Hey Fool Gang & Louann if You're Here,Here's a link to Louann's satirical article mocking efforts by a trial lawyer to sue fast food companies for being "addictive"...http://www.fool.com/News/mft/2003/mft03061806.htm?source=mpmftlistFirst of all, let me say that I'm a part owner of a fast food company that's about to come out with an incredibly delicious but really, really fattening product. So a large part of me agrees with Louann that if tubbo lard-butted piggos want to jam endless amounts of blubber burgers and fried chicken parts into their their bottomless pit guts, it's no one's fault but their own when their heart spontaneously combusts. But that said...I'd like to state the case against Louann's and my own more cynical self's it's-all-the-fatsos-fault position. First of all, it's an argument pulled right from page one of the CONservative text book, oversimplifying a complex issue and placing 100% of the blame for a devestating social ill on the victims and their greedy lawyers while letting giant corporations completely off the hook. That's right, I said victims. The fact is that fast food is cheap, and it's more likely to be mass-marketed to and mass consumed by people who are either economically or even emotionally disadvantaged (stressed, low self-esteem, poorly educated, just plain stupid, unlucky, etc.) A working mom struggling to support two kids can't afford to go to more healthful restaurants that serve healthier food and anyone who thinks it's easy, or a matter of mere "personal choice" to convince your to kids eat salads at McDonald's is, plain and simply, a complete and total nincompoop. But the real issue here is marketing, marketing, marketing. Combined, these companies spend BILLIONS UPON BILLIONS of dollars saturating TV stations, magazines, newspapers, billboards, supermarket aisles, event centers and are even, as we speak, working on talking ads to be placed in supermarkets that speak without the voice being registered by our conscious minds. (Honest, I read this in "Wired" or the like). So, in short, these Madison Avenue savages do everything humanly possible to convince the general public that, for example, loving and benevolent Ronald McDonald has a hand in making their food and they make every effort to massively distance the imagery associated with their products from the reality of the harmful effects of those products. And these ad agencies are often lead by the most creative, brilliant and totally amoral minds on earth. Every day they wake up thinking, conniving and plotting ways to make their foods as utterly desirable and habit-forming as possible. So tell me this Louann. Is it really ENTIRELY the average Joe's fault, and really ENTIRELY due to his lack of personal discipline if just about every single place he goes or looks he sees a mouth-wateringly delicous cheeseburger and he finds himself constantly thinking about cheeseburgers when he gets hungry? And is it ENTIRELY his fault if his parents and his school never taught him a thing about how the human body really works and exactly how damaging high fat food really truly are to his health? You ask me when Joe Lunchpail's heart finally bursts from eating one too many Big Macs, it might very well be his fault for being an undisciplined slob, but the fastfood companies are very much to blame as well.The $64,000 question here is are fastfood companies creating "addiction"? Well, the word "addicted" is defined as "devoted or given up to a practice or habit or to something habit-forming". Let's ask the next ad agency that goes to bid on the McDonald's contract whether or not they feel they are skillful enough to successfully use a billion dollars a year to create habitual behaviors in humans. I think you'd hear a mighty loud Ralph Kramden-esque Har Har Harrrrrrrrdy Har Har booming throughout the halls of Mad-ison Avenue.And the word addiction is defined as "the state of being addicted, esp. to a habit-forming drug, as a narcotic, cigarettes, etc." I'm comfortable making that "etc." a double bacon cheeseburger dripping with luscious barbecue source that's shoved in front of human beings faces every single place they turn. You ask me "is fast food addictive?" - I'd say it's pretty darn close. Close enough to go to trial and air out this dirty laundry in public for all to see - it will be GOOD for a country with the totally absurd and internationally embarrassing about of slobbery we're known for. Anyone in their right mind who is against drugs - because drugs are BAD for people who put drugs in their bodies - has to agree that fastfood is bad as well.Time and time again big corporations in this country and this CONservative environment are smashing the rights of the individual - whether it be Clearchannel dominating all of radio and polluting it with right wing loons, Fox gobbling up every media outlet they can and using them to demonize all things liberal (or even just plain Democrat-ic), or fast food chains pummelling in the noggins of the weak and suckering them into artery clogging obesity. It's really a goofy, and somewhat perverse thing that whenenver individuals rise up to strike back at the Empire, and hold them even somewhat accountable for the MASSIVE damage they do, choruses of ridicule like Louann's rise up to cynically mock these somewhat righteous efforts as frauds perpetrated, in part, by evil, greedy "trial lawyers". Who the heck else is going to "try" a case against big corporations? The #@$%ing tooth fairy? Nope. It's going to be a lawyer that dare I say it, will actually go to trial and be shameful enough to collect money for his services. How awful! It's funny how the right is always bellyaching endlessly about their rights to make a fortune selling weapons and oil but anyone who wants to make money trying cases is greedy beyond words. And call me a paranoid oversensitive Jew-boy, but the demonization of greedy "trial" lawyers by CONservatives has at least a whiff of anti-semitism as we all know what religion them pesky "trial" lawyers are predominantly made up of. In case you don't know your stereotypes - it's Jews, J-E-W-S Jews! That's right I said it and I stick by it. I hope fast food is labeled as addictive and I hope these environment-wrecking, fat-promoting, low-minimum wage promoting pork peddlers get their greedy asses handed to them good with a tightly-rolled up newspaper of a multi-billion dollar verdict whapped against the sides of their omnipotent big-brotherly heads. Like big tobacco, in the long run, they, being "the Man" will come out thriving as always anyway. I just want to have a few real good laughs as the public peeks into their emails, which I'm sure are filled incriminating interoffice jokes that prove these badboys know dang well their products are addictive or closer to it than we think.And last but not least, anyone who wants to call me a hypocrite for being in the fastfood business, I accept your ass-thwack in advance with a hearty "thank you sir may I have another".Fool On!Broadway Dan
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