Monday April 5, 2010: Oh for cryin’ out loud…

…will everybody please stop being offended by trivialities?  Willya just take a deep breath and lie down for a few minutes until you can think clearly?

You’ve probably seen the Burger King ad in which the King is portrayed as insane, because he’s running amok and handing out cheap cheeseburgers.  If you haven’t, here it is:

Okay, it’s annoying.  But those ads are always annoying.  Frankly, I think that Burger King character is one of the most creepy corporate logos I’ve seen in a long time.   But I don’t care.  If Burger King thinks using what seems to be a mentally disturbed character to push its Whoppers, then all the best to ’em.  I really think its a miscalculation, marketing-wise.  But some folks are really in high dudgeon about it.  And, I guess, if you’re going to get into a dudgeon, a high one would be the way to go.  But to Michael Fitzpatrick, it’s OFFENSIVE!  APPALLING!  And part of Michael Fitzpatrick’s job is to be Officially Offended by trivialities like this, because he’s the executive director for the Arlington, Virginia-based National Alliance on Mental Illness, one of the nation’s largest mental health advocacy organizations.

Here’s what Mr. Fitzpatrick had to say:  “I was stunned. Absolutely stunned and appalled.”  He called the ad “blatantly offensive” and hopelessly retro in its depiction of mental illness, adding that the commercial could lead to further stigmatization, the primary barrier for individuals to seek out treatment. “We understand edgy,” Fitzpatrick says. “But this is beyond edgy. Way beyond.”

Hyperbole, anyone?

And David Shern, president and chief executive of Mental Health America, says the ad is “a perfect storm of images and words coming together,” comparing it with an advertisement using the word “idiot” while featuring someone who was mentally challenged.  Of course the ad he compared it with doesn’t exist.  No matter.  Both groups sent letters to Burger King asking that the advertisement be removed.

So essentially, what both of these esteemed gentlemen are saying is that Americans are looking at these ads and saying hmmm…. that’s right… that’s what I always thought crazy people were like.

Is it an idiotic (oops! sorry!) ad?  Yup.  Annoying? See above.   But come on! Do you really feel some sort of harm has been done here?  Your undies are all twisted up because of that? Why don’t you worry about something really important?  Like the childhood obesity problem, for instance.

This just in:

Ronald McDonald must go, group says

Mr. McDonald

(AP) — A coalition of health professionals, parents and corporate accountability advocates is calling for Ronald McDonald to retire as a spokesman for the nation’s largest restaurant chain, saying he has too much influence on kids.

Corporate Accountability International, which has waged campaigns against bottled water companies and tobacco companies, said it plans to present the results of a survey Wednesday showing that most Americans agree.

The group will release the results at a lunchtime “retirement party” for Oak Brook, Ill.-based McDonald’s Chief Happiness Officer, a 50-year veteran of the company, at the McDonald’s restaurant at Chicago Avenue and State Street in Chicago.

The organization also was also behind the effort to retire Joe Camel from Camel cigarettes.

Let’s get this straight.   This nanny-state group wants to ban Ronald McDonald because he’s doing his job:  selling hamburgers.  And they really think that dumping the clown will have even a teensy-tiny effect on a nation of fat kids?   They really, really think that?

It is now, and always has been, up to parents to make sure their kids eat properly, and receive the nutrition they need.  It is not up to me (especially because I have no  kids,) it is not up to you (unless you have kids and then only your kids are your responsibility.)  And it is certainly not the job of the flame-haired Mr. McDonald.  He already has a job: selling hamburgers.

We’ll talk about this on today’s show.  Join me on WBLF NewsTalk 970 from 3 – 5.

Today’s Curiosities

  • I’m not sure exactly what this is, or where it came from… but ain’t it cool?

  • You realize of course, that all of us guys, even shy nerdy ones, love things that explode.   Well, this isn’t an explosion, but it’s close enough:

Have a marvelous Monday, if that’s not an oxymoron.  –Steve

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2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Brian Baney on April 5, 2010 at 6:16 AM

    my goodness, what’s next? do these people get paid for trying to run/ruin our lives. i was raised on McDonalds and Burger King. Both are a nice break for Mom’s and Dad’s and their children. Let’s leave the decision of eating out and where and what to the parents, shall we.
    There are more responsible parents in America than these advocacy groups contend.
    Ronald McDonald has done more good with the Ronald McDonald House organization than making American children obese. I stayed at the Ronald McDonald house in Danville and saw first hand what this organization does for loved ones of sicks kids and adults. So, please let the clown alone and let him continue to do his job.

    Reply

  2. I don’t think Ronald has any impact on why my child ASKS to go to McDonald’s (which he calls Old McDonald’s Farm Place). He is obsessed at the moment with the movie “How to train your dragon” and they are currently running ads on tv for the Happy Meals with the dragon toys. THAT is why he wants to go, for the toys. NOT the clown (he finds Ronald a little creepy). Honestly, he’s a bit under-weight so I don’t mind taking him once a week, but we always get the apples and milk. He NEVER drinks soda and that was a conscience decision we made as parents.

    It is the ultimate responsibility of the parent to PARENT the child. No child will die if they DO NOT get McDonald’s for dinner. Parents need to take more responsibity.

    WIsh I lived closer so I could listen today…have a great show.

    Reply

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