Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Yes I'm Fat, But Am I Huge?

I've pretty much reserved judgement on the TV show 'Huge' up until now. Mainly because Life (with the Big 'L') seen fit to make sure I've got less and less time to actually sit down and write anything these days and, well, I guess you could say I've been a little gun shy about it. 

See, I'm one cynical son-of-a-bitch. Show me a cloud with a sliver lining and I'll start asking how it could carry something so much heavier than water vapor. Gift Horse? Open wide so I can get a good look at those molars. 

So, when I become aware of something as potentially awesome as a show that seems to portray fat folk with much the same kinds of feelings, passions, thoughts, and failings as other human beings (Cause, ya know, that's what we are). A smart TV show that seems to get it. I tend to start looking for the construction crane that's about to drop a whole shoe store on my head. I just didn't want to start hollering about falling sky because, well, it is quite a nice sky and we all know what happened to the last guy that did. Still, is that what appears to be happening with 'Huge'? At this point, it takes an actual, conscience, effort for me to believe that it MIGHT not be. Considering how, frustratingly, often this has happend in the past we, as fat people, would have to be idiots not to think, 'Here it comes again'. And despite what some True Believers in the 'Healthist' Camp might think (with their dogmatic creed's about what is and isn't healthy), we are not idiots.

Hope is generally a positive failing though. It can and has been argued that, without it, the entire species would have joined dinosaurs on the 'Nice Try. NEXT!' list a long time ago. As such, I can hope that this is, maybe, a blip. Just some exec at the Network insisting that the writers let people know that being fat is, yah know, bad (OMGZ!1!!1! Why didn't anybody TELL us?!7!). I can hope that, as potentially ruinous as Network/Exec Interference can be, it isn't the actual writers (Winnie Holzman [Exec Prod/Write] and daughter Savannah Dooley [Prod/Write], of whom I've heard so many good things) trying to inject the standard 'Weight loss=The-Only-Way-To-Health' rhetoric. 

So far the show has demonstrated a fairly insightful awareness of the fact that there is NOTHING simple about being fat in this society (ie; the calories in/calories out crap-spiel and associated garbage). It's shown a unique vision in depicting fat people as more than objects of humor or scorn, and, so far mostly, resisted the almost auto-reflexive messages of 'your not good enough until you lose weight/are trying desperately to lose weight' or the ever patronizing 'Love yourself! But lose the weight 'cause fat's not healthy' *insert: Waggling Finger of Disapproval*. If 'Huge' does start sliding down either of those slippery slopes or any of the numerous other 'Just lose weight, Fatty!' excuses used to try and denigrate fat people into becoming unfat, then it'll just be par for the course. A very disappointing slice on a course where all the greens are covered by sand-traps and holes have been plugged with concrete. I can only hope that the Network / Execs can be convinced of the unique opportunity they have here and that the writers / producers don't get hooked on Obesity EpiPanic Cool Aid.  

But right now, I've got the next Fairway on my mind. Just in case this one ends up turning into the Same, Old, Game. 

Muzak Therapy:
Pink Floyd / A Pillow of Winds

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Why, yes. Yes I am. Thank you.

That would be two things, actually- 

1) Fat; But I think we've established that some time ago. Still, recent events seem to have necessitated re-iteration. We'll get into this in a few.  

2) Back; (see what I did there with the 'Fat' and the 'Back'?. . .  Ok, it's been a while, cut me a break) I know those of you might actually follow my meager rantings haven't heard from me for a minute, I've been unusually busy these last few months. Up and down the east coast dealing with Family Drama. Driving  cross country for Vaca / a Family Function. Which, of course, involved a lot of planning, prep, Family Drama, driving, some sight seeing, More Family Drama, function attendance and A Lot More Family Drama. Then some Unexpected Family Drama once we got home. Did I mention the Family Drama? Yeah, everything goes better with a little FD sprinkled on top. Or so I've been told. Now on too this Fat thing.

Cheese-O-Pete! Talk about your ridiculously clumsy, blatantly obvious, attempt at Mind Fucking! It seems there's this new, fledgling, movement amongst rabidly Anti-fat Medical Folk. Well, actually, I'm not sure that we CAN call them Anti-Fat since, technically, they now appear to be Pro-Fat. Only not for the reasons, or with the intents, one might expect. You see there is this 'Health Minister' in the UK who is of the mind that the word 'Obese' shouldn't be used to describe people who are larger than the, rather arbitrarily, accepted standard (sounds like a production line issue to me but what do I know about unit / model specs? Oh wait, we're talking people. My bad). No, instead the larger / heavier than average human should be described as 'Fat'. Umm. . . Ok. I'm all for it. I mean, that's what I am after all. If the physical state of my body needs description, then the word that gets the job done nicely, thank you, is 'Fat'. So much so that a lot of fat people, myself included, have put years into trying to reclaim this particular word. Working to remove the infantile, pejorative  connotations most are used to using by pointing out just how childish and dull-witted an insult it really is. I mean, if I already identify as fat, how insulting can it be to call me something that I already, unashamedly acknowledge I am? And what are we, anyway? 6 years old?. . . Well, some of us might be. Mentally if not pysically. Anyway, this new attitude from the medical community couldn't be anything but good, right? Yeah, not so much, actually

This is the medical community after all. It's their job to remind us, over, and over, and over, and over, and. . . Well, you get the idea- that being fat is nasty, bad, morally incorrect, unclean, and can be associated with terminal eyestrain amongst many, many, MANY other medical conditions on an ever growing list, that Includes cooties. . . I think (So hard to keep track). What's more, it's not acceptable. So, in this particular case, we get a 'Health Minister' trying to convince others in the medical community to call us fat because. . . 

They feel that this will hurt our feelings and, of course, make us lose weight. 

I know. . . I know!!. . .  It's ok, I'll wait until your finished laughing so you can catch your breath. Only took me about 20 minutes but then I'm DETHFATZ and either on the verge of expiring or completely incapable of physical exertion at all (this would be an 'Everybody knows' thing). Unfortunately there's another side to this story that, frankly, isn't so funny. A few things actually, but one of the things that stuck-out for me was Professor Steve Field of the Royal College of GP's statement- 

. 'I think the term obese " medicalises" the state,' he said. 'It makes it a third-person issue.

AGREED!!!! Fatness is NOT a disease. No matter how BADLY some people want to believe it, try to rationalize it, or wish it were so. Trying to MAKE it a disease with technical language isn't going to do anything more than stigmatize a certain group of people and single them out for ostracizing. By Jove, I think he Gets It! . . . Well, let's not start patting the Good Prof on the head just yet. Because it appears that this is EXACTLY what Prof Field wants to do-

'I think we need sometimes to be more brutal and honest.
You can be popular by saying the things people want to hear and in the NHS we too often do that when we should spell things out clearly.'

'Honest' brutality in the name of 'helping' people. I am SO sure. That this guy is either an idiot, an ass, or has sadomasochistic / control / ego issues. Yeah, I said that. They want to use, prognosis-by-chimpanze, reverse psych tactics on me, I should get to examine the oatmeal between their ears with a dirty magnifying glass. And that's, pretty much, what this recommendation represents; Chimp Counter-Psych Warfare; co-opt the targets language or ideals, and then try to use it against them.

This is not new Health Minister. Perhaps you should give Weight Watchers International a call and ask them how their 'Diets Don't Work' (but we're not a diet. *snicker*) campaign is working out for them. Could turn out to be an enlightening conversation. Then, maybe, go check out the Fatosphere for a little more enlightenment on what kind of people rate as actual human beings with thought processes, experience, and the ability to think for themselves. But be careful, we wouldn't want your tiny little worldview to get rocked too hard. This IS for your own good after all.

Muzak Therapy:
Tool / Lateralus