Social critique

5 Popular American Things That Are Bullshit

Who’s buying into this?

Brad
5 min readOct 30, 2022

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Photo by J Dean on Unsplash

1. Mid-life crisis

When we think of a mid-life crisis, we often imagine a guy in his 50s-60s buying a fast car, or motorcycle, dressing younger, or participating in some inane activity that he is too old for.

But news flash, most of us, especially men, are not making it to 100. Most of us will probably top out around 75. So a mid-life crisis is more like an end-of-life crisis, or a male form of “Empty Nest Syndrome”

A mid-life crisis is more like a guy in his 30s that maybe graduated, got married, had kids, got established, and is like…now what? So he gets into the History Channel, smoking meats, or some pastime to give him some new focus in a way to believe in some next step or new outlet for meaning. Even more fundamentally, no matter how you play it when you enter you’re 30s, you’ve gapped on something, maybe you made a lot of money, but have no friends, or vice versa, and now you’re starting to get worried and grasp onto something to fill the gaps. THAT is a mid-life crisis.

Photo by De an Sun on Unsplash

The $1.50 Costco Hot Dog

The Costco Hot dog receives more lip service than anything I know. The CEO has been heralded, even thought to deserve a Nobel Peace Prize, for his fight to keep the hot dog at $1.50 at all costs despite everything, including inflation.

Sorry, but cmon guys, this is the oldest trick in the book. It’s called a “bait” or “anchor” item. All retail does this; they make some products cheap or on sale, which in turn attracts customers there, and inevitably spend a lot of money. Yes, the hot dog is $1.50, but you’re coming out of Costco spending what…$200-$300 at least?!!?

I think the Costco hot dog runs deeper and more fundamental to the American psyche. We fear change. With all the shit going on in our lives and changing, at least the damn price of that hot dog stays the same. It’s a comfort we can rely on for some stability in our lives. For some of us, it’s all we got.

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