Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Sunday, July 04, 2021

Leave it to six-time hot-dog eating champ Takeru Kobayashi to lend some actual drama to this year’s Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest on Coney Island. Thanks to his contract dispute with Major League Eating, “The Tsunami” found himself gatecrashing the event:

Kobayashi, wearing a black T-shirt that said “Free Kobi,” mingled with the crowd watching the contest, standing inside a police-barricaded pen just under the stage. When the eating ended, he slipped up the stage stairs.

Then, several security officers appeared and tried to usher him off. He grabbed a metal police barricade with both hands, holding on tightly as the officers pulled at him. Finally, they dragged him down the stairs, with Kobayashi resisting vehemently.

He was under arrest Sunday afternoon, charged with resisting arrest, trespass and obstructing governmental administration.

I’m not sure what’s more embarrassing: Getting arrested for attempting to upstage a celebration of competitive gluttony, or actually participating in a contest that demonstrates what a frankfurter-inhaling pig you are.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 07/04/2021 10:45pm
Category: Food, New Yorkin', Other Sports, True Crime
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Until recently, a “sugary beverage tax” of one-penny-per-ounce seemed destined to become law in New York State. But apparently, counter-lobbying by the American Beverage Association killed the proposed bill, and supposedly more persuasive advocacy by the industry turned the tide:

Next, this TV ad from New Yorkers Against Unfair Taxes, a name calculated to make the blood boil. A mother unpacks groceries in the kitchen as her son mixes a powdered lemonade, one of the drinks that would be taxed. “Tell Albany to trim their budget fat and leave our groceries alone,” the mother says…

It is too early for a final tally of the money spent on advertising and lobbying by either side in New York. But by most accounts, the beverage industry has outspent the pro-tax side and has succeeded in painting the soda tax as a naked money grab cleverly disguised as a health policy.

I question how convincing the ABA’s advertising was, at least with the general public. I caught their commercials a few times; frankly, I wouldn’t have been aware of the tax if hadn’t. I found the ads — including the one referenced above — to be particularly grating and transparently self-serving. In fact, I came away from them more in favor of the tax, just because the industry opposition was so blunt. I think this is more a case of the state legislators getting swayed by their corporate constituents, prompting the burial of this bill. Democracy at work, right?

I guess that’s just me, though. I don’t froth at the mouth every time a new tax is proposed. Plus, I don’t consume all that many soft drinks. So that makes me the silent minority in this arena.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 07/04/2021 12:06pm
Category: Advert./Mktg., Business, Food, New Yorkin', Politics
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