Instead of #Reject #Resist how about #Dosomethingthatmatters?
We seem to love the new world of hashtag politics.
Meryl Streep, a noteworthy and accomplished actress, used her moment on the stage to express her opinion. I applaud her articulate and impassioned words.
The reaction from those who disagree seems to be all out of proportion to the actual effect.
Those who support her call for boycotts. They scream, through the miracle of the QWERTY world, #reject or #resist or #(insertmeaninglesssloganhere.)
The irony of the impotence is staggering.
A news story breaks that a major stockholder in L.L. Bean, the granddaughter of the company founder, donates money to a pro-Trump organization.
The rumble begins. Boycott Bean, Boycott Bean.
I thought freedom of expression was valued in this country?
Now, before you point out that a boycott is a form of free speech, let me explain something. Boycotts are indeed a form of valid protest. The problem is boycotts work from the bottom up.
The most likely to be impacted by a boycott are employees. Those workers struggling to make ends meet as they toil away 7 days a week, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year in the L.L. Bean organization.
Stockholders don’t get laid off. The stock may suffer, after several non-profitable quarters, but that will come after cost saving measures, consolidation, outsourcing, i.e. job cuts.
Some Hollywood stars are calling for a boycott of TV and movie production. I would argue, with 7 billion cable TV channels, a boycott there might have unintended consequences as well. People may come out of their cable/satellite/dish stupor and realize they’ve become addicted to piles and piles of trash.
The boycott may be the best form of intervention.
All of this, boycotts, bashing Hollywood elites or Republican supporters, hashtags, screaming, or other forms of wailing and gnashing of teeth, will not change a thing.
The new President takes office on January 20th. That is a certainty. A Cabinet picked by this President will be seated. New policies will ensue.
And the hashtags will fly.
But, if history teaches us anything, it teaches us that the threats and counterthreats of boycotts and protests and calls to action will sputter and fade.
L.L. Bean will survive. Meryl Streep will continue to dazzle as an actress. And the country will go on. With any luck, we can go back to 3 channels, the National Anthem at midnight, and those very cool test patterns.
Now that was entertainment.