I think we are done with McDonald's. We are most likely done with MSNBC as well.
We were on our way back from getting two out of three kids' haircuts at the Oak Brook Mall.
We decided to stop off at McDonald's for lunch. Now I know there are plenty of valid criticisms one can level at McDonald's.
A friend of MizSplotchy's loaned the book Fast Food Nation to us, and I read a bit. But then I put it down. I haven't seen Supersize Me, the Morgan Spurlock film about how just one month of McDonald's food had a severe impact on his health. I really have nothing to defend this avoidance I seem to have, but say I was willfully ignorant. We don't eat it that often, but we do eat it occasionally.
Anyways, if you don't know, McDonald's headquarters is actually in Oak Brook, Illinois. The McDonald's we were eating at was a more upscale restaurant (as upscale as a McDonald's can be, I guess). You could tell that they took greater care in presenting a nice environment, because it was literally right in front of their corporate offices.
So, we get our food and sit down. There are plasma TV screens everywhere. There is one on the wall behind MizSplotchy, that my youngest son and I are directly facing. There's a huge circular bank of televisions in the middle of the restaurant that MizSplotchy and my other two kids have a perfect view of.
It's 12:00pm on a Saturday. The place is filled with nametagged people from some convention, and assorted families. A fair amount of young kids. Most of the televisions were tuned to the Disney Channel, which isn't a surprise. The televisions that weren't showing Disney were showing MSNBC.
Here's where it gets really troubling for me. My wife noticed what they were showing on MSNBC. The sound was off, but one could see black and white security footage of what appeared to be a home invasion. Some people come in and knock a women down to the floor, by hitting her in the head with a gun. Someone shoots a gun into a person laying on the floor.
Okay, that's just awful. It's awful one time. But they don't stop there. They show it again. And again. They zoom in so you can get a better look as the gun makes contact with the woman's head.
The TV that my youngest son is directly in front of is tuned to this channel. I see my other two kids' eyes hit upon the screens above them also tuned to MSNBC. My wife and I start getting really upset, really quickly.
She attempts to go up to tell the employees what is happening, but no one is concerned. There are customers that need food. The manager ignores her. She follows someone else and tries to get them to listen to her. She comes back and I get up. Probably about five or six minutes transpired in the time it took for us to realize what they were showing to us walking out the door. And in that time, I kid you not, this video was played at least seven or eight times. My wife and the kids headed out, as an employee was walking over with a remote control. She said she couldn't change the channel and could only turn it off. I said, well, turn it off! I tried asking her, "Don't you see? Don't you see how this is not appropriate?" Then I left.
So here are my thoughts:
1. FUCK YOU, MSNBC
So, if it was September 11th, and we were seeing buildings topple and people screaming, etc., that's one thing. I would be concerned with my kids seeing the disturbing images, etc., but it's a world event, it's news that needs to be told. But I tried looking up what they were showing. I don't know what it was. I don't know how it was relevant to anything. What were they doing replaying this video? Why were they doing it? Maybe it was worthwhile, but seeing it with the sound off and the images of brutal violence being done struck me as sensationalist garbage. On a Saturday afternoon. FUCK YOU, MSNBC.
2. FUCK YOU, MCDONALD'S EMPLOYEES
Fuck you for making me feel like an asshole for saying televised brutal violence is not appropriate on a Saturday afternoon with a room full of kids. Fuck you for not listening. Fuck you for not caring.
3. FUCK YOU, MCDONALD'S.
The employees could have reacted better, but they are running on the hamster wheel that you have built. I have no doubt that these employees have feelings, opinions and humanity, but they have to supply the almighty burger during their time with you. Anything else is grounds for termination. FUCK YOU, MCDONALD'S. And FUCK YOU for all the other reasons that so many people have documented, but I have been too chickenshit to see.
4. FUCK ME.
Fuck me for supporting this system. I'll try to do better. I'll try.