Tag: War

Right-wing bigots declare war on Ritz Crackers over queer Christmas ad

Ritz Crackers released moving festive ad "Where There’s Love, There’s Family" last month

Ritz Crackers released moving festive ad “Where There’s Love, There’s Family” last month

Conservative activists have declared Ritz Crackers an enemy in the “culture war” after a Christmas ad featuring a queer couple.

The brand released moving festive ad “Where There’s Love, There’s Family” last month, featuring a number of people finding connection from isolation – including a man who is shunned by his parents, but finds a happy place with his partner and chosen family.

The ad, part of a partnership with non-profits including the It Gets Better project, riffs on the idea of what family means, concluding: “The holidays are about spending time with family, or the one you make.”

While there’s very little in the ad to be offended about, that hasn’t stopped anti-LGBT+ conservative activists from bombarding the ad with hateful messages. It has racked up more than 6,000 dislikes on YouTube, and hundreds of hateful messages on Facebook.

Right-wing activists lash out at ‘disgusting’ advert

One commenter raged: “This is disgusting! Why are you promoting homosexuality? That’s nasty. For shame Ritz, I’m throwing all my crackers out. You’ve permanently lost a customer.”

Another fumed: “What a sick demented commercial.”

The American Family Association (AFA), an ultra-conservative lobbying group, has declared war on the company, lashed out at the ad’s depiction of a man “putting on lipstick like a woman and effeminately clinging to another man”, claiming it is intended to “brainwash children and adults alike by desensitising audiences”.

The AFA has launched a full-scale pressure campaign telling the company to “stay away from social agendas” – less of a dog whistle, more of a fog horn – encouraging supporters to send a pre-written complaint telling Ritz the ad ” will influence my future purchases”.

The message continues: “I am extremely disappointed that Ritz is refusing to remain neutral in the cultural war.

“Ritz is pushing the LGBTQ+ agenda on families with its most recent commercial. People who are already confused about their gender identity should not be encouraged to embark on a dangerous and unhealthy lifestyle.”

Ritz Crackers is facing attacks over its moving festive ad
Ritz Crackers is facing attacks over its moving festive ad

The group quoted evangelical radio host Dr Michael Brown, who has previously staged protests at Pride events and advocated for the criminalisation of homosexuality in Uganda. He said: “There is so much confusion in our society today. Same-sex attraction, same-sex marriage, gay Christianity, transgender identity, what’s right, what’s wrong.”

AFA raged: “Ritz needs to hear from you. Supporting the transgender agenda instead of remaining neutral in the cultural war is just bad business.

“If Ritz Crackers refuses to remain neutral, then Christians will vote with their pocketbooks and support companies that do.”

Ritz Crackers remains silent as haters rage

The company is yet to respond to the abuse.

Launching the ad campaign last month, it said: “Ritz is on a mission to help make the world a more welcoming place. That’s why we’re partnering with The It Gets Better Project, Hispanic Star and Invisible People by donating $50,000 to help support communities in need this season.

“The It Gets Better Project aims to uplift, empower and connect LGBTQ+ youth by providing access to a collection of inspiring stories of resilience and determination, as told by members of the LGBTQ+ community.

“They envision a world where all LGBTQ+ youth are free to live equally and know their worthiness and power as individuals.”

Marieke reviews This Is How You Lose The Time War by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone – The Lesbrary

Marieke reviews This Is How You Lose The Time War

This Is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone

Time War reminded me a lot of Good Omens in the sense that two agents–on opposing sides of a high stakes global war that is being fought out across time (yes, time travel) and space and universes, while also only forming a backdrop to the lives of regular unwitting humans–are not as invested in the outcome of that war as they maybe are expected to be by the leaders of those forces. And then they meet, and find they are not indifferent to each other.

Red and Blue maintain communications throughout this story, and their communications are central to the development of both the plot and the characters. These communications are presented in letter form in the book, so it reads like a semi-epistolary novel (in case that is your thing, this is a good book to pick up, as every chapter ends with a letter). Even so, these letters are really steganographical messages (a term pulled directly from the dialogue, that I actually had to go and look up – good thing too, because it was then used again shortly after in another book I’m reading!), i.e. the message was concealed within another form. What shape that form actually took (hah) differed wildly, and includes a few notable instances, but I would prefer for the reader to be surprised by them as each new letter is received.

Both characters self-identify as female, but there is at the same time little indication that sex or gender is a defining factor within their society, especially as agents on both forces are capable of easily altering their own physical forms. Sexual orientation is never mentioned and appears to be pretty much a non-issue in this environment.

The relationship between the two characters grows with each letter they send and receive, and both the letters and the relationship they create, form, and reflect are at the heart of this story. Initially the dynamic between the two characters feels a bit like a microcosm of the war that is being fought out at a macro scale (as the characters themselves observe as well), but they quickly grow beyond and above that. They do not meet physically for most of the narrative, which creates a sense of their relationship structure feeling similar to any modern long distance relationship, where different time zones and few meetings can still be the basis of a strong bond.

The development of their relationship was extremely well written and completely believable. The questions about loyalty to each other versus loyalty to the force they serve were handled quite well, and become major plot points near the end of the tale. The end is also where the story flounders a bit. Without spoiling anything, there are a few time-travel related shenanigans going on and some of it–while presented as a major reveal–can be quite expected if you’re familiar with the time travel genre in general. In that sense the story doesn’t really break any new territory, even though it tries to present the plot twists as unexpected.

Content warning: some battle violence

Marieke (she / her) has a weakness for fairy tale retellings and contemporary rom coms, especially when combined with a nice cup of tea. She also shares diverse reading resources on her blog letsreadwomen.tumblr.com.