So first, let’s see the commercial, because while it might not have broken much new ground for its main message, it is the first time I’ve seen this type of secondary message. And I’m damn angry it has taken this long for anyone to take a chance, but at the same time, the respect and loyalty I already have for Amazon.com has just skyrocketed even more. And my wife and I already love Amazon even more than rednecks love WalMart (or NASCAR. Or Larry the Cable Guy. Or Country music. Okay, you get it, I’ll stop).
DISCLAIMER: I do NOT work for Amazon, nor am I paid by Amazon for any endorsement. I am an Amazon Prime member, and I’m also an Amazon KDP (e-book self-publishing service) member.
Because I know at some point, some pinhead is going to come shout out about how I’m either an Amazon shill, or I am pushing the homosexual agenda. You agenda-accusers just hold on, I’ll get to you in a minute.
First thing I want to give kudos to Amazon for is the primary message of this video, which is the Kindle Paperwhite e-reader. Here’s another disclaimer: I have one of the ‘normal’ Kindle e-readers (except mine is not 3G). And. I. LOVE. It. It is one of the best items I have ever purchased. I have around eighty e-books on it right now. I have the cool cover/case for it with the built-in LED reading light. And I love it as well.
And I already like this new Paperwhite version. My Kindle is still in pristine condition, and I hope it lasts another ten years. However, this new one has a much brighter white background, and it has built-in LED lights for reading darkened areas. I’m sure there’s other enhancements over my boring, older Kindle. I’ve been wanting to buy a second one, so that the Wife can have her own. And I guess because I love my wife, I want her to have the newer, predictably better one.
And let’s not forget, in all my gushing, the primary message of this commercial: The Apple iPad might be great for a lot of things, but it is not that great of an e-reader. Sure, it does fine with whatever the iPad uses for Kindle books and any other e-reader software it can run (or that Apple allows it to run). Of course, it also implies that the other, cough*Android*cough tablets and pads are sub-par for your e-reading pleasures, because unlike Kindles, tablets and pads are built to be more like a cell phone – laptop PC’s. Especially in really bright areas, like, you know, wherever there’s sunlight. I’ve got a tablet and a cell phone, and both are newer and awesome, and both of them absolutely suck in direct sunlight, even at their brightest settings.
My vanilla Kindle (again, mine is NOT the 3G version) is great in direct sunlight. I tend to make sure my head creates a shadow over the Kindle screen, but the instant I do, the print contrasts perfectly with the page background color…which is kind of a cream-tan-pages-from-an-old-old-book color. ish. The Paperwhite Kindle I believe will be even better in direct sunlight. And better yet, when it is too dark to read, it has built-in LED lights. I think I mentioned this already, but it is worth repeating.
Right. So. The secondary message of this commercial. That a commercial that is playing on major cable networks (I have DirecTV) is catering to the LGBT community, and not in a condescending or stereotypical way. In fact, in a humorous way, and the most crucial (and creamy!) part is that the humor doesn’t demean or condescend to the LBGT crowd either. It’s genuinely…humorous!
DISCLAIMER: I am not gay. I am heterosexual. My agenda is equality.
I, and my wife, and the people I consider friends that I interact with on a regular basis, believe wholeheartedly that we have much more pressing matters to worry about in this life, this economy, this…existence, than to worry about something to trivial as gay marriage (or, I guess, the not-so-trivial homosexual agenda?). If you don’t believe that homosexuals of any flavor should be given equal rights and be allowed to marry the same as us ‘normies’ do, we will not get along. Period.
Amazon is a pretty damn big company these days. And they have a business that spans…a LOT. We can buy just about anything and everything from Amazon, and if Amazon doesn’t have it, there’s always some other company or some private seller of some sort that has a storefront with Amazon and will have it.
The Kindle wasn’t the first e-reader, but as far as I’m concerned, it has revolutionized not just the book market, but it has severely shaken up the traditional ‘dead tree’ publishing world with the Kindle Direct Publishing service. So Amazon is moving beyond just a storefront for material goods, and then digital goods, and now to publishing, film making, and who knows what else.
Let’s get one thing straight: Amazon is NOT a perfect company. They’ve made plenty of mistakes, but so has any great company as it had growing pains going from a start-up in a garage or small physical location, to a world-wide behemoth that can shake up an entire industry that has been in almost total control of the books, music (remember, they helped bring about DRM-free a la carte digital music purchases to the mainstream), and now maybe video entertainment with their foray into film/movies.
But one of the things we love about them, is they have that Seattle vibe. The Seattle vibe, while it probably has many interpretations by many different persons, to me means they are modern, technologically proficient, progressive-thinking Americans. You know, the coffee bars, grunge, bike-to-work (or even just telecommute from home), granola-eating, tree-hugging way they have about them in a very general manner. Amazon is a business, make no mistake about that, and they are a publicly traded company, so shareholders always have to be kept happy (and we know how fickle such things as the stock market can be).
But they’ve been progressive in both offering same-sex partner benefits as well as speaking out with a Friend of the Court Brief to the Supreme Court of the United States, joining a heck of a lot of other progressive companies (and you’ll notice there are quite a few that are based in or have a huge presence in Seattle and the Pacific Northwest).
I’ve no doubt not everyone that works for Amazon is as progressive as I am in believing that homosexuality is not a sin, nor is anyone that identifies themselves with being transgender. I’m also quite sure that there are shareholders and maybe even board members that are not kosher with the idea of gays, lesbians, bi-, and transgender persons being given equal rights when they should instead be shoved back into the closet because of religious, political (which always goes back to religion), or whatever other nutty ideals they have.
I say: TOO BAD. This really should be a non-issue by now. We all know or are related to at least one person who identifies as LGBT. Why do we love and respect that LGBT individual but not all of them? It isn’t any different than any other form of bigotry. Racism, religion, whatever, it is all just another way to discriminate against someone who doesn’t subscribe to their moral code, no matter how outdated or ridiculous that moral code may be (and scarily enough, seems to still be close to half of the country).
But you know what? You people are losing the battle. And there’s not going to be any 4th quarter, game-winning miracle drive by your ideological warriors that is going to do anything but stave off certain defeat for just a little while longer on this issue. Unless I suppose, Jesus does come back to Earth and really does subscribe to your view and interpretation of God and the Bible. I don’t want to get into a religious flamewar, but I’m betting everything I have, including my eternal soul, that he’d probably be disgusted by any thought of not treating everyone equal, especially people who are BORN the way they are and unable to change it. You can’t change the fact that you are white, brown, black, yellow, red, blue, green, or Asian, Brazilian, African, or Armenian.
You can’t change the fact that you like the opposite sex any more than one can change the fact that she is attracted to the those of her gender. You just can’t. And you should NOT be able to tell anyone else they can and that they have to or they won’t be accepted as an equal in this society.
The fact that Amazon respects this, and is willing to put it out there publicly, openly, and in as many homes as they can, is so absolutely, refreshingly…WONDERFUL. This is just one more awesome reason why I love them as a company and gladly do business with them as often as I can. I only wish that all companies in America felt this way about such an important social issue. If they did, we wouldn’t need constitutional amendments and propositions and the Supreme Court to make laws about anything.
Because if every company in this country truly took this view, it would mean that an overwhelming majority of citizens also believed it, and those that still didn’t would eventually disappear over time (this my friends, is a form of evolution). It would mean that even the majority of those persons who associated with one religion or another would probably still want to fight about things like abortion or pre-marital sex, but they’d all be of the mind that sexual preference is a biological issue, not a social issue.
And that’s exactly what it is. And the sooner that the truth of this dawns on everyone, the sooner we can move on to actual social issues like poverty, hunger, abuse, and education. Things that actually matter. Because sexual preference only matters to those who want to dig in their heels and refuse to let a progressive society keep evolving forward. And a progressive society that evolves forward eventually solves things like poverty, hunger, abuse (which will also solve most of the education problems we have as a country/society).
Congrats Amazon. You’ve helped get the ball rolling in a very public manner without offending anyone except those who will never evolve beyond hate no matter what you do.