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Comments on Wednesday 16 April 2003:
I have a theory of social measurement. I think McDonalds advertisements are representative of the prevailing attitudes in the country in which the ad runs. Most notably this set of parallel ads (summarised with an eye towards the hidden focus) seem representative:

England: "Are your parents divorced? Lie to them so that you can get two burgers in the same day!"

America: "Screech obnoxiously until your parents capitulate and take you to McDonalds."

Australia: "Do sports, then ask your parents to take you to McDonalds as a reward." or "Keep quiet if your parent starts to take you to McDonalds under a misapprehension, and only mention it afterwards."

Certainly the prevailing attitude in America, with regard to child-rearing, is one of capitulation to the manipulative techniques of whining or screeching, and subtlety and deception are certainly staples of a normal English upbringing. I can only hope that positive and negative reinforcement really are staples of an Australian upbringing.

An example of how these attitudes would tend to manifest would be the different ways a parent will deal with a non-compliant child. (Australia example is second-hand, since I haven't been there yet.)

England: "Not coming? Okay, stay here." (starting to walk away) (turning back again) "Look, we really have to go."

America: "Not coming? Okay, stay here." (starting to walk away) (Child starts to screech and cry and wail) (parent returns) "Oh you poor dear! Did mommy frighten you?"

Australia: "Not coming? Okay, stay here." (starting to walk away) (Child starts to cry) (Child realises that parent is still walking away, stops crying, scampers to catch up.) [00:27]

Khandi
You forgot:

Canada:"Not coming? Oh, you are, you just don't want to say so."
We're this continents version of Switzerland. :)

Eps
Hmm, Raven was right on the Australian one. That is what happens. :P “You don’t like it, well tough.” Sort of attitude.
Though I don't see how the MacDonald’s ad shows this? All I see in those ads (normally) is a prick of a kid with American type parents that think the best way to raise a child is by a book they were given when it was born. (By a strange guy called bob that just hung around the church for no apparent reason.)

Isn't Canada like Australia? The limited amount I know _abut_ (:P) it suggest that they hold the same values and ways of life. ...And that they talk “`yall stupid like.”

One other thing, I like the MacD’s ad where that kid is in traffic and pulling faces and the guy behind puts up the chips. Any of you seen that?

Eps – Bleh.

Eps
Man that's getting annoying, is any one else seeing these things in my posts "&#8211"? And how do I stop it?

Eps - Hmm

RavenBlack
Just altered the code to stop it. It's because you're using non-standard characters for some reason (browser's fault, probably). Bidirectional apostrophes instead of the proper ascii straight apostrophe, and so forth. The long dash instead of a proper ascii dash. It will stop being &#8211 now, but it won't necessarily work on all machines, because the characters are still not-quite-standard.

Tom
Aha! Now I understand the irc interrogation. I'm not sure that the second Australian example is fully an appeal to kids. I suspect it's referring to a series of ads in which a group of business people are sharing a car on the way to work. One of their number performs various tricks to get them to stop at Maccas. Holding up a McMuffin wrapper to the air conditioning vent, playing mobile phone tricks, singing along to the song on the radio while changing the words. Unless you're talking about the ad with the harried dad taking his son to school, missing breakfast, has to stop at McDonalds. Then forgetting to take his son to school.

Canada is like Australia except that it's colder and the Queen is no longer the official head of state there. And they often speak French, so are obviously terrorists. Don't worry, Australia will send a bus load of illegal immigrants to destroy these evil non-beetroot-eating scum any day now. I see in the news that Australia has been classified as the only hope for the freedom of democatic oligarchy so those Canadians had better watch out.

And yes, such reinforcements really are staples of an Australian upbringing. Hell, my mum drove behind me in a car while I rode a bike to school just to make sure I did it. Unfortunately, there are very few Australian upbringings left to be had.

RavenBlack
Mm, the latter ad, in which the son afterwards says "it's Saturday", apparently.

Solistus
Is it just Camino or is the text in the text field for Comments light gray? It makes it harder to find typos... :(

um, yeh.... <insert on-topic remark here>

test:

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Solistus
excellent, everything works.

Eps
Now I want to know if this is true or not. I've heard that NO other country puts beetroot on their hamburgers?

I simply find this hard to believe, the people I've heard it from are reliable (having gone around the world a few times) but I still find it hard to believe.

So in your country on your hamburgers do you have beetroot on them?

Eps - Hmm hamburgers.

Kanada Ten
Just for reference, in the majority of America -you know, the one that's not on TV- it actually goes:

"Not coming?" <Smack>

"Still not coming?" <Pick-Up Child / Carry to Car While It Screams>

"I said, SHUT-UP" <More Screaming>

"That's it! I've just about fucking had it with you attitude! One more word, I dare you!" <Wimper>

"Good, now come on."

Of course, this is going /to/ McDonalds.

RavenBlack
Not if there's other people around, it doesn't. Parents won't smack their kids in public, even though they usually should.

Kanada Ten
"Parents won't smack their kids in public, even though they usually should."

Can you blame them when they have to /constantly/ worry about the cops taking the brats or getting sued ten years down the road?

Hell, I smack mine if she needs it -regardless of surroundings; but you can't do it all the time or it loses the "shock" value.

The slumping sales of McDonalds might indicate a flaw in your meme anyway. The only ads that seem to work for fast food are the "Many will enter / Few will win / Million dollar giveaways" type. The ads directed at kids use the same mentality, though use "cool new toys" as the catch instead (or is it exactly the same -values valued by the values of the watcher, eh?).

Tee
*nods head in agreement to Kanada* yeah I know where your comeing from I can't tell you how many times I have had to go back to get the child another toy becaues "he already has that one" ohh and then get this then they tell me either that's all the toy's BK has or the "new toy" that I got for the child he has that one to *rolls eyes*. At that point I tell them to take the toy to school and trade it with one of his friends and smile and hand it back to him. :-)

Tom
I think we've established that as a generality Americans are bad at raising kids. I wonder if this relates at all to the somewhat widely held belief outside America that America is just a child itself. That is, America as a country plays world politics as if they were schoolyard politics. A nation of children is certainly not going to be very good at raising new ones. Consider the velociraptors in Jurassic Park who had no parents to teach them how to behave as velociraptors and so they just reverted to base instinct and killed things (This is a theory posited in the books, no idea about the movie). Similarly, America kicked out it's parents when a baby, and has never had a strong parental role model as a result. Lack of strong parental role models has long been recognised as contributing to juvenile delinquency. This is why American children in general do not have a stiff upper lip when it comes to toys from fast food outlets.

None of this is important. I note that as yet nobody has responded to Eps request concerning hamburger toppings. I think we can conclude that Australia is the only country to deploy beetroot in this role. Are we also the only country to have bacon and egg pizzas? I have heard rumours that Australia tends to put more toppings on pizza than other country, but have smaller diameter pizzas.

Kanada Ten
"Are we also the only country to have bacon and egg pizzas?"

While not common, pizza in America can come with bacon & egg as a topping.

Some breakfast joints sell a "breakfast pizza" topped with bacon & egg, but these often lack anything resembling pizza sauce, substituting it with Maple syrup, and use oversized/Americanized "English" muffins or waffles as the base.

Regarding toppings in general, each establishment has its own "level" of diversity, quantity, and quality based on the leanings of its owners. Generous and atypical toppings are found more at the "local" places, while the franchises specialize in specific areas such as spicy sauce or cheese in the crust (additional helpings of grease come at no extra charge).

Pizza diameter runs from 12 to 18 inches (30.4cm - 45.7cm) running the full gambit of Small, Medium, Large, and Extra Large sizes. Personal sized pizzas usually come from 4 to 6 inches depending (10.1cm - 15.2cm).

And I don't know anything about beetroot in burgers, so I didn't respond.

"None of this is important."

Yeah. That's life.

Sercet
i want to get to know you cause i have been reading your journal for a very long time.....i like you !!!!!!

RavenBlack
Surely, if you've been reading for a long time, you know how I abhor such grammatical horrors as the extended ellipsis, multiple exclamation-marks, and omitted capitalisation?

Riana
My goodness, Tom, that's the most Burkean thing I've ever read that wasn't by, er, Burke.

I'd like to extend the hamburger topic to point out that, if we accept the theory that America is childish*, then America is just like the teenager who's the manager at McDonald's, bossing around the other, much older employees.

*And most of us, confronted with the theory, would probably pout and yell "Are not!"

C. Copperpot
Hmm. You're fired?

Secret
ok fuck all you losers who are hella old and r still online!!!!!!! can you get a life????????????????? loser much???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

RavenBlack
Agh! The irony! It burns!

Eps
Hmm, I find Raven interesting.
But to be honest you (Raven) piss me off, and I have no idea why. At all!?
Not that it's a pissed off kind of pissed off, just like that feeling in the back of your head that the person your talking to pisses you off. (Yes I am going to a shrink...)(No offence or anything.) :P

Quote | Tom -
I have heard rumours that Australia tends to put more toppings on pizza than other country, but have smaller diameter pizzas.
-

As far as I know that’s right, my auntie has been all over the world and she says Australian pizza is the best in the world. The amount of topping and effort gone into them plus the price makes them the best. Also there is this good place down near tweed heads, they make a "large" pizza, costs about $20 and you get it and think, "bugger, I payed $20 for this, WHAT pizza costs $5 where I come from, damn NSW idiots." You get home all annoyed, open it up and I'm not joking. It was the best pizza I'd ever had, it wasn't even a flavour I liked either! And when they said feeds five they weren't joking... (So I recommend them to anyone going that way. I can give you the name if you ask. :P) So anyway, yeah we have the best!

America childish! Man haven't you been watchin good `ol bush on TV picking on the smaller countries for their lunch money, um I mean oil. (And yes if you are well informed you will know that the oil has nothing at all to-do with what’s going on. But you must admit it's more fun to make jokes about than that other stuff, the neo-conservatives and all.)

Eps – Bleh, I just made you read useless info!

RavenBlack
No offense taken. The feeling is mutual. The difference is, I don't go to your forum to be pissed off.

Eps
Yes I was wondering why I come here.
I guess I'm interested in the book. Also you seem to know a lot about subjects that sound like there worth paying some attention too. Like MacDonald’s ads.

Or I could just be bored out of my brain and have nothing better to do?

I've just finished an update to a page I'm working on (first public release, finally!) and I was hoping that it would take a few more hours, it didn't. So I end up here, which is making my second idea about why I come here sound more valid.

Also, there could be a third theory. I want to find out how far away Tom is and make sure he doesn't get any closer... (Hehe, only joking. I'm more worried about the DropBears... Up in the trees you know. *Points up*)

One question, in your view is it worth reading back over the whole weblog or just read the new stuff you put up? That’s if the reason I come here is the first one, that is. If it’s the second one you don’t really have to answer the question.

Eps - I've had too much chocolate...

RavenBlack
Depends how bored you are, I expect. If you run through the archives you find things like the Pusher Robots. And possibly an explanation of why Lunix is called Lunix.

Tom
Eps - I am a drop bear. I live in the tree you're going to walk under today. The nondescript tree.

Eps
Damn it...
Now I knew I should have said yes to the new tree clearing laws.
Hmm that's a good one, "Tom the dropbear."

This lunix thing is weird, whats the date that it was talked about?

I've got to go, drivers licence test thingy, L plates yay!...

Eps - Meh, you say lunix I say linux.

Helen
American parenting is like everything else in America, diverse! I realize the thread has gone far from that original concept but I wanted to put in my two cents worth. I imagine parently around the world also suffers varying levels of diveristy within cultural settings.

Secret - Fabulous display of pre-teen temper tantrum style rebellion there kiddo.
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