What KFC's Double Down Means for Society

What remains of it, anyway

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It's hard to believe it's real. The bacon-and-cheese-stuffed KFC Double Down made fast-food history by replacing the standard sandwich bun with two hunks of fried chicken. Introduced nationwide on Monday, the Double Down has taken America--and the blogosphere--by storm. We may never be the same. Here's what this all-American sandwich is revealing about society.

  • We Are the Double Down  The Awl's David Cho concludes, "America, we did it! We, like the Double Down, are pretty much exactly what people think we are." He adds, "What I'd point to as the major flaw in this sandwich—in its underlying principle, really—is that both varieties of chicken, particularly the fried, out-muscle and overpower the rest of the sandwich with the intense taste of saltiness."
  • 'Dumbly,' Shockingly Bold   Salon's Francis Lam declares, "the Double Down, and everybody's peeking-through-covered-eyes reaction to it, is not about logic. It's about balls. ... The Double-D is so macho, so deeply, dumbly dude, it's a sandwich for people who want to take down Michelle Obama in an arm wrestle."
The really funny thing about the Double Down is not that it exists, not that it's a dare pretending to be a lunch, but that it would be nothing special if they added a bun to it. Think about it. It'd be like, "What's that? A double chicken sandwich? Pffft. Snooze. Any jackass can make a double chicken sandwich." Somehow, by taking off the processed-food bread, KFC made this thing look deadly.
  • With Inventive Past Behind Us, Accepting Our Mediocrity  Entertainment Weekly's Ken Tucker suggests Americans have "accepted" the Double Down in "Much the way the remaining American Idol contestants accepted the challenge of performing Elvis Presley songs. ... Me, I respect Elvis in his prime the way I respect McDonald’s Quarter Pounder with Cheese: brilliant American inventiveness."
  • Awed, Horrified by Our Own Gluttony  The Palm Beach New Times' John Linn explains, "people are both incensed and enticed by the egregiousness of a sandwich in which the buns have been replaced by fried chicken. The fact that it's filled with both bacon and cheese pushes that button even more."
  • The Recession's Toll on Food  Conservative blogger Allahpundit asks if our spiraling standards have hit a new low. "If tough economic times influence men’s tastes in women, isn’t it possible that they influence our tastes in food too? Without the recession, the Double Down might never have happened. Silver lining!"
  • Deep-Fried Insanity  Stephen Colbert had this to say:

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.