- McLibel -

Helen & Dave, good on you but is it worth it?

Posted by: Stuart Horsburgh ( Australia ) on May 01, 1998 at 11:51:45:

I like the taste of McDonalds food - it's one of the few things the modern world has brought us that's good. I also enjoy McDonalds coffee. I've always been treated well in McDonalds "restaurants" (are they really?). The staff apologize for keeping me waiting two minutes for my burger to cook! Every time the girl says "sorry about the wait", I want to look her up and down and say, "why? You don't look all that heavy to me!"

The point is, I enjoy McDonalds. Unfortunately we live in a corporate world, and corporations are going to do things to increase their profit like tear down rainforests and shoot half-conscious chickens. That's not good, don't get me wrong. But it's a fact of life. The main aim of any corporation is to wrap government around its finger so it can go ahead and do exactly what it likes to bring about the increase of its profit.

The only way we're going to stop this is if everybody in the world starts growing their own food and says no to the corporations. Does anybody think that's going to happen? Of course not, when the alternative is to flop back down in front of the television and open another can of beer. That's what people are like - most people aren't like Helen and Dave, and the corporations know it.

This is, as I've said, unfortunate but true. There are lots of things wrong with life to-day. I recently read a book about the "settlement" of Australia by the British in 1788 where the author described the idyllic scene before the white men arrived. The Aborigines had everything they wanted - food, clean air, sunshine, the company of others. It made me wish that I could enjoy such a lifestyle. Simple, natural pleasures. It made me want to mow down all the shopping centres, roads, skyscrapers etc that stood in the way of such a lifestyle. But then I thought of the things I have and enjoy that I wouldn't want to give up - how could I sit in a comfortable chair with a cup of tea reading a book at night with the radio playing softly in the background, for example?

I read Vidal's 'McLibel' book. I've looked through McSpotlight. I admire what Helen and Dave are doing, but I don't support what they're doing - if you know what I mean. In most cases, the personal sacrifice made by activists and whistleblowers who try to take on the world is much, much greater that the benefits gained.

I suppose if you find something really worth giving your life to in this way, then it's worth the sacrifice. The question is, is there any such thing?

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