Friday, May 30, 2014

The French Protest for Big Macs

Given that I lived for several years in France I naturally consider myself an expert on French food. Of course, I have not been back to visit in quite some time, but still, I believe that, whatever you say about France, the food is outstanding.

In a culture that has long defined itself on the excellence of its cuisine, McDonalds set off something of a stir in 1999. Then a French farmer name Jose Bove was thrown in jail for trashing a McDonalds.

Bove was an anti-globalization activist and was defending the honor of French culture against the Anglo invader.

That was yesterday. Today, the world has changed.

By now, France has been blanketed with McDonalds. One knows that the French restaurants serve McBaguettes and one suspects that the hamburgers taste better in Lyon than they do in my neighborhood, but still, given the choice, the French like their Big Macs.

Recently, in the town of Saint-Pol-sur-Ternoise, near Lille, local bureaucrats stopped construction on a new McDonalds because the restaurant did not comply with regulations.

(Even if the burgers are not the same the world over, the bureaucrats are.)

Surprisingly, perhaps, the local citizens were outraged… at the bureaucrats. 4,000 signed up on a Facebook page to protest. They took to the streets to oppose the job-killing bureaucrats.

They wanted the jobs and they wanted their Big Macs.

The Daily Mail reports:

But outraged residents protested, saying the order would stall the town's economic development and prevent around 30 new jobs from being created.

They called their Facebook group 'Oui oui au McDo' and 130 of them marched down the streets of the town yesterday with banners proclaiming: 'MANIF!!! (Demonstration) pour McDo'.

Those marching included union members, unemployed residents and several pupils from the town's schools.

Responding to claims that the town might simply have a hankering for hamburgers, one resident wrote: 'If it's the junk food that's bad we'll have to shut the kebab and chip shops in Saint-Pol.'

Another said: 'Seriously, I have a better lunch at McDonalds'.

Who would have thought that he would ever have heard those words spoken in French.


Anonymous said...

We Americans export the finest points if our culture, don't we? McDonalds and "Baywatch."


Mark McGreevey said...

Don't forget that the French are cheap. They can cook pretty well at home, and they even learn to do so, but when it comes to going out, a great many are just plain cheap. They're the same when they come visit here in USA and try to be as cheap as possible on their vacations.

It is possible that they have a poor economy, but then so do many nations. Underneath it all, they're just plain cheap.

Besides, isn't bread and cheese classic French? And that's a big part of every big MAC!

I spent some time in France but also a long time in Germany, Austria and Finland. The French are tough customers!!!

My own French never got off the ground but I can sing, "Ah, mesdames, voila de bon frommage, celui qui la fait il est de son village..." That cute old kids' song got me invited to some free meals with CHEESE!

Sam L. said...

If we could bring them here to protest MO...

Anon, we can export it, but we can't make them buy it. They buy it willingly, and often eagerly.