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What The Kroc

January 4, 2017

X: “If you have time to lean, you have time to clean”


The Loud House is a Nickelodeon animated television series. One of the hallmarks of the series is it is the first ever portrayal of a same-sex couple in a Nick show. Harold and Howard McBride have received praise for representing a same-sex couple in a casual way.


There is no bold print screaming: THEY ARE GAY!!

There are no asterisks denoting *depiction of same-sex couple.


Breaking with tradition in this way is considered pretty monumental.


The show follows primarily Lincoln Loud, the middle child of the eleven child Loud family.


In my first viewing of The Loud House, Lincoln receives his very first job. It’s a job which requires janitorial work-sweeping, wiping, washing etc.


The manager of the establishment catches the novice working, well not doing much of anything. The manager quickly shouts, “if you have time to lean, you have time to clean.”


The child quickly resumed work duties.


If the show’s normalization of homosexuality makes it progressive, the use of the phrase “if you have time to lean, you have time to clean” might push the show a little left of center at best.


I know very participation trophy generation thing to say right?

This is where a baby boomer interjects to announce the tale of how they worked an 8 to 5 job cleaning the bathrooms and got paid less than minimum wage under the table.


Yet, this has little to do with laborer as it has to do with business.

This phrase obviously is not new. As it has made its debut in many movies and television shows including the romantic comedy, Reality Bites(1994) where David Spade plays a Hot Dog Manager role and says the phrase to a new employee, as well as in the Big Bang Theory when Sheldon Cooper makes comedic use of the quote.

Yet, its popularization to the mainstream began with Ray Kroc. Kroc was an influential philanthropist who was even listed on Time Magazine’s Most Important People of the 20th Century.

Kroc became the first franchising agent of a little business called McDonald’s. The first franchise restaurant was opened in Des Plaines, Illinois by Kroc.  

Kroc became one of the pioneers of the franchise ideal. He created a uniform McDonald’s brand in “service” and “quality”. This now enables us to have the same Best Western experience in California and Delaware. Applebee’s tastes the same in Montana as it does in Maine. Baskin Robbins will hit the spot in Iowa to Florida.

So what is it doing in this animated show?

The mainstream so smoothly digested a business culture and then upchucked it for child consumption packaged in the form of entertainment

I sound like a raging mom who doesn’t let their children have sleepovers...with their own cousins.

But seriously, what is with our fetichism for this business, no nonsense, no rest mantra? I mean president elect Donald Trump’s primary appeal to those who actually found him appealing was the perpetual commentary of “Trump as a business man”, “Trump knows how to turn a profit”, “Trump knows how employment works”, “Trump knows business”.

And to blame this animated show for all of this is absurd. But the inclusion of this quip in a children’s show is maybe a small reminder of how business is sown into contemporary societal fabric by steel thread.

Now, the irony lays in Trump’s pick for secretary of labor-Andrew F. Puzder, the CEO of a company that franchises 2 popular fast food outlets...

“If you have time to lean, you have time to clean…”


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