I hate to say this but sometimes boycotts can be a little, well, dull. They’re just so very predictable. We’ve all experienced the overly hyped sign carrier spouting politic views, or worse wanting you to donate to their cause. Whenever I am approached by one of these people I can’t help but think that I am taking part in a poorly executed Saturday Night Live skit, complete with the clichéd angry activist and random everyday citizens. It’s just not as funny.
It seems that I always come across protesters when I am in some sort of rush, too, like the time I forgot to pack extra tampons before a very long lecture and had to hightail it into the grocery story minutes before class. Just my luck, there were dozens of well-intentioned people with pictures of puppies. PUPPIES for shit’s sake! Ones with open wounds, and skinny torsos — the kind of stuff that you never want to see. One of them handed my a flier with heartbreaking photos and asked, “Can I have a minute of your time?” And I had to say: “No, sorry, I’m in a rush, not now.” In the end I ended up feeling like a soulless puppy killer, complete with blood on my hands. Nasty, I know.
I think it’s great that there are people who are passionate about bringing these issues to light, and while I applaud most activism, I have always wondered if the picketers, protesters, and petitioners make an impact or are they just viewed as nuisances to the general public.
Recently I came across this video of one of the most awesome protests of all time. It took place at a local Seattle Target store. It was genius. The activists were gathering to send the message to Target that their recent donation of $150,000 to Minnesota Forward, a political action group that supports known anti-gay politician Tom Emmer, was not cool and they want the world to know it.
The protest was witty and campy and altogether awesome. It featured a group of signing activists and a live band right in the aisles of target. Shoppers stood looking on with their mouths gaping open, some dancing and singing along. The protesters used umbrellas and rewrote the lyrics to a hilariously cheesy Depeche Mode song. And you know what? I love the idea of an entertaining and engaging boycott; why not make it less dismal and drab and way more approachable to the general public? Take a leaf out of this book, PETA.