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.
Anyhow...it'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.