Tuesday, December 2, 2014

No Need. Ever.

Call it idealism, call it willpower, call it being contrarian – hell, call it trendy. I don't care. I turned tail and retreated from a single consumerist outpost...not exactly a moral victory. All that to say – I don't buy anything from Amazon anymore.

Last year, for the Holidays, I bought most gifts (that weren't food, drink, or records) from Amazon. It was easy – there were multiple options, low-ish prices, home delivery of goods (valuable when you share a car)...and clicking through endless iterations of material goods seemed to be less soul-sucking than wandering the glittery corpse of a mall.

Then this year's media blitz happened, and I started paying attention to their labor practices. I learned their original name was Relentless (and still redirects to Amazon!). I learned they'd been historically stingy despite astronomical revenue. Most of all their (incredibly tone-deaf) dust-up with Hachette.

After a few moments of conscious thought, it became pretty clear that this wasn't an organization I thought should be the gatekeeper to many of the world's cultural products. This wasn't someone I'd want to work for.

No, this was an organization dedicated to accumulating possessions, with little care to quality. Dedicated to pure, uncut commercialism & attempted domination of any sector it touches. Not to mention, "Is there anything on Amazon that I actually need?" The answer, of course, was a resounding "NO."

I'd rather wait a day and give money to a local business who feeds my economy, pays & treats workers like people, rather than avoids paying taxes and uses seasonal workers as automaton stand-ins until the drones are ready to do the mouse-clicks bidding.

Most of all – I don't need any of the things that an algorithm tells me to shop for. I don't need to immediately resolve almost any of my "wants". What I do need are experiences, connection, warmth, and people that value others over any material good. And if you need those things, too, then you don't need a gift from me.

See ya, Amazon. I won't miss you.

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