"Robin, get me a toothpick?", I asked as I was trying to unknot someone's shoelaces the other day. "You banned me from using those," she replied. "I did?" "Yes, right after you banned gum, again."
Sigh. I ban things on a regular basis in this house; I can't keep track of what is allowable and what is forbidden anymore. It reminds me when I took Hayley and her friend to mall around the time of the A&F "no fat people clothes" debacle (read my post "Ubercrummie"). I had given her all the "pre-flight, walking around the mall by yourself instructions" when I said, "Oh yeah, remember no A&F." Hayley turns to her friend and says, "My mom bans lots of things. We can't go to Chick-fil-a. We can't use BP gas. We aren't allowed to have gum." And off they went.
There are different levels of my "banning behavior". The gum and toothpicks are due to the fact if they chew gum I find it in the clothes dryer and stuck in various, inappropriate surfaces. Toothpicks and glitter get everywhere. They are a nightmare. The business boycotts are generally due to my politics. Word usage is due to my wanting to bring up decent human beings. Now there is a new conflict coming at me and I am not sure what to do about it.
I loved, loved, loved the book "Ender's Game" and all the sequels. A movie version, which so far looks pretty cool from the previews, is coming out November 1. What I hadn't know before is the author, Orson Scott Card, is a pretty vocal critic of homosexuality and advocates for a group called the National Organization for Marriage (anti-same-sex marriages) and believes homosexual activity can be a part of or lead to paraphilia (sex with objects, children, animals...). So, now before me lays another possible thing to boycott, a movie of a book I own and have read.
Is it easier to boycott a fast food restaurant because they are 10 others down the road to choose from?
Is it easier to boycott a clothing company because they are not within your family's budget?
Is it easier to boycott Tom Cruise because all his movies suck anyway?
Are my boycotts really creating a sacrifice for myself or are just meaningless bandwagons I appear to jump on? I am not sure what the right thing to do is. The old axiom "if it feels good do it" can also be "if it feels bad avoid it". I would feel bad the whole I time I was watching the movie. Just because it was a beloved book in my library, the new insight I have gained into its creator makes me to not want to spend $11 to support his life choices.
Here is a link to a site called "Skip Ender's Game". They have quite a bit to say about Mr. Card, offer alternative activities for November 1, and there is a pledge to boycott to sign, if you so wish. Cory Doctorow, author and blogger over at BoingBoing, wrote a bit about why he is not boycotting the movie and you can read his piece here.
What do you think? Do boycotts work? Who are they for? What do they do? Who do they harm? Who do they benefit?