Protest This

It all started last year while I was watching the news. Angry protesters were demonstrating at the G8 Summit in Genoa, Italy. “Over zealous tree-huggers,” I thought. But as the story played out, I got to thinking. Maybe giant multinational corporations are responsible for civil strife and global destruction.

I began to think about my daily consumption patterns and how they were linked to socially irresponsible companies. And I decided to take a stand. To embrace a more just lifestyle. To follow Ted Bates’ maxim, “Think global and act local.” To no longer support institutions that lacked ethics.

My first act of rebellion was a hunger strike, and I immediately ceased eating Kraft Macaroni & Cheese. Kraft, you see, is a subsidiary of Philip Morris, the world’s largest tobacco company. Therefore, I’ve banned from my diet all Philip Morris products—including Oreos, Jell-O, and Cocoa Pebbles. Not to mention Maxwell House coffee.

Of course, I’ve given up my car. But if I did have a car, I would not fill it with Exxon gas.

In its search for fuel, Exxon has been setting off underwater explosions, disturbing whale feeding grounds. So I’ve taken to walking, except that I’ve had to throw away my Nikes, as I will not wear products made in Third World sweatshops.

If you’d like to write me about my cause, make sure your paper is not produced by Boise Cascade, which is annihilating some of the world’s oldest forests. The crusade against Cascade has been taken up by actress Susan Sarandon. To show my support, I’d rent her movies, but I can’t, because I’m boycotting Blockbuster, too. You see, Blockbuster has forced Hollywood to edit certain nude scenes from films before agreeing to stock them.

Personally, I don’t find anything wrong with actresses baring their breasts—as long as they’re real. That’s because silicone implants are made by Dow—which also happens to make toxic pesticides. Hey, I dig big-chested broads just as much as the next guy. But when a fake pair enters my vision, I just look away. What’s more, Dow’s implants have been known to leak. Kinda makes me wonder if I can I trust my tofu sandwiches to their Ziploc bags.

As I wrote this piece, I sat in the dark. You guessed it: I’m boycotting light bulbs. You see, for 30 years, General Electric dumped PCBs into the Hudson River. Now, GE refuses to clean up its toxic mess. So I refuse to have anything to do with GE—or NBC—the TV network that it owns. Which means I will no longer watch Friends, Frasier, Saturday Night Live, Jay Leno or Tom Brokaw. When it comes to morality in media, I believe that NBC is the weakest link!

As you can see, it’s come to the point where you really can’t do anything without contributing to corporate greed and immorality. Maybe I’d be better off just never getting out of bed. Hmmm … I wonder if my pillows are made of down from endangered geese?