EDITORIAL & OPINIONS
Back underneath the golden arches
On the DL
I'm a media, information and technoculture student. I should
I've constantly been told McDonald's is a soulless corporation
and its efforts at advertising to children has created some
of the worst branding in our society today. I've also heard
(though never substantiated, admittedly) McDonald's is the
world's number one destroyer of rain forests, so cattle ranchers
have more room to graze their commodity.
Though I remain unsure as to how evil McDonald's really is,
I have long concluded the food at McDonald's (mass-produced
though it may be) tastes great. McDonald's still holds a special
place in my heart next to my blocked McArtery.
I've known this for years, of course. Any visit to McDonald's
when I was younger sparked a radical change in behaviour. My
sisters and I would stop fighting and line-up with wide smiles
before my mother piled us into the family station wagon. We'd
never do drive-thru - part of the appeal was going into the
restaurant to see all of our friends: Ronald, the maniacal
clown; Grimace, the slow-witted mesomorph; Hamburgler, the
dine-and-dash expert and the pseudo-Irish burger cop, Big Mac.
Then there were the birthday parties. Whether they took place
in the train caboose in the parking lot or the basement McDonaldLand,
McD's parties were guaranteed to be the talk of the school
yard on Monday morning. There were the slides, merry-go-rounds
and riot-inducing ball pits. There were boxes of cookies and
that famed sugar-loaded orange drink. Ah, what a time it was.
But times have changed. From what I've seen, there's less
reverence today when kids go to McDonald's. They certainly
don't behave themselves like my sisters and I did when we went.
They yell, they whine, they spill food and drinks with little
regard of what they're missing out on. It's no longer a big
deal for kids when they go to McDonald's, but just another
stop on the "morbidly obese by age 10" tour.
Recently, I've been reading a book called Fast Food Nation
by Eric Schlosser. I've only finished the first half, which
looks at the political economy behind McDonald's. It's very
well-written and I wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone the
least bit interested in fast food culture. However, I don't
dare read the second half of the book - which dissects how
the tastes of McDonald's are created - until I have at least
one more fling with my childhood love. I know it could very
well spell the end of my relationship with McDonald's and that
somewhere, Mayor McCheese will cry a single, fat-laden tear.