Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Where Is Your Dividing Line?







I'm ashamed to admit, I've always been a somewhat self-indulgent political activist. While others were out carrying signs and boycotting various businesses, I wrote some words about my views and called it a day. Boycotts have always been around but we seem particularly prone to them now.

I never get pizza from Papa John's, not only because I can't stand him, but because I think his pizzas are crappy. I've only had Chik-Fil-A a couple of times and I thought they were about on par with every other fast food chicken sandwich I ever ate. I've never patronized Hobby Lobby but it is because I've never been able to make a flower out of  tissue or a cute little pipe cleaner guy.

I have the opposite problem as most conservatives when it comes to sports. I favor the side of the kneeling football players but I don't like watching football. NASCAR is my sport and they have warned the drivers not to kneel, not that I think any of them would anyway. Why would they? We will have an African-American driver in 2018 and that will bring us clear up to....one.

But, it doesn't matter, I'm not giving up NASCAR. It would be cutting off my nose to spite my face and I'm too selfish to do that.

There are liberal websites that will keep you up to date on all the places you're suppose to boycott but its too hard. Take the Koch Brothers. Every liberal despises the Koch Brothers but they make about half the stuff in the United States, from energy to plastics to paper towels to plywood and on and on and on. Good luck not adding to their bottom line.

I'm supposed to boycott Amazon. I'm not exactly sure why but it is irrelevant because it will never happen. I love Amazon. I buy lots of books there and I got my last microwave and my last printer (after reading all the reviews) from them...delivered right to my door.

I detest Walmart but I still go there sometimes because it is conveniently located here in town. I'd like to support Target's bathroom policy but Target is 40 miles away. I'm sorry, but my political passions don't extend that far.

And not everything is all black or all white. We are currently going through allegation after allegation of sexual harassment and trying to decide what to do about them. Do we vote for harassing politicians anyway if they espouse the causes we believe in? Do we continue to watch the comedian if he makes us laugh? Or do we boycott the producer's movies even though past experience tells them we will enjoy them.

I was asked once what movies I watched more than once. The answer was: The Lethal Weapon movies and Braveheart. All of them starred Mel Gibson, who I realize is a detestable human being. Would I watch them again in light of his ugly behavior? Yes. I would have voted for Ted Kennedy every time he ran for office if I lived in Massachusetts even though his personal life was a yuck. I thought he was a great senator. Hell, I'd vote for Bill Clinton again. When I found out George Michael was a gay alcoholic hot mess, I loved his music just the same.

So how far are we willing to go with this and where is the dividing line?

There are people who are mediocrely good and mediocrely bad. They do a few good things and a few bad things. That's most of us. But other people are spectacularly good and spectacularly bad. If a famous artist is a total jerk who uses and manipulates the people around him, is his art still praisworthy? Should we burn his paintings or can we separate superior talent from being a total ass?

I guess we all have to decide these questions for ourselves.