On Monday, the United States of America turns 240 years old. In celebration of the freedoms and rights we assured ourselves by Brexiting before it was fashionable, many people across this nation will take advantage of their day off by, presumably and in no particular order, consuming equally astronomical amounts of beer and processed meat, wearing comically large, themed sunglasses indoors, firing off possibly illicit explosives, sporting the stars and stripes as poolside attire, getting into arguments over Wiffle ball and not once, not ever mentioning professional football’s relationship with CTE, all while blaring Rick Derringer’s “Real American”.
Among these and the many other truths the writers and signers of the Declaration of Independence held to be self-evident in July 1776 lies the freedom to watch a cherished pastime in a live, nationally-televised broadcast. Though its life as a television spectacle started as a midsummer novelty, meant to alleviate the tedium of baseball highlight after ever-loving baseball highlight, the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest has quickly entered the lexicon of Great American Things™.
In 1953, North and South Korea signed an armistice.
In 1961, South Korea had an income per capita of just $80 per year.
In 1988, the Seoul Olympic Games prompted South Korea to import its first bottled water.
In 2006, Foreign Minister Ban-Ki Moon was appointed Secretary General of the United Nations.
In 2010, South Korea ranked 15th-highest on the Human Development Index.
And then, in 2013, South Korea had its first McRib season.
Courtesy of Pizza Hut
Earlier this week, Pizza Hut trotted out a pie with hot dog bites baked into the crust. “Pizza Hut has created the perfect combination for American tastebuds,” they exclaimed in a press release. This Frankenfood is a ploy to drum up new business as Americans move from the convenience of fast food to more healthy options. Pizza Hut is not the only culprit of these gonzo kitchen experiments; Hardee’s and Dunkin Donuts have rolled out their own crackpot foods that seem like a self-aware joke about a certain American ideal: this foodstuff is so crass that it’s American as fuck.
If you pair these abominations with the otherworldly portions of food that are being sold at an unbelievable discount – KFC’s $5 Fill-Up, Taco Bell’s 5 Buck Box, etc. – you’d think that these brands have eaten their own tail in order to get customers. Most Americans who actively exclude fast food from their diets are not likely to be enticed by a pizza that’s the spiritual cousin of the big rig in Mad Max: Fury Road. It’s surely not frequent patrons that need a marketing campaign to get through the door. Who, then, are these unique customers whose dollars are being chased?