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usa fitness
August 2, 2005 2:11 PM   Subscribe

This is why we're a fat country
posted by thisisdrew (145 comments total)

 
Too funny! and to the point.
posted by clevershark at 2:17 PM on August 2, 2005


my colleagues and I affectionately refer to this establishment as '24 Hour Fatness'
posted by gnutron at 2:18 PM on August 2, 2005


fwd fwd lol
posted by Potsy at 2:18 PM on August 2, 2005


I can see a ramp for the disabled, but why the escalator?

At least they're going to the gym, I guess...
posted by Moral Animal at 2:22 PM on August 2, 2005


Ha!
posted by voltairemodern at 2:24 PM on August 2, 2005


a goddamn escalator?
posted by puke & cry at 2:29 PM on August 2, 2005 [1 favorite]


I'd say this is just as likely a cause.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 2:32 PM on August 2, 2005


I'm sorry funny as this is the reason where a fat country is cause we don't do enough meth

Note the last picture she went from not hot to porkable.
posted by Rubbstone at 2:33 PM on August 2, 2005


Reportedly real (and old). One commenter excuses it like this:
Gyms, like all other buildings, must be handicap accessible. My gym has four floors, a staircase, an elevator, and several members in wheelchairs that surely appreciate being able to reach the upper floors where the weights are.

This picture is not broken, this site is just narrow-minded. Why would you punish a member with a broken leg (say, from a skiing injury) who wants to still keep his or her upper body fit or do some cardio?
But another points out:
Its not that they shouldn't have escalators for the disabled, but the ones taking the stairs in the photo aren't disabled
posted by pracowity at 2:35 PM on August 2, 2005


Sorry, this photo is old news.
posted by Specklet at 2:35 PM on August 2, 2005


First time I saw that picture I laughed so hard I fell off my dinosaur.
posted by mikeinclifton at 2:37 PM on August 2, 2005


Well, there's that. Then there's this.
posted by mnology at 2:41 PM on August 2, 2005


mnology : "Well, there's that. Then there's this."

Nah, that's Diet Coke.
posted by Bugbread at 2:43 PM on August 2, 2005


It would be cool if they made people go up the down escalator so they could get a longer walk in before getting to their workout.

But this is pretty telling and kind of sad really.

Almost like watching someone eat an ice cream sundae while sitting on a stationary bike.
posted by fenriq at 2:43 PM on August 2, 2005


mnology: let the public ostracization commence!
posted by tweak at 2:45 PM on August 2, 2005


If it were at least a moderately long staircase I'd understand, but this is just silly. I understand that places need to be wheelchair-accessible, but I don't see how an escalator helps with that particular issue.
posted by clevershark at 2:53 PM on August 2, 2005


WOUHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHHA HAHAHAHAHAHAHAH

AHHIHIHIHIIHHIHHIIIHIHIHIHIH
posted by zouhair at 2:56 PM on August 2, 2005


There's little context. Where's it coming from at the bottom and what other businesses are at the top? It's kind of silly admittedly but maybe the escalators were there before the gym.
[piss poor fpp wording and content imho]
posted by peacay at 2:58 PM on August 2, 2005


Regarding the second photo: Yeah. Thin mothers never ever give children Diet Coke to drink. Ever.
posted by gnomeloaf at 3:00 PM on August 2, 2005


I think the more interesting phenomenon depicted is the specialization of exercise -- its categorization as something that takes place at a specific time and site, rather than something that is part of living. In a way it parallels a certain type of environmental thought, where nature exists in specific places -- preserves, wilderness -- but not all around us.
posted by Coherence Panda at 3:00 PM on August 2, 2005


Right...I see it's still okay to make fun of overweight people on MeFi. Page me when it becomes okay to make fun of mentally retarded people as well. And alcoholics.

Haha...
posted by SeizeTheDay at 3:01 PM on August 2, 2005


There must be an ironic subtext to this post.
posted by fire&wings at 3:03 PM on August 2, 2005


SeizeTheDay : "I see it's still okay to make fun of overweight people on MeFi."

Huh? Where did that happen?
posted by Bugbread at 3:03 PM on August 2, 2005


Yes, because I am sure people are riding the escalator to the fitness center because they don't intend to actually exercise.

Honestly, is this really a bad idea? Heck, it may even ENCOURAGE people (disabled, obese, what have you) to exercise if they feel it's more accessible/easy to get to.

Also, not seeing the entire mall there, are we sure there aren't other stores connected to the fitness center which make an escalator a welcome addition? I dunno about you guys, but when I am carrying a large box and I can't see where I am going, I prefer an escalator as a safer, easier alternative to possibly falling down the stairs.
posted by tittergrrl at 3:05 PM on August 2, 2005


CP - very good point. It's something I see regularly. We want to do something that is good for us, but requires too much work to practice every moment of our lives. So to compromise, we separate these things from our daily life while still claiming we're involved in doing them. It's a great way of silencing our conscience while not changing our comfortable lives.
posted by Moral Animal at 3:05 PM on August 2, 2005


Right...I see it's still okay to make fun of overweight people on MeFi. Page me when it becomes okay to make fun of mentally retarded people as well. And alcoholics.

It's not OK?

Damn....
posted by Moral Animal at 3:13 PM on August 2, 2005


I'm sure everybody has a favorite anecdote to illustrate the point... but here's mine.

I've lifted weights at the downtown Seattle YMCA weekly for over six years now. My work-outs have often coincided with the YMCA's local Karate classes. I get there at about the same time the Karate instructors get there.

I head up the 4 flights of stairs to locker room as these masters of discipline and roll models - these blackbelts - take the elevator (I am usually half changed by the time they get in the locker room - so they don't take the elevator because it's a time saver). Four whole flights.

They know me from my old Karate days as an instructor myself at another Ryu and are aware of my switch to boxing. We are close in age and each of them has easily 50lbs more fat than me. They could use the extra exercise.

I hit the lonely ratty old heavy bag and jump-rope as a warm-up for lifting. It's on the same floor as the Karate Class. I am usually on my second three minute round by the time these chubby blackbelts walk past me after taking the elevator up two frigg'n flights to where the class meets. TWO!

As they walk by I over hear them lecturing a junior belt on the importance of self-dicipline. They listen well. Every student I have seen takes the elevator.

And yes. They take the elevators down again.
posted by tkchrist at 3:17 PM on August 2, 2005


For those that thought I was referring to the mothers weight, you are mistaken. She's nursing her very young child with soda. Diet or no, this is now okay?
posted by mnology at 3:21 PM on August 2, 2005


Oh look. Another fat-bashing humor post. I'm so amused.
posted by kalessin at 3:27 PM on August 2, 2005


I used to work at a gym - one time a woman came in to work out while just finishing off a large order of Arby's curly fries. People didn't do stuff like that too often, thankfully.
posted by puke & cry at 3:27 PM on August 2, 2005 [1 favorite]


I think I'd like to ask thisoneboy out on a date.
posted by WolfDaddy at 3:30 PM on August 2, 2005


fat people. lol.
posted by keswick at 3:31 PM on August 2, 2005


Those curly fries look delicious.
posted by wakko at 3:39 PM on August 2, 2005


kalessin : "Oh look. Another fat-bashing humor post. I'm so amused."

Again, who is bashing the fat? I thought we were bashing folks who take escalators to gyms (i.e. one specific subset of the fat). If I make fun of Bush, am I bashing whites, or males, or married men?
posted by Bugbread at 3:41 PM on August 2, 2005 [1 favorite]


"Hey...tell me the truth...does this escalator make my ass look fat?"
posted by Dunvegan at 3:45 PM on August 2, 2005


nah bugbread, more like making fun of drug addicts... prostitutes... and drama queens.
posted by gorgor_balabala at 3:46 PM on August 2, 2005


So it's politcally incorrect to point out the stupidity of riding an escalator to the gym to get on the stairmaster?
posted by iamck at 3:46 PM on August 2, 2005


Oh look. Another fat-bashing humor post. I'm so amused.

I think we are bashing lazy people. A good portion just happen to be fat. So. Are lazy people now a protected species too?
posted by tkchrist at 3:50 PM on August 2, 2005


I'm eating chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream right now.
no, really
posted by modernerd at 3:50 PM on August 2, 2005


Again, who is bashing the fat?

I think it's the phrase This is why we're a fat country.

I'm still not sure why it's "bashing," either. It is true that people drive their cars to the gym. Just as inefficient.
posted by mrgrimm at 3:51 PM on August 2, 2005


I can't believe what a chunk "seize the day" is. fat. fatty. really freaking blubbery perhaps.
good lord, as an alcaholic, I so very much hate fat people.
posted by hatchetjack at 3:51 PM on August 2, 2005


BTW, the location of this particular gym, if 24 hour fitness can be called that, is in the Point Loma community of San Diego. I know because it is where I joined the mega-fitnalomerate several years ago. And, yes, I also use the escalator...and I'm underweight.

But if the photo could pull back a bit, what I think is perhaps just as funny is that two units to the right of the 24 hr Fitness is a chiropractor's office...and below the chiro's office: stairs only. So, people hobbled by pain, old-age, and injury are forced to take the stairs, and fit, "athletic" people are riding the escalator. And where does the chiro get most of his business: from 24 Hour Fitness.
posted by Sir BoBoMonkey Pooflinger Esquire III at 3:52 PM on August 2, 2005


It's wrong to suggest that laziness (using an escalator to goto the gym) is a primary factor is deciding why a growing minority (if not majority) of Americans is overweight. If the original poster of this front page post had said: "This is why Americans are perceived as lazy", they would have a point. But instead, he points at overweight people and calls them lazy.

I'm sorry I said anything, though. Clearly one picture to an architecturally questionable decision deserves a front page post.
posted by SeizeTheDay at 3:53 PM on August 2, 2005


hatchetjack : "I can't believe what a chunk 'seize the day' is. fat. fatty. really freaking blubbery perhaps.
"good lord, as an alcaholic, I so very much hate fat people."


Ok, seizetheday, I think you could now be justified in claiming that folks are making fun of the fat (you'd be wrong, because hatchetjack's comment isn't a dig at the fat, but just a barb at you, but at least it could be interpreted as making fun of the fat)
posted by Bugbread at 3:57 PM on August 2, 2005


Oh, SeizeTheDay - you're just being a big fat lazy cranklepuss!
posted by MaxVonCretin at 3:58 PM on August 2, 2005


I'm suggesting that the front page post is making fun of overweight people, bugbread. Get it?

And I didn't see hatchetjack's comment 'til now; My BMI is 19 and I'm quite fit so forgive me if I don't buy the "I'm being defensive" argument.
posted by SeizeTheDay at 3:59 PM on August 2, 2005


SeizeTheDay : "It's wrong to suggest that laziness (using an escalator to goto the gym) is a primary factor is deciding why a growing minority (if not majority) of Americans is overweight."

Yep. Probably should have started off arguing that point.

SeizeTheDay : "But instead, he points at overweight people and calls them lazy."

No, he points at lazy people and says "that's why the country has an obesity problem". Sure, there are fat people who aren't that way due to laziness, but genetic issues. But the obesity rate climbs every year, and I doubt that increase is caused by genes all deciding to mutate in the same direction.

In the same way, a post about the Darwin Awards isn't making fun of all dead people for being stupid, it's making fun of stupid people for making themselves dead.
posted by Bugbread at 4:01 PM on August 2, 2005



EVERYTHING OLD IS NEW AGAIN

posted by cmonkey at 4:04 PM on August 2, 2005


Isn't it odd to have an outdoor, uncovered escalator? I don't think I've seen that before.
posted by bobo123 at 4:06 PM on August 2, 2005


Isn't it odd to have an outdoor, uncovered escalator? I don't think I've seen that before.

That's why it seems fake as hell to me. Rain and bugs are probably not fantastic for escalators...
posted by loquax at 4:17 PM on August 2, 2005


The dichotomy of the image takes me back to an amusing memory I have from several years back, when I, a native Chicagoan woman, spent some time in the "Deep South"...(Ahhh, good times! Mississippi....where one is free to paddle a canoe to a gas station that sells fried chicken.)

I had gone to my local Sportmart store and bought a set of fitness weights. Nothing Olympic whatsoever...just girlie stuff--3 & 5lb barbells, etc. (The box had some obnoxious photo of a woman in pastel spandex and, undoubtedly, contained the word "lady" in its name.) I had just paid for the gear and was going to take it out to my car when I was accosted by the southern hospitality patrol....a helpful and, I'll admit, charming (male) employee who insisted on helping me carry my package to my car. Absolutely instead upon it. Despite my "oh, thank you, but.." explanations that my carrying this shit myself was really the whole point. ;-)
posted by applemeat at 4:17 PM on August 2, 2005


The front page just screams out for a post making fun of people with no fucking sense of humor.
posted by clevershark at 4:19 PM on August 2, 2005


Firstly, I think that if you're getting off your ass to go to a gym at all, then you're not the reason we're a fat country.

Obviously it's a bit silly to have healthy people riding an escalator, but I can think of plenty of situations where such a feature would be useful. I would have paid extra for an escalator when I was in rehab after a shattered tibia. And my grandmother takes an elevator to the pool at her place to do because her knees won't let her navigate the stairs.
posted by synapse at 4:22 PM on August 2, 2005


It is not a fake photo. As I said above, I go to this "gym." There are several places, at least in San Diego, that have outdoor escalators. Neither rain nor bugs are plentiful here, but what little we do have of both don't seem to bother the machinery at all.
posted by Sir BoBoMonkey Pooflinger Esquire III at 4:25 PM on August 2, 2005


No, he points at lazy people and says "that's why the country has an obesity problem".

And that's the point! The argument is flawed because it's suggesting that increasing laziness has caused obesity. There is no factual evidence to suggest that laziness is a primary cause for obesity. There are dietary changes (we eat too much processed sugar); occupational changes (jobs have moved away from labor to more service oriented which leads to more sitting); housing changes (we're moving away from cities, forcing us to drive everywhere instead of walking); and the list goes on.

No where does anyone here acknowledge the real problems concerning rising obesity. They'd rather say that America is lazy and therefore overweight, which could be partially true, is prejudicial, stereotypical, and willfully ignoring real data.
posted by SeizeTheDay at 4:35 PM on August 2, 2005


We're not a fat country. We're a big-boned country.
posted by NewBornHippy at 4:37 PM on August 2, 2005


SeizeTheDay : "And that's the point! The argument is flawed because it's suggesting that increasing laziness has caused obesity."

Like I said, people aren't arguing against you for saying the argument is flawed. That's a valid point. (A little serious for a joke post, but valid nonetheless, and god knows I have no legs to stand on when it comes to being serious in a joke post). People were getting on your case for saying this was a "make fun of fat people" post. If you'd come out swinging against "the point", such as dietery changes, occupational changes, housing changes, or the like, you wouldn't have gotten so much flack.
posted by Bugbread at 4:46 PM on August 2, 2005


NewBornHippy, is that the same as festively plump or is that another rationalization argument altogether?
posted by fenriq at 4:48 PM on August 2, 2005


"Jeez…I thought you people were supposed to be jolly." -Family Guy
posted by clevershark at 4:59 PM on August 2, 2005


EVERYTHING OLD IS NEW AGAIN

posted by cmonkey at 4:04 PM PST on August 2 [!]

Nice flashback there!
posted by snsranch at 5:01 PM on August 2, 2005


Wow, someone quoted me on Metafilter... that makes me feel so good! and no, I'm not being a snarky facetious asshole. Thanks Bungbread!


yea,, ahem.... but the children? has anyone thought of the fat kids?
posted by hatchetjack at 5:02 PM on August 2, 2005


Making fun of bakers, now, eh hatchetjack? ;)
posted by Bugbread at 5:05 PM on August 2, 2005


Assuming this is not Photoshopped, it is disgraceful. On the other hand, a gym opened, or opened a new branch, and needed retail space, and this one was available.

Maybe both escalators run in a downward direction?
posted by ParisParamus at 5:14 PM on August 2, 2005


My BMI is 19 and I'm quite fit

Or an emaciated wuss.
posted by Kwantsar at 5:19 PM on August 2, 2005


Assuming this is not Photoshopped, it is disgraceful. On the other hand, a gym opened, or opened a new branch, and needed retail space, and this one was available.

Maybe both escalators run in a downward direction?
posted by ParisParamus at 5:14 PM PST on August 2 [!]


Like you don't fight to get to the parking spot closest to the gym's entrance (or the store or whatever, for that matter.). This is all deja vu for me somehow. And yea, the place is REAL not shopped. I also live nearby.
posted by snsranch at 5:21 PM on August 2, 2005


Actually, this is not why Americans are fat. They are fat because of what they do (and don't do) at the bottom of the stairs; in their cars; cereal boxes; sofas; and offices.
posted by ParisParamus at 5:30 PM on August 2, 2005


What I thought was disgraceful was when they built a gym in the former stock exchange building in San Francisco. Or maybe that's cute, I'm not sure.
posted by smackfu at 5:34 PM on August 2, 2005


Earliest I've found is Apr 24, 2003. I'm surprised this was posted because the picture is very common on the web.

1, 2, 3, 4, 5,
posted by MonkeySaltedNuts at 5:39 PM on August 2, 2005


Earliest I've found is Apr 24, 2003. I'm surprised this was posted because the picture is very common on the web.

1, 2, 3, 4, 5,
posted by MonkeySaltedNuts at 5:39 PM PST on August 2 [!]

Yea, that was my first thought as well. Kinda old already.
posted by snsranch at 5:55 PM on August 2, 2005


On the one hand, SiezeTheDay has a point in that the lazies who use the escalator may not necessarily be single-handedly contributing to the chronic obesity in the US. When I lived in Japan, for example, I used to marvel at an (uncovered outdoor) escalator that was six steps long located in front of Kurosaki train station which the locals queued to use rather than walking up the relatively uncrowded 6 stairs next to it, and one would hardly say that the Japanese have a fat problem.

On the other hand, STD really needs to lighten up.
posted by Hal Mumkin at 6:10 PM on August 2, 2005


Maybe both escalators run in a downward direction? - ParisParamus

hmm. I suppose I can't dismiss the possibility, since I haven't been to this place. However, the photo appears to depict people going up - normally people* face the direction that the escalator is carrying them.

* (in North America at least)
posted by raedyn at 6:11 PM on August 2, 2005


ei, ie oh well
posted by Hal Mumkin at 6:11 PM on August 2, 2005


That photo is so old.

WELCOME TO THE INTERNET!
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 6:15 PM on August 2, 2005


Thanks MonkeySaltedNuts for doing the legwork I was dreading. This is super, super old. Cmon, comrades, we can do better.
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 6:34 PM on August 2, 2005


When I lived in Japan, for example, I used to marvel at an (uncovered outdoor) escalator that was six steps long located in front of Kurosaki train station which the locals queued to use rather than walking up the relatively uncrowded 6 stairs next to it, and one would hardly say that the Japanese have a fat problem

I would kill to see a picture of that.
posted by smcniven at 6:34 PM on August 2, 2005


"I suppose I can't dismiss the possibility, since I haven't been to this place."

Well, you could always read the thread to see where someone who actually works out at the gym in question has commented (twice), but that might be too much work.

Oh, the irony.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 6:43 PM on August 2, 2005


smcniven: I searched online for about half an hour but in all the pictures I could find of the station, my favorite escalator was just maddeningly out of the frame, alas.
posted by Hal Mumkin at 6:53 PM on August 2, 2005


"fwd fwd lol
posted by Potsy"


Oh, Dren...
posted by mr_crash_davis at 6:57 PM on August 2, 2005


Please tell me we're not going to turn into themaxxx. Old photo, two-bit joke. This is fpp-worthy?
posted by beth at 6:58 PM on August 2, 2005


Should we post hamsterdance? Dancing baby? All your base? Etc.

Meh. Made some people laugh.

Smedlyfilter: still batting .1000 on not giving people shit about posts.

The federales out here were forcing us local hicks to spend $ to install a wheelchair accessible entrance for employees at a fire station.

I'll repeat that - handicapped firefighter entrance.

(it's funny 'cause if they pass the fitness test, they're not handicapped. Oh & it's funny 'cause it's true)
posted by Smedleyman at 6:58 PM on August 2, 2005


Smedlyfilter: 100% on spelling "Smedleyfilter" wrong.
posted by Smedleyman at 6:58 PM on August 2, 2005


Hal Mumkin wrote: "On the other hand, STD really needs to lighten up." (emphasis added).

Pun intended?

To be fair to thisisdrew, the "fat country" remark is from the linked page, not necessarily the poster's own editorial comment.

Maybe the escalators are there to assist the free weights delivery people, or the machines at the gym are always breaking down, and need to be removed/returned, and the boxes on trolleys are easier to move for the repair personnel.

/wild hypotheses.
posted by birdsquared at 7:07 PM on August 2, 2005


I would lift weights...but they're sooo heavy.
posted by MiltonRandKalman at 7:09 PM on August 2, 2005




Oh yeah, I went there.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 7:23 PM on August 2, 2005


Hal Mumkin : "I used to marvel at an (uncovered outdoor) escalator that was six steps long located in front of Kurosaki train station"

What the hell, has everybody lived in that pit??
posted by Bugbread at 7:29 PM on August 2, 2005


Dadgummit, I seen that photo not long after I signed up for them internets, back in '98, in the Gold Rush. Lost my goddamn thongs in an IPO right about then. Anyway, that thing ain't got no bidness in the blue.

That said -- applemeat, you have no idea.
posted by vetiver at 7:52 PM on August 2, 2005


Hi. I'm a person devoid of critical thinking. I think that a post that makes fun of fat/lazy people is inoffensive and is defensible for some reason so I do my best to call out everyone who complains. My name is [insert random mefite here].

Or am I mistaken in thinking that this has topic turned into a random flamewar pit?
posted by kalessin at 7:54 PM on August 2, 2005


smcniven: A short escalator for you (not Kurosaki, so no killing necessary).
posted by tellurian at 8:02 PM on August 2, 2005


Wow, I couldn't have imagined that my post would have more than 80 comments. Honestly, if I'd known the photo had been around that long I wouldn't have posted it. ...Let me say though, that when I at first IM'd it to my workmates, we all shouted back and forth about it for what seemed like fifteen minutes, ..how it symbolized so much about our culture. I figured if it sparked that much conversation at work, surely it would fit in here :)

Oh and I take no credit for fat bashing. The post title was simply simply a copy of description placed on the photo by the Flickr poster. Nothing like a short and pointed post though. I lose interest pretty quick of seeing the 10 line, 8 link posts that read like mystery novels.
posted by thisisdrew at 9:15 PM on August 2, 2005


As a 115-pound weakling who can't find any fucking pants narrow enough to wear without folding them up under a belt on its smallest notch, I'd like to say...

Fuck all of you fat people.
posted by NickDouglas at 9:23 PM on August 2, 2005


Word, Nick. Add to that a damn sized-7 shoe and I can't even get the pair of shoes I want.
posted by jmd82 at 9:26 PM on August 2, 2005


Let me say though, that when I at first IM'd it to my workmates, we all shouted back and forth about it for what seemed like fifteen minutes, ..how it symbolized so much about our culture

It took me a while to figure out why everyone else was amused by that photo. Now that I do, let me explain.

I grew up in San Diego. That photo is of a San Diego fitness club. It doesnt symbolize anything about the US as a whole but, instead, highlights some quirks of San Diego culture.

First of all, San Diegans, are among the fittest people in the nation. It seems like the whole city is up at 5am, jogging or cycling or surfing or something - many of them pushing large baby carriages. Fitness is a city obsession. So, thats one reason why this photo loses its teeth, so to speak.

Another is that the weather in San Diego is near idyllic. It is sunny almost all year round and you can get through the winter with not more than a sweater. One consequence of this is that San Diego malls are mostly built as outdoor malls. You walk from storefront to storefront in an enclosed but outdoor place. And mall escalators are everywhere, as seen in this picture. Outdoor escalators are extremely common (and not a sure sign this is a hoax as someone else pointed out above)

So, when I saw the pic I see a couple guys who look fairly fit and who probably work out several times a day, instinctively going up yet another outdoor escalator in a mall, a common quirk of San Diego architecture.
posted by vacapinta at 11:26 PM on August 2, 2005


But do they offer a courtesy bus service that will pick you up at your home or office?
posted by PurpleJack at 2:58 AM on August 3, 2005


My toes are too small :(
posted by Satapher at 3:00 AM on August 3, 2005


Tax fat people more, and charge proportionally for the space they take up on public transport...

I'm serious.
posted by catchmurray at 4:56 AM on August 3, 2005


Hey look, more fat bashing. No, of course this isn't a fat bashing thread. I don't see any fat bashing, rudeness of any other kind of bias-related remarks here. Oh no.
posted by kalessin at 5:15 AM on August 3, 2005


P.S. The only reason this kind of post is OK, and that fat bashing is "OK" is that it's a common assumption that people are fat because they're "too lazy" or "too unhealthy" or "too fucked up" in ways that they have direct control over to be thin.

I wouldn't have such problems with this assumption except that it's:
1) debatable,
2) really similar to assumptions that tend to drive other prejudices and biases, and
3) mainly driven by the PR blitz that surrounds the diet industry (because they make so much damn money by convincing us that this next diet really will work), when it's pretty clear that diets don't actually work all that well in the long-term for most people.

But hey, if you want to believe what you want to believe, that's fine too. I'll just keep believing what I believe too... about your MOM.

P.P.S. I won't both furnishing references because this is obviously a flame war, or about to be one.
posted by kalessin at 5:21 AM on August 3, 2005


The escalators were there before it became a gym.

Do I win a prize?
posted by Frasermoo at 5:38 AM on August 3, 2005



posted by parallax7d at 5:48 AM on August 3, 2005


Kalessin: Yeah, obviously no one is fat because they don't get enough physical exercise. And climbing the stairs burns less calories than an escalator. I mean, if those things weren't true, you wouldn't have any problem with this, right?
(And hey, even people who are genetically predisposed to obesity are still fat because they take in more calories than they burn off. Sorry, it's math.)
posted by klangklangston at 6:59 AM on August 3, 2005


That's funny. I could have sworn that the law of entropy (that's physics, by the way) implies that life is not possible (i.e. because of the way it makes order out of chaos).

Similarly, I suspect it may be that the actual context of biology, fitness, fatness (as well as tallness, hairiness, eye color, hair color, etc.) are more complicated than the simple mathematics of calories and calorie use, let alone the simple equation of eating (with the wrong kind of exercise or without the right kind) => fat. If you'd like to bring genetics into it too, you're welcome to, but I should probably point out that even the Human Genome Project isn't done, and that project isn't even about figuring out what genes do what, just where they tend to be in ONE geneset. We are a long way from being able to definitively say that one genetic sequence indicates a causal connection to a certain kind of phenotype.

But like I said, you are totally welcome to believe what you believe. I just think you're being too simplistic and perhaps a little naive.
posted by kalessin at 7:07 AM on August 3, 2005


Is it okay to make fun of fat dogs and cats? Cause I saw this lady walking a dog today that looked like it just ate a couple of bowling balls.
posted by weretable and the undead chairs at 7:12 AM on August 3, 2005


Whatever. I don't have sympathy for overweight people. It's one of the relatively few physical attributes we do have some measure of control over. Yeah, of course there are exceptions, but give me a break. I think I might have mentioned this here before, but I'm a short guy, and comfortable with it, but it has always amazed me how comfortable people are joking with a short guy for being short--height being something we have zero control over. But somehow, calling someone out for being fat is taboo. Funny, isn't it? Why is that?
And I've been on "the internets" for a long, long time, and I hadn't seen this before. If you've seen it, move on. Is it really necessary to play the "I saw this shit back in '98" card?
posted by ghastlyfop at 7:16 AM on August 3, 2005


I'm going to turn the tables on you, ghastlyfop. There is at least one martial art that, if you take it seriously, will teach you how to be 1 to 2 inches taller. It's called Ba Gua Zhang and it's related to Tai Chi. I took it and went from 5'11" to 6'1".

Can I make fun of you for being as short as you are now?
posted by kalessin at 7:27 AM on August 3, 2005


i think it's weird that everyone is making a deal of the large woman letting the toddler have a sip of diet coke. i mean jesus people - judge much?
posted by glenwood at 7:44 AM on August 3, 2005


Go for it, big guy.
And hey, I'll have to look into this Ba Gua Zhang, won't I? Ah, on the other hand, I'm at peace.
posted by ghastlyfop at 7:46 AM on August 3, 2005


I lose interest pretty quick of seeing the 10 line, 8 link posts that read like mystery novels.

I have a website for you.
posted by gramschmidt at 7:59 AM on August 3, 2005


Man I know nobody's going to read this now that it's old and 100+ posts deep, but jesus jumping christ on a pogo stick you guys ....

1) Quit crying about the fact that the picture is "old". I've probably seen 99% of internet memes that have been passed around, and I have either forgotten this one, or never seen it until now. It's not like he posted All Your Base for the 3rd time in a week.

2) Fat bashing? Wah wah wah. The post was just pointing out the hilarity of escalators leading up to a fitness place -- and yes, made a joke about how it isn't real productive for people wanting to get fit to have ESCALATORS leading up to the fitness place. But wake up - he's not REALLY saying "even though they work out after taking the escalator, this really makes them FAT!". Get a damn sense of humor - jokes require stretching reality just a bit sometimes.

3) No. Really. Stop trying to say "you stupid head! escalators don't make people fat!" ... WE KNOW. It's called a joke. Look into it.


I wish we could just get over ourselves and put this political correctness behind us. I think a lot of you need to be strapped to chairs and watch shows like "Mind of Mencia" repeatedly until you finally laugh at the things you know you would be laughing at if you weren't so worried about what the guy next to you might think about you laughing at it...
posted by twiggy at 8:00 AM on August 3, 2005 [1 favorite]


Wah wah. I have no sense of humor.

Q: How many feminists does it take to change a lightbulb?
A: THAT'S NOT FUNNY!
posted by kalessin at 8:09 AM on August 3, 2005


kalessin: You seem to be quite intent on turning this post into a self fulfilling prophecy on fat bashing. Do you have something new to contribute to the whole debate or is this just going to be another tired rehash?

At the moment you seem to be about on the level of someone taking offense because the title of this post was mean about Americans. Do you really want to be that mefite?
posted by hugsnkisses at 8:15 AM on August 3, 2005


About 4 or five times a week, I ride my bike two miles to the Gym, do a few reps with the weight machines, then do the eliptical for about 60-70 minutes, buring over 1000 calories. Then I ride my bike two miles home. I've been losing about 4 pounds a week doing this.

The equipment is on the third floor, and I always take the elevator. I just don't enjoy climing stairs.

---

For those that thought I was referring to the mothers weight, you are mistaken. She's nursing her very young child with soda. Diet or no, this is now okay?

Why not? Its essentially flavored saline.
posted by delmoi at 8:27 AM on August 3, 2005


I thing you've got it all wrong.

The escalators surely go the other direction, so in fact, they provide some extra workout for the people coming in/out.

There is nothing like jogging up the unending flight of stairs in the fresh air whilst conversing with passers-by.
posted by Laotic at 8:39 AM on August 3, 2005


She's nursing her very young child with soda. Diet or no, this is now okay?

i have three kids. sometimes, we are out and about, and i am drinking a diet coke. sometimes, we are not near a fountain and one of my children says "hey, can i have a sip of that?" and yes, i, in my neglectful reckless abandon have been known to oblige my child their sip or two or (*gasp*!) THREE sips of my soda pop.

i just hope i'm never captured on film so the childless, judgemental hipster hordes won't perhaps post a slow motion video with my face grained out and tubular bells from the excorcist playing in the background as i forever poison my offspring in broad daylight...
posted by glenwood at 8:43 AM on August 3, 2005


childless

Why do people with children think that this is the most insulting adjective possible?
posted by gramschmidt at 9:11 AM on August 3, 2005


It's not insulting, gramschmidt, just true, that people without children are often also people who like to tell people with children how to raise their kids.

If people without children were also willing to help care for kids, be understanding about the challenges a parent takes up when negotiating public transit with kids, or were perhaps more supportive abut a person's parental responsibilities conflicting with a person's professional responsibilities, it might go a fair way toward defusing that particular dynamic.

As it is, in an already judgemental thread about exercise and gyms, it probably doesn't help in this context to also snipe at some anonymous mother for doing something that clashes with one's childless sensibilities about how they should be raising their kid.

And no, I don't have children of my own, just lots of friends and relatives who have children.

hugsnkisses: it should be clear by now that I'm the kind of mefite who asks difficult questions and comments on the timbre of the discussion even if it may not be the kind of discussion the original poster was going for.
posted by kalessin at 9:31 AM on August 3, 2005



Why do people with children think that this is the most insulting adjective possible?


If you are referring to me, then that is a really weird way to interpret the post above yours. I was simply surmising that it is perhaps easier for someone without children to say 'tsk tsk' every time they catch someone doing something that in their universe seems questionable but in reality is just an innocuous random happenstance thing (like giving a child a sip of soda).
posted by glenwood at 9:34 AM on August 3, 2005


I hate children, retards, fat people, and blind people. But most of all I hate escalators. Stupid, sexy escalators...
posted by Debaser626 at 9:40 AM on August 3, 2005


Here are some photos of that short escalator at Kawasaki station in Japan. In fact, it's the world's shortest.
posted by armage at 10:00 AM on August 3, 2005


Why would someone even bother making such a short escalator?!?

Also, what's with the humorlessness today?
posted by clevershark at 10:15 AM on August 3, 2005


kalessin is just pissed because I hit the emergency stop buttong on the escalator, and his immense inertia threw him into the steps. He's just lucky it didn't immediately restart and grind him through the teeth at the top.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:24 AM on August 3, 2005


Kalessin is just mad because his blood sugar is low. Better have another Ho-Ho!
(Kalessin, I'm not sure what you thought you were refuting with your blurt about the human genome. In order to gain weight, a person has to consume more calories than they expend. To lose weight, they have to reverse that process. Much like how filling a bucket of water requires putting more water into it than you take out.
But hey, if you'd like to continue to argue that people have no responsibility for their bodies, go for it. It's fun to watch you spaz.)
posted by klangklangston at 10:30 AM on August 3, 2005


Yo, five, nice of you to assume you know what my body weight is based on my posts. No, no prejudice here!

klang, If you really want to keep insisting that the way to gain weight is to eat food, and insist that it's simple as that, I suggest you move to Jupiter. Or did you mean mass? Funny you should mention water, though. :>

In other news, there are other ways to gain weight. For instance, as facile as it is, you can have a large drink of water, which as you know, has no calories, but still adds to your mass (until your body uses the water to excrete or to cool you, anyway).

My blurt was about how the human biology is more complex than adding and subtracting, but if that's all the math you're capable of, I suggest we end this dialogue here, because my point won't be made clear to you no matter how much elementary math we look at. :>
posted by kalessin at 10:38 AM on August 3, 2005


Hi, I don't have anything constructive to add to the conversation, except to say: kalessin, you need to get off your high horse, dude. And, exactly what other ways are there to get fat besides eating...?
posted by Specklet at 11:10 AM on August 3, 2005


People have been known to starve to death at 500+ lbs... Your metabolism is a tricky thing. Most grossly obese peoples' weight is, as Kalessin noted, water retention. Overcoming a food addiction is just as hard as overcoming alchoholism, except the drinker has the luxury of people only pointing and staring when they're drunk, which the target will process through the haze of alchohol, so it really isn't that bad for them. Being severly overweight is an emotionally and physically crushing problem. One which often feeds into itself due to societies response to the appearance of such a person. Of course, society is not necessarily 100% to blame as such an appearance is a significant deviation from the norm. (I'm not talking "clinically obese" which affects millions of people, but "severely obese.)
posted by Debaser626 at 11:29 AM on August 3, 2005


If I arrived at that gym in high heels and a suit, and was carrying a big gym bag, I'd take that escalator for sure.

Taking the escalator or elevator instead of the stairs a couple of times a day is just not, in itself, going to have a huge effect on your weight and level of fitness. What matters more is the total amount of exercise you get in a day, and what you eat.

As for me, I tend to take whatever's fastest, which at work or at home is usually the elevator. In the subway system I often see clogged escalators and empty staircases, so unless I'm in heels and carrying a bunch of stuff, I usually sprint up the stairs.
posted by orange swan at 11:45 AM on August 3, 2005


Hi Specklet, I know it looks like I'm on a high horse, but what I think I'm really doing is treating trolls how they want to treat me, in the fine tradition of USENET.

For real talky, meaningful conversation, I generally go elsewhere. It's really a mug's game trying to change people's minds when they're already set, especially here.

But Debaser626 has some good things to say. The other things to say may be found on the web, and in bookstores, if you keep an open mind, and don't automatically denigrate any argument that doesn't jibe with pro-dieting media.

If you would like more sources, I'm happy to supply them, but not here. Feel free to email me at my gmail account: malcolm dot gin at gmail dot com.
posted by kalessin at 12:21 PM on August 3, 2005


Yo, five, nice of you to assume you know what my body weight is based on my posts. No, no prejudice here!

Yo, dude, I have no idea what you weigh, much less do I even care. I was trolling you, and you took the bait. No surprise there: it was a Hostess Twinkie.
posted by five fresh fish at 12:25 PM on August 3, 2005


That's a big twinkie.
posted by kalessin at 12:54 PM on August 3, 2005


The Michelin Man.
posted by weretable and the undead chairs at 1:30 PM on August 3, 2005


We have been dissed by kalessin. Whatever shall we do. We shall have to try and pick up the pieces of our shattered lives and go on.
posted by clevershark at 1:43 PM on August 3, 2005


Hey, if you need some help, I know this gym you can go to. It's got escalators and everything!
posted by kalessin at 1:50 PM on August 3, 2005


"klang, If you really want to keep insisting that the way to gain weight is to eat food, and insist that it's simple as that, I suggest you move to Jupiter. Or did you mean mass? Funny you should mention water, though. :>"
Ah. I'm sorry, Kalessin, for talking about an Earth-based weight paradigm. I duly apologize to the obese people of Jupiter.
For those of us who are tethered to the terra, there's no way to add intransitory weight to the body without eating more calories than are expended. I realize that you have a pedant's interest in distracting from that, but it's the simple truth.
At least the obese of this world will be heartened when they hear of your plan to ship them to Pluto, where their pounds will melt away.
posted by klangklangston at 3:44 PM on August 3, 2005


Klang is a planetarist. Bastard! When will he understand the inhabitants of Mars should have equal rights?!
posted by five fresh fish at 4:17 PM on August 3, 2005


Hey, when is someone going to mention Hitler? I feel like we're about at the end of useful terran processing here.

Oh shit, I did it.
posted by kalessin at 5:45 PM on August 3, 2005


Don't eat Hitler. He's not kosher.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:51 PM on August 3, 2005


which much to my surprise, has never before been published on a webpage google has tracked. wow.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:53 PM on August 3, 2005


hitler, damned near kill'er!
posted by mcsweetie at 8:23 PM on August 3, 2005


FFF: Well, thin Martians should. To hell with the fatties.
posted by klangklangston at 11:47 PM on August 3, 2005


Tax fat people more, and charge proportionally for the space they take up on public transport...

Shipping by air is expensive. Airlines should charge by the pound, including the weight of everything you carry on, when you ship yourself somewhere. They could advertise prices per pound instead of per seat.
posted by pracowity at 12:31 AM on August 4, 2005


Thank you pracowity - I'm glad someone sees sense.

Why should average sized people bear the burden of other people's greed?

Before everyone jumps down my throat -- I am more than happy to see legitimate ID cards brought in to prove any ailment that may cause obesity, and to have due concessions made.

On the train I take into work each morning, there is a woman who takes up two seats. She doesn't pay any extra, and every day she causes someone who has paid just as much to lose a comfortable place for the journey.

Is this really acceptable? I'm just looking for a genuine incentive for the poor woman I suppose...
posted by catchmurray at 3:48 AM on August 4, 2005


Wow, you really do mean that, don't you?
posted by kalessin at 4:49 AM on August 4, 2005


Wow, this thread is almost dead. But it's too much fun to let die! Stop making excuses, kalessin. Clearly, you have some serious sensitivities about the subject. I really enjoy that any Metafilter thread that even obliquely touches upon the subject of obesity inspires a series of predictably defensive "Oh, really nice, making fun of fat people again" comments from people who are obviously themselves overweight, which then inspires countless knee-jerk responses from people who find this kind of defensive attitude predictable and lazy. Give it up. You can't rationlize gluttonous indulgence. It's just easier to engage in this kind of discussion from the saftey and anonymity of a computer. But it's clear from most people's attitudes, as they're expressed here, what side of the physical divide they're on.
Oh, and catchmurry is 100% spot on, and you know it.
posted by ghastlyfop at 6:58 AM on August 4, 2005


ghastlyfop, shut the fuck up. Don't think I don't know you're not just some 12 year old punk looking for a fight.

To clarify after getting over being gobsmacked, I think what catchmurray just articulated is an example of just how rude, sanctimonious, patronizing and insulting people are comfortable being to and about fat people.

I'm glad that most of us are no longer feeling like it's appropriate to act this way about some other oppressed groups in our society, but it's really disenheartening to see that people in general feel it's okay to say these kinds of things to and about fat people.

I don't care what the reason is. If you think fat people are sick, why is it okay to be so rude and santimonious? Did your mother teach you that it was polite to talk this way to sick people? Do, for instance, disabled people like it when you act this way about them or proffer our opinion about how they're handling their health issues? I would assert that in most places in America, at least, it is commonly considered impolite to go up to a disabled person and scold them for not taking care of themselves properly, especially if you don't know them. Why is it okay to behave this way to a fat person?

If you think fat people are lazy no-goods (a common equation made also to people on welfare in the United States), do you assert that your grandma said it was polite to go up to a person on welfare and tell them that you don't approve of how they're using up your tax dollars that go into welfare? Why is it okay to behave this way to a fat person?

If you think fat people are intentionally driving up your health insurance costs, did your aunt teach you that it's polite to walk up to a person who is smoking, or who is having babies, or who is just randomly going around punching trees and tell them that you don't appreciate how their asses are driving up your health insurance costs? Why is it okay to behave this way to a fat person?

Maybe you think a fat person is fat because he's too insecure about life in general to get over his shit and stop being so offensively fat. Did your big sister teach you that it's polite to walk up to a person who just got out of the therapist's office and tell them to get over their shit and stop dragging everyone else down, and while they're at it, why don't they put more attention and effort into looking good on public streets? So why is it okay to act this way to a fat person?

I don't get why it's okay to behave this way to fat people. I really don't. I don't see what fat people have done to you personally that makes it okay to be this big an asshole to generic fat people you don't know and you don't love and you don't give a shit about except for the fact that maybe she took your seat on the commuter train.

You just got done telling us how eating and lack of exercise makes people fat. So why the hell are you whining at me about some fat person taking your seat so you can't relax and have to stand? Wouldn't standing add to your exercise levels and keep you thin (which apparently is aesthetically pleasing to all right thinking people)?

(this, by the way, will be my last response, and my withdrawal well overdue since I already lost by invoking Godwin's law)
posted by kalessin at 7:06 AM on August 4, 2005


Thank god.
posted by effwerd at 7:14 AM on August 4, 2005


I really do mean it.

Kalessin. The human body is an incredibly complex organism, and science proved that the length of it's natural life is shortened by distending it.

I am not being sanctimonious and I do not pre-conceive any of your suppositions. You don't know what size or shape my body has naturally found itself at (other than it can fit into one seat properly).

Your argument regarding the slim person standing and the fat person sitting is, however, ludicrious -- and I hope I don't sound sanctimonious in saying do. Did you not think of the benefits inherent in exactly the opposite while you were typing?

As I say - some kind of hospital clearance document would clarify whether people are fat through natural physiognomy or greed. Aren't you interested in that for the benefit of our race?
posted by catchmurray at 9:00 AM on August 4, 2005


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