Skip to main content

From The Daily Event by Heywood Gould, published by Tolmitch Press, www.heywoodgould.com

NEW YORK, N.Y., Jan. 6th...Fast food franchises are "insidiously" planting sexist, anti-labor and neo-imperialist propaganda in their commercials, a consumer advocate charged today.

Leah Schildkraut, Corporate Malfeasance specialist with the Anarcho-Feminist Coalition, called for an immediate boycott of Taco Bell, Carl's Jr. and Burger King.

In a press conference to kick off a nationwide campaign, Schildkraut spotlighted three commercials which she said "reinforced reactionary tendencies in the young male demographic."  

In the Taco Bell ad, a customer is about to tip the counterman. "Keep the change," he says. But his friend stops him and says he can get another Taco Bell for what he just tipped. The customer changes his mind and quickly scoops up his change.  "You only pushed a button," he explains to the stiffed counterman. As he walks away his friend shrugs  as if to say "sorry, but he's right."

"Close analysis of this commercial reveals a very subtle message of class prejudice," Schildkraut said.

A man in the audience jumped up. "Get a life."

Schildkraut ignored him. "The customers are young, smug and obviously more intelligent than the counterman who is portrayed as an unskilled, retard, undeserving of a tip. This is a not so subtle attempt to devalue labor in the minds of the young and produce an anti-union mentality..."

The heckler who identified himself as Efraim Durg, founder  of Males in Revolt. com, looked  to the crowd for support. "It's a not so subtle attempt to sell burritos, you mean."

"Only on the surface," Schildkraut said. "What's important are what advertising people calls hidden persuaders..."

She cued up another commercial. "Now we turn to the blatantly sexist Carl's Jr."

A young man is seen devouring an enormous  Carl's Jr. burger while mechanics sand splashes of white paint off his car. A voice informs us that the man has  several girlfriends and "there was nothing wrong with that" until they found out about each other. The mechanics work away with knowing, complicit smiles.  As the commercial ends we see that one or all of the scorned females has painted "CHEATER" on the man's car.

"Notice his gloating look," Schildkraut said, seething. "This commercial endorses infidelity, deceit and male conspiracy against women."

"It endorses cheap food for young guys on a budget, you mean," Durg said.

"Everything has a political context," Schildkraut said. "Have you ever seen a commercial in which a woman is congratulated for cheating on her boyfriend?"

"Maybe not, but it happens in real life every day," Durg said with an aggrieved look. "Young, broke guys can't get women..."

"You really believe it's all about money, don't you?" Schildkraut said. "You're a victim of fast food propaganda..."

A large woman stood over Durg.  "You're pathetic," she jeered.

Schildkraut screened a Burger King spot entitled "Whopper Virgins." A picnic table of Greenlanders in colorful indigenous dress, taste a Burger King Whopper and a Big Mac. They choose the Whopper.

"The manifest content of the commercial is that unspoiled palates will prefer Burger King," Schildkraut said. "But the subtext is that  fast food - American popular culture- is embraced by all. The fast food empires, having saturated their domestic markets, have now invaded these unspoiled lands...They hope to create a colonial dependency with their new weapons of conquest--- transfat, sugar and sodium..."

"It'll still be  a whole lot better than seal blubber," Durg said.

The crowd erupted.

"Typical."

"Redneck!"

 " Burger Kings, Dunkin' Donuts, Kentucky Fried will pollute the pristine beauty of Nuuk," Schildkraut warned, her voice rising. "Imperialism will bring obesity, diabetes, cardiac arrest to the Inuit just as it brought alcohol opium and syphilis to other unsuspecting people in the past..."

The audience was inflamed.

"How about that Taco Bell commercial where the dude sends the valet parking lot guy to get him a Triple Steak and doesn't tip him or even say thank you," somebody shouted.

"Or the Del Taco where the kid's mom turns out to be a cougar."

Schildkraut clapped. "Shut 'em down..." The audience joined her, clapping and chanting. "Shut 'em down...Shut 'em down..."

"Hey don't take our cheap food away," Durg pleaded. "It's the only thing we have."

The audience quieted, struck by the anguish in his tone.

"Imagine, you're a young guy who just got laid off from his dead end job," Durg said. "You're back living in your old room. Mom does your laundry. You have to borrow from dad to gas up the car. Can't even take a girl out for a non fat vanilla latte. But you know  for a coupla bucks you can get a cheeseburger, fries, a coke and feel satisfied...Don't take this small consolation away."

Chairs scraped. There were murmurs of sympathy.

Schildkraut looked intently down at Durg. "Wait a minute, I know this guy."  She jumped off the platform, pointing an accusing finger. "He's the manager of the Jack-in-the-Box at the Paramus Mall."

The crowd surged...

"He's a spy."

"Corporate goon!"

Durg was immediately surrounded by members of the Lesbian Cage Fighting Cooperative, who had been providing security.

"Okay buddy, take a hike..."

"Hold it!" Durg with a dramatic gesture.He pushed through the crowd to confront Schildkraut. "I know you too,bitch," he said. "You come in every morning for a breakfast bowl. I didn't recognize you without the Mets cap and the sunglasses,""

Schildkraut turned away, blushing.

"I'm trying to kick the habit," she explained to her stunned colleagues. "I'm off Wendy's and Long John Silver's...But that nitrite rich bacon, the molten plastic cheese..."

"Busted!" Durg shrieked with a demonic glee. "From now on no more extra cibatta for you..."

Originally posted to tolmitch on Tue Jan 06, 2009 at 06:44 PM PST.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site