Raising the Bar...on eBay
I earnestly hope that Prohibition never comes back.
Not that I drink, mind you, because I don't...by choice. Don't get me wrong. I used to enjoy the wide spectrum of social graces that alcohol afforded me, or I afforded it (there were times when the fine line grew fuzzy).
But age and the increasingly challenging pursuit of whatever good health happens to mean at any given time; the huge responsibilities of raising and providing for a family; factors involving my constant wrestling with issues of faith and, sadly, faithlessness, brought me to a soul-searching point in my life.
Actually, the decision was quite simple. I wanted to walk away from the rat race and work for myself. I thus needed to have the sharpest of mental, emotional, and spiritual faculties. I say what I am about to say with the greatest respect, tolerance, and political correctness: I am totally okay with other people partaking of alcohol. As for me, if I am to be the best husband, father, son, sibling, relative, friend, and citizen of our global village, I choose not to indulge in a substance that dulls my mind...correction...whatever mind I have left.
No, I hope our ever-increasing foray into socialism doesn't trigger the initial well-intending yet resulting loss of civil liberties that Prohibition brought about. But my hope is grounded more in the way I make my living.
For if history repeats itself and the Feds clone another Special Agent Elliott Ness, these beautiful ads promoting alcohol will also be prohibited.
A good portion of my ad sales have come from the commodities that carry a sin tax. The reason for this is quite simple, actually. People in general love to be surrounded by things that evoke great memories. For better or worse (more of the former, I pray), that's how this phenomenon works. And as long as people choose to have those memories by purchasing collectible ephemera in the form of vintage (or even contemporary) print ads, my work is secure.
Does that make me a hypocrite? I honestly don't think so. I'm selling memories...nostalgia...the good old days. What I'm not selling is a Pied Piper's tune encouraging people to drink. At the end of the day, I sleep quite well, thank you.
eBay has a simplistic system of checks and balances in place, more to hold its sellers accountable, in my opinion, than its buyers. Being on both sides of the equation, but definitely more involved on the sales side, I respect the system yet am very aware of its shortcomings. That said, I'm very thankful that I'm blessed with a good feedback score. It does what it's supposed to do--bring buyers my way with a higher level of confidence that I won't defraud them. In turn, I do what I'm supposed to do--continue being responsible in my entrepreneurial duties.
In eBay transactions involving collectible ads that market(ed) alcoholic beverages, and doing so in a manner that promotes and encourages responsible behavior, my customers and I are maintaining and reinforcing the same norms and mores one would find in a warm and socially secure pub, tavern, alehouse, bar, or whatever one's community refers to as its friendly neighborhood waterhole.
Just as a successful bartender doubles as the local layman shrink--you know, the guy whose empathetic shoulders are broad enough to lighten an individual's burden--it's my job and my privilege to broker these marriages, if you will, of customers and nostalgic icons.
And it's my joy! always! to share these entrepreneurial and socially acceptable tidbits with my fellow hubbers.
You might say, that's my way of getting drunk these days.
My Favorite Media, Bar None
Which of the following choices best represents your view?
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