An Alaskan journalist's perspective on local and national issues

Posts tagged ‘Chick-fil-A’

Can we Stop the Corporations Needing to Have Opinions?

It all started when Oreo came out with that ad where they had a cookie with all sorts of rainbow layers.  And I’m against that ad, though not because of the pro-gay message.  I love that.  I am against that ad because I want the cookie, and they aren’t going to let me have it.  That’s not cool.

Then, after Oreo came out with that, Chick-fil-A made headlines because they came out against gay marriage.  And of course, there was a category-5 PR meltdown.  Jim Henson’s company took their toys away, because they are pro-gay.  The public went nuts and started boycotting, not realizing that their boycott is totally useless, because for every customer they lost to their bigotry, they gain a bigot customer.  The most it will hurt their wallets is incidental.  For real, this will be just a bad run.  And since the cycle of how people remember things in the online world is even shorter than in the regular media world, people will forget about the boycott after a while, and business will resume.

An outright lie

Now, Papa John’s, the pizza company, has come out against Health Care Reform, or as the conservatives call it, Obamacare.  Never mind that Obamacare is a dumbed-down version of Romneycare.  The truth is inconsequential to conservatives.  But, after coming out against this, there are liberals across America who are saying that we have to boycott them.  Another useless and completely symbolic act, because it won’t go anywhere past symbolism.  Conservatives will come and eat there, just to give the figurative finger to the liberals.  It isn’t going to hurt Papa John’s bottom line in any significant way.

Man, what is with this?  Why are the corporations choosing to get involved in this now?  What’s next?  Is Target going to come out and say that they are against pre-marital sex?  Is Coke going to say that they are against the use of dildos?

This should really get people’s attention, because here’s a neat reality – the corporations aren’t stupid.  They see the writing on the wall as well as everyone else.  The writing here is that when a corporation comes out and takes a position against or for something, they get business.  When Oreo did it, people who are pro-gay bought Oreos.  When Chick-fil-A did it, they got an entire day to celebrate their bigotry and get the bigots of America to stuff their faces with as much of their food as they could take.  It was documented to be their best day of sales ever.  Now, Papa John’s is going to get a huge influx of business from people who solely went to give their opinion about Health Care Reform as well.

There is a belief that conservative America has.  It is the belief that corporations are people.  And you know what, more and more, they are able to conduct themselves like people.  Corporations are voicing opinions, and they have a pedestal to talk from.  The corporate media is happy to feed this, because it helps their bottom line.  The corporations get brand recognition because of it, which if you think about it, that’s the really nefarious part of this.  People are going to be for these corporations.  They are going to stand with them, and after a while, they aren’t even going to remember why.  They just will, because it is what they remember that they were for.  They will support people who are bigots, and they won’t even know why.

The other worst part about this is that this is, once again, our fault.  Americans, we did this.  We lost our minds over this, and they got brand recognition.  They got loyalty.  They got followers.  They got everything that they wanted.  They are getting huge sales, and all because we had to make this a big issue.  We tried to lash out against them.  Appeal to decency and empathy.  But once-again, that didn’t work.

Just as appealing to decency and compassion hasn’t work with Wall Street, as the Occupy movement has found out.  Just as appealing to decency has done nothing to change the conservative tune in this country.  Something the liberals need to figure out is that there are a LOT of scummy people out there.  And these people don’t get dissuaded by information, by facts, by goodness and by kindness.  They are tied to their bigotry, and that doesn’t change.  Liberals, and socialists like me care about kindness, and doing the best thing for everybody.  These people, on the other hand, only care about themselves, only care about their own opinions, and getting more for themselves.  They don’t want to have to sacrifice.  They don’t want to have to be without, or to include the unfavorable.  That is against their views.  It is all about greed.  That’s the name of the game.

Corporations have gotten a new status as people – opinions.  They have now realized that opinion gives them power over the consumer, and they are going to use that power.  That power will come from everybody.  Especially here in America, where being an evil person gets you far.  Chick-fil-A comes out against gay marriage, they get their best sales EVER.  What does that say?  What does that say about America?  Nothing good.

Now look, my last post railed about this, and a reaction I got was that I didn’t care.  I do care.  It quite frankly pisses me off that an entire corporation can represent the worst of what this country has to offer.  It is the worst thing that these companies have realized what is a fantastic marketing strategy is to play to our bigotry.  But here’s the thing – what people need to keep in mind most is that this is all a trick.  Just like in the 2004 Presidential Election.  A big reason John Kerry lost in that election was that Karl Rove brought gay marriage to the front in states that it was never going to pass, just to get conservatives to the polls.  Just like the constant battle against women’s reproductive rights in this country.  These rights aren’t going anywhere.  The Tea Party was created to do this.  It’s a smokescreen for what they are actually trying to accomplish.

The worst part is that it works.  The conservatives in this country have realized that the liberals will fight tooth and claw against something totally pointless, and will not even notice another rug being torn out from under them.  This has got to change!  And fast, too, because the most stuff like this works, the more that corporate America will truly have control over us.

And that is the worst thing of all.

America and Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day

Three days ago, there was an interesting event that took place in this country.  All over this country, people gathered in lines that sometimes went around a block, in order to celebrate a fast food restaurant.  That alone is stupid enough, but when you hear the reason, it is beyond laughable.

It was called “Chick-fil-A Appreciate Day.”  Like fast food America needs a day to appreciate it.  The ever-growing levels of obesity in this country are a testament enough to how much we love their food (I’m not saying that all people who eat fast food are fat, but come on, that food is about as healthy as sucking down corn syrup).  But you know what is the most interesting and laughably stupid part of this – what it signifies.

The sentiments of the people who partook in this day can be boiled down to this –

I ate some fried chicken because I hate gays.

That’s it.  It really is that simple.  You know it’s America when there is a nation holiday celebrating something this stupid.  This is beyond just pathetic.  This is so dumb that it’s laughable.  This is the stupidest national event that this country has ever made.  We literally are not only celebrating our bigotry, which is pathetic enough, but we are going out and buying fried chicken to celebrate our bigotry.  How do you not see the irony?

Only in America is the celebration of bigotry a national event.  Only in this country are people able to come together and hate and have it be like a big party.  If there are any liberals out there who don’t get why the rest of the industrialized world laughs at us, this should it into perspective.

If that doesn’t do it for you, perhaps this will help –

See that?  That’s the political butt of a joke and the quitter governor of my home state, Sarah Palin.  She refuses to let herself go into the night, so what does she do?  She decides that she is going to whore herself and her image out to Chick-fil-A, just so that she can believe that she is somehow culturally relevant, even though her most recent book has gotten to languish in the limelight of a bargain bin.  Poetic justice to whoever had to ghost-write her book for her.

But this is why the rest of the world is laughing, and you know what, we should be laughing too.

When President Obama came out, several months after being put in office, when the Stock Market had leveled out and we weren’t free-falling into disaster, and said that “America is back,” nobody bought it.  And they were right.  We weren’t back.  We were stalled.  Stalled out and going nowhere.  Now, four years later, we’re still stalled and going nowhere.

For those of you who are too young and too culturally ignorant to know, there was a great boxer.  He went by the name Muhammad Ali.  He was a king when he was in his prime.  He would best any opponent and make it look like art.  But that was in his prime.  As he aged, his skills got lesser.  He was still a fantastic boxer, for a long time.  But towards the end, he wasn’t much.  His last fight, against Trevor Berbick.  He was beaten so badly, but even up until the end, he thought that he was “Ali.”  But the problem was, he wasn’t.

The comparison between Muhammad Ali and America is very fitting.  America and the people in it still seem to think that we are a great fighter, that we are the best.  Only problem is, we aren’t.  The American Society of Civil Engineers gives this country D’s and F’s across the board, looking at our infrastructure.  Our health care is a joke in comparison to all of the other industrialized countries.  Our education is among the worst of the industrialized world.  The only things that we are at the top in, aside from our military strength, is things that we shouldn’t be bragging about, such as our prison populations, the amount of crime that we have, the amount of guns in the general population, and the worst part – we have the most amount of debt than any other country in the entire world.

But America still thinks that we are, metaphorically, Ali.  We still think that we are at the top of our game.  That we are #1.  Only problem is, we aren’t.  We still stand tall, but we are standing on a pile of sinking sand.  We have no reason to brag, at this point.  But the people don’t seem to get there.

Here’s the real truth – this whole pathetic affair with Chick-fil-A should have just been chalked up to a stupid decision that a stupid company stupidly made.  They should never have gotten involved in this whole issue with gay marriage, but apparently, they didn’t get the memo.  Instead, we have decided to make this a giant mountain, with conflicting sides, and the bigots come out in droves to get their food, and show their support.

If you want to know what is wrong with America, and you have had a very outspoken opinion about all of this, here’s a thought – look in the mirror.

You might just learn something.

Chick-fil-A, the Muppets, and Gay Marriage?

Yeah, this is a set of things I bet that most people never thought that they would see together.  It all started when the fast food restaurant chain, Chick-fil-A took a hardline stance against gay marriage.  After this happened, Jim Henson pulled the Muppet toys from their kid’s meals.

Of course, so as not to have us all believing that they decided to take a really stupid stance on an issue that has really turned around in the last…30 years, they tried to pass it off as the Muppet toys were unsafe, hence and that is why they got rid of them.

After this sad attempt at damage control failed on Facebook, one of their PR people created a fake Facebook account, pretending to be a teenage girl.  Of course, since the internet is smarter than Chick-fil-A PR people, apparently, the internet realized that that the photo of the teenage girl, named “Abby Farle,” was a stock photo from Shutter Stock.

Now, after having taken a stance against gay marriage, lied about why Jim Henson ditched them, and then tried to cover up their lie with a fake person on Facebook, there is a Category 5 PR meltdown.  And to be honest, the people at Chick-fil-A have nobody to blame but themselves.

This is…dumb.  Really dumb.  This is like PR retardation.  It doesn’t get any stupider than this?  One must ask an honest question – where did the PR people who work for Chick-fil-A get their education?  I am a JPC student at the University of Alaska Anchorage, and even I could have told them that this is the stupidest thing ever.

Let’s take apart how stupid this is, because we are only a couple hundred words into the post, and I feel like it.  First, there is the stance against gay marriage.  Coming out against gay marriage is just bad business.  There has been a HUGE social change on this issue.  People who are against gay marriage are not the norm.  They are becoming more and more the social outliers.  The Westboro Baptist Church and the Mormons are every day making the anti-gay cause look worse and worse, the decent people are not playing ball.  There is still a large chunk that is against it, and against the LGBT community, but you can be that things are changing, for the better.

Second, you said that the reason that the Muppet toys were pulled was because of finger injuries?  Wow, what a pathetic lie.  I mean, really, that is about as bad as saying that the reason you don’t sell bananas at your store is because somebody slipped on a banana peel.  Saying that kids got their fingers’ stuck in the Muppet toys fooled nobody.  But this leads to the final point.

Third, you created a fake Facebook account?  As a teenage girl?!  Man, that is just pathetic!  I mean, that is literally the bottom of the barrel.  You can’t possibly come back from that.  It was so easy to fact-check this, because the account was created 8 hours before the post.  Did nobody at Chick-fil-A realize that that brain thing that their teachers said was so important actually can be used for something more than just space filler in the space inside the cranium?

All in all, this is the dumbest PR move in history.  Chick-fil-A, you aren’t coming back from this.  Whoever’s idea this stunt with the girl, using a stock photo, it was, they should be fired.  And I hope you learned something.  As bad as the Komen For the Cure debacle was, it pales in comparison.

But the biggest stupid mistake that this company has made is that they are going to lose business.  Big time.  Boycotts are already in place, and I am not one of those people who says that those are wrong.  If conservatives want to preach the free market, well guess what – here’s the free market in action.  People are given a choice, and they have made it.

Chick-fil-A, somebody, or a lot of somebody’s need to get fired.  I am with the boycott, not because you are bigots.  That at least makes some sense to me.  But being stupid at your business, that’s just unacceptable.

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