• Monthly
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $other
  • use PayPal

CounterPunch needs you. piggybank-icon You need us. The cost of keeping the site alive and running is growing fast, as more and more readers visit. We want you to stick around, but it eats up bandwidth and costs us a bundle. Help us reach our modest goal (we are half way there!) so we can keep CounterPunch going. Donate today!
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

McAfrika Burgers and the Third World

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:

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

May 21, 2019
Nicky Reid
Trump’s War In Venezuela Could Be Che’s Revenge
Elliot Sperber
Springtime in New York
May 20, 2019
Richard Greeman
The Yellow Vests of France: Six Months of Struggle
Manuel García, Jr.
Abortion: White Panic Over Demographic Dilution?
Robert Fisk
From the Middle East to Northern Ireland, Western States are All Too Happy to Avoid Culpability for War Crimes
Tom Clifford
From the Gulf of Tonkin to the Persian Gulf
Chandra Muzaffar
Targeting Iran
Valerie Reynoso
The Violent History of the Venezuelan Opposition
Howard Lisnoff
They’re Just About Ready to Destroy Roe v. Wade
Eileen Appelbaum
Private Equity is a Driving Force Behind Devious Surprise Billings
Binoy Kampmark
Bob Hawke: Misunderstood in Memoriam
J.P. Linstroth
End of an era for ETA?: May Basque Peace Continue
Weekend Edition
May 17, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Melvin Goodman
Trump and the Middle East: a Long Record of Personal Failure
Joan Roelofs
“Get Your Endangered Species Off My Bombing Range!”
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Slouching Towards Tehran
Paul Street
It’s Even More Terrible Than You Thought
Rob Urie
Grabby Joe and the Problem of Environmental Decline
Ajamu Baraka
2020 Elections: It’s Militarism and the Military Budget Stupid!
Andrew Levine
Springtime for Biden and Democrats
Richard Moser
The Interlocking Crises: War and Climate Chaos
Ron Jacobs
Uncle Sam Needs Our Help Again?
Eric Draitser
Elizabeth Warren Was Smart to Tell FOX to Go to Hell
Peter Bolton
The Washington Post’s “Cartel of the Suns” Theory is the Latest Desperate Excuse for Why the Coup Attempt in Venezuela has Failed
Doug Johnson Hatlem
Analysis of Undecideds Suggests Biden’s Support May be Exaggerated
Peter Lackowski
Eyewitness in Venezuela: a 14-year Perspective
Karl Grossman
Can Jerry Nadler Take Down Trump?
Howie Hawkins
Does the Climate Movement Really Mean What It Says?
Gary Leupp
Bolton and the Road to the War He Wants
Jill Richardson
Climate Change was No Accident
Josh Hoxie
Debunking Myths About Wealth and Race
David Barsamian
Iran Notes
David Mattson
Social Carrying Capacity Politspeak Bamboozle
Christopher Brauchli
The Pompeo Smirk
Louis Proyect
Trotsky, Bukharin and the Eco-Modernists
Martha Burk
Will Burning at the Stake Come Next?
John W. Whitehead
The Deadly Perils of Traffic Stops in America
Binoy Kampmark
The Christchurch Pledge and a Regulated Internet
David Rosen
Florida’s Sex Wars: the Battle to Decriminalize Sex Work
Ralph Nader
Trump: Importing Dangerous Medicines and Food and Keeping Consumers in the Dark
Brett Haverstick
America’s Roadless Rules are Not Protecting Public Wildlands From Development
Alan Macleod
Purity Tests Can be a Good Thing
Binoy Kampmark
Modern Merchants of Death: the NSO Group, Spyware and Human Rights
Kim C. Domenico
Anarchism & Reconciliation, Part II
Peter LaVenia
Game of Thrones and the Truth About Class (Spoiler Warning)
Manuel E. Yepe
The Options Trump Puts on the Table
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail