America’s gone to the dogs

I thought we left this “ew, foreign people eat weird stuff!” nonsense back in the 20th century, but I see I was wrong. Here we have Obama being made fun of for eating foodstuffs Americans don’t eat when he was a kid living in Indonesia. Where, I might add, he was taken by his mother. I add that because people always talk about the Indonesian part of his childhood as if he’d packed a little suitcase and moved there himself just to piss us off.

(Via Kathy Shaidle. By the way, full disclosure: I’ve eaten Indonesian food exactly once, at a restaurant in Amsterdam when my mother and I went to Europe when I was eighteen. Though dog and tiger were not on the menu, the meal was excellent as I recall. As for the idea of eating dog being somehow bad — well, gosh, if only ten-year-old Obama had known he’d be president of the US back then! Then I’m sure he’d have made sure to only eat the Proper American Meats: Bacon, Burgers, and Hot Dogs — which are not made of dog but of pig lips and pig intestines and other wholesome parts of the pig.)


16 thoughts on “America’s gone to the dogs

  1. According to The Simpsons hotdogs aren’t made out of pig:

    This reminds me of getting teased in elementary school by some of the kids when I told them what I ate for breakfast most days: toast with humous and a side helping of cucumber and tomato salad (my parents are Israeli immigrants). But the people teasing Obama about his childhood diet aren’t elementary school kids. Maybe it’s just difficult for them to find more substantial things to talk about, seeing as how all is well in the US and the world at large.

    • Wow. Every day I salute my childhood more and more. It never occurred to me or anyone I knew to make fun of what someone had for breakfast. I mean, we had “international food days” and lessons about what people in other countries ate for their meals, and I went to school with Cubans and Jamaicans and other ethnic kids, but all I remember was we thought these lessons were interesting (and delicious, if real food was involved). Mocking food just wasn’t a “thing” in Miami, I guess.

  2. It’s a reaction to the juvenile, made-up fake outrage about Romney hauling his dog on top of the station wagon, with lots of funny one-liners into the bargain. I wouldn’t do it, but it happened decades ago, and if he didn’t roll the Family Truckster and the dog didn’t have his lifespan shortened, then it was just a cheapshot “Gotcha” on the part of the Democrats. I believe one NY Times columnist has managed to mention the cartop atrocity in her column fifty times or so already.

    And Mitt Romney didn’t make money with any tales of hauling his dog with the family on top of the station wagon.

    Gotta run, my chicken poodle soup’s about to boil over.

    • I had forgotten about the cartop dog thing, because it’s so banal. But that’s not my point — my point is it’s 2012 and we’re making fun of what people eat in other countries. What are we, backwoods hicks? Oh wait — backwoods hicks are too busy carving up that bear into steak and canning that venison and making stew out of squirrel and groundhog to care what they eat in Indonesia.

      • I just think that it’s really having some fun at the expense of the Obama campaign. There is a website,, and oh man is that guy tying himself in knots trying to answer this. In that sense, I don’t think it’s banal, because this is something the Obama supporters have been hammering away at–they weren’t acting as if it were banal.

        The little factoid about Obama’s gastronomic adventure didn’t come up until after a couple weeks of this stuff. His autobiography has been out for at least a decade, and this is the first I even heard of this. I think in the absence of the Obama campaign’s fake outrage over a thirty years gone family vacation, we never would have heard about it. I never felt the need to read “Dreams From My Father”, but I’m certain someone who doesn’t like Obama endured it-so today, we have lines like “I usually have beagles and cream cheese for breakfast, but today I had a Great Danish.” From!/search/%23ObamaDogRecipes:

        “Pugs in a blanket.”

        “German Shepherd Pie.”

        “Ol’ Yellerfin Tuna.”

        My own contribution to the stupidity, not on Twitter, was lame as all get out–“For God’s sake, tell the President we ran out of doggy bags!”

        Why no mention of this until now? Because as a gratuitous, stand-alone cheap shot, it would have backfired, I think that is just common sense. As I said, I think it’s a reaction, for good or ill.

        If you want to use terms like “childish”, I would not gainsay you. It is childish. It’s tit for tat. Better to talk about Obama’s accomplishments, or Romney’s prescription to pull the country out of the current crisis, but it looks as if the R side is trying out the Alinsky tactic of ridicule.

      • I don’t care about the reason behind it, it needs to stop. Stop it, America. Stop acting like you haven’t been educated past the third grade.

  3. As somebody who’s eaten honest-to-god bugs, I’m in no position to comment.

    But I will anyway. Every four years since about 1984, I think, “Okay, This has got to be the stupidest, silliest, shallowest, most pathetic excuse for a presidential election ever.” And yet the next time around I am proved wrong again!

  4. I believe I once heard someone say that hyperbole and overbroad generalizations were what this blog was all about? :~D

    Stop acting like you haven’t been educated past the third grade.

    I completely agree. Both sides need to grow up and focus on the real issues. Not dog carriers. Not over the top ads accusing the opposition of wanting to push granny off a cliff in her wheelchair.

    But, pointing out ridiculous hyperventilating about non-issues by EITHER side must continue unabated. For the sheer entertainment value.

  5. So…we’re more than 3 years into this presidential term…after a joke of a campaign that everyone with a brain knew the winner of…and this is just now a ‘story?’ An excerpt from a book that’s been out for YEARS?

    Is there any more proof needed that the LameStreamMedia really doesn’t do “reporting” anymore?

    • I’m not concerned with the professional news media here. I’m concerned with the idea that apparently it’s still okay to make fun of what foreigners eat.

      • I’m still not sure what’s wrong with making fun of what other people eat. It’s not like the rest of the world refrains from criticising Western dietary habits.

      • Have they? And what kind of criticism is it? If it’s the way we can’t seem to stop stuffing junk food into our maws, so that the sight of people so fat their ankle flesh overflows the tops of their shoes and they can’t walk through a grocery store but instead have to ride motorized carts is now common, I do think they have grounds for criticism. Us mocking people for eating meats we don’t eat because “ew, how can they eat that!” — especially when it’s a country that doesn’t have our GDP and has genuine poor people not just people who spend all their Walmart check on lottery tickets — isn’t quite the same thing.

      • I left out part of what I meant to say there, Andrea, had to fix the ol man’s breakfast…

        If my kid makes fun of what others eat, I’ll have to tell her about the Crow Reservation where my cousins lived, and the man who raised dogs & sheep…

        People all over the world eat things Americans would starve before touching. I was not taught that way – my dad talked about eating all sorts of things in his military days, and my husband came home from Spain, Greece, the Philippines, and Thailand with some great new ideas for dinner. I’m not going to eat bugs like my dad did, or monkey like a friend in Texas did, but I’m not going to belittle the people who do, either.

        As my little grandma used to say, that’s tacky.

  6. You touched on it yourself–

    “…backwoods hicks are too busy carving up that bear into steak and canning that venison and making stew out of squirrel and groundhog…”

    But I think you left out screwing their (brothers, sisters, moms, dads, cousins, livestock), the appalling state of their teeth, the flat tires on their tacky homes, their plans to force everyone to pray to their invisible friend in the sky, burning crosses, owning semi-automatic machine guns, not believing experts with grant money who tell them the world is coming to an end which makes them stupid, neurological studies which prove, scientifically, their inborn stupidity, and a few dozen more obscure insults, not forgetting the “educated past the third grade” one, or variations thereon.

    What I’m getting at is that arguing that it’s not nice to make fun of someone else’s folkways (no, it’s not nice) won’t get much traction with this crowd. Obama’s supporters have spent more than three years saying the vilest things about their opponents for going on four years now. This doesn’t mean people are relieved of the obligation to show some class, but in this case I think you’re addressing an already existing imbalance in distance traveled on the high road. I admit I might be biased.

    If it were about foreigners, and not Obama specifically, can you cite any instances of this sort of thing, at this scale and intensity, before now? Maybe a low boil of insult regarding the Muslims, with occasional spikes in intensity, but there’s an ongoing war which makes that a special case. This “Obama eats dog hurr hurr hurr” (I’m guilty, I did it too) thing went viral, if viral means it exploded up out of nowhere. I think it will diminish, because I think the people doing it don’t customarily take the low road. Not to start with, anyway.

    “Calloused” might be a useful term to have in mind, at this point.

    • “Obama’s supporters have spent more than three years saying the vilest things about their opponents for going on four years now.”

      Eesh. Did me write that? Me did. Me stupid. Meep.

    • The “Oriental people eat dogs” thing has been around since at least the Korean War. Probably because, well, they eat dog. They also keep dogs as pets, and those are the ones they don’t eat, just like we eat rabbit and also keep pet bunnies. I don’t really have to prove this — just look it up. (And yes, I am reaching back into the far past to a time before Obama became president. People were assholes even before our Evil Overlord was born!)

      I don’t really care about the election, or what party fans say to fans of the other party. I hate sports, and refuse to participate in this ridiculous team vs. team thing. It means nothing to me. I care for neither Obama nor Romney nor any of the other soundalike whitemen that could have been stamped out of a mold who are vying for the throne of America.

      What I am worried about, concerned about, pissed off about, and getting sick and tired of, is the faster and faster slide the country’s culture has been doing into the mud of cultural depravity. Obama is not to blame for this, and the attempts to deflect this onto him or his fans isn’t working. Conservatives are and have been playing the game just as vigorously.

Comments are closed.