aTypical Joe: a gay New Yorker living in the rural South
Tuesday, November 22, 2005
Everything old is new again
As religious right groups go, the American Family Association doesn’t the kind of money, members, or influence some of its better known competitors have, but when it comes to boycotts, nobody comes close to the AFA.
The AFA’s targets have included Disney, Ford, Crest toothpaste, Volkswagen, Tide detergent, Clorox bleach, Pampers, MTV, Abercrombie & Fitch, K-Mart, Burger King, American Airlines and S.C. Johnson & Son, makers of Windex, Ziploc, Pledge, Glade, and Edge, usually because of some perceived “anti-family” animus. Late last year, the AFA also went after the movie “Shark Tale,” because the group believed the movie was designed to brainwash children into accepting gay rights. This year, it was American Girl dolls. Not a single AFA target has ever caved to the group’s demands, but it doesn’t seem to matter.
And according to an alert issued yesterday by James Dobson’s Focus on the Family, the AFA is worked up about another alleged injustice. This time, it’s Target and its holiday-celebrating ways.
The AFA is already claiming success:
Your efforts are having an impact. USA Today (11/16/05) announced that “Target alarmed investors by saying projected sales at stores open a year in November would miss the estimated 4% to 6% growth. Shares of Target fell $4.13 to $54.30.” (A 7% drop.)
Target’s ban of the Salvation Army and “Merry Christmas” expresses the same attitude toward Christianity as that held by Michael Newdow, who wants to ban “In God We Trust” from our currency and “under God” from our Pledge of Allegiance.
AFA is asking individuals to boycott Target during the upcoming Thanksgiving weekend-the busiest shopping weekend of the year. Please share this request to boycott Target on that weekend with friends, family and members of your church and Sunday school class.
Emphasis theirs. And though this year they’ve added the “Merry Christmas” issue - it was talked about last year too, just not included in the Action Alert - one year ago, I wrote this same post. I think it holds up pretty well, so I’m including it in its entirety here:
I just got back from lunch. On the radio I heard an ad asking that we boycott Target and visit Wal-Mart instead. The fundamentalist Christian community is up in arms that Target has banned Salvation Army solicitors from their stores. Even some liberals seem to be upset about the ban, but mainly it’s the fundamentalist Christians. Myself, I don’t much care. I don’t really see it as anti-Christian on Target’s part (their corporate statement is here [link is dead, so replaced with this year’s Salon article]) and if I were to take up the cudgel of free speech in the private sphere, it wouldn’t likely be on behalf of an evangelical Christian charity.
It surprised me to hear this locally produced issue advocacy ad on our little country radio station. “Star Station” WLRR 100.7 is a one man operation run from a personal computer out of his home by Craig Baker. The station plays “standards” (in monaural!) that seem so old as to all be in the public domain. I talked to Craig last year when I was looking for work and, as an advocate of local independent media, I was impressed with what he put together and enjoyed what he had to say.
He believes the most important part of his programming is his commercials. He has no DJs so they are the only original content he’s got. He goes out and records, edits and writes them on his own, on the spot, with the local merchants. Now that’s local radio. The ads all have personality, reflecting this time and place like no other media around here. One of my favorites is for Farmers and Merchants Bank, which is touting how it’s now technologically up to date because it just added “telephone banking.”
I’ve listened to the station since I’ve lived here and Craig was right, I listen for the commercials. Lately I’ve noticed a decidedly Christian turn to the station. Maybe Craig’s found a new market and is selling them ads like hotcakes. Maybe he’s playing to his Bible-belt audience. Maybe he’s a fundamentalist Christian himself (the topic didn’t come up in our conversation though I pointedly mentioned my gay partner). I don’t know. What I do know is the station’s quite popular; Craig knows his market. And Target knows theirs. My friends, who like me travel to Macon to shop at Target, all want one to open up here. I won’t hold my breath.
Fact = “no reason to doubt.” Huh?
Many news outlets have reported that Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael Steele (left) was pelted by or mocked with Oreo cookies in a 2002 debate. Former Sun reporter Sarah Koenig says she didnt see any cookies that night. The air was not thick with anything except political bullshit,” she tells Gadi Dechter. Washington Times reporter S.A. Miller defends reporting the Oreo anecdote as fact on the grounds that he has no reason to doubt that it happened.”
Apparently, at least one network does:
“TiVo appears to be acting unilaterally, disregarding established rights of content owners to participate in decisions regarding the distribution and exploitation of their content,” an NBC Universal spokesperson told Hollywood’s Daily Variety trade paper.
“This unilateral action creates the risk of legal conflict instead of contributing to the constructive exploitation of digital technology that can rapidly provide new and exciting experiences for the consumer.”
Says Thomas Hawk:
What’s so amazing about this latest chapter in the TiVo saga is that even though executives want TiVo to work with them, Hollywood has been fighting TiVo from day one… This is simply more proof that Hollywood is scared to death of the TiVo effect. Since they haven’t figured out a way to “exploit” TiVo for their gain, they must instead come up with solutions like product placements and shifting the start of their programs to 9:04 pm instead of at 9 o’clock (heaven forbid that someone be allowed to watch a show on two networks in the same night ) Seems awful strange to me that they are telling Madison Avenue that the PVR is the best thing since sliced bread, while they are continuing to come up with ways to isolate their audience. In all fairness to Hollywood there were a few studios that did express some interest in supporting the product. In the Variety article Kevin Tsujihara of Warner Brothers came out and said “In addition to focusing on the legal issues, it’s also important to focus on the fact that consumers are saying this is the kind of thing they want.” While it’s encouraging to see that Warner Brothers is at least a little cool, I wonder if there attitude stays the same when consumers figure out how bad their Start Over service really is.
I just wish Google would buy TiVo and then kick some universal butt!
$100 laptop video
Last week Andy Carvin posted an “Eight-minute video documentary of the prototype of Nicholas Negroponte’s $100 laptop… Andy talks with the chief technology officer of the initiative and gets a first-hand look at this highly anticipated device.”
Via The Last Minute.
We are re-assuming our identity as Pajamas Media. (Just give us a few days to sort the technical issues out.) In short, the whole experience of being caught with our pajamas down has been a bit embarrassing, but in the end, when we realized we could get our beloved name back, we were overjoyed. So a warm, hearty thanks to all of you who expressed your displeasure with our phony identity.
Via James Joyner: You’re welcome.
The Kansas Supreme Court said the state can’t punish underage sex more harshly because it involves homosexuality. Then why is it that Matthew R. Limon will be back in court tomorrow?
Because the County Attorney is filing new charges - “unlawful voluntary sexual relations” - for the same consensual act:
Paul Cates, spokesman for the American Civil Liberties Union which represents Limon, said what the prosecutor was doing isn’t right.
“We’re fine with him being recharged under Romeo and Juliet, but it seems like the prosecutor is trying to extend the supervision,” Cates said. “This is for somebody who has served four-and-a-half years in prison for a consensual sex act.”
On Nov. 3, the judge ordered Limon released from Ellsworth prison until the state decided its next move.
A condition of that release was that Limon be placed under house arrest, limiting his ability to leave the home of his aunt and uncle in western Kansas. He also is barred from having contact with minors, cannot use alcohol and drugs, and must undergo sex offender counseling.
So, having been jumped and while being repeatedly punched by several bashers, Dawson should have evaluated what level of force would be just right? Or maybe the police view is more akin to the anti-Semites’ view of Israel: Jews (or gays) should not be permitted to defend themselves. They should just die.