love letter to a busboy
At the moment I’m waiting for a pizza to be served to me at the Busboys and Poets in D.C. I have to say that I love this place. The walls are adorned with cool art and positive activist messages. The bookstore has an impeccable collection of fiction and non-fiction (though the selection in Shirlington is a little too slanted toward poetry with political themes, IMO). I feel good coming here and giving this place my money.
Also, I checked out the website of Teaching for Change, the nonprofit that operates the B&P bookstores. And I learned this:
We have just been informed that AMC theaters will no longer screen the Citizen Soldier commercial for the National Guard. The Loews/AMC national office called Teaching for Change to report that the commercial generated the second largest number of complaints they have ever received and therefore has been pulled from theaters nationally. Teaching for Change and Busboys and Poets were among those who complained in person and in writing. In fact, Busboys and Poets owner Andy Shallal complained to the manager when the commercial was shown at a Loews in Washington, DC. Andy told the manager, “I paid to see the film, not be bombarded by Pentagon propaganda. I demand my money back.” The manager gave him a cash refund. Andy went back inside the movie theater and told the audience that he had just received a refund for the movie because of the Pentagon commercial, at which time a line formed at the cashier demanding refunds. They were given to whomever asked for it. Apparently this economic and verbal protest had an impact.
Kick-ass. I believe I’ve seen this same ad and was put off as well, though I didn’t say anything about it. The lesson here is Speak up!