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AJ Kenning

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McDonald’s is Evil
by AJ Kenning   
Rated "PG13" by the Author.
Last edited: Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Posted: Tuesday, May 11, 2010

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This is a crazy speech I wrote back in High School, polished up a little bit. (That would be almost twenty years ago now, if anyone's counting.) It is a satire about advertising.

McDonald’s is Evil.

...I bet you think I said that because of the nature of their food. But, that is not the case. Yes, it is true McDonald’s food is high in salt, sweeteners, and fats. But all of that is only a statement of Health, and has nothing at all to do with Evil.

Evil is something else. Evil requires insinuation, corruption, taint.

No, I speak not of food. I speak of actual Evil—their advertising. Specifically, the manner in which McDonalds advertises to children.

McDonalds uses many different characters in its advertisements to children. For the most part, people view these characters as simple children’s cartoons, of a kind with the many cartoon characters used to entertain children in many children’s television programs.

But, no, this is not so. At all.

Let’s take a quick look at the Hamburglar—a round-faced man dressed in an old-style striped prison suit and a bandit’s mask who says “Rubble rubble” when he talks. Picture that. Now, this guy’s thing is: his desire for hamburgers is so great that he ends up stealing them from children so that he can eat them for himself. But always, before he can eat them, Ronald McDonald steps in and saves the hamburgers and restores them to the children. And the Hamburglar is left to make a “Aw, darn’it” gesture.

A simple tale, really. And quite common in children’s television. Considered trivial and silly in its utter commonness.

But now, take a closer look at it. Take a closer look at the things its very commonness has caused you to ignore.

Look at the story again. ...The Hamburglar, an older character, short, round and red of face, and who speaks in an unintelligible, rumbly accent while he goes around stealing things—the very epitome of the old stereotype of the Eastern European immigrants.

You see, the Hamburglar comes from a time when the West greatly feared the Eastern Europeans. So, this Hamburglar comes and steals our children’s food. But, in the end, Whitey comes in and saves the day, restoring order and returning the children’s food to them.

Ronald McDonald—the ultimate white father figure.

And there you have the insinuation. But if that’s not enough for you, just wait, there’s a whole lot more.

Yet, as if the insinuation isn’t bad enough, these advertisements work on an even more insidious level, because they treat the thefts in the friendly manner that they do.

The Hamburglar is stealing. It’s in his name, right? Burglar. But, he’s not depicted as a bad guy, just a guy who can’t resist stealing hamburgers. Can’t resist. Because, you know, he’s addicted to them.

Addicted and stealing, and yet he is never punished or treated for any of it. He is not even shunned for his criminal and uncivil behavior.

The addiction is never even mentioned. It is simply accepted. More than accepted, expected. Everyone just laughs.

Look at those things. Look at them closely. Beyond the racism, it is saying that addiction isn’t just okay, it is accepted. And so is theft in order to feed that addiction. Ie corruption. Of our children.

Now, if this was all just one commercial, or even a series of commercials, I would allow that this might all just be accidental imagery—advertisers making a cartoon-like commercial, and not accidentally not noticing the larger messages they were making.

But, look at the other characters of McDonald’s children’s commercials. First, there is Grinace. I don’t know what he’s like now, but when I was a kid he was a guy so addicted to milkshakes that he would drink down any of them he found, no matter whose they were. And giggle about it. Giggle—like a stoner?

And then there are the Fry Guys—a gang of young hoodlums who are so greedy for fries that they run around stealing them from children. Young, multi-colored thieves who are fleet of foot (you might just as well read black) who run around stealing from white kids. But, once again, everything is restored and made safe once more by Whitey, everyone kept safe from the thievery and addictions of the colored races.

And thus, we have a pattern. A pattern of racism—of depicting the colored races as thieves and addicts, but you just have to accept that from the lesser races because they can’t do any better, but it’s all okay anyway because Whitey will always step in and save the day. (And also hinting that a little addiction is okay, anyway.)

A nasty message, yes. Insinuating and corruptive, yes. But that, by itself, is not quite enough to declare McDonald’s Evil. Evil still also requires taint—the infection of others into their corruptive and insinuating ways.

And so McDonalds does.

Their business is so profitable that many other companies that produce food made for children have been drug into the wake of McDonald’s taint, seeking to acquire for themselves a piece of McDonald’s riches, no matter the cost to their souls.

And so, children’s company after children’s company has fallen to Evil, their commercials now bearing the marks of the taint.

Cocoa Puffs with its Cuckoo Bird. A bird who is addicted to the Puffs, but who has none of his own so goes out to steal them, and who is sent into a wild dreamland whenever he tastes them.

Sugar Smacks—often derided for having SUGAR actually in its name. But whose real evil lies in the Dig-Um frog. The Dig-Um frog, once again, loves his Sugar Smacks, and so breaks and enters into homes, where a cat—this poor cat, who’s only trying to protect his and his family-s home, gets beaten up, laughed at, and his things stolen, while being depicted as the Bad Guy, all because the Dig Um has to have Sugar Smacks and the cat is trying to stop him. Yep—because he’s “Gotta have my Smack...s.”

And then there is the Trix rabbit. A poor rabbit who is, of course, addicted to Trix and tries to steal them. But he isn’t allowed, thus teaching our kids not just how to be exclusionary and racist, but that it is proper that they should be so. “Yes, Virginia, Trix really are JUST for kids.”

So, yes, McDonald’s is evil. Not because of its food. But because of the way it has sought to insinuate, corrupt, and taint everything around them, but especially our children. Shame on them. And shame on anyone who continues to support their Evil corporate regime.


Web Site: Kenning's Musings

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Reviewed by D Johnson
I found the satire, subtle as it was...but what the heck, you were just a kid back then. Nice writing, nice reflection.

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