Charlotte’s 9 worst hot takes of 2018, ranked

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What exactly is a hot take?

It’s a knee jerk reaction to the very last thing you experienced based totally on emotion regardless of the facts. Hot takes aren’t automatically wrong though. Sometimes they can be insightful, fun, brutally honest, and clever.

But this article isn’t about those. These are the 10 most bizarre, illogical and poorly thought out hot takes that inexplicably had a degree of popularity this year.

#9 “CMS closes schools too often. It’s just a little snow.”

I’m not a parent, and like most people who aren’t parents, I have some advice for you parents out there: stop getting caught up in the why behind Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools closings.

There’s nothing wrong with increased transparency, but northern transplants seem more interested in bragging about how much snow they can drive through (weird flex, but okay) than making sure every single child and employee of CMS can attend schools safely. If the schools are closed, they’re closed to keep kids safe. Hop off the high horse.

#8 “Being an influencer is, like, really hard.”

No, it isn’t. Every job has its challenges, and being an influencer is no exception. But Charlotte’s influencer community developed a weird habit this year of belly aching about how hard it is to take panorama shots of some restaurant’s new patio. Come on, we’re not firemen or sanitation workers or Kanye West’s psychiatrist.

#7 “Charlotte restaurants need to start phasing out straws.”

This is the grossest form of environmentalism I’ve ever heard of. A place like Starbucks getting rid of straws is no problem, since their cups are disposable. However, any restaurant where I have to share a glass with strangers all day has no business banning straws. Replacing plastic straws with paper straws would be a much better option, but you know how businesses are — they only like the kinds of environmentalism that can save them money.

#6 “Cam Newton/Kemba Walker are overrated.”

This take will probably be in the top 10 as long as these two talents are in Charlotte.

Kemba Walker of the Charlotte Hornets and Cam Newton of the Carolina Panthers are both recipients of nonsensical “overrated” hot takes in offices and barbershops all over the city. Some Hornets fans think we should trade Kemba, despite the fact that he dropped 103 points over two games this November. And even though he’s having the best season of his career, Cam Newton’s critics still insist he should be blamed for not carrying the Cardiac Cats to more victories.

All I know is if you survived the DJ Augustine and Jimmy Clausen days, you wouldn’t complain about our franchise players.

#5 “Those electric scooters are too dangerous.”

In August, I said someone was sure to die on an electric scooter. I’m happy to say my hot take on this one was wrong.

So why are some people still so convinced these fun energy savers are inherently any more dangerous than cars or bikes? Lime and Bird have done a great job at educating the city about how to safely operate the scooters. If you choose to not wear a helmet (like I do, oops), that doesn’t make the scooter itself dangerous.

#4 “Hurricane Florence hype was totally overblown.”

We all got a little more caught up in the Florence hype than we thought we would, but once the storm didn’t, like, decimate Charlotte, people were eager to mock the mad dash for bread and milk.

How self-involved do you have to be to think that though? 41 people lost their lives, 500,000 people were without power, and kids in poverty who depend on public schools for a daily meal were SOL for days.

#3 “The brewery bubble is going to burst any day now.”

No, it won’t. Lots of people who know little about craft beer and even less about business or city management keep suggesting that there are soon to be more breweries than the city can support.

Maybe if you spend most nights and weekends at home you might think that. If you’ve got an active social life, you know finding different and new places to drink with your friends is almost a part time job. The thriving craft beer scene added unique entries like Pour Taproom, Brewers at 4001 Yancey, and Legion Brewing’s South Park location this year. And we’ve still got newcomers like the Pinhouse and Protagonist Clubhouse on the way.

As long as brewery operators stay unique in their presentations, the bubble will never burst.

#2 “Charlotte should reject the RNC.”

From complaints about traffic to opportunistic political posturing, Charlotte had plenty of takes on why we should reject the 2020 Republican National Convention, and they were all nonsense.

Traffic will be jammed up because a bunch of influential and wealthy people will be spending money at local businesses. And look, we all know 45 is divisive, but snubbing the boat load of money the convention will bring to the city (the Democratic National Convention in 2012 netted $91 million in direct spending) hurts us a lot more than it hurts him. That’s way too much money to turn down just to make a point.

#1 “Shake Shack is one of the best burgers in the city.”

I am willing to die on this hill. Shake Shack hit Charlotte like a whirlwind this year. The lines were around the corner for the first few weeks it was open in the Park Road Shopping Center.

Look, I know you guys really miss the northeast for some reason, but the uncomfortable truth is that Shake Shack is just your standard hometown burger, indistinguishable from other regional chains like In and Out, Whataburger, or the southeast’s favorite Cook Out.

Take off your Shake Shack sauce-colored glasses and face the music. Okay, maybe the fries are pretty good though.

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Dion Beary
| @hashtagdion
Columnist writing on Charlotte