Friday, February 29, 2008

FOWL Language

By Tony Mazur

(F.Y.I., I did not come up with the pun in the title. I'm like Dane Cook.)

Sheetz is a chain of gas stations based out of Altoona, Pennsylvania, and holds locations in Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, Ohio, and, of course, Pennsylvania. Sheetz is not necessarily known for their quality of gas, but for their convenience stores. Each store features gourmet coffee and various types of "made-to-order" sandwiches. A very popular chicken sandwich is not only known for its taste, but for its "controversial" advertisements.

People are coming down on Sheetz for their new billboards, titled "Crispy Frickin' Chicken" (seen below). Some are offended by these ads because "Frickin'" is a tamer version of the 'F' word. A spokeswoman says the campaign is geared towards young adults, since many Sheetz stores are located in college towns.

For some reason, the Dignitaries of this blog (un)intentionally created themes for their posts. Jason's revolve around the NFL Draft. Rick's posts discuss the loathsome upcoming election. Nate has uncovered the career of Jean Schmidt. And I have addressed the revolting world of political correctness.

I cannot stand the people who find this offensive. I understand that "frickin'" really implies the 'F' word, but in this case, it's out of context. "Frickin'" rhymes with "chicken", and that's why they chose this slogan for their as campaign. I'm personally not into that cornball, cheesy humor, but it's clever, I guess.

I actually know people who get offended by this word being used in real life. Those are the same folks who use words like "shoot", "heck", "ticked off", and "darn". Aren't those tamer versions of the dirty word?

I don't know what's worse; those who are easily offended by what they hear or see, or the company that caves to them. We've seen that in the radio industry with Don Imus and other (white) hosts and DJs. In this case, Sheetz has pulled the ad campaign and will have the billboards taken down. If I were the CEO of Sheetz, Inc., I would tell them to screw off and go bother GLAAD. I applaud Andrew Puzder, CEO of a West Coast-based fast food restaurant Carl's Jr., for told the Parents Television Council to "get a life" after the uproar over their "provocative" Paris Hilton commercials.

I will play Devil's advocate here. Say "Crispy Frickin' Chicken" offends me. Others are not offended by this slogan, saying that it's just a word. Why aren't other people offended by this, but why is racial humor still looked down upon? We're all heard the 'N' word thousands of times. Why aren't we, as Americans, desensitized to this word?

Censorship is disgusting, and we need to do something about it. Well, not we, because I'm not offended by anything. The Nazis did FAR WORSE harm to my ancestors than white people did to black people pre-1930. That is why my family fled Poland during World War II. And I've heard every Polish joke in the book, and I'm not offended. As a matter of fact, I'll join in on a yuk or two. So let's toughen up our skin, okay folks?

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