And we’re gone … sort of

FYI, this just published on the I Love Mags blog:

As of today, 19th July 2014, it is not possible to pay with credit card anymore. The reason is that our acquiring bank cancelled our contract “for ethical reasons”. They wouldn’t go into details, but it’s not hard to guess that Swedbank is simply anti-gay and anti-art, like so many companies in history.

Our publishing house’s name Entartetes Leben is an over-explicit allusion to Entartete Kunst, the “degenerate art” that the Nazis censored in the 1930s. We chose that name to reflect the fact that there are still artistic expressions that are considered “degenerate” and which are denounced in similar ways. It’s art vs the censorship of art. It’s quite clear on which side Swedbank, Visa and Mastercard are, and where they would be if in 1930s Germany.

Anyway, this means the shop is shutting down. It will still be here and I will for some time accept bank transfers. But this is an option mainly for people in the EU, it’s more complicated for people in the USA, Australia and the rest of the world.

During these six years since 2008, I’ve run the shop as my main business. I’ve replied to support emails very fast (usually within the hour) and shipped items every day. This will change, since I must push this business into the hobby area of my life, while I focus on other things that will provide me with an income. This is hard for me, I must force myself to be less attentive and schedule a weekly slot for I Love Mags order handling and email replying.

So, bottom line: Credit card payments are gone, shop stays as a small hobby business with bank transfer payment and cramped support.

The Boys of Brazil

Cute Brasil boy in football shirt

Imagine the hope he had. And how he looked up to the players and wanted to become one himself. Imagine the pride he felt for his country and his team.

Then imagine him sitting outside a café with a TV in a little favela full of happy people who are going to watch the game together. Imagine his excitement.

It took 11 minutes to kill it.

You can deal with defeat. You have to. But to get crushed 7-1 on your own turf is not defeat. It’s tragedy.

Imagine the disappointment in that little favela – and inside that boy. Imagine how it gives way to desperation, panic, then tears.

These football players were his male role models. When his absent father or drug dealing brother messed up, the players were there for him as ideals. And now he was let down by them.

The stars fell down and they fell hard. The boy was deprived of the beautiful ideal world that he believed in. In those 90 minutes – 90 long, tormenting minutes – he learned that there are no stars and there are no reasons to believe.

A generation of boys have been scarred for life. It’s so sad.

I’m shutting down – last credit card payments 14 July 2014

Dear longtime readers, friends, supporters. After more than 8 years I’m shutting down my publishing business as you know it.

To make a long story short, Swedbank has cancelled my credit card contract, which I’ve had with them since 2008. This is probably due to persistent lobbying by Christian fascist org Ecpat, Swedbank only mentioned “ethical” reasons and that my shop had been caught by “two filters independently”. Just to be clear: There was nothing illegal there. But Swedbank apparently has its own anti-gay, anti-art and anti-culture ethics. Though to be fair, they have to follow/interpret/enforce the rules of Visa and Mastercard.

No online business can survive without credit card payments. Neither bank transfer nor bitcoin is a real alternative. In reality, there is a monopoly on online payments. Visa, Mastercard and Paypal dictate what kind of businesses are allowed to exist and not.

And yes, I started looking for other CC payment providers, but it sent me back to 2008 as I once again found myself being turned down by everyone I contacted – for the same fascist “ethical” reasons.

So this is what will happen:

I’ll keep the shop for the time being, and I will accept bank transfers. But all in all, I’m shutting down. I will not reply to emails as quickly as before, and I will not ship daily. More importantly, I will not publish anything more. Another “boy business” bites the dust.

14 July 2014 is the date when credit card payment will stop working. Or so I think at least. If there’s something you want to buy, I recommend to do so as soon as possible.

Who knows, maybe I’ll change my mind in half a year and set up a new shop and find a CC payment solution. Or I might use crowdfunding for a new project. But all of that will be later decisions. As for now, I’m out.

Thank you for these years, it’s been amazing.

/Karl

And here’s the link to my glorious web shop I Love Mags, I’m so proud of it and its products!

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