The Complicated Math Of Social Covenants


Sodastream Source via Amazon

Does anyone remember a couple of posts a while back, here, and here, more like fever dreams, about the carbonate-at-home company known as Sodastream? In which I was asked, along with 49 others, to cover Scarlett Johansson’s sponsorship of the brand? The experience was fairly surreal, but I participated in order to facilitate another giveaway for you guys.

Eventually the promised gizmo showed up. Sodastream Source, white metal version. Good to go, right?

Welp, not exactly. In the interim, Scarlett found herself surrounded by controversy. Turns out Sodastream, headquartered in Israel, has factories in the West Bank.

I felt the next steps required a fairly complicated moral calculus. What to do with the Sodastream box now sitting on my living room floor? Reminds me of the post a reader once asked me to write on How To Deliver A Difficult Ethical Message. One simply has to sort it out, bit by bit, looking for certainties. Are there any here?

  • The question of Israel and Palestine is perhaps one of the most complex in our world today. My newfound intent to read up on foreign affairs is nothing like enough for real understanding.
  • That said, most unaligned international agencies find the Israeli settlements on the West Bank problematic at best.
  • But still. Complex.
  • On the other hand, making one’s own fizzy drinks can lead to better health, due to power over added sugar. When we disregard our own health we place a burden on society.
  • Almost certainly, Sodastream-produced fizzy water has a less detrimental effect on the environment than bottled bubbles.
  • Certainly, throwing out a Sodastream will increase world garbage, albeit on a tiny scale.

I find no global certainties. Given the difficulty in sorting out what’s right, had I known about this before I agreed to the posts and received a gizmo, I’d likely have said no thanks. But since I have the thing, and most importantly, since I promised it to you all, I’m going ahead with the giveaway. I stand, as I almost always do when things get murky, with intimate morals. With the certainty of community.

Furthermore, because another certainty beyond the keeping of promises is that I don’t do well with conflict, especially among friends, I’m closing the comments. If you’d like the gizmo, please email me at skyepeale[at]yahoo[cot]com and I’ll choose a winner with Random Number.org. (Change the words in brackets to symbols. You probably knew that already.) Note that since I’m going to be shipping you some CO2, this had best be for US only.

I will think none the worse of any entrants – in fact, if no one is interested, I’ll use it myself. I have no idea if this is right, but it’s where my thoughts lead me and in this I have no other guide.

Note: The contest is now closed, a winner has been selected and notified, and I’m also notifying everyone who entered but didn’t win by individual emails, so it might take a day or two:).

image via Amazon.com

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