If You're Going To Be a Consumer Whore, At Least Be a Patriotic One

Sunday, November 28, 2010 4 Comments



As some of you know, I grew up in Milwaukee, a town known for its bratwurst, fat asses and factories. My mom worked in a factory before she finished nursing school and my Grandpa spent his entire working life in one. By the time I was of age, the life doomed to factory work wasn't what it was a generation before as many plants had been moved out of the frozen tundra of Wisconsin to the cheap rolling hills of China and India. Anyone remember Schlitz? Hipster favorite Pabst Blue Ribbon (swill to the natives, just so you know) isn't the PBR of yore, as that PBR ripped off pensioners and broke union contracts to bail out of Milwaukee in 1996. It might say "Milwaukee, WI" on the side of the can but it's really owned by a holding company and brewed to give hipsters piss to drink (says the hipster who dares to drink it). Point being, the factories (and accompanying infrastructure) are gone and what we have left is a throw-away economy that craves crap goods made by tiny hands in places like Indonesia and China. We don't even want to answer our own customer service calls and instead outsource to Indian guys named Patrick (yeah right). And you wonder why our economy is in the sad state it is.

Anyway, in honor of Black Friday - or rather, my powerful need to avoid it at all costs - I offer you a handful of my favorite American companies, should you feel compelled to waste money you don't have you better do it in a way that supports us here at home instead of that asshole Patrick in Calcutta.

Disclaimer: None of these companies have paid me for my endorsements but if they feel compelled to send me free shit I'm more than happy to change my disclaimer and alert the FTC immediately. Ping me, bitches.

Skatersocks: I'll let you in on a secret, I have a really weird fetish. OK, I have a few but this one is pretty strange. I've been hopelessly addicted to striped tube socks since 2008 and you will never EVER catch me without Skatersocks on my feet. Once they ran a 50 for $100 promotion where you got FIFTY pairs of assorted tubes for $100 (do the math, genius, that's $2 a pair!) and I hardly ever have to do laundry as I've always got plenty of socks. I feel good throwing my money at this San Marcos, CA based brother-and-sister-owned company as they offer a well-made, long-lasting, awesome product at a really reasonable price (3 pairs of 25" socks will run you a mere $15). I won't tell you how many pairs I actually own, let's just say I've got more socks than any reasonable person could ever need in their entire lifetime. Bonus points for the blue lovers combo and thigh high pink and black cupcake socks. These guys rule!

Rizzo Tees: Clever t-shirts are nothing new but if you're looking for some clever, Rizzo Tees carries some of the best. American-made, printed on American Apparel out of downtown LA, you can rest assured you're doing your part while being a smartass. Win. Follow RizzoTees on Twitter for promotions (and musings on the awesomeness of bacon).

Body Art Forms: If you don't already know, JDA is a longtime fan of, uh, modification. Since plugs and jewelry can be horribly marked up in traditional piercing shops, I started searching for a reasonable alternative years ago. Lucky for me, I came across BAF and have since cashed in on their customer loyalty program that offers 10% off on all future orders once you meet their minimum of all-time spending (I think it was $250 if I am not mistaken). Based out of Texas, orders are processed promptly and, at least for me, items on their website almost always arrive even better than they appear. I made the mistake of ordering plugs from a different company once and was disgusted with the cheap, dingy quality but have spent hundreds (maybe thousands) with BAF and have never been disappointed. See if you can spot JDA's ears in the customer photos. Supporting BAF supports a small American business (that appears to have thrived through the recession!) as well as the artists who design and create many of the pieces they sell like Esoteric Body and Omerica Organic.

TeeFury: For t-shirt addicts with ADD, TeeFury is a great way to get your t-shirt fix without committing or worrying about running into some asshat wearing the same shirt as you. Here's how it works: TeeFury gets a design from a different artist every day, pays them $1 per shirt sold, sells each design for just 24 hours and unloads them for $9 a pop plus economical $2 shipping. That's $11 for a nearly one-of-a-kind shirt. Don't like today's shirt? Look again tomorrow. Artists retain all rights to their work and can get a pretty nice payday by letting TeeFury print up their design, depending on how popular it is. JDA is a proud owner of Mod Zombies and Super Mario Sushi.

Brew City: Maker of promotional items, Brew City Brand is also proud owner of the "beer cozy hoodie" patent and t-shirt company based in JDA's own hometown of Milwaukee. Over Black Friday weekend they offered 40% off on EVERYTHING, including the hilariously awesome "Ed Gein Furniture Co" shirt. Get your Milwaukee classic "Run, Bambi, Run!" memorial shirt while they last (homage to the late Laurie Bembenek, who you probably don't know if you didn't grow up here in the 80s). Non-Milwaukeers are also invited to indulge, tell them JDA said so.

This list is by no means comprehensive, nor is it meant as a directive to spend if you do not have the disposable income to do so. It is merely an acknowledgment of the companies and products that I enjoy, appreciate, and feel good supporting. It's the patriotic thing to do, as opposed to getting your t-shirts from Wal-mart where you are merely supporting the globalization scam by giving some 5 year old in Indonesia a sweatshop job instead of stimulating the economy at its most important root: small business.

Don't let Bernanke tell you otherwise.

Jr Deputy Accountant

Some say he’s half man half fish, others say he’s more of a seventy/thirty split. Either way he’s a fishy bastard.

4 comments:

Thanks for including me on the list!

Anonymous said...

I bought a couple of children's books this weekend. The kind with the thick cardboard pages that kids can turn themselves without ripping the pages out. Farm animals and alphabet letters. I didn't notice until I got home that they were made in China. CHINA! Apparently a little five-paged cardboard childrens book can't be made in America anymore. How can a three dollar book be made and shipped thousands of miles across the globe? Funny, this was a family-owned local downtown bookstore and the owner didn't get why I wanted to return them. OK, even worse, I noticed the local sporting goods store was selling dumb-bell weights made in China. Does it make any sense to manufacture and ship a ten pound chunk of cold steel across the planet?

Anonymous said...

There is no shame in factory work or working with one's hands. I'll believe that to the day I die. My view is that a plumber has more capacity to do more for the common good than some damned investment banker. Any doubts - wait 'till the next time your shitter backs up and THEN decide. My grandfather was a machinist with Avondale Shipyards for 30+ years - there isn't anything wrong with getting your hands dirty while you work.

brewed by people who care - give up that PBR and get yo'self some good WI stuff

Jazzie Casas said...

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