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November 18, 2007



I think Freeman's got it a bit turned around. Fast food didn't arise out of people's loneliness and boredom despite opportunity and wealth, it arose because of the many ways boredom and lonliness can be aleiviated which wealth and opportunity make possible. It's because we in the U.S. have so many opportunities for personal enrichment, education, entertainment, careers, and social engagement, that we find the available hours in the day lacking, driving the need for fast food.

My life includes: a full time office job, hours a day commuting between the suburbs and work (while calling on the cell to check up on friends and family, and listening to Philosophy Bites on the iPod), taking junior to school related events (and twice weekly sports practice, children's birthday parties, etc.), weekend outings with the family (Zoo, interactive science center or museum, aquarium, amusement park, public park with play structures, shopping mall, movie theater), and motorcycling with friends (with obligatory stops at Starbucks for coffee and conversation - there's practically one on every corner here), and that's the shorter list.

We try to cram so many activities, social and otherwise, into our lives that we don't want to sit around waiting for dinner to be served. Anyway, I hope Freeman isn't off sitting in a McDonald's somewhere right now, despondently pondering the meaning of life and loneliness while staring at a Big Mac.

Frau Silke

Almost 40 years ago you could already get in Greece at least a snack even in a small village almost all day long not to mention in Athens - those snacks are fat, spicy and delicious just like those of American Fast Food Chains.
I never read about them, when somebody is lamenting again the JunkFoodHabits of Burger-Lovers???
and by the way Greek locals are used to eating at all times of the day, whenever they feel like it even if they do not live the oh so deplorable life of a Californian single but have a super-cook mother to be fed by.
I find this kind of food snobbery of over-pampered urbans most of the time pretty disgusting
almost fifty years ago I got to taste my first American sandwich, a BLT (bacon lattice and tomatoe) if that is now called Junk then to hell with the chefs and long live the junk
Frau Silke

amanda seaborn

Did Chandler emerge out of a fast food joint? Did the French existentialists eat fast food?
I can't put my finger on it at this late hour, but I feel sure that there is some fundamental difference between French cafe culture and American fast food joints. Maybe it's that in France the grottiest of cafes will still pride themselves on the quality of their coffee and their steak and chips and the grottiest of customers discuss the quality of the wine. The American version of fast food (inferior quality food as you say) only reached France with McDonalds. And what existentially rich art is emerging from there? Or maybe there is, I don't know. Should have studied philosophy!

virtual philosopher

Thanks for this, Amanda.

I'm not convinced slow food is the answer either...

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