McShit — But I Like It?

I was in London during the later part of last week.  I had a few minutes and took a walk through Camden Town.  When I lived in London in the 1980s, this was the place to go for used clothes, records (yes vinyl) from obscure bands (see Nick Hornby’s High Fidelity), and bootleg tapes of live shows.  (I bought a few Billy Bragg tapes.)  Now it seems to be a place for international food, including McDonald’s, souvenirs from the Golden Jubilee, and all kinds of t-shirts.  (Interesting how t-shirts have become a key mode of expression.)

Here is one of the shirts for sale.

So what can we and should we make of this shirt?  Clothing is a kind of performance, right?  What would someone wearing this shirt be trying to say?  How would she/he want to be seen?  What sort of advertisement for self is this gesture?

Thinking about this shirt also seems to be a way to get at some of your comments.  Clearly McDonald’s remains popular and largely profitable.  So why all the criticism?  Why are the people on urban posting such critical comments?  Who are these people — what demographic groups?  (Who would wear the McShit shirt?)  Why is McDonald’s a tool to express their identity — in oppositional terms?

Just some stuff to think about today and over the next month.



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