Folks, we take a departure from book marketing to vent our collective frustrations over the state of the world. Please rant with me — and then do something about it!
Major League Baseball, the world’s largest, oldest, and most successful professional baseball league, is once again alienating the fans it takes for granted while billionaire owners argue with millionaire players over how to divide their riches. Their latest work stoppage, the first since they killed the World Series in a strike-shortened 1994 season that spilled into the early part of 1995, reminds fans, consumers, and citizens that we are to blame for the mess we are in.
If we muster the courage to overcome our addiction, we can boycott and finally bring about real change — and get a seat at the table.
It is not just organized baseball that exploits its fans — it is every other huge corporation or government agency.
We have a love-hate relationship with every big entity, forcing us to be self-loathing hypocrites who put up with less than stellar services and results.
I am ashamed and
embarrassed at what I have become, accepting sub-par quality from our leading
institutions that shape our daily lives. I want to apologize to the youngest
generation for not doing a better job, for giving you an inheritance of a messed-up
And now, our world is witnessing
a catastrophe in Ukraine, and our reaction thus far to the Russian bully, has
been inadequate. We need to defend democracy against unwarranted aggression.
But we have not managed to stop the bloodshed through diplomacy, sanctions, or
threats. I am not saying I want to see WWIII break out, but there must be more
that we can do to help.
Look at whom we admire and simultaneously despise — but use regularly:
Cable-TV — They take consumers for granted, but even as people cut the chord, they spend a lot on the endless creation of streaming services. Cable overcharges for sub-par stations that we don’t want or need, and then bundles their TV with phone and Internet so that it makes it harder to put cable in the rearview mirror.
Amazon — On the surface they seem great — lower prices, fast delivery, great customer service, and a huge variety of products. But they injure commercial real estate, cut into brick and mortar stores, seek to kill entire industry competitors, treat their employees poorly, fail to pay a fair share of taxes, and use robots to kill jobs. It is dangerous for one company to be this powerful — and for one rich guy to be more valuable than some countries.
Big Tech — Facebook and others invade our privacy, let identities get stolen, cause division with fake news, and perpetuate social media bullying. But we can’t stop spending hours a day arguing online, surfing porn, shopping for things we don’t need, laughing at stupid memes, fending off scams, and seeking a popularity that will never fully satisfy our insatiable egos.
Big Pharma — Sure, their drugs save and improve the quality of millions of lives. But they also seem sinister, extorting huge profits while potentially giving us drugs with defects that they either know about or simply hope won’t surface.
Oil Companies — Our cars and homes are still primarily powered by oil and gas, and until we transition to cleaner energy that really is clean, we are stuck sleeping with the enemy— at a high price to the planet and our pocketbooks.
Banks — We need a place to borrow from and to cash a paycheck, but their bullshit fees kill us. They are quick to raise loan rates, but interest on your money is crap.
Crypto — This Ponzi-scheme has taken investors in, where one investor could leave the next investor with a worthless asset. Buyer beware — and yet the allure of riches convinces people that made-up nonsense has real value. Put NFTs in this category, too.
College — Higher education tuition, fees, room, and board have seemingly outpace inflation for at least the past 30 years. This money doesn’t often reach the professors. In fact, many courses are taught by adjuncts and associates, who get paid little. So where does all of that money go to? Just as insulting, the schools will seek to secure donations from alumni for life. There are institutions that literally have endowments of hundreds of millions of dollars. Several schools have billions — and they charge 60-80,000 bucks a year! Why? Meanwhile, what is a college degree worth these days?
The Government — Yes, the government impacts every aspect of our lives, and on paper, has the potential to bring safety, education, safety nets, and other helpful things to the masses. Unfortunately, we know how this play ends. Both parties fail to fulfill a promise to the American people. Partisan politics, corruption, and ignorance get in the way of our leaders, elected and appointed, from doing as much good as they could or should. The answer? Change the nature of government so that our leaders are more productive. Citizens need to be more informed, active, and aware. Only we can bring the change needed.
Contractors — Never met one reliable, fair-priced, trustworthy contractor who delivers decent work, on time, within budget, as promised. Sorry, not one. They simply seem to operate above the law with their extortionist tactics. Sure, they build home extentions and remodel kitchens and bathrooms — but they also hammer our wallet and patience.
Starbucks — I love their coffee, good customer service, that they treat employees well, give back to the community, and provide a safe, comfy environment to hang out. But, they raised their prices by at least 25 percent in just the past year from a price threshold that was already high. Slow down with the record profits!
My ire also extends to big non-profits who spend so much of the money they take in to raise more money — and have little left over after overpaying their leadership and marketing teams. How much of the world’s problems would actually be solved, or greatly reduced, if money earmarked for programs and services that help people actually make it there?
All of these things have certain elements in common:
* No voice at the table for consumers/citizens.
* No unified effort of fans or consumers exists.
* No willingness to boycott — we are addicted.
* No belief that temporary change is lasting.
* Not all bad — and still beats the alternatives.
Will anything change if we don’t change?
Shouldn’t activism be easier, thanks to social media?
Is the nature of all large-scale capitalistic ventures to screw those who fund them, to take the pursuit of profits too far?
As for baseball, greedy grown men argue over billions of dollars for a game kids in youth leagues actually pay to play. It hurts national morale and injures a sport with a long history — and could lead to a shorter future. The lockout hurts local economies and impacts the earnings of average Joes that work concessions, uber people to games, hotels that handle visitors, food- cart owners, etc., and those who feed off of the crumbs of a fleeting ecosystem, such as local memorabilia shops and restaurants in the vicinity of a ballpark.
Will you be the solution?
What will you rant about?
Take action – NOW!!
Saw it on a poster:
LOVE YOUR FAMILY
BE THANKFÜL & THOUGHTFUL
BE KIND TO YOURSELF
SPEND TIME OUTSIDE
GIVE OTHERS YOUR TIME
LISTEN MORE THAN YOU SPEAK
MAKE TIME FOR PLAY
Me For Help
Brian Feinblum, the founder of this
award-winning blog, can be reached at email@example.com He is available to
help authors promote their story, sell their book, and grow their brand. He has
30 years of experience in successfully helping thousands of authors in all
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About Brian Feinblum
Brian Feinblum should be followed on Twitter @theprexpert. This
is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2022. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he
now resides in Westchester with his wife, two kids, and Ferris, a black lab
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IBPA’s The Independent. This was named one of the best book
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