Exercising My Demons
Oh, wait. That just makes them stronger.
“Hi, welcome to McDonalds. How can I help you?”
“Yeah hi, I’ll take a couple Big Macs and a strawberry smoothie, pls.”
“All right, very good. Please pull up to the first window.”
“And we just wanted you to know, we here at McDonalds are not racist.”
“…Umm, that’s, uh, great. Good to hear.”
“And we believe in equal rights and justice for all, especially those experiencing racial discrimination in our current times.”
“….Okay. Appreciate tha-“
“So McDonalds is donating funds to the NAACP and the National Urba-“
“Yeah, can I just get my food, please? I’m gonna just…I’m rolling away to the window now…”
“Wait! Don’t forget that McDonalds is also a proud supporter of the Fries for Good initia-“
“Can’t hear yoooo I’m getting my foooooooood…”
“And we house families in need! We kiss the sea turtles every night! Bill in the kitchen found a baby bird the other night and is feeding it regurgitated worm smoothies until it can fly! And our headquarters are made from used McDonalds napkins and our cars run on dreeeeeeeeeeeeams!...“
For the record, I’m not knocking McDonalds.
I’m actually pretty impressed with the restaurant chain these days. It’s a far cry from the greasy indigestible road scrapings from my youth. I hardly ever find tire treads on my burger meat anymore. Okay, fine. Never. I’ll play nice here. As far as any fast food chain goes, I find they offer the most menu options, their food actually resembles the pictures (I’m looking at you DQ, you suck), they serve the food in very recyclable-friendly containers so we feel good about ourselves until we dump it all in the garbage anyway, and they know how to keep families happy. (Can you name any other restaurant chain where children can build up their germ immunity in a playpark between pit stops for apple slices using unwashed hands? I submit that you cannot.)
Like the man says: I don’t always eat at McDonalds. But when I do I seriously have to rationalize my laziness with the long term consequences of instant meal gratification for my children and whether or not they already got that Snoopy toy figurine.
Big companies donate big money to worthy causes all the time. Without that kind of big league funding, a lot of these charities and causes and movements wouldn’t stand a chance. But the way companies use those donations or social movements to market themselves….oh that leaves me with a desperate need to shower and scrub my skin raw while uncontrollably sobbing “Damn you [insert company name here], I thought you were different! Whyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy…..”
McDonalds used the Black Lives Matter movement for their latest ad campaign.
I have no doubt their intentions were noble, and yes bringing awareness to an important social issue is always a good thing. But when a company logo accompanies any campaign efforts at fighting social injustice or spreading a message of hope, it just smacks of blatant opportunism. You’re trying to show you’re not racist? Uhh, newslink, we never thought you were. Until now.
If a company (any company, I’m getting off Micky D’s back now) wants to support a movement or donate to a cause because it is legitimately important to them and their company culture, they should do it anonymously. Say what you want to say. Bring positive awareness. Just leave the company logo at home.
Imagine a large billboard that said “We donated to 4oceans because people who use straws are turtle hating a-holes. We’re not.” And nothing else.
A good journalist would dig into it anyway, find out who rented the ad space, and bring eventual publicity to the responsible company. That, I think most people could get behind. Better yet, rent the ad space under a shell company so it’ll really show to the public that you were trying to hide your tracks. Awareness to social cause; check. Anonymity while still possibly getting recognition for your company; check. Calling straw-sipping turtle haters assholes; check.
I get it. Advertising costs companies mega bucks. But if an issue is legitimately important to them, they’ll be willing to risk zero recognition for their noble efforts. Publicly taking credit for a socially geared ad campaign is akin to a guy adopting a rescue then parading the poor thing all over town bragging about it. We get it, Brad. You’re a giant douche-canoe. Now get out of my bathroom.
Oh! And don’t get me started on this whole Covid “We’re all in this together” sheep shit advertising opportunity bonanza. Yeah, we get it, Acura. And Publix. And Nationwide Insurance. And Sprint. And U-Haul. And every other company out there callous enough to jump on the Covid feel-good train. Take your somber yet inspiring music score and scenic shots completely devoid of people and stick ‘em up yer bum. Your false sincerity only makes me want to ignore you even more.
In fact, I’m gonna support companies who didn’t feel like joining the countless corporate shills looking to profit from suffering and uncertainty. Let’s see now….. hang on…. ….. AHA! No, wait, Lay-Z-Boy is actually fully on board staying at home anyway….so is Adam&Eve.com……….there’s gotta be one somewhere that still has integrity....…by the way this is a great time to buy one of my kids’ books “Saved by the Belly Button”, found in our Swag and Stuff section. In these uncertain times, at least we’ve got each other, amiright?.........I know there’s gotta be somebody out there with scruples…...
I've never understood peoples' affection for the royal family. The elitism, the fanatic adoration, the big teeth; unless you're a dentist who charges by the square foot, I just don't see the appeal.
Yet for as long as the British have been colonizing new worlds, there has always been a devout following to the royal cause and way of life. I mean, I suppose in times predating indoor plumbing, after the monarchy has completely taken over control of all your lands, resources, and fellow countrymen, who would say no to a crumpet with a spot of tea to calm their nerves? Not a bad tactic, really. Pillage, rape and enslave, then offer some small comforts to acknowledge the troubles they caused while being there for them in the end.
"Sorry 'bout all the fuss, lads. Nasty business, really, but needed to be done. Couldn't have you lot sticking about to bollox things up for the Queen Mum now, could we? Pip pip, it's not all bad, once you get used to our way of doing things, of course. Here, have some biscuits with that tea, you'll need your strength if you're to defend England’s interests. That's a good lad."
I can understand colonial history is a hard sell to the short attention spans of today's Netflixicans and Snappy Chat users, but even if you tend to reside in the “that's all in the past” camp, it's important to note that, as delightful a people as them witty, soggy chaps across the pond are today, the crown of England got its fortunes of land and riches through less than savoury means, albeit somehow still being classy about it.
Important Note: You can take over people's lands and resources with impunity and be respectfully revered for centuries to come, so long as you do it all with your pinky sticking out.
That's the how, I suppose. And as much as I only marginally understand that part of the royal family's success and ability to rally supporters and loyalists, the why of it all baffles me to no end.
Boiled down to the bare bones, it's idolizing fandom, pure and simple. But instead of people hungry for gossipy tidbits of their favourite movie stars, it's their favourite Royals they want to know about.
"OMG. Kate Middleton is pregnant again! Eeeee!" Poor girl.
I'll admit she carries the responsibility well, but I can't help but think she must have felt incredible pressure right from the start that her main role upon marrying into the family was to make additional humans to carry on the royal legacy, eventually giving birth to two little royal squirts, resurrecting that old disgusting colloquialism "an heir and a spare." And of course voyeuristic Royalites were front and center yet again when the world learned that Harry and Meghan were porking away, expecting a wee little Rudiger of their own. Ick. Isn't that kinda gross? The world over is keen to know their favourite royals are busily humping up the next generation to maintain the status quo, and people are gleefully losing their minds over it. I just, I...I can't. I just can't.
Maybe if Buckingham Palace sent my family and I annual Christmas cards, reminding me every now and then that they appreciate our socio-economic contributions and enjoyment of this fine country, of which the British Empire was monumental in its development, maybe then I could feel a little tug of pride whenever I hear about any new developments from the other side of the puddle. Now that would be some mail I could get excited about.
"Bill... bill... Sweepstakes scam... oh... Blimey! Is it that time of year already?... Hey, honey! Charles wrote to say the kids are doing well,... little Georgie did his first fox hunt this year, that's exciting! …And Camilla has taken up crochet, she's working on socks now… Oh, and there's a family photo, wee Archie is sleeping on Queen Mum, isn't that precious?” (I would so stick that photo on the fridge, right over my son’s drawing which he calls ‘My Dad Smells Funny.’) “Well, that was nice of them, we really should invite them for a barbeque next summer."
And as much as I can imagine Prince Harrry and I totally bonding over dark bourbon and aspirations for an emu-based polo league, the reality is that our familial paths will likely never, ever cross, and that also goes for the very vast majority of hoomans out there. I mean, I can understand if you live there, in the land of perpetual fog and soggy britches. That just makes sense, to have a deep fondness for the bunch, even in a blind devotion kinda way. And even in Canada, with British influence still alive and well (e.g. the Queen Bee's Instagram pic plastered all over our monies,) or at the very least bed-ridden and wheezy, the royal family still only has about as much operational governance over our goings-on here as a full-moon has over my children. That is to say, there's definitely something going on there, but I can't prove what. So, to my fellow Canadians, I can forgive them their infatuations with the royal biffies and the bums that warm them. I don't get it, but I can just look the other way given the obvious history.
It's when the outpouring of love and support comes from nations that have long since shed their Britannica-colonial ways, or never even had any in the first place, which completely baffles me. Could it just be chocked up to living vicariously through the royal family and yearning for their well-to-do ways, a faraway dream for most anybody who's ever watched a Disney classic?
Needless to say, I’ve never really cared about the old broad who adorns the back of our loonies and twoonies (and fivesies and tensies and double-tensies…,) same goes for the rest of the royal clan. Nothing personal, I just can’t be bothered to muster up the interest for what are really just a bunch of well-to-do figureheads. That applies to the ones currently living, at least. I think we can all agree there was something quite unique and refreshing about one of them in particular. I speak, of course, of the late Lady Diana.
If ever there were a monarch I could root for, it would be her. Even as a kid, I was impressed with how she didn’t look down at the general public, nor ignored the plights of the suffering, preferring instead to look them in the eye, listen to their concerns and hug them, diseases be damned. Princess Diana helped break down so much of the stigma that surrounded Aids victims, and succeeded largely in her efforts to ban the use of land mines around the world.
Other than Diana, I had very little to care about in terms of the Royal Family. And with how callously insensitive and unconcerned the rest of the monarchy behaved after hearing of her untimely death, I simply have even less reason to care about a bullish empire only interested in the status quo. (I am, by the way, a firm believer in the ‘She was murdered by ol’ Chucky’ theory. A recently released podcast lays this all out beautifully; check out Fatal Voyage: Diana Case Solved.) And people disregarding that horrid supposition only confuzzles me further, especially when it seems that the general public today is becoming increasingly infatuated with the royal pommies, the clothes they wear, and their undeniably boring lives. I mean, why? Why!?
‘Cause they’re making babies.