Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Would you like thighs with that?


Assuming this is true (which is a caveat I think I'm going to have to put next to every news report I cite), it tells us quite a lot about human nature.

It's true, in my experience, what the FBI agent says: "You and I can sit here and judge these people and say they were blooming idiots. But they aren't trained to use common sense. They are trained to say and think,'Can I help you?'"

Pity, of course, the victims of these hoaxes who have been mentally (if not literally) raped. Pity also the poor drones who work in almost any retail outlet, who are trained to respond to demands rather than to use their own initiative. In fact, pity any of us who are required to follow orders.

Sometimes I think a good chunk of human misery is caused by people's inability or unwillingness to assert themselves. It's not that people are spineless - but we all look for approval from others, and we quickly learn that approval is forthcoming when we aim to meet other people's demands. The logical extension of this, however, is that we can end up humiliating ourselves or denying our own needs solely for the purpose of pleasing others. And the horrible extension of that is that malevolent people can take cruel advantage of this fact.

Backbench Labour MPs, anyone?

(Incidentally, it's worth reading until the end of the long article to note McDonald's attitude to the hoaxes - blame the victims and point out that it had anticipated the problem by sending round a memo...)

Thanks to the folks at Pirates for the link to the story.


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