Spaghetti Fight: Pasta CEO’s Anti-Gay Comments Draw Backlash, Boycotts

Above you’ll find an advertising spot from Bertolli Pasta that aired in 2009.  The ad features a gay couple, with one of the men in said couple day dreaming of the other serving him pasta in a fancy restaurant only to come to and have that man be his partner seated beside him in his living room. There’s not much fanfare over the couple’s sexuality– they’re just hungry partners eating some pasta.

It’s the sort of advertisement that Barilla Pasta would never air according to CEO, Guido Barilla.  Known for commercials that depict the quintessential Italian family, and in response to a question on whether that family would ever include any gay members Barilla said:

I would never do (a commercial) with a homosexual family, not for lack of respect but because we don’t agree with them. Ours is a classic family where the woman plays a fundamental role.

While the CEO is opposed to gay adoption-and evidently the notion of fathers cooking dinners-he is in favor of gay marriage.  He followed up his comments by clarifying how he felt about gay patrons saying that if they “like our pasta and our advertising, they’ll eat our pasta, if they don’t like it then they will not eat it and they will eat another brand.”

You need to only do a quick search of the Twitter hashtag #boycottbarilla to see that challenge being answered.

Pasta company Bertolli who has been cool with gay couples in their advertisements since 2009, also chimed in with an advertisement of their own with a caption that reads “Pasta und Liebe für alle!” (Love and Pasta for all!)

The moral of this story is pretty clear.  Whether you’re Chick-fil-A or Urban Outfitters or any of these other companies that have said something problematic about an entire demographic — people are paying attention, and they will absolutely buy their pasta elsewhere.

Paula Deen Turns Down Dancing with the Stars

There will no redemption on the dance floor for Paula Deen. The disgraced cooking show hostess and former Smithfield Hams spokeshole has wisely turned down a spot of ABC’s Dancing with the Stars, six weeks after it was reported that she fired her manager. A Deen paid friend representative told Us Magazine:

The dance floor is not the appropriate forum for her.

Well bless her heart, it certainly isn’t, despite DWTS co-host Tom Bergeron telling Us:

We’ve seen career resurgences after the show. People go, ‘I remember why I love that person!

In Paula’s case, she’d probably get voted off immediately, adding to her humiliation and reinforcing that someone who cosigns sexual harassment and racism while disrespecting and degrading 

people that she deems to be inferior

just aren’t real popular.  And an appearance on DWTS isn’t a guarantee for long-term success. Just ask Bristol Palin.

The Double-Down: A Science Experiment

Five days outdoors: Double Down is unchanged

Remember dropping a tooth or a coin in Coca-Cola and seeing how long it took to dissolve?

Well, over the weekend filmmaker John Roecker bought a KFC Double-Down–you know, the trash food version of chicken cordon bleu, two breaded, fried chicken breasts stuffed with bacon, white “cheese and “the Colonel’s Sauce”–then took a bite and got totally grossed out.

So John decided to do a science experiment and left the meatwich outside in the backyard, exposed to the elements, the bright Southern California sun and the cool morning dew. John lives close to Griffith Park, so there’s also plenty of urban wildlife–and I don’t mean his parties either–crows, racoons, owls, opossums, feral cats, coyotes, plus the usual insects like ants and flies.

It’s been five days.  Here’s John’s report:

He didn’t rot. Just like any other ex boyfriend he seemed to get stronger and better looking. Not one ant or any animal has touched it. Including my cats who will eat anything! I even had my friend’s dog in the back yard and she sniffed it and then left it. Oh and also I have racoons that go in my trash and won’t touch it.

That is pretty horrifying. Raccoons won’t sample it. Ants won’t touch it. Not even flies will lay their eggs in a Double Down. After five days most meat products left outside would be squirming with maggots (which only take a day to hatch), if the varmints didn’t drag it off first.

Thanks, John for doing this so we can live vicariously. Actually, we could say that about a lot things you do!

It Stinks! Cheese Fiends Blue Over Roquefort Duty

cheese-roquefort2.thumbnail.jpgOf all the stinkin’ taxes that lame duck Bush stuck us with, this one is pretty cheesy: A 300% retaliatory duty on Roquefort because the European Union banned  imports of U.S. beef containing hormones. While Roquefort wasn’t the only European taste treat slapped with a duty–you’ll see a rise in the price of Irish oatmeal, Italian sparkling water, truffles and fatty goose and duck livers, i.e. fois gras–the cheese stands alone with a 300% duty.

Roquefort is made in the eponymous wee area of France where sheep graze in a carefully proscribed 2100 acre oval. The cheese is made from unpasterized ewe’s milk and reaches its blue veined funkiness in limestone caves that run throughout the area, including under the town of Roquefort’s main street. Only cheese made there in the centuries old way can carry the AOC (appelation d’origine controlee)–and the extreme mark-up courtesy of Bush. But then if you’ve watched those old Western movies, you know how much cattle ranchers like Bush dislike sheep ranchers so this goes deeper that hormonal cows and freedom fries…

Currently you can find AOC Roquefort online in prices ranging from $28 to $35/lb., with a whole wheel selling for $150, though these cheeses seem to have arrived before Bush’s meanspirited pen stroke. The cheese holds up best with red wine (though some prefer it with sauternes) and can be served with a nutty bread, quince jam, figs and other fruit.It goes well of grilled meats and crumbled on salads–both fruity or savory–and mashed or baked potatoes.

Last week a delegation of Roquefort’s elected officials went to the U.S. Embassy in Paris to present their case, hopeful that soon the tariffs will be lifted on the 450 tons of stinky wonder they export to the US–which considering they produce 19,000 tons annually and only a fifth of that ever leaves the country isn’t really that much (Spain imports 1,100 tons annually, making them the largest importer).

But Bush–ever the bully–in order to pick on a uniquely French symbol, chose one of the smallest in order to flex his cowpoke muscle.

Wake Up and Smell the Delusions

coffee-poster.bmpA new study says that consuming more than  330 milligrams of caffeine a day can lead to hallucinations. Oh, so those wingnut conspiracy theories are just the result of drinking lots of Mountain Dew? I feel so much better now.

 The amount needed experience otherworldly sensations–which may be linked to the release of cortisol caused by high caffeine intake–is 330 milligrams, which you can find in a grande medium cup of Starbucks drip. Or by slamming 4 cans of Red Bull

Conducted by researchers at Durham University and published in Personality and Individual Differences, the study:

offers some support for our first hypothesis, namely that when levels of stress are accounted for, caffeine intake is positively related to levels of psychosis-like experiences.

The study’s authors, Dr. Charles Fernyhough and Simon Jones, pointed out it was not clear if the caffeine had caused the hallucinations: It may just be that people under stress and more susceptible to hallucinations are also more likely to consume high levels of caffeine.

The media has run with the hallucinations angle, claiming that  drinking lots of coffee and tea can make you see dead people, though I’m more inclined to think caffeine is at the root of Ann Coulter’s hyper animated inanity.

 But in African Tradition Religions like santeria, espiritu, voodoo and the all-American hoodoo which is sorta the jazz of religions–it incorporates a variety of folk beliefs and magic from various Western African tribes, Catholicism, Native American beliefs and European folk and high magic–coffee is left on altars to honor one’s ancestors. So uh, maybe there’s something to this "dead people" thing after all.