Go with a smile!

Tuesday, February 23, 2016


When I was younger McDonald’s was the big new thing in Singapore, a glimpse of a brighter, shinier, more Westernised future. 10 years after the first McDonald’s was opened in Singapore, there was a branch opened in Beijing, and there was a tremendous hoo hah over it. This was 1989, that symbol of the brief moment when it seemed that liberal democracy had triumphed, and would become the default system that we would live under, and bring peace and prosperity to the world at large. Anybody who bought the Francis Fukuyama kool aid would have assumed that China was on the road to westernization. This was half correct and half wrong.

Then around the time that I studied in Snowy Hill, I learnt that McDonald’s in America was the place where lower middle class people went to for cheap meals. It was hawker food for lower class people.

Now, I heard that in depressed parts of the US (and if you drive away from Snowy Hill in any direction, it’s not that hard to find.) McDonald’s is the place you go to if you want to find a drug dealer. If you are in one of their bathrooms, it might be the place where somebody’s shooting up. Think about all the great American companies when we were young – Kodak, Polaroid, IBM, Hewlett Packard, GM, Oracle, Chrysler, McDonald’s. All getting fucked one by one, or suffering the sclerotic effects of middle age.


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