The Barilla Scandal

I’ve been concerned lately about how and why in the world we think we’re more knowledgeable and informed just for the fact that we are exposed to thousands of stimuli in the digital world that in my opinion are just making us more ignorant simply because we’re becoming lazy to think, letting others think for us.

Think for example on he recent Barilla’s CEO declarations. Let’s not forget that this guy didn’t just woke up one morning and screamed to the world that he is anti-gay, no, it was part of a longer interview in which other issues like marketing approach and traditional values were discussed. The declarations of Guido Barilla make reference to the concept of his company towards representing the traditional Italian family.

Under such scope, I guess anyone that is able to think reasonably could also see the other side of the story. So one of the questions I would ask, as quoted by an Italian colleague of mine, what if a modern liberal Italian woman wouldn’t like to be depicted in a TV spot as the one who cooks and take care of the family, would they have arguments to get angry because they are being represented as a housewife?

If Italians tomorrow would find out that the CEO of Ferrero once voted, or would never vote for, x or y political candidate would they stop eating Nutella? I don’t think so. And leaving aside for a bit the Italian context, in such case we wouldn’t even be wearing the shoes we have on because they might could have been manufactured in some building in Bangladesh that is collapsing with people inside.

“Liking” stuff on the digital world is a very serious thing because we can’t take for granted that what we’re seeing in a particular microsecond while we’re scrolling down the screen of our super flashy smartphone is the absolute truth in the world. It is true that a discussion such as homosexuality is a very slippery topic and certainly any words that he might have said could have been interpreted in any kind of way.

One thing I can say for sure by knowing the Italian language, and having listened to the interview a couple of times before writing this blog entry, is that words like “Gays can eat someone else’s pasta” could be arguably the exact translation (and even then I’d have my doubts about it), but it’s not the case for the tone and way in which he intended in his own language, Italian.

Anyone who’d like to take this with an impartial approach could also argue that Guido Barilla said in the same interview that he respects gay marriage, yet we don’t see the propaganda in the news about “Barilla supports Gay marriage”. In such case traditional families could also find the arguments to get offended by it as well. Let’s not forget the Vatican is sitting in this country and like it or not, Italy as many other Christian countries in the world, continues to be a very conservative in this matter.

It’s just a matter of perspective, and in any perspective we chose to interpret things and build or opinions on, for good or for bad, we still have to think by ourselves.

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Mexican blogger living abroad and writing about experiences of traveling around México, Italy, India and Spain.

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