Take a good look at it. Feast your eyes on the supreme triumph of decadence ala fast foodus Americanus.
To paraphrase Freud, sometimes a breakfast sandwich is just a breakfast sandwich. But sometimes, it represents something iconographic about a society.
Nearing the end of an age of consumption, America is in denial about much. The country is in denial about peak oil, imperial overreach, the triumph of the democratic process and global climate change.
Of course, we’re too fat and getting fatter. Doctors issue grave warnings about future medical costs. We’re plowing under rainforests to feed the cattle that make us fat.
Who cares? We’re Americans - its part of our “non-negotiable” way of life. What better way to say "in your face" to the mamby pamby "cheese and crouissant" crowd than to cram a breakfast sandwich as big as George W. Bush's Texas down our gullets?
And so Burger King, God bless their little cholesterol clogged hearts, is giving us the capo di tutti capo of all breakfast sandwiches - one sausage patty, two eggs, two American cheese slices and three strips of bacon. At 730 calories and 47 grams of fat it has more of the bad stuff than their flagship Whopper.
A witty author who I interviewed when I was on radio some years back named Starbuck O’Dwyer, wrote a book called “Red Meat Cures Cancer” which reminds me of what Burger King is doing.
In his book, O’Dwyer’s main character works PR for a fast food firm that makes obscenely oversized hamburgers and even markets a milkshake that tastes like meat.
Despite the looming lawsuits over the artery-clogging menu items, the folks at the mythical “Tailburger” pursue bigger and fatter offerings, tying them into charities to repackage themselves as community benefactors.
It’s a funny read and biting social criticism of where we’ve gotten ourselves. I think what makes it work is O’Dwyer perfectly captures the essence of end of millennia America: over-consumption, willful ignorance and a childlike faith that someone or something will save us from our desires.