Beware Of How You Spend Your 2¢; I'm Spending Mine On Damien...Dec 26, 2002 Write an essay on this topic.
Popular Products in BooksThe Bottom Line "Take Care Of The Pennies And the dollars take care of themselves."
HAS ANYONE SEEN DAMIEN? --HE WAS HERE JUST A MINUTE AGO...
29TH: Has anybody seen Damien, also known as epins user-"imokliel?" I'll use this sentence to save you the trouble of vainly attempting to access his epinions index page, by informing you that he has been sent on an indefinite vacation by our consumer-information-providing benefactors up in Brisbane.
YOU: "Wait a second, 29th; before you go on about Damien, I have a couple of issues with your last sentence: What exactly do you mean by, '...consumer-information-providing benefactors up in Brisbane?' Aren't WE EPINIONS' benefactors?! Isn't it WE who provide THEM with the consumer information?!
29TH: You are a shrewdie, reader. I thought I might be able to slip that one by you, but I see by your well-justified consternation and indignation that you are not entirely asleep to injustices that occur in your very presence. I'm pleased to know this, because there might actually be a much more egregious epinions-wrought injustice occurring in your very presence; one that cries out for the well-justified expression of your consternation and indignation in any way you might make epinions hear it and feel it.... --Epinions' selective censure of Imokliel is arbitrary, oppressive and unjustified.
YOU: "I recognize that name. He's a troublemaker; always posting radical, annoying reviews. He knew what he was risking. He knew he was pushing his luck writing HIS ideas HIS way. He probably just got what he deserved."
WILL THE REAL EPINIONS DAMIEN-SUPPRESSION JUSTIFICATION PLEASE STAND UP...
29TH: Well, before you jump to conclusions, Damien wrote a review on "Scotch tape" that involved imaginative consumer uses for his subject. It was not a "conventional," cookie-cutter review, but it WAS on-topic, and the consumer uses it discussed were not the least bit outside the realm of possibility. In response to a warning letter from epinions' Alexis, Damien substantially modified his review. After he received a second letter notifying him that the modifications were insufficient, Damien, responded with an email politely explaining that he had substantially modified the first version per Alexis' instructions, but could not further alter the review, lest it no longer reflect his honest experience of the consumer product. He noted that he had been regularly and repeatedly singled out and unfairly ticketed by epinions for reviews that had been overwhelmingly validated by the approval of the community; advisors and peons alike. The ticket threatened by Alexis in this instance, if issued, would just be the latest example of epinions' deliberately contradicting its own policies in order to censure a review that had already been made invisible to site visitors by means of its community ratings. Shortly after emailing his response, "Imokliel" vanished.
This indicates that Imokliel was not banished because of "what he did," but rather because of "whom he is." Anybody who believes Damien (imokliel) was a fool because he stood up for his ideas and beliefs knowing they might get him shit-canned, consider this: YOU have ideas and beliefs too. Maybe you don't think Damien or his ideas are worth a penny, but his ideas and beliefs are as valuable to him, as yours are to you.
Should your agreement with, or appreciation of, his ideas determine their worthiness or value, or whether or not he should be allowed to express them? If "yes," are you willing to live by that same sword when it comes to pass that your ideas or religion or skin color or political beliefs are the unpopular ones? If your own ideas are worth so little to you that you're not willing to stand up for them when they or you are threatened; if you're not willing to make a bully feel some measure of pain, so he might at least think twice before singling you out as the victim of his oppression again, you strengthen your oppressor and make it that much more likely that you might be his/its victim the next time.
WELL-MEANING, BUT INADEQUATELY-INFORMED READER: "But 29th, epinions is a business, therefore it can do whatever it wants!"
29TH: Quite frankly, that's a load of crap.
The fact that epinions is a business simply means that (in the eyes of the law) it is "generally" treated in the same manner as a private entity (as opposed to "as a government/public entity.) It certainly doesn't mean that a business isn't bound by the law or is above it. The Bill of Rights (a.k.a., "The Amendments,") though intended by the framers of our Constitution as a reservation and protection of our "God-given" rights (as separate and distinct from any additional "government-provided" privileges,) from government infringement, outlines rights that neither a government nor a private individual/entity/BUSINESS may alienate. In point of fact, the government quite frequently prosecutes private businesses for civil rights violations of private individuals (e.g., employer discrimination pursuant to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.) The government understands that a private business entity is usually in a far more advantageous bargaining position than the private individual, thus far more likely to take advantage of the latter by infringing upon his/her rights. For this reason, both federal and state law enforcement agencies maintain "White Collar" civil/criminal litigation arms.
We have at our disposal, an even greater source of power and leverage than that provided by law and insured by the government. Reviewers seem to ignore, or be unaware of, a VERY important fact: WE are epinions' business... OUR reviews. Without them, epinions HAS NO business. I'd say that puts US in the superior bargaining position. WE can do without epinions. Can epinions do without US? Think "EBD."
WE'VE EARNED OUR EPINIONS' BENEFITS; HAS EPINIONS EARNED OURS?
Our business relationship with epinions is like a marriage. Epinions may be the breadwinner, but we are the doting housewife whose sacrifice and devotion enabled epinions to survive during the "lean times," who did the grunt jobs and dirty-work that paid for and enabled epinions to go back to school so that it could train for the "big bucks" position. Without us, epinions wouldn't be a corporate CEO, but instead, would be digging ditches (next to us.) Like the human nature-blinded "real-life" husband, epinions, having already accrued said benefits at our collective expense, attributes its success entirely to its own efforts, labor and initiative. In ep's "selective amnesia"-prone, corporate mind, we, "its housewife," were "lucky just to have been able to enjoy the piggyback-ride our 'ep-hubby' provided us during its self-reliant climb up the ladder of success." In a divorce court judge's mind, our "ep-hubby" would be lucky if it ended up with "half."
Extending the "married couple" analogy, our epinions-hubby has been "getting serviced" by its accommodating, compliant little text-pot of a wife since we first bent over our keyboards with our creative juices flowing and "submitted;" upload after upload, on "wedding night," three years ago. It has never had to look outside the marriage to have its review-reproductive urges taken care of; never had to "pay for it." The ONLY time we haven't readily submitted to ep's insatiable need for great text, hubby ended up blowing a dog. Maybe it's time we told the spoiled bastard: "NO." If we let him T.O.S.-off by himself a few nights, it would cause him to lose some of his nirav and make him think twice before attempting to be so textually demanding.
SOME OLD SMART DUDE: "Take Care Of The Pennies And the dollars take care of themselves."
YOU: "HEY YEAH! ...It worked for epinions when THEY stopped paying US to write for them!"
IN THE END, IT ALL MAKES CENTS
Each penny-voice can count for dollars if everyone puts in their 2¢. Even if you're the ONLY one who speaks up, your penny-opinion is STILL worth dollars as an investment in whatever future you'd like to see for yourself and the people you care about; a "verbal savings bond." Both "what you say" and "what you fail to say" DO make a difference. But then, I'm just belaboring what must already be obvious to you, or else why would you still be posting product reviews for epinions? Makes cents, right? Damien thought so....
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