Hey, guys, it’s Meg again. Got plans for Labor Day? Gearing up to go out of town, I heard some news about the industrial holiday complex that got me thinking…
I have to admit: I didn’t see it coming. How could I have known the day would come where I would have something in common with the ultra-conservative American Family Association?
For at least a decade now, I have been boycotting Hallmark greeting cards. I was frustrated by the idea of “Hallmark Holidays,” such as Administrative Professionals’ Day, Grandparents Day, and yes, even Valentine’s Day, created by the Kansas City company to sell more cards. Even if they didn’t technically create the holidays, Hallmark is the main contributor to the commercialization of celebration in this country.
After the announcement of my boycott, I found it quite easy to maintain. At first, I began making homemade cards, even going so far as to create my own rip-off branding (”hallmeg,” of course). Later, I found a couple of small, independent stationery stores that sold cards made by local artists that were often truer, funnier, and more beautiful than anything Hallmark would make anyway.
After Hallmark announced that it would begin a line of same-sex marriage and commitment ceremony cards, the boycott-happy American Family Association (AFA) implored its adherents to eschew products from the largest greeting card company in the world. Now, this is nothing new. Everything from Heinz ketchup to Ford vehicles to The Discovery Channel has come under attack by the AFA.
I’m a believer in the exhortation to “vote with your checkbook” (although that might be because the lobbyists and the Electoral College have robbed my governmental votes of most of their power) as much as the next guy. But there’s something insidious about extending that powerful act of putting your money where your mouth is to discriminating with your checkbook.
But whatever the motivation, I found out that I have a lot in common with your average AFA member. I haven’t eaten at a McDonald’s in several years. I often go a full month without watching television programming. I’ve also never been to a casino or bought a lottery ticket.
It just goes to show that the self-satisfying feeling of moral superiority comes in all shapes and sizes. I’m just glad mine doesn’t come with side servings of fear and hatred.