The recent flap over same-sex marriage comments made by one of the founders of the Chick-fil-A restaurant chain has stirred a movement on the Davidson campus to stop serving food from that restaurant at various student body gatherings throughout the year. If the students decide to make that change, so be it and more power to them.
But it is important to remember the precedent such action establishes. If word leaks out in the future that Bill Gates and Steve Jobs had personal beliefs incongruent with the modern generation, Talkers expect young folks to unplug all devices those geniuses helped create with the same vigor they are willing to muster against Chick-fil-A. And when it's more clearly publicized — there's already a pretty good buzz about this — that Mark Zuckerberg may be more of a narcissistic money-grabber than just a socially inept gnome, Talkers expect students everywhere to drop Facebook instantly, causing a vacuum-like sucking sound that will make the world's ears pop.
And while Davidson students and others are considering adjusting their diet for a worthy social cause, it's also wise to examine the background for some other traditional college food basics. There's a fellow running for president who has a fairly firm platform opposing same-sex marriage and supporting pro-life values, opinions younger folks, in general, don't share. But that much-discussed investment company he was linked to and profited from owns or owned parts of, among others, Burger King, Domino's Pizza, Dunkin' Donuts, Staples, Clear Channel Communications, Burlington Coat Factory and even The Weather Channel.
So all these determined-to-protest young folks have to do to put their bodies where their minds are is avoid burgers, pizza and doughnuts, forego classroom supplies, stop listening to the radio, avoid purchasing cool-weather gear and stop watching the television station that tells them when they will need the warmer clothes they no longer have.
Talkers agree, college is, without a doubt, a tough learning experience.
Smokin' good time
Talkers don't smoke, but as well-aged folks with all the seasoning affiliated with a solid, Southern upbringing, tobacco has never been a foreign subject. Swirling cigarette and cigar smoke was common at all types of events in years gone by and, for some of the more advanced, rustic Talkers, there are even fuzzy memories of strategically placed spittoons among church pews reserved for loyal worshippers who habitually enjoyed a robust chew while absorbing the Sunday sermon.
So it is not with prudish motivation that Talkers readily, and somewhat surprisingly, admit that state laws adopted banning indoor smoking turned out to be a good thing. On a recent trip out of state, a Talker stopped by — strictly for research — to see what saloons were like in other places. The smoky haze over the ashtray-lined bar was unexpected and, astonishingly, uncomfortable.
It turns out — like Internet banking, telephones that think, turning right on red, always wearing seat belts, rarely listening to AM radio and never having to hand-adjust a TV antenna — change can sometimes be, despite our instincts to oppose it, for the better.
The Tennessee bar had modern ventilation and the aroma of the combined fumes was not altogether unpleasant, but the lingering scent on clothing and in the hair of those with locks still thick enough to soak it in, was a detraction. The smell was still familiar, but the most amazing aspect was the realization of how quickly expectations are adjusted to accept — and even demand — changes that initially seemed intrusive and unnecessary.