Another Public Service

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As members of a society built on virtually unrestrained capitalism, it's important for all of us to be aware of the tools we have at our disposal, ad individuals and collectively, to exert influence on that system.

No, not voting. That was yesterday, and we all know that doesn't mean shit. I'm talking about the BOYCOTT.

With the boycott, people who disagree with a corporation's policies refuse to buy that company's goods and services. If enough people join in, the company's profits and livelihood are threatened, and the company changes its policies. In theory.

In practice, fo course, nobody gives a shit, and all that happens is a bit of bad and/or hilarious publicity. Still, to make sure you have the latest in boycott news, it's time to unveil the Retarded Boycott Roundup!

BOYCOTT: ARUBA

Yes, the whole island. You see, the governor of Alabama would like you all to avoid spending your tourist dollars in the island paradice of Aruba. Why? Remember that teenager that went missing and got non-stop coverage for three months on all the news channels until actual horrifying tragedies bumped it? Natalie Holloway. Anyway, in the mind of Governor Bob Riley, the fine detectives of the island haven't done enough to find the missing Alabama teen. ACTUAL QUOTE TIME!

"There are no other alternatives to get Aruban authorities to take this as seriously as they should." - And in Riley's defense, after Holloway went missing, all other crime on Aruba stopped to honor the memory of the pretty white American, so it's not like the police have had anything else to do since June.

While I empathise with the family to the admittedly small extent I can manage after being deadened inside by endless media coverage, shit happens. If Bob Riley thinks it's so easy to find Holloway, then he should grab his deerstalker... wait. Alabama. His John Deere hat, his corncob pipe, and his faithful cousin Bobby Joe Watson, and crack the case himself. Alabama is perfectly capable of running itself into the ground without him at the helm pretending to aim.

BOYCOTT: ABERCROMBIE AND FITCH

Yes, again. Yes, over t-shirts, again. Yes, over offensive t-shirts, again. This time they've set their sights a bit higher, from Asians to an entire gender. Specifically, shirts that say "Who Needs Brains When You Have These" and "All Men Like Tig Old Bitties".

I don't have a problem with the first one. The first one serves a useful identification purpose. Any woman wearing that shirt either makes it true, or has shitty taste in irony. Any man wearing that shirt should be allowed to look at the cold-cast busts in the dealer's room while the rest of us keep a minimum 20 foot safe distance.

The second shirt, however, is unacceptable. You can't just switch letters around and pretend it's a spoonerism. The results have to FUCKING WELL BE WORDS. I'll even be gracious on "bitties", which I can do because "tig" is so incredibly not a fucking word. I don't know if the designer was just lazy, or thought "tig" was a verb meaning "the up and down oscillating motion of Felis tigris, but either way, the son of a bitch is dead wrong.

Oh, and they're also offensive to women, so some people complained, threatened the embarrasingly-retitled "girlcott", and got the retailer to pull the two shirts. However, the also-not-a-spoonerism "Muck Fe" remains on store shelves. Apparently wordplay pedants do not buy cargo pants in sufficient quantities.

BOYCOTT: KSTP CHANNEL FIVE, MINNEAPOLIS

This one's my favorite. The Minnesota Vikings are proposing a boycott of Minneapolis network affiliate KSTP.

The "why" is funny. See, after the glorious Sex Boat incident, a KSTP "investigation" went through eight bags of trash dumped by two players. Now, this is fairly low class, even for local TV news, but the Vikings, who, as you may recall, threw a drunken public orgy on a pair of lake cruise boats, felt this was an invasion of their privacy.

But what makes this boycott really great is that it was posted in the Vikings locker room.

Yes, that's right. The Vikings are encouraging the entire roster of the Vikings, all several dozen of them, to boycott a local television station. Now, unless KSTP has become the state's leading wholesaler of K-Y Jelly since the last time I checked, the only way 50 football players could hurt a TV station is if all fifty of them were... 20 to 30 Nielsen families. And I'm pretty sure Nielsen likes to spread things out more than that.

So remember, folks, if you want to contribute to retarded causes, don't go to Aruba, don't buy shitty T-shirts from a shitty store, and don't become a professional football player, get a position with the Vikings, and watch "According To Jim" unless it's down in Atlanta with a hooker.