Thursday, March 19, 2009

Revolution of the Pocketbook

I don't buy Kraft products. Kraft is owned by Phillip Morris and court win or not, I just feel icky when I think my buying mac & cheese puts even a single red cent into the hands of a cigarette company; however far up in the ownership list it is.

I forgot JC Penny existed, because I stopped buying from them over Dr. Laura and the Ellen show. I got used to living my life without JC Penny.

I avoid Walmart if at all possible, and luckily for me, it's very possible.

I don't watch a lot of tv anymore because I'm sick and tired of the black faces being majority mindless comedy and white faces in just about everything else. I wait for friends to recommend tv series for me and watch them via Netflix.

I also don't eat foods with MSG in them, no matter how much they remind me of my childhood - because I just don't want to do that to my body. I might not be able to eat as healthily and with as many fresh ingredients that I'd like - but avoiding msg is something easy I can do for my health.

And I've recently made a commitment to by a brand of toilet paper I already like - because I've discovered that most TP in the US apparently comes from virgin trees. That's waste I don't feel comfortable supporting, just for my ass.

I call all this, living my life by my principles. Are there times when I make compromises against my principles? Yes. But I determine those moments and those compromises are a conscious choice for whatever reason - from buying water in a bottle, if I absolutely can't find a bottle of apple juice or something else healthy somewhere to deciding I can't afford birch sugar, so I'll buy beet or cane.

There's a list that a friend of mine put up, that I contributed links to, concerning the various authors behaving badly (not linked on purpose). And that list has been pointed out and called a lot of things. The list-maker has been called a lot of things; some extremely offensive.

And I am both amazed, angry and well, quite frankly, laughing.

When one person says to an author behaving badly. "I will never buy your work again." Most authors apparently go 'And there goes my one expensive dinner out for the year' - quite snarkily, and go about their lives. But if that one person puts up a list to keep track, for her and her friends - all of a sudden that's labeled an enemies list or 'calling for a boycott'.

I said I wanted to shun certain authors, to me shunning would include not buying or borrowing from the library, any of their work.

I have given up Peter David and Emma Bull. I have given up Charles Stross, regardless of how much I've enjoyed his Merchant Princes series. I've sighed and firmed my resolve against anything by Robin Mckinley. I've discovered that seeing the word TOR makes me roll my eyes so hard they hurt. William Sanders and anything related to him got on my shit list last year.

Is there a difference somehow to my putting these names in a paragraph vs having them in a bullet point list?

Is there a difference to having a list in my head of authors I won't try or having their names spread out in several posts in a blog with a search box?

I'm already avoiding Urban Fantasy with white protagonists - so I've already been avoiding Anton Strout. Jim Butcher got in under the wire before my disgust and dismay at an entire genre set in and I keep hoping he never says a word, cause a 50/50 chance of him saying the wrong thing is too much. But if I hear something unappealing about him - you can bet that I will clench my teeth, sigh, and erase him from my 'Books to collect' list.

Readers choose to pursue or not pursue certain authors or series based on their own personal taste. That taste can include whether or not they think the authors are asshats. The whole world is not like comics fandom, where as much complaining as happens, many people just still keep buying because of a need for a complete collection.

It's called free will, whether one believes that will to be a privilege of G-d or constitution. And another aspect of such choice is called a free market.

So what's the big to do?

Is it because it's PoC/NWP who're making a list and the authors on that list are white? Is this just another twist on the concept of reverse racism? Cause it seems that way.

Anton Strout (or someone using/sharing his IP addy) calling an Asian Hawaiian woman 'you little macadamia nut' sure as hell makes it seem that way (again not linked on puropse - but IP logging = win).

When Scalzi made his first entry about Racefail 09 - The pdf I had from Tor's free offerings got deleted off my computer. Immediately. And I put the rest of the authors excluding Buckell and Misty Lackey in a holding folder for further deletion consideration.

Authors behaving badly aren't worth anyone's spoons. But I know they're definitely not worth mine. They're not worth my free time. They're not worth my money. They're not worth me recommending them to my local librarians as potential purchases.

So I say, a little like the crowd at the National Mall on January 20th of this year:

"Na na na na, na na na na, hey hey hey, goodbye"


  1. You might want to double-check the Scalzi rejection against his blog since that first one. He's backtracked on that first post (not a fake apology, either) and done a pretty fair job since on the subject. As you choose, of course.

  2. Lysana:

    By using the words 'his first entry' it was meant to imply there'd been more than one and his first entry was the one I found objectionable.

  3. Wow, the lack of self-awareness among the people freaking out about the list is pretty insane. I mean, she has links to reasons why and everything. If these folks really think they're being wronged, then why worry? Anyone who reads the list, clicks the links, should agree with them, right?

    You'd think they'd realize that this kneejerk reaction pretty much indicates that deep down even THEY know they're in the wrong.

  4. Thanks for the link to the list (particularly the parts explanatory so we can see for ourselves), I haven't been following this closely due to RL concerns but I have a couple unread McKinley books on my shelf that I'm not going to waste my time with now.

  5. yeah - mckinley's off my list too, for the racist/colonialist implications behind the blue sword...