Yesterday was a busy day. So much to be outraged by, so little time. So, let me address that.
To me, nothing is a “distraction”…I can and do follow a lot of different topics, hot-button issues, and causes. I care about them all. I share about them all. And no, talking about things on social media isn’t the be-all, end-all of action we all should be taking around things we care about, but if you believe in the traditional marketing funnel, well, then “awareness” is the first task. If there were a Maslow’s hierarchy of needs in activism and advocacy, awareness would be the first foundational need.
So I talk about things. I share things. And sometimes I’m all over the map. Yesterday felt like one of those days.
The thing I spent the most time writing about was the ridiculous news about this start-up Bodega.
If you’ve gotten email from me lately you may have seen one of my “taglines” below my signature:
The Bodega concept is the very embodiment of the right side of that equation. I find Bodega’s company name and its logo, both capitalizing on the very businesses and people (and even CATS) that they want to put out of business, grotesque.
And this got millions in investment. And no one, neither founder nor investor, was in the “room where it happened” saying, hey, you know, we should think about this. (Helpful hint: The Internet will not take kindly to any model that puts CATS out of business! Let alone striving small business owners.)
Oh sure, their apologias have been forthcoming, and they mostly seem to boil down to saying that they asked some brown people what they thought, and one one mentioned an issue. (You see this a lot when an ad or promotion gets sexist backlash…you’ll hear about this woman or that woman who saw it at some point and didn’t mind.)
So, back to that millions in investment. I mean, maybe I wouldn’t even mind as much if it wasn’t for their explicit cultural appropriation. Would people have gotten up in arms if they called it 24/7, evoking 7/11’s look and feel, but referring to its 24-hour ubiquity?
Or how about if they had called it something it really seems to be. A more accurate name might just be OvergrownMiniBar. Or MegaVending, Inc.
Bcause it’s just a big ass vending machine, people. With a little smart-home-style technology to help with supply chain management. (And a nightmare SKU-management scenario as their ultimate vision.)
Final question: Where is the data on what percentage of transactions at actual real live bodegas are cash-based? I’m betting it’s pretty high.
Not to mention bodegas as a center for community in communities that sometimes have no other center.
I mean, as long as we’re clear: This isn’t about serving the needs of either the typical bodega customer nor bodega owners.
Other stuff happened yesterday too, though, all worth keeping tabs on. Probably most of it worth keeping closer tabs on then just another ill-considered start-up launch.
Talking about the room where it happened? My friend David Becker, an election/voting right expert, noted for CNN that there are NO women or minorities testifying in front of the president’s BS voter commission. I’m sure that’s just a coincidence.
Actress Amber Tamblyn penned an open letter to erstwhile actor, now right wing hothead, James Wood…all about the time he tried to pick up her 16 year old self and a teen friend. It’s pure fire. In the most on-fire publication of our age, Teen Vogue. Yes. Teen. Vogue.
And there’s more. I think tomorrow’s post may be about rape culture, and how it’s behind why Evil Martin Shkreli is finally going to jail.
Until then, remember: You can care about a lot of different things at once. Every single day. Along with all of the above, two of my friends have new kittens and are posting adorable pictures of them. I care about that too. You can too.