I'm Lovin' It

“Maybe McDonald’s food is the way it is because Ronald is lonely.”
“Lonely? He’s asexual.”
“That doesn’t mean he’s not lonely. Maybe he needs a car.”

So begins a conversation between characters in Douglas Coupland’s latest novel, jPod, which ends with them writing letters to the fast food mascot, competing to be his mate. Which, inevitably, got me thinking about Mickey D’s. I did my time at a franchise back in high school and I still eat there, even though Fast Food Nation almost did me in.

In honour of Coupland, I went looking for McDonalds pop culture parodies. If Ronald is lonely, where better place for him than a franchised version of Edward Hopper’s diner in “Nighthawks.” It would only have been better if Ronald himself had his back to us.

Ronald probably doesn’t see himself that way, with the Clown Prince more likely imagining himself sitting down to dinner with a group of close friends. Correct me if I’m wrong, but does that make Hamburglar Judas?

Of course not everyone thinks the golden arches is fit for fine dining, or even edible for that matter. For the 50th anniversary of McDonalds, the Billboard Liberation Front created a new billboard called “To Serve Man” which included a Ronald McDonald force-feeding a hamburger to an obese kid. Seems the grease mongers have just been fattening us up for the alien invasion. You bastards!

I have no idea what this one is about, but this cute little Wolverine-like teddy bear seems pissed at Ronnie. If anyone can read this, please let me know. Japanese pop culture is so weird.

When we were in Nagano, you could get a Quarter Pounder, but it came with an egg on top of it. I'd take a swipe at him too.

Some people are a little more obsessed with the junk food clown. A Day in the Life of Miss McDonald is the site of a woman in the Philippines who dressing up like Ronald and goes about her daily life. Sure, why not.

"I bet Ronald is at home as we speak," continues one of Coupland's characters. "He's in his bathrobe and staring out the den window at the immaculately maintained front garden. he wonders if it was all worth it - the fame, the money, the fries - and then he has the moment when he realizes that this is all he'll ever be. It shocks him - the purity of the emotion. He has to sit down in an armchair. He reaches over to the bookshelf and, from between a row of comic book, he removes a bottle of Scotch."


  1. AnonymousMay 31, 2006

    Jeremy...what a great post!!!

    --RC of strangeculture.blogspot.com

  2. AnonymousMay 31, 2006

    A couple of other Ronald McDonald sitings in pop culture:

    The best "Parking Lot is Full" with Mr. McDonald and who could forget Wendy McDonald by Spookey Reuben.

  3. AnonymousMay 31, 2006

    Does this mean that the Jack in the Box guy is finally gonna get some? You know what they say about emn with big noses.

  4. AnonymousJune 01, 2006

    Ah, more praise to feed my ever-expanding ego! I am the Blogger King!!

    Ok, I've come down now.

    Thanks for the great additions MC, if more come in I may have to post a Round Two. And Spookey Ruben - you are Canadian, aren't you?

  5. AnonymousJune 01, 2006

    Well, I always thought of myself as just Canadian enough.

  6. AnonymousJune 02, 2006

    Heck, I may as well throw in my McD's post

    Great post, Jeremy. Well done!

  7. AnonymousJune 06, 2006

    Thanks Dr. B. I remember that post now. The Ray Kroc of terrorism still makes me laugh.

  8. AnonymousJune 13, 2006

    Have you seen the documentary about the work of Ron English? Well worth a look, and it covers a lot of his stuff targeted at McDonald's.

  9. The bear is pedo bear because advertisements are aimed at children... That perv Ronald!

  10. The katakana caption of the bear taking a swipe at Ronald McDonald is just a phonetic rendering of "bear claw".