crows: (flying raven)
http://www.the350project.net/home.html

In very short: pick three local stores that you want to remain open, spend fifty dollars in these stores.

The site quotes something I've read many times over and a statistic I've repeated in literature for my family's business about how many cents on the dollar (or, in this case, dollars per hundred) that remain in the local economy when the initial income flows through a locally owned business, vs. a nationally owned chain, vs. online. Seems to me this site quotes a somewhat more generous figure than I've seen elsewhere for how much money remains in the community if people are buying at chain stores... that could be owing to a newer study as the big-boxes attempt to capitalize on the public's growing awareness of local economics by planting more charity money down where they've set up shop. Or that could just be Marie cynicism talking. Either way, there are a hundred more reasons to shop local. Yes, you will end up spending a little extra, but trust me when I tell you it's for the right reasons.
crows: (Default)
So. Prior to someone I actually care about actually caring in a way that was visible (she expressed annoyance <3, so I figured I'd better at least go see what this thing was), I hadn't been paying attention to the trending '#amazonfail' topic on Twitter (and elsewhere? I'm not sure). And, by this point, I haven't dug particularly deep into it and, FRANKLY, I doubt I will. I'm not against political activism; but my hotbutton issues are reproductive rights and toy-industry stuff mostly. And yes, I do write and call and read my Planned Parenthood newsletters. I don't feel the need to attack everything in the country that I'm unsure about.

Anyway. So, it seems to be that Amazon may or may not have (they have not released an 'official statement' about the issue yet as I understand) made moves to sweep books with 'adult content', and books focusing on gay/lesbian themes (and/or by gay/lesbian authors) under the rug by keeping them from appearing on best seller lists and on the main search of the website.

Now, as a policy, I do -not- agree with this by any means. It's pretty crappy. I'm firmly and vocally of the belief that a man who likes men should be treated no differently than a man who has a penchant for red-heads or girls that like to waterski. Why should I give a shit who you're romantically and sexually invested in? The only way that possibly affects my life is if it's ME. (I am not a man, I don't waterski, and my hair is only red because I dye it). So, yea, if a business in my town decided this was kosher, I'd be disappointed.

On the other hand, they are a business. My family also owns a business (it's a toy store, for anyone who doesn't know). It is the nearest and dearest right for my mother to be able to choose what she does and does not carry, and why; that's a huge part of what she does with her life. For one thing, she chooses not to stock a lot of overtly religious material (of any faith - though, we do usually get in some dreidles at holiday time and I'm always amazed by how many people I have to explain what they are to... who doesn't know what a dreidle is?! I'm not a bit Jewish and I've always known what a dreidle is! Dreidle always sounded like a fun game to me... >.>...). So, whether or not I agree with the policies guiding Amazon to what they do and do not carry, I have a hard time saying that they don't have the right to make those choices. Just because I want to buy something, doesn't mean they HAVE to make it available to me (and yes, this is one thing I think American consumer culture does NOT have a good sense of - just because you want something does not make you entitled to have it).

Now, on the other OTHER hand (I have THREE!), I have to say I think it's stellar that people are taking notice. One of the things our economy (and society!) lacks and suffers for is consumer awareness of the businesses behind the products that they cant wait to get their grabby little hands on. This runs the gamut... if people were paying more attention to what kind of business decisions companies were making, large and small, from discrimination amongst staff of product selection, to production, to financial decisions, to how their taking part in the community, and subsequently making somewhat more judicious choices about what behaviors they were supporting, our economic situation and more would be very, very different. Less production would have been driven overseas. There would be more, better jobs and more quality control over shit, and the government wouldn't be spending billions of dollars on testing regulations and recalls (THAT ARE GOING TO DESTROY AN INDUSTRY! CPSIA, I'm looking at you right now!). Businesses and individuals would be more involved with their communities and, thusly, those communities would be stronger and safer.

As a rule, I'm a little turned-off by 'viral' or 'guerrilla' marketing, but it is pervasive, so I guess it shouldn't be surprising that activism endeavors would be the same. I can't say for sure how I feel about the whole thing method-wise; but with any movement like this there's just going to be that percentage of people who don't really know what they're talking about and get way, way more hot and bothered than is probably appropriate, given that fact. That always worries me. In the mean time, I'm going to keep a closer eye on the news and see what Amazon has to say about it, and how they respond to the outcry from this part of their customer base.

This is a capitalist nation. It matters where you put your money.
crows: (Default)
Recently, I've gotten in conversations with a few friends (including [livejournal.com profile] alaskanmermaid and [livejournal.com profile] vayleen) about trading/downloading music for free. Ethical, non-ethical? There are all sorts of opinions out there ranging from 'why the hell not' to people who've gotten rid of anything they didn't pay for out of guilt. That said, free channels of acquiring music have lead to me buying more music in the last year than I ever would have otherwise. A lot of it is from Pandora (free customizable internet radio - if you're not familiar, get that way: http://www.pandora.com) which faced some heat last year because various factions have been pushing for the taxes and royalty costs on that sort of thing to be a lot higher. But being able to hear new artists in a way that's related to what I like listening to, and get a feel for different albums, makes me very willing to pop open Amazon.com and purchase some music (I buy their MP3 albums; I prefer this to iTunes because they're unlocked but the price is comparable). Right now, I'm downloading a Kings of Leon album based on one guy I kindof know mentioning it, which caused me to snag a tune off of [livejournal.com profile] alaskanmermaid's computer which I think she downloaded from a fan mix somewhere. I posted this to a comment in her journal at some point, but, really the way I feel about distributing music for free? If an artist reaches more ears and receives more playtime, they're much more likely to be able to continue making a living from their art in this day and age, where access to information of all varieties is as fast and as cheap as it is. So if you're feeling weird about your free music, support the artists you love monetarily where possible (be it buying albums, t-shirts, concert tickets, or whatever), and share, because chances are all those other people you're sharing with are going to eventually do the same. Yes, I know, there are always people out there who won't. But they won't regardless.

Lastly, anyone have any recommendations for me? I like all sorts of things. We should trade.
crows: (Default)
My boss?

Forgot to write me a paycheck.

Supposedly, checks were cut on the 12th to be paid out on the 15th. Nobody got paid till today. And... he just... didn't do mine.

/shrug.

Also, I fell on the pavement yesterday and skinned/bruised my knee really bad. Commenced to get almost no sleep, and my entire body hurts.

That's it, I'll quit my bitching. For now.
crows: (Default)

It's been a substantial while since I last called my mother to borrow some cash.  But I think I'm going to have to, if I'm going to make anything work this month.  And if neither of my god damn jobs can pay me in a timely and correct fashion.  

I am so at the end of my fucking rope right now.  Can I just tell you, how much I'm looking forward to getting home, getting normal paychecks, and being able to work full time hours for a while?   (Hey, it's the holidays soon, I'm even going to get some overtime!)  And knowing that, for the most part, my checks are going to get to me when I anticipate them?

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