Mmmm… french fries…

Still working on the songs. They’ll get done when they get done. I just needed the public promises (kept or not) to get me motivated again. I know it’s sick, but you’re the idiot reading this…

Last night, we finally watched Super Size Me. It was very entertaining, and I would recommend it as required viewing in school health classes. In order to encourage people (especially kids) to make the right choices, you have to give them a clear picture. I place negative reinforcement (“Eat this and die!”) in the category of “good information.”

That said, the movie really has three themes: “McDonald’s sucks,” “Kids aren’t being educated properly,” and “Ooh! Let’s do a science project!”

Seeing as how I worked for The Clown for five years, and the Sainted Spouse™ spent her own year or two in hell, you would think that we’d be pre-disposed to shaking our fists at the screen in righteous anger at the evil empire which is poisoning our youth. But we spent the first half of the movie yelling, “Duh! Don’t eat that shit, morons!”

I find it very disturbing that a company should be sued for your actions. Yes, I know it’s cheap, addictive fare. But how is your self-destructive behavior McDonald’s fault? (Legally, I mean. The morality of marketing this crap to kids is another story.) They didn’t make you walk in and order two Big Macs. Nobody twisted your arm to get you to “super size” it. You’re the parent. You don’t have to give in to your kid’s whining about the latest Happy Meal toy. (NOTE: I’ve got a lawyer standing by, just in case it turns out that they actually do own a mind-control device. “Your honor, we move that the defendant seduced us with two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, and onions on a sesame seed bun… and fries… hot, tasty french fries… um, sorry what was I suing about again?”)

Side rant: Obesity is not the same thing as smoking!

One of the interviewees in the movie related a story about a poor, beset-upon smoker being harassed at the dinner table for his nasty habit and tried to compare it to someone telling an overweight person to put down the fork.

I’ve heard this analogy before, and it is dumb. It’s basically used to defend smokers by saying, “See? You wouldn’t say something this mean to a fat guy. Why pick on the smoker?”

Well, number one, if the fat guy blew mac’n’cheese in my face while I was trying to eat, yes I would. You want to smoke and destroy yourself, have at it. Just don’t make me inhale it.

Number two, I can tell when you’re smoking. I can’t tell why a person is overweight. It may be their own “fault” or it may be a medical condition. Telling someone they’re fat makes a whole raft of assumptions about how they got that way and their ability to do something about it.

It also assumes that they might eat at McDonald’s…

Which brings me back to the lawsuit rant… There’s more than one way to get fat. Proving it’s McDonald’s fault is like proving I’m thinking about the number seven. I might be, but you’ll have to take my word for it.

The second part of the movie got me more in a righteous tizzy. I’ve always been aghast that our public schools are selling the kids to Pizza Hut and Pepsi. More and more, schools are letting big food companies take over the job of offering children a hot, sensible lunch. As usual, the bottom line wins, and instead of real food, the students are being offered vending machine snacks, sodas, pizza and french fries. This is a trend that has to stop, and it is the most powerful part of the documentary for me.

Finally, the whole thing is an experiment. The star of the film spends a month eating nothing but McDonald’s. He gets sick. Duh. However, while most people would say “duh” to that, apparently it’s not obvious to everyone. So, he gives us a great “don’t do this at home, kids” example to follow. (Plus, in the DVD extras, there’s a neato display of how various foods break down…or don’t…)

Will I stop eating at McDonald’s and become a vegan? Hell no. I loves me some Mickey-D fries. But after seeing this, I sure as hell won’t be ordering a Filet-O-Fish any time soon (*shudder*).

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7 Responses to Mmmm… french fries…

  1. brndln says:

    ok, i hear you.
    i get what you’re trying to say, and i think you’re right: the analogy is dumb.

    but yanno, people really can be assholes toward smokers.

    even the smokers who don’t blow smoke and/or mac-n-cheese bits in the faces of others.

    i’m just sayin’.

  2. Solonor says:

    I don’t think anyone’s got a right to harass a smoker just for the fact that they’re a smoker. This is just a specific reaction to that analogy.

    Smoking is a horrible addiction, and smokers should be helped to kick the habit, not beat up because of it. My dad smoked, and it killed him. But he never blew smoke (or mac’n’cheese) in anyone’s face, as far as I know. 🙂

  3. zee says:

    You know, I can proudly say my kids have been and will continue to be fast-food free -specially Mickey-D’s! I used to fly by there, just for the fries! Going into four years now. Back then, I took my Nutritional Consultant course, and put what I learn to practice, for my health and that of my family. Since then, just thinking about fries sends me into heaves. *yuck*

    I’ve yet to watch this movie, but I most certainly will this week. Thanks for the post, it served as a nudge.

  4. In the end, we eat what we like. It really is that simple.

    Pass those fries zee won’t eat.

  5. Linkmeister says:

    Ok, somehow you knew I went there for lunch for the first time in a year yesterday, right? I couldn’t help it! My safety check was gonna take an hour, and the waiting room had Fox News on the tube! I hadda escape! Honest!

  6. Ric The Schmuck says:

    OK, OK, OK, stop it!

    I apologize for getting you to work at McD’s with me, lo those many years ago.

    I’m sorry, allright?


    I still loves me a dripping, slimy Quarter Pounder with Cheese. Just not very often.

    And at least McD’s is coming around a wee bit. They are at least starting to offer a few healthy alternatives as part of the kids meals. Juice is available, fruit slices, and some other stuff that I forget but was impressed that was being offered. My kids are past the stage where we HAVE to go there, but were those options available at that time, it wouldn’t have been nearly as revolting.

    20 seconds sear, minute and a half turn, two and half minutes pull. Some things never leave you…

  7. Solonor says:

    Mmmm… dripping, slimy Quarter Pounder with EXTRA cheese… and mayo, er, McChicken sauce… and re-hydrated onions instead of the “real” ones…

    I didn’t say I was any better at making good choices for myself or my kids. I just said it’s not McDonald’s legal responsibility.

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