ABITURPRÜFUNG 1998                         Arbeitszeit: 180 Minuten 
           ENGLISCH 
      als Grundkursfach


                                Textaufgabe I

                   COKE AND BIG MACS AREN'T THE REAL THING

         When German prisoners of war  arrived in  New Jersey  during the 
     second world war,  they broke into excited chatter on seeing a Coca- 
     Cola advertisement. "We are surprised you have Coca-Cola here, too," 
     They told their guards.  The story told by  Mark Prendergast in this 
 5   history of the company  suggests that the theory  that  global  food 
     habits promote global peace rests on slender foundations.
         Yet the growth of branded food habits1 is such a  feature of our 
     times that it  demands investigation.  It is not  a new  development 
     to connect  Coca-Cola  or Kellogg's Cornflakes with harmony  both of 
10   the inner man  and of the whole  human race.  Such products, appear- 
     ing  in  many  industrialised  countries  at about  the same time  a 
     century ago,  were promoted as  tonics2 and magical substances,  not 
     simple victuals.  Their makers often  implied that  dietary3 revolu- 
     tion was part of  a more general revolution  that could lead to  the 
15   most  positive  developments.  When  Coca-Cola  gathered  200  young 
     people  on a hillside  and  had  them sing  "I'd like  to teach  the 
     world  to sing  in  perfect  harmony",  it was  only  continuing  an 
     already  established tradition.
         The American fast-food chains  that emerged in  a big way in the 
20   early 1950s  operated on a different basis  from the  pseudo-medical 
     foundation of Coca-Cola  and Kellogg.  This other principle  was the 
     democratisation of meat.  In societies which,  in memory  if not  in 
     present fact,  had never had  enough meat,  the daily  availability, 
     at a low price,  of hot beef and chicken was a historic achievement. 
25   With  every hamburger  the ordinary man  enjoyed  not  just  a  meat 
     patty4,  but  a taste of the  privilege  that in  a  half-remembered 
     past  had been confined  to the upper class.  In America,  which had 
     admittedly  always  been  a meat-eating country,  new farming  tech- 
     niques  allowed a  breakthrough  to hitherto  impossible  levels  of 
30   cheapness. 
         With cheapness came speed.  A Burger King founder noted:  "There 

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     are only  two things  our customers have,  time and money,  and they 
     don't like spending either."
         But the customers  were not only eating  and drinking health and 
35   privilege.   They  were,  and  are,  eating  and  drinking  America. 
     Outside America,  what was being consumed  was a symbol of the power 
     and  affluence  of  the  US.   McDonald's  local  partner  in  Japan 
     suggested  hamburgers  would in time transform  Japanese  from short 
     and yellow to tall and white. 
40       In eastern Europe the Mc Donald's hamburger performs a different 
     function  from the one  it performs  in America.  In the latter,  it 
     is,  if not  the food of  the poor,  a food the poor can afford.  In 
     Russia,  it is the food of the rich,  to the extent  that McDonald's 
     has few  outlets  outside  Moscow  because  there are  still too few 
45   capitalists to eat theproduct.
         In  the  United States,   the  America  being  consumed  is  the 
     supposedly  simpler and better America of the past.  Or it is a more 
     orderly America.  As  one  customer  of a Harlem McDonald's  told  a 
     Wall Street Journal  writer:  "Ain't  no  hip-hop5  here,  ain't  no 
50   profanity6.  The picture,  the plants,  the way people  keep  things 
     neat here, it makes you feel like you're in civilisation."
     Civilisation!  Yet  it is  not such a  joke.  The  fast-food  chains 
     do  represent  a kind of  order.  They  utilise  the  attractions of 
     replication  and common ritual,  the comfort  of places  where staff 
55   and customers  know their roles,  where there is no uncertainty, few 
     choices,  everything is familiar and known.
         Whether  the word-wide  penetration7  of American  food products 
     represents,  as Thomas Friedman  of the New York Times  suggested in 
     his  recent  half-serious  but  catchy8  thesis,  an  opening up  by 
60   countries  to the international  economy,  tying them together  in a 
     way  that makes it  unlikely  they will make war  on one another  is 
     to be doubted.  McDonald's is just a detail in such tendencies,  not 
     a cause or even a symptom of change. 
         Equally doubtful is his suggestion  that McDonald's has achieved 
65   Some balance  between global  and local forces.  These chains  could 
     not exist without  the linkages  between food  and local production, 
     between  food  and skilled cooking,  and  between  food  and health, 
     having been weakened  - developments  for which they are not respon- 
     sible but which have many unhappy consequences.

                                        From: The Guardian, xxx Datum xxx 

     Annotations:     
     1 branded food habit: the habit of eating  foods  with famous  brand 
       names
     2 tonic: a substance to improve one's health or strength 
     3 dietary: adj. referring to the kind of food  people habitually eat 
     4 meat patty: a flat round piece of meat as found in a hamburger 
     5 hip-hop: a type  of  popular  dance music  with  a  regular  heavy 
       beat and spoken words
     6 profanity: rude or socially shocking language and behaviour
     7 penetration: here: spread
     8 catchy: attracting interest or attention, easy to remember 



ENGLISCH als GRUNDKURSFACH  -  Textaufgabe I

WORKSHEET: Coke and Big Macs Aren't the Real Thing 

                                                     maximum number of
                                                     points attainable
  I. Questions on the text

     Read all the questions first, then answer them
     in the given order.
     Use your own words as far as is appropriate.


     1. Outline the advertising strategies used by 
        Coca-Cola and Kellog's                                      10
  
     2. Summarise the reasons for the success of
        fast-food chains both inside and outside
        the United States. (Refer to lines 19-45.)                  30

     3. What does the example of the Harlem McDonald's 
        reveal about the function of fast-food 
        restaurants in present-day America?
        Refer to the customer's statement and the 
        writer's comment.                                           10

     4. Analyse the writer's attitude towards American 
        fast-food chains as it becomes evident in his 
        evaluation of Thomas Friedman's thesis.                     20

     5. What is the function of the first paragraph? 
        Refer to the writer's argument, too.                        10



 II. Composition                                                    40

     Choose  o n e  of the following topics.
     Write about 120 to 150 words.

     1. American influence on European culture - 
        enrichment or danger? 

     2. Could you imagine being a vegetarian? 



III. Translation                                                    40

     Translate the following text into German:     
                                                                 _____

                                                                   160


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          What Americans  could most  profitably learn  from  the French 
     has nothing to do  with recipes;  it doesn't even have  anything to 
     do  with  cooking.  It's about  eating.  "We have  such an uptight1 
     attitude  about it.  We think it's sin,"  says  Patricia Wells, the 
     American food writer long resident in France.  She's right:  surely 
     America is the only country  where people  are cajoled  into buying 
     food products  because  they're  "sinfully delicious".  Food  isn't 
     a sin  and  it  isn't  an indulgence.  It's one  of life's  natural 
     pleasures,  but  most Americans  have never  found it  easy  to eat 
     companionably2  in that spirit.  For anyone  lucky enough  to visit 
     a restaurant  in Paris,  look around you.  The animated faces,  the 
     buzz  of  conversation,  the  clusters  of  friends  lingering  for 
     hours,  the sense  they convey  of being perfectly comfortable - no 
     American  restaurant,   even  one   with   terrific  food,   evokes 
     precisely that feeling of pleasure at the table.

                                       From:  Newsweek, 16 December 1991


     1 uptight: here: inhibited
     2 companionable: friendly, sociable