Monday, November 30, 2009

Fear The Bird

Once again it 'tis the season. Obviously for obsessing over every morsel / unholy calorie of food you put in your mouth. At no other time during the year is the fear of fat (aka; the Obesity Epidemic or Obesity EpiPanic) more patently evident. All we hear about in the news is how bad, bad, bad it is to overeat during the holidays. A lose of control or a complete failure of will. A moral defect that proves weakness of character. If you can't or don't want to push the plate away before your done then you are Less Than, in danger of becoming Other (read; fat), and will suffer all the 'obvious' consequences. Ho-Ho-HO!! The fear and loathing is almost palpable. But don't be overly alarmed, Pilgrim. Pious superiority requires that you be told how it should be done. Just as fat people must be constantly reminded that we're fat, consistently advised over and over of the potentially inevitable health risks (Um...Huh?) 'lest we somehow forget or delude ourselves. Just like we need to have hundreds of useless diets, methods, plans, lifestyle changes, food recommendations (Food, like moral standing, can only be 'good' or 'bad'. This is well known) and every manner of folk remedy pushed at us as if those 'recommending' this 'helpful advise' were getting paid, cash money, by the diet industry. Just as there is always 'help' for us poor misinformed and ignorant fatties, there are plenty of tips and tricks that you can use to avoid damnation temptation. So these two family events -two days in as many months- these celebrations that are supposed to be about joy, togetherness, family, and gratitude for that with which we have been blessed, are not completely guilt free. Because, yah know, if the writers of these holiday self-flagellation guides are too neurotic and eating disordered or their familial dysfunction has them too skewed / screwed to actually enjoy the holidays? Well, then why should anyone else?
Muzak Therapy:
The Ramones / We're a Happy Family

Monday, November 23, 2009


There's a conversation that goes around every now and again in the Fatosphere. It usually starts with the question of the other F/A; Fat Admirers. Unfortunately, it also tends to swerve into one of the other contentious regions of Fat Acceptance; Fat as a Gendered Issue and things usually get pretty messy from there. Still, the conversation has merit and a little mess never hurt anybody.

Fat Admirers have been around for a long time. Probably longer than either Fat Acceptance or Fat Activism and, thought it's not generally acknowledged, there are also women who prefer there partners fat. FFA or Female Fat Admirers is the generally accepted term but, again, we don't seem to ever hear too much about them. At most, if a woman fits a more mainstream archetype of what's considered 'beautiful' and her male partner is fat, we'll often hear 'What's she doing with him?' But if the man looks like Brad Pitt and his partner is fat? Well, he's a freak. Both are ridiculous conceits and, unfortunately, common ones as far as mainstream sensibilities are concerned. After all, every important avenue of information that we rely on to tell us how we should live our lives, the fashion and beauty industries, television, movies -hell, media in general- inform us that fat people are undesirable, unhealthy, and flat-out disgusting. So, of course, anyone who would choose them over 'beautiful' people are strange at best or just plain defective. What tends to smack my gob pretty silly is realizing that this might actually be an improvement over the previous school of thought. At one time Fat Admirers where equated with feeders and gainers. And, since these previously unheard of fetishes where so way-out, so off-the-charts weird, it had to be the only reason a man would be attracted to a fat woman. It's taken quite some time to dissuade people of this ludicrous assumption but, considering the cyclic nature of stupid folk lore, it may end up rearing it's knotted head again.

Are there any answers? It's a complicated issue with quite a few significant mitigating factors. Fetish Trolls exist, they're rampant, and they don't have hazard strips tattooed on their foreheads. Like the opportunistic predators they most resemble they stalk social gatherings, dances, and dating networks looking for the inexperienced, the trusting, wounded individuals, or anyone they feel they can exploit and then use all manner of strategy to influence, manipulate, and use people to get what they want. Walking or slithering away after completely destroying what should be an affirming or at the very least, hopeful, experience for the people they exploit. Or making, even those who DO manage to connect later on in their lives, suspicious or uneasy in relationships that should be supporting and happy. But then concern for others is not really the point for a predator. That has nothing to do with what they want and is therefore irrelevant.  

Maybe there won't be any answers until the world changes how it sees, or is persuaded to see better. However, we should know better. We constantly talk about being stereotyped as binge eating couch potato's and yet unattached men who profess an attraction to fat women are often assumed to be weird. It is EXTREMELY frustrating to know that Fat Admirers, people with a preference, are still sometimes viewed by 'our own' as vaguely creepy.

Muzak Therapy:
Radio Head / Packt Like Sardines in A Crushd Tin Box

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

HA!. . . HAAAaa-ha-ha-ha!!

Ok, you'll like this. According to the American Institute of Cancer Research, obviously in an effort to make adipose tissue 'truly' deadly, fat now causes 100,000 types of cancer. . . .Well, it's just about time we got to the really big, truly, terroriffic numbers! No more piddling around with one or two monthly, breathlessly shrieked, breaking news headlines. The AIC has decided to go the whole hog and shoot for 100K! Death Fatz has officially arrived!!

It's funny if you think about it, well it's still pretty funny even if you don't think about it, but I suppose this was inevitable. We see at least one announcement a month in the news declaring 'Obesity is now shown to cause 'X' Cancer  / Condition / Disease / Whathaveyou'. So many in fact that it begins to make one wonder; If being fat is so, unavoidably lethal, how come there are so many fat people still walking around on the planet? I mean, isn't that how evolution works? (All you 'Obesity Can't Be Genetic' people; I could use a hand here) If being fat is so deadly, why hasn't it been deselected by evolution as an undesirable trait? 100,000 cancers? How is it possible for ANY fat person to live past, hell, thirty? Or maybe there's another, simpler, explanation. Lets see. How about this; as my Grandaddy used to say 'Follow the Money'.

At somewhere over 40 billion dollars in revenue it really can't be argued that the diet industry is not a force to be reckoned with. 'Specially where getting people to buy their 'product' is concerned. That kind of money gets attention. It changes minds, encourages cooperation, and can even set political policy. Is it so much to imagine that it can also influence the, supposedly unbiased, world of science and research? Research often involves experimentation in a vacuum but the process itself doesn't occur in a vacuum. It takes money. Usually in the form of Grants, to fund research and it has been observed that, where that money comes from, can often influence the conclusions science and research ultimately come to. Thing is, money doesn't always influence JUST the conclusions.

Are you a researcher? Need a lab? Need top-of-the-line computers, specialized equipment, supplies, data (it's not always free), or just need to pay your staff ? Well, you could apply to a grant for the obscure research closest to your heart and maybe get less money than you need. Or you can apply for something popular. Something that's already got LOTS of money being poured into it by, well. . . . Does it really matter who's paying? Everybody knows who they are. Everybody knows what they want. Apply for the grant, tell them what they want to hear, and your set. Nobody gets 'hurt', you get money for resources you can use in more important work, and your credibility doesn't take too much of a hit. After all, with so much OTHER questionable research being done on the subject, who can say who's right, who's wrong, and who's just getting paid. Such is the state of Science these days.

Fat causes 100K types of cancer? Right. Smoking causes cancer. Exposure to radiation, dioxins, asbestos, various and sundry other toxins causes cancer. Random hits to the DNA by cosmic rays causes cancer. Now, what their trying to sell me is that a natural, fundamental, PART of  human anatomy, something that has been evolved into every species of mammal on the planet since we crawled out of the primordial soup, is suddenly so lethally toxic that we need to do everything short of kill ourselves to get rid of it. Sorry, already got my quota of Bullshite this week, tell your story walking.

What's REALLY funny about all this? Only thinking creatures could come up with something so ridiculously devoid of logic and then be stupid enough to actually believe it.    
Muzak Therapy:
Paul McCartney & Wings / Live and Let Die

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

More to. . . Meh

So, 'More to Love' is over and done. Mind numbingly dull, Luke (aka: 'I Lurv Big Womenz') may have been inept but, I think, sincere. Or as sincere as one can be on reality TV. 'The Ladiez' ran the usual gamut of manipulative shrews to well meaning victims and the prerequisite gamers gaming the game to be the first across the finish line. And apparently one from the last archetype made it to Final Two Elimination before tripping over her own game. Win by any means necessary; It's the American Way.

By now the 'twist' of this, pretty painful to watch, Reelality TeeVee show is pretty well known; all those lonely fat ladies striving to win 'The Man of Their Dreams' on this, the only date many of them had ever had. While being national televised, of course. Lots of weeping, lots of soul baring pain, lots of desperation, and Fox Networks singular template of what American Malehood is / should be. I'll give Luke credit for one thing. In the few eps I managed to sit through he seemed to go from 'Dood! I'm living, like, EVERY Doodz fantasy!' too 'This might actually mean something.' Granted, he didn't look all that sure WHAT it might mean but he did appear to put some effort into trying to figure it out towards the end. As has been noted nearly everywhere (and rightly so) Lesley at fatshionista did a fairly epic job of taking this show apart, piece by piece, so I'll just leave it at that.

Frankly, after watching a few eps (then promptly hosing out and disinfecting my DVR) the show gave me the impression of a circus sideshow. Maybe that can be put down to a general trend in televised media. Desperate as they are for our attention and increasingly willing to revert to 'the old ways' to get it. Unfortunately, for Fat Folk and most other groups of 'othered' people in history, those old ways don't generate so many fond memories. And now fat people can look forward to the 'pleasure' of even more media attention. Hoo-ray. Can't wait.

NBC, TLC. . . . . TGN? Really? The. Gameshow. Network. Somebody went just a little crazy at the Way Back Machine controls. What's next? Fat Folk engaging in dangerously competitive weight loss on The Sideshow Network for healthcare benefits they were denied because they're fat? Now That's, compassionate, Entertainment. Obviously. 'Cause it's all for our own good. An', ya know, we're fat.  

Muzak Therapy:
Nine Inch Nails / Survivalism