Friday, July 25, 2008

Richard Blais: For Racist, Change-Averse Southerners, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 “Not as Crazy as Bacon Ice Cream”

Oh dear, possums.

We hasten to add that, aside from his annoying overuse of the phrase and concept of things being “a play on” other things, we like and admire Richard Blais and his creativity and maturity. This makes it all the more wince-inducing to come across this passage in an interview he did with the Phoenix, Az., East Valley Tribune:



[I]s Atlanta the right city for you? Would your style be more accepted in a New York or San Francisco?

It’s a tough question to answer as I’m walking around the parking lot of my restaurant here. I’m a New Yorker originally. I’m into college football, and a lot of college football coaches will have that one clause in their contract that’s like, “Here’s my contract, but if this one school comes calling, all bets are off.” I lived in San Francisco and I’m a new Yorker, and I love those two cities. And I love Atlanta because it’s put me on the map and there are so many people here that are great. Is it a place I can see three or four really creative restaurants surviving over a long period of time? Probably not. Just in general, if you think about the South, it takes them a long time to embrace things not as crazy as bacon ice cream, you know? Historically, it took the South a long time to embrace the civil rights movement, for example. So we’ll see where it goes. The difference is that Atlanta is a big metropolitan city and the South is almost disconnected from that. You know what I mean? I live in Atlanta. I don’t feel like I live in Georgia.


For what it’s worth, possums, we don’t think that Blais, despite his unfortunate and poorly chosen words to that effect, actually believes civil rights are “crazy.” We get what he was trying to say, but oh what a way to say it. Is a touch of megalomania (comparing his signature bacon ice cream and the civil rights movement in the first place) a more forgivable sin? Does molecular gastronomy have a recipe for foot in mouth?

9 comments:

Christian said...

I don't think he misspoke or put his foot in his mouth at all. He's saying that civil rights aren't as crazy as bacon ice cream, and it took the south a long time to accept civil rights, so how long is it going to take to accept something crazy like bacon ice cream?

We can argue about the appropriateness of comparing the civil rights movement to food, but I don't see a problem with Blaise's central point.

Ana said...

I agree with Christian. I think he's saying that civil rights aren't as crazy as bacon ice cream.

Anonymous said...

why would you try to spin this in a negative way ?

How could you read that and not understand ?

thanks for the support ?

Richard Blais

Anonymous said...

He's just saying the south is conservative and doesn't accept change or different things that easily.

Charlus said...

Richard—assuming it really is you who left the comment—the post explicitly says that we do *not* believe you think civil rights are crazy, and also says that we understand what you were trying to say. And we do, really. Miss XaXa, being a Southerner, knows all too well that many people in the South do not like change. But that doesn’t alter the fact that what you actually said *sounds* terrible. That is what we were snarking about (and, might I add, we were doing it affectionately). But there is nothing incongruous about us liking, respecting and admiring you and still thinking that it’s just a teensy bit egotistical to be comparing ice cream and the civil rights movement. That’s just our opinion.

Richard Blais said...

I'm sorry. after re-reading the post I realize I over reacted.

I know it was in good humor now. let me go dunk my head in liquid nitrogen and cool off...

rB

The Big Shamu said...

Whew, for a minute I thought Richard was taking his faux Lesbianism a bit too far...

(No offense meant, RB, inside joke)

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure if your misinterpretation was a failed joke or just dumb, but I'm a Southerner and totally agree with Richard!

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