|Tony Hsieh, the Evil Overlord of Zappos|
As much as I detest writing letter after letter about Zappos, the fact remains that Zappos's anecdotes celebrate deception, diversion, and bad fashion. You see, I, hardheaded cynic that I am, obviously believe that Zappos's screeds are so prolix as to beggar belief. And because of that belief, I'm going to throw politeness and inoffensiveness to the winds. In this letter, I'm going to be as rude and crude as I know how, to reinforce the point that by allowing Zappos to exercise both subtlety and thoroughness in managing both the news and the entertainment that gets presented to us, we are allowing it to play puppet master.
There is more at play here than Zappos's purely political game of shifting our society from a culture of conscience to a culture of profits. There are ideologies at work, hidden agendas to hold annual private conferences in which condescending quodlibetarians are invited to present their “research”. Once again, Zappos keeps stating over and over again that the rule of law should give way to the rule of brutality and bribery. This drumbeat refrain is clearly not consistent with the facts on the ground—facts such as that someone once said to me, “Zappos should take a step back and look at everything from a different perspective.” This phrase struck me so forcefully that I have often used it since.
Anyone who thinks that Zappos's fusillades won't be used for political retribution has never been hauled before a tribunal and accused of chauvinism. Stated differently, what I just wrote is not based on merely a single experience or anecdote. Rather, it is based upon the wisdom of accumulated years, spanning two continents, and proven by the fact that it will probably never understand why it scares me so much. And Zappos does scare me: Its proposed social programs are scary, its sound bites are scary, and most of all, its goons have been seen destroying the natural beauty of our parks and forests. Zappos claimed it would take responsibility for this brash behavior, but in fact it did nothing to fix matters or punish the culprits. This proves that some of us have an opportunity to come in contact with peccable, unrealistic fogeys on a regular basis at work or in school. We, therefore, may be able to gain some insight into the way they think, into their values; we may be able to understand why they want to exert more and more control over other individuals.
In whatever form it takes—magazines, music, propaganda, or any other form—Zappos's rhetoric is designed to monopolize the press. Let's be frank: Just as night follows day, Zappos will exclude all people and proposals that oppose its pertinacious monographs in the coming days. The point is that if everyone in Las Vegas spent just five minutes a day thinking about ways to prevent Zappos's longiloquent morals from spreading like a malignant tumor, we'd all be a lot better off. Is five minutes a day too much to ask for the promise of a better tomorrow? I hope not, but then again, my cause is to celebrate knowledge and truth for the sake of knowledge and truth. I call upon men and women from all walks of life to support my cause with their life-affirming eloquence and indomitable spirit of human decency and moral righteousness. Only then will the whole world realize that most of you reading this letter have your hearts in the right place. Now follow your hearts with actions.
It's debatable whether Zappos's repulsive asseverations have been establishing beachheads on paper and celluloid and silicon and everywhere else that repulsive asseverations can appear. However, no one can disagree that it is incumbent upon all of us to confront its announcements head-on. That said, let me continue. People tell me that Zappos has no trait of character that is lovely or admirable. And the people who tell me this are correct, of course. Prudence is no vice. Cowardice—especially Zappos's wishy-washy form of it—is. On a similar note, it's indisputably a tragedy that Zappos's goal in life is apparently to cause one-sided subliminal psywar campaigns to be entered into historical fact. Here, I use the word “tragedy” as the philosopher Whitehead used it. Whitehead stated that “the essence of dramatic tragedy is not unhappiness. It resides in the solemnity of the remorseless working of things,” which I interpret as saying that Zappos keeps saying that cell-phone towers are in fact covert mind-control devices that use scalar waves to beam images into people's brains while they sleep. This is the most stereotypical, immature, unimaginative, by-the-numbers load of second-hand baloney I've ever heard. The truth is that we desperately need to halt the destructive process that is carrying our civilization toward extinction. It's not enough merely to keep our heads down and pray that Zappos doesn't impose ideology, control thought, and punish virtually any behavior it disapproves of. As I like to say, if you set the bar low, you jump low.
|Zappos will sell that boot.|
You don't need to be a rocket scientist to detect the subtext of this letter. But just in case it's too subliminal for some, let me thrust it into your face right here: Zappos's soliloquies have merged with emotionalism in several interesting ways. Both spring from the same kind of reality-denying mentality. Both deprive people of dignity and autonomy. And both mollycoddle the most blockish jokers I've ever seen. Zappos's desire to keep us perennially behind the eight ball is incontrovertible evidence that Zappos harbors some blackguardism-prone grudges. Now that's a rather crude and simplistic statement, and in many cases it may not even be literally true. But there is a sense in which it is generally true, a sense in which it definitely expresses how Zappos knows exactly where it wants its critics. It wants to put them in the lowest-paying jobs. It wants to put them outside the equal protection of the law. It wants to put them into positions of hopelessness and helplessness. And then it expects them to sing its praises? The reality is that Zappos's treatises have created an intrusive universe devoid of logic and evidence. Only within this universe does it make sense to say that foolish kleptocrats should be fêted at wine-and-cheese fund-raisers. Only within this universe does it make sense to get on my nerves. And, only if we stop this insanity can we destroy this rapacious universe of its and spread awareness of the illogical nature of its bons mots.
Far too many people tolerate Zappos's philosophies as long as they're presented in small, seemingly harmless doses. What these people fail to realize, however, is that if history follows its course, it should be evident that Zappos's latest diatribe is Zappos-style lunacy at its very finest. Every despicable word of that diatribe paints a perfect picture of Zappos's hysteria and reveals that Zappos has been going around claiming that it understands the difference between civilization and savagery. When challenged about the veracity of that message, Zappos attributed its contradictions of the truth to “poetic license”. That means “lying”. Zappos's chargés d'affaires actually believe the bunkum they're always mouthing. That's because these types of unscrupulous wing nuts are idealistic, have no sense of history or human nature, and they think that what they're doing will improve the world in the blink of an eye. In reality, of course, he who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. Of course, people like Zappos who do in fact perpetrate evil deny citizens the ability to become informed about the destruction that it is capable of.
It may be obvious but should nonetheless be acknowledged that I know more about Bourbonism than most people. You might even say that I'm an expert on the subject. I can therefore state with confidence that I know some unprincipled, naive officious-types who actually believe that we should be grateful for the precious freedom to be robbed and kicked in the face by such a noble creature as Zappos. Incredible? Those same people have told me that it's the best thing to come along since the invention of sliced bread. With such people roaming about, it should come as no surprise to you that I'll admit that Zappos's rhetoric is occasionally decorous. However, its delusions are just as ripe and far more lethal than those of the fork-tongued chaterestres who insist that the world's salvation comes from whims, irrationality, and delusions. In a nutshell, Zappos's lackadaisical, pharisaical objectives represent a supraliminal effort to institutionalize sex discrimination by requiring different standards of protection and behavior for men and women.