Today I got thinking about Oprah Winfrey’s 1996 legal battle against America’s cattle ranchers, led by Cactus Feeders.
I remember Oprah, having won the case brought by Cactus Feeders, tearfully telling an audience on her show how the most painful part of the process for her was the claim that her comments about the dangers associated with eating beef—because of its link to “Mad Cow” disease—were motivated by malice.
This claim, she said, attacked and offended her in a very personal way.
I’ve been thinking about that kind of questioning of one’s integrity as I come to grips with my own battle against powerful, entrenched U.S.-based and other western commercial interests which seem intent on resisting the clear imperative of the current era for reform in global capitalism.
At least one firm—which I shall refrain from naming, for the time being—is arguing that my criticisms of its corporate culture have been motivated by a personal vendetta against one of its representatives.
Nothing could be further from the truth!
The fact is, I have some admiration for the individual, and have even offered to write his/her biography.
Actually—and I say this with no sense of acclaim—I find it very difficult to dislike anybody, even persons who for whatever reason annoy or offend me.
This is not to say that I may not be made angry. I certainly feel anger when I see bullies treating others badly. Bullying—corporate, political, or in any other setting—offends me deeply, probably because of the bullying and brutality I saw my mother subjected to by my father as a child.
But as I have indicated before on this website, I came to terms with and forgave my father for his abuse of my mother a long time ago.
I recognized that his resort to violence and aggression in his interaction with my mother was at least partially a consequence of the hardships he experienced as a child—separated from his parents and shipped from one home to another.
It was a consequence, at least partially, of the violence and aggression that he suffered in those settings.
And so I understand how violence and aggression is perpetuated, and I do all within my power to put an end to such cycles, not to entrench them.
When Oprah won the case Cactus Feeders brought against her, she said, “Free speech rocks!”
I have refrained from naming the company (and individual) that is attempting to curtail my free speech for legal reasons. I have not been advised to do so. This is just a precaution as legal proceedings between myself and that company are in train.
But more than this, I have refrained from mentioning that company because I believe that despite everything that has transpired so far, there can still be a mutually acceptable, happy ending to my dispute with them.
There is no need for the “Mad Cow” behavior this company has persisted with to date. I hope that this company will take note of the outcome of the Cactus Feeders lawsuit and recognize that bullying—whether blatant or veiled in claims of being a “victim” of bullying—is counterproductive.
And speaking of “Mad Cow,” this past weekend, while I was out doing business in Norwich, I came across a little girl in pink pajamas with an image of a cute cow called “Moody” on it.
Her mum said it’s the latest thing.
It certainly is a clever use of the term “moody.”
But I also thought it interesting that no feminists have so far raised objections about this kind of stereotyping of women.
And what's this about “vaginal voting,” you say?
Well, I'm not in the mood for dealing with that right now.
If you're curious, you'll have to wait until I publish the next article in this series.
But I'm not cruel: I won't get you worked up for nothing.
There's a bit of foreplay, if you will, in an article written by Barbadian Commonwealth youth ambassador Corey Worrell, which you can find at this link: http://www.nationnews.com/index.php/arti