Summary: This McDonald's culture jam montage demonstrates how, by mashing up a readily recognizable yet rarely questioned piece of popular culture, new and critical questions can emerge that draw attention to social problems. In this mash-up, various scenes from McDonald's commercials are rearranged and placed alongside U.S. health data trend maps, images of obesity, and graphic scenes from a liposuction surgery in order to highlight the alarming rates of chronic health problems facing our "Fast Food Nation," including coronary heart disease, stroke, hypertension, osteoarthritis, sleep apnea, respiratory problems, various cancers, insulin resistance, among many others. The accompanying music, "Pusherman" by Curtis Mayfield, provides further commentary on the role of McDonald's in American society, one that resembles that of a drug dealer, providing addictive and unhealthy products to consumers that can ultimately lead to life-threatening and socially dysfunctional outcomes. This clip would be good to use in a lecture on sociology and health, food, or media studies. This clip also adds to The Sociological Cinema's growing collection of video clips on culture jamming, (e.g., here).
Submitted By: Valerie Chepp