Saturday, October 09, 2004

on being FAT

Dr. Larsen posts a cool rant about people who invoke Michael Moore's weight every time they inveigh against him.

It's said that fat people are the last "safe" demographic we can attack. I don't know exactly what "safe" means in this context. Maybe it means that you can insult a fat person from a distance and run away without fear of him/her being able to catch you. But if the blogosphere is any indication, a lot of fat guys have guns these days, so the hit-and-run tactic is probably a thing of the past.

I'm fat, but I laugh at (and make) fat jokes. Tons of them, if you'll pardon the heavy-handed allusion to weight. I'm not into "fat acceptance" except, perhaps, in the limited aesthetic/moral sense that fat doesn't necessarily equate to ugly, stupid, etc. There are plenty of people who are fat and ugly (often ugly because they're fat), but there are also plenty of exceptions: I've known some curvy women who'd rate as "plump" whom I found quite smart and sexy, as well as some malnourished stick figures whose thoracic steppes and gluteal plateaus nevertheless produced seismic rumblings in the austral plumbing.

But I'm not into fat acceptance if we're going to play the victim game: overweight is a health issue. Most of us fatties are digging our own graves by being sedentary and doing little or nothing to curb bad eating habits. Fat people, including many who slyly claim "bad glands," are responsible for their own condition. I certainly feel this way about my chunkaliciousness: I have no one else to blame for it. No one's cramming the food into my gullet. This, then, makes me fair game for the whole library of lardass jokes out there. I accept this as the price I pay for physical and mental laziness. I also accept that the way to escape the fat jokes is to lose weight-- the obvious and commonsense solution to the problem, which we butt-jiggling, ass-crack-sweating tittie-swingers are at pains to avoid doing. The burden of fat is usually accompanied by the parallel burden of denial-- what some psychologists might call "an externalized locus of responsibility."

If there's a logical reason not to bring Moore's massive ass cheeks and impressive double chin into a discussion of politics, it's that his cheeks and chins have no obvious relevance to the issues at hand. As Moore's films and speeches have amply demonstrated, there is no direct connection between his ass and members of al Qaeda, despite what many consider a striking physical resemblance, as well as the occasional rumor that Osama bin Laden is ensconced gerbil-like in the filmmaker's crack.

Michael Moore, that glorious pachyderm, is fair game for fat jokes, in my opinion, so fire away*. I agree with many conservatives who think the PC rhetoric has gotten out of hand in the States: we have to be sensitive to everyone these days or risk being sued for having insulted a large (cough) demographic. Jabbing a fat person with a verbal cattle prod shouldn't be taboo: jab away, I say... but don't be surprised if you find yourself suddenly engulfed by a gigantic pseudopod of adipose tissue. Cows have feelings, too.

*Hell, I got my own "fatso!" comment in response to that OhMyNews article about me. Being in Korea, I get picked on about my fat rather routinely. It's something you deal with, either by developing a thick skin or by losing the weight. By now, I've got a pretty thick skin, though this doesn't mean I handle every insult with sérénité bouddhique.


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