Monthly Archives: May 2009

Super Size Me: A documentary by Captain Obvious

I watched it. The result: I gained an extensive set of information (read: ammo) about specifically why this movie is a complete waste of time.

Let’s take a look at the premise of the film. Morgan Spurlock will eat McDonalds for all three meals in a day, and do this for 30 days straight. Firstly, there is no value in conducting such a stupid experiment, because it is not based on realistic conditions. No one eats 3 McDonalds meals a day for 30 days straight. I’m going to make a documentary where I drink water 55 times a day, almost die, and then tout myself as a hero for saving the world from the deadly threat of water.

During his ‘experiment’, he consistently visits doctors to find out how it is affecting his health. Obviously, his cholesterol, triglycerides and other its-bad-to-be-high measures go way up. For some reason I cannot fathom, he is surprised by this. He then calls his wife to tell her that eating lots of McDonalds is making him sick. She is shocked, and starts freaking out. Once again, this scenario is not realistic. There is no reason why either of them should be shocked. Here’s a more believable series of events: He calls his wife to tell her that he never graduated high school. She is not shocked at all.

Once the experiment is complete, he ends up gaining something like 20 pounds and supposedly doubles his risk of heart disease. Frankly, I don’t find the latter to be that threatening since he was very healthy to begin with (if your initial risk is almost-zero, doubling it means it’s still freaking almost-zero). He then goes on an “antitoxin” diet specified by his Vegan Chef wife and manages to undo the damage in about 3 months time.

Really? That’s it? For the movie to really be effective, he pretty much needed to almost die. People don’t respond to petty issues like mild depression and weight gain. There just wasn’t enough gore in this movie for his attempted scare tactic to work. While I could sit and list a comprehensive list of all the ways Spurlock fails, I will narrow it down to four:

  1. “McDonald’s is Evil. Spreading this movie will help destroy it!”

    WRONG. McDonalds does not give a shit about Morgan Spurlock’s undocumentary. They own eight trillion franchises all over the world, and have already expanded to Mars since we discovered there might be water there. Spurlock mentions in this movie that 2 weeks after releasing the film, McDonald’s got rid of the Super Size option, hinting that his movie was the driving force behind that change.


    The only reason McDonald’s did that is simple catalogue optimization. They figured that if they just make everything one size bigger by default, that’s one less choice the customer has to make (remember: choices involve thinking, and 40% of Americans are allergic to that). Suddenly, all these people are eating and drinking Large size items thinking that they are eating healthier because they didn’t Super Size. Genius.

  2. “The Average Joe will see how much harm eating McDonald’s caused, and mend his ways!”

    WRONG. Here’s what immediately came to my mind after watching this movie: “If eating like that only adds 20 pounds, eating it once a week should do no real harm at all.”

    Do you realize what just happened? Watching this movie actually reinforced my own belief that it’s okay to eat McDonalds. Stunning work.

  3. “Some Americans eat McDonald’s for all their meals. Once they see me do it they’ll know it’s time to stop!”

    RIGHT. Just kidding, you’re still wrong. Americans who are stupid enough to eat McDonald’s for every single meal will not learn anything from your movie. They drink 10 gallon sodas 3 times a day and wonder why they have heart disease.

    FACT: This is all part of a well-documented phenomenon known as natural selection. Instead of wasting time and money trying to solve this non-problem, we should devote our resources to trying to save the world from the biggest threat since the plague: a little known syndrome called OMGSFH (OH MY GOD SWINE FLU HELP). This disease has spread rapidly throughout the States and has taken hundreds of lives. It starts by inducing a mental state of panic, at which point individuals begin to run around in circles. Soon, their trajectory intersects with others who have contracted OMGSFH, and they run into each other and fall. Not being able to get up, they eventually starve to death.

  4. “Well, at least people are talking about it. That’s good…right?”

    WRONG. People talking about McDonald’s means people thinking about McDonald’s, which inevitably leads to people eating McDonald’s (if you think my logic is flawed, your opinion is wrong). Where does such a metric actually make sense? That’s right, kids — advertising. QED. This entire film is a giant ad for McDonald’s. Congratulations Spurlock, you are officially a more profitable mascot than Ronald McDonald.

I’m off to go get a Big Mac.

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