So, the LGBT community and its allies boycotted Target when we learned that they were donating to anti-LGBT politicians and political groups. And we boycotted Chick-fil-A when we learned that buying a sandwich comes with its own anti-LGBT donation. And some folks — though, not me — boycotted anything Russian in light of Russia’s new anti-LGBT laws and the upcoming Winter Olympics in Russia.
Those are sometimes hard fights to explain because of the rhetoric of those we’re trying to boycott; Gregg Steinhafel, the CEO of Target tried to explain his company’s rationale behind their donations, and Dan Cathy, CEO of Chick-fil-A, basically gave us the Big Foam Finger when asked about his anti-LGBT activities. But rarely do we get smacked in the face so handily, easily, blatantly and unapologetically, as when Guido Barilla, who own the Barilla pasta brand that owns nearly half the Italian pasta market and a quarter of the US market, told an Italian radio host:
“I would never do an advert with a homosexual family…if the gays don’t like it they can go and eat another brand.”
Oh, Guido, honey, we will. Of course then he added:
“For us the concept of the sacred family remains one of the fundamental values of the company. … Everyone has the right to do what they want without disturbing those around them [but] I have no respect for adoption by gay families because this concerns a person who is not able to choose."
And it was on. Barilla became the target of a boycott by the LGBT community and its allies, and other pasta companies began stepping up and announcing that they are pleased as punch to have The Gays eat their noodle, er, noodles. And folks began suggesting that The Gays boycott Barilla — and as I said, we are, we are here in Smallville — and that we also boycott the twenty other brands owned by Guido, including Voiello pasta and Filiz and Misko products.
And then as happens when a CEO steps in it, and the company seems like it’s going to take a rather harsh financial hit, that CEO, steps up and apologizes for what he said:
“I’m sorry if my comments on La Zanzara have created misunderstanding or polemic, or if I’ve offended anyone. In the interview I only wanted to underline the central role of the woman in the family."
If.The.Gays.Don’t.Like.It.They.Can.Go.And.Eat.Another.Brand. That’s what he said. And we didn’t accept his apology, so Guido went on Facebook and began apologizing a second time:
“With reference to my statements yesterday to the press, I apologize if my words have offended some people. For clarity I would like to point out that I have the deepest respect for all people, without distinction of any kind. I have the utmost respect for homosexuals and freedom of expression. I also said, and repeat, that I have respect for marriages between people of the same sex.”
He gave that non-apology-apology, about being sorry if he offended anyone. When will these people, all people, learn that an apology doesn’t ever include and ‘if’ or a ‘but’ and should basically be limited to the words “I’m sorry.” And maybe an “I was wrong” and perhaps an “I’ll shut up now.”
And still The Gays weren’t placated and still more pasts accompanies came out as LGBT-0friendly, and so Guido went all a’Twitter on Twitter, apologizing again:
“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. While we can’t undo recent remarks, we can apologize. To all of our friends, family, employees, and partners that we have hurt or offended, we are deeply sorry.”
That’s a wee bit better but it might have had more impact if that was the first apology and not the third apology.
Now, there is the idea that since Guido Barilla was speaking to Italian radio, in Italian, and In Italy, maybe we shouldn’t be so quick to judge, because in Italy, The Gays are decidedly the underdog, the second-class citizen. But, Barilla said it, and it went out all over the world, and the apologies, while numerous, were often less apologetic and more, Oh sorry that bothered you that you heard what I said but oh well.
Here’s the deal: Guido Barilla, living in a very anti-LGBT country, said some very anti-LGBT things, and then apologized because suddenly he knew his wallet would take a hit. Can we forgive him? Should we forgive him?
I, personally, say No. I mean he doesn’t care for our community, in Italy, or anywhere, and he very succinctly told us that if we don’t like his point-of-view, we can eat some other pasta.
And we are; and we will. Like maybe these ...
It’s always struck me as odd that the Religious Right, the Conservatives, and the Rightwingnuts say that The Gays are out to destroy religion because we’re asking for marriage equality. I’ve never felt that way, or seen any gay person say that, and I’ve yet to read the article where a gay couple is suing, say, the Catholic Church, or the Baptists, because they’re demanding to be married in one of their churches. I’ve yet to see a gay boycott of any one religion because they’re coming down on the wrong side — the anti-equality side — of history.
So this nonsense about The Gays and our fight for marriage equality being used to destroy religion, or persecute the religious, is just that nonsense. See, we don’t really care that the Catholic Church won’t perform same-sex weddings; or the Baptists, or any other church for that matter. You never hear us argue about religious exemption — which says that churches, ministers, pastors, rabbis, priests, cannot be forced into performing same-sex ceremonies — that is written into every marriage equality bill at the behest of the Religious Right, the Conservatives, and the Rightwingnuts. They say The Gays are out to destroy religion because we want to get married when, in fact, they’re the ones destroying their faith because of their anti-equality stance.
How else can we explain that fact that Reverend Ken Kline Smeltzer was fired after performing a same-sex marriage in State College, Pennsylvania, last month. As the pastor for a local Church of the Brethren parish — which he has not identified — he chose to perform the ceremony because his personal beliefs tell him that it’s the right thing to do. And now he’s gone.
Smeltzer married Pike County couple Joseph Davis and Gregory Scalzo on August 19 at the home of State College Mayor Elizabeth Goreham. The couple was one of those that had been issued a marriage license in Montgomery County after Register of Wills Bruce Hanes began issuing them in July.
Mayor Goreham had said she would marry any couple who received a license in Montgomery County, even though she had been advised that, by doing so, she could be perceived as violating her oath of office. So, she called Reverend Smeltzer.
“We were friends. I knew he was an ordained minister. I don’t know if we’d ever spoken about it. He loves to perform weddings and he thought about it and he said yes.” — Mayor Elizabeth Goreham
The day of the wedding Smeltzer offered a typed statement in which he said he had performed the ceremony because he supports marriage equality and because Joseph Davis and Gregory Scalzo “are very much in love and obviously committed to each other.” Afterwards, Smeltzer had said he would be happy, and willing, to perform another same-sex marriage, but he won’t have that chance now, because he’s been fired.
It still strikes me as funny that the Religious Right think that The Gays — in demanding marriage equality — might sue a church, or a pastor, and force them to perform a same-sex wedding ceremony when, in fact, that has never happened. But the church will fire anyone who does perform a so-called gay wedding.
Oh, and remmeber when some of The Gays — not yours truly however — werre singign the praises of pope Frankie because he seemed to be layign out a welcome mat forTeh Gays into the Catholic Church?
Yeah, not so much. See, shortly after Pope Francis made his meaningless comments about same-sex marriage and The Gays, and the United State’s military's extension of benefits to same sex couples, that the Archdiocese for the Military Services issued new rules regarding Catholic chaplains' involvement in same-sex marriages, funerals, and couple's counseling.
They reititerated that — even though The Gays aren’t asking for it, demanding it, requiring it — that military chaplains should not indicate support for marriage equality because, you know, the Catholics hate it, no matter what the Pope might have said. They also affirmed that Catholic military chaplains cannot be forced to witness or bless a same-sex marriage — and again, no one is demanding that — and they are not allowed to even counsel same-sex couples.
We aren’t asking for that; we’ve never asked that, but that isn’t stopping the churches from punishing their own, you know, those who choose to perform a same-sex marriage ceremony. The Gays aren't out to destroy religion, Freedom of Religion or even Freedom from Religion; we would jhust like eqialitu, and if you don't wish to perform our weddign ceremonies, well, I'm failry certain we can find someone who will
Like The Reverend Smeltzer.
Now that Ken has been sent to Anger Management—and no, I don’t mean the Charlie Sheen show on FX—perhaps thee workroom will see less drama and more design. Fingers crossed.
This week is the HP Textile challenge, where the designtestants will create their own print with which to create a design. This is always a favorite challenge because there is always at least one print that looked good on the HP but sucked donkey d**k in real life. Sorry, that had to be said, and said that way.
Tim introduces the designtestants to Rob Le Bras-Brown, the Senior VP of … echo chamber … HP Worldwide wide wide Marketing to talk about the challenge and explain the ubiquitous twist: the designers will be paired up with a group of innovators who will serve as their muses and inspirations, but not, oh lord thank god, their models.
The innovators include, Nigel Sylvester, a professional BMX rider who teams up with Bradon; Ilana Greenberg, creative Director at graphic magazine GD USA, who inspires Alexandria; Tiago Silva, a delicious looking executive pastry chef who bakes a cake — and that is not a double entendre, sadly — with Alexander; Maria Gonzalez, who created Girls Who Code, a nonprofit that teaches computer science to young women, goes with Kate. Nonprofit co-founder and Miss USA 2012 Nana Meriweather is picked by Justin, while Premal Sha, co-founder of crowdfunding network Kiva is paired with Dom, and finally artist Ryan Keeley is teamed with child of artists Helen.
Like I said, no drama this week, except for Helen’s near constant questioning of what she’s doing, what she should do, what she did, and how much she doesn’t like prints.
Build a bridge and get over it, and then … lets’ rip …
She loved her look; she said it had something to do with whitewashed bricks from a restaurant that was destroyed by Hurricane Sandy.
I say Hurricane Sandy must have sat in the mid-Atlantic for a spell, turned tail, headed back to La Grande Apple and spun into Parson’s and ruined Alexandria’s look.
If there had been a bottom four, this sloppy, WTF looking mothereffer of an outfit would have been there.
Lordy, the weeping and the crying, sounded like me on my wedding night … kidding. I’m gay in South Carolina, I can’t get married!
She hates prints, she hates making decisions, and she is a question machine. And, with the exception of Dom and Kate—who had her own tissues, er, issues, to deal with—all the other designers were like, STFU and sew, bitch.
And sew she did, with a print that she said represented her muse, an abstract artist, but all I got was an Old Navy patriotic retread. I mean, the design was cool; the crop top and the almost-to-the-floor skirt were kind of cool, but the print was not at all representative of an abstract artist.
Heidi liked the print, calling it pat-triotic — loved that accent; and she loved the bare midriff though she called Helen out on the tightness through the model’s Size Zero hips. The Adorable Zac Posen™ liked that it was two pieces and thought it cool. Nina Garcia — Welcome Back Diva, I missed you last week — liked it; she liked the paring of the ecru Mood fabric and the white print fabric, which made the look seem both vintage and modern. Guest judge, fashion designer Peter Som liked that it was Star Spangled Hipster.
The Adorable Zac Posen™ said the ivory — um Zac? If Nina ‘Effing’ Garcia calls it ecru, it ecru-u-u-u-u — and white could have gone horribly wrong but did not. He also remarked that it looked like a 1930s pinup and I had to wonder what in the hell that meant. Nina, again, loved the ecru and white, but announced that the shoulder was her favorite part. Heidi again said she loved the crop top.
Helen is safe.
He almost blew it because he created this bird’s eye view of a cityscape as his print — and everyone thought it looked too plaid — and was planning on a head-to-toe outfit out of it, until Tim stopped him cold with a ‘rethink’ moment.
So, Bradon rethought, and used the print to create a very cool bomber jacket paired with an extremely form-fitting and oh-so-sexy two piece dress underneath. It was a mighty save and I think Bradon owes Tim a Muffin Basket or two. My only complaint is that I thought the dress — not made with the print — was the best part of the whole look.
Heidi called the print modern, and said she could see how it was inspired by a BMX rider racing through the city; she called the simple black dress cool and hot. Peter Som said the dress was sick, and the use of the print on an iconic bomber jacket was great. Nina also loved Bradon’s print, calling the entire look sporty and chic, while The Adorable Zac Posen™ said the entire look was ‘now’.
Heidi said he was a thoughtful designer, and that the look was edgy and cool, while The Adorable Zac Posen™ loved both the print and the fabric used in the dress. Peter Som went all Rainman and kept muttering That dress is sick That dress is sick That dress is sick
Bradon is also safe.
Instantly Dom began saying this was her challenge and, well, that generally means you’re going home, but, as it turns out, this really was her challenge. She decided to pay up the crowdfunding connectivity aspect of her muse by creating intersecting connecting lines, but in abstract forms and bold colors.
It worked. It was kind of Japanese anime looking — as are most of the great things Dom creates — but it was also very earthy and global looking. Oh, and sexy, even though there was almost no skin showing, save for a small v-neck in the back.
The Adorable Zac Posen™ said it was "Runway ready" and said he loved the way the print on the back of the sleeves looked like butterfly wings; if he was a woman, he said he’d wear it, and I think he’d look Pia Z’adorable in it anyway. Nina agreed that this was a challenge made for Dom and she really ran with it. She called it tribal and current and loved the styling on the model. Peter Som said it could have gone costume, but looked more global, while Heidi called it dynamic and fashion-forward.
Heidi again said it was great, and Peter Som loved that it had great thought behind it; The Adorable Zac Posen™ said her talent shone through and he loved her enthusiasm for the challenge, and Nina simply called it beautiful. Dom wins; and she deserved it.
He met Miss America and she talked about her work in Africa with children. Justin was inspired by her love for the children and used the sign language symbol for I love you as his inspiration. When the print arrived, Alexander said it looked kind of alien, and Justin said he saw an x-ray; Alexander said, ‘An X-ray of an alien.’
And it did look kind of X-rayish and macabre, and that worried me; it also worried me that Justin was doing a gown since the last gown he made got him booted, until Tim saved him. Could this be Justin’s rebooting?
Heidi hated the see-through construction where the skirt met the bodice, though she loved the print; she thought it not cool, and, um, yeah, old fart-y. Nina wished he’d made a short dress out of only the print, and said, "From the waist up she looks fabulous and sexy. From the waist down it's just very drab." Peter Som also liked the print but said the bottom half was depressed and could benefit from therapy. Is that a real job because I could rock some dress therapy. The Adorable Zac Posen™ also wished for more print and said the transition from top to bottom was sloppy, like a snake shedding its skin.
The Adorable Zac Posen™ called it a cheap pageant dress in Miami and again I wondered what the hell he was talking about; I think he’s just throwing things out for a soundbite now. Nina again loved the print but hated the bottom half of the dress. Peter Som said the gray overlay on the bottom looked dirty, like LA smog — not a look most women long for — and Heidi looked at it and said, “I love you … until here.”
Justin, though, is safe.
First off, Alexander wins Line Of The Night with his runway confession: "Even though I'm super gay I've never decorated a cake."
Unfortunately, he doesn’t win anything else. His inspiration — sadly, not the hot Tiago — was the lace chocolate bits at the top of the cake he baked — again, not a double entendre — with Tiago, but the pattern looked like brown quilt to me. And then he made a giant white cross across the front — because his last name is Pope, though I’m guessing he was clutching at his pearls and saying anything to stay safe. It wasn’t good; it wasn’t a cake walk. It fell flat. I’ll stop.
Heidi did not see cake in the print and said it was not sexy; she called the stripes leftover masking tape. The Adorable Zac Posen™ said there was no cake at all, but he did like the shape of the dress; he dubbed her a chocolate Cult Leader. Peter Som said it looked like two different recipes that don’t work together; the silhouette was nice but the dress seemed stiff. Nina, on the other hand, liked the brown quiltiness of the print, but she thought the model was too covered up, as though she’d eaten an entire cake.
Heidi: “I see tape. The Adorable Zac Posen™ says it was not a holy experience.
Alexander gets Auf’d.
Her muse was a computer expert, and Kate wanted to create a kind of floral binary code; a flower from far away, and computer code up close. I thought it was a brilliant idea and then Kate went to work creating not one, not two, not three, but perhaps four or more looks in one dress.
Her print, which had the possibility of being very cool didn’t work in large scale. The floral print was lost and it was too light to notice anything else. So, that’s why Kate added coffee filter pleats and squashed boobies and a cowgirl belt. I guess she’d hoped to distract the judges by using everything but he kitchen sink—and that was only because she couldn’t find a wrench and a plumber.
Nina said, “Oh god.” And it went downhill from there. She asked how many pleats were on the dress and when Kate said ‘five’ Nina said it was five too many. And the belt, she asked, ‘Why? WHY?’ Too many elements and none of them work — like that rap song, 99 problems and a bitch’s pleat ain’t one. Peter Som said he couldn’t see the print for the pleats, and noted that it looked like the model fell into a Kleenex box, and that the model’s bust needed to be set free, girl. The Adorable Zac Posen™ said there was so much wrong from print to fabrication; it’s sad. Heidi, goddess love her, cut to the chase, “It’s ugly. It really is.”
Heidi asked, ‘What happened? It’s so badly made.’ The Adorable Zac Posen™ again said there was too much going on and for a Print Challenge this look was not at all about the print.
Kate is the Second Aufee.
Who thought her trip to The Tents couldn’t wait
She created a dress
And ‘Oy, what a mess.’
The print and the pleats sealed her fate
Thank you very much! Thank you! Thank you!
But I can almost bet Kate will return for a third attempt at The Tents with another episode of PR: All-Stars. Bet on it.
Now it seems quite clear that The Tents will be Bradon — and again, there was a glimpse of his gorgeous dancer’s butt jogging thought the workroom — and Dom. Helen, if she doesn’t continue melting down could make it, while Alexandra, always a Safe Bridesmaid never a Winning Bride, is treading water. Justin, if he stays away from gowns — or really knocks a gown out of the park — could show, too.