Only The Sangfroid

Mark is of fair average intelligence, who is neither perverse, nor morbid or suspicious of mind, nor avid for scandal. He does live in an ivory tower.

These are his draft thoughts…

When you were young and your heart was an open book… Reviewing the McTasty in the style of Zizek

Slavoj Zizek in Liverpool, cropped version of ...
Slavoj Zizek in Liverpool, cropped version of Image:Slavoj Zizek in Liverpool.jpg (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So McDonald’s has a new burger range called the ‘McTasty’.  As always with McDonald’s food, you should head on over to the BeaglePaws blog for a real review.  Last time I reviewed a McDonald’s burger, I posted my review in the style of Alain de Botton.  This time, I’m going for the style of Zizek.


The thing you first notice about the McTasty is not the appearance of the food, but the name.  There is an extent to which you are not really even interested in the food because you know it’s McDonald’s and you know that it’s going to be horrible and you know that you’re going to feel guilty about eating it afterwards, and so on and so on.  So you instead respond to the name: the McTasty.  It gives you know information about what the actual product is but instead gives you a promise of some subjective experience.

But the people writing the adverts aren’t stupid.  They know that the burger is the same as all the other burgers except it has a different sauce.  They know that they are not selling you a new product, nor are they selling you the particular ingredients.  One could go further and say that if you actually knew what the ingredients were, you would not want to eat the burger.  On today’s market, we find a whole series of products deprived of their malignant property: coffee without caffeine, cream without fat, beer without alcohol.  The McTasty is sold as the burger taste without the burger content.

You don’t go to McDonald’s for the taste of the food.  You go because it’s quick, and it’s easy, and it keeps the children entertained with the little toys.  Calling a McDonald’s burger the ‘McTasty’ mocks our conscious, rational self while flirting with our morbid curiosity.  ‘What is it that McDonald’s thinks is tasty?’

It reminds me of an old communist joke:

Gorbachev received a letter from the Belorussian Republic requesting approval for a new Navy. He was quite puzzled, as the Republic was landlocked and didn’t even have a decent lake, and queried the request.  The reply soon came: ‘Uzbekistan has a Ministry of Culture, so why can’t we have a Navy?’

What you are purchasing is McDonald’s.  It tastes like McDonald’s.  The magic trick here is that McDonald’s have left you with no language to describe the burger without using the word ‘Tasty’.

One response to “When you were young and your heart was an open book… Reviewing the McTasty in the style of Zizek”

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