Mason Ramsey, Farts, Burger King, & Gaming the American Mind

We live in the era when symbolism prevails over substance. You can be America’s major music labels and systematically grift African American performers for a century through bum contracts and holding their master tapes for ransom. But post a black square and a #hashtag to your social media accounts on a random Tuesday in June, and you’re absolved of all your sins. You can be Amazon and increase the carbon footprint of the economy by an incalculably massive number with all your cardboard boxes delivering plastic crap, but take out the naming rights to a new stadium in Seattle and call it “Climate Pledge Arena,” and all of a sudden you’re lauded as conservation heroes.

Who knows, perhaps Burger King feeding its livestock lemongrass to reduce methane emissions will actually result in some sort of measurable positive for Mother Earth. And if it does, hats off. As a music blogger I’m certainly not in a position to make a judgement call on the efficacy of their efforts. But how about when you’re a big corporation and you do a good deed, you just do it. Don’t make a whole dumb marketing campaign around it, and rope the poor Wal-Mart yodel boy Mason Ramsey into it for everyone to get a good chuckle at. The kid went through enough bullshit when they made him record a song written by Florida Georgia Line. Now they’re making him and country music the punchline of a fart joke.

In a new ad campaign clearly meant to pander to the woke climate we live in, Burger King is touting how their feeding cows lemongrass to reduce their methane-infused burps and farts. If you’ll recall, back in 2005 Darius Rucker dressed up like a cowboy and appeared in a very similarly-produced campy spot for the Burger King Tendercrisp sandwich. It was the most country thing Hootie’s ever done. 15 years later, and Burger King still hasn’t freshened their ad agency, or many of their restaurant’s decor. Reducing cows farts feels like a last dying gasp to stay relevant for a food brand now even being bested by McDonald’s.

This is where we’re at in 2020. You’ll sell more mouth-watering Whoppers by making it look like you care about the environment in symbolic tokenism as opposed to showing a close up of a Whopper on a turntable like they did back in the 90’s. Whatever happened to using sex to sell stuff that’s bad for you and you don’t need? But trust me, the greenies who give a shit about things like the amount of methane cows produce from their flatulence aren’t running their Prius hybrids through a Burger King drive-thru anytime soon. Such a meal choice would have them emitting their own gastrointestinal disturbances.

Seriously corporations, stop gaming the American mind by spending $100,000 on some charitable or do-gooder effort, and then $10 million promoting it. Whether it’s sending your corporate board through supposed “sensitivity training” or selling fast food hamburgers under the guise of helping the environment, wanting kudos for symbolic gestures while systemic malfeasance goes unchecked is disingenuous, and the public should stop falling for it. These bean counters are just trying to keep the mob at bay.

But hey, hopefully Mason Ramsey will at least get paid handsomely for his appearance, and hopefully not in Whoppers. Maybe Ramsey will be able to afford college instead of having to enlist in the standing army during Emperor Trump’s fourth term while the rural regions in America engage in armed civil conflict with the urban zones under the rule of King Kanye. At that point the robot armies will have probably subjugated the majority of the human population and will be feeding us lemongrass to keep the stink down as they harvest our body heat for energy. But look at the bright side, maybe we’ll have kicked COVID-19 by then.

Welcome to dystopia, brought to you by Burger King and Mason Ramsey.