Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Offended by the Hamburger

Today's world is one of political correctness. One wrong word, one wrong comment made in jest, one slip of the tongue and people lose their jobs; they lose their sponsors; they lose their credibility. Today, there is a very fine line to walk. It seems like there is always a group out there, somewhere that is offended by something or offended by something someone does. It can be speech, it can be advertising promotions, it can be the team name or mascot of a sports team. It doesn't take much to offend people/groups anymore.

Locally, we have seen this with Chief Illiniwek at the University of Illinois and even the Chicago Blackhawks, much like the Washington Redskins, who have recently drawn criticism for their use of Native American names as their team logo. Even in grade school I remember having played a team that was forced to change their team name from the Redskins to the Lasers. I have "no comment" on how I feel about the political correctness of the sports team naming issues. (Taking one's own advice can sometimes be wise.)

But, I do however have a comment on yet another local issue, and this happens to be over food. Yes, food has finally offended someone. That's right, food! At a certain point, when does it become just too much?

A Chicago restaurant named Kuma's Corner has recently drawn fire over what they have put on their hamburger. This small restaurant names its hamburgers after Heavy Metal Rock Bands. The burger that has drawn the fire is named the "Ghost" burger. Now, I don't much follow Heavy Metal, but there is apparently a Swedish group out there that goes by the name of Ghost. The band's wardrobe consists of religious robes with the members faces painted as skeletons. Seems harmless enough, right?

What Kuma's Corner did with their hamburger was top it with cheese, a red wine reduction and then garnished it with a communion wafer. All in the name of doing what they do when they put ingredients together and name a hamburger after heavy metal rock bands. In doing so, Kuma's Corner has offended some Catholic organizations. Assuredly not all Catholics are offended by this hamburger (myself included), but some of have come out and expressed their distaste (no pun intended) for the ingredients in this burger. Kuma's Corner employee Luke Tobias said, "It's not a commentary on the state of religion or anything like that. It's literally, 'We like this band; we think what they do is cool." Well, simple enough for me.  I'm satisfied with that answer. It's literally a tribute to a band the restaurant themed a burger after & that's it. We need to read into it no further.  

Prior to today I had never heard of Kuma's Corner, and now I'm curious. Maybe I'll stop there and try a burger someday. But other than that, it's time to move on to something that matters. Don't we have bigger issues?

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