I’m not quite sure what Cat is dressed as in the third panel. I see ‘lumberjack’ and I see ‘dressing gown’. I appear to fail at cultural recognition.
Maybe it is a plaid kimono. Do they make kimonos in plaid?
I think it’s amazing that the whole world is united (almost) through a single food, even if it’s a heart-attack on a bun. I understand what you mean though.
I think thats why we are getting movies like avatar. We desire new races to appropriate and sell mcdonalds to.
You won’t believe it’s food… Mac-Do-Nalds!
Actually the heart attack *is* the bun; it’s the carb intake from fast food, rather than the fat that is the health risk, doncha know.
@David Thomsen: I’m guessing “Hot Stuff” is Canadian, hence the ‘lumberjack’ jacket.
Lederhosen is the third, but I don’t see the third one.
Trenchant as *bleep* [see XKCD for context]
@JJChoi: Win. However, since “bleep” was substituted for the actual obscenity, your comment will not contribute to the Google results.
Well, that´s another way of cultural apropriation. The big one, I think.
@jeeger. Wurst, german.
I love the idea of this comic, but a couple of the panels are leaving me guessing.
Panel 3 – Are hot wings from Canada? Is that’s what’s going on, with the thick plaid? I thought we (in the middle of the country) stole them from Buffalo, NY, but Buffalo could have stolen them from Canada.
Panel 5: What the heck? What culture has cowboy hats and potatoes? And what fast food did we appropriate rom them? “3 Potato”? Is this a reference to the “one-potato-two-potato” game?
Except that’s not a cowboy hat, but a Spanish (as opposed to Mexican) sombrero. A bucket of omelets?
He is Peruvian in the fifth panel. Apparently I am not so bad at cultural recognition after all.
I have a new theory about panel three. It is a smoking jacket. Who wears smoking jackets? Rich slave-owners in Kentucky. What did rich slave owners eat while wearning smoking jackets in Kentucky? Fried chicken.
1981, my honeymoon in Puerto Rico, we walked a long way and got lost, off the tourist path…and wound up finding a McDonalds. It took the edge off of eating bagels and lox in bed at the Holiday Inn Condado while watching The 3 Stooges dubbed in Spanish all morning.
This has been on my mind recently, and now here you go, giving me the opportunity to vent.
A few years back, a friend of mine came to visit from Great Britain, and one of the things he wanted to do was go to an American McDonalds. His line of thinking seemed to be, well, McDonalds is about as American as a restaurant can be, so to get the authentic experience, you should go to America to do it. So we went, and he was disappointed that it was exactly the same as what he was used to.
This has led me to a recent epiphany.
In the same way that American fast food chains absorb and adapt food from other cultures into something bland and safe and fake enough to appeal to the lowest, largest common denominator, McDonald’s has absorbed and adapted the idea of the American hamburger joint. Offhand, I can think of four burger places by me that feel more like “real” hamburger joints, though I’ll be damned if I could tell you what the criteria is.
The fact that you can Americanize something that was already pretty American to begin with gives me a sort of unsettling feeling all over.
@CPFace – Brilliant!
is #3 a pilgrim with mashed potatoes?
It’s only said if you don’t stand to make money on it.
That said, the fact that that British guy thinks America = McDonalds is kind of horrifying.
Personally, I’d say a run-of-the-mill diner is more American. Hell, the fact that I used ‘run-of-the-mill’ to describe it shows just shows that it’s so basic to the American experience, that it doesn’t stand out even if you sit down and think about it.
@ Jacob Adam
Is panel #5 an irish thing? Potatoes and the cloud looks like a shamrock. Cat should be holding a Guiness and a cabbage sandwich if that’s the case.
For the chain that’s captured the “quintessential” American burger joint, without the fluff of car chassis parked inside to drive up prices, I vote Waffle House. Those adverts on the juke can generate drunken laughter from anyone with basic cultural context.
@David: Good call on Peru, now that you say it I’m slapping my forehead. No on smoking jackets with fried chicken. Wealthy Kentuckians might eat barbeque, but not in smoking jackets (they are for smoking). No one has ever simultaneously held non-ironic ownership of a smoking jacket and fried chicken. It’s possible that Dorothy got Dixie wrong, but she got the Southwest down perfectly from what appears to be limited exposure.
I have no idea what the hell Cat’s holding in his hand in panel 2. Is the WATS UP on his apron supposed to be inner-city black?
The words hot stuff I’d just think of as attached to maybe wings, but otherwise just think of hot and spicy bar food. His plaid doesn’t cue anything in me.
The words 3 potato don’t make me think of anything because I know potatos have traveled from South America to Ireland and thus I’m not going to map potatos themselves as specific to one culture. The combination of three also don’t make me think of any particular dish at all.
Is it still cultural appropriation if you just eat and don’t even know where something came from?
Cultural appropriation and cultural imperialism, locked in a mutual stranglehold for all time. Yummy, yummy impasse…
This reminds me of two things.
The skinhead that came into the “Mexican” restaurant my wife used to work at. A few days later we saw him at a Asian buffet. I guess he’ll compromise his racism for deliciousness.
Also, in the town I’m in there a restaurant advertising itself as “honest” Mexican food. Their emblem is a horse. What are they selling?
@Joshua Was the skinhead a trad, racial, or SHARP (Skinhead Against Racial Prejudice)? Traditional and SHARPs wouldn’t be contradicting themselves by eating at those places.
I was looking at the comments section here hoping for some clues about what a few of them were (thanks for the peruvian), and I have to say it’s made me think more deeply about the idea of “cultural appropriation” than the comic itself did – although I thoroughly enjoyed that.
This isn’t something I’ve ever worried about at the food court, I just tend to go for whatever has the best health/cost/delicious stats. Perhaps I’ve been eating the unexamined life?
I have to call Girl out on this one. She’s declaring cultural appropriation on everything, yet what does she end up eating? French Fries, which aren’t even French.
Just about everything people in the US eat is appropriated from some other culture if you go back far enough. And blaming businesses for marketing their product based on it’s cultural origins? Blame the consumers who have and continue to buy in to the idea.
If she really wanted to just eat some non appropriated food, she’s going to be eating a whole lot of turkey, buffalo, and corn flakes.
Personally, I’m pretty appreciative that you can get food that (in style at least) from nearly every culture on the planet, and pretty readily if you live in a diverse enough city. Can you get good pizza in Chad? I don’t think so.
@tenshi: I think Panel 2is pizza boxes and fake Italian accent, but i could be quite wrong.
The most bletcherous hamburgers to be had come from McDonald’s. The only cultural appropriation I can lay claim to is South East Asian. But then is it appropriation if the eateries are owned by people whose parents came from those countries? And Wild River Brewery makes a hamburger that will make you toss all McDonald’s junk in the trash in disgust. In-n-Out also will make you wish to give MickeyD’s a miss.