Through the Burger King Wormhole

I have discovered how fast food marketing and art has evolved.  And what has it evolved to say?

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Our milkshakes bring all the urbanites to Burger King?
In Burger King’s Alternate Reality, I would get together with one of each of my ethnically diverse friends at the same time in my teeny, trendy dining room, and we would all crowd together on one side of the table because we love each other so much. We are even overlooking the fact that someone ordered onion rings.  That’s how tight we are.  Halitosis, be damned.

Not only that, we are so cool and classy that we not only unwrap Burger King food and put it on plates and in serving vessels, but we actually style it to make it look as fabulous as we do.  Soggy lettuce in the salads turns crispy.  The Whopper is stacked high with separate and distinct fresh vegetable layers.  Not a spot of extra grease can be found.  Someone actually took the time to empty sauce packets into bowls.

And here we sit, smug and self-satisfied with what we are eating, instead of the usual, “Well, at least we know what we are getting.”  Because that is the appeal of fast food.  It’s predictable, edible, and affordable.  That is why the Sprog and I ended up in Burger King yesterday.  We were short on time; we knew what we were going to get; and it will probably be another 6 months before we would consider setting foot in there again.

We were eating with a bunch of other people just snorking down meals in between trying to get from one place to another while eating off of wrappers and trays.  We were dipping our fries into paper cups full of ketchup, and our drinking vessels were festooned with Burger King propaganda.  Fluorescent lighting assaulted our eyes, and hard benches and seats made comfort difficult to “savor the moment”.  So the photo triptych on the wall was telling us to buy their food and get out.

It looks like maintaining the dining area is getting expensive.

26 thoughts on “Through the Burger King Wormhole

  1. I bring bags of takeaway home and put in on plates and drink out of glasses. It makes me feel like I am still civilized–and don’t forget the Metal fork! It also helps me forget where it came from. Looks like a group of community college students. The woman on the far left who is alone is smiling because she slept with the black guy last night, and his girlfriend doesn’t know.

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    1. There is also some weird shit going on under the table too. If you look at the picture (starting from the left) woman#1 has her left hand in her crotch, woman#2 is also doing the same. Meanwhile Man#1 has is right hand on woman#2’s arse and his left hand on woman #3’s arse. Finally woman #3 looks like her left hand is in man#2’s crotch. No wonder these guys have to eat at home.

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        1. OK, just to keep you happy. I believe that the women dipping the chicken strip is a liberal arts freshman and this picture was taken in October. If we look in detail at the way in which is holding the chicken, it is perfectly aligned with he middle finger. While supported deftly with her second finger and thumb, she is using her third finger to provide just sufficient force to maintain this alignment as a result of the sauce providing extra leverage to her finger/thumb fulcrum. This level of dexterity shows that she has had years of training and probably comes from a very privileged background. Further, her hair has recently had her hair done in a salon (that sheen did not come from Supercuts), her hands are recently manicure and she plucks her eye brows. So while this all suggest she (and through association her companions) are graduates who have large incomes, the fact that they are eating Burger King food creates a disjoint in reality. Therefore, the only scenario which makes sense is that she: 1) is a liberal arts major (a science major would never care so much about her appearance), 2) has only recently left home for the first time and had the manicure just before she left for college 3) has already burned through this semester’s budget and 4) is trying to maintain the delusion living a sheltered lifestyle by serving up BQ on the Crate and Barrel dinner set her parents bought her. I expect the nervous breakdown to start next week when the $200 cable bill arrives.

          Or do you prefer my first take?

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            1. I totally want to know what each of them are majoring in, and who is going for an Associates, and who is planning to transfer to a 4-year school to pursue a bachelors!

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  2. I worked night shift in Burger King on Princes Street, Edinburgh, when I was a penniless undergraduate. It was an ordeal to say the least. The scene on that billboard is an alien landscape to me. It’s certainly not akin to anything I experienced during my time there. I think I may have mild PTSD from my BK days actually. Judder.

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          1. Substances certainly but perhaps not limited to alcohol. It was pretty bad. However, even an uneventful night shift involved strip cleaning the machines and clearing out all the grease and turn cleaning the dining area and restrooms thoroughly. It was grim. I lost so much weight working there as it very much reduced my appetite for food. I would get home after 4am and have to be up for a 9am lecture the next day. Awful. But it made me work extra hard to ensure that type of work was destined to be just my student job and not my career. I worked in a supermarket after that, also night shift but much nicer. Except for the time a homeless guy peed all over my checkout….

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  3. I’m glad others noticed the first thing that struck my eye about it; the lone black man with a group. It implies embracing diversity, but the message is mitigated by his solitary presence. For the racists, they can assume he’s the two couple’s friends without offending their narrow sensibilities. The more evolved assume the opposite, that he is part of the group, but, only as a forbidden fruit (see the jokes in the first comment). All in all, the acutal message is, only racists can be comfortable with it.

    The only purpose of the ad is to IMPLY the company isn’t racist, but, quite simply, it is….

    Best to avoid all those, but, they’re so damned convenient. Sadly, it shows, to me, yet another mark of ubiquitous control by corporations… who needs so many? But, there’s more profit when they “make up the costs in quantity”…. and we all end up giving in to the convenience, i.e., what is expedient, as we have been forced to do our entire lives by the way the system not merely works, but, is actually DESIGNED to work, to keep everyone so downtrodden with the pressures of life, they have no time to do otherwise, and still survive….

    This is already a mini-rant, (which this post seems to have stimulated several of….), so I won’t even bother to go into what is in the food you see on the table, which they have spent hours to make look edible; there is an entire industry that does nothing but food photography for such ads… Many chef students I went to school with back in rhe 80’s were looking to work in that area, as it was becoming what it is today, a very important part of continuing the lies we are told about out food… and there I go again….

    SIGH…. things are getting really, really weird and strange out there in the Big Blue Room….

    gigoid, the dubious

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