Saturday, February 03, 2007

The Wonderful World of ISDY

Today I bring you a new feature: ISDY, short for "I'm So Disappointed in You."

This first installment shakes a disapproving head at the National Restaurant Association. As you may have read, a new commercial shows Britney Spears' ex Kevin Federline in a glitzy music video, but the gag is that it's just a fantasy sequence and poor Kevin is really working in a fast food restaurant.

So far so good -- until Steven Anderson, president of the NRA (the food people, remember, not the gun people) complains that -- wait for it -- the commercial is insulting to restaurant workers. Imagine suggesting that some restaurant workers might actually prefer to be doing something else, like, oh, I don't know, being rock stars.

Now, I have worked in restaurants in my time, and I will be the first to say that it is hard work; those who bust their butts to make an honest living and help people get their meals have my admiration. But let's face it, for virtually all fast-food workers, this is not their dream job. They didn't go to university and major in Rapid Gastronomy so they could fry burgers and mop up spilled ketchup. I dare Mr. Anderson to go into any McDonald's or Burger King and offer a million bucks to anyone who's willing to promise to never to work in the restaurant business again. Do you think he'd have any takers? Of course he would. The place would clear out. Why do think they have American Idol?

My point is that lobby groups like the NRA (butter, remember, not guns) should actually be working to improve the conditions of the people they represent. When people like Steven Anderson come out with frivolous complaints about insults that never were, it breeds cynicism about social action in general and undermines the credibility of those actually trying to improve the lives and rights of working people.

So, Steven Anderson and the National Restaurant Association, I have only this to say: I'm so disappointed in you.

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