Skip to content

Into the Babel Fray

July 29, 2012

Dude, Your Blog Title Makes No Sense

Yeah, I’m aware of that.  Bear with me, it will.  I promise.

I’ve wanted to blog about the recent friction surrounding the fast food chain Chick-Fil-A and the rather polarizing comments made by the CEO Dan Cathy.  WHOA!  Don’t click away, this one isn’t another political rant, I promise.

Still with me?  Okay, good.  Here’s a brief history of the story as it unfolded:

  • July 17: Dan Cathy makes the now infamous “guilty as charged” statement, saying he and the company supported the “Biblical definition of the family unit.”
  • July 18-19: Dan Cathy continues to stand by his comment, with a greater explanation of his beliefs coming in a newspaper interview.
  • July 20: Jim Henson Company announces that it will no longer partner with Chick-Fil-A, and that CEO Lisa Henson will donate the payment they received from Chick-Fil-A for the kids meal toy licensing to GLAAD.
  • July 19?: Chick-Fil-A pulls all the Henson finger puppet toys from its kids meals.  The company posts signs in all locations stating that “as of 07/19/2012, Chick-Fil-A has voluntarily recalled all of the Jim Henson’s Creature Shop Puppet Kids Meal toys due to a possible safety issue.”

Okay, that’s the important stuff.  There’s a lot more, like politicians on both sides of this issue either vilifying or standing beside the fast food chain, but I don’t want to get into all that.  I will say this: was anyone actually surprised by the comments?  Chick-Fil-A is based in the heart of the Bible belt, they’re closed on Sundays, and Dan Cathy has been closely linked to a number of conservative politicians, as well as a number of ministries.  The thing here is that his political views really went without saying.  That is, until he opened his big mouth and said them.  What a fuckmuppet.  Wait… no… not Muppet.  Sorry, Jim Henson Company.

Along Came Abby

The next weird twist on the story came as people on Facebook were jumping on a news article about the timing of the toy recall.  You see, nobody can really remember seeing anything about Chick-Fil-A pulling back the finger puppets until AFTER the Jim Henson Company made it’s public announcement.  The recall is DATED one day before the Jim Henson Company made their statement, but did the recall really come first?  Then again, would a finger puppet recall even BE noteworthy before the Henson Company made it’s statement?  Probably not, even if a recall of a finger puppet for a “safety issue” seems a bit dubious.

So, the ‘socialites’ of social media were making rather anti-Chick-Fil-A comments on Facebook, when who should come to the company’s rescue than a cute lil’ redhead teenage girl named Abby Farle.  She was totally standing behind the company, saying that the recall DEFINITELY came before the Jim Henson Company announcement.   How does she know?  Because, her friend “went to chickfila 3 weeks ago and there was no toys. derr”  Then, it was quickly noted that this cute young lass only joined Facebook 8 hours before making the comments.  It was further noticed that her picture was a stock photo for sale on Shutterstock.com.  Oops.  Here’s the exchange, per Buzzfeed:

For a larger version of this exchange, click the Buzzfeed link above the pic.

This forced Chick-Fil-A to respond that it had nothing to do with the fake Facebook account.  And… you know… I actually believe them.  Why?  Not because it was so poorly executed, as I think the old boys club which is Chick-Fil-A would fail miserably at managing social media.  And not because the flippant teenage girl “derr” seems oddly out of line with the random inclusion of a Bible verse from her previous post (“check your info Chris… John 3:16”  What??  The recall of finger puppets was foretold in the BIBLE?!  I gotta re-read that verse!)  No, I believe Chick-Fil-A because Lil’ Abby’s comments were out of line with the company stance that the recall came on July 19th… not 3 weeks ago as Abby claims.   That sort of silly error wouldn’t slide by, no matter how poorly the rest of the fake account was handled.

BUT… after all this… we come to the POINT of the post.  That is:

The CrakGenius Guide to Creating a Fake Facebook Account to Promote Your Company

Part 1: Name Your Character Carefully

When making a fake Facebook account to promote the horrible political views of your company, it’s important to select a good name so that people can relate to your fictional character.  Abby Farle was a pretty good name, because Abigail is a relatively popular name for teenage girls today, and Abby would be a fairly believable nickname for someone with that name.  However, I think there were better options available.

For example, did you consider the clever use of anagram to create a name?  Abby Farle COULD be an anagram, but I doubt it.  It doesn’t unscramble into anything particularly interesting besides Blab Faery and, as I included in the title to this blog post, Babel Fray (OH!  Now it TOTALLY makes sense!  You’re welcome).  Also Feral Baby… and the Feral Babies are a band with a Facebook account.  Coincidence!?  Uhm, actually, yeah.  Probably.  So, using the great possibilities that anagrams provide, here are some options:

Cilia Hicks-Fright (a.k.a. Chick Fil A is right)

Moire Anga-Gray (a.k.a. No gay marriage)

Moraine Thick (a.k.a. Eat Mor Chikin)

Part 2: Steer Clear of Shutterstock

How many people do you know that have a perfectly professionally photographed Facebook profile picture.  Okay, excluding porn stars and pages intended to redirect you to porn pages.  The answer is: practically none.  The picture should be BELIEVABLE.  And, at the same time, should be something that nobody in their right mind would claim for their own.  I offer a number of possibilities here:

Option A: Bad Yearbook Pictures

There’s a website for this, as a matter of fact, called Badyearbookphotos.com (how obvious is that, right?).  I offer a couple of options from that site here:

Yeah, like, I totes give Chick-Fil-A a thumbs up. Derr!

Would anyone claim the rights to that picture?  I doubt it!  Or how about this gem…

Who likes Chick-Fil-A? THIS GUY!!!!

Option B: People In Costume

Another direction to go would be to have someone in full costume, thereby making it difficult to actually tell who the person is.  Might I suggest a nice LARP’er:

WHOA!  No. Wrong.  That’s not the spokesperson you want for your right-wing viewpoint… let’s try another, shall we?

What Ho, brethren! Whom shall lay their steel alongside mine own and Eat Mor Chikin with me!

See?  That one’s perfect.  Because the majority of his face is covered.  And you could include a bunch of LARP pictures on his wall before you go all supporting the corporate cause.  All people could really say is, “who is this LARP nerd and why is he supporting Chick-Fil-A?”  To which you obviously respond, “MAN THE CATAPULTS!  To the breach!  To the wall!  To the last man, we shall fight for freedom.  Freedom, and ye delicious CHICKEN SANDWICHES!”  That’ll not only confuse the hell out of people, but really put an end to all conversation in general.

Option C: Mug Shots

At this point, you may be wondering, “as a devious corporation creating a fictitious Facebook account, do I really want to go using horrible mug shots of criminals to promote my views on social media?”  The answer is YES.  These shots are perfect.  They allow you to get the sort of pictures which are un-doctored enough to be believable.  They’re done without the lighting, makeup, and airbrushing which makes Shutterstock photos just so unbelievable.  Also, if you’re wondering where to even FIND mug shots of non-celebrities, they’re usually a matter of public record.  Sheriff Joe has gone a step farther, making a mug-shot-of-the-day contest on the MCSO webpage.  Here’s a couple of examples:

Wait… I wouldn’t expect a woman with a multi-colored mohawk to really support the ultra-conservative political views of a company like Chick-Fil-A.  And, that’s the point.  She would be the LAST person you would expect to support the cause.  She’s a spitfire, that Moraine Thick.  Just when you think you know what she’ll say, she’s all, BAM… “They recalled the puppets FIRST, dumbass.  Also, go read John 3:16 and stop being a fucktard.”  Whew.  What attitude!  Another option:

Nick Emethic (a.k.a. Chicken Time)

Hmmm… Nick seems a little lost in thought there.  But one thing you CAN’T say about this picture is that it looks like a stock photo.  And, if the gray background bothers you, you could always just Photoshop that out. You could.  I can’t, because I don’t have Photoshop.  But even I can spruce this up with the use of good ol’ Microsoft Paint.  See?

Okay… yeah.  I’ll admit, that may be a tad on the obvious side.  I was really thinking of just photoshopping in the standard “bathroom mirror” that appears in most profile pics.

Part 3: Timing is Everything

The final, and most important lesson to learn from dear Abby Farle’s cautionary tale is this: don’t wait until the shit hits the fan.  The time to create your fictitious Facebook account is NOW.  Don’t wait until your CFO is caught defrauding the company and cooking the books.  Don’t wait until your drive-thru attendant is caught spitting in someone’s Mr. Pibb on camera.  And definitely don’t wait until your CEO makes broad sweeping generalizations about your company’s opinion on a polarizing political hot-button issue.  Make that fake Facebook account today, and have that sucker in your back pocket to stand up for your company when you need him or her most.

You’re welcome.

This has been a public service, provided by yours truly, Gauche Stinker (a.k.a. The CrakGenius).

Advertisements

From → Blogs

7 Comments
  1. Not that I don’t love this post of yours, but I’m now obsessed with the bad yearbook photo website.

    • I know.. I wish there were more of them. Seriously, someone, loan me a scanner and a yearbook! There’s certainly no shortage of nominees in any yearbook I’ve ever seen.

  2. This is an excellent guide. I look forward to creating imaginary costumed minions for my future business endeavors.

    Also anagrams are fun.

    – Sacs Cat Air Jinn

  3. I spent hours playing with the Internet Anagram Server the other night. Seriously… hours… with a friend online making random anagrams out of our names and other random phrases. I know, using that is a bit of a cop out, but without it I doubt I ever would have come up with Gauche Stinker which, come on, is SO fucking appropriate!

    In case anyone is interested, the IAS is located at http://wordsmith.org/anagram/

  4. Nick happens to be a good friend of mine. He is TOTALLY legit. He even brought some waffle fries to my office the other day because he was in the area.

    I, too, am now obsessed with bad yearbook pictures… hilarious!

    Hugs!

    Valerie

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: