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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

A tale of two boycotts.

Aka, Christmas joy, free speech and whatever else I can throw in there.

I saw this effort by Michael Moore to boycott Connecticut businesses who support Senator Lieberman. The reason being that Moore is upset with the good senator from my current state and his position on healthcare reform.

So I’m trying to figure out how boycotting the businesses that probably also support people he does like actually works here. Help me out Mike. Since no state is an island and we’re in a global lovefest as of late (as your trip to Cuba showed in Sicko), don’t you think those businesses also help companies in other states, like say Michigan?

Funny how Michigan’s senators Levin and Stabenow were the beneficiaries of some “extras” in this recent healthcare bill, lest a boycott there ends up hurting the Michigan economy further. But why Lieberman? Why not any senator who was against this bill? Any one of them seemed to be the deciding vote as Dems scrambled to secure numbers.

I’m guessing though if California Senators Feinstein or Boxer changed their minds, I doubt there would be a boycott against the state which basically invented the industry that continues to pay him, and pays well.

Since boycotts are a form of consumer activism, they work both ways. I don’t need to watch any more of his films if that’s how how he feels. Small businesses feed off larger ones and keep the economy going. You want to vote someone out of office, fine, use the power of the vote.

But attacking businesses over a political agenda seems foolish. Healthcare activist that he is, I figured he would’ve gone after Lieberman over his ties to big pharma and the large campaign donations he’s received from them.

But I digress!

Then I saw a post about how another company Build-A-Bear brought the magic of global warming into a Christmas video for its product. The outrage, outrage I say, why, it was outrageous! A response from the company CEO about the purpose behind the message was even more chum in the waters. Instead of fighting that message though, why not focus on PC efforts by atheists to cancel out Christmas, surely a more immediate threat to the holiday, no?

The two issues will be connected shortly.

I watch Moore’s docs and think his intentions may be good, such as getting readily available ammo taken off store shelves soon after Columbine, or trying to get sick people the help they need, or even GM to answer for how they ran their company. This usually means he ends up being an ends justify the political means type of director, but, whatevuh.

(Ironic that many of the dissenters crying out against GM for taking bailout money also hate Moore, but, hate and ignorance is ironic like that, innit.)

That said, his docs get attention, don’t hate him for that. But, the responses at his site to the boycott idea, intelligent “sounding” as the writers appear to come off as, show as much intolerance and hatred for the other side’s point of view—which is to say zero for any view other than their own—as bear nation exhibit.

Can’t we all just...

It seems as if “I may disagree with you but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it” has essentially been replaced with “Fuck you!” I haven’t heard much of the former this past decade, but plenty of the latter.

There’s more respect shown in YouTube arguments over which deathcore band rules.

The country’s angry, I get that. But there’s a difference between being pissed over not having a job and this deeper, intolerant hate that seems to be lurking under the surface of every issue.* All over a president that, depending on what year it is, only half the country likes.

Each side then waits for the other’s candidate to complete their term... so they can vote in someone who will become loathed by the other half—at the end of their four years.

The circle of irony’s ironic like that, innit. So happy holidays, try and get along a little better, okay? Or, STFU.

Your choice.

*Even the LIRR. A fucking railroad, people. Geez.

1 comment:

Ben Kunz said...

It seems to me that boycotts don't do much on the actual level of physical impact, but they are a good "branding" campaign for a cause.

A boycott against Lieberman's associated businesses won't really harm them. So few people will participate, and the likelihood that they will actually decrease spending, that nothing will likely happen.

But the buzz is big. Lieberman is a bit of a lightning rod (he did speak for McCain) and this type of thing could make him think twice about some positions; after all, voters hear about the boycott, and that can't be good.

So think of it like a strong brand campaign. Little direct response impact; a message that is surely over the top; but heck, that's the whole point.