Saturday, May 31, 2003

Proof that from the sublime to the ridiculous is but a step, McDonald's in Italy has sued food critic Edoardo Raspelli, big wig in the Slow Food movement, for statements -- and this is a quote -- "clearly defamatory and offensive to McDonald's and to the more than 600,000 Italians who each day freely choose to eat in a McDonald's restaurant." The megachain which has fallen on hard times is reportedly seeking 21 million euros ($24.86 million) in damages, the equivalent of what it spent on advertising in Italy in 2002.

What vile bile has this crank from "old Europe" spewed forth to earn the righteous ire of this symbol of Americana? Raspelli apparently claimed that McDonald's food is "repellent," the french fries taste like "cardboard", the bread is poor, and the chain itself is a "symbol of oppression of the culture of the palate" whose only benefit is "to feed quickly at a low cost". This sounds more like truth in advertising than libel.

Now apparently transnational corporations claim not only the right to advertise as widely and as misleadingly as humanly possible, but even the right to have their advertising be believed! And it seems it is also now illegal to insult people such as the "600,000 Italians" who eat this slop. Talk about liberal multicultural sensibilities run amok! The ether is alive with hubris these days.

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