If there is one term in this cosmos of captions we now find ourselves encapsulated in that I truly biliously detest and everything it stands for, it is ‘brand loyalty’. Why anyone in their right mind would devote themselves to anything as dull and faceless as a ‘brand’ is truly beyond me. Have you not seen these clowns ‘branded’ head to foot with logos exhibiting their ‘brand loyalty’, under the incredibly false assumption that somehow, we should envy them or even worse be under the illusion that they have achieved something by simply going into a shop or online and paying for the ‘branded’ item? Wow what an achievement! It’s a pair of fucking shoes! It’s a garish gaudy handbag! It’s just a fucking car! I love to hear folk brag about how they think their ostentatious material products speak volumes about them. They have to, because they nothing to fucking say! It illustrates the legerdemain of marketing.
Anyway, the reason why this exasperation of anger began was due to the construction of yet another fucking McDonalds being built in Folkestone where I live. Not content with just 2, apparently, we need a third. As I leave my house, to the right leads to the beach and to the left a short sharp hill with a gradient steep enough to put you slightly out of breath if you happen to be in conversation while walking up it. The acclivity starts with a pub, takes you past a row of houses, then a nice open green space, a school, a church, and then more houses neatly laid out contiguously in a line. If one carries on straight, they cross a bridge to be finally faced with before walking into the M20, the mothership of all supermarkets, a huge Tesco in all its archaic design and glory. There’s something about Tesco that just says 1970s Britain to me. Perhaps it’s the font and design of the logo or the old building this one happens to be housed in. It just reeks of capitalist industry, harsh concrete playgrounds and Thatcher. I think of the opening credits to the TV series ‘the Office’, yes, I think of Slough. But yet it is conveniently placed within walking distance of where I live, and so like many others, I play my part in destroying through convenience the small business economy that struggles to exist as the corporate machine dominates the retail landscape. I say this partly with tongue in my cheek, as I do make a concerted effort with my purchases to shop locally, but I also do shop here purely out of convenience, not may I add, out of ‘brand loyalty’.
And so, as I sashayed to the supermarket I noticed a new construction taking place in the car park and realised this must be the foundations of the new golden arches of which I had been hearing about. Now I wouldn’t say this is a NIMBY issue for me because I think the example shown by Bolivia is one, we should follow and learn from, and remove the whole fucking brand from the country with its detestable food and it’s ‘Fordism’ approach to the manufacturing of a ‘meal’. Over the years I have certainly eaten 100 times my weight in Big Macs and fries and no doubt added to my avoirdupois figure. This is mainly due to being a musician and comedian, broke, hungry in a small pocket of Britain and needing food before gracing the stage and attacking at times the corporate structure and how it turns its workers into faceless automatons. Oh, the hypocrisy! But 6 months after meeting my inamorata who happened to be a vegetarian, I too finally made the herbivorous leap, something I had been meaning to do for many years. Why? Because while I disagree with humans becoming nothing more than fodder for the corporate machine, hired and fired, the removal of all personality, in short, a commodity, the meat industry in itself, is no different where animals are concerned. I don’t want to be handing over my money to an industry that turns an animal into nothing more than a commodity that is produced in a factory.
But this is not the only reason why I don’t want the McDonalds there, for while its comestibles are clogging up your arteries, its position in Tesco will clog up the streets that lead to the supermarket. The main reason for the geographical location of the new golden arches is to alleviate the congestion produced by one of the other two McD’s in Folkestone where one of the McWorkers now must stand in the road and ask McMotorists to form an orderly McQueue for the McDrive-in to the halt backing up into another road which leads to a roundabout and eventually creates a McGridlock. All this for a Mc Happy Meal. And let’s be honest now, do you really want to see another huge fucking ‘M’ branding the landscape?
On a sunny morning, I can find myself climbing to the top of Sugarloaf hill which opens up to the hiker the sprawling network of Folkestone, the English Channel and on a clear day, France. I like to sit there and meditate as the day begins. On this morning the wind blew across the channel, over the town and up the hill, and all I could smell was the greasy burning fat of fucking McDonalds from about a mile away. My morning mental yoga transmogrified into a McMeditation.
So let me finish by saying it’s so fitting that their mascot is a clown, because that is how we must collectively look clogging up roads and streets in our cars waiting to buy their McShit.
And no, I’m not lovin’ it.