GoDaddy and the Super Bowl are inextricably linked in my mind. I am sure GoDaddy CEO Bob Parsons loves to hear that kind of thing, as he frequently pays top dollar for controversial Super Bowl ads. He doesn’t care that what I will celebrate during this Super Bowl weekend is my freedom from GoDaddy.
For years I was a GoDaddy customer, writing effusive comments about their customer service and range of products. I ignored Parsons’ misogynist commercials. Hey, I was getting good internet service at a cheap price and the best customer service on the planet.
What did I care if the GoDaddy Girls Danica Patrick and Jillian Michaels were willing to cheapen themselves to earn a buck. Yes, I gave a thought that the minds of little girls were possibly being ruined, but that was on their mothers, not me.
I had designed a pretty website using GoDaddy products and saved a bundle. When GoDaddy stooped to the ridiculous with Joan Rivers, I was impressed with the company taking a poke at itself.
Beginning of the End
Then, Bob Parsons shot that elephant while on safari in Africa, and proudly posted an internet video of the kill. Worse, he dressed a group of Zimbabwe villagers in his silly GoDaddy hats and recorded them parading around the animal, picking meat off the bones to eat. A racist, barbaric image of violence burned in my mind forever.
I knew that I was done with GoDaddy, but I also knew GoDaddy wouldn’t care. Bob Parsons was unrepentant. The “great white hunter” said he enjoyed the killing, was helping the poor villagers, and expressed hope that he would live to kill again.
Parsons was talking out of his nether regions. Many humane methods exist for humane management of elephants. The most successful programs include education of local people and community involvement, not a fat, rich outsider coming in with a gun. Sometimes the elephants are relocated.
Bob and me after the shooting
What followed the shooting for Parsons was a blip of negative feedback from critics, including PETA (not without controversy itself) calling for a boycott of GoDaddy services. Many people responded and kicked GoDaddy to the curb. More justified remaining with GoDaddy, and business went on as usual.
What followed for me months adrift, desperately trying to find another hosting company and a website designer, now that I could not rely on GoDaddy’s do-it-yourself software. A colleague tried to leave GoDaddy immediately, and her site was essentially held hostage, with no internet presence for months. Finally, she had to pay GoDaddy to put it back, just to stay in business. PETA congratulated her resolve, but could do nothing to help.
I went into stealth mode, found a great host, and after a few missteps, a fabulous designer. For a few weeks, now, I have had a new beautiful site of which I can be proud. My emotional goal was to be free of GoDaddy by Super Bowl weekend. No blood on my site. No dead elephant to haunt me. No compromising my principles. No support of GoDaddy commercials.
It’s all good
I don’t care who wins the Super Bowl. Okay, maybe a little. I can celebrate that I finally extracted myself from a man who kills elephants unnecessarily. A man whose behavior goes against my core values.
I am going to celebrate my touchdown by making a contribution to The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, an organization that rescues and hand raises homeless baby elephants in Kenya—baby elephants that become homeless because of the ignorance and greed of people like Bob Parsons, people who take advantage of the weak for their own gain. Join me.
Never give up, never surrender
Everyone seems to has moved on from this tragedy. I doubt I ever will. When we stop cringing when animals are killed to suit human desires, at home or abroad, we are sunk as human beings. Consider the words of naturalist Henry Beston.
‘For the animal shall not be measured by man. In a world older and more complete than ours, they move finished and complete, gifted with extensions of the senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear. They are not bretheren; they are not underlings; they are other nations, caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendour and travail of the Earth’
If you are interested in knowing which host and designer I used, contact me here. Turns out I was wrong about the GoDaddy customer service. Not everyone is happy.
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