Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Mmm mmm good!



     Campbell's Soup is delicious. Right now, in our pantry are five cans of delicious Campbell's Soup: Chicken Noodle, of course, Cream of Chicken, Chunky Manhattan Clam Chowder, Cream of Mushroom, vital for making green bean casserole at Thanksgiving, and my favorite — heck, everybody's favorite — Tomato.
     Still, five cans of delicious, economical Campbell's Soup are not enough, and next time I'm at the grocery, I'll have to stock up on even more delicious, economical, nutritious Campbell's Soup ... sorry, I was reading the website for One Million Moms, a fundamentalist hate group — whoops, a group that, to use its own words, is "fed up with the filth many segments of our society ... are throwing at our children."
     An organization that, a few days back, called for one of its famously ineffective boycotts against Campbell's Soup.
     Why? This time, what they consider filth is a TV commercial that Campbell's began airing last month to promote its Star Wars-themed cans. Here's how One Million Moms describes the spot:

     A homosexual "married" couple is featured prominently with a young boy (their son) in the new Campbell's Soup advertisement. Campbell's #RealRealLife campaign aims to change the face of the American family. It starts off with the first man feeding soup to the little boy and in a "Star Wars" Darth Vader voice says, "Cooper, I am your father." Then the other man also feeds his son a spoonful of soup and says, "No, no, no, I am your father."

   A fairly accurate description, except for the contemptuous quotation marks — the couple, a pair of New York actors, aren't "married," quote unquote, they're married, period, two real men actually married as is legal, thank merciful God, in every state in the United States. The "aims to change the face of the American family" crack speaks volumes of the kind of person upset by this. Because — stop the presses — the face of the American family has changed already. Some people have not gotten the bulletin obviously. They wake up every day expecting to find themselves in Mayberry in 1962, if not Salem in 1692, and thus the world of 2015 as it actually is must come as an awful shock to them, a daily stupefication they of course project onto others:
     "How confusing for this little boy and for all children viewing this commercial," the One Million Mom website imagines. "Obviously, Campbell's is sending the message that homosexual men are raising children."
     Umm, homosexual men are raising children, who seem to wrap their heads around the two dads thing quite easily. 

     And Napoleon escaped from Elba. I'm sorry if I'm the one to tell you.
     I'd credit Campbell's for being pioneers, but they're not. Mainstream companies were rushing to win the hearts of gay and lesbian consumers (not to mention people like me who are just patriotic Americans who like to see our country's freedoms respected) last year. If you want to point to the first gay couple in a television commercial for a major company you have to go back to — ready? — 1994, when IKEA focused on a gay couple buying one of their high-quality tables. The heartbreaking detail is the commercial ran only after 10 p.m. so children wouldn't see it and — oh, I don't know what was supposed to happen to them — be flabbergasted.
     One Million Moms — a notional name if ever there were, perhaps because "A Few Dozen Angry Frightened Moms" didn't carry the same punch— seem to think heterosexuality is so lightly held that a Campbell's soup commercial can shake its foundations. They also, I should point out, illustrate the fundamentalist betrayal of the faith that supposedly motivates them, since all major religions preach that we are formed in God's image, and that He loves us, as his creation, one and all. By casting gay lives as sinful choices — as irrational as presenting left handedness as a sinful choice — and using it as a pretext to demonize certain people is a strategy that is not going away, no matter how much it fails, time and time again.
     And fail it does. One Million Moms not only serves as de facto PR staff for companies like Campbell's, publicizing the thing they hope to decry, it actually brings such commercials into being. J.C. Penney once created a TV ad featuring a gay couple as a direct reaction to One Million Moms attempting to punish them for hiring Ellen DeGeneres as a spokeswoman.
     Bottom line: Huge retailers like Campbell's, IKEA, Procter & Gamble, Tylenol and Nabisco — all of which have featured gays and lesbians in commercials in recent years — do not lead society. They follow, tagging along, selling stuff. By the time Campbell's Soup is running ads featuring the people you hate, you've already lost. Of course bigots — bigotry being a subcellar of ignorance — don't realize this. Maybe they can't. Their tragedy. And ours.

56 comments:

  1. Sadly, Neil, it's not a fundamentalist betrayal of their faith, but what they see as a requirement of their faith. The practice of homosexuality is an "abomination." Practitioners "shall be put to death." (Levit 18:22, 20:13). Another example of how religion, as Hitchens put it, poisons everything.

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    1. Disagree. God creating and loving mankind is a central tenet. The rules against homosexuality are a detail. It's like murdering someone in order to avoid jaywalking.

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    2. Well Susieq, it is too bad Christopher Hitchens is no longer around to defend his ridiculous position. It is my contention that there is a at least a little good in everyone, especially people of Faith. Here is a hypothetical for you to entertain. Let's say after you left an ATM, in preparation for a large purchase, requiring cash, you realize you lost your wallet. Who would you prefer find that wallet, a Fundamentalist who lives and breathes the Ten Commandments lifestyle, or an atheistic Occupy Wall Street type who believes wealth is meant to be shared? Could it be Religion can act as a guide for people, motivating them to good behavior?

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    3. Good point, Bernie.

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    4. I am guessing even an atheist would return the wallet.

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    5. Funny to see a certain avowed atheist writer, discussing God's role.

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    6. If you need religion to not be an asshole, then it's too late. You're an asshole.

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    7. Sanford, no doubt you are correct, of course there are atheist who would return the wallet intact. These would be people who are raised with a strong sense of personnel integrity, or on their own come to realize that pure reason dictates, to live in a better world you must do your part, and act with honor. But that does leave some atheist wandering the world with no moral compass. Bill, you're nuts, but I will grant you one point. The religious people who believe it is acceptable to consider those outside of their group as subhuman and not worthy of respect, they are the real assholes.

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    8. http://www.forbes.com/sites/jvchamary/2015/11/05/religion-morality/

      A study indicates that kids raided without religion are more altruistic than those raised in a religion (not just Christianity). It would be interesting to see how that does or doesn't extend to other forms of morality.

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    9. That's "raised," of course.

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    10. Thanks for the link Coey, I find many aspects of game theory are fascinating. I would quibble and say altruism is not an absolute measure of morality. The experiment possibly would be more revealing, if the children were given a real reason to share, say a natural disaster destroyed a neighboring village's winter store of food. The unfortunate village has lots of money saved and could buy food, do you sell them food at a big profit, little profit, at cost, or give them charity? An additional criteria for choice would be what if your food will have to be rationed through the winter, and if too much food is given away, weaker people may not survive. I disagree with Jean Decety, when she says morality is part of our biology. I believe an infant's mind is a blank slate, completely open to acceptance of altruistic and moral behavior, as taught in childhood. Criminals have been studied by psychologists who have no sense of morality or altruism, if they were found to have a genetic difference, that would validate Prof. Decety's point.

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    11. I agree the results are far from conclusive! Just an indication that belief in God is not the only source of ethics.

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    12. “With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.” -- Steven Weinberg

      That's also a generalization, of course, but an interesting one, IMHO. You may find it trite, Bernie! ; )

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    13. Somebody be gittin on they high and mighty ideals agin.

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    14. Ghost of Christmas futureNovember 11, 2015 at 1:31 PM

      Only the affluent with a comfy lifestyle would have nothing better to worry about than items like today's topic.

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    15. A big problem is that kids are spoiled today and that even a little spank is considered child abuse. Moms working more hours than they should, if they have a husband helps a great deal, so kids can be spoiled materialistically or so they can buy 10 designer purses. Dads try to be buddies rather than fathers.

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    16. Looks like you have to be an atheist on here... or else.

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    17. I want to teach those gay parents on how to make a nice soup with escarole. Forget Campbell's.

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    18. "Looks like you have to be an atheist on here... or else" Or else what? You'll be prevented from commenting? Seems to me that, aside from our host, everybody's opinion is equally valuable on here -- which is to say worthless. Most of us are just anonymous folks shooting the shit on a blog, bigger...

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    19. It's the kind of unconsidered self-pity that bullies wallow in. When your arguments fail on their merits, or lack of same, gin up an imaginary animus against you.

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  2. https://www.yahoo.com/parenting/american-girl-magazine-boycotted-for-highlighting-154800145.html

    They are also wanting to boycott American Girl mag because of an article about two men who have four foster kids. It must be exhausting to have so much anger and hate inside.

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    1. OT/ Never mind religion and morality- getting Papa Frank pissed off or doing/ saying the wrong thing was scarier for us than anything spiritual. No illegitimate babies with easily fooled girls or irresponsible guys or drug problems were going to happen in that house. They sure could have used a few more such strong dads in some households today. Bet John Fountain would agree.

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    2. Or I think of a certain Dad called Ed, a TX born, decent but non religious WWII vet or the idea that any son of his would come home and say in grade school he wanted to be a girl or that later he liked some guy. Hilarious and the thought wouldn't cross anyones mind. And that doesn't mean old man Ed was a bad guy, mind you.

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    3. "No illegitimate babies with easily fooled girls or irresponsible guys or drug problems were going to happen in that house." Pretty to think so, reader, as our host might say. Sadly, the idea that nobody who was raised "right" has ever done anything "wrong" doesn't really stand up to scrutiny, alas.

      And just because "Ed's" son wouldn't have been able to tell his father he was gay doesn't mean that he wasn't. Unfortunately, if you think that made for a better life for the son OR the father, I believe that you're mistaken.

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    4. Big Ed's son is not gay but just using it as an example-did not say all was perfect then. Let us say the other stuff might not happen as much, babies, drugs and such. Environment makes a difference sometimes.

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    5. Excuse if some ain't worried about this as much as if kids get shot, where the next meal is coming from or they be layoffs or wages don't goes up.

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    6. Where is the concern for Israel or anti Semitism here in the states?

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  3. Those ladies are out of order and you'd think they have better things to do but I don't like the taste of Campbell's. Progresso soup is much more authentic.

    Those companies probably don't really care about gays but just want to brownnose people for sales.

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    1. MMM not so good, as far as the soup goes.

      Good to see you back, Jakash.

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  4. Campbell's Select is slightly better than their other offerings.

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  5. Sorry, Neil, but the Biblical prohibition is no mere detail. It's believed by millions (billions?) over the centuries to be the literal Word of God, delivered at Mt. Sinai.It is the foundational source of the hatred and persecution over that time. The fact that your analogy is apt, and shows the rule to be ridiculous, is evidence of how truly poisonous it is.
    Bernie, it's almost as ridiculous to imply that atheists are dishonest, or less honest, than those who believe in the reality of angels and in a man in the sky who cares what I eat, who I sleep with, and listens to my prayers, sometimes, if I'm good.

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    1. Jak, would love to read your opinion on the "girls in the locker room column" from a few days back...don't recall you posting there.

      Perhaps the point of that post above is that a firm hand and strong family /parents can work better than religious belief alone.

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    2. Neil, you must have less need for soup or as many groceries while the boys are at school.

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    3. I pretty much concurred with what our buddy, the Bitter Scribe said at 9:36 on that locker room thread and didn't see any compelling reason to add a 133rd comment. Since you specifically asked, and I try to be a full-service commenter ; ) I guess I would hope a reasonable accommodation could be arrived at, along the lines suggested by Nikki at the end, but it doesn't make sense to me that all the girls should have to be sharing an open shower room with what physically appears to be a guy, to put it in bland terms. Unless the next step is everybody showering together, regardless of gender or inclination. Having said that, and having grown up in the '60's, I'm actually amazed that this culture is still as transfixed by and adolescent about nudity as it remains.

      Thanks to Anon at 12:58, if they're not the same person from 1:07...

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    4. Even if one believes that Christians are required to only have sex with their married spouse of the opposite sex, that does not mean that you have to hate others who do not live their lives according to your beliefs. We're called to love our neighbors even those who are our enemies and foes. It sure isn't easy.

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    5. thanks for the reply about the locker room, Jakash

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  6. The Campbell's ads wouldn't offend me, I don't care who's doing what in ads, but one of the best advantages of a DVR is that I rarely see any ads anymore.
    I watch an hour long show in just 40 minutes!

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  7. That ad does offend me as a mom. I mean that kid is at least 18 months old. He should be feeding himself! Otherwise it's pretty damn adorable and makes me want to run out and get some Cambells soup ( not Star Wars soup though, that sounds repulsive)

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  8. Walter Bagehot, author of "The English Constitution" and the first editor of The Economist, writing about people who believed their bigotry to be divinely mandated, said "there is nothing more unpleasant than a virtuous person with a mean mind." One would hope in this case there are not really one million of them.

    Perhaps its just a canny stock manipulator hoping to put a dent in soup sales and create a buying opportunity for Campbell shares.

    All stereotypes are bad, of course, except those we happen to ascribe to. One might entertain doubts about the eventual success of Cambell's strategy, for instance, as it is well known that all gay men are gourmet cooks and persons of discriminating taste who wouldn't dream of eating soup that came out of a can.

    Tom Evans

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    1. good one , Tom

      and the anon at 8:38 is not the one at 8:37

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    2. The lesson on other matters is if you want your kids to grow up to maturity probably a good idea not to have babies with gangbangers.

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  9. That ad does offend me as a mom. I mean that kid is at least 18 months old. He should be feeding himself! Otherwise it's pretty damn adorable and makes me want to run out and get some Cambells soup ( not Star Wars soup though, that sounds repulsive)

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  10. That boy in the picture looks old enough to feed himself and if they were really good parents they'd make homemade soup. wink

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  11. But maybe that's the side point of it all.....sure gay men can cook - but why go to all that trouble when you can serve up the deliciousness of soup from a can and a microwave!

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  12. This saddens but doesn't surprise me. Hell, remember the foofara over the Cheerios TV spot with an interracial couple and their mixed-race child?

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    1. Yes, that's terrible when people are racist.

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    2. Kudos to our Veterans.

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    3. Good Frontline program, Wednesday night on one of the PBS channels on the frightening power of the NRA.

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  13. Bigotry, the subcellar of ignorance. If so, I think we should feel sorry for these misguided souls. But you can't overlook the meanness. No matter how blissfully unaware these people are, there's no excuse for meanness. But I guess that cuts both ways.

    john

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  14. I think this condition of justifying your hate with your religion should have a name. I'd call it Westboro Syndrome (godhatesfags.com). I don't think this is based on ignorance, an easy excuse to hide behind. It's brainwashing, corruption of the mind, a learned behavior.

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  15. Would love to hear opinions on the racial mess at the University of Missouri

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  16. I forgot to add that sorry, Campbell's tomato isn't everybody's favorite soup. If I was going to buy canned soup, that is the last one I would choose.

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  17. Today's post was a tempest in a teapot for me. I like Campbell's chicken noodle soup when I have a cold, probably because it has a lot of salt. Otherwise, I'll make my own soup. I never heard of One Million Moms and I haven't seen the Campbell's commercial. And I'm not surprised that there are people who are prejudiced against something or someone - welcome to the real world. Are the opinions of One Million Moms going to change anyone's mind? The Beatles said it best - "Let it Be". On another note - to all the US military veterans: Thank you for your service.

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  18. Speaking of prejudice, the commenter feigning African-American vernacular has hit a new low. I would have thought you were better than that.

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  19. If only you would attack ISIS with the intensity you attack this mothers group. The Beatles also said ‘Your mother should know’.

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