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Last night I finally got around to seeing Super Size Me. I've read Fast Food Nation and Food Politics, so not that much of Spurlock's industry information was new to me, but I was still appalled all over again by the magnitude of it. It doesn't seem too unreasonable to say that McDonald's is ultimately and knowingly dedicated to bleeding short-term profits at the expense of the methodical medium-term destruction of bodies with french fries and long-term destabilization of societies with ground beef.  

I hate McDonald's, the corporation, on principle, but I also physically despise the bilious crap they serve as food. Back when I occasionally ate fast food (i.e., before I read Fast Food Nation) I could deal with Burger King or Taco Bell every month or two, but I think I've eaten at McDonald's exactly three times since puking up a Big Mac in 1984, and after the last time was finally able to quit thinking that it couldn't possibly be as disgusting as I remembered. For me the burgers provoke immediate nausea, the "milkshakes" taste worse than anything I've ever ingested as medicine, and the fries are so unmistakably inorganic that if I discovered one in any other plate of food I'd want the responsible kitchen condemned. These truths seem so indelible to me that the effort required to accept that they are not universal is almost enough to make me physically ill by itself.  

Spurlock, however, likes McDonald's food. Statistics imply that his embrace is far more typical than my defiance. Because I hate McDonald's food, I would only ever conceive his month-long experiment as a contentious test to see whether it's even possible to reasonably contain the damage you're doing to yourself. But I just walk by. One profound problem with McDonald's is exactly the least damage they can't be prevented from doing to unbelievers, but that's what Fast Food Nation is about, not Super Size Me. The movie is not investigative journalism, it's a speculative memoir of surrender. The movie is about a different profound problem, the social and biological toxicity of the craving McDonald's exists to serve and promote. In this, as in so many other things, arguably the greatest horror is not the ever more amoral schemes that opportunists contrive for profiting from human weakness, it's the urgency with which people line up to pay for their own physical and moral poisoning. Perhaps the worst thing about this evil is that its executors can't be blamed for its invention. Perhaps the worst thing about Super Size Me is that Spurlock eats this way three times a day for a whole month, and we only see him throw up once.
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