Monday, September 24, 2018

Fuel, Food & Freedom

Credit: Ray Colon
Billboard on Route 33 in Pennsylvania

Drawing false equivalencies may seem absurd to me, but it has nonetheless proven to be a successful approach for many.

Last week, this billboard caused me to do a double take. I was crawling along Route 33 in Pennsylvania, in a construction zone, as I tried to process what I was reading.

Fuel… okay. Food… okay. Freedom?

I’ve been to that Sunoco station. Their 24-hour operation and their location are convenient for me. When there, it is easy to spot both fuel and food for sale, but I can’t recall there being any freedom available for purchase. Granted, I was free to buy all of the fuel and food that I desired, but there were no fewer restrictions at this gas station than there are at any other.

I was tempted to take the exit, five miles ahead, so that I could ask about this sign, but decided against it. The clerk on duty probably had nothing to do with it, so questioning him would have been fruitless.

The thinking that goes into coming up with an idea like this is interesting to me. I'm reminded of the hypersensitive backlash that was directed at France, with the renaming of French fries to “freedom fries”, simply because that country chose not to go-along-to-get-along with the buildup to the invasion of Iraq in 2003.

Vive la France!

Fuel, Food & Freedom

What the heck does that mean anyway? Drawing false equivalencies may seem absurd to me, but it has nonetheless proven to be a successful approach for many. There are numerous examples:

  • If you’re against the wars, you are against the troops;
  • If you're for gay rights, you are against God;
  • If you're a Liberal, you hate America.

The list is as endless as it is ridiculous.

As much as I enjoy participating in lively debates, these types of comparisons are deal breakers for me because they signal that the person with whom I am speaking is not really using his or her noggin. Debating against a slogan is a futile proposition because people who recite them are as convinced of the slogan's underlying validity as they are of their dogma.

So is a healthy dose of freedom, that cannot be found elsewhere, available at the Snydersville Sunoco station? I doubt it, but I bet that the inmates at the nearby Snydersville Correctional Facility would be interested in getting their hands on some of that freedom, as advertised.

About the Writer

Ray Colon is a writer for BrooWaha. For more information, visit the writer's website.
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3 comments on Fuel, Food & Freedom

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By Theresa H Hall on September 12, 2010 at 02:15 pm

"The list is as endless as it is ridiculous".

Ridiculous is a perfect description. If I sent you a nickel (remember 5 cents used to buy something), would you find out what they meant? I am intrigued by the billboard. :)

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By Paul Wylie on September 13, 2010 at 02:35 pm

Ray, I will combine another nickel with that of Theresa's if you would be so kind as to find out exactly what these people are trying to say with this billboard. Good story.

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By Briselle on September 13, 2010 at 09:36 pm

If nothing else, the writer of that slogan certainly managed to get some attention. I'm sure there have been countless people lured to take the exit and investigate. It even worked for you, Ray. The title of your article certainly grabbed my interest - LOL.

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