May 14: Catholicism and Macdonalds

It could be that the greatest invention of Catholicism is the sacrament of the Mass. Not its content but its form; not its message but its medium, which is ritual. In every church in every country the same words are spoken; the same act ( the transformation of bread and wine into flesh and blood) supposedly accomplished. The congregation know where they stand. Rich or poor; foreign or domestic. The product is standardised. For comfort; for familiarity; for control of the maverick.

Macdonalds has learnt this lesson. As far as possible, brand identity requires the BigMac or the Chicken Macnugget or the MacMcMuffin or the MacMonkeyburger or whatever it is they’re up to these days to be the same all over the world. The colours, the tags: “I’m lovin’ it”. Give or take a dodgy translation or two. Take this and eat it, in memory of me. Take this and drink it, in memory of me.

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