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Paris Lees

I Love the Naked McDonald's Rampage Woman

There's something admirable about her rage-filled act of rebellion.
April 11, 2014, 2:20pm
Collage by Sam Taylor. Photo by Alex de Mora. Make up by Rhea Le Riche using MAC.

I once saw my friend take a shit in public. Despite my horror, a small part of me was surprisingly impressed that someone could just release herself—literally, figuratively, and so spectacularly—from the rules surrounding what we can and can't do in public. She was off her head and perched on a wall. She crouched down for a piss when, plop plop plop, out popped a little bit of shit. I judged her. I laughed at her. I even questioned why I was hanging around with her but deep down I knew it was because she gave life. She was wild and unpredictable and I've never laughed as hard as I did back when we were still seeking thrills together. I quickly realized that I was envious of her and with each successive plop, my envy grew. I felt a similar sensation when I watched a Floridian woman go on a naked rampage in McDonald's earlier this week. (Warning: This video is NSFW, obviously.)

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There's something wickedly life-affirming about that clip. You may look down on her—I won't use her name, apparently she's worried about her kids seeing the video—but she lives in all of us. She's a streaker at a tennis match. She's Pussy Riot disrupting a church service. She's a looter on the streets of London. She's a disco diva, a jazz musician letting loose. She's the urge to stand up and scream, "I'm a terrorist!" in a crowded airport security line, the inexplicable desire to punch a stranger in the face. She's the joy I used to feel when the fire alarms went off at school—the joy I still feel when the heavens open and lunching professionals start to scream and shout as they run for shelter. She's chaos. She's Nike. She's just doing it, because she can, at least until the police arrive. She is Thanatos and Bacchus, Shiva and Kali, a goddess sucking ice cream straight from the pump, and I fucking love her.

It's easy to admire bad behavior when you don't have to deal with the consequences, which she now does. It seems she has mental health issues; she's claiming that she is depressed and the rampage was a bipolar episode. I'm not saying that it's good for us to gawk at people who are clearly not in the most robust of mental states. I'm asking if there aren't hints of admiration and even envy in our reaction to videos like this one. Perhaps she's sitting somewhere right now feeling terribly ashamed of herself, wishing she knew the secrets of self-control. I hope she's not because I know the feeling. I wound up in prison as a teenager because I flew too close to the edge.

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It was thrilling, actually, robbing someone. That doesn't mean I'm proud of it or that I didn't deserve to do my time. I feel remorse towards my victim now. It was a stupid teenage mistake and I'm sorry for it, but at the time, for a brief, glorious moment, I felt alive. It's why, in the fantasy worlds we create for our entertainment to transport us away from our supposedly civilized reality, we paint fiery scenes of destruction. We want to see people shot. Buildings blown up. We carve scenes of torment and pain into stone and line our places of worship with the resulting art. We want to be plunged into darkness and thrown up into the sky at amusement parks. We want so badly to be good that sometimes it just feels better to be bad.

That chaos should release herself in McDonald's is doubly inspiring. Because really, what better symbol of corporate violence could there be than a McDonald's? When the Berlin Wall came down 25 years ago, what was the sign that Western "civilization" had arrived? McDonald's setting up shop what used to be East Germany, around about the time it also opened its first store in mainland China. McDonald's epitomizes Western values, violence, and profligacy, a cancer that lies and cheats and redefines the world on its own warped terms. The only better arena for the video would've been Disney World.

Nearly a million people have watched Naked Rampage Queen since the clip was uploaded a few days ago. I could tell you that watching it is wrong and I'd be right. People have been judging her. Laughing at her. Insulting her. Just like I did when my friend opened her bowels onto a stone wall in Nottingham. But whether she feels ashamed of her actions or not, I admire her. The world would be a better place if you stopped reading this article and we all turned off our computers, threw away our phones, and went down to the nearest McDonald's or KFC and completely fucking destroyed it. Wouldn't it be beautiful? Wouldn't it taste so much better than anything you could possible order from there?

We won't, though. We'll click onto another video and distract ourselves while some men somewhere sign papers that mean, tomorrow, the seas will be that much more acidic, the air will be that much dirtier, the rainforests will be that much smaller, and we'll have fewer tigers, orangutans, and coral reefs than we do today. And more cows munching away on fields that were once jungles, all so that you can walk into your nearest McDonald's for a double cheeseburger next time you're craving one.

"Fast Food giants like McDonald's are trashing the Amazon for cheap meat. Every time you buy a Chicken McNugget, you could be taking a bite out of the Amazon," Greenpeace forests campaign coordinator Gavin Edwards told Fox News in 2006. That's the violence you need to be worrying about. This video of the destruction of our natural world is the one you should be getting upset about—not naked McDonald's rampage woman.

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