Sunday, April 18, 2010

Deal With It


Finally! A corporate response to an "incident" that I can finally get behind! I can only hope that more will follow. After all, it IS rather illogical to think that someone would have intentionally meant for a recipe to include "ground black people", right? Right. Wait. What?

Correct. According to the huffy folks over there at
The Huffington Post, Penguin Group Australia published a cookbook called Pasta Bible. That's right. A bible for pasta. Anyway, there was a recipe in it for that dish that we've all had a hankerin' to cook at one point or another (or perhaps, not), something called spelt tagliatelle with sardines and prosciutto. Tagliatelle is just a fancy-shmancy name for long, flat pasta. (Oh, how I long for the days when "noodles" would have been just fine.) Anyway, the recipe was was supposed to call for salt and freshly ground black pepper. Yeah. It read "salt and freshly ground black people". Oh. Awkward.

Now, if this had been Carl's Jr. or Burger King or any other corporate entity here in the US, they would have done what they always do and would have immediately caved to any sort of "complaints" about the issue. They would have removed every single book from the shelf and issued a ridiculously long apology that would have encompassed everything from the misprint to slavery itself. Then I would have had to see people on fallen-so-far-from-grace-CNN talking about how traumatized that they were and I would have had to listen to them demand an explanation. An explanation other than "Ooops", of course.

But not Penguin Group Australia. Their head of publishing, a one Bob Sessions, "...acknowledged the proofreader for the Pasta Bible should have picked up the error, but called it nothing more than a "silly mistake." I think I love Bob.

But here's the best part! He said, "We're mortified that this has become an issue of any kind and why anyone would be offended, we don't know." Yeah, I DO love Bob. He continued with, "We've said to bookstores that if anyone is small-minded enough to complain about this ... silly mistake, we will happily replace (the book) for them." Marry me.

Finally. Finally someone has some sense about these things. Finally someone just came out and said that they can't imagine why someone would be offended over something that was clearly not intended to offend. I love that he labeled them "small minded", though I would have been ecstatic if he had called them morons or softheads. I'm good with small minded, though.

But what about the books that are already on the shelves? Surely, they must be recalling those as quickly as possible, right? Not so fast. According to the article, "The reprint will cost Penguin 20,000 Australian dollars ($18,500), but books already in stores will not be recalled because doing so would be "extremely hard." Awesome. So, basically, deal with it.

This is what I want more of. I want to hear more often that folks shouldn't be getting upset or "offended" over something that is clearly a mistake. And since people are so damned whiny these days, I'd really like it if more corporations would take this approach. Just deal with it. You'll be fine.

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