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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Techcrunch Seriously Proposes McDonalds Boycott

Because, apparently, the assault on Steve Mann, allegedly and apparently involving some employees of McDonalds, is the first bad thing techcrunch geeks have ever noticed McDonalds being involved in that is worthy of boycotting somehow?

Here's the Techcrunch article calling for a boycott. And here, for example, is the widely reported account of the recent attack on a transgender women in a McDonalds which also involved issues of surveillance -- McDonalds employees continued to record the victim in the aftermath of the hate crime even after she begged them to stop. And don't get me started on the environmental and health impacts of McDonalds or on their use of UK libel laws to suppress criticism.


aepxc said...

Does everyone have to be as passionate about every transgression as everyone else? The same way PETA protests do not take anything away from those working to lessen the burden on starving children in Africa, geeks getting angry over an attack on a geek do not take anything away from the LGBT community's condemnation of an attack against a transgendered woman.

Dale Carrico said...

Actually, I do indeed wonder to what extent the geek identification with Mann as a cyborg is enabled through a dis-identification with the transgendered women despite the fact that prostheticization is no less indispensable to the one as to the other, no less central to one violation as to the other. The point of calling attention to this parallel is to provide an occasion to understand more about the very violation that the article is about. It's true that I think it is pretty facile to leap to a recommendation of boycotting when it isn't exactly clear what the connection of the organization is to the perpetrators of the violence here, especially given all the ways in which this sort of connection is so much clearer in other injustices and violations that seem to involve similar problems and hence would seem to inspire similar concerns. Nevertheless, I hope it is possible to read this intervention as more than vapid scolding from a position of presumed superiority, but as an occasion to connect this event to a wider context that enriches the intuition about this violation in the first place.

Dale Carrico said...

Adding: What if it turns out that Mann's attackers misrecognized his prosthesis as a sign of disability and they were assholes who attack a vulnerability they discern in the differently enabled? What if it turns out that the attackers experienced their documentation as a violation calling forth retaliation?

To the extent that one is genuinely concerned about this assault wouldn't the actual specificity of the circumstances involved would be something you would want to know more about? It is almost certain that the politics playing out in this scene were more specific than the phrase "cyborg hate crime" puts anybody even remotely in a position to talk about.

As I keep saying, to the extent that one wants to deploy the phrase "cyborg hate crime" in a way equal to its real resonance one needs to grasp how many incarnated figures that have little to do with techno-fetishistic fantasies of the cyborgic are indeed indispensably prostheticized.

In the absence of that, sorry (actually not), but this just looks way too much like rich privileged white guys wanting to pretend they are a persecuted minority vulnerable to hate crimes because of their lame gizmo consumerism. To the extent that this is the case, needless to say, I call bullshit.

aepxc said...

Ah, I guess I misunderstood your original post somewhat then (and reading it in context of what you previously posted on the issue clarifies it even more).

I agree that framing this as "we love gadgets so we can all be victims too!" is pretty indefensible, and concluding that this was motivated by anti-electronic device feelings is silly. Bullies tend to pick on those who look sufficiently harmless and sufficiently (to them) 'weird'.

Still, I'll gladly take anything raises the likelihood of those three arseholes facing some consequences. Not because they are exceptionally bad, but because any bully's comeuppance is a good thing.

Dale Carrico said...