Thursday, September 26, 2013

PC Pasta and other Causes

Some people don't know when to shut up.

Yesterday, Guido Barilla, company president of Barilla pasta issued a statement on an Italian radio station:
"I would never do [a commercial] with a homosexual couple, not for lack of respect but because we don't agree with them," said Guido Barilla, according to a Reuters translation. "Ours is a classic family where the woman plays a fundamental role. … If [gays] don't like it, they can go eat another brand."
As if that weren't a strong enough statement, he then added:
"I have no respect for adoption by gay families because this concerns a person who is not able to choose," according to a translation from the U.K. Independent "Everyone has a the right to do what they want without disturbing those around them."
In other words, "I respect gays; I just don't want them to have the same rights as I do." 

Well....needless to say these comments sparked an instant response world-wide and a call for a boycott of Barilla products.  The hashtag #boycottbarilla was "trending" on Twitter by the afternoon.  Even members of the Italian Parliament got into the fight. "Here we have another example of homophobia, Italian style," said Alessandro Zan, a member of the left-wing Sinistra Ecologia Libertá party. "I'm boycotting Barilla and I invite other MPs … to do the same. I've already changed pasta brands. Barilla is terrible quality."

My friend James C. Glica-Hernandez posted something on Facebook, which was the first I'd heard of the tempest in a pasta pot.  It sparked a long list of comments about boycotting Barilla and tossing out any Barilla products people currently had on their shelves.

I supported the boycott and even wrote a note to Barilla saying I would stop buying their products.  I stopped short of tossing out my already-purchased Barillal pasta, since the company already had my money and nobody would know whether I used it or threw it away--and I hated to throw away good food (I was happy, however, to discover that I didn't have as much Barilla product as I thought--just one package of angel hair pasta).

This morning, apparently having been made aware of the negative publicity his company was getting, Guido Barilla issued another statement:
"I apologize if my words generated misunderstandings or if they offended the sensibilities of some people," saying that he "respected everyone" but "Barilla is for traditional families, can even accept gay marriage but are against any adoptions by gays".
So to make things better he adds that gays should not adopt...but, presumably, it's OK if they eat his pasta.
Needless to say, I will not be buying Barilla products ever again.   He is entitled to his own views, and he is entitled to say so on the radio -- and I have the right not to buy a product that is made by someone who is so vocal in his hatred of gay people. 

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But while writing this I came across another unrelated thing that makes my blood boil.  NBC is going to air an episode of the NRA-sponsored show Under Wild Skies, in which brave hunter Tony Makris (also an NRA lobbyist) hires a guide in Botswana to kill an elephant - for its ivory.

Makris proceeds to shoot the animal in the face numerous times, then chuckle while it issues its dying groans. He expresses pride in bringing the coveted ivory back to camp.
Let me repeat that:
...shoot the animal in the face numerous times, then chuckle while it issues its dying groans
I cannot tell you how that makes my stomach turn. Did this elephant have a baby nearby who is going to be traumatized for life hearing its mothers dying groans? 

If you, like me, care about these animals and are sickened by the exploitation of the animals for sport...and for the entertainment of the home viewer, I hope you will sign the petition to ask NBC Sports not to air the program.

You can find the petition here.


Harriet said...

My comment on FB was that I am annoyed at having to find a comparable product, just because some jackass can't keep his opinions to himself.

No, people don't have to agree with me on every subject. But at least pay me the respect I deserve, for looking at your product objectively and not choosing according to your prejudices. (I'm not Catholic either; does that mean I can't use Barilla pasta?)

June Calender said...

Bev, thanks for printing this even though it's turned my stomach and ruined my evening. I cannot understand what dementia has deformed a man who could do this. I'm absolutely revolted.