I’m Lovin It!
People who move to America from other parts of the world get the culture and lifestyle shock when they find a life that contradicts their expectations. One of the main things they notice is that life is too fast in America and the fast food restaurants compliment the life. According to Samuelson (24), “there is no shortage of candidates: the automobile, antibiotics, the airplane, computers, contraceptives, radio and television, to name a few.” This might be one of the reasons leading to the necessity of the fast life so that we might all be ahead of the pack. The slogans in the brands only compliment America’s way of life and they love it.
It is interesting how all these messages seen in television commercials and brand slogans, amongst others, tell us so much about American life. Unfortunately, people ‘out there’ do not get the messages being passed across. One of these interesting messages is the McDonalds’ brand slogan I’m lovin it. This slogan tells the world so much about the fast life in America. The truth is that the Americans love it.
McDonalds serves over 64 million customers globally. This means that this slogan is read globally. A plumber working at a construction site will want a burger and a cold coke as he waits for the delivery of the equipment by the contractor. A group of students will want a large pizza on a Saturday afternoon as they catch up on the week’s gossip. The salesperson will want some coffee with some doughnuts as he waits for the manager to resume from a meeting and the secretary will grab some fries during the lunchtime break since they are cheap. All these people will end up at a fast food restaurant (Schlosser 50).
Although there are many reasons that can be given as to why the Americans like these fast food restaurants, the baseline is that they love them. The cheapness, the sweetness and the addictiveness of the food may play a role but the Americans love the fast life. The fast life makes them to be identified as one of the richest nations in the world. The fast life enables them to be looked up to by the other nations and be heard when they even cough. The fast life is a life of dictatorship and authority. D’Souza (342) confirms that his material life would not have been the same if he had not come to the United States from India. His material life was well off. However, Tocqueville (136) states that this wealth does not make the Americans happy. They work hard for something only to discard it after they have finally gotten it.
McDonalds is the largest chain of hamburger food restaurants in America. The consumers who are Americans have made it grow that fast. It is the largest both in the United Sates and in the world. Unfortunately, the number of people who are obese and are at risk of suffering from obesity related diseases are quite many. As Samuelson puts, “the largest advance in human well-being involves the explosion of freedom” (24), which the Americans have not yet found or do not want it. At the end of the day, the Americans are in hurry to get obese, to shred the weight, to buy the house, to sell it, to get the wealth, to get that vacation, to get married, to get the divorce, to get the children, to abort, to do many things. All these activities are done quest of loving a life.
McDonalds becomes the icing on the cake; complementing this fast life so that the Americans do not drop down unconsciousness from hunger. It saves on the amount of time taken when sitting down in a restaurant and ordering a proper meal. It saves on the money spent on food. It saves on the determination used when eating a salad instead of a hot dog with a cold soda. At the end, the slogan says it all, they love their way of life. This fast life defines their culture and who they are (Luv, 2008).
When the immigrants and the foreigners finally are settled, they realize that the wealth is real but must be in a hurry to get it. They realize that the good family time should never be taken for granted. They realize that the double shifts are the key to the long awaited wealth. They realize that one does not just knock at the door of a relative or a friend unannounced. They also realize that the Americans are comfortable and appreciating this life. If anything, they want to make it faster although it is camouflaged by other names. It is not advancing the technology and molding life to be easy it is just making life faster.
According to Samuelson (25), the American’s expectations of the freedom of the 21st century were not the same expectations of the 20th century. Each century comes with new expectations. In the past century, most women were homemakers and it was the natural thing to do especially after the babies came along. However, the turn of the century brought new concepts, ideas, and responsibilities. Times are hard and that extra salary may go a long way in helping pay for the bills. Men are equal to men and anything a man can do, a woman can do too. All these concepts did make the idea of a man staying home with the children while the woman went for the morning shift not such a far-fetched idea. Such activities are done in order to cope with the fast life.
Tocqueville mentioned, “He who has set his heart exclusively upon the pursuit of worldly welfare is always in a hurry, for he has but a limited time at his disposal to reach, to grasp, and to enjoy it” (137). This is quite is quite evident, as the McDonalds serves as a compliment to this fast life. As the brand’s slogan puts it, the people love and that is why it is growing as a company. If they did not love it, then company could not be as widely spread and people would be less obese.
Alexis de Tocqueville, “Why American so restless in the Midst of their prosperity Democracy in America, vol. 2 ,New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1945. 136-139. Print.
D’Souza, Dinesh.”Becoming American.” The Blair Reader: Exploring Issues and Ideas, 7th ed. Eds. Kirszner, Laurie G. and Stephen R. Mandell. Boston: Prentice Hall, 2011.339 – 345. Print.
Luv, Jackie. A Fast-Paced Society: 1920s American Culture. Web Helium, Feb 22, 2008. Web. 12 October, 2011. < http://www.helium.com/items/881820-a-fast-paced-society-1920s-american-culture >
Samuelson, Robert J. Century of Freedom. Hand out. 22 December, 1999. 24-26. Print.
Schlosser, Eric. The Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the American Meal. New York, NY: Harper Perennial, 2002. Print.