You know what the least punk thing in the world is? McDonald's. You know what the second least punk thing in the world is? This McDonald's punk advert.
Food isn't very punk fundamentally, despite the best effort of Gary Rhodes' hair. Piercing your skin with unsterilised needles is punk. Spitting at your favourite band is punk. Starting a band in a garage, even though you can't really play is punk. Fighting is punk. Al fresco blowjobs behind youth clubs are a bit punk. Underage smoking, abusing drugs, flirting with extreme political views and vomiting on old ladies - all punk.
It's hard to think of anything that chimes less with punk's rebellious, alt, DIY ethic than a global multinational repurposing animals into the kind of sugary, salty discs fast-food joints laughingly refer to as food. When I look at the cover of Never Mind The Bollocks... I don't instinctively think "I'd like to eat a Big Mac". Likewise, when I see a McFlurry I don't go and sniff glue on a double-decker bus.
When I listen to the Buzzcocks I don't equate that music with visiting a drivethru alongside the sort of people who bundle up all the plastics and cardboard containing their high-calorie gak and throw it out the window. Although McDonalds' awe-inspiring contribution to the amount of filth on British streets does have a vague ring of 1977 about it.
I have visited McDonald's restaurants on about ten occasions in my entire life and I don't intend to add to that tally. Never have I seen a member of staff resemble anything like a model from Suicide Girls, although the co-opting of punk, grunge and goth by massive online brands pretending they give a fuck about tattoos, burlesque, beards and loud music seems to be what passes for rebellion amongst today's youth, irrespective of the fact that covering yourself in tattoos and making your ears look like well-chewed gum is just about the most conformist thing you can do in 2016.
Even culture's most alarming, atavistic, nihilistic movements get repackaged by rich white people and sold back to an unsuspecting generation of youngsters, flushed with hormones and keen to fit in. Today's teens, despite displaying the same outward fashions as their 1977 forbears, are much more likely to obediently spend their cash at a Maccies while Instagramming a pic of their slurry-in-a-bap rather than brick it, more's the pity.
McDonald's punk advert
Anyway, the advert itself. Why is the British teen equivalent of Ralph Malph sat in a Capri with his Dad visiting McDonald's. Would you be seen dead visiting a drive-thru with your Dad? And why a blingy Ford Capri? It's not in any way punk. Give me a clapped-out purple Austin Allegro and we'll talk. Why can't he speak? Why would anyone in their right minds eat pepperjack cheese - a material closer to plastic-coated vomit than food? What does punk have to do with a mass-market product called The Peri-Peri Chicken One, like it's an episode out of Friends. And why shit all over The Buzzcocks?
So many questions are posed by this McDonald's punk advert. The lingering one in my head - as ever - is what on earth people are thinking when they choose to actually hand over money for this shite in McDonald's.
What do you get? Diabetes with an impacted bowel thrown into the bargain.
"Wait a minute... YOU like sugary, empty-calorie fast food, I like sugary empty-calories fast food! What better basis for a long-term relationship?".
Or, failing that and very much reflecting Emma and John's dietary tastes, a quick knee-trembler in a car-park followed by a blood-sugar crash and lengthy period of self-loathing.
It's very much in keeping with modern times that adverts suggest because we might like the same sort of food, we're romantically compatible. Fast food, fast fucks. In that respect there's not much between a Maccies and, for example, Tinder. If you're not that bothered about what rubbish you shovel down your neck, chances are you're not too bothered whose bodily fluids you share. Craved, consumed, discarded.
There's something more to this, though. I am genuinely perplexed by people eating MacDonald's food beyond the age of about 12. This was roughly the point at which I stopped eating jelly and ice-cream, playing pass-the-parcel and buying the Beano. It was also about the age I manned the fuck up and stopped being a snivelling brat about vegetables, curries and moved beyond the basic bread-chips-meat food groups that we tend to inhabit as youngsters.
It may make me an enormous food snob, but I'm vaguely appalled that grown men and women eat things called Happy Meals. I can't help but notice I've grown up as one of the first generation of people who might claim that their favourite food is a Big Mac, favourite film is Star Wars and favourite book is any one of the Harry Potters.
There's nothing intrinsically wrong with any of these things, but there's a time and a place. The modern curse of our age is, because we've told we can have anything we want and because we've been told that being ourselves is the most important thing in the world, we've regressed into kidulthood - a Peter Pan generation of emotional cripples who have decided that being grown-up means never having to eat our greens.
Imagine seeing pensioners Instagramming pictures of their food, wearing those hideous flesh tunnels or completing a horrible sleeve full of tit-wielding Winehouses and inspirational quotes. Jesus H Christ.
Imagine your Dad logging onto a massive online Halo battle or a nursing home showing True Blood. Imagine a load of gak from MacDonald's instead of a Sunday roast, because no-one knows - or cares - how to cook.
We've demanded from the people who sell us things, the people who cater to our needs, that we continue to be treated as children. So they treat us as children. Our television patronises us, our films bore us, our food fattens us - our social media platforms regurgitate it all back to us. What the fuck are we thinking?
My prescription for this worrying state of affairs is this: Eat some fucking kale, go and read a book that doesn't involve wizards, vampires or people in animal skins slitting each others' throats and burn your stupid Star Wars bed linen. You might not immediately like the taste of kale or the fact that it takes you 50 pages to get into a Dickens novel. But you'll feel much better in the long run. And, frankly, you'll have improved the human race, just a little bit.
It's time to put away childish things - and that includes McDonald's.