Magazine article Verbatim

Horribile Dictu

Magazine article Verbatim

Horribile Dictu

Article excerpt

"In my role, I drive the performance of the policing family and I need to keep the momentum going." So says the police inspector of my home town, disappointing those of us who'd hoped his role might have something to do with preventing vandalism, fining litter louts and chasing bag snatchers. Ah well; as long as the family's performance momentum keeps getting driven, I suppose that's better than nothing.

Under attack and in retreat around the globe, McDonald's the burger-maker is pursuing a new public relations strategy. "The McDonald's family will vigorously communicate the facts about McDonald's, our people and our values," according to a spokesman. VII leave readers to digest "our people" and "our values" in their own time, but when did a franchise-based chain of snack bars become a family? And is the McDonald clan related to my local copper's tribe?

As one who unashamedly holds to twentieth-century values in matters of class warfare, I long for the days when enormous U.S. corporations didn't all engage in cuddly talk. I sometimes fear that the downtrodden masses will never rise in bloody revolt against their masters because they're too busy vomiting at, for instance, the revelation that Ben and Jerry's mission statement pledges "deep respect" for individuals. To be precise, the Vermont ice cream maker has a three-part mission statement, and believes that "Central To The Mission Of Ben & Jerry's is the belief that all three parts must thrive equally in a manner that commands deep respect for individuals in and outside the company."

They do know that that doesn't mean anything, don't they? In what concrete ways is respecting individuals central to the marketing of their "euphoric concoctions'--and what specifically makes their respect deep, rather than merely existent?

The only reason I know all this about Ben and Jerry is that British newspapers have been reporting their launch of an ice cream named, amazingly, "Black & Tan." To be fair, they haven't yet tried selling this particular tub of euphoria to the Irish, just as I don't suppose they market a variety called "Lynch Mob" in Alabama. Also, I've just double-checked their mission statement and no, true enough, there isn't anything in there about "having at least the vaguest, tiniest clue concerning the history and culture of the various peoples upon whom, with deep respect in and outside the company, we thrust our euphoric concoctions. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.