Saturday, February 16, 2008

An Open Letter: V.I.P. = Very Insulting Prejudice

Dear Sir Richard Branson,

J__ and I were down in Union Square last night after dinner and I picked up a few DVDs, something I do if not once a week, at least three times a month. Thus I am a card carrying member of your V.I.P. program. Your overall business philosophy and commitment to philanthropy are laudable, but I must admit I have a bit of an issue with a coupon I was given last night.

As an old Jew I am all over coupons and appreciate the frequent discounts I get at your store. Sometimes I roll my eyes at certain ones -- discounts on tickets to see Barry Manilow in Vegas, $10 off your "fashion" -- but on the whole they are straight forward such as frequently a coupon for $5 off any item for my next purchase. Thanks, and I appreciate that you value my business.

Last night I got a $10 coupon in honor of African American History Month. Great, a huge percentage of my music collection is by African American artists. I'm all for that. Okay, here's where I started getting upset: the coupon qualified that it is to be used for any jazz, hip-hop, rap, blues, soul or R & B disc. Sure, I have plenty of interest in discs from those genres, However, it implies that I can buy works of white artists in those categories such as Chet Baker, Emimem, Eric Clapton, Paul Whiteman, Hall and Oates, etc. with this coupon? However, it would not apply to African American artists in other genres, i.e. Audra McDonald (classical/pop vocals/cast albums), Scott Joplin (opera/ragtime), Leontyne Price (opera), Charley Pride (country). And what about people like Joshua Redman, decidedly a jazz musician but with mixed racial heritage. Would you apply only 50% of the coupon? Okay, jazz, so that applies 100%.

Mind you, I am all about honoring African American history and its wonderful impact on the U.S. culture, but I'd suggest that in the future you use a wider lens in defining it. I'm a tad insulted but will likely continue to shop at your store. However, I'll be curious to see how you handle Latvian Pride month come August. I'll be watching.

Junk Thief.

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At 3:15 PM, Blogger Dave said...

Another sign of impending old age: writing crank letters to newspapers and corporations. Give 'em hell, Junk Thief!

At 3:21 PM, Blogger Ladron de Basura (a.k.a. Junk Thief) said...

Dave - Impending? That's sweet of you. I would have said advanced old age.

At 6:25 AM, Blogger jason said...

If you're buying a Charlie Pride Cd you deserve a special coupon booklet.

At 8:49 AM, Blogger Ladron de Basura (a.k.a. Junk Thief) said...

Jason - Call it Pride Pride.

At 1:10 PM, Blogger Gavin Elster said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 1:12 PM, Blogger Gavin Elster said...

I'm right there with you. I would also like to add that Sir Dicks local audio video discount hut closed due to a collapsed roof and the other store, the "Mega" store, on Sunset also closed. So my VIP status is useless. What week do they issue the GAY Pride coupons? When do they offer discounts for Native American artisit? What about all that Muslim music I find so interesting? When do I get a discount on that? Moreover... where the hell do I redeem these coupons?
Thank you Richard for forcing me to use online services to gather music and videos.

Sir Richard Branson, You and your services are no longer required. You are dead to me.

At 5:48 PM, Blogger Ladron de Basura (a.k.a. Junk Thief) said...

Gavin - I've heard rumors that they are going under soon. They're closing one in Manhattan. Like I'm going to find Criterion at Best Buy then?

At 5:58 PM, Blogger Gavin Elster said...

Stay away from that Branson. He's a bad influence.

If you know whats good for you... you will NOT go to this website:

Don't sat I didn't warn ya.

At 6:03 PM, Blogger Ladron de Basura (a.k.a. Junk Thief) said...

Gavin - Sorry, it's too late. I go there several times a month like a drunk at the bar.

At 12:38 PM, Blogger Gavin Elster said...

Oh dear God your worse than I thought.

At 12:44 PM, Blogger Ladron de Basura (a.k.a. Junk Thief) said...

Gavin - Yes, bad, bad. Rotten to the core.


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