- McSpotlight -

a slightly backhanded compliment

Posted by: Gideon Hallett ( n/a, UK ) on August 27, 1997 at 19:04:52:

In Reply to: reeks of elitism posted by you-know-who on August 27, 1997 at 10:40:39:

: : Well, at least this one isn't quite as illiterate as most...

: Gideon, your title reeks of elitism. What, if people can't write or express themselves eloquently their opinions are inferior or less valid?

Well, apologies if it was construed that way. What I meant was a slightly backhanded compliment - as you can see here, a lot of the pro-McD's posters here are somewhat sloppy in their usage of English.

Any message that cannot be read according to the "standard" rules of English will a) be harder for people to understand if English isn't their first language and b) cause annoyance to the reader from the off.

I'm not saying that everyone should speak perfect Queen's English, or that dyslexics are second-class people. Yet there are protocols in English to stick to and some observance of these will make it easier for everyone to understand. I'm certainly not pretending to be better than anyone else.

: : You somehow fail to notice that it's not the McLibel Support Campaign that is spending billions on advertising per year. Nor that the processes of hamburger production are kept away from the public eye - to the point that Ronald McDonald is told to tell children that hamburgers come from a patch (like a vegetable) and to evade any questions about what really goes on in the making of meat. That's dishonesty.

: Nope, that's called make-believe, a concept children grasp quite easily.

By the time children realize that hamburgers don't come from a hamburger patch, most of them have gotten into the habit of going to McDonalds. It was never meant to fool the older kids, merely the toddlers.

public. Yet two members of the general public managed to hold off the lawyers, win the moral victory and dent McDonald's image. Go and look up the term "Pyrrhic victory".

: Yeah, yeah, yeah

Would YOU stand up and defend your views against those odds?

: This is the behaviour of children; locking yourself to a table, climbing on buildings that aren't yours, making a huge racket to get attention, and hanging signs such as "Special Today McMurderer Deluxe"

On the contrary - if the conventional media (newspapers and television) are too scared of libel writs to do their jobs properly, then non-violent direct action is sometimes desirable. And remember also that this whole affair was escalated by McDonald's (a major world multinational) issuing a libel writ against London Greenpeace (a very small anarchist group). If they have control of the mainstream press, how do you make the alternatives heard?

: : I certainly wouldn't tell the world how to live; as an anarchist and a believer in freedom it would be grand hypocrisy. We can recommend, we can point out that the current system is unfair and wasteful. We can suggest alternatives. But we must _not_ bend the truth and we must _not_ force people, or where are we different from our opponents?
: Well, if I choose to go to McDonalds, and find protesters have blocked my access, or have stopped business for two hours, or are attempting to explain why I shouldn't be eating there, they are infringing upon my freedom and in the process telling my how I should live.
: .
I've never seen a McLibel campaigner stop directly anyone going into McD's. If you don't want to accept advice freely given, that's your business. It's certainly not a violation of your rights to give you that information. Your choice is whether to heed it or not.

(Admittedly, I have heard of cases where McD's were shut during protests. It's not something I'd agree with, personally.)

: : In any situation where food hygiene and healthiness are subordinate to profit and scale of production, this is going to happen, no matter what the food. Again, big business needs to clean up its act, not cover up the truth.

: It's not just big business that needs to clean up it's act.

However, big business sets an example to the rest of the industry. It is less costly (as a fraction of profits) for them to clean up than it is a small business's. Where McD's sets the standards, others will follow in the fast food business. Currently, McD's standards are pretty slack, both on food hygiene and on employee safety/conditions.


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