Monday, October 08, 2007

Finding My Way Out of the Amazon Jungle

Amazon persists in selling animal fighting periodicals even though the activity they cover has been outlawed in all 50 states. Apparently there's still a good market so they defend the measure on free speech grounds.

I am anti-censorship and pro-free speech in every way, but cruelty is where Jeff Bezos and I stop seeing eye-to-eye, and Mr. Bezos it's on your watch.

As the above-linked SF Gate article notes:

"At last count, Amazon was selling 27 books, monographs and magazines about cockfighting. If your passion in life is watching two tormented birds tear each other to pieces, in a bloody pit surrounded by shouting gamblers, Amazon is the place to go."

For writers Amazon is a "can't-live-with-them/can't-live without them proposition." Yeah, things I wrote are for sale at Amazon. Fact of life. Can't change that so maybe it's hypocrisy to write this post.

But I am looking at ways to cut the money I give to Amazon.

I cut the Amazon affiliate links from this blog.

Beyond that, not buying from Amazon is not as easy as it sounds if you're an online shopper, but I'm trying as is Christine.

Christine's mom e-mailed her to see if I'd updated my Amazon wish list last month. My birthday was coming up and she was going to send me some things.

Christine told her we'd prefer not to have gifts from Amazon and directed her to The Portland-based retailer has a large inventory with easy access to used books and if you're willing to roll the dice, they have sales. You can pick up some items at big savings while supplies are available. (Happily they sell Charles' books and those of other friends as well.)

So, my mother-in-law shifted gears. She's sent us Christmas gifts for years from Amazon, not just books but stoneware and other items.

This year my $25 gift card came from Powell's.

Christine gave me copies of Spook Country and Michael Marshall's The Intruders from Powell's.

Getting some CD's for Christine's birthday has proved a little trickier. I went to and suddenly I was shopping Amazon.

Christine searched herself and found a site called Online Classics or something like that. Shopping cart courtesy of Amazon.

I searched a little further.

Borders - partnered with Amazon.

Virgin Superstore = Amazon.

Barnes and Noble had the CDs but wanted a fortune.

Best Buy - didn't have what I was looking for. Beethoven, specific album, OK?
Plus a Spanish classical guitar album.

Then the choirs of angels sang. I remembered They ran a full page ad in the Wall Street Journal a few years ago advertising free shipping to get you to try them.

I ordered a few times then dropped away because I forgot my password.

I started over. They had both CD's, they gave me free shipping on the combination and all went fine.

That's another $35 that won't go to Amazon because of their support of animal fighting periodicals. I'm sure that will hold up the application of maybe one rivet on Jeff Bezos' rocket ship.

And it raises a question -- if they own the online retail universe, why do a few animal fighting magazines matter so much?

Mr. Bezos, turn your thoughts from space just a moment to focus on the suffering you're condoning on earth.


Charles Gramlich said...

I didn't realize this until you posted about it. Just never thought about it I guess. I know Abebooks has quite a few of the books I look for in SF/Fantasy/Horror so I'll start looking there for some of the older stuff. I can imagine it's pretty difficult to stay away from Amazon, though.

Sidney said...

Thanks, Charles. Pay it forward. Maybe if enough people make an effort to buy an item from someone else they'll feel it.

Erik Donald France said...

It's a good idea to support alternate venues like Powells even aside from the "animal gladiator" materials.

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