On boycotts, again

I am, and have been for many years, boycotting Chick-fil-A.

Why? Well, you probably already know: the company and its ownership are far too mired in anti-LGBTQ bigotry for me to be willing to give them my money. Critically, I would like to give them my money, as their chicken is fucking delicious and I have two Chick-fil-A restaurants within easy dining distance. I am both capable of eating at Chick-fil-A and, were they to recant their bullshit, entirely willing to eat at Chick-fil-A. I miss their Goddamn sandwiches. That is, you see, what makes it a boycott. I’m also not eating at Jack In The Box. They don’t exist in my part of the country, so it’s not a boycott even if they gave all of their proceeds directly to Nazis. I don’t eat at Applebee’s despite their easy availability because by and large I think their food is garbage. That’s not a boycott either.

I am– and this is far from the first time I’ve said this here– not willing to call something a boycott unless I am deliberately withholding my money from a business or other organization, for political reasons, when in the absence of said political beliefs I would be both willing and able to spend my money with that business or organization. And before I wrote this post I actually sat down and spent some time looking into Tesla to see if I could afford one. The surprising answer: under certain circumstances, yes, so the fact that I will never willingly purchase a Tesla because Elon Musk is a shitstain actually takes precedence over the fact that they have that weird habit of catching on fire or running children over. I wouldn’t buy one if they were good cars. Which kinda makes me think I should rework my definition a bit, because there needs to be som room for “This thing sucks and I hate it, but even if it didn’t suck I wouldn’t buy it because politics.” It’s also kind of weird to talk about boycotting something like a car company, where I’ve had the same car since 2018 and have no intention of replacing it anytime soon. I’m not buying another Kia anytime soon either, and I drive one of those right now.

But anyway. That’s actually not the point.

I just today became aware of an app called Goods Unite Us, which purports to allow you to look up companies to find out where they direct their political contributions that you can … well, so that you can do whatever you want with that information, I suppose. And what triggered this post was me thinking about exactly how far the don’t want none won’t be none policy goes, and whether I should be applying it to corporations. That’s always been my policy regarding people; J.K. Rowling and Dan Simmons and Orson Scott Card and insert whoever here have all made it very clear that they are boils on humanity’s collective asshole, so I don’t read their shit any longer. It’s entirely possible that any of the authors I do read torture puppies in their spare time; the deal is, I’m not gonna go looking, but if you make your jackassery clear in public, well, I’m going to respond accordingly.

But what about corporations? Is the line there the same? I mean, the single corporation that I spend the most money with is absolutely Amazon, and it’s not close, and I know Amazon is shady as fuck, beyond a shadow of a damn doubt. Has that altered my behavior? No. The second-highest, at least before I start looking at bills, is my local comic shop, and the owners run the place. I have abandoned a comic shop in the past when the owner turned out to be an asshole, but I’m pretty sure that’s not going to turn out to be the case with these folks. Beyond that … Target, maybe? A restaurant of some sort? Verizon? Are we counting the bank that holds my mortgage? My local credit union?

And the thing is, capitalism (and America) being what they are, I know full and Goddamn well that if I look hard enough I’m going to find something shitty about just about everybody sooner or later, or at least “everybody” in the context of large companies or corporations. How much research do I owe it to myself/my ideals/whatever to do, and where’s the line on corporate malfeasance? Like, it’s interesting to me that I dropped Chick-fil-A when on balance Amazon is almost certainly more destructive than they are. But CFA’s evil is specific, and I can point to how what they do harms friends of mine. Amazon is shitty but I’m not sure I can point to a specific policy of theirs that has caused harm to someone I know. They treat their workers like shit and are viciously anti-union; I am myself a literal union member, but the one person I know who worked at Amazon actually liked the job.

There is also the minor detail that part of the reason I use Amazon for nearly everything nowadays is because Amazon has been so destructive and has made it so difficult for brick and mortar businesses to stay alive. I don’t go to a brick and mortar any longer unless I know I can find what I’m looking for there; the notion that I might hit three or four stores looking for something is just no longer a part of my experience.

I dunno. I’m mostly thinking out loud here, and I find it useful to occasionally step back and examine my decisions and thought processes on these things once in a while. What about you? Will you use that app? Under what circumstances?

In which I almost blow it

I was getting ready for bed just now, and I realized two things at the same moment:

  • That I had not blogged today, and that given the tenor of my week it would not be unreasonable to assume that I had not, in fact, made it through the last student day before Winter Break without going to jail. Fear not! My unbroken record of days where I didn’t kill a child and go to jail remains an unbroken record, and in fact today was probably easier than I was expecting it to be.
  • We had a pajama day at work today– no, I did not participate– and I was expecting a horror show of uniform issues. What I got instead (and, really, what I should have expected) was that everyone wore comfy pants and untucked T-shirts. There were a scattered few brave kids in onesies mostly as jokes and a few in proper pajamas, but mostly everybody showed up in their flannels. It was probably the most chill out of uniform day we’ve had this year, honestly.
  • That’s not the second thing. Consider it a bonus.
  • This is the second thing: that I actually still have an Amazon delivery coming today– it has been projected to arrive between 8:00 and 10:00 PM all day– and I kind of feel like I owe it to the driver to not be in bed while they, a fellow human being who is still at work, delivers my irrelevant shit to my house.
  • In fact, I’m gonna go turn the driveway light on.

I expect to be leaving work by noon tomorrow; I have some light grading and classroom rearranging to do and that’s it. After that? Coma time, which is my favorite time.

CLICK now available for pre-order!

And you can click– no pun intended– right here to make my latest book a part of your life. Release date is July 26, but why would you wait that long to buy it when you can make an impulse decision right now? This is my wife’s favorite of my books, so you should absolutely listen to her and go order it immediately.

I will be out of town all weekend, so updates are gonna be kinda sparse, but there’s already video content uploaded and waiting over at the yootoobz and nothing can keep me off of Twitter, so the dozens of you who plan your lives around my social media update schedule should be just fine. I will return Sunday, by which time I expect my body to be approximately 50% baklava and shawarma by weight. It’s gonna be a fine few days.

High-pressure sales tactics

I said it was happening, and yep, it’s happening: My novel Click is even as we speak being approved by Amazon’s fooferall machines and will be available for humans to buy in the very near future. Official release date is July 26, but it’ll be available for preorder soon, and as soon as the fooferall process concludes I will actually have a link you can click on to order it.

This isn’t even the official announcement post, really, because if it was there would be a link. This is like that card you get before a wedding announcement, that tells you there’s a wedding announcement coming and to hold a date, but somehow is not, itself, either the announcement or the invitation. This is just the announcement that there’s gonna be a book and that you should be prepared to buy it, if you like.

In other news, my YouTube channel is still out there and I’m still having fun with it, so you should go look at that and hit Subscribe as quickly as possible. Am I talking about it too much? Yes, absolutely– but if I don’t, no one will know about the great fun we’re having with Chicory: A Colorful Tale over there. And that one doesn’t even cost you any money! Go do it.

In other other news, the prophesied Second Child has entered the house, and I’m realizing as I’m typing this that I don’t currently hear any screaming, so either the children are both dead or they have gone somewhere without my knowledge, which seems like it could possibly be an alarming development. I don’t know where my wife is either, though, so maybe she’s with them.

(Thudding in the hallway)

Okay, I guess it’s fine now.

My sleep study has been canceled, because, I shit you not, my insurance company has deemed me “not sick enough” to require one, which … man, that’s a whole entire rant, right there, and I’m going to not bother writing the majority of it because the fact is I don’t think I have sleep apnea and not having to spend Thursday night in a hospital makes the rest of my week easier. Instead, at some as-yet-undetermined point in the future I have to do a home sleep study, and if you happen to know what the hell that might involve, let me know, because I haven’t gotten around to Googling it yet. Fact is I have got shit to do, and taking an entire night in a hospital bed hooked up to machines and pretending to sleep off my plate makes the chances that all the other stuff will actually get done a lot higher. Tomorrow’s tasks involve finding presents for my cousin’s two children, one of whom I’ve never met, and getting all of my video recording for the entire weekend done and out of the way. None of that can really start until the extra child is out of the house, and there may be a trip to the county fair in there sometime as well. I’m bringing my laptop to Michigan with me so I can keep up with bloggery, but if there’s anybody out there thinking hey, I would really love to write a piece to promote something for infinitefreetime on, like, no notice at all, let me know.

I have had an insanely frustrating day

And, in return, I would like to present you all with a very simple life hack. I tweeted about this earlier and I’d like more people to be aware of it.

You may have gotten a Visa or MasterCard gift card for Christmas, and you may have been frustrated upon trying to use it at an online retailer, because you either have to leave a small amount of money on the card or somehow manage to spend exactly the amount on the card, because most online places won’t let you split a purchase over more than one card.

If you’ve got a $50 Visa gift card, and you want to spend $60 at, say, Amazon, then what you do is you first use the Visa on Amazon to buy a $50 Amazon gift card. This will be emailed to you as a code and you can then immediately use that code plus your debit card or whatever, and boom– $50 off whatever you wanted to buy, with no money lost to transaction fees and no money left on the card.

You’re welcome.