Today I got a letter from my mother, and in it she included a newspaper clipping about how evil Wal-Mart is because, get this, "it reminded her of me." Apparently my ranting and ravings in the past have made some kind of impact on her, because she assures me that she "hardly ever goes there anymore." Now though, she tells me, it is Target that she has moved to the top of her list of places not to shop for political reasons. Her reasoning? Target won't allow the Salvation Army's bell ringers out front. Now if you ask me, that's all the more reason to shop at Target. Wait, wait, I don't hate poor people do I? Please allow me to explain.
While the Salvation Army most likely does some very good work in helping others, they fucking piss me off. You know those miserable looking people standing in the cold ringing the bells in your face to guilt entice you into dropping your change into the shiny red repository every time you have the gall to walk into a business establishment around the holidays? The Salvation Armypays them to do that when there aren't enough people willing to do it for free*. Wha? They are paying perfectly good minimum wage to have someone beg other people for the occasional handful of change? Does that sound like a responsible use of TAX FREE money to you? Nope, me either. There's no fucking way I'm going to give them any of my money when I know they're just throwing it away in purpose-defeating wastefulness. This brings me to the fact that most retail establishments have a "no soliciting" policy -- if you or I decided we were going to stand outside and beg people for money, they'd be giving us the bums rush, lickety-split. In past years, Target has allowed the Salvation Army to solicit outside the store, directly in violation of their own perfectly reasonable rule, but now that they're onto the Salvation Army, they have decided to no longer break this own rule. So of course everyone is all up in arms because Target has the gall to turn those fuckers away. I say, "way to go Target. I'm glad you grew some balls."
That brings me to another charity that I've had increasing difficulty in not contributing to: the Susan G. Koman Cancer Foundation. Wait, what? Do I not support ending breast cancer? Do I not want people to die of cancer? In actuality, the answer to both those questions is "yes." Wait, I mean "no", those double negatives get me every time. I want the work on a cure to progress, it's just that I take issue with the foundation itself. Every year they use the Race For the Cure to raise awareness and fundage to support breast cancer research. I think that is great. People need to know this stuff, and people want to help fund it. What could be the problem then? Well, the problem is that the Susan G. Koman Cancer Foundation only allows women to participate in this event, thus denying 50% of their potential funcraising capacity. There are plenty of men that have breast cancer who would love to participate in this event and raise money, but they are denied. There are man, many men whose wives were taken from them by cancer that would love to participate and raise money for research, but these fuckers won't let them. "No man could possibly know the effects of breast cancer." Yeh, tell that to the people I just mentioned.
Everywhere I turn, products are now labeled with pink Susan G. Koman ribbons, proudly proclaiming that some percentage of the purchase price is being donated to the foundation. Well, it looks like there will be no more Yoplait for me. What, Duracell is now supporting them too? Guess I gotta switch to Energizer. Wait, that damn bunny is pink, does that mean something, or is it just pink? Arg!
The way I see it, any charitable group that actively prevents people from helping them earn money (or pays people more to beg for it than they can possibly collect) needs a swift kick in the ass. If they have the gall to turn away money and then go out and beg people for more, then they need to be taught a lesson. I can think of no better way to deliver that kick than by telling them that they aren't getting a fucking dime until they start making some sense. And you companies hoping to sell more product by getting all the breast cancer sympathizers to buy yours instead of the competition? Shame on you. You'll get no money from me either.
*: Have you ever been an unpaid bell ringer? How many people do you personally know that have? That ought to be a pretty good measure of how frequently the bell ringers you do see are actually paid.
The author lives in Vancouver, Washington, USA with his girlfriend and a menagerie of cats, rats, fish, birds, guinea pigs and robots.
Among other inanities, he strives to use investigative techniques to work young starlet breasts into every aspect of rational discourse -- focusing on the discourse, thus making it not perverted. Also, has recently begun a career as "Internet hairstylist."
He can be contacted via email and Jabber IM at 'firstname.lastname@example.org'. He likes to be contacted.
(All press inquiries, however, ought be directed towards the author's agent, Alistair Hoel, via email to email@example.com.)