43 Little things I’m boycotting

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1. The Discount Economy – Groupon, LivingSocial, BuyWithMe, etc.  It erodes a local economy, devastates small business, and encourages a culture of getting something for nothing as a lifestyle.  Clipping individual coupons for mass-produced products is one thing.  Larger companies can typically absorb those costs.  Taking advantage of a horrible economy and small businesses’ fears of going under, forcing them into a mindset of desperation is not good and erodes value and realistic pricing over time.

2. Made In China – at least, as much as possible.  The shoddy manufacturing, cheap parts, human rights violations, environmental pollution atrocities, and the idea of funding a communist regime that legislates limits on children and advocates/requires abortion procedures due to gender preference of children is NOT high on my list of causes or regions to support.

3. Walmart – always possible, no matter what you’ve been told.  Not only do they buy most of their merchandise from China (hypocritically, as they were thumping the “Buy American” drum not so long ago), but they have committed several labor violations here in the US.  Besides – they just need to go down.  Peopleofwalmart.com and the annual post-Thanksgiving Black Friday tramplings are living proof.

4. Straight-chiro motivational seminars – these folks do nothing but prey on insecure, desperate DCs who are just trying to make it and do the best they can.  The research is thin and self-serving, the sales pitches are long, annoying, and high-pressure, the salespeople are slimy, the companies are fly-by-night, and these idiots work hard behind the scenes to make sure we’re just desperate enough to have nowhere to turn but them.

5. Factory-farmed animal products – chock-full of growth hormones, concentrated pesticides, and superbug-breeding antibiotics, they don’t cook up right, smell right, look right, taste right, or deliver any real nutrients.  They’re responsible for the major increase in gender-based cancers and the ever-growing divide between the omega fatty acid ratios we actually consume versus what we were designed to thrive on.

6. Big 3 auto manufacturers – as much as I like supporting domestic economy (which isn’t even true now that the Big 3’s manufacturing facilities have moved to Mexico, Canada, and other countries thus moving more of our jobs across the borders and oceans anyway), they’re no longer worthy of my wallet vote.  I had a Ford.  Once.  Burned once, shame on you; burned twice, shame on me.  Japanese auto makers = no more shame.

7. Facebook game, quiz, hearts, hugs, drinks, etc apps – they want your personal info: your name, friend list, “likes”, tastes, birthday, age, occupation, links posted, status posts, and probably your fingerprints, DNA strands, and firstborn child.  Just say no.

8. Giving Facebook my cell phone number – how emphatically can I say, “blow me”??

9. Telemarketers and door-to-door salespeople – see above

10. Compact Fluorescent light bulbs – Mercury vapor, sickening green light, EPA hazmat call for broken glass, failure to live up to its life expectancy, higher cost, Made In China, “green” advocacy groups…what’s not to hate?

11. Northern climates in wintertime – hell.  No.  I won’t go.

12. The News, and any news channels – Yes, I’d like to get all riled up about inaccurate sensationalism, scrolling headlines, scrolling stock quotes, animated logos, Terror Alert Orange, politically-slanted material, bickering talking heads, yapping meaningless analysts, and having to keep track of 6 constantly-changing things on my screen at once….NOT.  I gave the news channels up years ago.  Never looked back.  Looks like many have done exactly the same.

13. Microsoft (except where I’m literally forced to via software limitations) – every time I log onto the PC I still keep around for software manufacturers who just don’t get it, I feel like a child who is being condescendingly manipulated at every turn.  The graphics are an eyesore, the usability a nightmare, stability nonexistent, software packages counter-intuitive, and restrictions are, well, restricting.  Confining, like a die-hard boxer fan having to wear briefs.

14. Text messaging – still haven’t done it.  Yes, I have a smartphone.  I’m probably the only smartphone user on the planet who hasn’t texted someone at least once.  I refuse to do so, because every time I imagine someone texting it’s behind the wheel of a large SUV, creating unnecessary traffic congestion and hazards, and it makes my blood boil.  So, no.

15. Textspeak – it’s a virus and a cancer all wrapped up in one.  At least it illuminates the divide between dumbasses and those of normal intelligence, but since the dark side is winning (i.e. increasing its numbers), it’s both frustrating and depressing.  The word is “you”, not “u”.  It’s two more letters.  Fucking write them.

16. U-scan self check-out lanes at the grocery store.  Not only is this a small-scale job-killer (and we need absolutely every last available job opportunity right now), but it also slaps the customer in the face, essentially telling us, “you’re not even worth the 8-dollar-an-hour employee we’d pay to efficiently scan your stuff, smile, and say thank you”.  Besides, wasn’t the cost of the help figured into the price of groceries?  It’s not like groceries cost any less at stores that use these blasted things.  If I’m bagging my own groceries, I’m working for them; they should be paying me!

17. Paywalls on the internet – such as newspapers, etc – unless it’s research or something that actually deserves to have a paywall.  This boycott becomes double strength if they wait until the very end of the signup process to disclose said paywall.

18. Apples’s Safari browser – Apple’s weakest link, hands down.  Freezes, hangs, stalls, and often crashes.  Can’t render text properly half the time, and the other half it can’t load a page or its graphics or background properly.

19. 3D movies – 2D is enough.  I don’t want to feel like some sheep in the audience in the movie Josie & The Pussycats who is mindlessly donning a pair of cat-ear headphones.

20. Big Box stores, wherever humanly possible.  See Walmart lament.

21. Conan and other stupid comedy.  I never did get into him and from the looks of the trailer ads for his shows, it doesn’t look like I’m ever going to.

22. Commercials, especially when loud, annoying, and sound-compressed.  These typically have an effect opposite that which was intended – instead of putting up with being able to hear them across the apartment, if they have compression, one of three other buttons gets pushed: channel up, channel down, or MUTE.

23. Stale repetitive radio, especially if compressed.

24. Pop-up ads, pop-under ads, seizure-inducing banner ads, and other horrible forms of internet advertising.  I really, really hope these can die once and for all.  At no point were they even acceptable.  I don’t know who gave advertisers the idea that they were.

25. Proctor & Gamble and other huge multinational companies akin to the devil.

26. Makeup, high heels, panty-hose, thong underwear, low-cut shirts, or any other uncomfortable women’s clothing.

27. Less-than-accurate Google search returns that don’t actually have what I’m looking for.

28. Store credit cards – I prefer to buy my merchandise and then leave, thank you.  I don’t want to donate, I don’t want to give up my phone number, and I don’t want to sign up for a rewards card, member ship card, loyalty program, bonus points, or a credit card.  Really, please, let me check out in peace, make pleasant small talk with me, and then send me on my merry way; it’s a winning formula – don’t reinvent the wheel or mess up the relationship.

29. Almost all extended warranties – 99 times out of 100, they’re a rip-off.  Think long and hard and don’t let the salespeople or cashiers play to your fear.

30. DCs (Doctors of Chiropractic) who only do a “Flying 7” – doing the same thing every time – 3 quick pushes up the spine, a hip adjustment on each side, and a neck pop on each side – is not the way to go.  Make sure you’re documenting the problems you find and addressing those and only those.  Also, make sure that the problem isn’t the exact same with every visit.  Ditto for treatment.

31. Dollar coins – not carrying them.  If I ever get one, I’m turning it back into the bank and demanding my paper dollar.

32. Blu-Ray – DVD just got affordable – oh wait–that’s WHY a new medium came out.  Once they release the grips on the prices of the last one, the next one is out now.

33. Prescription and over-the-counter drugs, especially for chronic lifestyle conditions that can easily be solved naturally.

34. Especially, Claritin and Allegra because they don’t do shit.

35. Companies affiliated with Scientology – it’s a cult, and a damaging one.  Many companies founded by their members are simply vehicles for further adherent recruitment (that’s you, they hope).  Don’t go there.

36. Sports, especially mainstream and obnoxious – nuff said.

37. Rush-hour traffic – I refuse to live far from work or in a situation where I must take a freeway or major highway to get there.  Sidestreets and short distances keep stress low.

38. Overpriced real estate – I’m not giving into someone else’s greed or sentimental value.  If it’s overpriced, I’ll wait to buy.  If I lose the property to another buyer because they jumped on it before I did, it wasn’t meant to be, and there will be more.

39. Personal care products whose parent companies conduct tests on animals – I shouldn’t need to elaborate on this one.  To do so would just stir up profound sadness.

40. Cheesy reality TV – let’s put scriptwriters out of business and sensationally film staged re-enactments of idiot people doing stupid things–and let’s use that to replace decent quality programming.

41. Diets – fat-free, low-calorie – I refuse to starve myself or give in to horrendously incorrect conventional wisdom.

42. Fads like HCG, Human Growth Hormone – it died once.  It won’t work this time.  Because if it worked, it wouldn’t have fallen out of favor the first time.

43. Multi-level marketing companies – Nikken, Kangen, Juice Plus, Monavie, Amway, etc.

I have a long way to go and I may never reach spiritual or social purity, but my life feels cleaner now.  🙂

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