2014's fast food atrocities
Burger King's black cheeseburger: Made with squid ink and bamboo charcoal, arguably a symbol of meat's destructive effect on the planet. Only available in Japan.
England has a long tradition of dystopian prophecy in literature and cinema. The likes of H.G. Wells, George Orwell, J.G. Ballard, and Ridley Scott all seem to revel in presenting doomsday scenarios. Films such as 1961′s “The Day the Earth Caught Fire,” and the 1965 BBC docudrama “The War Game,” depicting a Soviet nuclear strike on England, as well as books like Raymond Briggs’ “When the Wind Blows,” a deceivingly innocent tale of untold horror, are among the works that underscore the British fascination with and fixation on nuclear devastation.
Fascination? More like well-earned trepidation. After all, during World War II, London was blitzed nightly by German bombs and rockets, its citizenry enduring what most civilized beings could barely imagine. If Hitler had developed the atomic bomb, England would have suffered the same fate as Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
England was forced to develop a sophisticated civil-defense apparatus, which included publishing cautionary guides like this handbook “Advising The Householder on Protection Against Nuclear Attack.” With the same kind of low-key narrative that a “householder” might read on how to survive a bug or rodent infestation, this “training publication for the civil defense, the police and fire services” addresses protective measures, needed equipment, what to do after an attack, and how to “manage” life “under fall-out conditions.” The text is reservedly quaint, underplaying the tragic impact of nuclear war, and the illustrations lack the slightest hint of horror. Indeed, by Jove, it is actually kind of comforting.
Similar handbooks in the United States were shrill by comparison. While they suggested that survival was possible, the magnitude of a nuclear attack was never minimized.
This handbook was republished by the V&A in 2008—for what purpose, other than nostalgia, is unclear. I reproduce it here as a curio from a time when our biggest enemy was the Soviet Union. With all the natural and man-made potential catastrophes at our doorstep, one almost longs for those days.
Domino's Specialty Chicken: It's like regular pizza, except instead of a crust, there's fried chicken. The company's marketing officer calls it "one of the most creative, innovative menu items we have ever had” -- brain power put to good use.
KFC'S ZINGER DOUBLE DOWN KING: A sandwich made by adding a burger patty to the infamous chicken-instead-of-buns creation can only be described using all caps. NO BUN ALL MEAT. Only available in South Korea.
Taco Bell's Waffle Taco: It took two years for Taco Bell to develop this waffle folded in the shape of a taco, the stand-out star of its new breakfast menu.
Krispy Kreme Triple Cheeseburger: Only attendees at the San Diego County Fair were given the opportunity to taste the official version of this donut-hamburger-heart attack combo. The rest of America has reasonable odds of not dropping dead tomorrow.
Taco Bell's Quesarito: A burrito wrapped in a quesadilla inside an enigma. Quarantined to one store in Oklahoma City.
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