Monday, February 22, 2010

A Suggestion for Dan Coudreaut

I recently saw an article, in Newsweek, about Dan Coudreaut, whose job title at the McDonalds Corporation is Director of Culinary Innovation. There's also an article about him in Chicago Redeye (2/22/2010, pages 6 and 7). He's been called the most influential chef in America, inasmuch as he helps McDonald's to develop new menu items which meet that company's standards. I suppose it depends on how one defines the word "influential". If it's a matter of serving more people than almost every other restaurant or restaurant chain in the world, then the word definitely fits. But that can be a good or bad thing. When it comes to McDonald's and its effect on the health of Americans, the record is decidedly mixed.

Here's a suggestion for Dan: I think that it would be nice if McDonald's would offer a green vegetable other than iceberg lettuce.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Blogger Pages has long offered an easy way to create websites, without the need for any knowledge of HTML or other web design layout languages or web design programs, simply by design one's own blog and filling it with content. But it used to be that Blogger blogs were very different from regular websites. Specifically, Blogger blog sites really only had one page: The home page. One could move forward or back in order to read different blog posts, but one couldn't easily set up "static" web pages which were always easily accessible, in order to furnish visitors with basic information without requiring that they search the entire site in order to find that information.

Truth In Advertising

Andersonville Wine & Spirits, located just across the street from the Internet cafe for which I currently work, has signs in the window advertising the various brands of booze the store carries. Judging from one of those signs, one of those drinks appears to have the charming name of Delirium Tremens. The sign features a picture of a pink elephant on a blue background. Presumably that's a reference to the fact that Delirium Tremens is the technical name of the hallucinations suffered by alcoholics.

Since they've decided to be honest, perhaps they'll come out with a full line of alcoholic drinks named after additional symptoms of alcohol abuse, such as hangovers, ruined marriages, children abused by their drunken parents, people killed by drunken drivers, women raped by their drunken dates, and folks whose idea of a good time involves incoherent speech, disgusting personal hygiene, and frequent vomiting.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Thinking and Speaking

Recently I was exposed to some posters, on the subway trains and buses here in Chicago, and while the subject of those posters was ostensibly common courtesy and tolerance, it was clear to me that the real agenda was altogether different.

In response, I sent the following letter to the folks who had placed those posters:

I've seen your advertising posters, and I've visited your website.

While you're on the subject of thinking before one speaks, you might want to give some serious thought to the pejorative and frequently inaccurate nature of the "homophobic" label which is often mindlessly applied to any and all opponents of homosexuality and/or the liberal gay agenda. There are many reasons for opposition to such things, and some of those things (such as sincere beliefs about the nature of biblical revelation regarding homosexuality) have nothing whatsoever to do with fear.

You might also want to give more thought to the idea that a phobia is not just any fear. It is, more specifically, an irrational fear, according to most dictionary definitions. Some fears are both rational and justifiable (and are therefore not phobias), on account of the fact that they motivate us to take preemptive measures to protect ourselves against known dangers. We put smoke detectors in our homes because the threat of fires is a real, documented threat. While it is true that any legitimate fear can become a phobia if it's exaggerated beyond reason, a specific fear itself may nevertheless be rational and justifiable.