Dunkin’ Nonsense, by Mike Gold

Mike Gold

ComicMix's award-winning and spectacularly shy editor-in-chief Mike Gold also performs the weekly two-hour Weird Sounds Inside The Gold Mind ass-kicking rock, blues and blather radio show on The Point, www.getthepointradio.com and on iNetRadio, www.iNetRadio.com (search: Hit Oldies) every Sunday at 7:00 PM Eastern, rebroadcast three times during the week – check www.getthepointradio.com above for times and on-demand streaming information.

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19 Responses

  1. Russ Rogers says:

    This was a recent posting to my MySpace Blog. Literally nobody reads my MySpace Blog, so I'm reposting it here. ( http://www.myspace.com/rockingjam ) The blog is basically copies of letters I sent to Michele Malkin and Dunking Donuts. I've included their e-mail addresses (and mine) in case you might what to make your own direct impressions.Rachel Ray and the ScarfCategory: News and PoliticsFor those of you who haven't heard, Dunkin' Donuts recently pulled an ad featuring Rachel Ray because in the ad she wears a keffiyeh, a traditional middle eastern scarf.You can read about it here: Rachael Ray, Dunkin' Donuts and the Keffiyeh Kerfufflehttp://news.yahoo.com/s/uc/20080528/cm_uc_crmmax/…Here are some responses I made to Michelle Malkin and Dunkin' Donuts.From: rockingjamboree@aol.comTo: malkinblog@gmail.com; customerservice@dunkinbrands.comSent: Fri, 30 May 2008 3:17 pmSubject: Fwd: Rachel Ray and the ScarfDear Michelle Malkin,I don't know you as a writer. My first experience with your writing was "Rachael Ray, Dunkin' Donuts and the Keffiyeh Kerfuffle." I am not impressed.You're equating a keffiyeh with a Klan hood seems like convoluted hyperbole. Klan hoods have never been a traditional, everyday garment in any part of the world. The garment that most closely resembles the Klan hood and robe is the burqa. But I doubt Klansmen are trying to mimic that traditional garb. The scarf that Rachel Ray wore didn't have any Arabic inscription on it. It was not a political statement. It was a scarf. You imply that anybody who wears a keffiyeh is sending a message of comfort to terrorists, intentionally or unwittingly. You are branding a LARGE portion of the world as being dupes or terrorist sympathizers. How did the keffiyeh become "hate couture?" Did you coin that phrase, or is there actually someone else who is trying to define what hate fashion is? I can agree that Klan hoods and swastika armbands are hate couture. The keffiyeh is a traditional head wrap and scarf.You make a list of people who have been seen wearing a keffiyeh : Venezuela's Hugo Chavez, Spain's Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean, Hollywood darlings Colin Farrell, Sienna Miller and Kirsten Dunst, and rapper Kanye West have all been photographed in endless variations on the distinctive hate couture. So has Meghan McCain, daughter of the GOP presidential candidate, who really ought to know better given that her dad positions himself as the candidate best equipped to "confront the transcendent challenge of our time: the threat of radical Islamic terrorism."How did Howard Dean, Kirsten Dunst and Meghan McCain become radical Islamic terrorists? I bet Howard Dean, Chairman Mao, Charles Manson, Adolf Hitler, George W. Bush and Osama bin Ladden have all drunk water. Is "water" the drink of radical terrorism? Did you know that in many communities in the United States our water supply has been tainted with fluoride? What do you make of this conspiracy?I think that you are selling fear. I think that your logic is twisted. I think that your "guilt by association" tactics are reminiscent of McCarthyism and the Red Scare.Here's another reason Rachel Ray may have donned a keffiyeh. When you think of "coffee" what places come to mind? Well there is "Columbian Coffee," and "Arabian Coffee." Rachel Ray was trying to sell … coffee. So, it would seem natural for her to wear something that had an "Arabian" feel. Since, as you point out in your opinion piece, the keffiyeh is becoming trendy and fashionable, it would make sense for Rachel Ray to wear one. Nothing overly traditional, maybe something with a paisley design. It's a scarf! It's Rachel Ray. Do you really think Rachel Ray is a "threat of radical Islamic terrorism!" By the way, terrorists are no more Islamic, for hiding behind the Koran, than the KKK are examples of Christians, because they enjoy burning crosses.Wait a second! Columbia and the Middle East are both hot beds of terrorism and unrest in the world. Maybe COFFEE is the drink of radical terrorism! Maybe you should write an opinion piece on that.I've included a letter I wrote to Dunkin' Donuts on this subject. I basically called them cowards for capitulation to fear mongering nut jobs. It's strong language. But I'm willing to stand by it. They appear to be cowards and (on this subject, which is my only experience with your writing) you appear to be a nut job.Yours,Russ Rogers—–Original Message—–From: rockingjamboree@aol.comTo: customerservice@dunkinbrands.comSent: Fri, 30 May 2008 1:50 pmSubject: Rachel Ray and the ScarfDear Dunkin' Donuts,I haven't been able to view the full advertisement featuring Rachel Ray wearing a keffiyeh. Was the only "offensive" thing about the ad the scarf? How many complaints did Dunkin' Donuts receive before you decided to pull the ad? How do you track these things? Did Rachel Ray think that pulling the ad was a good idea? Did you ask her?Do you really think that Rachel Ray was trying to make a political statement in your ad? I realize Dunkin' Donuts was just trying to sell Coffee drinks. That is your main concern, sales. You didn't sign up to be at the center of any geo-political-social controversy. It just looks like you easily folded to pressure from some fear mongering nut jobs. By pulling the ad, you are sending the message: "Yes, we made a mistake in hiring Rachel Ray. She tried to make a statement in support of terrorism. And when this was brought to our attention, we pulled the ad."Are you tying to imply that anyone who wears Arabic clothing or Arabian influenced fashion is sending a message of comfort to terrorists? That seems silly and frankly, a tad racist. And good luck trying to sell franchises or donuts in Dubai with that idea running around.I know Dunkin' Donuts isn't in the business of making political statements. But you have unwittingly made one. The statement I am hearing is that Dunkin' Donuts are cowards, more interested in how things "might" get misconstrued by a tiny minority of bloggers and media mavens than in standing by the truth. It was a scarf. There is NO terrorist threat in Rachel Ray or any scarf she might wear. Anyone suggesting that seems delusional. You have capitulated to delusional fear mongering. That is wrong.This is a PR nightmare for you. You didn't make it. You tried to quietly make it go away. That didn't work. What is your strategy going be now?The point of advertising is to leave a good impression with the customer. So far my lasting impression of Dunkin' Donuts and their coffee: "Weak."I hope you can find a speedy and honorable solution to this situation.Please let me know if I can help.Yours,Russ Rogers

  2. Kathleen David says:

    I have never seen a paisley keffiyeh in my life because they don't exist. She is wearing a black and white scarf with a pattern which has fringe.I have worn a keffiyeh as a scarf and found them quite comfortable. Nothing political about it.

    • Mike Gold says:

      I've worn ties and found them quite uncomfortable. But since all kinds of lunatics wear ties, I'm giving them up.To be fair, though, I've got a bar mitzvah to attend in Boston this Saturday, and I probably won't wear a keffiyeh.

    • Russ Rogers says:

      I agree. I doubt there are many paisley keffiyeh about. I doubt Rachel Ray was wearing a paisley design. I would describe the pattern as more of a "shepherd's plaid." But I was quoting Dunkin' Donuts, via Michelle Malkin: "Thank you for expressing your concern about the Dunkin' Donuts advertisement with Rachael Ray. In the ad that you reference, Rachael is wearing a black-and-white silk scarf with a paisley design that was purchased at a U.S. retail store. It was selected by the stylist for the advertising shoot. Absolutely no symbolism was intended. However, given the possibility of misperception, we will no longer use the commercial."Michelle Malkin seems very concerned whether the scarf was purchased at Urban Outfitters or not. It seems that Michelle has decreed that Urban Outfitters are purveyors of hate couture, and so anybody who buys anything there is guilty by association. Maybe this is because Urban Outfitters marketed their keffiyeh in the U.S. as "Anti-War Scarves." Urban Outfitters started politicizing the scarf in a case of crass marketing. I hate to say this, but this bit of pandering by Urban Outfitters actually legitimizes Michelle Malkin's deranged thinking. If the scarves were marketed as political statements, then it can become very important where the scarf was bought and if it was worn as a marketed political statement.BTW, Urban Outfitters was pressured into pulling it's Anti-War Scarves from the U.S. market. But they are still available on their Euro web site! But there is no mention on the Euro site that the scarves are "keffiyeh" or "anti-war."http://www.urbanoutfitters.co.uk/invt/57524252765…Here, David and Young are marketing the scarf as a "Peace Scarf."http://www.davidandyoung.com/hotNew_info.php?info…I'm sorry, David and Young, this is no more a "Peace Scarf," than it is "hate couture."Here is a funny and insightful commentary made on this. They claim Rachel Ray shouldn't have worn the scarf, not because of any political misstatement, but because the fashion micro-trend that was keffiyeh is already so last year.http://culturite.wordpress.com/2008/05/28/dunkin-…Here's an article from the New York Times that gives some history on the keffiyeh and declares that the fashion trend is officially dead. And yes, the article is more than a year old!http://www.nytimes.com/2007/02/11/fashion/shows/1…Just to bring this full circle, D&Y Peace scarves are available for sale at Newbury Comics in Cambridge, Massachusetts! http://www.flickr.com/photos/wayneandwax/25319694… Newbury Comics is also offering a free signed issue of The Dark Tower with every hardcover copy of the graphic novel you purchase on line! (I put this link in for Kathleen. How's that for synchronicity!) http://www.newburycomics.com/rel/v2_home.php?stor

  3. Rick Taylor says:

    When trying to be poltically corect goes wrong horribly and out of it's way…on the next Oprah.

  4. mike weber says:

    The Rather Strange comic strip The New Adventures of Queen Victoria hit this one last week for three strips beginning with http://www.gocomics.com/thenewadventuresofqueenvi…Worth looking at, i think; i especially liked the final punchline…

  5. Vinnie Bartilucci says:

    Has Dunkin' Donuts announced they'll be stopping the sale of arabian coffee? How about the sale of Camels cigarettes?I've said it before…if we could build an engine that ran on offense, we could tell all of the Middle East where to get off, and we'd be a major exporting nation again.Michelle Malkin had one goal with her comment; to promote Michelle Malkin. Mission accomplished. I remember the Death of Superman plotline, where Mike Carlin called Doomsday "an interstellar madman". A group of psychiatrists (with a letterhead – no one will pay attention to you if you don't have a letterhead) made the news by taking offense to the use of the word "madman". So when I went in to interview Mike for Wizard about the upcoming story, he started his talk with "We don't know a whole lot about Doomsday, but one thing we know for sure is he's NOT a madman!"If I knew anything about video editing and stuff, I'd totally take that commercial, change the scarf to a flag, and throw some fireworks in the background for good measure.

    • Mike Gold says:

      "Michelle Malkin had one goal with her comment; to promote Michelle Malkin. Mission accomplished."Hmmm… I wonder how many readers she'll pick up off of this piece. That'd be kinda cool, knowing the, ah, type of person who tends to read my column… at least, read it for a while."I remember the Death of Superman plotline, where Mike Carlin called Doomsday "an interstellar madman". A group of psychiatrists (with a letterhead – no one will pay attention to you if you don't have a letterhead) made the news by taking offense to the use of the word "madman""Yeah, I remember this. I think ComicMix Media Goddess Martha was handling that one at DC back then. You know, anybody with a computer and a laser printer can have a letterhead.OR a diploma.

    • Martha Thomases says:

      Actually, it was not a group of psychiatrists, but a group of people who were defending the rights and reputations of mental patients. Sort of like GLAAD or the NAACP, and I was almost sympathetic to them until they published Louise Simonson's home address and phone number.

  6. Martha Thomases says:

    I don't know. They were crazy.

  7. Vinnie Bartilucci says:

    Back in late 2001, the Peace sign was considered an Anti-American symbol, suggesting you were not in favor of The War On Terror. Actress, political radical and now-scary-looking-woman Susan Sarandon flashed a peace sign while stepping up to the podium at an awards show, and was pilloried the next day for politicizing the event.Woefully underappreciated comedic actress Amanda Bynes had a film coming out at the time, and on the poster, she was flashing a peace sign. After much controversy, the poster was pulled, the offending hand gesture was removed, and the film made approximately no money.And I believe we've already discussed the American Flag Pin requirement elsewhere on the site.What I'd love to see is for one politician to suggest (maybe on April 1 to give people a fair shot) that to avoid future accusations of un-patriotism and remove it as a "trick" to be used by opponents in campaigns, that government employees sign some sort of document or oath declaring their love for the country, one they can reference should they forget to wear their pin one day and save the trouble. JUST to see if anyone suggests it's a bad idea. Kind of the legislative equipment of submitting "Everybody Comes to Rick's" to literary agents and see who kicks it back as unfilmable.

    • Mike Gold says:

      I've started wearing a Chicago city flag label pin. If I'm expected to show my support of a fixed system, at least I'll support a fixed system that sort of works.