Mamma mia!

Facebook -- or at least a portion of Facebook -- got in a tizzy yesterday over remarks by Guido Barilla, president of the Barilla pasta company. (Warning: The comment section at the link is pretty distasteful.) I quote:
“We won’t include gays in our ads, because we like the traditional family,” Barilla told an interviewer. “If gays don’t like it, they can always eat another brand of pasta. Everyone is free to do what they want, provided it doesn’t bother anyone else.”

If you saw #boycottbarilla trending on Facebook yesterday, that was why.

Barilla has since apologized for any possible offensiveness, but part of that apology should make his detractors stop and think for a moment (though it probably won't): "I simply wanted to highlight the central role of the woman in the family." If you've seen Barilla's ads in the past, you know they have a reputation for being a bit goofy at times (You make pasta and random, flirtatious Italian strangers show up out of nowhere? Okay . . .), but they also do focus on the importance of women.

Barilla may be bullied into silence, or even pressured into backtracking and featuring male couples in future ads. But he's put his finger, at least for a moment, on a fact that's often left out of our public discourse -- the fact that a family with two dads (or two moms, for that matter) is missing something.


"Thanks for the opportunity to clarify, Jason. I was thinking of social change enacted by legislature after debate (irrespective of the rationality of that debate) with some kind of parliamentary procedure, versus social change enacted by mobs using intimidation. "

Psrt of Bujold's "A Civil Campaign" was about that. Interestingly in that one the faction that appealed to unlawful means first lost largely because of it so maybe there is something to be said for Barrayaran discipline.
Barilla is available in my local markets. I must not be exorbitant, because I've actually purchased it in the pasta.
Thanks for the opportunity to clarify, Jason. I was thinking of social change enacted by legislature after debate (irrespective of the rationality of that debate) with some kind of parliamentary procedure, versus social change enacted by mobs using intimidation. It is the difference between the signers of the Declaration and the participants in the Boston Tea Party, or a trial versus a lynching. (The HBO miniseries "John Adams" makes these issues very memorable.)

In the 1960s much change was made by rioting, illegal occupation, and so on. Contrast that with getting involved in politics. Both situations are emotional, and both sets of participants take action, but in politics the flames of passion do not burn indiscriminately.

Gay marriage proponents, by using the tactics they have, are inviting those tactics to be used against them. I and others feared for the life of one of my gay friends while he was working in Saudi Arabia, because in that country the mob often rules. Here, "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone" has tended to persuade us to be a government of laws, not of men.

Not to put you on the spot or anything, Gina, but you're the likeliest of us to know: is it easy to buy imported pasta in the USA, and if so, is it expensive? I might just go buy some Barilla spaghetti noodles, while humming the Italian National Anthem. It'd be something like the Colonists switching from tea to coffee (a popular decision around these parts!).
I'm not sure I can think of a time when reason was used to effect social change since the eighteenth century.
I haven't read Tom Wolfe
. . . because if I had, I'd have said "Mau-mau Barilla" instead.

The bigger picture here is that Western civilization seems to be trending away from the use of reason to affect social change. We've trended that way before (e.g., the 1960s), so hopefully this is short-term.
Update: response
I received the following response. Probably standard and it doesn't say anything specific, but at least they took the time to send a reply:

Dear ___,

At Barilla, we consider it our mission to treat our consumers and partners as our neighbors – with love and respect – and to deliver the very best products possible. We take this responsibility seriously and consider it a core part of who we are as a family-owned company.

We are working hard to learn from this experience, and appreciate you taking the time to share your comments and valuable feedback.


MoMo Mia. ;-)
I read a great quote today from C S. Lewis: "We must picture Hell as a state where everyone is perpetually concerned about his own dignity and advancement, where everyone has a grievance, and where everyone lives with the deadly serious passions of envy, self-importance, and resentment."

So by inflating every public statement against gay rights into a reason to boycott and assail the media outlets, the homosexual lobby have dragged themselves and their constituents into a Hell on Earth, and they want us to follow them there. I'd say we shouldn't let them succeed. Gina already said that the media are finding it tiresome when the gays attempt to turn concerts into protests. It is probably time to point out their excessive sensitivity.

In fact, it is probably pasta time.
@ Kevin V.
It ends up being the same thing.

Anyway, at the website there is a Contact page. I urge everyone to show them some support. If all they hear is the homosexuals complaining and bullying, they will assume everyone is on their side.
Mo, did you actually read the article? It wasn't exactly an apology, and he didn't cave. He said he was sorry that some people's sensibilities were offended, and he reiterated his support for the traditional family.
Where is contact information for the company or Mr. Barilla directly? That is what needs to be done with each and every story of this kind!

If people have contact info at their fingertips, then immediately when they read a story they can flood the company/individual with their support or non-support, as the case may be.

Talking/lamenting/complaining among ourselves accomplishes nothing.
Good grief, and he immediately caved and apologized?

I am so sick and tired of the bullying by homosexuals. When is ANYONE going to stand up to them? When?

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