Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Obamania Contd.

I don't usually dump every nonsense I come across on this blog - in that case I wouldn't be doing anything else (for the smaller updates, see my Twitter status in the sidebar or my shared items on Google reader). But this you just have to see: German frozen food company introduces the "Obama Fingers" - fried chicken with a curry dip



[Via Spiegel Online]

Notice Stars and Stripes and the Golden Gate Bridge in the background. I couldn't quite decide whether it's a joke, but either way, enjoy.

12 comments:

Uncle Al said...

After chickens pass through a disassembly line the skeletons retain salable meat. That is mechanically flailed off and marketed as "chicken tenders" - conglomerated meat without apparent anatomical origin. President Obama with known parentage and earned Harvard Law School graduation deserves better than that.

http://www.answerbag.com/q_view/540351
OTOH... Rich oral tradition.

Giotis said...

Sometimes capitalism makes me wanna puke. This is one of those times.

Georg said...

Hello Bee,
One of the biggest honors for politicians in Germany is giving some food the name of the man.
Obama-Chicken is the second instance since
the legendary Bismarck-Hering. :=)
Georg

John Baez said...

In the United States, releasing this product would be commercial suicide. People would attack it for being racist, since there's a long tradition of vaguely snide remarks about how black people love fried chicken.

Do you think the manufacturers of this product deliberately intended to allude that association, or are they just oblivious?

Bee said...

With possible exception of Kohlköpfe ;-)

Bee said...

Hi John,

I am pretty sure they didn't know that (I didn't know either). In my experience, Germans (or Europeans more generally) don't think about the Black-or-White question so much, and just aren't so sensitive to it. It's not that racism doesn't exist in Europe, it certainly does, but people don't spend such a lot of time worrying about words that might come off wrong when it comes to this particular minority as they seem to do in the USA. I guess every country is touchy on different things. Germans eg are for obvious reasons touchy on everything that might potentially come off as anti-semitic. Best,

B.

stefan said...

Hi John, Sabine,

It seems it was sheer thoughtlessness. The Spiegel International article that comes with the photo of the ad is quite revealing:

"We noticed that American products and the American way of eating are trendy at the moment," Judith Witting, sales manager for Sprehe [the company producing this stuff], told SPIEGEL ONLINE. "Americans are more relaxed. Not like us stiff Germans, like (Chancellor Angela) Merkel."

The idea, she claimed, was to get in on the Obama-mania which is continuing to grip Germany. The word "fingers" in the name refers to the fact that it is a finger food. "It's like hotdogs," Witting said. "No one would ever think they are actually from dogs."


And about the offensive potential of the ad:

Witting told SPIEGEL ONLINE the connection never even occurred to her. "It was supposed to be a homage to the American lifestyle and the new US president," she said.

This week's ZEIT also comments on the ad, in a more mocking way: On the one hand, insulting foreign heads of state is liable to prosecution in Germany. On the other hand, it may be a honour for Obama, as there are no marketing campaigns trying to cash in on Angela Merkel.

Cheers, Stefan

Georg said...

Bee wrote:
With possible exception of Kohlköpfe ;-)

Hello Bee,
but nobody thought about renaming
Saumagen to Kohlmagen.
On those "Obama Fingers": I hope the taste
of those fingers is better than the taste of that
ad people.
:=)
Georg

Bee said...

Patrick McGuckin: I deleted your utterly stupid comment. This has nothing to do with free speech but with good manners. If you want to insult people you have never even met, this is not the place to do it.

Neil' said...

Yeah, this is cute and so funny to see blurbs in German despite the English title! In the USA, it might be considered "insensitive" as John Baez suggests, which is too bad ... I'd like to try the Obama-Fingers despite Uncle Al's unappetizing put-down of them (and yet with surprising respect, coming from him, for Obama!)

BTW Al is (presumably, still) in Mensa, "the hi-IQ organization" (umm, top 2% is actually not so terrific) - to which I also belong. Mensans tend to employ and enjoy flamboyant, big-wordy or even flame-buoyant prose as an art. Al is one of the best!

BTW2 Please come back John Baez and comment some more, maybe next time about science and math. The news group sci.physics.research and your posts are so useful.

sb said...

a more successful product would be obamee's monkey chunks...i am black and am an american and a veteran of both persian gulf wars...this prez is the next hitler.

Johannes Fiftyeight said...

I can Assure you this was a real ad in Germany. I saw it in a local food store flyer.
Thing is, I came to Germany to get away from the Obama hype and was quite disgusted to see this...