If you have been watching the news at all lately, you have probably realized that the United States and Russia are back to hating each other without coming out and saying that they hate each other. You know, like 13-year-old girls. And while tensions between the two have been reaching critical mass, it looks like the final straw my have been reached: Russia is going after McDonald’s.
Yes, one of the most visible poster corporations for capitalism is about to get sent to the gulags. It’s absolutely symbolic, but it also makes some sense. At the end of the Cold War, the opening of McDonald’s in Russia was a HUGE deal to Russians, and it was greeted with a hell of a fanfare. Now that relations between the two countries are back to a passive-aggressive “fuck you,” declaring the food on McDonald’s menu illegal is a great way to both make a political statement and drum up anti-West sentiment with the “They’re trying to poison you!” argument.
Here’s what makes less sense: while Russia’s consumer protection agency wants to declare most McDonald’s food items illegal, including their cheeseburgers, the Big Mac somehow got a pass. They do know it’s the same sodium patty that they use for all of their burgers, right? That’s the whole point of fast food; it’s all the same so everything gets made really quickly. It would be one thing if they were saying all McDonald’s burgers are awful, because that’s true. But to say McDonald’s burgers are bad for you except for the Big Mac is like saying the Gungans are racially offensive but Jar Jar Binks isn’t.
On the one hand, I know it’s silly to demand logic from something so blatantly political. But I guess I’m just spoiled here in the U.S., where I’ve come to expect just a little more from bullshit. But that’s something good ol’ America will always have over the Soviets, I guess.