How did McDonald’s choose to celebrate its 30th anniversary polluting the bloodstreams of French citizens? By opening France’s 1,142nd outlet in the Louvre, home to the Mona Lisa and numerous other embodiments of the best that human civilization has to offer. It’s set to open next month, in an underground entrance to the museum. A spokesperson for the museum told the Daily Telegraph that the “quality” McDonald’s and McCafe was “in line with the museum’s image.” Assuming the museum’s image is one of opening its legs wide to massive, sweaty, and ethically problematic corporations, that is.
It’s depressing enough that, protesting French farmers aside, France has become McDonald’s biggest market outside the U.S. — according to the Telegraph, it opened 30 outlets in France last year. But even more depressing is this: a statement issued by the Louvre says that McDonald’s will represent the “American” segment of a planned food court representing “world cuisines and coffee shops.” So, yes. Screw generations of immigration and the efforts of the more recent local, organic, artisanal food movements: American cuisine, in the eyes of those unimpeachable culinary authorities at the Louvre, at least, is still a steaming order of beef tallow fries, served with a supersized helping of cultural ignorance.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on October 6, 2009