Ohio car dealer ad proclaims Jihad on the auto industry & “Fatwa Fridays”

It is either the stupidest ad of the year or the greatest PR stunt or both.  Media reports say the Dennis Mitsubishi car dealership in Columbus, Ohio, is planning to run an ad

proclaiming a jihad on the U.S. auto market and offering “Fatwa Fridays” with free swords for the kids.

Surprisingly Muslim leaders have denounced the campaign. Now having been to Columbus on several occasions (I don’t recommend it) I can say that just from casual observation it is easy to tell  the city has a large and visible Muslim population. This makes what would otherwise be a merely incredibly offensive ad into and one that is incredibly offensive and stupid. However it did get the dealership a lot of free media coverage. This would be one of the instances when there is indeed such a thing as bad publicity.

“The ad has never been released, it is not out for public listening,” one dealership employee who would not give his name (can’t imagine why) is quoted as saying. In a sign that maybe there is some hope, the head of the local chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations* said several radio stations had already rejected the ad.

*Could I suggest a name change for CAIR? The way the title reads now it seems like you are either American or Islamic and I really really don’t think that that’s the case. 

Odds and/or ends

  1. Belated Headline of The Day (from last week): Wrigley Starts Online 'Cult' I would describe the Cubs as more of a multi-media cult…
  2. When life imitates the movies
    1. W&GWallace & Gromit and the Curse of The Real Were-Rabbit: "Furious villagers in northeast England have hired armed guards to protect their beloved communal vegetable gardens from a suspected monster rabbit."
    2. Duckback Mountain: "Stockholm – In the middle of mating season, a pair of male ducks have returned to a park in southern Sweden for the third consecutive year, ignoring the siren calls of all the lady ducks around them."
  3. Dave's Insanity Hot Sauce: Is there anything it can't do? " After years of customers telling us that they use hot sauce to keep animals out of their garden and off their dinner table, we had an idea. We created this sauce to be a delicious addition to your food and a way to keep deer and rabbits from eating your roses and carrots. The pump spray also allows you to have a more even distribution of sauce on your food."
  4. meeple mugMeeple, Meeple, Meeple. My friend Alison Hansel coined the term meeple several years ago to describe those funny human-shaped wood pieces you see in a lot of the games I play and it has spread like wildfire through the weird subcult of us board gamers. I bring this up a) because there's a really great site called MeeplePeople.com that sells meeple themed stuff and b) because in year's past this has been the week I have spent in Columbus, Ohio, at Alan Moon's industry fest/game convention "The Gathering of Friends" (how cultish is that name?) playing board games. It is very peculiar to hear the words, "It would be nice to be in Columbus" come out of my mouth. It's easily one of the most boring places I've ever been. The lack of distractions makes it a perfect place to hold a gaming event. Cultural highlights of Columbus include a topiary garden cut/planted to look like Seurat's "Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte" and the James Thurber House. Thirty minutes killed and there's plenty of time to get back to the game tables.