lucas Olenuik and is posted here for purposes of review. So, let's review it.
The photo smells. At TBS, you return your empties and order your beer in the same room. The empties stink. Stink of old beer and the cigarette butts people leave behind. That's no doubt why the lady in the yellow dress has her hand to her face. I also like how Olenuik makes the photo two dimensional and framed squarely on the menu of beers... or rather "beer" as the plural for beer in Ontario is beer even if the multiple of beer brands is sometimes beers. You drink five beer. Not five beers. Five beers imply they are different from each other. The beer at the TBS are not. I like the irritated boredom of the man in tie-die. Best of all, that wall of mindless branding stickers. I love how "premium" and "discount" are only relative to each other. And, brutally, they only refer to price as most beer to the left tastes the same as most beer to the right. You can pay a premium or get a discount but you get pretty much the same thing.
The photo highlights a story about how folk are fed up with the system. The store is fairly described as "the world’s most mysterious retail wasteland." The photo conveys that. And there's more in there than I have mentioned. What else do you see?