A Sideways Glare at Contemporary Society
As I wrote on Tuesday, our world is going crazy. And the sad thing is we’re not even “slouching towards Bethlehem” in a dignified, poetic journey to the apocalypse. No, not us! We’re twittering around Wonderland in a Johnny Depp-esque rendition of the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party – utterly convinced we’re on the road to salvation. Let me give you yet another example.
Some guy in Quebec, Canada is suing McDonald’s because, he alleges, they are breaking Quebec law by advertising their Happy Meals™ directly at children. Whoa! I’m no expert on marketing, but I’m fairly certain that when a restaurant gives away toys with its food and has a clown as its spokesperson, children are involved somewhere. Anyway, Monsieur Bramante, a father of three kids under 13, came to the same conclusion and decided somebody should do something about this – and that he was just the boy. He hired a lawyer (on spec, probably) and launched a Class Action Suit. M. Bramante maintains that he, his family and anybody else who’s ever bought a Happy Meal™ are being victimized by McDonald’s flagrant flaunting of the law. According to court documents, he says he “eats at McDonald’s about once every two weeks on the urging of his children.” Plus, he estimates that he has spent hundreds of dollars on Happy Meals™ over the years.
So, what’s wrong with this picture? Sounds pretty typical, for the 21st century — find some corporate Goliath and go David on their ass for media attention, fun and, perhaps, profit. Unfortunately, there are a couple of flies in the ointment.
First of all, suing somebody just because they suggest you buy their product is ludicrous. Unlike death and taxes, McDonald’s is not inevitable. You don’t have to go there. Like drugs, you can tell your kids to “Just say no!”
Secondly, you’re the dad! No matter how much they “urge” you, taking nutritional directions from your kids is not a good idea. There’s a reason we don’t allow children to vote, drive or operate heavy machinery. Duh! Counting on them to decide what (and where) the family eats is exactly ass-backwards.
Finally, and here’s the WTF moment: YOU’RE THE DAD! Your kids may very well have motivation to go to McDonald’s but if they end up there, you’re the one providing them with the means and opportunity. What’s wrong with you? Downloading the responsibility onto Ronald McDonald doesn’t cut it. Honestly, you need to spend a little less time dicking around in the legal system and a lot more time being the parent.
No wonder half the people on this planet want to blow us up!