I just watched the debate of Eric Schlosser (the author of Fast Food Nation fame) vs. a UK McDonald’s executive. You can watch the debate in parts 1, 2, and 3 here. I have to hand it to UK TV which seems to know how to conduct an affair like this with dignity and a minimal amount of sensationalism.
The issue of McDonalds might at first seem moot since I never eat there (and haven’t for years). But if we’re thinking about our earth, our fellow human beings, and if we’re going to be progressive and practical about large business practices, the issue is worth following. I swim in waters with a pretty smug camp in Port Townsend – those who don’t eat fast food ever or hardly ever and seem to lump these companies as “evil” and leave it at that. On the other hand I have my father’s views (who I’ve actually got into rather heated arguments on this subject, for about two seconds until I dropped it, which is about how long I can stand to argue with my father) who seems to think anyone who questions or calls fast food restaurants’ practices into question is being a liberal pussy (my words, not his) and is an absolute beacon for the Personal Responsibility arguments (nevermind that some of our versions of “personal responsibility” might include taking these issues seriously and improving life for others than ourselves). Watching Schlosser is inspiring; he is intelligent, calm, not fanatical, and seems to toe a moderate line (for instance, he’s not in fact a vegetarian but proposes high standards for animal husbandry and slaughter). Not to mention his book and others like it have influenced companies like McDonalds in a revolutionary way – something I wouldn’t have thought possible several years ago.[ /soapbox ]
And rather off-topic, I am looking forward to the movie version (the poster for which is both chilling and hilarious) – because in part I know Greg Kinnear always tickles me in my notty place.