Thursday, April 9, 2015

"So can we just stop politicizing food already? People just want a cup of coffee. People just want a cake. If you can’t do that without a massive protest, then your business deserves to fail and so does the protest movement also. If you can’t just take your business and your money elsewhere, you need to grow up and get a life. Food isn’t supposed to be causing us these kinds of problems."

Let Them Eat Cake!!

By Jack Perry

My word, when did the simple act of eating food pass into the realm of being such a pain in the keester?! It wasn’t bad enough we’ve got all the “dietary options” now. You know, vegetarian, vegan, ovo-lacto vegetarian, gluten-free, paleo diet, macrobiotic, kosher, halal, and all the rest. Geez, the simple act of ordering a meal is more like planning the D-Day Invasion. “Hello, sir, I’m Mandy and I’ll be your server tonight! Do you require a vegan or vegetarian menu, a halal menu, gluten-free, or—” Hey, look, bring me out a steak and a baked potato if that’s still legal in this allegedly free country! Eating has never before in history taken on such socio-political headaches. When FRUIT, excuse me, FRUIT has to be labelled “gluten-free”, we’ve got serious problems. If people don’t know fruit is obviously gluten-free, they can’t tell the difference between an orange and a dinner roll. Not that I doubt such people exist. “Let us sit down and break bread together in the spirit of peace and–” “Oh, sorry, I’m on a gluten-free diet…” Of course. Somehow, sitting down to break rice crackers hasn’t got the same ring to it, though.

Now in one of my previous articles, I discussed at length how a simple cup of coffee could be turned into a weapon of political and/or social engineering. Ok, so, what goes with coffee? Cake! And right now in America, cakes have entered into the political domain as the “Doomsday Weapon” of political correctness. This all started when a Christian bakery refused to bake a cake for a gay wedding. The ensuing kerfuffle resulted in a whole heap of doings that went far beyond what a simple cake truly deserves. I’m sorry, but no cake is worth that kind of hassle, I don’t care if that cake can dance the kazotsky while whistling the theme song from Doctor Zhivago. But then came the allegations of discrimination, enter the courts and lawyers, and then the whole shtick of religious freedom came up. Over a cake?! Yeah, I know, I know. If someone doesn’t provide you with proper service at a business for any reason, vote with your wallet and don’t go back. Ain’t that simple? No lawyers, no courts, no politicians. Just simple leaving and finding a place that values your business. But in America these days, there is no shortage of eager activists looking for a cause and so a cake became the battle cry of both sides in the hootenanny.

Christian bakeries feared they’d be compelled by law to bake cakes for gay weddings. So, what’d they do? They lobbied the government to pass a law saying they don’t have to. Now everyone is in a lather about that. Hey, you guys, listen. Asking the government to solve your problems is like asking ISIS to measure your hat size: It’ll get done, but maybe not in the way you’d like. To the pro-gay wedding cake people, you stepped in it when you made a fuss over a frickin’ cake and wanted the government involved. All that did was rally the activists on the other side and they went to the government, too, and got a law passed you don’t like. Hey, just take your money elsewhere. That’s what I did when Starbucks wanted to turn my cup of coffee into a social engineering experiment. I got a cheaper cup of coffee, too, and that’s always a good thing. To the pro-religious freedom people, guess what you did? You just opened the door for Sharia law, which you said you were against and wanted laws passed to ban not long prior to this mess. See what I mean? Asking the government to solve your problems just creates problems. What is the government anyway, the yard duty on the playground?! Really, grow up, people. It’s food, ok? That’s what this is about. A flippin’ cake!

But that didn’t take the cake, pardon the pun. Then there was a Christian who went to a bakery and wanted a cake with an anti-gay Biblical passage written on it with icing. The bakery refused and now he wants his day in court over discrimination! These cakes are taking on lives of their own! “Night of the Living Cakes”! The cakes are returning to life! Igor, look, the cake is aaaalllive! This is like a pastry Cold War. “Uh-oh, we’ve got a Cake Gap. If we let the pro-gay wedding bakery bake more cakes than we can, they’ll have a strategic advantage over us! Quick, get busy! Make up for it with smaller, tactical cupcakes! We can put ten cupcakes into the same box as one cake, each cupcake independently targeted!” Mutually Assured Dumbness on both sides. Again, all of this over cakes! And all the political wrangling over these religious freedom and anti-discrimination laws have turned the whole thing into CakeGate.

The really obvious thing is that the market had the solution all along. Hey, they don’t want to bake you a cake for your wedding? Guess what? They just gave you a multi-million dollar business plan—for free! Open your own cake shop for gay weddings. You could even subcontract with bakeries all over the country and have an online business. They order and pay you online and they go to the nearest bakery to them to pick it up. Everyone wins, everyone makes a buck, and you didn’t patronize the business that didn’t want your business in the first place. No, instead you wasted the money on lawyers probably. And if you don’t want to bake a cake for a gay wedding, just tell them you don’t have frickin’ time! Tell them you’re busy, booked solid, swamped, can’t do it in time, whatever! Dentists do that all the time! So do doctors, car mechanics, and all kinds of other businesses. But really, all this malarkey over a dadgum cake?! Hey you guys, people dodge machine gun fire just to get a loaf of bread over in Syria and you guys—both sides—are whining over cakes?

Remember when your parents told you, “Eat your vegetables! There are starving children in this world that would love to have those!” Well, guess what? Your parents were right. The bigger point is, you assume this to be a major human rights catastrophe and there are people getting their heads sawed off with rusty Khyber knives over in Syria. Just because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time and of the wrong religion. You think a cake is a big deal? Yeah, try eating one without a head. That’s how other folks are living and not living. But guess what else? Every time you drag the government into this, you make all of us a little less free. I no more want the government involved in my religious beliefs than I want them involved in my dietary choices. Yeah, like those soda and junk food taxes the government is still thinking about. Nor should they involved in customer service issues, which is what these are. Let the market punish those businesses for that, because it will.

So can we just stop politicizing food already? People just want a cup of coffee. People just want a cake. If you can’t do that without a massive protest, then your business deserves to fail and so does the protest movement also. If you can’t just take your business and your money elsewhere, you need to grow up and get a life. Food isn’t supposed to be causing us these kinds of problems. Now other countries have food problems. They’ve got famines, some of them engineered by their own government’s failed policies. Remember that fact the next time you go whining to the government to solve your problems. So you know what? Sit down, pipe down, have a cup of coffee and some cake. You’ll feel better.


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