Russian Vodka Boycott Strategies: "Sorry, We're Out of Stoli."

Comments

1
Any high-quality vodka will leave you without the traditional hang-over. A good low-cost high quality vodka your patrons might enjoy as a replacement for Stoli is Svedka. As far as I know, Sweden is not attacking homosexuals.
2
Russia won't give two shits about boycotting their booze. That's their Snapple money. Go after their gas and oil if you want their attention.
3
I agree with all of this, except for "But I suspect many customers will be happy to have Absolut instead."

I'm giving up Stoli for this boycott, because it's the right thing to do. But Absolut? It's basically mimeograph fluid. Might as well drink Smirnoff or kerosene.

Instead, I'm using this as my final kick in the ass to start drinking local vodkas exclusively. Washington grains distilled in Seattle. And while I can't guarantee that everyone in the manufacturing process shares my values, I can at least rest easy that if they pull any shenanigans about refusing to serve/employee/do business based on bigotry, our state AG will crack down on them about it.
4
Does your bar have Russian Standard (a widely available vodka whose provenance as Russian - and with real connections to their government - is confirmed)? Because you'll have to be "out" of that, too.
5
@ 3, how many of the bars you patronize carry those vodkas, and how much more do you have to pay to get a drink made with them?
6
If people really want the Stoli, why not charge more and donate the extra to an organization that helps LGBT folk in Russia?
7
Local WA vodkas (such as Twin Silo) are better than Stoli anyway. They're worth exploring, and supporting our local economy.
8
I wish people would look at the Scott Shackford piece linked on Joe.My.God today. Shackford actually bothered to look into the situation with Yuri Scheffler, the Russian owner of Stoli, and what he finds is not only a man who's a longtime enemy of Putin, but a man who's "wanted for questioning" (wink, wink, nudge, nudge) by Putin's thugs. Oh, and there's the little bit of important info that Putin is itchin' to nationalize Stoli, and that Scheffler is embroiled in a hot legal battle as Putin's government is already attempting to seize the company. So, not only does Scheffler NOT have Putin's ear in any way to attempt to change anti-LGBT policies (or anything else), it sounds like Putin is looking for any reason to Pussy-Riot Scheffler off to the gulag and swipe his company. Shackford's point is that while a boycott sounds like a good idea if one doesn't bother to actually check the facts or assumes Russia runs exactly like America, well-intentioned Americans are making some pretty seriously misguided assumptions about current Russian politics.
9
Good try @8 bobbyjoe:
This "libertarian" is writing in a decidedly weighted anti-gay bigot site/publication called REASON. Think about it sweetie. And consider the first commenter to the post you're imploring all to go read: "Reason is a libertarian magazine. When libertarians have to choose between the liberties of individuals and the freedom of billionaires to maximize their wealth, they will rush to the defense of the billionaires every single time."
You sad thing you boobyjoe.
10
@1 - Alcohol in any form is capable of causing a hangover, as ethanol is the primary cause of hangovers. All these "the sugar/malt/yeast/brown stuff is what gets you" beliefs are either total bullshit or conflating hangover exacerbation with hangovers in general. It is true that darker liquors may make for worse hangovers, but it is patently untrue that vodka is hangover-proof. Also, by-and-large all clear alcohols are relatively low in the exacerbating compounds, so vodka quality is sort of irrelevant. You could drink 100% ethanol and still get a nasty fucking hangover, because by far the biggest cause of your condition is ethanol metabolites, not other byproducts of fermentation.
That said, you're right about Svedka. It is a totally serviceable vodka, good straight or mixed with other stuff. I can't stand most mid-tier vodkas because they have an "off" flavor that I can't quite describe. Svedka is the exception.
11
As an individual baker, I can refuse to sell Stoli, just as I refuse to make "homosexual wedding cakes"
12
It's worth asking one or two open ended questions about how they feel about Russia and the gays before telling customers why you are boycotting Stoli. If your Stoli drinker sounds anti-gay, Christian fundie, or generally right wing, then tell them you're boycotting Stoli because they gave asylum to that traitor Edward Snowden. Why the hell not? It's for a good cause.
13
@10 I guess individual tastebuds come into this a lot. For me, many vodkas have an acrid flavor that bites the back of my tongue, Svedka among them. I don't find it in Absolut, Grey Goose, or oddly enough, one of the cheapest on the market, Fleischmann's ($7.99/liter here locally). I mean, it has zero character, but as I usually am mixing it with fruit juice or something, that hardly matters, plus it comes in glass. Booze in plastic bottles seems to pick up even worse flavors. (Or maybe it's just worse booze to start with, the companies figuring anyone who buys a plastic bottle won't care what's in it.)
14
@6 sounds like a good idea. But Are you sure Stoli is Russian? or will even affect Russia?

If it turns out that boycotting Stoli is going to impact Russia (and I'm not convinced personally), then what we need is a list (maybe on a wiki type page) of every bar in every city or town, which states whether the bar is participating in the boycott or not. People can call up their local bar, ask if they are boycotting Stoli, and update the wiki accordingly, and then anyone wanting to go out for drinks, can check the list for bars in their city, and choose from the bars that are participating in the boycott.

As for me, I'll be participating in the boycott of the Olympics Sponsors;

Coca-Cola, Visa Inc., Panasonic, Samsung, and Proctor & Gamble.

And signing this petition
https://www.change.org/petitions/stand-a…

15
I really think that this boycott (and all boycotts really) is kind of a one-legger. We are Americans, and we have always been more about what we do, not what we don't do. So, Chicago Fan, how about maybe adding something to the boycott, say ordering XX brand (maybe from the most gay friendly place you can find), so that it simply won't be about pointing to lost revenue, but pointing to another company and being able to say, "all the money they are making? That is the money that Stoli lost". Comparing this to the Chik-fil-A boycott, the big news wasn't that anybody was boycotting, it really got legs when people started going en masse to counteract the boycott. Because again, the story can't be just what is not happening...it MUST be about what is happening.
16
Gays buy booze. Especially with vodka in it.

Once upon a time there was a brewer called Coors.

The name Coors still exists. Only dumbasses don't know.
17
Whoever is doing this must be an idiot liberal from Seattle. You see, it turns out that the Stoli sold outside of Russia is made in Latvia. But who cares about any facts when it's all about making YOURSELF feel good?
18

About 4/5 of the country's phosphate rock (much used in fertilizer) is produced in Florida, making it the state's most important mined product.

19

John F. Kennedy Space Center
Kennedy Space Center, FL 32899
Phone: 321.867.5000

http://www.nasa.gov/centers/kennedy/home…
20

Coke plans major expansion of Florida orange groves

http://tbo.com/news/business/coke-plans-…
21
Most of the well Vodka in lower class bars around the city serve that dreadful Monarch anyway; so cheap boozers are doing their bit by default.
22
Camlux@7 C- for reading comprehension - how about recommending some quality IL vodkas,...

that said I totally agree with the tone of this post except for ordering a "Hijacked Airliner" in New York. Does this cocktail even exist? Every bar in the stadium district should sell this when the Yankees are in town: 2001 ALCS. Fuck 'em!
23
@ 22 Wow someone takes sports a little too seriously, and blame the M's for sucking it up.
24

If you really want to take control away from the psychopaths, then you'd be advocating Hydrogen like me.

http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1085…

25
@10- Right on. Hangovers happen regardless, but their character is different- more subtle- a subterfuge, with a quality vodka. Something Chicago Fans' patrons appreciated. Thus, the promotion of Svedka. Cheapish and soft on the mind in the morning.
26
@24
then you'd be advocating Hydrogen like me
You're only about 10% hydrogen, just like the rest of us.
27
@13 - yeah, it's totally a matter of personal preference/perception. Absolut tastes downright rancid to me, especially if mixed with anything else.

Protip: any cheap booze can be sent through a charcoal filter and made more palatable, vodka especially so. Yeah, it'll kill any "flavor," but if you just want to mix it with something else, you could do worse. :)
28
Pretend to be "out" of something to further your misaimed political agendas, and damn right I'll be complaining to management and trying to get your ass fired. Your job is to pour drinks, not strike a blow for justice.
29
Dan Savage is being silly. Stolichnaya is produced in Latvia. And they don't don't support the actions of Putin and the Russia's parliament:

http://bit.ly/1bqe7a1
30
YES! ACTION IS NEEDED?! ?<<<0_0 >>> Russia (Or more accurately, Putin+Pals) being awful to the gays right now but this vodka boycott idea is quite ill conceived, Please stop riding Dan's coattails and rethink a more effective strategy / target. This is really, really not well thought through.
31
This boycott was created by Dan Savage 5 WEEKS after the law was signed into effect. I manage a bar where our customers had questions about Stoli and the Russian law 5 weeks ago; we responded to their concerns. (I have emails dated 6/13 from SPI and Williams Grant to confirm this.) Now Dan is trying to be the poster child for caring about the Russian LGBT community. I I would really like to know what Dan was so focused on, what was so important, during the last 5 weeks that this issue did not warrant his attention. Some of us in the gay community have been responding to this issue for over a month. I hope it is not a new show on LogoTV sponsored by Absolut vodka. Dan commands considerable respect in our community and I hope that his concern for Russian LGBT issues is sincere and not the result of focus group data from his PR firm.
32
Putin shudders in his bunker.

(Surely someone is at work on a "Hitler learns about the Stoli Boycott" video for YouTube, right? Right?)
33
This is a sad case of a bunch of slacktivists who have little conception of what politics in Russia actually consists of and what Russians think about gays. These laws are not some pet project of Putin imposing his will on the people, Russians overwhelmingly against gay rights, it's unfortunate but true. These laws are very popular and give Putin and the Russian leadership a convenient common enemy to blame societal problems on. Just look at the recent gay protests in Russia where not only were the police beating them up and arresting them, but huge crowds of anti-gay Russians also showed up to attack them as well. Russian polling on support for gay marriage has dropped to 5%, with 85% strongly opposed to it. 22% agreed that there ought to be compulsory treatment for gays. This is not a gay friendly country, and it's going to take more than one billionaire, who doesn't even seem to be on great terms with Putin to change that. The fact is slacktivists love the myth that you can get results by not doing all that much of anything. Despite the fact that none of the evidence supports the effectiveness of this boycott, they cling to it because they don't know what else to do. This way they can simply drink a different brand of vodka and fool themselves into believing that they've 'done their part'.
34
This needs to branch out beyond vodka is it's to have a chance of success. The anti-apartheid campaign made a helpful contribution (it would be presumptuous to call it "successful") because it was a comprehensive, across-the-board thing, geared towards helping the people who were struggling within the country.

This is going to be a long haul, and for the LGBT within Russia it's going to be bloody and dangerous.
35
Think about where Russia is vulnerable. It won't be as easy to isolate as South Africa was, and even SA wasn't easy. If it were easy to boycott Russia we'd have won the Cold War a hell of a lot earlier.

Russia has always been a country whose exports were geared towards raw materials. It will be next to impossible to boycott those. But Russia is also a country that the rest of Europe has regarded as a loutish cousin. That may be a more promising direction, to deny them the kinds of high profile "we're big player" moments like the Olympics. Rather than boycott the Olympics, which also wouldn't succeed, we should turn them into an opportunity to embarrass the Russians on the world stage and make the oppression visible. That's where they're vulnerable.
36
@9: there's plenty to disagree with in the pages of reason, but I defy you to find a single piece published by them that would remotely qualify as "bigot/anti-gay".
37
You mean someone started a boycott without researching it first?!

I'm shocked!
38
At this point, the sheer number if Stoli shills is making me go for the boycott*. This obviously coordinated response means something.

* just as a supporter. I never drink Stoli because there is better stuff out there, most of it not Russian. I DO have a half full bottle of Russian Standard right now, though. I think I'm going to pour it out. I've been needing an excuse to try out some local vodka anyway.
39
Everything's obviously a "coordinated effort" to you. It couldn't possibly be because it makes sense. Damn that NRA, they've got their fingers in everything.
40
Sounds like you need a slap. You serve the fuckin customer what they want. bitch.
41
@31: I don't think it's like that at all. He's busy, and issues rise to the surface in prioritization all the time even though they spend too much time just percolating. I think you're reading too much into this.
42
@38: Don't pour it out, use it for a vodka cream pasta sauce!
43
@ 39, did you get an early start today? I'm not a conspiracy theorist. Just someone who knows that a million new accounts commenting strongly on one topic (especially a topic of action, not just debate) is never coincidental.

@ 42, that's a good idea.
44
Well, yeah, as a matter of fact I did. But that doesn't mean I haven't already gotten about 30 Google alerts on the topic. This is big news. "A million" new commenters still doesn't make it a conspiracy.
45
You know, vodka might be the root cause of all this.
46
@ 44, actually, yeah, it does. Or at least a coordinated effort. If you have an alternate explanation, I'm all eyes.
47
You know, I came to that conclusion independently and without any outside "conspiracy." Maybe, just maybe, it's obvious enough that other people have too. Sorry if that's not dramatic enough for you.
48
@ 47, you're contradicting yourself. Also, I think you're trying to start shit. Why, I don't know - you're already drinking and don't need the excuse.
49
@31, thanks for the info! So it WAS a Seattle liberal, just as I suspected. BTW, I don't drink vodka, so I'm brand neutral aside from any politics. If Stoli was actually Russian, I'd support a boycott from a distance. But it's LATVIAN, fer chrissakes. Now we can consider this an ethics and honesty test: Will Savage and/or the Stranger publicly admit that they fucked up?
50
@Matt from Denver. Take your tin foil hat off. I was one of the "million anonymous commenters" and I always post anonymously, but the fact is this was a poorly researched and poorly reasoned boycott. Just because people think a boycott is stupid doesn't automatically make them shills for a company. I personally live in Seattle but it doesn't surprise me that this has more than the usual amount of anonymous commenters as the boycott has gained national attention, mostly due to Dan's street cred.
51
@50, now let's see if Dan Savage has any cojones. He's made a good career out of playing the minstrel in a latter-day minstrel show, but will he admit that he got it dead wrong when he tried to get serious about something? I really wonder.
52
I am not a shill for Stoli; if I pour my entire inventory down the drain, which would give Putin a major hard on, I will be out $435.67. All things considered not a big deal. We are not a major metro area bar that has to deal with the "Thinkers" in Seattle. However, this seems stupid; I'm not sure what people want the non-Russian Stoli to do. What am I missing? My sister told me Russia's biggest export is aluminum - shouldn't we boycott Renold's Wrap?. If we cut Stoli's gay marketshare to zero and they no longer support gay stuff here how will that help Russia? I admit I do not understand the Russian political process, but aren't they a democracy now? If the majority of the people support anti-gay legislation how will boycotting Vodka help change this? This is a country (superpower), not a chicken restaurant or department store. Again, what am I missing?