The Straw Ham Argument



In my composition class we're reviewing common logical fallacies, which helped me finally put my finger on the exact reason this commercial (above) has been bothering me for over thirty years-- the wacky uncle hard selling the A-1 uses the "straw man argument" to convince his nephew to use steak sauce on his burger; first, he creates a hollow and idiotic premise (no one actually believes a hamburger is chopped ham) and then he knocks down this moronic argument (of his own invention) with apparent ease . . . a hamburger isn't chopped ham . . . no, it's chopped steak! . . . but, of course, there's no mention of what a hamburger really is: cheap beef parts, laced with E. Coli and salmonella, minced and padded out with pink slime . . . the whole thing goes down so quickly that the rest of the family never questions the uncle's slick (but ham-handed) rhetoric.

3 comments:

zman said...

This is a perfect Sentence of Dave sentence. It sets up a straw man by decrying straw men and thus is circularly meta; makes a 1980's pop culture reference; alludes to knowledge of deep information about the secret content of a commonly consumed item, likely gleaned by reading obscure texts or listening to obscure podcasts; and concludes with a parenthetical pun (which was likely the real inspiration for writing this sentence in the first instance). I slow-clapped at my desk for a good 10 seconds after reading this one.

Dave said...

thanks! i was really proud of myself when i finished this one last night, but i wasn't sure why. you have explained to me what i am . . .

Dave said...

you will also like tomorrow's sentence-- the next in this series.

A New Sentence Every Day, Hand Crafted from the Finest Corinthian Leather.