Friday, 1 December 2006

bad shopping

It's not 'cause of Boner, I promise, but I have a problem with 'red' products.
Firstly, if you want to give money to charity, do so. It's A Good Thing.
However, it is much less of A Good Thing to spend $199 on an ipod (PRODUCT) RED for yourself, with $10 going to charity. Why did you buy the ipod? Because you wanted to save people in Africa? Don't lie. And moreover, do you think you needed an ipod MORE than people in Africa need not to have AIDs?
Mars. Now sponsored by (PRODUCT) RED.

I buy things for me, I am not perfect by any means.
(PRODUCT) RED has a further (MAJOR) PROBLEM. Red. RED. Not only are you choosing to give a small percentage of money you spend on yourself, but you are saying..
"AND I AM ADVERTISING THIS FACT TO YOU ALL WITH THIS BRIGHT RED PRODUCT!! LOOK AT ME!! LOOK HOW MUCH OF A-GOOD-PERSON I AM!! I CHOSE THIS BECAUSE I THINK IT IS IMPORTANT TO GIVE $10 TO AFRICA TO STOP AIDS!! LOVE ME!!"

You fucking asshole. Can't you do good without expecting the admiration of others for it? You're not getting my admiration for giving $10 dollars to Africa, then swanning around like you're some kind of holier than thou martyr. Fuck off.
"Africa", in the eyes of Boner and others, is a simple problem. They're poor - lets give them money. Simple! Yay!

NO TIME is given to ask "why are they poor"?

Western companies take oil, diamonds and many other raw products out of Africa using African labour, and profit hugely from them. Often this helps to support corrupt governments too. Western companies also sell weapons to these countries, to help Africans shoot eachother, if they so wish. Great.

Charity is a good thing, I repeat, but it is not as simple as Bonehead would have you believe. I have read a lot of African political writing, from the 1950s onwards, that has argues that the west should stop interfering in Africa, that this is slowing or reversing development.

Better than buying a bright red ipod might be to boycott, and do so publically, any companies that make money from Africa. This tactic worked in the 1980s, apparently, to help the South African apartheid regime collapse, perhaps the capitalist/world trade (whatever) regime that damages people's lives might be changed too...

(PRODUCT)RED charity alone is like giving someone chocolate, while letting someone else chop their legs off.

They (RED) say:"(RED) was created by Bono and Bobby Shriver, Chairman of DATA to raise awareness and money for The Global Fund by teaming up with the world's most iconic brands to produce (PRODUCT)RED branded products. A percentage of each (PRODUCT)RED product sold is given to The Global Fund. The money helps women and children affected by HIV/AIDS in Africa.

What's the meaning of the parentheses or brackets? Well, we call them "the embrace." Each company that becomes (RED) places its logo in this embrace and is then elevated to the power of red. Thus the name -- (PRODUCT)RED.

You, the consumer, can take your purchase to the power of (RED) simply by upgrading your choice. Thus the proposition: (YOU)RED. Be embraced, take your own fine self to the power of (RED). What better way to become a good-looking samaritan?!"

It makes me so angry. Even "elevated" to the power of (ANGRY).

In other news, I read that plasma screen TVs consume FIVE TIMES as much electricity as traditional cathode ray TVs. That makes them the new 4x4s, ladies and gentlemen: bought by insecure unsociable selfish thoughtless bastards everywhere.
Just don't, mmmkay?

2 comments:

StĂșlka said...

Ok, third attempt to comment... I think charity is a (deeply catholic) behaviour to give something to who is needed but with no intention that the social statments changes. Charity is not the same as solidarity and that kind of companies try to sell their products as it is.

discoriggall said...

sounds sensible... I think with too much politics sometimes, and "branding" language makes me muy irritado when I'm tired!