Corporations should sit out more issues

Recently my Facebook feed was flooded with folks hyperventilating about a so-called “Satan shoe,” a collaboration between rapper Lil Nas X and a company I’ve never heard of called MSCHF, which I believe stands for Milking Stupid Consumers for Hellish Footwear.

The company has a long history of repurposing products in weird ways and then selling them for exorbitant costs, such as these stupid repurposed Nike Air Max 97 sneakers — adorned with a bronze pentagram charm and a drop of human blood in the mid-sole.

Now, I have a confession to make: I once had a Nike with way more than a drop of human blood in the mid-sole. In fact, it was darn near filled with human blood. I wasn’t trying to make some kind of statement — I had merely jumped onto a recently removed 2×4 with a 16-penny nail sticking out of it. It went straight into my mid-sole, and I had to carefully pull my foot straight up off of the nail. Actually, I did make a statement — “Owwwww!”

If I’d have known back then that Lil Nas X and MSCHF would be able to sell their “Satan shoes” for more than $1,000 per pair (and the 666, yes, 666 pairs sold out almost immediately), I’d have sold my blood-filled Nike for at least $10,000. Unfortunately, there was no eBay back then, and I would have had to sell them the old fashioned way — on a street corner under a trenchcoat.

“Hey, man! Got a bloody shoe here. You a size 11? Got a thousand bucks? OK, how about a dollar?”

Naturally, when the news first broke, many of my conservative friends who claim to hate cancel culture were ready to cancel Nike. It didn’t cross their minds that Nike would never dive into anything so stupid, but all kinds of right-wing websites were making sure everyone saw the trademark “swoosh,” and many wrongly called it a collaboration between Lil Nas X and Nike. Nike has since sued to stop distribution of the shoe, but once the lie is out there, it might as well be truth. My personal attorney Sidney Powell told me that, and I believe her because I’m not in my right mind.

Now, Georgia has a sweeping new voting law that fixes major problems that didn’t exist like widespread voter fraud and Bigfoot attacks on ballot drop-off boxes. Not everything in the new law is bad — such as shortening the ridiculously long runoff period from nine weeks to four — but there are a few things that have folks on the left pretty riled up. For instance, the new law gives Georgia’s GOP-led legislature more election oversight and strips much of that responsibility away from the state’s Secretary of State — something that might have resulted in Trump “winning” Georgia in 2020 had it already been in place. The left is fighting all of this politically, but they’ve also turned to their new stand-by — pressuring corporations to oppose it.

And they have. Delta and Coca-Cola are among those who’ve railed against the law, prompting Gov. Kemp to get the shotgun he used to point at teenage boys in campaign commercials and point it instead at CEOs. They’ve even pressured Major League Baseball to yank this year’s All-Star Game away from Atlanta.

I’m all for as many people as possible being able to vote. And I know that one side likes a lot of people to vote, and the other would rather it be a smaller and somewhat whiter crowd, like the kind you’d find at a David Allan Coe concert. But can’t we hammer this out without bringing Coke Zero or airplanes into it?

There are a lot of things I don’t like in the world — onions, internet pop-ups, Seth Rogen, fruity-flavored beers and modern rap music, including Lil Nas X’s work — but I don’t demand that corporations always take a stand on every minor issue, or even on some of the more important issues. They can sit a few out. In short, Delta should be able to just fly planes, and Coca-Cola should be able to make diabetes in a bottle.

For example, I’m a Parrothead, a zealot follower of brother Jimmy Buffett. But if Jimmy Buffett starts posting Lil Nas X songs on his website and a pop-up appears with Seth Rogen pitching a pomegranate-onion-lime Landshark beer, I’m not going to pack up all my Margaritaville-emblazoned items and return them in a huff. That’s ridiculous.

I mean, I’d consider it, but it would require at least two UPS trucks and be waaay too expensive.

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