We Should All Be Disturbed By the Hot-Dog Beer Straw Video

Photo Illustration by Erin O'Flynn/The Daily Beast/@davie_dave/Instagram
Photo Illustration by Erin O'Flynn/The Daily Beast/@davie_dave/Instagram
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This is a preview of our pop culture newsletter The Daily Beast’s Obsessed, written by senior entertainment reporter Kevin Fallon. To receive the full newsletter in your inbox each week, sign up for it here.

This week:

The Most Upsetting Video of the Year

There’s a video that went viral this week—it was posted on every single meme account that exists and appeared about 93 times in my Instagram feed—that seemed more and more intriguing each time I saw it, before I even had the opportunity to press play.

A man is seen sitting with a hot dog and beer. These are two things that rank among my greatest passions in life, so my interest was immediate. But the horror that would unfold when I watched it... the disgust that I felt... I can’t recall the last time I’ve been so disturbed. I pulled out my phone to call 1-800-INSTAGRAM; it was my civic duty to have the video removed from the internet as soon as humanly possible. (You can watch it yourself, if you’re strong enough.)

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What happens in the video is truly upsetting. (Trigger warning for the hot-dogitarians among us, whose hearts break seeing such violence against our cherished cuisine.) A man at a recent Mets vs. Yankees game—a New Yorker, for whom such acts should be sacrilege—is holding a hot dog that has been removed from its bun: naked, cold, and probably scared, the poor thing. He then aggressively violates it, boring a hole from top to bottom using a straw. I know, it’s upsetting. I’ll give you a moment to process.

He then—and this is hard to even repeat, but we'll be brave—puts the hot dog into his cup of beer and drinks through it, using the hot dog as a straw.

This is not natural. It is inhumane. Every day, we have strayed further from God’s light; today, we are fully shadowed in the darkness.

Over the years that I’ve been writing this newsletter, I’ve come to appreciate the silly viral videos that unite us. We’re a splintered, fractured society. The days are long and hard. These last years have been traumatizing. But that rush of serotonin when a friend texts you a link, you watch the five-second video, smile to yourself, and maybe even let a lil’ chuckle out: that’s what’s keeping us going, baby.

But not this. It has come to my attention that some people were sharing this video and praising this man, Beelzebub walking among us, as a genius. That he had figured out a clever hack, or discovered a way to marry two of life’s greatest pleasures. Those people have clearly been corrupted by some nefarious force. It’s too late for them, but not for you. Stand with me. Do what’s right. Reject this video of the hot-dog beer straw. Report for it what it is: hateful and harmful, an attack on all of us who stand in our truth, that hot dogs and beer are meant to be enjoyed separately.

These are trying times we’re in, but we can’t be complacent when a great threat is looking us in the eye. The hot-dog beer straw video must be condemned.

Apparently It’s Not Virgo Season

I remember exactly when I received this email from On the JLo, the fansite/newsletter generator that claims to send updates from Ms. Lopez herself—excuse me, Mrs. Affleck—to her worshippers. The subject line was “Wedding Dress First Looks.” The moment sticks out to me, because I remember it eliciting the most outlandish, thrilled, visceral emotion that I allowed myself to have all week. I couldn’t help it; it was a reflexive outburst. I glanced at the email subject line, the left corner of my mouth lifted slightly into a half-grin, and I whispered, “Yay.”

The reason for mentioning any of this is to contextualize my disbelief that, following wedding photos delivered to my email inbox purportedly from Jennifer Affleck herself, somehow there would be other J.Lo-related news that would give me even more joy. But that is what happened when this next, probably totally inaccurate, impossible to verify, yet juicy nonetheless news came to my attention.

It’s a series of words that seemed to have been crafted just to delight me: I read a story about how an actress from Glee revealed that during the auditions to be a back-up dancer for for one of the artist’s tours, Jennifer Lopez walked into the studio, asked any hopefuls that were born under the astrological sign of Virgo to raise their hands, and then dismissed them all on the spot.

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I know nothing about astrology and horoscopes, other than that I am apparently a Leo and find myself to be incredibly annoying. But on the spectrum of gossip about major celebrities’ diva behavior, there’s something intangibly hilarious about refusing to hire back-up dancers because of their astrological sign—and that it came to our attention because a former Glee star spoke about it on a podcast.

“She walks in the room and she said, ‘Thank you so much, you guys have worked so hard. By a show of hands if there are any Virgos in the room, can you just raise your hand?’” Heather Morris, who played Brittany on the series, said on the podcast Just Sayin’ With Justin Martindale. “She looked at them and she said, ‘Thank you so much for coming.’ And they had to leave after a full day of auditioning for Jennifer Lopez.”

Again, this is all unsubstantiated. Who knows if it’s true. But it was a solid use of 23 seconds of my time to Google whether Alex Rodriguez was a Virgo.

That Beat Ain’t Stoppin’

One thing about me is that I love musicals (unsurprising), and that I think Hairspray is a perfect one (also unsurprising).

That’s why I found it so charming to see the video that actress Shoshana Bean posted on her Instagram of the show’s original Broadway cast reuniting for its 20th anniversary to perform one of the show’s big production numbers, “The Nicest Kids in Town,” with all the athletic, exhausting choreography. (Watch it here.)

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Marissa Jaret Winokur, who played Tracy Turnblad, and Matthew Morrison, who played Link Larkin before traumatizing a generation as Mr. Schuster on Glee, were both there. It was nostalgic and impressive—that dancing is hard—but also fun to live vicariously through. What theater kid hasn’t fantasized about what it would be like to revisit that high-school musical they starred in now, as an Old? The Calvert High School Theater production of Guys and Dolls, starring Kevin Fallon as Nathan Detroit and also, with a mustache drawn on with lip liner, a Cuban dancer, is practically begging for a revival.

The Best of Films, the Worst of Films

Netflix’s The Next 365 Days is one of the worst films I have ever seen. But it did have a scene in which its star fantasizes about having a threesome with the two men she’s in a love triangle with, during which they kiss, and therefore I can’t help but root for it to be the number-one movie of the year and also want it to win the Oscar.

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What to watch this week:

The Patient: A great show with a great Steve Carell performance, and the episodes are only a half-hour. (Tuesday on FX)

The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power: I think we all are curious what a billion-dollar TV series looks like. (Thursday on Amazon)

Funny Pages: A less-splashy A24 movie, but still an A24 movie! (Now in theaters)

What to skip this week:

MTV Video Music Awards: I know, right? They are indeed still a thing! (Sunday on MTV)

Me Time: A Mark Wahlberg-Kevin Hart Netflix comedy that is exactly as funny as that sounds. (Now on Netflix)

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