Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Happiness pie

I haven't posted for several days because nothing pissed me off enough. Today there were plenty of things that pissed me off that I was considering blogging about, namely:

1. This children's book.

2. 'Roided-out pervy weightlifters with butt-fucking ugly faces' coming on FA blogs to tell us we're too fat to snag hotties like them.

3. The daily, incessant objectification of women and vilification of fat.

4. Lies about fat in the media.

5. Stereotypes, fear-mongering, and general bullshit, even in articles reporting the fact that childhood "obesity" rates leveled off almost ten fucking years ago (so where's this big scary epidemic we keep hearing about?).

But then I decided, fuck it. Other people did a pretty good job handling most of those issues anyway (except for #5 -- I haven't seen any responses on FA blogs yet, but I'm sure they'll be out there by tomorrow). And I've realized that I have a little bit of a formula going on here: read a news article about fat that pisses me off, blog about it.

I'm going to try a new approach in the future, which involves being more proactive and less reactive. For those who enjoy bitter rants, don't worry, I have plenty in me, and god knows there are plenty of dumbshit "journalists" out there with their heads way up their asses (Shirley Skeel, anyone?) who are eager to keep spewing hate and ignorance and provide me with fodder. But for every pissed-off rant, I'm going to try and balance things out with a positive post that isn't directly prompted by some fatphobic asshole.

For today, since I'm busy getting ready to go out of town, I'll keep things short and simple. Here are five things that are cool and/or make me happy:

1. This guy's mixes.

2. Slugs.

3. Coffee porn.

4. TypeRacer.

5. This cat.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Finally a voice of reason

I've been holding off from posting since all that's come out lately has been a bunch of negative stuff. On Friday, the BBC ran this piece of shit (see sweetmachine's funny response). Then in the Sunday Times Online, this nasty bit of totally illogical fat hatred and misogyny came spurting out of a person called Rod Liddle (maybe his name is code for "little rod" and that's why he's so angry). There is a terrible series this week in the Washington Post that's basically a bunch of fear-mongering about "childhood obesity" (I won't even link to it... but I'll link to this wonderful deconstruction of it). And if you've been reading the comments section of my blog, you know that we've had some "visitors" stopping by -- one person who came on rude but actually seemed to respond to my engaging him/her in discussion in the comments, and another person calling him/herself "anonymous no. 2" who was too condescending and sarcastic for me to bother with (what's with the name, anyway? -- it's bad enough calling yourself "anonymous", but being "anonymous no. 2" takes a special kind of coward).

So I was really happy when I saw this awesome article about the scapegoating of fat people for our addiction to oil. In reading it I felt like it could have been written by my own Admiral Seamus, but I guess this dude Raj Patel beat him to the punch. The article also made it onto Common Dreams, which makes me doubly happy since, as I've pointed out before, some of the worst fatphobia comes from liberals. So far the comments on the Common Dreams post have mostly been positive, but even in the positive comments there are still some people making dim remarks like, "Well, we know fat is bad, but..." Oh well, baby steps, right? At least the comments are better than the ones made (presumably) by the Brits on the Guardian's version of the article. Clearly we still have a long way to go.

A comment on comments: I've been thinking about turning on comment moderation again, but decided against it for now because I'd like my thoughtful readers to be able to comment without hassle. So instead, I've decided that I'm just going to delete any and all obnoxious comments. It's my damn blog, after all, and I don't want to subject my readers to any more of the fatphobia that they witness elsewhere on a regular basis. So a note to would-be commenters: if you call me a name, wish death on me, direct mean sarcasm at me, or otherwise rub me the wrong way (and yes I have gotten all of these -- the one with the death wish was several months ago, and I deleted it), you will have wasted your time because your comment won't see the light of day.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Mini-rant of the day

I just read something annoying on CNN.com and got peeved and felt like venting.

This article tells the story of one Barbara Aldrich, who was 5'11" and 255 lbs. (OMG FAT!!!) and borderline diabetic. When she turned 50, she decided enough was enough, so she "traded in high-calorie, carbohydrate-laden meals and junk food for a diet of lean meats, vegetables, fruits and healthier snacks" and started walking every day. After 4 months, she lost 75 pounds and feels like a new woman, and now she does things like go on trips and get manicures. Of course the whole concept behind the story, along with what they say about Aldrich pre-weight loss and the notion that her improved health from eating healthy and exercising could only be measured by her 75 pound weight loss, is irksome and obnoxious. Same with the idea that it was her fat that prevented her from going on trips and getting manicures before, rather than society making her feel like shit about herself (and that what needed to change was her weight, rather than her attitude or anyone else's). But that's pretty much par for the course in this whole "Fit Nation" series, which is basically a bunch of "this person was fat and unhealthy like you, but s/he lost a ton of weight and now his/her life is totally perfect, and yours can be too if you just get off your ass" features.

One thing really stood out about this article in particular, though. First, they say that Aldrich lost 4 or 5 pounds per week and talk about how great that is. Then in one line that's not contextualized or integrated into the story at all, they point out that the Mayo Clinic website says that a weight loss of only 1-2 pounds per week is recommended. So on the one hand, they devote an entire article to making you feel like you should get out there and lose weight like Barbara Aldrich did, because it was so easy for her and now she's so much healthier blah blah blah. But then they point out that actually if you really did lose 4-5 pounds per week it wouldn't necessarily be a healthy thing. It's kind of like the "*Results not typical" that you get at the bottom of a Jenny Craig ad, but even worse because this one is more like "*Don't try this at home." I guess I ought to be glad they mentioned it at all, but somehow I'm not.

I also feel the need to point out Aldrich's quote at the end of the article: "I love myself, I love how I look now. I feel better, younger ... just a complete 360." OK, obviously she meant to say "180" (or maybe she even did say that and the reporter misquoted her). But I'm thinking this is a kind of interesting slip, because basically in terms of the way she thinks about herself, she really did do a 360. Before she lost weight, her attitude towards herself was tied up with her body size and she felt ashamed go out and do things she wanted to do. After she lost weight, her attitude towards herself is still tied up with her body size, so much so that only now after losing 75 pounds does she love herself. I think that is pretty sad.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Happy International No Diet Day!

It is, in fact, International No Diet Day. I think you all know what to do.

I, for one, am making an Ohio Lemon Pie (a.k.a. Shaker Lemon Pie) in celebration of this fine holiday. The recipe is below (the image is from Sushiesque, where there's a slightly different recipe). I'll let you know how it turns out.

Ohio Lemon Pie

3 organic lemons (organic is important because pesticides are absorbed in the rind, and you'll be using the rind)
2 cups sugar
2 pie crusts (I like Trader Joe's)
4 eggs, beaten

Wash the lemons. Zest the lemons and put the zest into a medium-sized bowl. Cut the ends off the lemons, then cut 2 and a half of the lemons into extremely thin slices and put them into the bowl. Squeeze the juice of the remaining half lemon into the bowl. Put the sugar in the bowl and stir to coat all the lemon pieces. Set aside at room temperature for 5 hours.

Preheat oven to 450. Put the bottom crust in a pie pan and prick it all over with a fork. Add the eggs to the lemons and stir until evenly mixed. Pour into the crust, then put on the top crust. Pinch the crusts together, then cut slits into the top crust to vent.

Bake for 15 minutes, then turn heat down to 375 and bake for 30 minutes or until crust is brown and a knife inserted into the pie comes out (relatively) clean. Cool before serving.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

And now back to that other horse race

The title got me excited, but this thing turned out to be an insipid piece of garbage.

I wonder, though, who *would* get the fat vote? Most fat acceptance people whose politics I have any knowledge of are left-leaning, so if we're talking about the self-identified fat vote, then I'd say McCain is out. (Apparently he thinks "obesity", even *childhood* obesity, is a question of Personal Responsibility, so fuck that guy. Of course, he also thinks it would be cool if we were in Iraq for another 100 years, so fuck him anyway.)

I've already discussed Obama's naive views on how getting rid of all the fatties will save Medicare, and Hillary Clinton says the exact same stupid thing.

So, what's a fat girl to do? Vote Nader? Hardly. Stay home on election day, eating baby donuts? Mmm, donuts...