Two employees of Frugals Burgers in Tacoma, Washington accepted dabs as payment for food last month at a Tacoma location. Now that a video of the dab-n-go service went viral, the two were let go by Frugals management.
It was a dumb move by the two workers who’ve been employed by the restaurant since 2012, and possibly a thoughtless one by the video’s uploader, Jonah Tacoma of DabStar, a dab culture-centered lifestyle brand. “We were going through the drive-through and when we were done ordering, I offered to pay with a dab instead of cash,” said Tacoma told local TV staion KOMO. “She said, ‘Yeah, sure.’ We started filming when we pulled up.”
“The reality is we’re making a statement,” Tacoma went on to say in the news interview. Though it’s unclear, from the video or the interview, what that statement is. At the time of publication, the video has 419,485 hits.
Taking a dab doesn’t have to be political. Neither does filming it. But when you say that you’re making a statement, or when you get a news station to call you a “known marijuana advocate,” it becomes political. And when all your video does is make stoners look reckless, get two people who thought they were in on a joke fired, and bring media attention to a clothing line, what that political message is becomes muddled.
Tacoma says the employees asked him to wait a week to post the video, and he waited a whole month to upload instead. It’s certainly as much the employees fault as anyone else’s that they got fired. But this isn’t a positive impression to make for the dabbing culture at large, or for these individual dabbers. So, that raises a question. Do people in the limelight of dab culture have a responsibility to make dabbing look responsible? Or do free speech and free market have as much right to media attention as anything else?