Ed Driscoll

Hollywood Actor: McDonald’s Was There For Me When No One Else Was

“James Franco’s Stock Just Shot Up,” Rd Brewer writes at Ace of Spades: 

Until this morning, I wasn’t much of a James Franco fan. Seth Rogen has the erroneous belief that shock = humor, and Franco keeps doing that kind of movie with him. Shock is self-oriented, self-indulgent; it’s more about the shocker than the shockee, so to speak. Shock humor gives the shocker a chance to laugh at the reaction of the person or audience targeted, and I think it’s easy to mistake that inward amusement for something that is funny for everybody. A little of it works, sure, but a little of it goes a long way. Rogen, Franco, and whoever they’re working with, however, appear to think a movie can be filled with it.

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Anyway. Franco wrote an article for the Washington Post today, McDonald’s was there for me when no one else was. It’s about his experience as a fast-food employee and the value of McDonald’s as an employer.

McDonald’s sales have slumped. Maybe the public wants healthier food. Maybe there’s too much competition. Maybe people aren’t into the chipotle barbecue snack wrap. McDonald’s leaders have vowed to reverse the downturn by recommitting to “hot, fresh food,” by selling off certain outlets to independent owners — which would reduce the number of corporate-covered employees with a newly raised minimum wage — and by cutting $300 million in costs. How this cost cut will affect jobs remains unclear.But I want the strategy to work. All I know is that when I needed McDonald’s, McDonald’s was there for me. When no one else was.

. . .

Someone asked me if I was too good to work at McDonald’s. Because I was following my acting dream despite all the pressure not to, I was definitely not too good to work at McDonald’s. I went to the nearest Mickey D’s and was hired the same day.

. . .

I was treated fairly well at McDonald’s. If anything, they cut me slack. And, just like their food, the job was more available there than anywhere else. When I was hungry for work, they fed the need.

And speaking of the venerable fast-food chain, Ann Althouse catches the New York Times writing, “Who could have guessed in the mid-1980s, at a pair of otherwise forgettable McDonald’s restaurants some 20 miles apart, that two bushy-haired teenagers working the burger grills would become Wisconsin’s most powerful Republicans?” As Glenn Reynolds responds to the Times’ subtle digs at Paul Ryan and Scott Walker, “Well, for one thing, the fact that they had real jobs might have been a tip-off.”

But what of McDonald’s future? While Ryan and Walker look to advance Wisconsin beyond its century old “Progressive” box canyon past, Steve Green writes that the new (British!) McDonald’s CEO is about to take a giant step backwards, vowing to build a “modern, progressive burger company.” Because that’s the world needs more of: “Progressive” fast-food. Pass the tofu and arugula, please!