David Thompson


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May 28, 2011



The McDonalds haters are really just budding maternalistic technocrats, pining for the power to set national rations consisting mainly of whole grains and green vegetables. What worries me is that they attempt to use science as a cover for their puritanical crusade, and some 'scientists' are more then happy to help, e.g. Prof Tim Laing. This has the deeply worrying effect of corrupting the science, as doubt is deemed irresponsibly damaging to the public health message. (It's worth looking at Gary Taubes' account of the interaction between public health and research in the establishment of the saturated fat causes heart disease hypothesis, and the perverse research incentives generated that remain extant.)

sackcloth and ashes

From: Head of Public Relations, McDonalds.
To: Various Critics.
CC: The BBC, Guardian, Independent etc.

Dear All,

Look guys, you don't get it. You really don't get it at all. Let me spell this out for you in terms that you can understand.

(1) We are a business.
(2) We make fast food.
(3) On the one hand, we have millions of customers worldwide who buy our burgers, fries etc. On the other, we've got a bunch of unwashed veggie terrorists, do-gooders, 'anti-capitalist' wankers and bedwetters who think that the worst thing in the world is the fact that people from Moscow to Jo'burg, and from Seattle to Beijing, want to eat big Macs and quaff Coca Cola.
(4) If we wanted to be out of business, we'd listen to you and sell all the uneatable shit that you subsist on. We'd be making burgers out of grass. Do you honestly think we're stupid?
(5) We give a fuck about what out customers think, but we don't give a fuck about what you think. Nobody does. Do you think 'Supersize Me' had the slightest effect on our sales? Like fuck it did.
(6) We're going to keep doing what we keep doing, which is producing fast food that people want to buy and eat. So get fucked.

Yours Faithfully

(Signature attached).


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.

Nepotism and colossal hypocrisy. Is it two-for-one day?


“Nepotism and colossal hypocrisy. Is it two-for-one day?”

On more than one occasion the Guardian has told us that employing family members “entrenches inequality” and thwarts “social justice.” Thankfully, this belief doesn’t appear to have impeded Mr Rusbridger’s own wife and daughter. As with the allegedly ennobling effects of doing without, these sermons are for the benefit of people less enlightened.


“and multiple items of clothing.”

? Owning more than one item of clothing makes you middle class?


I pity poor McDonald's being told how to run its business. I truly do. OTOH, I just got back from the one-chair barber shop I've been going to for years. I may have related this here before...over the years this man, because he once put a sign in his window stating "For Men Only", has been harassed repeatedly by women coming in and demanding that he cut their hair. He took the sign down for a while but it had little effect. It hasn't made the news so far as I know, but I find it odd that on the rare occasion the subject comes up, when I tell some people whom I would ordinarily consider rational where I get my hair cut are taken aback. Anyway, the barber related that just this past Thursday, a woman came in there and demanded that he cut her hair. She wouldn't leave and sat there for nearly 30 minutes arguing with him and one of his customers.

I sense my barber is being set up for a lawsuit. He won't have the money to fight it, if one does come but he's not afraid to run his business his way. McDonald's has bajillions of dollars that it has made courtesy of the free market and yet they have caved in to this BS time and again rather than defend their rights and by extension, the very principles that enable that market to exist. I have sympathy for their position, but none for their predicament.


> Nepotism and colossal hypocrisy. Is it two-for-one day?

Narcissism plus Envy and Projection are the symptoms of Marxism mental illness.



He just needs to whip out the Clippers (after getting her to sign a contract saying she wants a mans haircut). He might also keep a DVD of the "Life of Brian" handy and FF to the scene where it's his right to have a baby...

It's not like there's a shortage of men cutting Womens hair either.



I realize you're being facetious, but I must point out that even that would be a problem, a la McDonalds. She could then complain about "what he did to her" and have some physical evidence of some sort of "abuse". It could be part of the plan and possibly why women keep going in there creating a stir. He's a human being with his own rights over what he chooses to do with himself. It's his shop and he makes the rules in his shop. If he does not wish to provide a service for her, he is not obliged to do so. Of course, he must accept the consequences of social stigma or whatever, but that's freedom, and by extension a free market principle too.

Not that anyone cares and not that it is in anyway relevant, nor that I expect much argument here on that point, but I am proud to say my wife agrees with me on my first post. One down, 6,998,876,342 more to go...


Re fast food, it may be worth repeating a comment I posted over at Protein Wisdom. A PW regular asked why activists generally prefer to use government coercion to eliminate choice rather than, say, lecturing parents who are taking their children to the local McDonald’s.

I said,

Possibly because that would risk acknowledging the role of individual agency, which would undercut the narrative of consumers as passive dupes. And to attack consumers for in effect making proletarian choices – of which the campaigners disapprove – would jar with any professed egalitarian credentials. This may be why a common strategy is to insinuate some variation of “false consciousness,” whereby fast food enthusiasts are effectively side-lined as victims of some ill-defined but morally corrupting influence. It’s easier to imagine you’re being righteous and heroic if you target the provider of a service rather than the people who choose to seek it out.

But even this manoeuvre implies things that are rarely said directly for fear of how it would seem: The customers, by implication - unlike the campaigners - can’t see through advertising. The customers, unlike the campaigners, don’t know their own minds. Of course saying this explicitly would make the campaigners sound presumptuous and conceited, which they quite often are. And saying it face to face with Those Who Need Saving might invite a suitably frank response.


As a veggie, may I say I love McDonald's Fries. It may be about the only thing I can eat in there but they're fun, tasty and quickly available. Fast food, yay!

So, a veggie who goes to McDonald's? Yep. I believe that's called freedom of choice. Not something that the left and the eco-loons really understand. Oh wait, silly me... of course they do: it is their choice to deny freedom to millions of others.


"activists generally prefer to use government coercion to eliminate choice rather than, say, lecturing parents"

I'd say that has more to do with those parents making up much of the activist's constituency, for my martini-addled brain's lack of a better word. They can't lecture the kind of people who don't care enough about their children to teach them to eat properly. Those from that socioeconomic group who pay attention would do one of two things, resent the lecturing and tune the activists out, or take the lecturing as a sign to take personal responsibility for their lives and their children's lives, in which case they might become less likely to vote for the activist's favored candidates. If they get some anonymous bureaucrat to do so, they can absolve themselves of being responsible for their own actions. If I'm wrong, I blame the Belvedere. Responsibility is for suckers.


If you want to buy tobacco in Ontario, you better know exactly what you want. You can't look at the cigars to decide what to get and the clerk can't tell you what's available. It's a $5k fine to a minimum wage employee if the customer turns out to be a gov. inspector. What is the point of this?


the New Economics Foundation, a leftwing think tank whose mind-shattering insights can be savoured here.

My mind has been shattered by the news I'm subsidising these jokers.


WTP and AC1,

Maybe the argumentative woman just wants a men's haircut. Back when I was a student (and thinner and prettier than now) I used to go to a men's barber. All I wanted was a short-ish back and sides with the number 3 clippers: no washing, no blowdrying, no smelly gunk, no need for an appointment, and at a price I could afford. The barber was called Ray, and he seemed completely unperturbed. He didn't even offer me anything for the weekend.

Ted S., Catskills, NY


I'd put it more bluntly. The activists are perverts who get their jollies by trying to run other people's lives. And while somebody like Roman Polanski could only rape one girl at a time, these activists can screw everybody in noe go.

As for the so-called "publich health" (I prefer the term "government health") angle, I like to argue that every time I hear one of these activists lobbying for more government control, I can feel my blood pressure rising. I'm sure I'm not the only one, and the collective rise in blood pressure can't be good for "public health". So these activists really need to shut their goddam mouths and keep the collective blood pressure down.

They talk about quality of life, but making people miserable by definition reduces their quality of life, I'd think.


Dearest Bess,

"He didn't even offer me anything for the weekend." ...ok, that went over my head. Perhaps I'm too dense and missed a joke there (heh, it happens), but for the sake of argument...what does your post have to do with anything? "Ray" was willing to cut your hair. His choice. Nothing wrong with it. Demanding that someone provide you a service is something else entirely.


It's grossly unfair to suggest that Rusbridger published that article simply because his wife wrote it. For many years, he has consistently published equally egregious bullshit -- indeed, far worse -- by dozens of writers he has no family connection to at all.


Ms Mackie’s Twitter feed is revealing. When not telling us how wise her NEF colleagues are, and telling us that Palermo is “freezing but gorgeous” (“any tips for must see and do and eat?”), she rails against the “super-rich” and bankers’ bonuses. Oddly enough, her husband’s bonuses – £170,000 on top of salary - don’t seem to trouble her quite so much, or in fact at all.

Horace Dunn


"Something for the weekend" is a euphemism for condom, here in the UK. Back in a more genteel age, condoms were commonly sold in barber shops (of the old-fashioned kind being discussed here). They weren't put on display but would be discreetly offered to the customer after his hair had been cut - "would sir like something for the weekend, perhaps?"

The expression became a favourite of TV comedians, but I often wonder just how commonly it was used by barbers. By the time I was old enough to be offered one, condoms were readily available in all chemists and even supermarkets, so the more furtive transactions in barber shops had ended.

Ted S., Catskills, NY

Why is Mackie even in Palermo? It seems to me it would take quite a bit of carbon to get there. She should be spending her holidays someplace like Weston-Super-Mare, getting there by public transport of course.


Mr. Dunn,
Much appreciated for the 'splainin. Understand she was just owling off. I feel like such an ed, but nothing new there I suppose. Actually, I didn't think British comedy could possibly be much funnier. Wrong again. It's a wonder y'all don't laugh yourselves to death. Actually, come to think of it...




Horace Dunn has kindly explained the reference, so I'll explain my point. You suggest that your barber's female visitor just wants to cause trouble. I'm suggesting that perhaps all she wants is a cheap, no-nonsense haircut. Surely that's not so impossible!


My dear Bess,
It's not a matter of possible or impossible. It's a matter of one's right to run one's business and to use one's time the way one chooses. Putting aside any issues a barber may or may not have about the haircut itself, a barber shop is more than a place where one goes to get one's hair cut. I know you will find this rather shocking, but as wonderful as the female creature is, many men would like to have some space to themselves once in a while. So long as this lady INSISTS that the barber cut her hair, she is intruding on the kind of business this man wants to run. The poor man does everything he (politely) can to make the place unattractive to female patronage. It is dingy, bland (except for the life-size cardboard cutout of Marylin Monroe), with 3 year old Guns & Ammo and fishing magazines lying around. I am quite certain that if Sarah Palin herself were to show up, she would be asked to leave. Of course I doubt even she would be dumb enough to not take the hint.

If the metrosexuals can take the hint and stay away, why can't the women?

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