Article Critique: Your Trusted Friends and Complete Freedom of Movement

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These two articles, “Your Trusted Friends” by Eric Schlosser and “Complete Freedom of Movement,” by Henry Jenkins, are concerned with a modified approach to an old method of doing something, the former of which occurs in mass marketing and the latter of which in the psychological and social development of children.

“Your Trusted Friends” expounds and contrasts the endeavors of sales tycoons Ray Kroc and Walt Disney, both of whom harnessed the potential of children as consumers with staggering success. Before these men, children were largely ignored by consumerists—afterwards, dozens of other corporations followed suit and advertising aimed towards children became a prevalent and controversial matter. Schlosser acknowledges their charisma, and brilliance in marketing, but practically makes them out to be sordid, power- and money-hungry individuals. He inserts several seemingly malicious quotes by Kroc, including one regarding his ruthlessness when it comes to his economic competitors. Schlosser states,” If they were drowning to death … I would put a hose in their mouth” (765).

The author writes about how both corporations hired the best psychologists money can buy and had them figure out what children like. Everything in Disneyland was on sale, and all around the nation, McDonald’s Playplaces sprung up, accompanied by Happy Meals complemented with toys. Both corporations expressed patriotism, and Mickey Mouse and Ronald McDonald became icons worldwide. In the end, the two corporations came together in “perfect synergy,” forging an allegiance between two already wholly powerful, youth-oriented businesses.

I fully support Schlosser’s purport in this article. I can’t recall how many Disney toys I’ve implored my mother to buy for me over the years, or how many times as a child I begged her to take me to McDonald’s, as much for the Furby’s as it was for the food.

I found “Complete Freedom of Movement” to be incredibly interesting. In the article, the author...
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