1. Archive

Boycotts' road to nowhere

Pinellas County ought to be worried.

Our world, already overcrowded, is running out of relief valves. Pretty soon, we might as well close the Howard Frankland and Gandy bridges, shut down the airports and the cruise docks.

No matter how much we get dressed up, we'll soon have no place to go.

At first, that danger seemed remote, even when places such as Colorado and Utah dropped off our maps. Nice places, but who really needs to go to either of them?

After all, what's more important, supporting a gay man's right to have a job or breaking your leg on a ski slope?

So long, Colorado.

What's easier to forsake, a woman's freedom to choose abortion, or salt licking (or whatever it is they do in Utah)?

Cancel the Utah trip.

We got a little concerned when Miami hit the list. But Hurricane Andrew and carjackings made it a less desirable place to go anyway. And furthermore, if Miami's too good for Nelson Mandela, then it's also too good for us, right?

Later, Miami.

But now, we really need to worry. Tampa's crossed off, too.

A convention of black administrators said Tampa hasn't been on the up and up with gay and black people. They're taking their convention instead to New Orleans, apparently _ or inadvertently _ supporting Louisiana's tough anti-abortion stance.

Or are they?

They couldn't very well have gone to Phoenix; Arizona was slow to accord some honors to Martin Luther King.

They couldn't go somewhere far away, such as Juneau, Alaska, because that state wanted to hunt wolves from helicopters. (Why not have some sense of decency and fair play and humanely blow them away from ground level like everyone else does?)

And they probably couldn't afford to go to New York, which the Professional Convention Management Association put on the verboten list because the city collected a tax of almost 22 percent on rooms costing more than $100 a night.

Some locations outside our borders haven't been cleared for landing, either. Can't very well go to Ecuador: That's where soccer's Americas Cup tournament is being held this week _ despite protests by Mexico's players who say their clubs treat them like slaves. Looks like Mexico needs to be whacked out of travel plans, too.

You might want to keep Atlanta open for a while still: It's just Iranian athletes who are threatening to boycott the Olympic Games there in 1996. And some of us still have trouble feeling a kinship toward Iran since that hostage thing a few years ago.

Minke whale lovers might have an easier time keeping travelers out of Lillehammer, Norway, for the 1994 Winter Olympics, after that country allows 295 of the animals to be hunted and killed commercially.

Okay, you say, what if my travel options are severely limited? There's plenty to do in Pinellas County.

But for how long?

Can't go to Publix _ unless you want to slap women, minorities and laborers in the face.

Can't go see a Time Warner movie because police won't like it. They're still stewing because the company released a song called Cop Killer.

Can't go to Kmart, libraries, or elementary school classrooms; they have books and materials that depict violence or sex _ G.I. Joe dolls and Little Red Riding Hood and the rest of that loose crowd.

So, if you live in Pinellas County _ and you're not apathetic to the suffering to your fellow man-, woman-, animal- and fishkind _ you'd better stock up canned goods (read the labels) for a long stay at home.

The isolation might prove to be productive. Maybe we'll come up with a way to get back at Major League Baseball for not respecting us in the morning.

Hey, how about boycotting all the cities with major league teams?