Chick-fil-A may not like me, but I like Chick-fil-A

Chick-fil-A is the best fast food chain in America. Period. They’re efficient, courteous and consistent. I could care less about their CEO’s politics.

The Atlanta-based company has come under fire from gay rights groups for supplying food to an event sponsored by the Pennsylvania Family Institute, which has worked to defeat same-sex marriage initiatives. (I guess feeding religious fundamentalists crosses some sort of progressive line in the sand.)

Granted, Chick-fil-A is sympathetic to the Pennsylvania Family Institute’s cause, as is half the country. So what? Fast food chains neither shape or influence public opinion.

To those who want to boycott, fine. It’s not my time you’re wasting. But this kind of hyperbole (excerpted from an online petition against Chick-fil-A by students at Florida Gulf Coast University) will prove counterproductive:

“The Student Union is a place where all students should feel safe and welcome. By allowing a company with a history of bigotry and homophobia into our campus, we potentially allow FGCU to place monetary gain above the comfort and safety of the very students who are expected to frequent the Union Building,” say the group of students at FGCU.

‘Cause you never know when a Chick-fil-A manager might spork you in the eye for wearing a Margaret Cho T-shirt.

I’m curious as to where all this ends. Should I research the political leanings of the company that installed the drinking fountains where I work? I’d hate to think I was consuming anti-gay water.

Propagandart

I’ll never understand artists who suck up to Communists.

[Pianist] Lang [Liang] played a Chinese household song called “My Motherland” at the function to welcome President Hu Jintao. It was the theme music of a 1956 movie named Shangganling Battle, which depicted the fighting of Chinese troops against US troops during the Korean War (1950-53).

A lyric in the song goes, “If the jackals come, we will greet them with guns.”

Lang denied any hidden intentions behind the choice, saying on his Facebook account Tuesday that “it has been a favorite of mine since I was a child. It was selected for no other reason but for the beauty of its melody. I am, first and foremost, an artist. As such, I play music to bring people together.”

“America and China are my two homes. … I couldn’t be who I am today without those two countries,” he added. “My mission is to bridge cultures through the beauty and inspiration of music.”

So I guess he’ll play the Battle Hymn of the Republic next time the U.S. president visits Beijing.

Artist and dissident Ai Weiwei, on a Twitter posting, simply laughed off Lang Lang’s explanation. He wrote “Not political?” — and then dismissed the suggestion with an unprintable expletive.

The first Phil Collins Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Lameness goes to …

Overrated “bromance” auteur Judd Apatow, for defending Tim Allen from mean ol’ Ricky Gervais. Apatow’s reasoning is even lamer than the former “Home Improvement” star:

“Tim Allen did 200 episodes of Home Improvement. He was in three of the highest-grossing movies of all-time. And his latest [Toy Story 3] just crossed the one billion mark. Whereas The Invention of Lying [Gervais' last film] made $18 million dollars worldwide … Leave Tim Allen alone.”

I suppose I shouldn’t criticize Apatow since his movies have grossed more than my film school short.

Oscars’ stupidest decisions (screenplay and director)

(post-1970)

BEST SCREENPLAY

*”Dead Poets Society,” 1989 (original). Not quite Patch Adams goes to Prep School, but not much better, either. “Crimes and Misdemeanors” and “Do The Right Thing” were snubbed for this?

*”Ghost,” 1990, (original). Might as well have given an Oscar to a Hallmark card.

*”The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King,” 2004, (adapted). Over “City of God” and “American Splendor.” More proof that sci-fi geeks have taken over.

BEST DIRECTOR

*John Avildsen, “Rocky,” 1976. Over Sidney Lumet for “Network.” Sure.

*Robert Redford, “Ordinary People,” 1980. Scorsese. “Raging Bull.” David Lynch. “The Elephant Man.” Cue John McEnroe.

*Oliver Stone, “Born on the Fourth of July,” 1989. A badly acted, plodding polemic won over vintage Woody Allen (“Crimes and Misdemeanors”).

*Kevin Costner, “Dances with Wolves,” 1990. It’s one thing to lose to Robert Redford, quite another for Scorsese and “Goodfellas” to be overlooked in favor of Kevin Costner.

*Anthony Minghella, “The English Patient,” 1996. Over Joel Coen and “Fargo.” Here’s Johnny.

The courage of a 9 yo

Ronald McNair, killed in the Challenger explosion 25 years ago, would merit remembrance had he never become an astronaut.

In 1959, when McNair was just nine years old, he famously made a scene at the Lake City Public Library. Residents stared the African American boy down and watched as he walked to the main counter and attempted to check out books on advanced science and calculus. The librarian refused to release them and told him “we don’t circulate books to Negroes.”

The passionate young man wouldn’t budge, and instead hoisted himself onto the counter and said he wasn’t leaving without the books. Library patrons laughed as McNair’s feet dangled off the counter while he waited and the librarian called police.

Two police officers arrived at the scene along with McNair’s mother, Pearl. They determined the boy was not causing any public disturbance and Pearl convinced the librarian she’d pay for the books if they were not returned. The librarian gave in.

The Cynthia McKinneys of the right

(Some) Republicans recognize the callowness of Bachmann Palin Overdrive but are scared to say so publicly, lest they attract the wrath of their groupies.

When Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann was named to the House Intelligence Committee earlier this year, one of her Republican colleagues responded this way: “Is that a punchline?” Another simply said, “Jumbo shrimp. Oxymoron.”

Neither dared to attach his name to his comment. …

In just her third term, she has developed a fan base like 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin’s: Energized, fiercely loyal and capable of making a critic’s life miserable with threats of political retribution.

Another dumb conservative woman threatens to run for prez

Vote for me or I'll shoot your ass!

Angle won’t rule out W.H. bid

Visiting Iowa for a movie premiere, Nevada Republican Sharron Angle wouldn’t rule out a run for president.“I’ll just say I have lots of options for the future, and I’m investigating all my options,” Angle said Wednesday when asked whether she is considering a bid for the White House, the Des Moines Register reported.

Don’t buy the Ben Roethlisberger redemption thread

At best he’s still a jerk.

For two-time Super Bowl winner Ben Roethlisberger (FSY), there really is no place like home.

In his Pittsburgh Steelers biography, Roethlisberger now lists his birthplace as the fictitious and the incorrectly spelled Corey Rawson, Ohio. There is no such community, although he did attend Cory-Rawson School in Rawson, Ohio.

Roethlisberger apparently made the change because he was displeased with unflattering comments made about him by some residents of hometown Findlay, Ohio, following a March incident in which he was accused of sexual assault.

Is Rush Limbaugh a racist?

First they came for Rush Limbaugh and called his satire racist, and I didn’t speak out because Rush Limbaugh is a conservative,” a Breitbart blogger opines. “Then they came for Dr. Laura and called her commentary racist, and I didn’t speak out because Dr. Laura is a conservative…

I’ll gladly speak out, though I’m not sure who’s “coming” for Rush Limbaugh. Sure, the various indignation councils would love to see him taken off the air but they’re not to be taken seriously. Limbaugh’s free to continue to be an inflammatory asshole OBSESSED with race, and we should be free to call him on it.

Earlier this year (2009)  in Belleville, Illinois, two kids who happened to be black beat up a kid who happened to be white in what witnesses and police say was a non-racial dispute over seating in a school bus. Apparently, [Limbaugh's] color-blind analysis of that incident is the following:

“Obama’s America, white kids getting beat up on school buses now. You put your kids on a school bus, you expect safety but in Obama’s America the white kids now get beat up with the black kids cheering, ‘Yay, right on, right on, right on, right on,’ and, of course, everybody says the white kid deserved it, he was born a racist, he’s white.”

Limbaugh has repeatedly cast Obama’s agenda in racial terms. (“Obama’s entire economic program is reparations.”) Before Obama’s election, some reporters found an undercurrent of fear among certain white voters that the election of a black president would usher in a wave of revenge against white America for its history of slavery and discrimination. Limbaugh has stoked those fears:

“The days of them not having any power are over, and they are angry. And they want to use their power as a means of retribution. That’s what Obama’s about, gang. He’s angry, he’s gonna cut this country down to size, he’s gonna make it pay for all the multicultural mistakes that it has made, its mistreatment of minorities.”

As the blogger Conor Friedersdorf has detailed, Limbaugh hurls charges of racism promiscuously. Obama? “[T]he greatest living example of a reverseracist.” Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates? “[A]n angry racist.” Sonia Sotomayor? “She’s a bigot. She’s a racist.”

So to my question: Is Limbaugh a racist? I won’t say because I don’t know the man. But as a 40-year-old Southerner who’s known his share of bigots, let’s just say the aggrieved rhetoric is familiar.

Of course Limbaugh claims he can’t be a racist because  “racism in this country is the exclusive province of the left.” Which makes him a victim, conveniently enough.