Sunday, February 2, 2014

Gluttony as entertainment

I see where one Molly Schuyler has set a world record of sorts with her unprecedented feat of gobbling down 363 chicken wings in half an hour. No word on what must have been an equally impressive bout of vomiting shortly thereafter, and the inevitable bowl-busting bowel movement she has surely had since.

What intrigues me is that this "news" arrived on my screen under the heading "entertainment." This is obviously the low-rent district of the Food Porn genre. It provides a competitive outlet for a few folks incapable of competing at anything else but who still have some sort of inner drive to compete, to win.

However pathetic and repulsive these "contests" are, this being America there is someone at the ready to profit from it. In this case it's the NASCAR of competitive eating, All Pro Eating Promotions, a self-styled sanctioning body that organizes these events. That means sponsorships and publicity and money.

We are told that Molly Schuyler won $22,000 for her efforts. Only Molly can answer whether that makes it worth sacrificing her dignity and risking her health. It does however make it possible that more than her competitive streak was at work here.

Maybe she just desperately needed the money.

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