Friday, March 12, 2010
Armchair Sociology--The Racial Politics of Hot Dog Eating: Should I Go Back to Weiner Circle and Get a Double Char Redhot?
And yes, I have had a chocolate shake at Weiner Circle.
As noted cultural theorist Stuart Hall suggested, "race is the modality in which class is lived."
Ultimately, race (with its history, burdens, triumphs and tragedies) is the ether that we all breath, and the sea in which we swim. Thus, it manifests itself in social interactions both large and small.
I don't often solicit advice from folks. I am hard headed and willful by nature--it is my Virgo personality. But, I am in the midst of an existential and gastronomical dilemma. To resolve this state of angst I need your help.
I love the double char redhots served at Weiner Circle. I really really do. But, after watching this special on This American Life I swore them off. The toxic racial politics, Lincoln Park with its Trixies and Chads (Chicago folks will get the reference), and the exploitative capitalism at work in how the black folk who work at Weiner Circle are treated was too great a burden. I had to vote with my feet: the politics of my hot dog eating could not be reconciled with my politics as a respectable Negro.
In 2010 my resolve is weakening. I so desire to see a movie (check out The Prophet by the way) and eat a double char redhot with fries. Will this make me less than respectable? Is there a time limit on our boycotts?
Random factoid: to this day I still will not shop at Urban Outfitters...but that is another story for another time.
Hell, if the folks working at Weiner Circle take this abuse then that makes it okay...right?