13

SUNDAY

Whatever happened to the blue-light special? That swirling ray of cool cobalt that drew one into Aisle 3 with the sweet promise of the Toaster You Have Been Searching For, At a Price You Can Afford! Oh, how we rode that azure moonbeam, laughing and singing all the way into a magical land where modern appliances designed for convenient living were available to even the lowest-income families. And we thought it would last forever. How were we to know that this blue flicker of joy would be snuffed out of existence by a corporate retail behemoth and replaced with a dark star that would suck all that is decent and pure out of the act of price-savvy shopping? Robert Greenwald’s documentary, Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price, follows that very force’s “assault on families and American values,” while chronicling the “lives of families and communities struggling to fight a goliath.” You’re not likely to find the upcoming DVD on any Wal-Mart shelves, so head at 1:15 p.m. to the Washington Ethical Society, 7750 16th St. NW. Free. (202) 882-6650. (Matt Borlik)