Every now and then, I offer praise and gentle scorn to individuals and institutions deserving of their respective honors.
Let’s take a look at my latest nominees for Winners and Losers.
1. Chipotle – Don’t let crazy people hijack a brand that you have worked years to formulate.
Gun enthusiasts in Dallas this week posted photos of themselves posing with assault rifles at a Chipotle Mexican Grill location there, expressing their admiration for the fast-casual Mexican food chain and firearms. These men were part of a group attempting to make a statement about preserving open-carry laws in the state and opposing any gun control legislation.
This served to scare patrons and employees at the store as opposed to making any meaningful statement. Much like Starbucks last year, Chipotle company officials put out a statement to advise patrons not to bring firearms to their stores. The statement also clarified that it is not an outright ban on carrying firearms into their stores and that gun laws based on local jurisdictions will continue to be honored.
I would personally like to see a reasonable gun control legislation in this country as it deals with assault rifles. At the same time, I respect the right of individuals owning and carrying firearms as long as they exercise that right responsibly. Many do and I trust they will keep it that way.
Good on Chipotle for not letting a few crazies take over their brand as if to imply that the chain endorses their behavior. Gun rights advocates, control your people. Gun control advocates, keep up the good fight.
2. Superheroes – Superheroes aren’t just fictional characters. They are real and serve a legitimate role in real life.
A group of superheroes — consisting of Spider Man, Thor, the Hulk, Superman, Iron Man and Batman — served as pallbearers for the funeral of a 5-year-old Indiana boy, who died last week after battling brain cancer.
Through all the radiation treatments and pain that Brayden Denton had to go through, he has admired some of the most well-known and beloved superheroes of our time. He even had a chance to meet some of those heroes during a Make-A-Wish Foundation’s arranged trip to Disney World in Orlando. In his short life, it is looking up to those heroes that gave him a reason to live amid all the pain and suffering he endured.
Rest in peace, little Brayden. Hats off to the volunteers who stepped up to be the superheroes that helped carry Brayden to his final resting place. Brayden and his heroic pallbearers are all heroes in my book.
1. Mundy’s Mill High School, Jonesboro, Ga. – Sometimes, creativity can get you into hot water.
Paris Gray, a graduating high school senior in Clayton County, a suburb of Atlanta, provided a cleverly devised quote for the school’s yearbook, consisting of elements from the periodic table. Granted that the message spells out something vulgar, school officials at Mundy’s Mill High School did not find it funny. As a result, she was suspended and barred from participating in the graduation ceremony including giving a speech to her fellow graduates.
We often lament that children and young adults these days lack creativity. Why punish the few that are able to exhibit such a great talent? Yes, the hidden message was inappropriate but Paris demonstrated to everyone that there is hope for humanity.
It is worth noting that school officials, likely as a result of the wide attention the story has received, has reversed its previous decision by letting Paris participate in the graduation ceremony after all. Paris should get back at said officials in her speech by including more hidden messages.
Let this be a lesson to school officials everywhere: incentivize students for creativity, not punish. They’ll thank you for it.
2. McDonald’s – Your kids will probably lose their lunch after seeing this — especially if that lunch is a Happy Meal.
McDonald’s unveiled a mascot for the well-known children’s meal, Happy, on Tuesday. Although Happy has already been in existence in other countries for several years, it is just now being introduced in the United States.
Look at that. If that doesn’t scare your children into no longer eating at McDonald’s, I don’t know what will. On the plus side, the mascot’s seemingly frightening appearance alone may have helped solve the child obesity epidemic in this country!
What do you think about these nominees for Winners and Losers? Who or what else do you believe is deserving of praise or gentle scorn? Share your thoughts below. I would love to hear from you.