From Round to Square (and back)

For The Emperor's Teacher, scroll down (↓) to "Topics." It's the management book that will rock the world (and break the vase, as you will see). Click or paste the following link for a recent profile of the project:

A new post appears every day at 12:05* (CDT). There's more, though. Take a look at the right-hand side of the page for over four years of material (2,000 posts and growing) from Seinfeld and country music to every single day of the Chinese lunar calendar...translated. Look here ↓ and explore a little. It will take you all the way down the page...from round to square (and back again).
*Occasionally I will leave a long post up for thirty-six hours, and post a shorter entry at noon the next day.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

The Power of Five (2)—Fast Food Restaurants

Click here for the introduction to the Round and Square series "The Power of Five"
One year ago on Round and Square (22 June 2012)—Fieldnotes From History: Provincial Elections (d)
Two years ago on Round and Square (22 June 2011)—Seinfeld Ethnography: Just Dessert
[a] Two "all beef" patties, special sauce, lettuce...RF
Below, I list the "Five Fast Food Restaurants." 

If this does not make sense, stay with it. But if you somehow think that I am making a "top-five list," you would be badly mistaken. To begin, the whole concept of fast food—from architecture to product—is part of what has haunted the second half of the twentieth century (and disco, but more lasting). Nope, this is just "cultural observation. 
[b] Easy RF

If you think that I am honoring fast food or making a "best" list, please know that I am not. Go back and look at the introduction to this series to get a feel for yin-yang, five-phase cosmology. 

Nope, these are the Five Fast Food Restaurants. As a totality, they are "fast food restaurants." That is what the cosmologist Robert André LaFleur maintains, at least. I welcome your comments and additions, below (but these are still the Five Fast Food Restaurants). 

Remember, together they form the idea "fast food restaurants." 

If this doesn't make sense...go back and read the introduction and the links!

                                       The Five (American) 
                                       Fast Food Restaurants
                                       Kentucky Fried Chicken
                                       Dunkin' Donuts
                                       Dairy Queen
                                       Taco Bell

Discuss. Just don't eat the food.

Just like Dong Zhongshu and Lü Buwei, I don't give my reasons (I don't need no stinkin' reasons).* I am well, a...sort of...cosmologist. My choices should be "self-evident," but the whole point of this Round and Square series is to get a little opinion moving.
*But even I sense the omission of Popeye's (a little bit of "seafood")...and Subway.

And, yes, several of the "illustrations" didn't make the cut. 

Feel free to comment and disagree (politely, though you were raised in North Dakota, on the lapping banks of the Red River).
[c] Graceful RF


  1. I've never been to Popeye's so I assume that it's a reasonable substitute for KFC except, maybe, for iconography.
    As a vegetarian, it's usually Taco Bell or Subway in extremis, so I see a niche filled there.

  2. I'd substitute KFC for Popeye's, too. Popeye's doesn't compare in terms of cultural ubiquitousness. (Finger-lickin' good anyone?) And it doesn't have the global scope. After seeing people LINED-UP OUTSIDE a KFC in town after town in southern England, I can testify that the Colonel is an imperial force.

    Otherwise, I think you've nailed it.

  3. You know, Todd and Pam, I have to agree (and have modified the list...even though that pulls the curtain away—like Toto in the Wizard of Oz—from the cosmological wonder of it all). What settled it for me was remembering that "Christmas at KFC" is a Japanese institution. Thanks!

  4. Oh, and Todd...negotiating the fast food world (being on the Interstate, for example) from a vegetarian perspective must be bewildering. I am still shaking my head at the Father's Day (buy steak dinner) FB ad you posted.

  5. 5 Fast Foods related to the 5 meals?
    McDonalds (Lunch), Kentucky Fried Chicken (Dinner), Dunkin' Donuts (Breakfast), Dairy Queen (Dessert), Taco Bell (Snack). Would this be the kind of intellectual weaving I need to do with these lists of 5? That's the best my brain's got at the moment for understanding how one category melds into the next.

  6. That's pretty intriguing, Jack. The "five" idea is, at base, still more of a totality than a progression...but I have come to realize that there are hidden "progressions" in all sorts of them (one moves from the eastern mountain to the southern...and then on to central, western, and northern, before starting over). That sounds a lot like what you have just done. Truly, you have gotten me thinking of a new dimension to emphasize. It has to be about "becoming the next thing," as I have emphasized in the links. Breakfast, lunch...fits beautifully. Great stuff.

  7. McDonald's (never, ever, going to make it into Princeton), Taco John's (the one that used to be in a historic, tin-ceilinged building in Cody, Wyoming, NOT the one on the wrong side of Beloit, Wisconsin...), Subway (they allow one to exist in Princeton!), Panera (on main street in Princeton), Chipotle (everyone complains that the Qdoba now on mainstreet in Princeton is not a Chipotle).