Sunday, March 04, 2007

Super Size Me - a post by Jess

I caught a glimpse of a film I saw a while back while flipping through movie channels; Super Size Me. I remember staying clear of McDonalds for almost a year after seeing it. From the recap I got from watching just a bit of it again, it got me thinking. Some parents try to scare their children off smoking by making them puff on cigarettes until they get sick. Super Size Me tries to scare us off fast food—or at least warn us of its dangers thereof—by showing how a month-long diet of Big Macs and 42-oz. drinks causes havoc upon ones health.

But the film is not just about one man, and it is not just about nutrition. Along the way, some essential questions are raised about the nature of personal, corporate and social responsibility. Morgan Spurlock (creator/director of the documentary) is particularly concerned about the way companies like McDonald's target children through their Happy Meal toys, playgrounds, birthday parties, animated television shows and multi-million-dollar advertising campaigns. When Spurlock shows some children a series of portraits and mug shots, they have difficulty identifying everyone from Jesus to George Washington, but they all know who Ronald McDonald is.

Some questions that came to mind were these:
1. If our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, how should we eat? How do we honor God when we eat or drink? What place should fasting and feasting have in our worship?

2. What should concern parents more—the dietary aspects of fast food, or the way some restaurants encourage children to identify with their brand? If children, once grown up, will not depart from the way in which they have been trained up (Proverbs 22:6), then how concerned should we be about advertising that targets children?

3. How can we develop patience and self-discipline in a culture that encourages us to get what we want now? What would be the costs and benefits of waiting a little while longer? What would be the costs and benefits of doing more things for ourselves?

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Anonymous Ian said...

Wow! I never really realised the severity between stuff like McDonalds and our church. I've never seen the movie but what i noticed most about your post was the part where Spurlock shows them mugshots of people like Jesus and George Washington. The problem here is two fold, i think. Firstly, you're right, Happy Meals are a huge factor. Kids spend way too much time getting food from places like McDonalds that it eliminates most of their senses for anything else. Usually, this wouldn't be a problem but with parents becoming more and more lenient as they have been, the problem is escalating.
The second issue here is, what is the church doing to attract young people? Sure, McDonalds has it's slides and playhouses or whatever, but honestly, it's easy for churches to crumble and say people are being too attracted by this and by that, but how often is it the case that the church really reaches out to the youth with things to get their attention? This is just from personal experience but i think if some churches found more exciting ways to attract youth to the gospel so they can teach them more then i don't think this problem would be as abundant as it is now.

10:18 a.m., March 05, 2007  
Blogger Brennan said...

I think this movie was put out somewhere near the release of Bowling for Columbine. It seems that criticism sells lots. It is good and all to alert the public, but one should go into these type of things without a major bias. I believe the only reason these two movies got so much attention is because of how much they wanted to hurt the respected target. Though I am not trying to protect McDonalds, I worked there for 3 years and some of it was bad. However, I think we should go into these movies realizing they have a point to put across and are going to go to any means necessary to get this point across.

4:24 p.m., March 08, 2007  
Anonymous Jeanette said...

I never realized the impact that McDonalds could have. I also watched that movie and stayed off the food for a while, but I do have youth who love the place and would eat there a few times a week. I think the issue for them is the food, and even after watching the movie these youth still want to go. There is something about McDonald's that kids love and that kids will always love, so even a movie like Super Size Me will never be able to stop kids from wanting to go.

9:17 a.m., March 09, 2007  

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