when dinner IS the movie (not intended as a book review)

May 18th, 2006

mcdonalds empire

Long before Morgan Spurlock gave us the film “Super Size Me“, an entertaining but often-times whiny, obnoxious and more than a little self-righteous look at the media-driven eating habits of Americans, author and investigative journalist, Eric Schlosser, released the non-fiction best seller, Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal. While Spurlock’s work is a relative Cliffs Note on the battle of the American People vs. Nutritional Common Sense and the Corporate influence to keep the fight unfair, Schlosser’s Fast Food Nation is an immaculately researched, fact-heavy juggernaut that throws enough punches to stun even the most jaded reader. However, it is tempered with such eloquence that it often reads with the ease of a Garrison Keillor-approved essay on the dusty, long and winding road through the history of all things Americana. It fascinates by offering a historical perspective on the growth of the fast food industry moving in lock-step with the emergence of new technologies and consequently the new habits of the industrialized American. It moves with melancholy tales of migrant workers pulling grueling shifts in the slaughterhouses and suffering dehumanizing injustices at the hands of their superiors with no hope for recourse and no legal ground on which to mount a defense. And it infuriates by revealing the industry’s perspective of the consumer– a rather accurate portrayal that we are naught but cattle whose every move can be predicted and affected thanks to number-crunching technology that is nothing short of military-grade, and trade publications that delve so deeply into the minutiae of the psychology behind our habits, as well as the habits of small children and infants, that they can only be described through Orwellian reference.You are correct if you’ve arrived at the idea that I am a big fan of this book. I am not a militant vegan or even a passive “make-up-my-own-rules” vegetarian (chicken and fish are meat, asshole). And though the occasion is rare, I do, in fact, treat myself to fast food from time to time, with none of the Evil Empire corporations exempt. However, for whatever reason*, I purchased this book shortly after its release in 2001-2002, and I cannot recall a time before or since that I so savagely devoured a work of non-fiction from cover to cover. It’s that good, and at the risk of punching myself in the face for saying it, I would even go so far as to call it a triumph…but…

Sadly, and with frigid irony, this book– championed many times over as a shining example of investigative journalism at its most deft– is getting the McTreatment as a feature length film to be released later this year. Now, I know what you’re thinking: “What’s so bad about that? Nobody reads anymore and this will make it easier for message to get across,.. you know, like a Michael Moore joint”. I would agree were it a big screen interpretation of this fine work. However, rather than an interpretation, it is to be released as an adaptation. More specifically, a “fictionalized thriller”, written for the screen and directed by Richard Linklater, and featuring the likes of Ethan Hawke, Kris Kristofferson, Avril (fucking) Lavigne, Luis Guzman (you’d know him the minute you saw him) and Greg Kinnear.

Oh well. In any event, it looks to make the film adaptation of I, Robot look like nothing short of an artistic conquest.

Anyway, if you’re bored, check this link to what’s new regarding the ultra stoop-o-phonic, futuristic, George Jetson kind of number crunching sheeb these corporations are digging on these days.

*Perhaps it was my love for all things conspiracy theory (conspiracy fact for those of us in the know. ~wink~)

2 Responses to “when dinner IS the movie (not intended as a book review)”

  1. when dinner IS the movie (not intended as a book review)Posted in Movies, Culture on May 18th, 2006 by Jimmy [IMG Image Hosted by ImageShack.us] Long before Morgan Spurlock gave us the film Super Size Me, an entertaining but often-times whiny, obnoxious and more than a little self-righteous look at the

  2. Jeff says:

    Link to Fast Food Nation trailer here. Looks, you know, decent, although I probably won’t see it. I’ve liked Kinnear ever since “Talk Soup” and “Mystery Men” so good luck to him…