Thursday, June 09, 2005

A Fat Clown No More

Brace yourself, fast food nation. Beginning Friday, a fit and trim Ronald McDonald makes his TV commercial debut. America's favorite burger clown has shed some lbs. and has taken up skateboarding, snowboarding and bicycling.

"The ad campaign comes at a time when fast food chains are coming under increasing scrutiny as the nation's obesity problems increase," reports ABC News. "More than 9 million children in the U.S. are overweight and more than a third of them eat fast food every day, but critics say the new face of Ronald McDonald will do little to help children."

We're as concerned about childhood obesity as the next guy, but once in a while our libertarian sensibilities kick in. Maybe, just maybe, it's not the responsibility of a burger-joint mascot to dissuade kids from patronizing his boss' restaurants. After all, our hard-working hookers are under no obligation to dispense penicillin.


At 8:38 AM, Blogger Dr. Pants said...

I think McDonald's did their part when they offered a couple of slightly healthy alternatives.

I read about Burger King's new CEO, a health nut, who said they're going to ride the "eat what the fuck you want" train to Cashandhookerville.

If people want to eat crap, let them. Parents should be teaching their kids that fast food once a week is OK, not the people selling fast food.

At 8:56 AM, Blogger jill vatican said...

Well, that's just really too bad. By virtue, I only eat at places with fat clown mascots. I guess I'll have to put my husband in a clown suit and start eating at home.

At 10:16 AM, Anonymous tommy said...

So, in response to increasing childhood obesity, a fast food restaurant which markets to children decides to display a slimmed-down mascot running, riding a bike and otherwise engaging in physical activity--those bastards!

No one is forcing America’s favorite Scottish restaurant to promote physical fitness, so there’s no need to get those libertarian sensibilities riled up. It’s their choice. Given that they market to children, it’s a responsible choice. They don’t want to see Ronald go the way of Camel Joe. I don’t see anything here absolving parents of the responsibility to teach their children proper nutrition.

I'm no fan of poor health, corporate greed, or America's mass-market culture, but I fail to see the evil here. Don’t let existing biases blind you to when the corporate bastards actually do something good—even if it is for the positive publicity.

At 10:30 AM, Blogger Chase McInerney said...

Tommy - I don't see any evil in the new & improved Ronald, but rather I was faulting the AP story for placing an onus of responsibility on McDonald's to have an impact on curbing childhood obesity ("... but critics say the new face of Ronald McDonald will do little to help children"). Hey, critics: It's not their friggin' responsibility. It's parents.

The one crossroads where the far left seems to meet the far right is when it comes to being America's babysitter and guardian. Don't like your kids getting fat? Take an interest. Don't like the crap on TV? Take an interest.

At 11:36 AM, Blogger Dr. Pants said...

I only wish more people would figure out that taking an interest would keep their kids' minds safe from whatever it is kids' minds can't handle.

Once they start legislating at home instead of en masse, I can get back to watching some grade-A smut on basic cable -- the way God meant it to be.


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