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Posts Tagged ‘fast food

“Symbols can be so beautiful, sometimes”*…

 

McDonalds

 

One of Northern Europe’s arguably most distinctive exports is “slow TV”: real-time recordings of train journeys, ferry crossings or the migration of reindeer, which regularly draw record audiences.

Among perhaps the most successful — and least exciting — examples of that genre is the live stream of a McDonald’s cheeseburger with fries. At its peak, it drew 2 million viewers a month. The only element on the screen that moves, however, is the time display.

The burger looks the same way, hour after hour.

As of this week, it has looked like that for 10 years.

Purchased hours before the corporation pulled out of the country in 2009, in the wake of Iceland’s devastating financial crisis, the last surviving McDonald’s burger has become much more than a burger. To some, it stands for the greed and excessive capitalism that “created an economic collapse that was so bad that even McDonald’s had to close down,” said Hjörtur Smárason, 43, who purchased the fateful burger in 2009. To others, the eerily fresh look of the 10-year-old meal has served as a warning against the excessive consumption of fast food…

A symbol for our times: “The cautionary political tale of Iceland’s last McDonald’s burger that simply won’t rot, even after 10 years.”

* Kurt Vonnegut, Breakfast of Champions

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As we muse of the messages in our meals, we might send gloriously-written birthday greetings to today’s epigramist, Kurt Vonnegut Jr.; he was born on this date in 1922.  In a career spanning over 50 years, Vonnegut published fourteen novels, three short story collections, five plays, and five works of non-fiction, with further collections being published after his death. He is probably best known for his darkly-satirical, best-selling 1969 novel Slaughterhouse-Five.

Vonnegut called George Orwell his favorite writer, and admitted that he tried to emulate Orwell– “I like his concern for the poor, I like his socialism, I like his simplicity”– though early in his career Vonnegut decided to model his style after Henry David Thoreau, who wrote as if from the perspective of a child.  And of course, Vonnegut’s life and work are resonant with Mark Twain and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. 

Author Josip Novakovich marveled that “The ease with which he writes is sheerly masterly, Mozartian.”  The Los Angeles Times suggested that Vonnegut will “rightly be remembered as a darkly humorous social critic and the premier novelist of the counterculture“; The New York Times agreed, calling Vonnegut the “counterculture’s novelist.”

220px-Kurt_Vonnegut_1972 source

 

 

 

 

Written by LW

November 11, 2019 at 1:01 am

“It requires a certain kind of mind to see beauty in a hamburger bun”*…

 

fast food

 

There may be no American institution more polarizing than fast food. Whether it’s wages, health, the environment or those Colonel Sanders ads, the problems associated with the all-American meal inspire lots of detractors. But for many millions, places like McDonald’s, Taco Bell and Steak ’n Shake generate fierce loyalty for their convenience, value, ritual, shock-and-awe menu items and community; the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported in 2018 that more than one-third of Americans eat fast food on any given day. As the summer season of road trips and Frosties enters full swing, here are five myths about fast food…

Adam Chandler, author of Drive-Thru Dreams: A Journey Through the Heart of America’s Fast-Food Kingdom, enumerates “Five Myths About Fast Food.”

* Ray Kroc, creator of the McDonald’s franchise empire

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As we chow down, we might send beefy birthday greetings to Rex David Thomas; he was born on this date in 1932.  After rising through the ranks at Kentucky Fried Chicken, then helping to found the Arthur Treacher’s fried fish chain, Thomas founded Wendy’s– the burger chain named for his daughter (whose real name was Melinda Lou, but who was called Wendy, since as young child she couldn’t pronounce her name).

 

Written by LW

July 2, 2019 at 1:01 am

“What a museum chooses to exhibit is sometimes less important than how such decisions are made and what values inform them”*…

 

 

This cartridge for holding tartar sauce is made of white cardboard; the words “McDonald’s ® Tartar Sauce” are shown in green lettering along with the McDonald’s double arches logo. This canister holds 25 fluid ounces of tartar sauce, and is made to be used with a ratchet gun condiment dispenser. The tartar sauce is used on McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish sandwiches, a menu item developed by a franchisee in 1962 as an option for his customers who did not eat meat on Fridays for religious reasons. The Filet-O-Fish became a nationwide menu item by 1965 beating out another meatless option, the Hula burger, made with grilled pineapple…

From the collection “FOOD: Transforming the American Table 1950-2000,” in the Smithsonian’s National Museum of America History.

* Martin Filler

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As we lick our lips, we might recall that it was on this date in 2001 that Taco Bell announced that the chain would give a free taco to everyone in the U.S. if the Mir Space Station, which was scheduled to re-enter the atmosphere and fall to Earth later that week, landed on a 40 foot by 40 foot target that the company had floated in the Pacific Ocean.  In the event, the Mir missed.

 source

 

Written by LW

March 19, 2015 at 1:01 am

The baddest ad…

Britain’s Advertising Standards Authority publishes an annual list of the broadcast commercials that generated the most complaints.  The Guardian recounts this year’s “winners”…  but reminds readers that none of them came close to achieving the opprobrium earned by the most complained-about ad of all time, this 2005 KFC spot:

And while we’re on the subject…  “one in eight American workers has been employed by McDonalds,” and 25 other interesting fast food facts.

[TotH to Next Draft]

***

As we supersize that, we might note the proprietary of the fact that this is the feast date of St. Justin Martyr… (the patron saint of apologists and speakers).

 source

Written by LW

June 1, 2012 at 1:01 am

You deserve a break today…

From ingredients to consumption patterns, an infographic with fun facts like…

From OnlineSchools.org;  Click either image or here to see it in its appetite-inhibiting entirety. (via Geeks Are Sexy)

As we rethink our lunch plans, we might recall that it was on this date in 1879 that James Ritty, a saloon keeper in Dayton, Ohio, and his brother John, a skilled mechanic, patented the first cash register, “Ritty’s Incorruptible Cashier.”  The company they formed to exploit the invention didn’t prosper; in 1881 they sold the patent to a group of investors who built the enterprise that became the National Cash Register Company (NCR).

Replica of the first Ritty machine (which had no cash drawer) source: Smithsonian Institution

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