Hypocrite House: if you aren’t completely stalwart in following your beliefs, are you a big dirty hypocrite?

6 Jun

I’m concerned that I have been adopted by a pair of big, dirty hypocrites!  Mykie in particular can be a bit ranty about things but then every now and again will bend/totally break his own rules!

Is he a big dirty hypocrite, or is there a continuum of conviction?

Case 1

The Duchy Disaster

We like the royal family in our house as a bit of pomp and circumstance is rather fun!  We are not however fans of alternative medicine, detox potions, unregulated herbal remedies etc. etc.  We therefore try not to support organisations that promote them…enter the Duchy Dilemma.

Duchy Originals established by HRH Prince Charlie sells Herbal Detox Tinctures (the Quackometer wrote a piece on it).  So, we really shouldn’t support or buy Duchy Original products anymore…but their Lemon Curd is fucking divine!  Better than home-made, better than any other brand we’ve tried (and we tried a lot to reconcile the situation)!

So, we not longer buy Duchy Original products (which we used to buy a lot of as they really, really taste amazing) BUT we will continue to buy their Lemon Curd as it is underwear-moisteningly  good…Hypocritical???

Case: the second

Organic Super Comfort

We don’t do organic in our house as it’s seems to be less efficient and a successful example of fear marketing (a pile of info about it is on The Skeptic’s dictionary).  Mykie is currently weaning himself off free-range, organic eggs as he thinks his observation that they make better cakes is probably conformation bias (but a marvellous excuse to eat curdled, uncooked cake mix when using those awful non-organic eggs).

All well and good until…Mykie found the comfiest, softest, like walking around in pyjamas jeans he had ever seen (they were also his size which is miraculous as he is a homunculus)!  They were however, 100% organic cotton.  He doesn’t think for a minute that the softness, sleep in your jeans properties have anything to do with the organic cotton, did he put his money where his mouth is? Did he fuck, he put his money in the hand of the shop lady and he is wearing them now as I type.

Sticking with the organic, we needed spring onions but the only ones Waitrose had were organic…we weren’t going to leave without any (what is a salad without a scallion?  It’s a small pile of leaves with bits in) so we got the organic ones.

On a scale of 1-fucking douche where do we fall with organic things?

Case III

Molton Madness?

We know that cosmetics claims and beauty product claims are for the most part hilarious piffle (who doesn’t have “touchably soft hair”?).  Just Skeptics talk about some beauty things in episode 3.  This should lead us to:

No real evidence = No wasting money on expensive toiletries

somehow in our house we get:

No real evidence = Spend a fortune at Molton Brown

Mykie’s justification is that we don’t buy them for any claims they make they just smell really, really delightful, everything matches and a gal needs a touch of the luxe to cope with the stresses of middle class suburbia!

and the nominations for hypocritical douche of the year are…

In our house I think we resolve the cognitive dissonance with lame arse excuses to decide which beliefs are fine to bend a little to suit our own selfish little wants.  It maybe reductio ad absurdum but I’m sure there aren’t many people concerned with reducing carbon footprints who are holidaying in Blackpool from now on…Can we not use the same argument with these examples; or do we need to try a bit harder??


8 Responses to “Hypocrite House: if you aren’t completely stalwart in following your beliefs, are you a big dirty hypocrite?”

  1. Docsology June 6, 2010 at 11:00 am #

    FJ, I’m astounded by the breadth of your social commentary. May I offer my own perspective.

    1. If I have a personal objection to a product or the claims made for a product , that obviously doesn’t automatically make the product worthless. It is perfectly reasonable to prefer a particular product for its other objective or perceived merits. If a set of pyjamas claim to aid sleep, and as a chronic insomniac I was persuaded to buy them on that basis alone, I would be understandably annoyed when they had no such effect. However, if I was skeptical of their claim, but liked the style of them anyway, I see no problem with buying them.

    2. Surely the extent to which I boycott a product or a company/associated companies or people should ideally depend on many value judgements such as

    a) how strongly I feel about the harm associated with that product or the lunacy of its claims,
    b) whether I care enough to exert influence on a company,
    c) an analysis of whether a boycott is likely to be effective,
    d) a review of possible harm caused by a boycott,
    e) the overall behaviour of the company,
    f) the personal cost to me,
    g) the possible alternative products available to me.

    Imagine Vivienne Westwood brought out a set of cat skin pyjamas. I might be so revolted by the poor felines sacrificed at the altar of fashion that I might firebomb a shop, write a nasty letter, not buy the pyjamas or anything on sale in a shop containing them, or never buy anything ever again. My response should surely be proportionate to my voiced strength of feeling, and if it wasn’t, then I might be a hypocrite. I would be a hypocrite if I exhorted all my friends and neighbours to boycott VW only to sneak in the next day to buy something.

    The manager of the Greencoat Boy pub in Westminster allegedly refused service to LGBT Labour last night and now the twitterverse is calling for a boycott of the whole chain. It is likely that a number of gay people work for this organisation, and by boycotting all the pubs, I could put some of those out of work, but that might be a small price to pay for teaching the public a lesson in equality. I might conclude that writing a rude letter is the most appropriate response because I discover my own Punch Tavern pub is the only gay space in the village.

    3. However, in respect of point 2, most people do not think about these things in detail but rather react in a visceral way to bad claims or injustices. They are therefore only really guilty of being unthinking and inconsistent rather than hypocritical. So perhaps I would be better to acknowledge that in the past I have been too hasty and avoid knee jerk reactions.

    4. Personally, I find organic carrots taste nicer, so I buy them on that basis. I like the idea of buying local produce to support local businesses, so tend to where the choice won’t adversely effect me too much – but I have no idea whether british or NZ lamb is better for the environment or my carbon footprint. I prefer the thought of free-range eggs, but if there were no other eggs left and I was desperate, my cake is more valuable than hen welfare. If you are 100% dissatisfied with Duchy’s Originals, then it would seem reasonable to boycott all their products, otherwise it is fair to show your appreciation for the lemon curd maker by supporting his endeavours!

    Oooh, I have written rather a lot. I feel like I’m back at university!

    • mrmykie June 6, 2010 at 12:33 pm #

      Marvellous response Dr D!

      I also think there can be a lot of knee-jerkiness and band-wagon climbing in response to various issues as they hit the public attention. It’s great that people feel strongly enough to rally around a cause but in a week or so when the initial impetus has worn off those initial reactions were probably a bit strong. A mix of solidarity and short tempers…we are guilty of this at times in the Chadong household but agree it doesn’t equate to hypocrisy…temperance is key.

      I don’t rant about things that I know I will be indulging in personally…I don’t rant about Duchy as the lemon curd is sat in the fridge but, I will rant about herbal detox products. I do think this is modifying my stance to incorporate my adoration of lemon curd which is skirting the edge of hypocrisy but I think I can live with it.

      Is it wrong to be slightly sartorially aroused by cat-skin bed wear? 😉

      • Pseudomonas June 8, 2010 at 7:39 am #

        Is it wrong to be slightly sartorially aroused by cat-skin bed wear?

        Only if it’s still attached to the cat.

      • mrmykie June 9, 2010 at 12:28 am #

        Especially when it is still attached to the cat…I’m sure I could drum up a market for wriggling clothes.

      • Janis June 8, 2010 at 10:44 am #

        Haha! Nice blog Mykie… and great comments

        As you may have notices in the episode of “just Skeptics” you mention; even though I complain about the beauty serum claims/cost, I still suggest that I’d rather like to have some bought for me. I think that there is a lot to be said for the satisfaction you get from buying a ‘luxury’ item, even if you know your skeptical side should be appalled.
        In January I bought a Neal’s Yard product. It cost £30 for a small pot, smelled delicious. The ritual was; put on the balm, wipe off with linen cloth soaked in hot water. I loved it. When my boyfriend suggested it was causing my skin to break out I told him there was absolutely no way (it’s delicious! how could it?!).
        Two months after he wrestled it out of my hands I have to say he was right. It now resides in the drawer next to my bed where i take it out to smell once in a while. And it is really good on cuticles!


      • mrmykie June 9, 2010 at 12:27 am #

        Neil’s Yard stuff is so pretty…I’m such a fan of the “ye olde fashiondey” blue bottles (except for the clove and mandarin room spray my darling best mate bought me that smelled like the dentists). I do agree there is obviously a draw to “luxury” items…after all cubic zirconia are not a a girls best friend…we aren’t salivating over diamonds because of their chi aligning properties. 😉

  2. Mike Boozer June 6, 2010 at 9:20 pm #

    nice post

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