Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Those Aren't Real Fortunes

So, we're an even softer country than I had thought we were. And that's really saying something because I have absolutely no confidence at all in this country's ability to tough things out that aren't that big of a deal. Tell me I'm wrong after I explain to you that they are discontinuing certain "romantic" themed fortunes in fortune cookies because the company faced complaints from parents who thought that the messages were "inappropriate" for their children to be reading. That's right. Fortune cookie fortunes. Apparently, a whole lot of people take them much more seriously than I do.

The company that is giving into these ridiculous complaints is called Wonton Foods. They are apparently the largest manufacturer of fortune cookies. They make over five million fortune cookies every day! They also have a catalog consisting of over 10,000 fortunes, about 5,000 of which are in rotation at any given time, which are compiled by the freelancers that they employ to write said fortunes. This will prove to be important to my point later on. Oh, what the heck. I'll just spoil it for you right now. See, those people that they employ? Yeah, they're writers. They're writing these things. Brace yourself, but they're not real! Those cookies can NOT actually tell you your fortune. For reals.

But here are some of the fortunes that some soft heads were complaining about being inappropriate for their children: "One who admires you greatly is hidden before your eyes", "Romance and travel go together", "The evening promises romantic interest". Let's look at their reasoning for removing these particular fortunes. One of the Vice Presidents at Wonton, a one Danny Zeng, explained the “Romance and travel go together". He said "Suppose you’re on a business trip with a colleague, that doesn’t mean you want to have a romantic affair." Well, no. No, it doesn't. But just because it was in a COOKIE doesn't mean that it means anything at all! Were people actually getting with their co-workers on business trips because they got that fortune in their cookie? I have a hard time imagining that was actually happening. Or that anyone actually thought that it should. Jennifer Lee, who is the author of something called “The Fortune Cookie Chronicles” explained it like this: "You never know who will get the cookie. ‘You will meet a tall, dark stranger,’ means one thing to a 20-year-old fashionista — and another to a 6-year-old kid. Romantic messages aren’t one size fits all." Shouldn't it mean the same thing to everyone? And that thing being that it's NOT REAL and it MEANS NOTHING?! This 20-year-old sounds like an awfully dumb fashionista (whatever that is).

A one Derrick Wong, another Vice President at Wonton Food explained that “Some parents sent us e-mails. They said they didn’t want their kids reading them. Different people have a different perspective.” Wow. Who are you parents who are sending emails to the fortune cookie company telling them that they don't want their children reading their fortunes? Then don't (wait for it) let them read them! You're the parents! Don't leave the rearing of your children up to the fortune cookie company! And why couldn't Mr. Wong have just expressed the sentiment that he explained here to those parents. You know, just tell them "Different people have a different perspective. We're going with the perspective of it's a piece of paper in a cookie that means nothing and is only meant in fun. If you don't like that, we're sorry." (I only threw in the "we're sorry" part because it sounded polite. I would not be sorry. I would also not be that wordy. I could respond to their complaints with two words and they rhyme with Buck Goo.)

They're going to replace those with phrases such as: "You make every day special" and "No one on Earth is as beautiful as you." Now, I'd like to point out that, while those are lovely sentiments, what they are NOT are fortunes. No, those are just statements. They're not statement cookies. Well, they weren't. Clearly, they are now, since the world was apparently in some sort of jeopardy with the other fortunes in there. I'd also like to point out that at no point, whether it be the new fortunes or the old fortunes, did any of these have any futuristic predicting or telling abilities! They were picked out of a catalog! Do you think that it's some sort of a magic catalog? It's not! I could write fortunes! You could write fortunes! We ALL could write fortunes! In the end, they would all be the same! They'd be little pieces of paper inside a not particularly delicious cookie that is universally distributed after a meal of sweet and sour pork. That's it. People need to get a grip on themselves. And companies need to stop giving those sort of people power! Why would you do that? I have no idea. But I'll mention again that I will support for the rest of my life any and every company that does not cave in to ridiculous customer complaints. Any and every company that stands up to complete nonsense from "customers" will have my business for as long as I can give it to them. (And in this case, I really like Chinese food, so there could be a lot gained in this instance.) 

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Anonymous said...

Not sure how I got here, but in my opinion, you focus on the wrong point. I doubt the thought that they may come true had anything to do with the offense taken. It was just that parents have become so lazy when it comes to "what am I going to tell my kids?"; this is one of the reasons gay marriage is even up for debate, but that's a different topic. The small innuendos seen by dumb parents are thought to also be partially noticed by the child. The fortune cookie case is only a small portion of a larger issue. To me the insane censorship of tv and of most radio is ridiculous. They even censor HBO,Cinemax,..., etc. to an extent. Cable shouldn't be censored, as parents shouldn't depend on the government to parent. I really don't blame the government for these "rights" being taken away; I blame the people willing to give it away. Sorry for replying to such an old post, just bored.

Mare said...

Thanks for commenting even though the post is old!

I thought that I did focus on what you mentioned. "Offense" was taken at something that wasn't even offensive and a big deal was made about it.

You're right that the fortune cookie debacle is a smaller fish in a larger pond of ridiculousness. Everyone is so worried about what people will think about something if it's taken the wrong way. People need to get over themselves and realize that they're not nearly as important as they think they are. Further, these little things that they make into some huge deal are not nearly the life impacting issues that they think they are either.

Thanks for taking the time to comment in the midst of your boredom! I appreciate it!

Elkins45 said...

Sure wish you would start blogging again--I always enjoyed your humor.