Friday Ephemera
The Impervious Toynbee

Elsewhere (38)

Steve Chapman on burgers, obesity and those who wish to correct your proletarian habits

The general rule of critics is that McDonald’s can do nothing right. Some years ago, they insisted that the company get rid of the beef tallow in which it cooked French fries. It did so, in favour of a supposedly healthier oil containing trans fats. A few years later, the activists demanded that it abandon trans fats, which it soon did. How much credit did it get for those changes? Not much. The class of people who detested McDonald’s went right on detesting it.

These ads are part of a larger campaign against everything McDonald’s represents. Were the company to retire Ronald McDonald, its enemies would step up their calls for an end to Happy Meals. Get rid of Happy Meals, and they would demand that McDonald’s thoroughly revamp its menu to incorporate their superior notions of nutrition… The militant enemies of fast food would like it treated as a public health menace along the lines of tobacco. They want broad measures to restrict, discourage, and punish the companies that sell it.

Leg-iron on realism and its alternatives

In Nova Scotia, a tobacco shop is fighting an order to cover up displays of tobacco. Read that again. It’s a tobacco shop. It doesn’t sell anything else. All the displays are displays of tobacco. Nobody would go in there unless they planned to buy tobacco… What should the owner do? Black out the windows? That’s going to attract entirely the wrong kind of customer… As for smokers, well, if you saw a shop with blacked out windows and a sign saying “special offer on rough shag,” would you think to buy your tobacco there?

And Tim Worstall notes the credentials of the Guardian’s Lindsay Mackie:  

Umm, right, so now we’ve an arts journalist informing us all how to reform the financial system. As we can see, decades of useful experience can be brought to bear here. So, err, why is one of the nation’s great newspapers offering column space to someone so woefully uninformed? Could it be because Ms Mackie is in fact the wife of the editor of the newspaper, a certain Alan Rusbridger?

When not sharing her expertise with readers of the Guardian, Ms Mackie is a consultant and campaigns co-ordinator for the New Economics Foundation, a leftwing think tank whose mind-shattering insights can be savoured here. Readers may recall that the NEF hopes to “heal the rifts in a divided Britain” and leave the population “satisfied” by fostering disdain for the “dispensable accoutrements of middle-class life,” including “cars, holidays, electronic equipment and multiple items of clothing.” No doubt Ms Mackie is already urging her husband to give away their £30,000 grand piano, along with one of their two large and agreeable houses and most of his £400,000 salary. 

Feel free to add your own findings in the comments.