Friday, February 04, 2011

Blame Ronald McDonald!

I hate labels. I particularly hate labels that try to refer to one's political/personal viewpoints, because I don't believe in a "one size fits all" for anyone. OK, maybe for G. Gordon Liddy or Bill Maher, but just about no one else.'s no secret that I believe in personal and civil liberties. Along with that, I think personal responsibility goes hand in hand. (Does this make me a liberal or a conservative? Inquiring minds don't really want to know.)

My state is in a hell of a hole right now. Unemployment is at one of the highest rates in the nation, we have a legislature full of wimps who let us do everything by ballot initiative, job creation is nill, infrastructure is falling apart, and our tax structure is regressive. We are facing huge cuts to services due to the fact that our state government has its head up its ass and isn't spending money where it should be spent, and is wasting money on places where it should not be spent. There are people sleeping on the streets and people going without meals because they can't afford to buy enough food.

Read: there are many issues to be dealt with.

So what do a large group of people in my area do last week?

Stage a protest at McDonald's and demand that they drop Ronald McDonald as a mascot.

Ronald markets to kids, kids eat at McDonald's, and kids get fat, and this is causing the childhood obesity epidemic. Or so these people say.

Let's back up a moment - as insidious as it is, corporations have marketed to kids since the ice ages. And last time I checked, there weren't gangs of five-year-olds sneaking out of their homes in caravans and robbing banks to go eat fast food.

What happened to personal responsibility? Aren't parents, theoretically, in charge here? No one can force you to eat a McNugget. (And if you care about your own health, you won't.) It's the same mentality that supports banning happy meals, because they have toys, which also markets to kids.

When I was growing up we were allowed to have a bit of junk food once a week. It was called our "Saturday night treat." We could go nuts with Ho Hos, Twinkies, french fries, or what have you. The rest of the week, we ate healthy, and mostly at home.

Granted, there is plenty of corporate evil out there, but I don't think Ronald McDonald can hold the blame for making kids fat. That people would go out in the cold and say as much is their first amendment right. I'm impressed that McDonald's met with them with less than 24 hours notice, as opposed to telling them to get the fuck out of the parking lot, which is what I would have been tempted to do.


Mama Zen said...

When I was a kid, there was tons of crap marketed to me. I wanted all of it. I asked my mom for it. She said no. The end.

John McElveen said...

You are Governor Material!

IT IS THE PARENTS JOB--One lady wanted to sue McDonalds because of Happy Meals making her kid fat! Prob the same lady with the Coffee Crotch that won that ludicrous law suit!

Oh why did you get me started!

Good post!


G said...


Can you say, "Oregon is the new San Francisco"?

As you've heard me bitch about to the nth degree, my state is almost a carbon copy of yours. Same problems, same suffering of "Self-Inflicted Stupidity" syndrome.

So what is the biggie headline of the month here?

Is it high unemployment? No.

Is it Pfizer Pharmaceuticals slashing 1,000 jobs? No.

Is it the huge budgen deficit ($3.7 billion and rising)? No.

The biggie headline is the fact that the last administration gave about a dozen or so low number license plates to a bunch sychophants and toadies (and one candidated for US Senate).

Boonie S said...

Even though I’m a vegetarian I’m fairly neutral about McDonalds. I think that there are far worse evils in the world. Politicians and captains of industry throughout the world have done awful things to me and people like me and have never been held accountable. Let’s start with them first.
Thanks for this thought provoking post.

Have a nice day, Boonie

Sidhe said...

I live in Michigan, 'nuff said about stupid state governments doing stupid stuff!

I also am a social liberal proponent of personal responsibility, people keep telling me what I am (last week two people told me I was a Libertarian...WTF? I can barely spell it).

To paraphrase the NRA, "McDonalds doesn't make kids fat, parents make kids fat."

Darth Weasel said...

well said.

Riot Kitty said...

MZ: Exactly.
LOL John!
G: What is the significance of low number license plates? Just curious...
Boonie: Sorry about that...excellent point. Let's start with them.
S: Good slogan, and true.
D: That is the shortest comment I think you have ever posted here!

Lynn said...

I gained weight the minute I left my parents' home - there were no sodas, sugary things, minimal fried food. They taught me to eat right - I did go a little crazy drinking Cokes until I figured out they were the cause of my widening butt. :) So I agree that the McD's protest is a bit silly.

Granny Annie said...

Excellent post my friend.

Riot Kitty said...

L: LOL about the Cokes! I can't stand sugary soda, but I love Diet Coke, as unhealthy as it is.
GA: Thanks!

Anonymous said...

I can't blame myself for my children's poor habits and behaviour because that would prove that I'm a bad parent. Instead, I'm going to blame everybody else in whole wide world. Let's be honest. I'm a bad parent but I don't anybody to actually know that about me.

Riot Kitty said...

WIGSF: Yeah, good point.

G said...

Status symbol.

Usually most seriouly low number plates (under 200) have been in owner's families for generations.

In Connecticut, you can actually pass down your plate to an immediate family member.

For some states, giving out low number plates is the same thing as a big political donar getting a plum ambassadorship simply because they gave gobs of money to the political party in charge.

Politics my friend, politics.

I would say the equivalent out your way is what's his name at Nike and the way he kind of runs Oregon University.