Friday, May 30, 2008

This is why all my scarves are purple...

So yesterday, as I was casually scanning the news headlines on the internet, I came across the story about the Rachel Ray Dunkin’ Donuts ad. Did everyone see that? Dunkin’ Donuts decided to pull one of their ads because they’d received complaints about it. Apparently some people have WAY too much time on their hands, and they managed to find non-existent terrorist symbolism lurking within the sunny frames of Rachel Ray’s caffeine-fueled coffee pitch. Here is the shocking, utterly offensive image:

OH MY GOSH!! Do you see it?? Do you see it???? Uh yeah, I couldn’t figure it out, either. As I scanned the article further, I read that the reason people had been complaining about the ad was because Rachel Ray’s scarf resembled a keffiyeh – a traditional Arab headdress. Some examples:

Here’s a random old guy wearing a keffiyeh:

(Hey, wait a minute – that sort of resembles those red and white checked tablecloths they use at Pizza Hut. Pizza Hut supports terrorism!!)

And here’s a random young guy wearing a keffiyeh:

(Hey – that guy looks like a model! The modeling industry supports terrorism!! AND anorexia!!!)

And here’s a scene from Lawrence of Arabia, where everyone is wearing a keffiyeh:

(Heeeeeey… do you mean to tell me that Hollywood supports terrorism, too??? The conspiracy just keeps growing...)

Look, I’m not a big fan of Rachel Ray (you can read about that here), so it doesn’t bother me if someone wants to pull one of her ads off the air. But you have to pull them off the air because she’s ANNOYING, not because of some made-up “symbolism” within the ad. Give me a break. In the first place, the keffiyeh is obviously not some kind of exclusively-terrorist object. It’s not like Rachel Ray appeared in that commercial with a cup of iced coffee in one hand and an AK-47 in the other. Now an ad like THAT would’ve made me go, “hey, wait a minute… does that iced coffee come in different flavors??” And second, Rachel Ray’s scarf isn’t even the SAME as a keffiyeh – so it happens to be black and white. So what??? The design is clearly paisley – there must be a million randomly-patterned black and white scarves out there, adorning the necks and heads of people from all over the world. Big deal.

As much as Rachel Ray annoys me, I really wish Dunkin’ Donuts hadn’t caved on this issue. It reminds me of something I read not too long ago about the memorial being constructed in Pennsylvania for the victims of flight 93. Apparently, the original design was scrapped because it was beginning to look “too much” like a crescent moon and star – again, something which is NOT some sort of copyrighted terrorist symbol. It may be ASSOCIATED with Islam, and the flags of Turkey and Pakistan and Tunisia and probably some other countries incorporate them. But once again I have to ask – so what??? Nobody OWNS the moon and stars… if a crescent moon and star is a symbol of terrorism, then we’d all better stop eating Lucky Charms. Those cereal boxes are FULL of crescent moons and stars… And for goodness’ sake – don’t anybody look at the sky unless the moon is full!! Stop pandering to the terrorists!!

Is this how things are going to be from now on? Are we going to see “terrorist” everywhere we look, even in the most innocent of circumstances?? This, I have decided, is pure ridiculosity. Yes, it’s so ridiculously ridiculous that I had to make up an entirely new word to encompass the vast ridiculosity of the situation. (I’ll have to have Faisal, my Made-Up Word Fact Checker, inform me of his comfortability with ridiculosity…)

I think I’ll go buy a Dunkin’ Donuts coffee to show my support for Rachel Ray’s completely innocuous paisley scarf…

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