Is it time to retire Ronald, fast food’s Joe Camel?

All campaigns end.

These articles suggest the Ronald McDonald, like Joe Camel, has worn out his welcome:

  1. Group: Time for Ronald McDonald to retire
  2. Can Ronald McDonald be forced into early retirement?
  3. Corporate Accountability International poll shows Ronald McDonald contributes to obesity epidemic

John Ralston Saul defines the clown in line with the emerging understanding of junk food as an addiction (see The Doubter’s Companion: A Dictionary of Aggressive Common Sense.)


Post-modern philosopher. In somewhat the same way that Voltaire was the public intellectual face of the Enlightenment, Ronald McDonald is the face of and voice of consumer culture.

The moral underpinning of this movement is addiction. The philosophical dilemma proposed by the phrase “fast food” is: how fast can the seller make the buyer buy more?

..It (desire for more) is based not on hunger but on the illusion of hunger. Science, however, has contributed a better understanding of three key elements capable of accentuating that illusion: salt, grease and sugar.

It’s chemistry, stupid.

Salt, somewhat like monosodium glutamate, attacks the taste receptors on the tongue and excites them. If grease is combined with the salt, a chemical reaction is provoked which accentuates this excitement, which in turn translates into a meaningful simulation of hunger. The further addition of sugar will then provoke an abrupt rise in blood-sugar levels. As on a roller-coaster this can only be followed by an abrupt fall, which takes the form of a yet more extreme sensation of weakness and hunger. At this point fast food, through the ingenious use of basic science, comes close to reconstituting the old religious marriage (in fact a philosophical tension) between desire and fear.

Indeed, with a new outlet opening somewhere in the world every eighteen minutes, Ronald McDonald may be the most successful scientist/philosopher since Albert Einstein. A suitable heir-apparent to Mickey Mouse.

A philosopher-king.

The king may be dead.

Long live the king?

One Response to Is it time to retire Ronald, fast food’s Joe Camel?

  1. Tana Stremel says:

    Is it time to retire Ronald, fast food

    […]Undecided why…I first found this back in my vegan days, however it still works for me.[…]


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