It has been at least ten years since I worked in industry, but I still understand the world as a machinist, a labor unionist. I make sense of the world from the perspective of the working class. My understanding of economics, politics, news, entertainment, and advertising is informed by fifteen years of working in production alongside black workers, Mexican-American workers, and women workers-and by our collective recognition that our lives and concerns never played on the silver screen or appeared on the little blue screen in our living rooms. I laugh when I see the McDonald's commercial showing young, energetic, smiling McDonald's employees identified as "future stock broker" and "future scientist." I particularly like the realistic part where a child is identified as a "future McDonald's employee"-flipping burgers as the ultimate safety net for the United States. Unemployed stockbrokers, scientists, machinists, or even college professors always have McDonald's to fall back on! More importantly, although we may not be future McDonald's employees individually, as part of the American public we are already being McDonaldized (Ritzer 2000). Work and play, private and public life, are increasingly rationalized for market efficiency and institutional control. The conference upon which this book is based is a tacit recognition of the McDonaldization, the privatization, of public communication.