Lindsay Lohan has expressed support for Mitt Romney, which, given that the way I worried she would make headlines this year was by dying, is actually not terrible news.
Then again, for celebrities these days, showing the faintest hint of support for Romney is a desperate cry for help. “I am thinking of voting for Mitt Romney,” is a quicker, less messy version of shaving your head. And it has similar shock value.
Meanwhile, speaking of redheads making dubious choices, in its continued effort to rebrand itself as a “five-star restaurant at a three-star price” (CEO Emil Brolick’s words, not mine), Wendy’s has done something . . . different to its logo.
I would complain obstreperously about the change. This is my default position. Abraham Lincoln said “What is conservatism? Is it not adherence to the old and tried, against the new and untried?” He really hated it when Wendy’s changed its logo.
But trying to compare the two reminded me that the Wendy’s logo was absolutely terrifying to begin with. Wendy had oddly outlined eyes that looks like she hadn’t blinked in decades, and her hair was an uncanny pinkish red. Her pigtails stuck out at an angle that was only physically possible with the addition of pipe cleaners. She looked like if she blinked or you blinked she would suddenly be right there next to you and might try to kill you. She looked like she had just crawled out of the VHS tape and would try to eat your family later. She was, in a word (okay, two words), deeply creepy.
And I say this as someone who loves Wendy’s. I am oddly susceptible to their advertising. I beat the drum for months about the wonder of their Mozzarella Chicken Supreme to anyone who would listen.
But the new Wendy is part of an overall overhaul that alarms me. This whole Upscale Fast-Food Trend with tailored uniforms and ambience is seriously unsettling. Sometimes, you want ambiance. Other times, you want a cola the size of your head and a burger that has been living in a fryer for months and has started to grow curious about the outside world. Frankly, if I feel underdressed as I stumble into your fast food establishment in the wee hours of the morning, then something is amiss. And this is where we are headed. I have hideous visions of this upscaling trend continuing and people handing me elaborately folded paper napkins and plastic sporks of varying and bewildering sizes to go with each course. (In this vision, there are multiple Small Plate courses at fast food restaurants, with a disapproving maitre d’ outside the Chipotle critiquing my choice of soda and friends.)
Even Taco Bell, long a safe haven for people who wanted deep regrets about whatever they had just eaten, is trying a new upscale menu. Stop this madness! Is nothing sacred? Just put Doritos in it and I will eat it, whatever it is.
Some things just do not belong together.
It’s like Lindsay Lohan endorsing Mitt Romney. Sure, she may have her reasons, but it really unsettles my preconceptions and I’m worried that it’s a cry for help.