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Aug 6, 2009 09:49 AM

Sometimes a doughnut is just a doughnut!

In the news this morning is a story about a little doughnut shop in California named Psycho Donuts. They offer tantilizing treats such as Major Head Trauma and the Bipolar.

Oscar Wright, CEO of the United Advocates for Children and Families is in an OUTRAGE. How dare a doughnut shop make fun of mental illness.

Really? I'm offended by sex shops. Guess what? I don't go in them. Close by my house, we have a Rockin Crepe restaurant. I don't like Heavy Metal and I don't eat there.

Are we carrying things to far by protesting "theme" restaurants and food?

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  1. Many people have no sense of humor at all.

    12 Replies
    1. re: buttertart

      That reminds me of a thread I read yesterday ...several posters were insulted but the terms "decadent" and "sinful" when referring to food..
      And one in particular poster who gets very irate if someone describes a food as "addicitive like crack"
      How would you know according to this person - unless you actually were a crack head?!?

      lol - Sheesh!

      1. re: NellyNel

        I mean really. I don't find this whole Psycho Donut thing terrifically amusing myself, but people should realize when an attempt at humor or satire is meant.

        1. re: buttertart

          My question to you: what exactly is being satirised at Psycho Donut?

          I'm difficult to offend but I'm also demanding when it comes to humour, and I'm not even sure what these names are accomplishing, unless the head trauma comes with a blow to the head from an irate server.

          My feelings remind me of the episode of Seinfeld where the dentist converts to Judaism to make jokes. The response to that: I'm not insulted as a Jew, I'm offended as a comedian.

          And I suppose that the fact these bakery owners fancy themselves all hilarious and transgressive offends me the most.

          That said, this thread makes me want a doughnut.

          1. re: Lizard

            I agree, it's a ham-fisted attempt at humor. I said I did not find it particularly amusing. But I don't think it's worth getting one's knickers in a twist about. Were I in the mental health field, I might find it offensive, but I doubt I would make a Federal case about it. Bit of a free speech hardnose here.

            1. re: buttertart

              I have worked in the mental health field and have a lot of experience with people with mental illness, including vets with "major head trauma" (we actually call it "traumatic brain injury") and to be honest, I'm not the slightest bit offended. I can see how others might be offended, but I'm just not. Maybe it's because it is so obviously tongue and cheek and mocking this old-school idea of a psych ward (if you go to the website you see the nurses in kitschy costumes) that does not even come close to resembling what an actual psychiatric hospital is like today. None of the donut titles are even accurate names of psychiatric diagnoses, except for bipolar disorder. For example, one of the donuts is "cocomarbles" but "losing one's marbles" is hardly a psych term, it's just a silly expression, much like the "smoking crack" expression someone mentioned earlier. I don't find it particularly funny, but I don't find it offensive either, and my guess is that most vets I've worked with wouldn't be offended if offered a "major head trauma" donut.

              1. re: Nicole

                That's rather what I expected to hear. The publicized outrage is possibly a publicity stunt to raise consciousness about the matter. Or the guy is a complete you-know-what.

              2. re: buttertart

                Well, there's the fairly niche-famous Voodoo Donuts in Portland, Oregon, I believe. I think they've got a person-shaped donut that oozes red jelly when you eat it. So it might be a takeoff on that.

                1. re: Cinnamon

                  Voodoo does not offend as there are not a lot of self-confessed blood suckers in the community.

                  Then again, I could be wrong about that.

          2. re: NellyNel

            about the only time I get irritated with people referring to food is when they say 'I'm being BAD today-I ate an entire slice of toast' or something equally annoying in reference to actually eating what amounts to really nothing. almost always women - jeeze men never apologize or beat themselves up for polishing off 16 cookies in a row with a candy bar chaser, they usually just go eat lunch!
            decadent and sinful is insulting?!?!? seriously? wow.

            1. re: Boccone Dolce

              Oh God yes, usually said with a simper and the expectation that the receiver of this remark will be impressed by the speaker's dietary zeal. Women and their (our) tormented relationship to food is a whole nother ball of wax.

              1. re: buttertart

                Interesting, in that I just read a newspaper article that says women will actually eat fewer calories when dining with a man than they do when dining with a woman.

                I wonder if men are more polite (smaller bites, better manners, etc.) when dining with women than they are when dining with men? I mean... naaah, forget it. Not possible.

                1. re: FrankDrakman

                  I'd assume that this is because of ingrained social pressures (the idea that a desirable woman is supposed to be dainty, etc). But, then, women have a nasty patriarchy-laden history of egging each other on to order dessert (and then judging each other for ordering it...). I bet men aren't tremendously influenced by women in what they order, because men are much less subject than women to judgement based on food.

        2. The title of your thread reminded me of a Filipino donut I used to eat with my grandmother, but I had forgotten in the intervening years what this donut was called. When I turned to Google for the answer, the first hit was far more offensive than anything mentioned above.

          2 Replies
          1. re: JungMann

            Now I'm curious!! Is it anything like a "Honeymoon" doughnut where the hole is filled with cream?

            1. re: mollygirl

              The Filipino donut I remembered is a type of cruller called pilipit. The batter of glutinous rice flour and coconut milk is deep fried and then glazed in sticky sweet palm or turbinado sugar. They turn out crunchy and a bit hard, perfect for dunking in hot chocolate or eating with ice cream, but my grandmother insisted that when she was a girl, she would purchase these as light and fluffy knots that I was never able to replicate.

          2. Neither sex (I'm offended by sex shops) or heavy metal (I don't like Heavy Metal) have the stigma that mental illness carries in our society.

            Lives arent' usually altered by the difficulty and sometimes despair ~~ to say nothing of tragedy both "Major Head Trauma" and "Bipolar" disease can cause.

            I don't think its funny and/or necessary and find it insensitive. Thats just me, but IMO the examples of sex shops and heavy metal aren't comparable to the debilitation mental illness causes.

            3 Replies
            1. re: laliz

              I have to agree that calling a donut treat "Major head trauma" is quite distasteful...
              And i really can't imagine why they would choose those kinds of names....
              BUT if they tasted good - I'd still eat 'em!

              1. re: laliz

                Ditto. Really, I don't think "Don't like it, don't eat it" is the most perceptive response here. Marginalizing and mocking people with mental illness isn't cute or funny. And what a silly marketing strategy, cutting out a large segment of the population that crosses demographics in so many other ways -- young, old, hip, square, etc.
                Frankly, I think the insensitivity of the OP's response is evidence that United Advocates for Children and Families is justified in their "outrage." The mentally ill are already sufficiently dehumanized, thanks. The word "psycho" used to designate a mentally ill person is just hateful.
                I usually avoid themed places (where the theme is not food-centric) because the food isn't as good as in places that focus on the food rather than the gimmick. If I liked donuts, they wouldn't need a gimmick to sell me a good one, anyway.
                A place like this, relying on shock value for publicity, probably won't last. I'll bet on people trying it once out of curiousity, and then a swift collapse. but, then, it's hard for me to imagine these donuts not tasting as foul as the concept behind them.

                1. re: laliz

                  Exactly. There are people who have cancer and joke about losing their hair but there are people who don't but I wouldn't criticize someone for being sensitive about the hair loss. On the same grounds, what if someone opened a "Cancer donuts" shop and had "baldie", "leukemic", "remission" etc. donuts? I don't see mental illness any differently. I haven't suffered from either so won't judge someone who might be offended by it.

                2. I'm not offended by these doughnut names in the least but as head trauma is one of the most common injuries suffered by soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan I can see this being a pretty big PR snafu.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: KTinNYC

                    Oh, come on!!
                    I think the point of the OP is the fact that the shop IS NOT making fun of mental illness. It's a gimmick in a donut shop. If the shop was called "The Shining" and they had a Nurse Rachet donut along with the Major Head Trauma donut, would anyone be in an uprage.... I think NOT.

                    1. re: Salty_Loves_Sweet

                      Bad analogies aside, if someone I was close to had head trauma from an IED I might not be so happy with the name of the doughnut.

                      1. re: Salty_Loves_Sweet

                        You did mean "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" donuts, right?

                    2. oh all just have donut envy


                      1 Reply
                      1. re: im_nomad

                        Where I am from there is a place called " Crazy Burger". They have a neurotic burger and more.... They have been through it, newspaper articles, etc.. They are still there making tasty, creative burgers. It is all in fun, not making fun.