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Opening Arguments

Ain't no chicken Muppet, is there?

Today's "news our fathers wouldn't have understood" entry:

If the 40-year relationship of Bert and Ernie wasn't enough to convince you, know that the Muppets are officially supporting gay marriage.

In the wake of Chick-fil-A declaring its opposition to same sex marriage, Kermit and the gang are the latest in a growing list of Hollywood stars, including "The Office" actor Ed Helms, who are now boycotting the fast food chain.

Chick-fil-A had recently joined forces with the Jim Henson Company to offer five customizable puppet toys from Jim Henson's Creature Shop in children's meals.

That does it. If a place isn't good enough for Kermit and Miss Piggy, you certainly won't see me setting foot in the place. It's just that, er, I don't think I ever ate at a Chick-fil-A. Do I have to go there at least once to make my boycott meaningful? But wouldn't that be rewarding the restaurant, which is what I don't want to do? Maybe the boycott police will give me a pass because I'm vowing to never do something I could very well have done if I had chosen to.

I can't remember if I've told this story before, but it makes me look silly, so some of you might appreciate whatever repitition there is. I kept seeing the Chick-fil-A signs for years and wondering to myself why anybody would name a restaurant something as stupid as Chickfilluh. I finally made the mistake of wondering out loud in somebody's presence.

"You're mispronouncing it, Einstein."


"Sound out each syllable separately."

"OK. Chick. Fill. Uh."

"Really? Uh? That's the way you pronounce a stand-alone 'A,' genius? Try again."

"Chick. Fill. Aaaaaee. Oh, I get it now. ChickfillAAAAAeeee."

On a more serious note, I know I've mentioned this before, but I'm not crazy about boycotting places because of their politics. Whether or not Domino's is owned by a rightwing zealot or Ben & Jerry's is produced by keftwing kooks should be beside the point if we like their pizza and ice cream. Now, if we knew patronizing a place fostered true evil --- if their profits were used, say, to finance terrorism, that would be one thing. Otherwise, it seems to me such boycotts are a pretty friviolus exercise in posturing as protest.


Harl Delos
Tue, 07/24/2012 - 12:29pm

Henson doesn't own the Muppets; they sold them to Disney in 2004.

I think Henson still owns the Sesame Street puppets, though.  Isn't Big Bird a leghorn?

Christopher Swing
Tue, 07/24/2012 - 6:52pm

Not crazy about boycotting places because of their politics? So you don't believe in voting with your wallet? Why would you give anyone money if you know some of it's going to a cause you absolutely despise?

"Whether or not Domino's is owned by a rightwing zealot or Ben & Jerry's is produced by keftwing kooks should be beside the point if we like their pizza and ice cream."

I suppose if pizza and ice cream mean more to you than your convictions...

But the real problem with your stance here: "if we knew patronizing a place fostered true evil;" you're inferring that treating a group of people as second-class citizens and actively promoting it aren't evil? That paints a pretty disturbing picture of you, Leo.

And here's something else: Chik-Fil-A may need to work on not doing things that are actually sins, like lying.

tim zank
Tue, 07/24/2012 - 9:09pm

Swing, they don't treat anyone like 2nd class citizens, for God's sake they'll sell chicken to whoever walks through the door, even you. Just so happens the guy that owns the company doesn't believe in same sex marriage so why does (and more importantly why should) anybody give a flying fark? 

Is his right to believe that somehow infringing on your right to do anything? What does economic blackmail for political ends say about the LGBT activists heading up this attack? They often use the argument "How does our gay marriage in any way threaten you and your marriage" and at the same time threaten the livelihood of someone who simply doesn't think the same way. 

He's not a politician, he weilds no authority to change anything except the recipe for his chicken. It's morally reprehensible to try to put a guy out of business because you don't agree with his religious beliefs.

Nasty nasty people with no conscience whatsoever.....only an agenda...

Wed, 07/25/2012 - 11:43am

Tim, replace "same sex" with "black" or "Jewish" and I think you'll see the moral significance of what Mr. Swing is saying. Well, no you won't. Never mind.

Christopher Swing
Wed, 07/25/2012 - 2:34pm

"Just so happens the guy that owns the company doesn't believe in same sex marriage and donates millions of dollars to anti-gay organizations (one classified as a hate group in the company's name from the company's profits,"

"He's not a politician, he weilds (sic) no authority to change anything except the recipe for his chicken and donate millions of dollars to anti-gay organizations (one classified as a hate group) in the company's name from the company's profits."

FTFY in bold.

Wow Zank, your point seems to fall apart when include the entire story.

Then again, that's asking you to think, or at least not be willfully ignorant (how gay people are treated in the restaurant isn't the point), which apparently I'm not the only one to point out isn't likely. In fact...

" It's morally reprehensible to try to put a guy out of business because you don't agree with his religious beliefs."

Are you just rock fucking stupid? How is it morally reprehensible to not spend money at a place where you know that money is going to be used to fund something you don't agree with? That's not "trying to put a guy out of business because you don't agree with his religious beliefs," that's realizing where your money goes and choosing not to let it go to something you don't agree with. That's part of the capitalism you so worship, and yet here you don't even seem to realize it. You spend so much time yapping about marxism and socialism and how great capitalism is, and yet when it comes down to it, you demonstrate that you have no fucking clue whatsoever what you're talking about.

You're a joke, Tim Zank.

Christopher Swing
Wed, 07/25/2012 - 6:33pm

And speaking of "stupid" and "jokes," in addition to not lying (an actual commandment, unlike "who can marry who") maybe Chik-Fil-A should stop pretending to be teenage girls on Facebook.

I mean, that's AWB-level jackassery right there.

tim zank
Wed, 07/25/2012 - 10:19pm

Littlejohn, I think it's pretty clear the only people that try to equate same sex marriage with the struggles for civil rights of African Americans are left over stale white hippie liberals with embellished memories of themselves playing some integral role in the civil rights movement when in reality smoking a lil dope with the black guy down the hall and agreeing with him by saying "solid" a few times with that cool handshake was not exactly "being one of them" or understanding their struggle. 

I also think you'll find most African Americans would be appalled at your notion that somehow their being chained, kidnapped, shackled, beaten and enslaved can be on par in any way with not having the "acceptance" or sanction of your government on how and with whom you choose to acheive an orgasm.

Let's recap shall we? 200+ years enslaved in chains, deprived of all basic human dignity and human rights compared to the heartbreak and humiliation of not getting a certificate signed by the state acknowleding/condoning your propensity to achieve sexual gratification in an abnormal manner...


Yeah, the similarities are just overwhelming aren't they?


Harl Delos
Wed, 07/25/2012 - 11:45pm

I agree with you, Tim.  We should go back to the laws when I was growing up, when they arrested people for engaging in sex unless they were married to each other, and they were of the same race.  Snd while we're at it, we should resume the Utah wars against the Mormons until they all go to Mexico.

Leo Morris
Thu, 07/26/2012 - 8:16am

What is this, a parody of self-righteous lefty intolerance? "I do not care for your opinions, sir, so I shall not eat your chicken sandwich!" What do the boycotters think of this statement? "If the mayor of a conservative town tried to keep out gay-friendly Starbucks or Apple, it would be an outrage.”That's from the well-known fascist newspaper The Boston Globe, reacting to the Boston mayor's announcement that Chick-fil-A isn't welcomed in his city.

Christopher Swing
Thu, 07/26/2012 - 3:18pm

No, Leo. The mayor in question is being a jackass. There's a huge difference between exercising your individual freedom to not monetarily support a business whose actions you don't agree with, and abusing government power to deny a business the opportunity to even exist in the first place.

And if you're claiming you can't tell that difference, you're either being disingenuous, or you're genuinely stupid. But when you try to make light of the concept of voting with one's wallet with a statement like "I do not care for your opinions, sir, so I shall not eat your chicken sandwich!", you're absolutely just being an asshole.

Christopher Swing
Thu, 07/26/2012 - 3:22pm

And how exactly is deciding not to support someone/thing you feel is intolerant of others, being intolerant in a bad way? We're pretty intolerant of all sorts of negative things as a society, you know.

Just because someone uses religion as an excuse to hate (dislike, discriminate against, etc.) gays (muslims, jews, blacks, etc.) doesn't make it OK or protected.

Leo Morris
Thu, 07/26/2012 - 4:01pm

Disngengious or stupid? I can't decide which I'd rather be. Disingeniousness might win more arguments, but stupidity would make be happier. You tell me, Swing, which do you find is better?

Christopher Swing
Thu, 07/26/2012 - 4:25pm

No no, tell us Leo, can you not tell the difference? Are you trying to imply there is no difference?

Do you not believe in the right of people to exercise their free speech by telling people Chik-Fil-A supports some groups they may not like? Do you not believe in that freedom of association thing that means people are free to associate with others - or not - as they see fit?

Or does that whole First Amendment thing only apply to business owners and newspaper editors? Do all the rest of the people have a duty to consume regardless of what businesses do?

Harl Delos
Thu, 07/26/2012 - 6:17pm

Other businesses that discriminate on the basis of factors beyond their control, without a legitimate business purpose, are penalized.

Yes, Hooters discriminates in favor of servers that are young, female, with large breasts.  That's their business - they call themselves Hooters because they are selling sex appeal.  If Chick-Fil-A sandwiches have  something to do with genitals, I think the Board of Health ought to shut them down.  Many foot establishments require that their employees wear hats or hairnets.

Christopher Swing
Sun, 07/29/2012 - 1:54am

And oh snap, Ken at Popehat has a post for you - The Freedom Not To Participate

Here, let me gank a bit of that:

"We see it in debates about whether it makes sense to boycott Chick-Fil-A for supporting anti-gay causes. Doug Mataconis writes a perfectly logical and sensible post about why such boycotts are irrational. But to me this is no more persuasive than arguing that it's irrational for Chick-Fil-A to engage in anti-gay advocacy in the first place. A Chick-Fil-A sandwich would taste like ashes in my mouth at this point because I'd feel like I'm supporting something I despise if I bought it. Is that an irrational reaction? Perhaps. But why should my reaction be held to a higher standard than the speech I am reacting to? As long as I'm not a thuggish mayor calling for official censorship, why not chalk up my reaction to a form of more speech and move on? Why should my gesture in response to Chick-Fil-A's speech be evaluated differently than the speech itself?"

tim zank
Wed, 08/01/2012 - 6:47pm

As of August 1st 2012:

Chik-Fil-A      1

Ass-less Chaps Brigade   0


Rematch unlikely....

Christopher Swing
Wed, 08/01/2012 - 11:40pm

How do you figure, Zank? Did time stop today?

Or is this just some imaginary victory condition for you?

Christopher Swing
Thu, 08/02/2012 - 12:27am

“RE: Chik-Fil-A controversy
I have never felt so alien in my own country as I did today while covering the restaurant’s supporters. The level of hatred, unfounded fear and misinformed people was astoundingly sad. I can’t even print some of the things people said.”

Journalist Mark Krzos on covering the Chick-Fil-A beat

Yep, a real victory for you, Zank, a proud day for everyone. I guess if you can't get a smiling picture of yourself at a lynching any more, this will have to do for you.

Harl Delos
Thu, 08/02/2012 - 12:56am

Seems odd that neither side is mentioning Don Perry.  Would't that be God's vote in favor of treating gays like actual people instead of neating up on them?

Christopher Swing
Thu, 08/02/2012 - 4:02am

Maybe someone could make the case that Cathy suddenly making his job so much more stressful finally did his heart in.

I don't think the religious side wants it to come up. It seems too much like one of those signs from above they're so fond of (when those signs just happen to back up what they wanted to believe in the first place).

In any case, it's going to take more than one day to make up for the slide since the interview.

tim zank
Fri, 08/03/2012 - 7:26am

Hilarious...Hell hath no fury like that of a progressive that can't win an argument...



Christopher Swing
Fri, 08/03/2012 - 11:09am

LOL. Can't deal with someone producing hard facts, so you go into full reality-denial mode, Zank? :D

tim zank
Fri, 08/03/2012 - 12:05pm

You've never won anything in your life much less this argument. That must be frustrating.

Christopher Swing
Fri, 08/03/2012 - 1:53pm

That's a hilarious assessment coming from someone who tried and failed to even Google me. How would you know anything about me if you couldn't even get that right? Go ahead Zank, make it personal. Remember how badly that worked out for you last time? :D

tim zank
Fri, 08/03/2012 - 3:46pm



You'll feel better..

Christopher Swing
Fri, 08/03/2012 - 4:35pm

And then the non-sequitir retreat. :D