Saturday, November 22, 2008

Fast food, financial crises and philosophy...

When Donald Trump fell on hard times in the mid nineties, he did it in a big way. Owing 900 million personally and 3.5 billion in business debt, the tycoon is famously said to have economized so brilliantly during his comeback that he "had McDonalds on speed dial." In the current maelstrom of crashing financial markets, it's not surprising that pundits are discussing examples of improbable financial comebacks, and retelling stories like Trump's to comfort and inspire a jittery business class. Although I understand the point, I've always questioned the validity of the Trump/McDonalds story -- why would anyone call a McDonalds, anyway? It's not like they deliver...

But sometimes I guess you have to see through the actual subject down to the beauty of the message. Photographs are like that too, right? Sure, on the surface this is just an ordinary picture of the McDonald's drive through on Fair Oaks... but aren't those primary colors beautiful in the morning light?

Art, success, reality ... I think the definitions are open to interpretation. It's all in how you look at things.

18 comments:

Shanna said...

I, the artist gourmet - yeah right - recommend the "Chicken Wrap" but minus the dressing. And ask for it grilled. Pretty pure actually. Also, the fruit snack. You don't have to eat the sour cream - or creme fresche (sp?)- whatever.
Keeps me going.

Great primary colors too!!

Judy said...

I'm thinking "M" for Money (not to be confused with "Dial M for Murder)- God where did that come from?

I like the dynamic of the perspective and the vivid red/yellow combo.

Actually McDonalds showed a profit, as reported by CNN News. They attribute it to their new line of $.99 value meals. Maybe on some basic level that speaks volumes.

bertN said...

I've driven through many McDonald drive throughs but I never saw it the way you did. You've got an eye for beauty and the talent to find them in all the odd places.

Hope said...

This is a very familiar sight in our family! You have shown McDonald's in a brand new way...very artistic from this viewpoint. I have always heard they use the red & yellow color to encourage folks to by more/eat more food. I have also heard in the new that McDonald's is showing an increase in business due to folks searching for a lower cost alternative in eating out! Great photo!

Sharon said...

Your comments made me smile this morning.

Trish said...

I love the story and the picture.

If you're that rich, you can have ANYONE on speed dial.

A few things struck me about the picture.

-they still have a phone booth? The other day my cell phone fritzed and I was looking for a pay phone, to no avail.

-the bright yellow with red topped traffic barriers. I remember when they put them in. It was because they had a rash of patrons mowing down the metal railing while attempting to drive-thru McDonald's, literally. One of those things of--they wouldn't put it up if multiple people hadn't have done what they are trying to avoid now.

-it appears a few people have taken a whack at the posts anyway!

-I love the brightness of the morning sun bringing out the contrasts and colors

Now I'm hungry, but it is going to be a home made egg with muffin and hollandaise sauce.

Webradio said...

I haven't eat in "M"... Berkkkk...

Wayne said...

The shot does have a LA early morning look about it.

The economy can not get so bad that I would ever go to McDonald's.

Jilly said...

Hmmmm....this gave me food for thought. I'd agree that there is beauty in primary colours but as soon as I see that dreaded M, I run a mile. Even if I did eat meat, which I don't, I don't believe I would willingly choose to eat a Big Mac. I'm with Wayne... Nice photo tho, Laurie and nice try! It made me laugh but I so agree on your comments about photographs. Just remove the M...

Dixie Jane said...

I have to accent the positive about the golden arches. Being on the puny list lately, and living a short distance from a McDonalds, invited me to look at their breakfast menu. I have often enjoyed the biscuit, egg, bacon and cheese. A nice (and cheap) way to start the morning and with a great cup of coffee. Sometimes it is biscuit and sausage. Helps me during these trying times. They may miss me during this period when I am not allowed to drive.

I love your morning shot with the red and yellow. Also helps me wake up.

San Diego Farmgirl said...

One thing I've managed to retain from college is that the combination of red and yellow inspires hunger in the brain - that's why McDonald's, BK, Wendy's, etc. all use the same color combo. The colors are pretty here and I love the way you framed the shot! Love the Trump story, too!

USelaine said...

I used to work in one of those. Our polyester uniforms were that very shade of yellow, and it turns out they were NOT easy care - they showed grease stains pretty clearly even after washing. We were advised to not wear crepe-soled shoes, because the grease would eat away at them. Good times.

USelaine said...

Which gets back to our conversation about the meanings and personal interpretations of color. 8^) Is the Burger King star ever red?

Cafe Observer said...

McD's house coffee is among the best. Better than higher-end chains. In fact, this year I believe even Consumer Reports or some other major reviewer, judged it to be the best.

Now, their new ice coffee's are another story!#$%

pasadenaadjacent.com said...

Can't stand Donald Trump, but I do enjoy a Big Mac and I'm willing to admit it.

Judy said...

McDonalds does have great fries. They used to fry them with lard (which I found out has less polyunsaturated fat than butter) but they went to vegetable oil years ago and maintained the crispness and flavor. I could do with less salt, but then that makes you want to buy one of their extra large drinks. :~) McDonalds and KFC are a mainstay throughout the world. I had to laugh when a fellow photog friend showed me a street shot of somewhere in South Africa, and in the background was a Kentucky Fried Chicken.

Shanna said...

Perhaps some of you are familiar with the work of Los Angeles artist, Masami Teraoka. He has used the traditional Japanese watercolor technique and re-invented the imagery into modern times. That is...now. He did a series called "McDonald's Hamburgers Invade Japan". Lovely Japanese style ladies - you know - hair done up with combs,etc. But then... there are french fries on the ground - and of course the Golden Arches in there somewhere. The content, I suppose, has to do with "East Meets West". Alas! I just wish I had bought his work when it was affordable!!! He is big time now, that is I guess, Blue Chip.

Laurie said...

Hi everyone,

Welcome Bertn! ANd you, too, my buddy San Diego Farmgirl! Nice to have both of you here.

Trish, thanks for knowing yet another detail of South Pas! Between you and Mister Earl, I'm convinced we'll know all the behind the scenes stories and history! (BTW, where are you, Mister Earl?!)

Dixie Mom and Cafe mention the fact that McDonalds coffee is good -- and I'll say an amen to that. (In fact, I was getting a medium cup with two creams inside the day I took this shot in the drive through.) I heard a story on NPR about how they use better beans that Starbucks or Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf. And it's cheaper, too.

Judy, remember the whole discussion in Pulp Fiction about "The Royale" being what they called a Big Mac in Paris? I loved that dialogue.

Shanna, I've never seen the artwork you mention, but if it's Japanese, I want to see it!

THanks for indulging me as always, good people. Til tomorrow...


Elaine, the idea of a red workers' star for Burger King really makes me smile... but I'm subversive that way. My hat's off to you for working at McDonalds. I had a lot of crummy jobs, but I never did fast food. I think you automatically get good karma points for that, right?