Opinion » The Rant

The Rant (October 23, 2014)

Ebola, Obama, Fox News, and Gus’s Fried Chicken.

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I knew it. I knew it as well as I knew there was something fishy about Joan Rivers' death. I knew that President Obama was responsible for the Ebola "epidemic" in the United States. Don't believe me? Think I'm stupid (don't answer that)? Well, maybe you would have more trust in The New York Times, which printed this the other day:

"The virus has also threatened to raise questions about the Obama administration's competence, fueled in recent days by reports that two health care workers were infected while caring for an Ebola-afflicted patient at a Dallas hospital, and one subsequently flew on an airplane with a fever."

Now do you get it? Two — make it three — people in the United States have contracted the disease, and now it is a nationwide epidemic, and Obama has not done his part to contain it. I knew this was some kind of Democratic, liberal plot from a man who might or might not have even been born in the United States.

I feel sincerely badly for the people in West Africa, who are really being ravaged by this disease, and I wish the U.S. was supplying them the same kind of resources as we are here at home, but come on. Maybe I am crass, but an Ebola czar already?

Gus’s Fried Chicken - JUSTIN FOX BURKS
  • Justin Fox Burks
  • Gus’s Fried Chicken

And the media. The media are without scruples in the U.S. when it comes to this kind of thing. I wouldn't be at all surprised to turn on Fox News (well, it would actually surprise the hell out of me if I turned on Fox News — the national channel, not our local peeps, who are awesome) — and saw all of the anchors at their desks in hazmat suits reporting the news through tubes coming out of the head gear. It reminds me of the Egyptian spring uprising, when even Anderson Cooper hunkered down in a fake cave pretending to be seconds from an untimely death. No shame.

And speaking of the media and no shame, I read a piece in last week's Fly on the Wall in this paper. And then reread it, and reread it, and reread it, trying to figure out what it meant. In case you missed it, Chris Davis reported this:

"Four food writers for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette came to town for a conference and were freaked out by scenic South Front: 'Gus's World Famous Fried Chicken in downtown Memphis isn't much to look at ... on a street flush with boarded-up windows, it's the kind of place 'fraidy-cat tourists would steer clear of for fear of getting mugged. I'll admit my first thought was, 'This is it? The place so many people are talking about?'"

That is just wrong. What exactly were they expecting from a fried-chicken restaurant, and where did they get the idea that Front Street is "flush with boarded up windows?" There's something like $16 trillion of new development there with a lot more on the way. I can tell you this without even looking up who the writers were: They have never set foot in an interesting place in their lives, they have never had an original thought, and they probably live in the suburbs and think they know a lot about wine.

So to prove myself right, I went to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette website and this was the lead headline: "South Hills Village Mall races to get ready for holiday season." See? I bet the same writer who thought "'fraidy-cat tourists would steer clear" of our Gus's World Famous Fried Chicken for "fear of getting mugged" wrote this riveting piece on their mall getting ready for the holidays.

Okay, okay, so I read the entire article (the one about Memphis food, not the one about their mall and the holidays because I would rather have an image of a naked Dick Cheney tattooed on my face than visit a mall during the holidays), and it wasn't all bad. In fact, one dude wrote about visiting the Stax Museum (where I work by day) so they at least got some culture. They also visited the National Civil Rights Museum and the same guy wrote this:

"I was so impressed and moved by our group tour of the newly renovated National Civil Rights Museum, which is located at the Lorraine Motel where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was killed, that I went through a second time with my family. Afterwards, I felt like I could use a drink."

Atta boy! So you did visit interesting places, and you do have original thoughts, and you might not live in the suburbs and think you know a lot about wine. You have my humblest apologies. Anyone who needs a drink after visiting a place as emotionally gripping as the National Civil Rights Museum is A-okay in my book.

So now I am not mad at those writers anymore. I'm going to be a much nicer person from now on. I might even forgive Obama for singlehandedly causing every American in the land to potentially come down with Ebola.

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