Sunday, May 23, 2010

the double down

I haven't been paying attention to the flutter about the KFC Double Down--the huge who-will-think-of-the-children ghoulish horror about its existence--but it strikes me as I squint at it as sort of disingenuous.

If you look at the fat content in fast foods, there are pages and pages of other foods with higher fat content, including standard fare like a 6-inch Subway meatball sub.

The horror seems to be directed at the attitude the Double Down conveys by its existence; its flagrant, yes flagrant, lack of shame about what it is (you go home and wipe that makeup off, young lady). Or at our own shame that manufacturers have looked into our souls and know that this picture of excess is what we want. You know some focus groups were eating these things a year ago.

It's as if the DD is no longer disguising what fast food really is: it's a full-blown, wanton, processed, animal producty thing, with no window dressing to make it more like real fud. (As Raymond Chandler wrote: "Americans will eat anything if it is toasted and held together with a couple of toothpicks and has lettuce sticking out of the sides, preferably a little wilted"). How is eating a Taco Bell Taco Salad (45 grams of fat) so different from dining on a Double Down (32 grams)? It just looks better. You could argue there's more nutrition in the bagged pre-shredded Taco Bell iceberg, but I'm not sure about that. The reaction to the DD also seems a little funny coming so fast on the heels of the Atkins surge of a few years ago, when the DD would have been hailed as the solution to all our no-carb needs.

Being appalled at doubling down seems a little like throwing paint on a fur coat while wearing leather shoes and belt. It's too obvious.