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PP adds major injury to a minor insult

Today I essay and opinionate another ‘fair review & criticism’ of nearly mainstream online new media and bring you a piece of truly amazing wrongheadedness from the so-called keepers of intellectual honesty.

This post from Pure Petulance has to go down as the most petulant post of the year if not of all time.

Well maybe petulant isn’t the right word to describe the way Jeremy Sear has turned a rather innocuous comment made by a fellow Crikey author – that would otherwise have hardly made a ripple on cyberspace – into a tsunami of insult and humiliation of some young kid who works at McDonald’s in Geelong. But the words pedantic, stupid & nasty sure come to mind.

The story: Obscure Crikey author Leigh Josey writes a brief and obscure post about the closure of KFC in Geelong. He posts a cutout from the Geelong Advertiser featuring photos of some kids and the comments they have made and then makes a not-funny and not-really-hurtful (and certainly indirect) comment about one of them as follows:

And what do the people think? By people, we mean 12 year old McDonald’s employees…


And that’s all he said about it. But Jeremy thinks Josey has been “cruel” by wrongly estimating the kid’s age and is so worried that the kid might get depressed (or even suicide) he bursts into print to bizarrely attack one of his own writers … while being oblivious to the fact he’s doing a lot more damage to the kid himself: 

This might just be an ex-young-looking-teenager speaking, but it seems to me that Daniel Gooley, the McDonald’s employee (who is therefore at least 14), might already be struggling with issues relating to his not particularly mature physical appearance. (Also his surname.) Having a prominent thing on the internet like Crikey mocking him around the nation on the basis of something over which he has no control and over which he is possibly quite sensitive, seems to me to be unnecessarily cruel – and, given the current discussion of teen depression and suicide, it might be something that adult writers should consider when the butt of their joke is just a kid. Even if he wasn’t the intended target, and even if it was funny.

If the kid wasn’t already embarrassed by this (and I seriously doubt he would have been) he would be now after Sear’s further posting and identification of him. Worse still, the totally unnecessary references to Daniel’s appearance and surname add injury to what was hardly even an insult in the first place.

And it keeps going in the comments. While some of the commenters are clearly miffed by this bizarre post (and good on them for realising its out of line), some have taken Sear’s lead to heap more insults on not just Daniel but other kids in the photo too. Well done Jeremy.

Josey’s piece was hardly “mocking (Daniel) around the nation” but that didn’t stop Sear from jumping in to correct him and speak up on the kid’s behalf … without being invited. Who needs that kind of advocacy or defence?

It’s just like when Jeremy goes in to bat for gays and lesbians over gay marriage without being invited – he does more harm than good.

Its about the right to have bacon on yer burgers….

I have never been fond of Kentucky Fried Chicken, in fact as I write I struggle to remember the last time that I have eaten any of their cuisine, It must be at least twelve years ago at my brothers house while we were working on an engine swap for the Nissan 620 Ute that I had at the time. I was decidedly underwhelmed but ate it because, well, I was hungry. That is by the by really because since that time the franchise has tried to clean up its image and move into the burger market. They have changed their name to the acronym “KFC” so that they can play down the fact that their signature line is deep fried with a fat absorbing coating that scares cardiologists witless. But moving into the burger line meant that those ever popular garnishes, bacon and cheese became part of the menu.

Trial: This KFC in Burton-on-Trent is one of five reverting to the old non-halal menu after poor sales

KFC has been forced to ditch their halal-only menus at some of its stores after disappointing sales.

The fast food chain began trials last year, saying it was responding to huge demand from Britain’s growing Muslim population.

But thousands of regular customers complained, including Alan Phillips, who was furious when the Burton-on-Trent branch refused to serve him his favourite Big Daddy chicken burger with bacon and cheese topping.

He was told it was forbidden to keep bacon on the same premises as halal meat and he would have to travel five miles to the nearest non-halal restaurant.

Now KFC has admitted five of its outlets – including Burton – are reverting to standard menus following poor sales.

Another that will drop the trial halal menu is the Colne takeaway in Burnley, Lancashire, where thousands of people joined a Facebook group called No Halal at Colne KFC.

Takeaways at: Accrington, Lancashire, Old Kent Road, London, and Hyde Road, Manchester, as well as Burton and Colne, will revert to full menus on 19 July.

No one will stay in business if they don’t meet the expectations of the customers and It seems that KFC is learning a costly lesson about not upsetting  your customer base in an effort to pander to a religious minority who are not obliged to buy your product anyway.

I have always found the ideas inherent in dietary codes like Halal or Kosher rather bizarre and there are some clear questions about cruelty in the methods of animal  slaughter prescribed therein. However if people want to use either as the basis of their eating decisions that is of course their choice . The problem here lies in the notion that we unbelievers in the majority should have the same restrictions and caveats imposed upon us so as not to offend a  minority. We have seen this sort of thing happen in our prisons and our schools but it is interesting to me that when it comes to a popular franchise like KFC attempts to make their outlets consistent with a religious dietary dogma are being so vociferously  resisted by the people who count most in business, the customers.

Cheers Comrades

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