Saturday, July 27, 2013

Picasso's Last Words (Drink to Me)

My lord, the gays and their causes.  It defies logic sometimes, not that you can tell us / them least without getting bitch-slapped.

"Everyone" is on rant about boycotting Stoli vodka due to Russia's treatment of GLBT folks in their country. 

I don't drink vodka, so there is nothing for me to boycott. 

I do understand boycotts when it comes to organizations and companies. I'm not sure I get a boycott against a singular company in hopes that it will change national policy for a country - let alone a country that isn't even ours. 

Isn't that a little like Germany saying they won't use Welch's Grape Jelly if the U.S. doesn't change their policies on greenhouse gases?   Ok, maybe that isn't the best analogy, but it is not too far off.

I don't think anyone in the former Soviet Union is quaking in their boots - save maybe the people at Stoli.  

The arguments for why the boycott will succeed are flawed (my opinion).  People cite Anita Bryant (36 yrs ago!) and Coors (allegedly ended in 1997)...and.....well........that's it.

(ok - we had those uber-successful boycotts that totally brought down Target, Whole Foods and Chik-fil-a.)

Bryant was removed as a spokesperson and yes, it hurt the Florida Orange Juice Growers.  The Coors boycott hurt Coors, but guess what, the family is still severely right-winged and still giving money to organizations that cater to the right-wing.  So......

And yes, those boycotts financially hurt the company and did nothing to change domestic policy on well......anything.  Stoli will get financially hurt, but thinking they have pull with Putin or is that vital to the Russian economy is ludicrous - this is a country who still has periodic bread lines and an overall economy worse than East St. Louis. 

If Stoli is the biggest factor in the Russian economy then the country might have bigger issues. 

And why go after only Stoli - why not all Russian spirits or products?  Personally it sounds like Skyy or Grey Goose is behind this boycott. 

I would be more inclined to have people / athletes / sponsors boycott the 2014 Winter Games in Russia - not that I see that really happening - there is way too much invested.  The IOC claims that Russia claims that athletes and fans will be exempt from the anti-GLBT propaganda laws. 

Shouldn't that be a bigger issue?  Exemptions for certain populations and only when the eyes of the world are upon them for two weeks?  

The boycott of the Russian games in 1980 didn't have the desire effect the U.S wanted - and hell, Russia had invaded Afghanistan. I don't see the U.S. or any other country actually skipping the Winter Games. But the world is a different place now.  Social media, the internet, etc would have many more eyes on human rights issues in Russia. 

I was taken to task by someone who said that the Stoli boycott is a grassroots effort and that social change can only happen through this effort. 


My, how short-sighted and how hypocritical. 

Mind you - these are the same people the bemoan, belittle and mock One Million Moms and NOM's boycotts on JCP and Starbucks respectively.  Whether you like it or not, those groups are going for social change too - just not some we would like to see. 

So boycotts are ok as long as it suits our wants and needs?

The reality is - Ed Snowden will be given sanctuary by Russia.  The U.S. wants him back.  We're not going to rock that boat any more than we possibly have to until he is custody....and that includes denouncing GLBT human rights in Russia. 

The boycotters can knock themselves out, but I think their focus and their target is misguided. 

Song by: Paul McCartney & Wings


Anonymous said...

I mostly agree with you. I think most boycotts ask for one action but result in another. Does boycotting ever really financially hurt anyone? Not that I've seen but it does result in awareness and discussion.

I'm totally against boycotting the Olympics, always have been but even as I type this it occurs to me that how I think of the Olympics no longer what they are.

tommyz said...

We don't look to boycotts to change the world but to add a straw to the camels back and alert others to the problem. The best benefit of a boycott is that it - and the reasons why - get picked up by media. Your argument is like saying - why have sex if you can't guarantee pregnancy - ummm - lots of reasons.

Joe said...

I love Stoli, especially Stoli O with cranberry juice. If gay bars are going to boycott Stoli, then they need to boycott all Russian vodka. I'm all for a boycott when a company has actively done something against the LGBT community like Chik-Fil-A, but Stoli sponsors numerous gay events and has spoken out against the anti-gay Russian laws, so I don't see the reason for the protest.

Ur-spo said...

I doubt boycotts as I don't know when or how the stop, or how to determine a boycott's success.