Freedom fries.......

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So we have a chain of coffee bars across the country called The Mugg & Bean. They have an item on the menu called a "Tsunami Chicken Burger", so called for it's size and the blend of Asian/Eastern spices that are used in it's preparation. And in the wake of what I'm sure were many complaints, their MD was interviewed on the radio this morning. According to him, they have had this particular item on the menu for more than two years. Rather than shell out the R25000 or so that it would have cost to have that particular page reprinted, they decided to double that figure and donate it to the Tsunami relief fund. Then, when they do their annual reprint in April, they will rename it to something more appropriate. Now of course many of those who complained could not be expected to know about this, and would most probably accept the coffee bar's contingency plan, but I'm sure a good many would still insist on an immediate discontinuation of that item. I was reminded of the furore over Peter Jackson being adamant in the use of the original title, The Two Towers, for the second instalment of the trilogy. Websites, chain letters.....need I continue? So the issue has been turning over in my mind; where is the line between insensitivity and over-sensitivity? Is there a line? Can anyone object or only those closely related to whatever the incident may have been? Or is it just the age old truth that it's always easier to speak first and ask questions later. A British performance artist ate a roasted fox in protest at the thousands of Brits who marched for and against the banning of fox hunting, but couldn't afford to march for better medical aid or literacy or lowering university fees. We barely even let the worldwide Aids epidemic distract us from oppressing those who don't match our sexual preferences or religious beliefs. There's a Tsunami of self-righteousness out there at present, and I fear that if we don't take action now, the damage done will be every bit as devastating.....

5 Responses to “Freedom fries.......”

  1. Blogger the wheel 

    I think there is a line somewhere, but it's hard to tell where it's drawn. I remember hoping that Jackson wouldn't change the title, because it just wouldn't have been right. By the time it came out in December of 2002, enough time had passed that there weren't many people making the connection between the name "Two Towers" and the World Trade Center attack (or if there were, I didn't here them).

    The tsunami is still pretty fresh in people's minds, so I guess the over-sensitivity is understandable. People do get carried away though, as if changing the name would make them feel better about what happened.

    As for the title, I have to say that the whole Freedom Fries thing was a national embarrassment for America. I kind of fell for the French boycott hysteria for a while, but that was back when the Bush Administration had us convinced that Saddam was going to attack us with a nuclear/chemical/biological weapon. Once it became clear that we were lied to, I went back to drinking Grey Goose vodka (not that "french fries" have anything to do with France, but you get the point).

  2. Blogger the wheel 

    Wow, that was a long comment. I just realized that I wrote "here" instead of "hear". Oh well, no one's perfect.

  3. Blogger Hans the Destroyer 

    No one can be politically correct all the time. And if we were, we'd be tiptoeing around every important issue. No matter how careful someone is in the phrasing of the situation at hand, SOMEONE is going to take offense. I'm not saying we ought to just go around saying what precisely is on our minds (I think if that was the case I would have been shot long ago...) but that people just ought to think before they speak. Using a little common sense- and being sensitive to recent issues is a good thing. Freedom fries... now THAT was amazing, I couldn't believe that people would revert to that... Anyway, rambled enough. Talk to you later.

  4. Blogger forgottenmachine 

    Thanks for the comments. Still finding it slightly surreal that that some fiercly intelligent individuals are making return visits (he says, secretly hoping that flattery provides a deceptive enough cover for his more covert machinations)...

    I am in total agreement that in certain situations, tact and sensitivity are a must. I just get frustrated when people jump on to the PC bandwagon so eagerly and readily express their opinions without even trying to think for themselves or apply common sense. I remember hating those words when I was it really just a sign of ageing when all I seem to do these days is just wish people had more of it?

    Let me go and rest my weary bones and brittle sensibilities.......

  5. Blogger Fence 

    I often think of being overly PC as a symptom of being afraid of what people will think of you. If you hide what you think behind ambiguously polite terms then no one will know what your meant, and so you can hide what you thinking, both from others and from yourself.

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