It seems these days I’m getting “called out” for going to McDonald’s too much. I admit, it’s part of my daily ritual. Evidently people out there are having a problem with this (smile wink). It would be nice if people were actually concerned about my physical well-being, but no, this has evidently become a problem of my moral duplicity. This is what tweeting will get you.
First it was my friend Will Clegg who dares to ask me about this privately (at least he did it privately) with the following FB message:
“David, on occasion you criticize American politics, capitalism and other facets of American life.(I have no problem with that) What I wonder about is why you go to McDonald’s on a daily basis? Isn’t McDonald’s the epitome of much of what you say is wrong with America?”
Again, notice, no concern for my health, diet or physical well being (wink, wink).
Then today, while diligently minding my own business toiling away in my other office (McDonald’s cubicle 2, Rolling Meadows), my new Anabaptist revolutionary bro Brian Gumm, writes a post calling me out for my duplicitous McDonald’s misbehavior (smile wryly). He says among other things:
… one thing in particular strikes me about Fitch: He’s at McDonald’s a lot. I know this from his tweets. Just this morning he reported, “Gathering early at McD’ s w/ triad in the back to read, pray, check in and ask the questions – ahhh discipleship 🙂 #fb.” What’s the deal?
I have a love/hate attitude about McDonald’s, and the fast food industry in general. To me, McDonald’s is an icon of the neo-colonial powers of late modern consumerist hypercapitalism. For instance, when I saw commercials for McD’s in Ethiopia – piped across an Arab satellite network – I cringed. (Thankfully there are no McD’s in Ethiopia…the government is very strict about foreign chains setting up shop in the country.)
That’s the hate side. The “love” side is that I’m an American who was a child in the 80s, bathed in advertising with catchy jingles like the “menu song“. (Note how much the word “love” has been used in their advertising over the years. That matters.) We didn’t eat at McDonald’s frequently when I was a kid, but it wasn’t unusual and I was usually pretty excited to be there getting cheeseburgers and the occasional “Happy Meal.” Now with a family of my own, we’ve mostly exorcized fast food from our diet, but it’s still an option when we’re on road trips. We recently stopped at one in Pittsburg on the way home to Virginia from Iowa, wherein I grudgingly munched on a chicken sandwich from The Man. (I kind of liked it…but just a little.But this David Fitch at McDonald’s thing?!I’m sure he’s read all the stuff that I’ve read and more that would give one a bad attitude about the systems and clusters of practices surrounding fast food. But there he is. I imagine having this conversation with Fitch, at McDonald’s of course, with me giving all the reasons stated above. Fitch would nod and grin, barely concealing a mouth full of sausage, egg, and cheese biscuit. So why?
McD’s is where my peeps go … it is the intersection of Rolling Meadows/middle class Arlington Heights(to be distinguished from upper class Arlington heights) where I live. I admit it’s a bit of a compromise … but I follow Aquinas’s dictum “to my neighbors first.” Justice starts in my relationships communally in the neighborhood … here at McD’s is excellent place to have those relationships …
Now I admit, supporting McD’s and some of its overtly capitalist excesses might seem a problem. But the peeps here might indeed be undermining it. They can’t be making money on us. We mostly drink the coffee, and alot of these peeps take advantage of the “senior” discount. McD’s at times is forced to see injustice issues in the store (at times) … say treatment of immigrants etc…
If I had alternatives in the hood, that were not McD’s, I’d probably prefer it … but as is…given the ubiquity of McD’s everywhere … I just don’t see the advantage of singularly avoiding it when so many people go there … My strategy is to go and subvert … participate as much as possible .. ceasing to participate when it is sin (i.e. eating a Big Mac) … Perhaps this alone will bring McD’s to become a more just place?
… til then … til maybe we all meet at each others’ homes (which the McD’s peeps do sometimes) … I’ll continue to infest these places for Kingdom!!
Blessings .. good to hear from you!!