Monday, November 2, 2009

First, Good People

Before you can really listen to us at Turf Management Ethics: The Blog, we need to establish that we are Good People. So here is an example of our ever-abiding love for all things good: A Susan G Komen Debit Card. What does that even mean? I called up the bank because they would give a little money to breast cancer research. But how do debit cards and breast cancer connect?

I am not pro-breast cancer - a fact I repeated, under oath to the grand jury during my indictment. I have a friend who died from it, a friend who had a scare, and a friend who battled it and won. I overcame my squeamishness about buying a stamp with the word "breast" on it. I have supported products and walks and such.

But the sheer proliferation of related products is amazing. The list of products is amazing, from pink lint rollers (thank your 3M), Huggies diapers, checks, a 5K walk on a cruise ship, a pink Kitchen Aid, and a renegade non-Komen-endorsed Snuggie. Maybe this is capitalism at its best, helping a little with every purchase. But couldn't we just give the money quietly with one hand and but what we need with another. Instead we end up with marriages not made in heaven, like the Pepsico Fitness Center on Duke's Campus.

We are defined by our consumption - still conspicuous but now a littlemore auspicious, with our economic (or uneconomic) choices describing us as good or bad people. Thus we defy the idea that it's not what goes into us that counts; it is what comes out of us. If you use a PETA cobranded Visa to purchase a fair trade,organic, cruelty free soy latte in a 100% post consumer content, compostable cup made from wind power and carbon offsets from a company that advertizes its support of Venezuelan orphans, and you then insult the waiter and forget his tip, how good of a person are you? Whatever you learn from this blog, tip the waitress well. Brad taught me that in college, and it's stuck more than Calc IV (Gentle ladies close your ears: Calc IV don't stick to the ribs so well - it's just as likely to come back up as it to come down).

Not that we can't purchase positively, but at some point, we are either declaring ourselves externally to be wonderful peope or we are justifying our shortcoming to ourselves. Try giving without the bumper sticker or taking off the bumper sticker after a few years.
-D Rant Ended


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