American Madness

Intelligent Criticism in the Service of a Better Nation

Sausage Party!

Posted by Lisa Qiu | 7 Comments

Where is the madness that you promised me?
- The Magnetic Fields

Prediction: as we move deeper into the depression sausages will become more popular.

The sausage became the brunt of all jokes during the high of 80s and 90s money. It was peasant food, lumps of meat shoved into the intestinal casing of an animal— we’re in a democracy, why should we eat like Communist commoners?

Some people say they saw the recession coming in through the bubble of the housing market, or the credit sector, or they just had a premonition when they saw a dog take an enormous dump in front of a Citibank. I saw the recession in entrails.

Gastronomically, classy chefs were getting really into the nasty bits. They were heralded like grand conquistadors. Incredulously rich people looked forward to cutting up 40 cent pieces of tripe with their whalebone knives that rested on Tiffany’s china. Restaurants began charging for the fly over states of organ meat what they normally would for sirloin. Chefs became more obsessed with peasant culture and how food is made better by simpler people ala the Slow Food movement.

Lately, it has become easy to feel phony cutting into a perfect cut of meat— it is the edible symbol of complacency, excess, and laziness. To achieve the American Dream of everyone having a delicious piece of the pie, we had to make that pie generic and easy to bake and cut. Our culinary tastes went to shit because our culture went to uber shit. Being an American had lost its authenticity (it gained from overcoming adversity during the Great Depression) with the homogenization of our food. We wanted this recession to happen (because we were literally sick to our stomach) and we approved it by glorifying third-world sustenance.

Nothing is more proletariat than sausage. It’s portable (for when you have to fight), lasts for a long time (during the fight), it keeps you full for a long time (the second fight!) and you can make it into a million different flavors (fun!)! Sausages are also one of the most decidedly low tech pieces of food to make, for, you know, when all technology turns to dust during the depression. You just grind the meat and push it through casing, I bet David Chang is making an O face right now over how much he can mark up Berkshire Pork sausages. Or if you’re not so DIY, it’s easy to pick up some at the store for stupid cheap.

During high flying times it was playful and seductive to have some offal as long as it was coddled by expensive and sophisticated seasonings. To serve sausage would have stepped over the tongue-in-cheek flirt between the kitchen and the well heeled guest. Now that the recession has brought us closer to the ground, chefs everywhere can stop tip-toeing around: the foreplay is over.

We were money drunk. We lost all our friends (France and shit) and screwed up our family (we are as obese as hell). We had to hit rock bottom in order to go to rehab. And this rehab serves sausage for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, bitch.


7 Responses to “Sausage Party!”

  1. Joel Friedlander
    February 28th, 2009 @

    Now just wait a cotton pick’n minute lady! All sausage is not the disgusting breakfast links you see at the ubiquitous diners along the highway. There is Argentine Blood sausage for example, which contains no meat whatsoever. There is hagis, which is a species of sausage from Scotland. So too is Polish kolbasi, which is also sausage, and there is the sausages in Andalucia called chorizo. The only common element is the wrapping, never the filling. There is kosher and unkosher sausage, mild and spicy sausage, even Indian sausage which made in a curry. Andoulle sausage in spicy Cajun form and in the milder French form.These sausages have been popular in both prosperity and in depression, and they are damned good to eat. If we must eat sausage during this depression, at least we will all enjoy that part of the crisis .

  2. Lisa
    February 28th, 2009 @

    Sausage is a metaphor for social unrest.

  3. Lisa
    February 28th, 2009 @

    I’m half kidding, :-)

  4. Joel Friedlander
    February 28th, 2009 @

    Yes, that was clear, but there was only a segment of America that was chasing the “Golden Calf.” There is a large segment of this country that bears no guilt whatsoever for what transpired. Perhaps we should call those people the sausage eaters. They were the people who weren’t going out to eat at restaurants where the design of the food on the plate was more important then the way it tasted.

    I remember having dinner with two other couples around the time of the second Reagan administration. During the conversation that ensued we were discussing a fourth couple and one of the other couples said, “Oh, we don’t see them anymore. They’re into plants, and trees, and nature, and we’re into money.”

    I always felt that statement captured the Republican ideology perfectly. It encapsulates those people for whom I is more important then We. I hope that they will disappear now that their ideology has failed.

    You know, I left out scrapple!

  5. Lisa
    March 1st, 2009 @

    I’m in very good company on this blog.

  6. Kathy
    March 13th, 2009 @

    I am dizzy with pride at your eloquence and insightfulness. And to think this may have started at my kitchen counter as gingerbread people were dressed in bikinis.
    Lisa, you are my hero.

  7. paulandorder
    April 14th, 2009 @

    The sausage, in general, does little to admire.
    It often enters politics, but seldom ventures higher.

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