There’s something odd about the fact that people will pay perfectly good money to stand in line at a marginal restaurant to be abused. There’s nothing good or funny about a side of people that people shouldn’t see.
The Wiener’s Circle in Chicago was just another hot dog joint, according to legend, when Ira Glass profiled it on This American Life in 1996, and again on his Showtime program in 2007.
There are non-stop obscenities herein. Don’t even think of watching this at work.
A few years ago, Salon called it the world’s most depressing hot dog stand.
Chicago Reader says people go there to be part of something. But they’re part of something that’s not good.
What seems to be lost on people is that the thing they’re a part of is in front of them every day, all the time, but not examined quite as closely. They’re taking part in a manifested form of the racism and segregation that is a hallmark of the city. They eat in a place where a wall divides them from the service, which is more often than not of disparate gender and race. And while the cussing and derogatory comments may seem to acknowledge that division of class, gender, and race, the way that interaction takes place only makes what is mostly straightforward more confusing, since in a weird way of acknowledging barriers it attempts to absolve itself of guilt, thereby obfuscating those divisions. But maybe this new reality show, while further exploiting the employees of Wiener’s Circle, in a circumstantial way, might ultimately benefit them. Maybe they won’t have to work there any longer, and then people will stop going.
The joint, therefore, is a metaphor for the country at large.
Anyway, the news today is the place got sold, and people seem to be happy about it.
The new owners want to open other locations.
What could possibly go wrong?