So many failed political/social campaigns begin with the idea of the boycott. Really, in today's all you can eat world of options, boycotts just don't have the impact to change organizations. You generally will always find someone, somewhere willing to use whatever product no matter how fattening, tar lung filling, or political disagreeable the country or news network or person, or company may be.
All it takes is a simple search on Facebook to find boycotting groups for everything you could possibly imagine. Boycott Israel, boycott McDonald's, boycott Wal-mart. Whatever it is, there's a group of pissed off activists undergoing the process of boycotting that entity. Boycott China - good luck on that one, enjoy never buying anything!
Or Fox News, for instance. They're always being boycotted, especially with the recent Murdoch scandal of potential phone hacking from his now defunct British tabloid News of The World.
But really unless you enjoy absolutely no media, do you really want to cut off more than half the TV, movies and shows you enjoy watching? Even if you fancy yourself one to watch more "high brow" entertainment, your National Geographic is guess what? News Corp! Good luck sitting back watching Avatar to wind down, or The Simpsons, or any new movie, or Glee, American idol. You cut off a world of information.
In today's world of international supply, demand, almost any product whether tangible or intangible is basically boycott proof. The most effective way to make a statement against an organization, person, or country you disagree with is to write about, demonstrate, and make your voice heard. Change the entity you disagree with, instead of shooting for the uncompromising, ineffective and silly view of trying to create a widespread loss or profit through your avoiding of products.
For animal rights instead of boycotting meat, advocate companies that treat animals better.
For Fox News, complain that they don't feature enough liberal voices.
For Israel, write a letter to the government and explain your frustrations with the Palestine situation.
For China... Well, forget China you're buying Chinese no matter what. You can't beat those prices and that cheap labor.
For Facebook, don't create a Boycott Facebook group on Facebook! But then don't complain when no one is on Google+ because no one is.
A modern day activist has to be more shrewd. Yes, maybe in old time days when you had a small town and a big mean company you could boycott them and run them out of town, out of business, but in today's world it takes more. You really have frustrations with Israel's policy? Then try to get involved in a real political sense. These boycotts look silly and do little to create real dialogue and progress, which ultimately is what needs to happen in that part of the world.
Sick of the political parties? Instead of boycotting Democrats and Republicans and voting Green or something like that, why not change the parties within? As much as people may want to tear into the Tea Party, they are smarter when it comes to starting a movement. They took on the viral approach and took over a chunk of an existing party, whereas the Nader and Green's became so uncompromising they basically put George W. Bush in office, working against a guy who stood way closer in line with their views than the opposition.
So if there's one thing worth boycotting this year, boycott stupid boycotts, and use smarter strategies to make your political point. There are plenty of channels, social networks, blogs, politicians, political lobbying groups and ways to get your voice heard without resorting to th e almost always lame seeming, hyper-ideological boycott approach.
I will admit, I am partially guilty of having demonstrated against Glenn Beck for a period of time
, (something that was kind of boycott, but not totally) however I never told people to completely stop watching Fox, I simply made the point that having such a paranoid, divisive, and oftentimes hateful figure in a major time slot on a major news network was reckless. Enough people eventually felt this way, enough sponsors gradually began to leave the show, and Beck himself, ultimately I believe alienated the network and their reputation enough that he was dropped. So while some sign holding here and there might be a nice dash to a broader entree of a political effort, the real meat is in the purpose and ingredients of the idea you're serving.