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In the US, McDonalds is now requiring candidates for cashier jobs to have bachelor's degrees. So if you're wondering what sort of work a BA qualifies you to do, wonder no more.
I wonder whether this is because having studied something at university level provides essential skills for operating a till (which would suggest a collapse in secondary school standards in the US; i.e., the strong likelihood that a high-school graduate without a degree is functionally innumerate), or because employees with the level of debt accrued through taking a degree are more compliant?
McDonald's: The Videogame. A simulation of running a fast-food corporation that's like Sim City, had it been written by anti-globalisation activists. Bulldoze rainforests and villages, brainwash children and corrupt officials or go bankrupt. Play it before the lawyers kill it.
A hoaxer in the US Midwest has reprised the Milgram obedience experiments by calling fast-food restaurants posing as a police officer and instructing managers to strip-search employees, subjecting them to bizarre and degrading ordeals. The managers in question, being selected for unthinking obedience, never realised that anything was wrong, accepting "Officer Scott"'s authoritative tone of voice, stated reasons and the sounds of police radios in the background as sufficient reason to start obeying, and the fact that they were already obeying as sufficient reason to keep doing so, up to committing rape.
On May 29, 2002, a girl celebrating her 18th birthday -- in her first hour of her first day on the job at the McDonald's in Roosevelt, Iowa -- was forced to strip, jog naked and assume a series of embarrassing poses, all at the direction of a caller on the phone, according to court and news accounts.
He had mastered the police officer's calm but authoritative demeanor. He sprinkled law-enforcement jargon into every conversation. And he did his homework. He researched the names of regional managers and local police officers in advance, and mentioned them by name to bolster his credibility. He called some restaurants in advance, somehow getting names and descriptions of victims so he could accurately describe them later.
In her book, "Making Fast Food: From the Frying Pan into the Fryer," Canadian sociologist Ester Reiter concludes that the most prized trait in fast-food workers is obedience. "The assembly-line process very deliberately tries to take away any thought or discretion from workers," said Reiter, who teaches at Toronto's York University and who spent 10 months working at a Burger King as part of her research. "They are appendages to the machine."Several people who followed orders were jailed for rape and related crimes. The hoaxer was later found to be a 38-year-old prison guard with a fantasy of being a police officer. Meanwhile, one of the victims is suing McDonalds for allowing this to happen; McDonalds, meanwhile, blames her for not reading the employee manual where it said that strip searches were prohibited and not recognising that the caller wasn't a real police officer.
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(Posted on the unpopart LiveJournal community, which appears to be a den of Satanists, Nazi-fetishists, serial-killer fans, misanthropes and aesthetic extremists connected with the likes of Adam Parfrey, Boyd Rice and Jim Goad.)
I wonder whether the resemblance between Michael Jackson and Ronald McDonald is pure coincidence or intentional. Ronald McDonald predates Michael Jackson's adult career by more than a decade. Could McDonalds have finetuned their mascot's appearance to be more Jacksonlike during the 1980s (when Jackson was hot property, and was moving lots of units for Pepsi)? (The alternative theory would be that Jackson (consciously or otherwise) modelled his public image on the World-Famous Magical Clown, perhaps to better appeal to children.) Also, could McDonalds' recently announced makeover of their mascot also be an attempt to shed similarities to Michael Jackson (which could be more of a liability than an asset these days)?
Documentary film maker Morgan Spurlock set out to eat three meals a day at McDonalds for 30 days and document the effects of this diet on film. Within a few days, he was vomiting out of the window of his car, and doctors were horrified at how rapidly his body deteriorated:
"None of us imagined he could deteriorate this badly - he looked terrible. The liver test was the most shocking thing - it became very, very abnormal."
Spurlock, who says he ate at McDonald's only sporadically before his total immersion in the Mickey D's menu, says he even began craving fat and sugar fixes between meals. "I got desperately ill," he says. "My face was splotchy and I had this huge gut, which I've never had in my life. My knees started to hurt from the extra weight coming on so quickly. It was amazing - and really frightening."
Spurlock's documentary, Super Size Me, has been screened at the Sundance film festival; its website is here. (via jwz)
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