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Today, moving west down Venice Boulevard on a classy retro bike past bus stops and gutters and looseleaf LA Weeklies, I stopped at a red light and saw a McDonalds.

Gross, said my brain.

And it was. Those hideous colors, that siren stink, the intolerable gauche-ness of it all but at the same time that strange American lure of Billions and Billions Served...
It sunk me at once into a deep dissonant funk. I pitied the sick and the suckered, godsped the indifferent, saluted the cold Skinnerian capitalist know-how of Ray Kroc...it was almost too much to bear.

But then it hit me. The hot greasy wind blew me a bold idea:

Huge fuckin' Surgeon General's Warnings in glaring Government Red frosted onto the sides of the goddamn restaurants.

Why not?

They're on my cigarettes (guilty).

Because every American-- from whoever Ray Kroc is now (healthy and hale and shopping at Whole Foods, no doubt) to Drunken College Asshole (who couldn't care less, doooood), to whomever Woody Guthrie would sing about now (flabby and sick and eating at Ray's every day, the one with the short lunch break and shorter paycheck who thinks that this shit tastes great, thanks, not to mention rings in at the right price) has a right to do as they choose, within the law.

For better or worse, it is a predator's right to prey and a victim's right to succumb.

But if we're going to have warnings on cigarettes (and we should), then by god we should put them on poison restaurants, too.

Canadian style. Lurid. Ominous. Immanent.

 

Originally posted to overturned turtle on Wed Jun 14, 2006 at 04:22 AM PDT.

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