Badges & Boycotts

March 3, 2012 at 4:16 am (Links, writing)

Badges

Today I get to show off a badge, passed along to me recently by A. J. Brown who has nominated my blog for The Versatile Blogger Award.

It’s a bit of a treat, considering my poor blurb is not yet that widely read. It’s especially a pleasure because I consider myself very versatile – a Jack of many trades and a master of none.

There are rules to this award and they are:

* Thank the award-giver and link back to their blog in your post.

Thank you fellow word blurber, A.J. Brown. Find him at Type AJ Negative – http://typeajnegative.wordpress.com/

* Include a link to the original blog, The Versatile Blogger Award.

You can find that here: http://versatilebloggeraward.wordpress.com/

* Share seven things about yourself.

-I have no middle name

-My first paid summer job was as an actress

-Due to a childhood accident, I’m two inches shorter than I should be (and I’m still 5’8″)

-I broke my thumb playing softball when I was in junior high school

– At one point during my childhood I had more than 2 dozen gerbils

– I have an affinity for opals

– I actually ended up with a mark of 100% in my second semester of eighth grade algebra, which gave me 99% for the full year.

* Pass this award along to fifteen blogs you enjoy reading.

Fifteen Blogs that I Find Worthy of this award:

Unbound Boxes Limping Gods (http://cherylmoore.wordpress.com/) – Enjoy heart-wrenching teaser tales and spectacular illustrations from the visionary mind and hands of Cheryl Moore.

Dragon Queen’s Blog (http://dragonqueen3.wordpress.com/) – Peruse the impressions of an enthusiastic and talented young writer. Keep an eye on this one. She’ll be going places.

The Temple of the Exploding Head (http://thetempleoftheexplodinghead.wordpress.com/) – Here you’ll find both the creative whimsy and more serious thoughts of one of my writing heroes – father of the best space fantasy series going IMO.

Justine Hedman Artist & Writer (http://justinehedman.webs.com/) – A display of the pensive musings of a sweet and talented young lady.

Horror Addicts (http://horroraddicts.wordpress.com/) – Everything horror, presented in a smart and edgy way. Recommended for any fan of the genre.

Welcome to the Asylum (http://welcometotheasylum.net/) – The thought-provoking words of J.S. Chancellor, fantasy writer and philosopher.

Ramblings of an Anxiety Ridden Mind (http://suzannerobb.blogspot.com/) – A blog from a funny and prolific lady with a lot on her mind (and much of it scary.)

Webbweaver (http://webbweaver-zelda555.blogspot.com/) – This is one of the better book review blogs out there, with impressive variety, sharp graphics and great detail to their analysis.

The Surly Muse (http://surlymuse.com/) – A fun curmudgeon who talks books, writing and writers with his own touch of quirky humour.

Books & Writing (http://www.books-writing.com/) – Find everything here from tips to guest articles to interviews. A hodgepodge of all things bookish.

Rebecca Snow (http://cemeteryflower.blog.com/) – lots of cool tidbits, or as she likes to call them dribbles. Follow her adventures in publishing with a lot of nifty morsels mixed in for good measure.

Writing Knights Roundtable (http://wkroundtable.blogspot.com/) – Samples of talent from an assortment of scribes, poetry. Short stories, articles and excerpts.

We Like Humans (http://welikehumans.wordpress.com/) – Take a peek and the mirthful ramblings from C. D. Echterling and her otherworldly creations.

Through Thom Tinted Glasses (http://thomreese.wordpress.com/) – Witty observations, in-depth interviews and political satire.

Split Horizons (http://michelrvaillancourt.com/) – News from my favourite geek blogger, who dabbles in steampunk and writing.

Boycotts

I think it’s interesting. I started boycotting PayPal ages ago for a variety of reasons. I watched them freeze friends’ accounts for no legitimate reason and do other somewhat nefarious things. The last straw was a situation where someone used their policies to rip me off when I was purchasing something from eBay, many years ago. The vendor, recommended on eBay with high ratings, never provided the merchandise I paid for. It was a small purchase, only $23, but instead of trying to be helpful, PayPal took my money and then spit in my face (figuratively), shrugging their shoulders and telling me it was my problem even though I had followed all of their directions with purchase follow-ups. I swore I would never use them again, if I could help it. I only buy from vendors who accept some other method of payment, and I’ve only made one exception for the sake of charity.

I’ve heard many other people say, what other options are there? I buy from vendors who accept regular credit cards, not via PayPal, and on many occasions I have sent money orders or cheques. I have yet to have a vendor rip me off when I have used those methods of payment, but I can’t say the same about PayPal, so what does that tell you? I was not the lone victim of that dishonourable vendor that day – it was a scam of massive proportions and PayPal turned a blind eye and a cold shoulder to those who were cheated. They were quite content to profit from another’s wrongdoings.

Here comes their latest round of interference in the erotica writing industry and PayPal feels they have the right to play censor. I don’t agree with that, but I can’t boycott them anymore than I already do – sorry folks. Now I do have a conservative outlook on life and I don’t think that erotica that condones certain behaviours should be available for purchase from legitimate vendors, but from what I understand, PayPal isn’t being selective in their ban on these topics. The mere mention of these topics, even in a negative light, is being targeted, and that I don’t support. You can’t strive to fight terrible things if you aren’t allowed to discuss them in a mature and meaningful way. They are also blacklisting vendors in full, even when some of the people they sell for are not selling anything that goes against the new policy.

I feel PayPal is overstepping their authority by playing judge and jury when that should be some other type of regulator’s place, a public agency rather than a private business with private prejudices and biases. Considering the wrongs they have allowed or perpetrated in the past, why should they have the right to play moral police?

I’m only one person, and they are a giant, but that hasn’t stopped me from at least expressing my distaste for their unfair policies, even if they don’t hear my one little voice out of millions (or perhaps billions). It would take a lot of individuals willing to do what I’m doing, and make the necessary stand and sacrifices, before they’d even notice. I don’t blame the vendors in this, Smashwords or others, who have bent to PayPal’s will. They are clearly feeling powerless in the face of the bully. I only hope this triggers new competitors who are willing to offer other options.

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6 Comments

  1. cherylmoore said,

    Congratulations, Chantal!

  2. theleagueofelder said,

    Thanks, Chantal!

  3. David Watson said,

    Thanks for mentioning the horror addicts blog. I’m glad you enjoyed it.

    • knightmist said,

      I have to agree with David’s comments. It was so great to see Horror Addicts listed. We never know how far reaching out little blog goes till we see things like your post. Thanks again for giving us a shout out.

  4. WK Pressman said,

    I would only add that the Writing Knights Roundtable site also houses the book store for Writing Knights Press. 🙂

  5. Daniel Swensen (@surlymuse) said,

    Thank you so much for the mention and nomination, Chantal. I appreciate it a great deal!

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