Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Fast food, freedom of speech, and looking in from the side

I've been watching this event unfold on Twitter for a few weeks now. I finally got so tired of seeing Chik-Fil-A in my timeline that I started unfollowing people. I really think there are much more important issues at hand than what some company (whose nearest franchise is a 200 mile round trip and on my only visit made the order incorrectly) thinks about same gender marriage.

But today's fiasco with Wendy's got me thinking about how one short statement can be so taken out of context and twisted into something unrecognizable.

People are bashing President Obama for his "You didn't build that" speech when his own words are quoted exactly. Then the Other Side comes along and gets all upset about it. But the quotes are exact. There's no room to wiggle on this one. He said what he said and those words will stand as long there's an Internet (or something like it) to preserve those words.

Now, you have Wendy's and their little tweet about "ALL." I guess I must be incapable of reading things I want to see into what others type. I just read what they posted. Twitter makes espousing on forever difficult because of the 140 character limit. Words have to be chosen carefully and well written. Otherwise, there is miscommunication and confusion. A simple statement can read the wrong way. Like the tweet today about "black car drivers."

The whole Wendy's thing just smacks of people trying to pick a fight.

Yes, I've watched a few TV shows set in England and the UK, so I know that the statement is, in it's longer form, to be "the driver of a black cab." Just like if you watch Top Gear and they speak of "white van man." It's not a man that's white, it's the van. Common color for taxis in the UK: black. Just look at episode of Touch of Frost, anything with Inspector Morris, or the occasional episode of Torchwood. The ubiquitous black cab is everywhere. And, usually, there's a man driving it.

Maybe it's time for a small suggestion: Take a step back, read the words as actually posted and try to go for the positive meaning. If you still aren't sure, a politely worded inquiry may be in order.

One more thing, support your local businesses. Here in my small burg, we have McDonald's, Burger King and Taco Bell. Except for the occasional large Coke and the morning sausage McMuffin, I try to stay out of them. Haven't been in the Taco Bell in over two years. We have at least three great places for Mexican food. I can think of five or six places for a great burger. We have two local pizza places. No need for the Domino's.

Thank you for your time.

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