Wednesday, April 21, 2010

WTF and Other Tales of Schadenfreude

Howdy Burger Lovin' Friends,

Sorry for not updating the blog for a little a bit. This week in addition to telling you about our schedule and burger of the week, I wanted to use this blog to discuss something I've been noticing taking place and accelerating in society, specifically American society. Schadenfreude - pleasure derived from the misfortune of others. We see it in our politics as members of one party tear down members of the other party, not due to disagreement on issues, not because one party has better solutions, but becuase it gives a certain sociopathic pleasure to embarrass the opposition on a personal level. We see it in how individuals behave - whether in the workplace or in society at large by blaming their problems on others and deriving pleasure from the misfortune of our fellow human being. And last week, certainly on a much less serious level, Schadenfreude came to roost in the world of Burger Love.

On Tuesday, having just opened for lunch in Tribeca, in the same spot we have been almost daily for the last 6 months, we recieved a visit from the local police officer dealing with vendors. He and his partner were perfectly nice and brought us the following message "Leave now & never return". When we asked why, almost sheepishly the officer said "I'm sorry, I know you're not bothering anyone, I know you're only trying to make a living, and honestly your menu looks very good, but someoen complained and when they do, I have to ask you to leave. If you do not leave, or if I see you here again, I will issue you a summons and may confiscate your truck". Confiscate the Truck?!?!?! This is where Schadenfreude comes in. Why would someone call the police? If we are doing something that bothers someone, why doesn't that someone come up to the truck, tell us their concerns, possibly see us as reasonaable human beings and give us the opportunity to address their issue. Instead, it's easier to demonize and in an anonymous manner, destroy. It's easier to get someone who possess unarguable authority to deal with your problems then deal with them yourself. History is full of incidents when force rather than reason was used to achieve short term objectives, but never long terms results. The agent of force, the officer in this case, didnt even know why he was being sent to ask us to leave. He couldnt tell me what the complaint was, just that one had been anonymously lodged and he had to act on it. In my opinion, and in the opinion of everyone who came to the truck that day and was informed of what was happening, it wasn't fair and as some said showed incredible mean-spiritedness on the complaintants part. What was it that we were doing that caused this person so much discomfort, that their singular desire to be rid of us outweighed the pleasure we seem to give the hundreds of customers who visit us every week in Tribeca. What was it that we did that made this person say "The hell with all these people, what I want is more important". Why are the desires of the few, more important than the needs of the many. History is littered with moments in time where the path of confrontation was much easier than the path of conversation and consensus. This approach has never lead to peaceful co-existance but to long-term resentments and grudges. We must remember that today's conquered are tomorrows conquerers. And Burger Love conquers all. So that day, we moved. Not far. A couple of blocks. And then we Tweeted about it. The indignation and outporing of support were incredible to see. It showed us that while Schadenfreude is powerful, the forces of Goodness & Burger Love are far more powerful. We saw it that day and we thank you, our Burger Lovin' friends for showering us with your love when we felt so low. However, in the end, in this case, the Forces of Evil won a short term victory. We will no longer be able to do Lunch Service in Tribeca. We cannot risk the confiscation of our business. We feel absolutely terrible about this, but with the laws being what they are, and with anonymous black-hearted, Burger Hating people roaming the streets of Tribeca, we cannot take this chance. We will continue to do daily dinner service in Tribeca at Greenwich & Duane, in front of the Food Emporium.

OK, that's that. Just had to get that off our chest.

We've got our fourth Weekly Twitter Free Lunch Winner!!!! Congratulations to

Daniel Christ

All you have to do to enter the weekly Burger Love Twitter Free Lunch contest is sign up for our Twitter Feed at Please tell your friends, we're sure they'll appreciate you spreading word of Burger Love their way.

Due to the Incident in Tribeca we've had to revise our schedule:
Mon & Thurs - Broad St & Water St in FiDi
Tues - MIDTOWN EAST (upper 40's or low 50's) Stay Tuned!!!
Wed - 48th St & 6th Ave in MIDTOWN WEST
Fri - Park Ave between 26th & 27th St.

Even though the weather this week is a bit chilly, we're feeling very tropical. Our Burger of the Week this week is the El Cubano.
A Well Seasoned Grassfed Angus Patty
Rosemary Ham
Gruyere Cheese
Sliced Pickles
Secret Sassy Sauce

That's about it for now. Sorry for the long ramble. Have a great Burger Love-filled week.

V & A

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