What the Pluck?

Is this chicken going to grill himself?

People are getting agitated because the crusty old bastard who owns ‘Chick-fil-A’ opposes same sex marriage (or, in his words, he supports the “biblical definition of a family”).  (If either one of my two readers is not from the US, ‘Chick-fil-A’ is like McDonalds, but they serve breaded chicken patties on a bun instead of beef.  The name is pronounced, “Chick-Filet.”)  As far as I know, Chick-fil-A has not refused to hire gay people and has not refused to let gay people eat their crappy food.  But people from both sides are mad anyway.

The gay people and their friends (mostly lefties; the folks I usually end up self-identifying with) think that Dan Cathy, president and owner of Chick-fil-A, is ‘an intolerant bigot’ and are encouraging a boycott.  Aldermen, mayors and other bottom feeders in the political arena are threatening to make things hot for Chick-fil-A in their districts.  On the other hand, the ‘Chick-fil-A’ kerfuffle has become red meat for the likes of right-wing opinionators like Sarah Palin and Michelle Malkin, who are holding up the idea that people would boycott a restaurant because of the owner’s  opinions on gay marriage as ‘un-American’ or are impinging on Dan Cathy’s religious freedoms. Even ‘The Muppets’ have weighed in on the controversy; Henson Studios recently backed out of a deal to provide promotional muppet themed toys for Chick-fil-A’s kid’s meals because they didn’t want to be associated with the Chick-fil-A brand due to the owner’s comments.
I will have no problem in stopping myself from eating ‘Chick-fil-A’ because I think their food is absolute crap. But I do think that it is wrong for mayors and aldermen to threaten to refuse to allow ‘Chick-fil-A’ to open in their districts or interfering with the business as a ‘fuck you’ to the owners simply because of what the owner said in order to score points with some of their liberal base, much like I think it’s wrong for political operators in Rutherford County, Tennessee to attempt to stonewall the opening of a mosque in order to score points with anti-Muslim conservatives. However stupid I think the opinions of the owner of ‘Chick-fil-A’ may be, having opinions should not be illegal (maybe calling Chick-fil-A suitable for human consumption ought to be illegal, but I digress).  Besides, if McDonalds and Burger King can serve crappy food, Chick-fil-A ought to be able to as well.
That said, I think boycotts are as American as succotash*,  and, as Americans, we should feel free to boycott whatever we want whenever we want for whatever reason we want.  Speaking of ‘biblical principles,’ Reverend  Jerry Fallwell encouraged his followers to boycott ‘Teletubbies’ because, in Fallwell’s opinion, the ‘teletubbies’ encouraged kids to ‘turn gay’ (His evidence? One of the Telletubbies carried a purse and had a triangle on its sexless head — case closed!). In 1997, the Southern Baptist Convention voted to boycott Disney because Disney Corporation offered same sex partner benefits to their employees. What’s good for the goose ought to be good for the gander.  If consumers don’t want to eat ‘Chick-fil-A’ because they don’t like the cut of the owner’s jib, they should go for it. If the owner of Chick-fil-A doesn’t want to have gays and their friends boycotting his store, he might want to keep his opinions to himself.  It’s not as if there is any shortage of crappy fast food in America, anyway.

*The usual phrase is, “American as apple pie,” but I understand that ‘apple pies’ have been served in England since at least the middle ages (if not earlier), making them not very “American” at all, so I went with succotash, which was introduced to the pilgrims by the Narragansett Indians and was apparently one of the first ‘Thanksgiving’ foods).

8 Comments on “What the Pluck?”

  1. ClawCarver says:

    Being a Brit, I'd never heard of Chick-fil-A until I read about this yesterday, and I assumed it was pronounced something like “chick filler” – which seemed funny (at least to my puerile sense of humour), not very gay, but also not the kind of thing the religious right would approve of either. Now I know the “correct” pronunciation (if one can correctly pronounce such a stupid mess of letters, cases and hyphens), I can't help but feel a tad disappointed.

    Anyway, if in doubt, it's probably safe to side with the Muppets.

  2. Gotthammer says:

    Issue is it's not just the owner – profits of the company through their charity arm, not just Cathy's personal wealth, are used to fund groups that oppose gay rights: http://www.snopes.com/politics/sexuality/chickfila.asp

  3. Stephan Poag says:

    I've heard people call it “Chick-a-fill” without realizing they were mangling the name much in the same way lots of people say 'foilage' instead of 'foliage.' I guess they think the name means that you could go there in order to 'fill yourself with chicken.'

  4. Stephan Poag says:

    Gotthammer: That makes me even less sympathetic to Chick-Filler, but I guess I also think that if the local Chick-fil-A is abiding by all of the local and federal laws, there is no real reason to threaten them with making 'getting the necessary permits to open or stay open more difficult than they would for any other restaurant (if what is being reported is true and officials in Boston and elsewhere have actually done that). That said, I also support standing out in front of the Chick-A-fil with a sign saying, “Homo ya don't eat Chick-A-fil” or something else clever.
    Charities that are really political action committees are another matter… but if it is the owner's money and nothing illegal is going on, Chick-A-fil should be allowed to open their doors… but people like me, who think the guy is a douche, will still stay away.
    Besides; his chicken sucks.

  5. Gotthammer says:

    Yes, I agree that government bodies banning them if they're not actively infringing any laws is silly – let the local populace decide by way of their wallets talking.
    I mainly wanted to make the point that it wasn't just the owner's cash going, but company money, so a boycot of stores isn't necessarily targeting the wrong person/thing.
    Of course since I live in Australia it's not really relevent to me directly anyways 😀

  6. Stephan Poag says:

    Gotthammer said, “…so a boycot of stores isn't necessarily targeting the wrong person/thing.” Good point. I don't know how in tune I am with the way the rest of the US feels on this issue, but I think all religious institutions should lose their tax exempt status — especially when they stray into other areas (like mixing business with politics with religion). I don't think it would necessarily 'be bad for business' if you were a church — it would certainly raise the cost of entry for the competion, plus these organizations seem to benefit a great deal from the public weal (good roads help them keep the churches full, they need police and fire protection, parishoners may need public education to read the bibles, etc.), so why shouldn't they pay in?
    I don't go to any sort of church myself and have no objection to church, but I also think if churches are going to behave like corporations with political action committees and business plans and a bottom line, they ought to pay taxes like the rest of the secular world.

  7. Malcadon says:

    I totally agree with you Poag. They should not be band from opening franchises because of the views of the owners… or the fact that they give money to stuff like California Proposition 8 and equivalent. It takes money and resources to open-up new stores, and if people are not going to eat their chickens – ether because folks oppose their ideology or their chicken-burgers tastes like shit – they will suffer financially.

    I live in the west-coast (in northern Nevada, and I'm from Northern California), and I have never seen one in my general area… or I never took notice. Then again, I generally hate fast-food – that shit goes through me like a brick and fast – and I live near a number of greasy-spoons that offer a lot more, for a lot less! If it is as bad as you say, Chick-A-Shit would not last long in my town.

  8. JDJarvis says:

    Remember, you have the right of free speech unless you are dumb enough to actually try it.


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