Friday, April 3, 2015

Indiana's Little Pizza Shop Of Horrors

Memories Pizza in Indiana played the culture
wars well, and were rewarded with nearly $500,000
in GoFundMe loot.  
I hope the owners of Memories Pizza in Indiana are pleased as punch that they signed on to the nation's long running culture wars.

The people who run the place decided to get on TV and talk about their bigotry (they say Christianity), making themselves a target for all the yahoos out there, and then playing the martyr card when the yahoos inevitably attacked.

They've got the playbook down pat, don't they?

Here's the backstory: As you probably heard, Indiana is in an uproar because the governor, Mike Pense, signed legislation called the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

Though the backers of the law denied it, the new legislation went beyond somewhat similar, existing laws in other  jurisdiction and pretty much opened the door for businesses to turn gay people away because some business owners' religious beliefs say that gay people are scummy.

Or something like that.

Amid cries of boycotts, and the business establishment canceling expansions, hiring and events over the uproar, the law was just "modified" a bit to make it a tiny bit less discriminatory.

The owners of the pizza place, Crystal O'Connor and her father Kevin O'Connor,  came forward the other day and said their restaurant is a "Christian establishment" and thusly favored the law as it was originally signed by Pense, because they wouldn't want to be forced to cater a gay wedding because they don't believe in the "homosexual lifestyle," whatever that is.

I'm not sure there's any gay couples out there who think their dream wedding is one catered with pizza from Memories Pizza, but what do I know?

They would, grudgingly, serve a gay couple if they came into the restaurant and just wanted a pizza. But for all I know they'd spit in their pizza.

By announcing to the world that they favored discrimination against gay people, the owners of Memories Pizza had to have known they would put themselves in the middle of a huge shitstorm.

And boy did they ever.

The backlash against Memories Pizza was, well, memorable, but also predictable. All kinds of off-color, crude, and very negative Yelp reviews went up, the restaurant's web site was hacked, and the restaurant owners got the inevitable death threats.

Because trolls of all stripes, be they liberal, conservative or neither, have their go-to button. Anytime they remotely dislike something or someone, they let the death threats fly.

As if that would accomplish anything.

Of course, the pizza place shut down in the face of the threats, and stupid pranks like ordering pizza they have no intention of actually buying.

The idiots that issued the threats enabled the pizza restaurant owners to play that martyr card, that all gay people were fascists who wanted to take over the world.

The pizza joint established a GoFundMe page to garner donations from like minded people (some say mouth breathing knuckle draggers, you decide) to stay afloat. At last check they'd collected something like $485,000, probably more than that by now.

I bet the owners of Memories Pizza are already packing their bags for a nice vacation to Cabu with that loot.

I have no idea how financially stable Memories Pizza was before all this started. It might have been making money like gangbusters, or it could have been about to fall off a monetary cliff. Who knows?

But you've got to hand it to the people who run this pizza joint. They certainly took full advantage of a Big Public Controversy.

They got their own bully pulpit, so they could attempt to bully people they don't like, as prescribed by their so-called "Christian" beliefs. And they get a ton of free money to boot.

I don't know if Memories Pizza people thought this through ahead of time as a money making scheme, but it sure worked out that way.

Yes, they were probably genuinely frightened by the idiots issuing their threats and probably didn't think their public comments would blow up to be a national story.

The anti-gay bigots win big, too. They can point to Memories Pizza and say anytime they come down on the side of what they call righteousness, "Big Gay" will threaten them into silence, and take away their free speech rights.

Of course, anytime you say something, the First Amendment doesn't give you any protection from people criticizing it.

Plus, there's always a few idiots among the mostly peaceful, normal people who don't like anti-gay bigotry.  The idiots who issue threats are the ones that get all the attention, because they're not about anti-gay bigotry, they're all about getting attention. Morons.

Death threats are always, always wrong. I've always wondered why they're not prosecuted more vigorously.

The anti-gay activists can also claim, falsely, that the bundles of money Memories got via GoFundMe proves that everybody in America hates the gays, just like them.

Though the corporations that rebelled against the "religious rights" law know a majority of people don't like this type of discrimination. It's bad for business.

But, Memories Pizza sure captured a niche here. There are a fair number of people out there who Hate The Gays.

In terms of making bundles of money and becomin a poster child "martyr" for the radical Christian right, well played, Memories Pizza!

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