November 2 at 8:00 AM One of Northern Europe’s arguably most distinctive exports is “slow TV": real-time recordings of train journeys, ferry crossings or the migration of reindeer, which regularly draw record audiences.
Among perhaps the most successful — and least exciting — examples of that genre is the live stream of a McDonald’s cheeseburger with fries. At its peak, it drew 2 million viewers a month. The only element on the screen that moves, however, is the time display.
The burger looks the same way, hour after hour.
As of this week, it has looked like that for 10 years.
Purchased hours before the corporation pulled out of the country in 2009, in the wake of Iceland’s devastating financial crisis, the last surviving McDonald’s burger has become much more than a burger. To some, it stands for the greed and excessive capitalism that "created an economic collapse that was so bad that even McDonald’s had to close down,” said Hjörtur Smárason, 43, who purchased the fateful burger in 2009. To others, the eerily fresh look of the 10-year-old meal has served as a warning against the excessive consumption of fast food.