a Wandering Dago by any other name
she asks if "dago"
is in the dictionary -
our first Scrabble scrap
agosan has been trying to be as Buddha-like and above the fray as possible lately, and I've been taking a long sabbatical from seriously writing haiku. But, a squabble right here in Schenectady over use of the word "dago" in the name of a business has inspired me to opine rather than recline this afternoon, and to even gin up a new haiku with photo accompaniment (see above).
Andrea Luguidice and Brandon Snooks are co-owners of the Schenectady-based Wandering Dago Food Truck
. Their diverse menu -- "with options ranging from pulled pork sandwiches, flatbread pizza and made-to-order chopped salads" -- has won many fans and much praise. Nevertheless, their Food Truck was evicted from the Saratoga Race Track last week, because a handful of people told the track food service management that the word "dago" offended them. As Steve Barnes of the Times Union
wrote in his restaurant weblog Table Hopping
News of The Wandering Dago food truck being banned from the Saratoga Race Course because of complaints that its name is offensive went viral over the past four days. In addition to Table Hopping, stories were written by the New York Times, the New York Daily News, a widely carried version by the Associated Press and even London’s Daily Mail.
Although Luguidice and Snooks, who are both of Italian descent, are reluctant to change their name, they have put a (very unscientific) poll
up at their Facebook page
, asking "Should the Wandering Dago change their name?" [update
: 61% of the 373 participants told Wandering Dago not to change its name. The owners said they will take the poll into consideration in making their decision. Click to see poll results
follow-up (Aug. 5, 2013): Andrea and Brandon wrote me today to say they have no plans at the present time to change the name of the business. For one thing, they estimate the cost of changing the decal artwork on their bus, along with other signage and printed material, to be $9,000. That's a big expense for a new and truly "small" business. Having just one truck, they really can't even take advantage of all the free publicity. I wish them luck and hope their detractors will say "And, proud of it", when they hear or see the word "dago".
|Here to Stay|
To support them and follow their wandering and adventures, go to the Wandering Dago Facebook and Twitter pages.
The word "dago" is offensive to more than a few people (see quotes in the NYT
) -- mostly older folks of Italian descent, I believe. Nonetheless, when the word is not used in anger or to demean someone, I think taking offense does little to enhance or protect the Italian culture and people. It seems to me that the best way to take the power and sting from ethnic slurs is to either ignore them or co-opt them, as Luguidice and Snooks have done, as a point of ethnic pride. Of course, I have a stake in this fight, too.
The Name "dagosan"
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Happy Year of the Snake
Year of the Snake
she tempts me
with more apple pie
- photos taken by David Giacalone; Jumpin' Jack's fireworks, Scotia NY 2009 -
This haiga is part of a trio for Chinese New Year inspired by my fantasy girlfriend. See the entire haiga trilogy at my weblog simply senryu
. Happy New Year to all my haiku and haiga friends.
happy post-Mayan solstice
hat a relief. Another 5125 year cycle to worry about.
May the sun shine on you throughout the new year.
- photo taken about noon on 12-12-12, Schenectady NY Stockade -
we huddle under
the midday sun
on melting snow
a black cat waits for breakfast
- Good Cause: send a breakfast picture to http://shareyourbreakfast.com/ and Kellogg's will give a breakfast to a kid who needs it.
after the thaw
- nonetheless, a romantic pair of flamingos
visit the Schenectady Stockade -
the flamingo’s beak -
Valentine breakfast alone
morning shadows -
the gunslingers wait
for high noon
Arthur Giacalone: photo
David Giacalone: haiku
- first published in b&w at HaigaOnline 7-2 (Autumn-Winter 2006)