FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

McAfrika Burgers and the Third World

by Carol Norris

McDonald’s recently launched a new burger-in-a-pita product in Norway: The “McAfrika.”

And with this they have inadvertently created a brilliantly succinct metaphor for the increasingly blatant corporate takeover of the Earth – country by Mccountry, continent by Mccontinent. I wonder if McDonald’s, its arches a great, snapping, golden maw, gobbling up one country’s burger market share while digesting a bit of another continent’s culture, created this product to honor the 12 million Africans doing their best to stave off unspeakable famine, or to pay tribute to the millions dying of AIDS, or perhaps to give a nod to the ever-growing numbers left without clean, public drinking water. It’s tough to say.

And I thought Disney putting on an Electricland Parade in California during last year’s blackouts so that all of us Blackouters, intermittently bereft of electricity, could get a little glimpse of 20 foot tall, light-bulb covered bumblebees was a gauche juxtaposition. At least McDonalds had the decency to do it in Norway, away from all that unappetizing African suffering. Disney did it right here in California. But, nobody said a word about it as far as I can tell; unlike in Norway where some people like the Norwegian Red Cross and Norwegian Church Aid have seen the incongruity. These groups have confronted McDonald’s and met with its representatives to discuss the issue and the possibility of sharing proceeds of its sales with the aid agencies helping Africans. Nothing yet. Maybe you should go to McDonald’s website and email this suggestion to them.

Yes, yes, I know. See the cup half full. The McAfrika could be hailed as a celebration of Africa and the wonderful new possibilities it’s rich culture can offer the ingredient-locked hamburger. Africans should be happy and proud as they wait in line for their daily emergency protein biscuit. Maybe they will all be so full from the heaping dose of irony, they won’t even need it.

This is not an invective against McDonald’s. It just happens to be McDonald’s. It could just as easily be any other multinational corporation doing something similar. The only thing I can figure is that maybe the people at McDonald’s don’t know what is going on in Africa, just like the guy down the street from me who herds those three pesky cigarette butts off the sidewalk into the gutter for twenty-five minutes every day with increasingly precious water spewed from his garden hose doesn’t know there is a huge drought going on in the Southwest, not to mention the clean water crisis in developing countries and soon, perhaps, the world. Or just like my neighbor who uses a disposable bib on her kid and then cleans him up with disposable baby wipes and then changes his disposable diapers while using disposable mop covers to clean the mess on the floor and then afterward washes her face and hands with disposable ‘cleansing cloths’ says to me ‘it’s not like I’m throwing away plutonium, for chrissakes.’

So, I was thinking: as long as we are appropriating a little culture from large land masses, creating yummy burgers for corporate gain, I’d like to offer a few burger suggestions of my own:

McMexico Burger: Made in an American-owned factory relocated to Mexico. Includes a yummy GMO corn tortilla hand wrapped by Mexicans. Don’t worry, no unions allowed! And, you know what that means: lower labor standards and sub-living wages. And that equals dirt-cheap prices for you! Get yours while the burgers and the workers last! [Also affectionately known by some as the McNAFTA Burger.]

McVenezuela Burger: Delicious. But, you can only get it if you secretly abet the Venezuelan Rightist in line with you and he is able to successfully oust the democratically elected Shift Manager. [Limited to American government officials only.]

McDeveloping Country Burger: Basic burger. Comes with a $19, 6 oz. cup of newly privatized water. [Cup and debt relief sold separately and only for those who have proof of a World Bank/IMF-endorsed contract with a big water company. No exceptions.] Some of the only uncontaminated water left in the country!! Time limited offer. Offer while water supplies last. Bribes welcome.

McEvil Axis Burger: [Also called the McBrave New World Burger.] Includes an absolutely FREE Bonus Ingredient: Valium. Yep, just another idea American military chiefs here in the ole’ US are reportedly thinking about to mellow out the evil out there. Offer limited to large, hostile populations and certified evildoers only. Yes, the McJust as Evil Country, But Strategically Important and Therefore Our Friend Burger has the exact same ingredients as the McEvil Axis Burger. Sorry, but we’ve completely sold out.

McIraq Burger: Basically, just some flat bread dripping in lots and lots and lots of oil. All the other ingredients have been sanctioned. We know Westerners are just dying to sink their teeth into this one. Remember, Iraq reserves the right to refuse service to anyone.

McEngland Burger: Kinda bland. Special orders? We’ll take ’em, whatever you want. Just tell us what you want! Your loyalty is important to us! [This offer is limited to American power holders only.]

McUSA Burger: Offered only in the USofA. We use pasteurized beef! [Okay, alright, irradiated beef. Po-TAY-to, Po-TAH-to. Whatever.] If your budget is tight and you only make $5.15 an hour, the federal minimum wage that congress has frozen for a while now, phone your congressperson and ask him/her to take you out to lunch. Because, unlike what they’ve done for you, they just voted themselves their yearly pay raise. They should all be pretty flush with cash. Soon to be made with 100% unadvertised, genetically modified ingredients. Yum! Comes with a side of beef-broth flavored vegetarian fries. Wrapped in a disposable, non-biodegradable American flag. But, really, order whatever you want, it’s a free country; nobody’s stopping you. Only be very, very careful to order things that are with us, not against us. Come to think of it, it doesn’t really matter what you order because with that new technology out of MIT that can falsify images, we can film you on our cameras and with a little digital alteration we can make it look exactly like you ordered an Extra-Large Weapon of Mass Destruction and a side of Anthrax.

Bon appetit!

McCarol McNorris is a freelance writer.

She can be contacted at partofthesolution@hotmail.com

 

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

Weekend Edition
December 09, 2016
Friday - Sunday
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Nasty As They Wanna Be
Henry Giroux
Trump’s Second Gilded Age: Overcoming the Rule of Billionaires and Militarists
Andrew Levine
Trump’s Chumps: Victims of the Old Bait and Switch
Chris Welzenbach
The Forgotten Sneak Attack
Lewis Lapham
Hostile Takeover
Joshua Frank
This Week at CounterPunch: More Hollow Smears and Baseless Accusations
Paul Street
The Democrats Do Their Job, Again
Vijay Prashad
The Cuban Revolution: Defying Imperialism From Its Backyard
Michael Hudson - Sharmini Peries
Orwellian Economics
Erin McCarley
American Nazis and the Fight for US History
Mark Ames
The Anonymous Blacklist Promoted by the Washington Post Has Apparent Ties to Ukrainian Fascism and CIA Spying
Yoav Litvin
Resist or Conform: Lessons in Fortitude and Weakness From the Israeli Left
Conn Hallinan
India & Pakistan: the Unthinkable
Andrew Smolski
Third Coast Pillory: Nativism on the Left – A Realer Smith
Joshua Sperber
Trump in the Age of Identity Politics
Brandy Baker
Jill Stein Sees Russia From Her House
Katheryne Schulz
Report from Santiago de Cuba: Celebrating Fidel’s Rebellious Life
Nelson Valdes
Fidel and the Good People
Norman Solomon
McCarthy’s Smiling Ghost: Democrats Point the Finger at Russia
Renee Parsons
The Snowflake Nation and Trump on Immigration
Margaret Kimberley
Black Fear of Trump
Michael J. Sainato
A Pruitt Running Through It: Trump Kills Nearly Useless EPA With Nomination of Oil Industry Hack
Ron Jacobs
Surviving Hate and Death—The AIDS Crisis in 1980s USA
David Swanson
Virginia’s Constitution Needs Improving
Louis Proyect
Narcos and the Story of Colombia’s Unhappiness
Paul Atwood
War Has Been, is, and Will be the American Way of Life…Unless?
John Wight
Syria and the Bodyguard of Lies
Richard Hardigan
Anti-Semitism Awareness Act: Senate Bill Criminalizes Criticism of Israel
Kathy Kelly
See How We Live
David Macaray
Trump Picks his Secretary of Labor. Ho-Hum.
Howard Lisnoff
Interview with a Political Organizer
Yves Engler
BDS and Anti-Semitism
Adam Parsons
Home Truths About the Climate Emergency
Brian Cloughley
The Decline and Fall of Britain
Eamonn Fingleton
U.S. China Policy: Is Obama Schizoid?
Graham Peebles
Worldwide Air Pollution is Making us Ill
Joseph Natoli
Fake News is Subjective?
Andre Vltchek
Tough-Talking Philippine President Duterte
Binoy Kampmark
Total Surveillance: Snooping in the United Kingdom
Guillermo R. Gil
Vivirse la película: Willful Opposition to the Fiscal Control Board in Puerto Rico
Patrick Bond
South Africa’s Junk Credit Rating was Avoided, But at the Cost of Junk Analysis
Clancy Sigal
Investigate the Protesters! A Trial Balloon Filled With Poison Gas
Pierre Labossiere – Margaret Prescod
Human Rights and Alternative Media Delegation Report on Haiti’s Elections
Charles R. Larson
Review:  Helon Habila’s The Chibok Girls: the Boko Haram Kidnappings and Islamist Militancy in Nigeria
David Yearsley
Brahms and the Tears of Britain’s Oppressed
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail