A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Palnu…

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Palnu…

I am very close now to actually getting on with my Cerebus re-read…but not just yet… This was the last week before spring break and there was a big paper due on Watchmen, Squadron Supreme, Kingdom Come and Emerson (this is how much I care–I get nervous for my students!), and I had some work to do myself–for classes and on my novel…but let’s be honest–it’s Orrgo’s fault that I got off track!

I began thinking about McDonaldland you see–and I even e-mailed my friend Anjo (who is a lapsed expert in this branch of mythology) about it… She made a few remarks about the scrupulously detailed legal/governmental structure of this supposed playground, and, suddenly, Foucault and Grant Morrison were whispering in my ear–McDonaldland and the Mickey Eye amusement park are one and the same! Figures of freedom and fun abound in both places–but, sooner or later, Ronald, Birdie & the Hamburglar must bow to a logic of domination metonymized by the anthropomorphized burgers (burghers!) who rule their corner of the universe. You can’t fight city hall, and that goes double for Mayor McCheese… (offer valid for a limited time only)

But where does Xoo fit into this equation?

My first impulse is to link this sentient bit of manufactured nourishment with Grimace, whom I’ve always figured was some kind of a milkshake brought to shapeless  life (according to some sources, he’s one humungoid tastebud!)–alienated from the primordial substance from which he was made, and always seeking (like the pathetic divided figures from Aristophanes’ speech in Plato’s Symposium) to  plunge back into the rest of himself–the ever-popular sea of unity (and, in this case, a rather saccharine and gloppy sea at that!) Certainly, if any person or thing is destined to break the coercive hold of ideology upon the dupes of McDonaldland, it would have to be Grimace! Sure, the Hamburglar is a more obvious law-breaker–but really, he’s just obeying the same discursive rules that Big Mac does…and everyone knows it’s the rules that keep us down, not the people that enforce ’em!  The clown? Don’t make me laugh! The little burgers that Hamburglar’s always stealing? Well–that one makes sense too! It seems to me that those burgers are on our side, until they grow limbs, put on fascist costumes, and start collecting a tax on our hunger (the harrowing? yes–I got a hold of Seven Soldiers #0 yesterday…it’s gonna be awesome!)… So maybe that’s what I’m looking for here–a Grimace/Happy Meal Guys alliance!

Good Afternoon Friends!


One comment

  1. I like the analogy of Mickey Eye with McDonald’s more than Disney – McDonald’s, after all, makes you obese, while Disney brainwashes you but, you know, at least you’re healthy.

    Incidentally, the only commercials the morning Disney programs – Playhouse Disney, with the Wiggles! – allow are for McDonald’s. They aren’t for food, they just show you how cool Ronald is and how much exercise you can get when you wake up and walk around town … to McDonald’s. It’s quite insidious.


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