Pennywise Quarter Pounder Foolish - 24 x 36 inches
So how did you come up with the idea?
Well I had seen this meme for McDonalds Clown vs. Pennywise Clown from IT novel by Stephen King online with the two battling, so I thought why not combine the two ideas. If you think about how McDonalds kind of makes kids into drones by first suckering the parents to stop by for the toy to keep the brats in line, then later most of us work in some type of fast food joint reinforcing the eating habit with drone button pushing and finally as parents we take our kids back for the stupid toys and then drop dead of a heart attack in the parking lot at 50.
Was there more to the image than this?
Well, the original novel IT by Stephen King was one of those page burners creepy crawly novels that would keep you up at night. I believe I read it in our half finished basement in Hinsdale townhouse. Half the basement was my bedroom with no outside lights and the other half was cement, where you could roller skate at night. There was a single door maybe 20 inches wide that opened like mini french doors. They would sometimes randomly open and the darkness would pour in while I'm reading IT, Christine, Cujo or who knows what other novels I devoured there. Then you would have terrible dreams, but that's a joyful childhood right? I think I had up Van Halen, Led Zeppelin and Quiet Riot posters on the ugly wood panel walls.
How long did you work at McDs?
Well about 3 years overall I think at two main locations plus two other locations as management was trying to groom me for management. I didn't really take to all the memorization of manuals though; it was just too easy to intuitively know what to do. Of course, there were occasional subpar kids working there. We called them the brain drain, since you would train them over and over, but they still wouldn't be able to make a burger right. I mean there's simply start button, slap the meat patties down, beep beep, sear the meat, beep beep, flip the meat, beep beep, pull the meat and dress the sandwich (if you hadn't already done this on small runs). They would call out 12 - 12 pull for doing 12 burgers at a time right after pull or 12 - 12 flip (I think) for 12 burgers right after the flip, etc. Really easy. I loved the manic pace during lunch to power through. I met my first girlfriend there and several friends there that I still know.
When we worked in Unincorporated Hinsdale next to Argonne National Laboratory (where the water ran green from nuclear experiments), we would be bored as hell in high school. So we would get McDs cup of ice, pour Wine Coolers in them, walk around drinking and then come back to close McDs for free. The managers loved this shit, since they wouldn't even pay us. We just thought it was fun as hell.
Did you have any bad experiences working there?
Well, not to me per say, but to friends. I had one friend that got sexually assaulted in the walk-in cooler and got a settlement from McDs. I didn't know about it for years and then found out one day wondering why she never came in to work.
A really dark story was about this guy I knew briefly, huge white guy 14 body builder type was asked to remove these other black friends of mine hanging out being obnoxious, normal teen stuff. So the big guy working for McDs had to kick these guys out. They refused and started to fight him. He ended up kicking all 3 of these guys asses. They were completely humiliated. So they left, grumbling saying we can't take this racist shit, even though it wasn't racist at all. They went to the car, got base ball bats, came back in, jumped the counter and beat this white guy into a coma. At that point I ended my friendship with all 3 black guys.
Sadly that didn't end the violence. Six month later my ex friend is partying at the local crib, we all partied there since they sold black market stuff (multiple types). The lady worked at McDs as a cover for her black market activities. She had a 13 yr old daughter. Anyway, this guy's uncle and older friend show up and decide to take advantage of the sleeping daughter while the mom slept. It ended with them going to prison for rape and murder. It really shook my faith in humanity to have known someone like that. Of course, being a teen under peer pressure who knows what you would do in a situation like that. Would you have been able to stop these guys?
Did you have other inspiration for the painting?
Morgan Spurlock's movie "Supersize Me" was a real eye opener. We all know McDs was total junk food, but the fact it almost caused irreparable damange to his body eating only McDs in 30 days shocked the world. His movie was so good that I know millenials that don't ever eat McDs after having seen the movie. McDonalds as we know stopped serving Super Size fries and cokes for awhile. Of course, to remain competitive with Carl's Jr, they brought in even larger 1/3 pound burgers. So they have learned nothing. Really all the fast food trends drive each to out do the last, so it's not really surprising.
Do you think you could some how regulate it?
Well, that would be communism basically. The government does put out warning labels and the pyramid, although it is a bit inaccurate. You can really skip most dairy if you eat the right vegetables for calcium for example or use beans for protein vs. meat. Again the issue comes down to profits driving lobbying in the US Congress and Senate to promote for example the meat industry. Why is oil on here at all? Only Olive Oil has some benefit to prevent Alzheimers. Cheese helps clog your arteries as easily as fatty meats do. I suppose this is the best you can do for healthy diet. It's really up to the consumer to learn what to eat.
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8/25/2017 12:11:54 am
Hi ShawN, I agree 100%. I knew when they started and my kids were small that there was obviously something really wrong with marketing to 3 year olds. And the scary part was and is that the parents listen to the 3 year olds. I also remember the guy doing the 30 day diet and that finished me forever! Thanks for this social commentary! We need to confront corporations when they truly are taking advantage of our children's minds and our health by feeding us cardboard food! ie. no food value in McD's. Laara WilliamSen
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