completely free from dirt or contamination
It looks like the backdrop of an old Hollywood western, just another gorgeous Rocky Mountain vista. And yet Cheyenne Mountain is hardly
found in the ordinary course of events
The whole experience of buying fast food has become so routine, so thoroughly unexceptional and
mundane, that it is now taken for granted, like brushing your teeth or stopping for a red light.
novel; having no earlier occurrence
The centralized purchasing decisions of the large restaurant chains and their demand for standardized products have given a handful of corporations an
unprecedented degree of power over the nation’s food supply.
an authorization to sell a company's goods or services
Almost every facet of American life has now been
franchised or chained.
someone who follows established standards of conduct
“We will make
conformists out of them in a hurry ... The organization cannot trust the individual; the individual must trust the organization.”
someone who attacks cherished ideas or institutions
One of the ironies of America’s fast food industry is that a business so dedicated to conformity was founded by
iconoclasts and self-made men, by entrepreneurs willing to defy conventional opinion.
representing the perfect example of a class or quality
A hamburger and french fries became the
quintessential American meal in the 1950s, thanks to the promotional efforts of the fast food chains.
in a manner incapable of being disentangled or untied
Indeed, the corporate culture of McDonald’s seems
inextricably linked to that of the Disney empire, sharing a reverence for sleek machinery, electronics, and automation.
just preceding something else in time or order
What we eat has changed more in the last forty years than in the
previous forty thousand.
take up the cause of someone and use it as one's own
espousing support for the free market, the fast food chains have quietly pursued and greatly benefited from a wide variety of government subsidies.
Rural communities are losing their middle class and becoming socially
stratified, divided between a small, wealthy elite and large numbers of the working poor.
lasting a very short time
These changes have made meatpacking — once a highly skilled, highly paid occupation — into the most dangerous job in the United States, performed by armies of poor,
transient immigrants whose injuries often go unrecorded and uncompensated.
a development that complicates a situation
Hundreds of millions of people buy fast food every day without giving it much thought, unaware of the subtle and not so subtle
ramifications of their purchases.
the dominance or leadership of one social group over others
His career extends from the industry’s modest origins to its current hamburger
someone who supplies provisions, especially food
They didn’t care if you had a nice day, and yet were as deeply American in their own way as any
purveyors of Speedee Service.
a device or control that is very useful for a particular job
The Insta-Burger Stove was an elaborate
one of the individual parts making up a composite entity
Twelve hamburger patties entered it in individual wire baskets, circled two electric heating elements, got cooked on both sides, and then slid down a chute into a pan of sauce, while hamburger buns toasted in a nearby slot.
force into some kind of situation or course of action
embroiled in more than two dozen lawsuits.
diffusing warmth and friendliness
He exuded the
genial optimism and good humor of his old friend Ronald Reagan.
any personal belief about how to live
philosophy is — never give up,” Carl told me.
include or contain; have as a component
Many of the exhibits at the Ray A. Kroc Museum
incorporate neat technological tricks.
of or relating to the characteristics of human populations
They perfected the art of selling things to children. And their success led many others to aim marketing efforts at kids, turning America’s youngest consumers into a
demographic group that is now avidly studied, analyzed, and targeted by the world’s largest corporations.
of many different kinds lacking any uniformity
In 1972, Kroc gave $250,000 to President Nixon’s reelection campaign, breaking the gift into smaller donations, funneling the money through
various state and local Republican committees.
an organization created for business ventures
Despite a passionate opposition to socialism and to any government meddling with free
enterprise, Walt Disney relied on federal funds in the 1940s to keep his business afloat.
not secure; beset with difficulties
The animators’ strike had left the Disney Studio in a
precarious financial condition.
with concise and precise brevity; to the point
His faith in the goodness of American technology was
succinctly expressed by the title of a film that the Disney Studio produced for Westinghouse Electric: The Dawn of Better Living.
one of several parts that fit with others to make a whole
Disney’s passion for science found expression in “Tomorrowland,” the name given to a section of his theme park and to
segments of his weekly television show.
include in scope
encompassed everything from space travel to the household appliances of the future, depicting progress as a relentless march toward greater convenience for consumers.
uneasiness about the fitness of an action
And yet, from the very beginning, there was a dark side to this Tomorrowland. It celebrated technology without moral
pleasant and beneficial in nature or influence
Some of the science it espoused later proved to be not so
benign — and some of the scientists it promoted were unusual role models for the nation’s children.
of or relating to commercial enterprise
Within a decade of its opening, Disneyland was no longer set amid a rural idyll of orange groves, it was stuck in the middle of cheap motels, traffic jams on the Santa Ana freeway, fast food joints, and
the working together of two things to produce an effect
Among other cultural innovations, Walt Disney pioneered the marketing strategy now known as “
synergy.” During the 1930s, he signed licensing agreements with dozens of firms, granting them the right to use Mickey Mouse on their products and in their ads.
in a secretive manner
They send cultural anthropologists into homes, stores, fast food restaurants, and other places where kids like to gather, quietly and
surreptitiously observing the behavior of prospective customers.
protected by trademark or patent or copyright
The Character Lab, a division of Youth Market System Consulting, uses a
proprietary technique called Character Appeal Quadrant Analysis to help companies develop new mascots.
the distinctive spirit of a culture or an era
McDonald’s began to sell its hamburgers and french fries at Disney’s theme parks. The
ethos of McDonaldland and of Disneyland, never far apart, have finally become one.
a strategic maneuver
“In one of the most despicable marketing
gambits,” Michael Jacobson, the author of “Liquid Candy” reports, “Pepsi, Dr Pepper and Seven-Up encourage feeding soft drinks to babies by licensing their logos to a major maker of baby bottles, Munchkin Bottling, Inc.”
teach and impress by frequent repetitions or admonitions
In the absence of good wages and secure employment, the chains try to
inculcate “team spirit” in their young crews.
the act of naming explicitly
specifications cover everything from the size of the pickle slices to the circumference of the paper cups.
a doctrine that government should not interfere in commerce
When it comes to wage rates, however, the company is remarkably silent and
pose a series of questions to
In 1973, amid a bitter organizing drive in San Francisco, a group of young McDonald’s employees claimed that managers had forced them to take lie detector tests,
interrogated them about union activities, and threatened them with dismissal if they refused to answer.
lack of moral standards in a society
The turmoil of an earlier era has been replaced by a sad and rootless
a trite or obvious remark
Norman Brinker — a legend in the industry, the founder of Bennigan’s and Steak and Ale, the current owner of Chili’s, a major donor to the Republican Party — spoke to the conference in language that was simple, direct, and free of
being essentially equal to something
Disobeying the McDonald’s Corporation became
tantamount to violating the terms of the lease, behavior that could lead to a franchisee’s eviction.
irritate or vex
Until 1961 the brothers retained ultimate authority over the restaurants which bore their name, a fact that
force somebody to do something
Coble’s bill would for the first time
obligate franchise chains to act in “good faith,” a basic tenet of the nation’s Uniform Commercial Code.