Saturday, March 2, 2024

Weekend Lounge ~ Mac Tonight

Welcome to the weekend! I am back for a small post.

Today, I wanted to share with you what is actually one of my favorite videos on YouTube, this one made by EmpLemon, about the figure of Mac, the old McDonalds mascot. This is a story of twists and turns you might (or might not) expect, but what fascinates me about it is how it epitomizes a lot of what was going on in the culture at the time the inspiration for the character was created all the way up until the modern day turn, showing how much has actually changed since he was first conceived.

Of course, if you're young enough, you might be most familiar with Mac's status as a meme, but he oddly enough didn't get there by chance or complete randomness. There is actually a bit more to it than that, one you might not have considered. It was a painstaking process of cultural shifts and the rise of the internet that, also, seems to highlight a lot of what people think of themselves and how it reflects into the landscape they create for others.

What you are left with is a tail of how creations not only go beyond their original makers intent, but are actually held onto by audiences how push them forward into their next stage of being, carrying them forward to a future no one expects from the outset.

You could cynically shake this all off, it's only a silly commercial mascot hijacked by edgy anons, who cares? But that's part of the interesting aspect in all this. How that change came about is through a series of coincidences that not only shows that God has a sense of humor but also the way we use art in its many different forms to express what truly resonates on a level we might not even think about. If anything, this character is another obvious proof that art is truly communication, and not always in the ways we might expect when we start the creation process.

The whole story gets wilder as it goes, because that's how culture was throughout the 20th century--always trying to go bigger and top itself and what it did before. There was nowhere to go but up, as anyone who lived before Cultural Ground Zero will tell you, until it all (not-so-suddenly) came crashing down.

What you are looking at is just one of many examples of what the 20th century was and what it valued filtered through one mascot character that never even had a concrete direction through his many incarnations.

And that's what makes how it all comes together so very fascinating.

Regardless, I highly recommend this video, especially for a relaxing weekend watch. Watch how a simple one-note character carved out of a parody of a satire ended up becoming a pop culture hero then became subverted for commercial gains only to end up a goof on all that caused him to exist in the first place before settling in on a vision of a past long since gone. It really does epitomize the past century of pop culture trends exceedingly well--and it's all done through one single character that you've probably never given a second thought to.

It leads me to wonder what exactly is coming next up the pipeline, especially now that Mac has more or less settled back in to his original edgy form again. Are we truly about to enter a new era divorced from this interminable one, or is he about to make yet another shift into something even more wild and dangerous than he has before? I suppose we will find out sooner than later. Considering all the wild stuff the '20s has been through so far, anything is possible.

Anyway, enjoy the video and your weekend, and I will see you again next time. March is finally here and spring is just around the bend. New experiences and changes are definitely on the way.

The seasons of new starts is just ahead of us. One has to wonder if something like what happened to Mac going to happen again.

We'll just have to wait and see.

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