July 23 is know as National Hot Dog Day, but is also Gorgeous Grandma Day (yuck), National Pink Day, and God only know's what National Day. There is a day for everything, for instance yesterday was National Tequila Day, today is Merry Go Day and tomorrow is All or Nothing Day. How can you keep the days straight with Paul Bunyan Day, Smoke & Mirror Day, Ugly Truck Day, Flitch Day, Petroleum Day,World Sauntering Day, Pancake Popcorn Day, Escape Day, Toothache Day, Public Sleeping Day, and my favorite Make Up Your Own Holiday Day. Where did this come from? Did someone just wake up one day and say "man I'm going to devote today to _____ and convince some idiots to celebrate it." Well it worked.
And if there is one thing the US is obsessed with it is Hot Dogs. Yes those slimly pink meat rods, made animal byproducts. It is actually by product of our German ancestry, where in 1870 Charles Feltman sold sausages in rolls at Coney Island. Sure nothing is more American than the New York Hot Dog, where neither the obesity nor Noah's Arch could stop them from boil-em, fry-em, grill-em, bake-em, put em on a sandwich, in Kraft Macaroni & Cheese, cook-m over a campfire, and most relevant buying the craziest devices to cook-em. Sure there are plenty of weirdos out their that eat-em raw,but fear not there are millions of Hot Dog doodads and gizmos to protect you from ebola. A toaster to heat your Hot Dog and toast you bun son, along with rotisserie machines distinctly devoted to dogs, a corn dog maker, and deep fryer, a Japanese style Sanrio rabbit that warms your weenier, and let's not forget Roast My Weenier.
But more importantly you can spend $699 you can learn how to run your very own Hot Dog Cart. Yes ladies and gentleman there is a Hot Dog University where you learn the art of the cart and buy just buy Perry Belcher's book How to Make a Million Dollars off a Hot Dog Cart. The syllabus includes permit and license procedures, equipment operation, setting up your cart, taste testing, and a plant tour seeing first hand how Hot Dogs are made. First off I'd like to point out that if you are serious about running a Hot Dog cart, you're first move should not be to waste your money on this class, along with travel, but to invest it into your business. Second maybe we should think about having a Hot Dog Cart, the NY times quoted that at times a seller can make up to $750 a week, while the vendors can make well over six figures a year. So don't knock the dog.
100 Objects of Popular and Material Culture is an blog exploring the manifestations of human consumption and commodity-ization. The purpose of this experiment is to explore material and popular culture in contemporary society by using objects and concepts to prompt wider questions and reflections. So by emulating The British Museum's and Neil MacGregor's format of A History of the World in 100 Objects I plan to satirically analyze and reinterpreted 100 material culture objects over the course of 2014. Material Culture is the study of our culture's consumption of stuff; namely the manifestation of culture through material productions where people's perceptions of objects is socially and culturally dependent. With this, objects reflect conscious and unconscious beliefs on the the individuals who fabricated, purchased, or used them, and by extension the society where they live. So examining materiality, cultural truths and societal assumptions may be discovered. As anthropologist Arjun Appaduai states "in any society the individual is often caught between the cultural structure of commodity-ization and his own personal attempts to bring a value and order to the universe of things." Objects and commodities make up a much larger symbolic system consisting of want and need, socio-economic status, fashion, etc. Often times form follows function whether the commodity, market, and or consumer forever evolve around one-another. Philosopher Pierre Bourdieu's theories of capital flow full circle; where regardless if you are a minimalist or a hoarder the world is made up of things and everyone will leave their footprint on the earth. So by humorously analyzing marketed objects and concepts, hopefully this blog will provide further incite into ideas of over-consumption, a disposable society, consumerism vs. anti-consumers, planned obsolescence vs. sustainability, as well as the greater good of mankind and future generations.