Some impressions on the Psycho Donut “debate”

Well, Psycho Donuts owner Kipp Berdiansky and Oscar Wright had their chat this morning at 6:30 am on local channel, KTVU.   This is a result of a few local groups  having decided to become offended by local Donut Shop, Psycho Donuts.  (The protesters seem to have gone away at this point, having been reduced to posting yelp spam and blog rants.)

Here’s a few impressions.

Oscar Wright didn’t seem to really be able to tie his argument together; he seemed to think that merely saying that 3 kajillion kids would have mental health problem X.  Since he had a vague notion that Psycho Donuts would somehow worsen problem X, he simply assumed that all right-thinking people would therfore see that the donut shop was very, very bad.  It’s the kind of argument that people that already agree with you will accept, but has not power to convince, or even explain.

An example :  “1 out of 5 children per year(!) consider suicide” … was given as a reason why the “images children are bombarded with” need to be controlled.   Then, wee’re meant to leap to the conclusion that a big part of these “images” is … having a donut or two.   No reasosn are really given, they are links in a chain of assumption.

The assertion that things must be done “for the children”.  Helen Lovejoy killed the raw force of that argument years ago; unless some kind of evidence is given to indicate that “the children” are being harmed, it’s very easy to laugh off.

For the last several minutes of the discussion, Wright tried to get Berdiansky to agree some kind of The Grand Sixty Day Plan he’d cooked up.  First, he asked if Berdiansky would agree to “talk off air”, when that seems agreeable, more an more was added (it started to sound  like Wright wanted a series of meeings with many, many people).  Next, he wanted the meetings to be about making a plan to change the dout shop… which kind of an arrogant thing to ask from a business owner (“Hey, let’s split the difference on how you run your business.”)  Apparently Wright was a regional administartor in California’s Small Business Administration bureaucracy.  Maybe that kind of  background gets one  in the habit of seeing businesses as owing you concessions.

Oh, at the end of sixty days, Wright wnats to issue a joing press release. Huh.

Berdiansky asked Wright to share soem of his suggestions out in the open (they were, after all, both on TV to inform the public). Wright expressed  reluctance to come forward with his “plan” for changing Psycho Donuts – he said he wished to avoid the “sensationalism” of discussing it on TV in “one or two minutes”.

With all due respect for Rosy Chu, this is a show being shown at 6:30 am, with probably dozens of viewers. What would be the harm in giving a rough idea?  I live in Campbell; I don;t think that blood woukld flow in the streets if Wrights Ideal Donut Shoppe concepts turned out to be lame.

More later, pr’haps…

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