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Shamelessly Courting the Fat Vote
January 7, 2011 9:15 PM   Subscribe

Michelle Obama promotes an anti-obesity campaign, telling her children that "dessert is not a right." Sarah Palin takes a shot at her on a reality show, making s'mores and saying, "This is in honor of Michelle Obama, who said the other day we should not have dessert." There's hooting and hollering from all sides. And then there's this -- is Sarah Palin courting the fat vote?
posted by Cool Papa Bell (248 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

 
Oh goodies, Sarah's back. Grab the popcorn.
posted by Jumpin Jack Flash at 9:18 PM on January 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


that is an interesting plot in the last link.
posted by rebent at 9:20 PM on January 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


The Twinkie Offense
posted by Rhaomi at 9:21 PM on January 7, 2011 [16 favorites]


People don't like being told what to do. What else is new?

(I talk on my cell phone in the car much more now since Oprah started her campaign against it. Just sayin'.)
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 9:23 PM on January 7, 2011 [5 favorites]


As a fat person, I am not convinced. Anyway, she is tapping in to a little nanny state annoyance a lot of parents experience. One of my sisters was complaining to me that her school wouldn't let them bring in cookies or desserts or anything for parties. Palin can be astute like that, she found a little pointless issue that can resonate with average folk, it's what she does.

People really like Michelle Obama though so it was a bad idea anyway.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 9:24 PM on January 7, 2011 [4 favorites]


The GOP is the Party of Fat Cats. Who ever thought they were smart enough not to take it literally?

I can't count the number of times people I met were surprised I was not a Right Wing Wacko just because I outweigh Limbaugh.
posted by oneswellfoop at 9:25 PM on January 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


(I talk on my cell phone in the car much more now [...])

Please tell me you're not serious. That isn't funny.
posted by haltingproblemsolved at 9:25 PM on January 7, 2011 [127 favorites]


[Palin] told Ingraham that the first lady should "get off our back and allow us as individuals to exercise our own God-given rights to make our own decisions."

Your side first.
posted by PlusDistance at 9:26 PM on January 7, 2011 [70 favorites]


I never would have driven drunk if the cops didn't get all preachy about how bad an idea it is.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 9:26 PM on January 7, 2011 [57 favorites]


(I talk on my cell phone in the car much more now since Oprah started her campaign against it. Just sayin'.)
Petty and dangerous? Sign me up!
posted by lumensimus at 9:26 PM on January 7, 2011 [28 favorites]


As much as I love wolves, and bears, and Huskies, and dog sleds, and mountains, and rivers, and beavers, and insects, and tundra, and Northern Exposure, and oil, and wolves, and mountains, and rivers, and the dog sled races , and glaciers, and Huskies, and, the Inuit, if Alaska feel into the sea and took Sarah the Idiot with it, I would breath a sigh of relief.
posted by HuronBob at 9:27 PM on January 7, 2011 [3 favorites]


And then there's this -- is Sarah Palin courting the fat vote?

Well, duh. it's a big demographic.
posted by dunkadunc at 9:28 PM on January 7, 2011 [22 favorites]


feel=fell (at least at 12:27 am it does)
posted by HuronBob at 9:29 PM on January 7, 2011


Maybe it's the seething rage and cynicism with the American political system talking, but goddammit people.

I don't know of any other group on the planet, save the English, that is so fucking adept at doing deliberately short sighted and dangerous things just to show someone who might know better that it's their god given right to ignore reasonable and factually based advice, just to show how independent they are.

We're fucking doomed. Reasonable discourse, such as "Hey kids, eat more fruits and vegetables and less junk food" is now something that CAN BE ARGUED AGAINST IN THE POLITICAL ARENA.

It's the pro puppy mill thing all over again. Or arguing against CHIP, or feeding poor kids.

"Save the poor orphaned blind kids from wild dingos"

"Fuck you egghead, you don't tell me what to do. Let the dingos feast."
posted by Lord_Pall at 9:29 PM on January 7, 2011 [155 favorites]


Alaskans, for the most part, despise Sarah Palin. Have you seen her poll numbers there?

A political party for fat Americans. Perfect. They cling to their guns, religion, and cupcakes.

Also, alia of the bunnies, please don't do that. Do you know the statistics for fatal accidents caused by people who talk on their phone while driving? And hands-free doesn't make it better.
posted by spitbull at 9:30 PM on January 7, 2011 [3 favorites]


People don't like being told what to do.

Which is why Fundamentalist Religion is SO unpopular. Let's face it, if a nice Righty President-or-First Lady started promoting praying twice daily, 99% of the people complaining about Michelle's anti-fattie campaign would be all for it.

As for Oprah, so much of what she promotes is bullshit ("The Secret"? REALLY?!?), that automatically going against her recommendations is just one of the easiest ways to live well.
posted by oneswellfoop at 9:31 PM on January 7, 2011 [6 favorites]


Let me clarify. I don't mind prudent advice. I do mind being treated as if I don't have a brain cell in my head and can't possibly figure out for myself that something might be a bad idea. I suspect I am not by myself in that regard. It's called human nature.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 9:32 PM on January 7, 2011


Obama needs to speak out against suicide.
posted by I love you more when I eat paint chips at 9:32 PM on January 7, 2011 [77 favorites]


Sarah Palin is courting money and nothing else. She doesn't care about the presidency, she's making out like a bandit. Her ship has come in and it's more the HMS Liberal Outrage than anything else at this point.

tl;dr obvious troll is obvious.
posted by Trochanter at 9:34 PM on January 7, 2011 [7 favorites]


And oh, that graph from the last link (liberalcurmudgeon) deserves to go viral. It sums up America in a glance. Talk about a picture worth a thousand calories words.
posted by spitbull at 9:34 PM on January 7, 2011 [3 favorites]


Before we get a good two minutes hate going, it should be pointed out that Sarah Palin is incredibly unpopular, and is losing support, especially among the Republican establishment.

She is a clown, and can safely be ignored, which we should try to do as much as possible.
posted by empath at 9:35 PM on January 7, 2011 [8 favorites]


"Conservative Suicide (Don't Do It)"?
posted by Bromius at 9:35 PM on January 7, 2011 [10 favorites]


All this patriotism is going straight to my thighs.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 9:36 PM on January 7, 2011 [16 favorites]


It's just a snide little dig on Palin's part, nothing more. She's petty and utterly classless. When people are so partisan that an effort to do something so entirely reasonable about childhood obesity is used as an opportunity to insult and demean...well, I don't know why I'm surprised but it's almost like these people want to be despised.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 9:36 PM on January 7, 2011 [14 favorites]


She is a clown, and can safely be ignored, which we should try to do as much as possible.
Which is why I flagged this post as "Breaks the Guidelines", because there should be a formal guideline against posts about self-promoting Reality TV pseudo-celebrities, and Snooki Palin and Oprah Hilton are two of the worst.

And when one of my neighbors gives me a ride, I make sure they never talk on their phones... by constantly engaging them in converstation. At least the person on the other side of your phone call never yells: "HEY, LOOK AT THAT ON THE SIDE OF THE ROAD".
posted by oneswellfoop at 9:38 PM on January 7, 2011


"She is a clown, and can safely be ignored, which we should try to do as much as possible."

Yeah, I know, but she is so fucking annoying and annoying, and, well, annoying... she's hard to ignore...

a big enough chainsaw and Alaska would be floating towards Russia...just sayin'
posted by HuronBob at 9:39 PM on January 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


Just say no.
posted by MrMoonPie at 9:39 PM on January 7, 2011


And let's face it, any MeFi thread in which I make four comments on a late Friday night is OBVIOUSLY worthless.
posted by oneswellfoop at 9:39 PM on January 7, 2011 [3 favorites]


Michelle Obama announces "I like my nose" campaign; hacksaw sales skyrocket.
posted by boo_radley at 9:40 PM on January 7, 2011 [31 favorites]


Perhaps a bit of a derail, and for that I apologize, but as I was reading the first page of the first link the first image kept flashing at me, making me angrier and angrier. Here she is, the first lady of the US, and this damn-fine-about-time program and no one could even bother to photoshop out her thigh-high stockings that seem to have slipped and bagged to right above her knees?!? Really?

And then I realized that my First Lady Style-o-meter needs to be calibrated because she is, in actuality, wearing a pair of soft suede knee-high high-heeled boots.

The rest of the links are completely what I expected. But the photoshop gaffe was going to be too much for me.

This is a really great program and it is just a shame that the right, especially the "aw-shucks-just-us-conservative-folks" would eschew vegetables, options to sweets, too much sugar, and the patriotic healthfulness of a controlled diet. Seems there was a time when a real conservative looked on himself more like an American Cicero. This has all gotten so twisted and silly.
posted by Tchad at 9:42 PM on January 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


"thibs ib whag our forefabber woulb wannng" said a newly noseless Palin. "I abgree", said Sean Habbity, gouts of blood streaming down his face, "I don'b eben rebeber wha by node loogs libe, an' thab's goog for Aberigga!"
posted by boo_radley at 9:43 PM on January 7, 2011 [43 favorites]


@Tchad: Boots?
posted by furiousxgeorge at 9:47 PM on January 7, 2011


Aw, come on, Glenn Beck looks like he cut off his nose YEARS ago.

The GOP: Cutting Off Its Nose To Spite YOUR Face Since 1980.

I'm having too much fun shitting on this thread, but Palin AND Oprah... add Steve Jobs and you have MY filthy rich asshole trifecta.
posted by oneswellfoop at 9:47 PM on January 7, 2011


Ahh, didn't get past first paragraph before I looked at the link, lol.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 9:47 PM on January 7, 2011


Actually I hope Michelle Obama adopts the same attitude: "Oh, you don't think I should try to educate and help people? Well fuck you! I'm going to do it twice as much!"
posted by ghharr at 9:48 PM on January 7, 2011 [6 favorites]


And don't think Apple isn't taking Sarah's side on this issue. Jobs may get his ass fat surgically removed every three weeks, but have you SEEN how obese the Angry Birds are?!? Coincidence? I think not!
posted by oneswellfoop at 9:49 PM on January 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


(I talk on my cell phone in the car much more now since Oprah started her campaign against it. Just sayin'.)

I saw some idiot babbling on her cell phone while driving hit a little girl. Just sayin'! :) *wink*
posted by kittens for breakfast at 9:51 PM on January 7, 2011 [20 favorites]


On the nanny state food topic...epic Daily Show takedown on the Happy Meal ban. This is one of the reasons Palin is latching on to the issue. It's an area where liberals are honestly being idiots.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 9:57 PM on January 7, 2011 [5 favorites]


"I don'b eben rebeber wha by node loogs libe, an' thab's goog for Aberigga!"
posted by boo_radley

WATCH THE BODIES HIT DA FOUR
hit da four
hit da four

posted by clavdivs at 10:02 PM on January 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


who the fuck is glenn beck and why does he annoy and i have no idea why other then picture I saw and what it says.
posted by clavdivs at 10:04 PM on January 7, 2011


If it makes you feel any better, Kittens, I don't really talk THAT much more on the phone. But I used to never do it at all.

Maybe that makes me a bad person. But I still think my main point stands, re human nature.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 10:06 PM on January 7, 2011


Before we get a good two minutes hate going, it should be pointed out that Sarah Palin is incredibly unpopular, and is losing support, especially among the Republican establishment.

She is a clown, and can safely be ignored, which we should try to do as much as possible.


At present I think she'll be a good foil for whoever the real GOP candidate is. If Palin actually runs for the nomination -- and let's be honest here, she'll do it if she thinks it'll help her career after the election; even a dim, delusional person like Palin must know she wouldn't win -- the real GOP candidate will use her to make himself look reasonable and intelligent in comparison, and then go to her for an endorsement, which she'll probably grant, although she's awfully petty, so it's tough to say for sure. Point being, she may be a clown, but she's not irrelevant.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 10:08 PM on January 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


Look, everyone's fat now because everyone's stopped smoking. FACT.
posted by Kloryne at 10:10 PM on January 7, 2011 [16 favorites]


If it makes you feel any better, Kittens, I don't really talk THAT much more on the phone. But I used to never do it at all.

I actually get this, because I hate the whole smug, patronizing nanny-state tone, too. But in all seriousness adopting a behavior just to be contrary is kinda childish, and this one really is potentially very dangerous -- to you, to whoever is on the other side of you, and most importantly, not in any way to Oprah Winfrey, who will continue to stride like a mighty, eternally scolding-nagging-car-giving-away-ing colossus over every media platform whether you crash your car right this minute or live another seventy-five years in perfect health and safety. So seriously, because I know you don't want to be the person picking a kid's hair out of the impact point on your windshield one day, just don't do it anymore. This is a real thing.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 10:13 PM on January 7, 2011 [45 favorites]


Interesting. I'd've thought that a parent telling her children "dessert is not a right" is exactly the kind of disciplined authority conservatives could get behind. I'd also have thought that doing something wrong merely to spite another was the kind of childish behaviour conservatives would deplore. St Alia, are you sure you're conservative?
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 10:16 PM on January 7, 2011 [11 favorites]


but spleen, a liberal did it.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 10:19 PM on January 7, 2011 [3 favorites]


Maybe that makes me a bad person.

Deliberately making yourself more likely to destroy property and injure or kill other people simply because you resent somebody who advocates against doing it? Gee, let me get my moral calculator and do the math.

I mean, you understand that in terms of increased risk of accidents, talking on your phone has right around the same increase in risk as driving drunk, right?
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:23 PM on January 7, 2011 [22 favorites]


I think Michelle Obama is a fantastic parent. To HER children.

But in all seriousness, aside from the fact we all need to lay off the cheeseburgers, her efforts would be better served by pushing for more physical education-and yes, a real recess-in the public schools along with edible lunches in the school cafeterias. Some of the stuff I hear about lately such as banning all sweets on school property, is overkill. It is not the job of government to be our mommy and daddy.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 10:25 PM on January 7, 2011


This is such a stupid issue that I feel stupider thinking about it. Can we please focus on real things instead of stupid things? That's about as eloquent as I can get right now.
posted by spiderskull at 10:25 PM on January 7, 2011 [7 favorites]


(I talk on my cell phone in the car much more now since Oprah started her campaign against it. Just sayin'.)


Say, where do I know you from?

posted by ricochet biscuit at 10:30 PM on January 7, 2011 [5 favorites]


Pope Guilty, please do not miss my point. I am not saying that my doing this is a good thing. I'm simply using myself as an example of how human nature operates.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 10:30 PM on January 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


Some of the stuff I hear about lately such as banning all sweets on school property, is overkill.

[CITATION NEEDED]
posted by auto-correct at 10:31 PM on January 7, 2011 [4 favorites]


When was the last time Michelle Obama cooked dinner? Back before her husband sold his book and they hired a chef? During the campaign, her cause was military families, and then fat kids became the First Lady issue. Politics.
posted by Ideefixe at 10:33 PM on January 7, 2011


St. Pauls school district.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 10:34 PM on January 7, 2011


I am not saying that my doing this is a good thing. I'm simply using myself as an example of how human nature operates.

So you're saying that the First Lady shouldn't try to get kids to eat healthy because it will make adults do irresponsible things to spite her?
posted by auto-correct at 10:34 PM on January 7, 2011 [24 favorites]


I am saying that the job of feeding children belongs to the parents of those children, and not the First Lady.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 10:35 PM on January 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


Mock me all you want. You know perfectly well that none of you like being told what to do either.

And now I am going to end this because it is getting late and I am going to the gym in the morning. Because I know it is good for me. NOT because the government in its infinite wisdom is pushing it down my throat.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 10:37 PM on January 7, 2011


And what's with Nancy Reagan? I'LL decide if my kids say 'NO!' to drugs or not.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 10:38 PM on January 7, 2011 [36 favorites]


St. Pauls school district.

I hadn't heard about that. Hardly a federal matter, though? Seemed like it was decided by the local school board:

Superintendent Valeria Silva, who was hired a year ago, decided to take action after a study determined 40 percent of St. Paul's fourth-graders, most of whom are poor and minority, are obese.
posted by auto-correct at 10:39 PM on January 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


This courtship won't work. Most Republicans are in denial, and they vote for the party of wealth because their ego's can't allow the emotional pain of admitting that the American dream was highly selective and they were duped. Overtly courting an overweight person would need to be based on a discrimination that doesn't exist. On the other hand, the first political party that cynically points the finger and blames excess weight for all of the nations problems will gain a huge following of overweight people, because of the guilt trip.
posted by Brian B. at 10:40 PM on January 7, 2011


Palin better be drinking 2 litres of coke a day and not sneaking in any excercise, or there'll be trouble when she's found out.
posted by Artw at 10:40 PM on January 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


"I do more X now that someone disapproves of X, just sayin'" is too fucking retarded to even begin dealing with it.

There is just no hope that this society is going to survive its stunning, vapid stupidity.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:40 PM on January 7, 2011 [6 favorites]


LET'S STOP TALKING ABOUT ST. ALIA'S DRIVING HABITS, RECKLESS THOUGH THEY MAY BE
posted by shakespeherian at 10:43 PM on January 7, 2011 [29 favorites]


I see you are rebelling against politically correct speech there, friend.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 10:43 PM on January 7, 2011


contemplates minting a St. Alia of the Bunnies medallion.
because i had a mcdonalds double cheese burger two days ago, the first in 16 months.
a further 16 month test resumes.

michelle, try fasting and martial arts you cow
posted by clavdivs at 10:47 PM on January 7, 2011


the government is plotting to make you slimmer
posted by clavdivs at 10:48 PM on January 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


LET'S STOP TALKING ABOUT ST. ALIA'S DRIVING HABITS, RECKLESS THOUGH THEY MAY BE


Now I just want to talk about them MORE.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 10:49 PM on January 7, 2011 [71 favorites]


You know, my father has in his back yard a tool shed, filled with hammers and drills and saws and the like. Collected over a lifetime, he used to carry many of them around in an old VW bus in a big wooden crate with drawers and hatches that filled most of the back of it. I remember, as a kid of about five, riding around on top of that thing on the way to or from some place. He still has many of those tools, grown rich and wise with the years of experience. Sometimes I have to go back there and address the mute tools and ask them aloud, "What is it, the nature of the tool? This condition of toolness, the state of being an instrument to be used by others. What is it like?"

Of course, the question is rhetorical. Tools can't talk. Or at least I thought they couldn't, until I saw St. Alia's comments here, so I have to say her words give me some hope.

SUMMARY: Michelle Obama isn't slapping your hand from your kid's mouth goddammit. We're not talking legislation here.
posted by JHarris at 10:52 PM on January 7, 2011 [26 favorites]


go ahead because i dont have to go to the gym.
posted by clavdivs at 10:52 PM on January 7, 2011


I remember when Kennedy started his fitness program and millions of parents refused to allow their children even to move, because fuck that guy, it's the job of a parent to decide for their child how weak and helpless they will be, and no government is going to offer any good advice. Not on my watch, mister.
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:57 PM on January 7, 2011 [12 favorites]


Anyhow, it's my great hope that the dessert wars will replace the Christmas wars in cultural importance. Because really, why have something dumb we can only fight about for a month or so out of the year when we can have something dumb to fight about all the time?

"Stop shoving your cake down my throat, you dessert Nazi!"/ "You can pry the last slice of pie from my cold, dead, fat hands!" It'll be great, I promise.
posted by wandering steve at 10:59 PM on January 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


Remember after September 11th when Bush told everyone to go out and shop and the economy immediately collapsed?
posted by shakespeherian at 11:00 PM on January 7, 2011 [3 favorites]


yes, "collapse into cool"
posted by clavdivs at 11:03 PM on January 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


Not on my watch, mister.
thats what bobby said.
posted by clavdivs at 11:05 PM on January 7, 2011


Palin sounds like she's just trying to be funny, and failing hard.

I'm not amused...but that's probably because all politically-based humor has always been severely unfunny to me. I can't laugh at punchlines I can already predict.
posted by The ____ of Justice at 11:11 PM on January 7, 2011


I talk on my cell phone in the car much more now since Oprah started her campaign against it. Just sayin'.

How old are you? Grow up.
posted by dirigibleman at 11:21 PM on January 7, 2011 [8 favorites]


I am saying that the job of feeding children belongs to the parents of those children, and not the First Lady.

But see, this is why she and Oprah have to do this shit in order for us to incrementally change our ways. Who else do we listen to? Our doctors? Seriously? How often do we see them -- those of us who have health insurance? Do we all read medical journals on a monthly basis? Is that where we learn what's good for us? How do we learn what's good for our kids? How do we learn how to feed them?

We don't. We don't learn. It's not taught. We absorb information, little by little. Some of it good, most of it bad. We know what the school feeds them -- chicken nuggets, and hamburgers, and hot dogs, and frozen pizzas, and frozen vegetables, and the token bagged salad with fatty dressing, and corn and its byproducts. And that has to be okay for them, right? We know what TV commercials tell us -- "XYZ brand cereal has 100% of vitamin Q" (but hey, the commercials don't mention how much sugar or fat or fucking processed carbs are in each serving). We know what's cheap, or what's on sale, and we know what will keep us from going broke. We know that stopping at McDonald's, or some other fast food restaurant, will fill their bellies and shut them up on the drive home without emptying the wallet or filling up our own precious apres-work winding-down time with chopping and sauteeing and plating.

So where the hell else are we supposed to hear what's good for our kids? Who are we supposed to hear it from? Our mothers? My mother fed me cream-soup casseroles because those were considered balanced and hearty. For one whole month in the 80s, we had this diet that largely consisted of microwaved hot dogs and boiled carrots. She was trying to do right by the kids and by my dad's cholesterol. She was making 'smart' decisions without listening to the government. My partner's dad, a doctor and a health nut, once fed them a breakfast of oatmeal made with Gatorade and kidney beans. That's healthy, right?

So who ARE we supposed to listen to? And by 'we,' I don't mean Metafilter -- we're smart. I mean the rest of the first worlders [I'd actually like to limit it to Americans here, but I don't know if it's accurate] who'd rather save five minutes on meal preparation than five pounds on their kids over the course of the year. Where do we get our info?

The truth is, it has to come from multiple sources. It can't all come from medical journals. It can't all come from our doctors. It can't all come from food packaging. If it all comes from the always-competing Associated Press reports about what's good for us today and what's bad for us tomorrow, we're screwed.

So if some of it comes from Oprah Winfrey or Michelle Obama, if they and their press machines can manage to make us learn one more little thing about what's good for us and bad for us -- something even COOKIE MONSTER already knows -- where is the harm in that?

Let's drop the fucking politics and take care of our own already.
posted by mudpuppie at 11:22 PM on January 7, 2011 [62 favorites]


politically-based humor has always been severely unfunny to me.

Dr. Mark Russel always has the cure for that ailment!

"You've got the brain-washed, that's the Republicans, and the brain-dead, that's the Democrats!"


Oh, mercy!
posted by Trochanter at 11:24 PM on January 7, 2011


Mock me all you want. You know perfectly well that none of you like being told what to do either.

Campaigns to enlighten and address issues aren't the same as "being told what to do." Look at the incredibly successful anti-smoking campaign. I can't remember the last time I saw a smoker. If this level of activism existing thirty years ago I'd have more living family members.

Again, religion is "being told what to do" and Americans, pardon the pun, eat that shit up. It turns out lots of people like being told what to do.

The real issue here is not "doing what you are told" but deciding to who to listen to. Surprise surprise, loudmouth Republicans don't want to take advice from a Democratic First Lady. Or accept evolution. Or global warming. The politicization of everything shouldn't be defended, it should be seen as democracy gone bad.
posted by damn dirty ape at 11:28 PM on January 7, 2011 [31 favorites]


Mock me all you want. You know perfectly well that none of you like being told what to do either.

I don't go around lobotomizing children because Laura Bush thinks they should read more. You, on the other hand, have decided to deliberately endanger yourself and others because someone on the other side of the political spectrum took up an otherwise uncontroversial cause.

Grow. Up.
posted by dirigibleman at 11:36 PM on January 7, 2011 [23 favorites]


You know perfectly well that none of you like being told what to do either.

I don't like being told my partner and I don't deserve to have human rights by Palin and her followers.

In her shoes, in her follower's shoes, I might try doing a little self-reflection on the subject matter before opening my mouth, perhaps.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:49 PM on January 7, 2011 [15 favorites]


[Palin] told Ingraham that the first lady should "get off our back and allow us as individuals to exercise our own God-given rights to make our own decisions."

I'm absolutely certain that when she said this, somewhere in the world, the head of a drug-legalization advocate exploded.

St. Alia of the Bunnies: People don't like being told what to do. What else is new?

You know, from previous conversations with you, I'm almost certain you're a republican, or at least a conservative. Yet, you seem to not like authoritarianism. How do you reconcile that?
posted by Mitrovarr at 12:00 AM on January 8, 2011 [7 favorites]


Oh goodies, Sarah's back. Grab the popcorn.

I don't know. I'm kind of craving a big slice of cake or pie now. Maybe two slices, or one of each. And some ice cream if there's any left, that stuff with the little peanut butter cups in it. Or a cookie. And a cookie, I mean. No, wait, there's brownies. I could make a sundae, but only the small mixing bowl is clean. Wait, I'll just use the baking pan and the rest of the brownies. Let's start with some chocolate syrup, ok, then the ice cream, and a slice of cake and a sliver more cake. Now some more ice cream and syrup, and I can crumble some cookies on that with some chopped walnuts. I wonder if peanut butter will pour if I nuke it? It does! Now just a couple of spoonfuls of jam, and some whipped cream and 3, no 4 cherries. Argh, I should have used the mixing bowl. Now where'd I put that big wooden spoon?

What? Do you want one or something?
posted by loquacious at 12:16 AM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


How do you reconcile that?

That would require thinking about it. Most people don't do that about their "core" beliefs.
posted by maxwelton at 12:19 AM on January 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


I think it's Michelle Obama's god-given right to tell schoolchildren to eat healthy food and do more excercise.
posted by sour cream at 12:22 AM on January 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


People don't like being told what to do. What else is new?

But I guess it's okay to tell people what NOT to do? It's fine to tell women they can NOT have abortions, and cancer patients can NOT have marijuana, and gays and lesbians can NOT marry their partners? Because those are all planks in your party's political platform, and you presumably support the enforcement of all such bans for all Americans, no?
posted by scody at 12:32 AM on January 8, 2011 [34 favorites]


When that bastard Arnold Schwarzenegger was on the President's Council for Physical Fitness, telling us all to eat healthy and do a pull up, my response was to stuff ho-ho's into my gaping maw and let every muscle in my body go slack for months at a time. Take that, you jackbooted Austrian do-gooder!

I have contracted with a piano moving company in the event of my untimely demise.
posted by benzenedream at 12:38 AM on January 8, 2011 [4 favorites]


More recess would be a better idea -- it should be legally mandated that children have 2 or more hours of just play during the school day. They have their whole lives to master stupid standardised tests -- playing and running about is the really important thing for them to grow up healthy. The idea that some schools don't have any recess -- it's criminal.

And I'm saying this as the kid who spent 1/2 her reccesses sitting in the only dry corner reading her book. 'Course, maybe if I'd had less Tamora Pierce and more tetherball, I wouldn't be fat today.
posted by jb at 12:47 AM on January 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


i'm skinny, pro-dessert, and i vote.
posted by rainperimeter at 12:50 AM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


St Alia: I do mind being treated as if I don't have a brain cell in my head and can't possibly figure out for myself that something might be a bad idea.

You do know that the Let's Move initiative is not directed at you personally, don't you? You know its website is merely a one-stop resource that makes it easier for people to figure out for themselves about 1. healthy eating and physical activity and 2. how to get more of both into their lives...right? You know that many adults and children in this country have far less exposure and access to such information than to 24/7 ads, peers, and corporate sponsorships promoting junk food and sitting around, don't you? You resent this particular option for accessing this information, fine. Is it so difficult to respect the possibility that many people, unlike you, would not take its existence as a personal affront to their intelligence and would, in fact, find it helpful to have this one more option to draw on?

Hey cool, it links to the National Wildlife Federation site, which has a tool for finding out about local opportunities for outdoor recreation. I am happy to know about this.
posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 12:59 AM on January 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


What? Do you want one or something?
thanks, you just gave me the munchies, and I haven't smoked dope in at least a damn decade.
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 1:10 AM on January 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


Here's some crazy stats:

Our thinnest state in 2010 was Colorado (19.1 percent obese).
In 1991, no state had an obesity rate above 20 percent and only four states were above 15 percent.
In 1980, the national average of obese adults was 15 percent.

So, yeah, I don't mind Cookie Monster telling kids cookies are a "sometimes" food and I don't mind the First Lady telling her children dessert is not a right.
posted by sharkfu at 1:14 AM on January 8, 2011 [5 favorites]


As an outsider observer on US politics: currently there is an intelligent, black, democrat president. There's probably some serious money riding on the next swing being towards a dumb, female republican.
posted by iotic at 1:26 AM on January 8, 2011


St. Alia, I've appreciated your contributions in the past. But if you're going to argue that you have the right to drive while doing something that makes it more likely that you'll kill someone. . .

Then may God keep you away from my loved ones.
posted by nicething at 1:32 AM on January 8, 2011 [7 favorites]


Oh and: Hawiian vs Alaskan, heh
posted by iotic at 1:32 AM on January 8, 2011


If it makes you feel any better, Kittens, I don't really talk THAT much more on the phone. But I used to never do it at all.

Maybe that makes me a bad person.


I like getting a blow job while I'm driving.

I don't get them all that often these days, but I never used to get them at all.

Pretty sure that doesn't make me a bad person though, even if I do happen to mow down a couple of kids while my concentration is less than optimal.

The job of getting my dick sucked belongs to me, not to law enforcement officers.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 1:36 AM on January 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


sharkfu wrote: "Here's some crazy stats:

Our thinnest state in 2010 was Colorado (19.1 percent obese).
In 1991, no state had an obesity rate above 20 percent and only four states were above 15 percent.
In 1980, the national average of obese adults was 15 percent."

Yes but in 1998, the definition of obesity was changed. Millions of people suddenly became classified as obese without gaining an ounce.

From http://econlog.econlib.org/GQE/gqe142.html:

"According to a food industry spokesman, obesity has been redefined more than it has increased.

In 1998, the U.S. Government changed the standards by which body mass index is measured. As a result, close to 30 million Americans were shifted from a government-approved weight to the overweight and obese category, without gaining an ounce, Burrita said.

William Quick adds this analysis:

According to an American Medical Association report, 14.5 % of Americans in 1980 were obese, a total of 32,700,000 (based on a population of 226,000,000). If, as the above article states, the numbers of obese Americans have "doubled" in the past twenty years, this would mean there are now about 66 million of them. But thirty million of those fatties were created by a change in definition, so by the standards of 1980 [we would calculate an] obesity percentage of 12.85 percent, an actual decrease in obesity percentage since 1980. "
posted by parrot_person at 1:44 AM on January 8, 2011 [6 favorites]


On the nanny state food topic...epic Daily Show takedown on the Happy Meal ban. This is one of the reasons Palin is latching on to the issue. It's an area where liberals are honestly being idiots.
I don't see the problem here. Packaging toys with shit food is clear-cut marketing to children, something we banned cigarette companies from doing without much fuss. How is this different?
posted by cj_ at 1:47 AM on January 8, 2011 [4 favorites]


Also, congratulations on making this yet another thread about you, St. Alia. It's been too long.
posted by cj_ at 1:47 AM on January 8, 2011 [4 favorites]


Has anyone else noticed how quiet Ann Coulter's gone since Sarah Palin has come onto the scene?

This is Republican Highlander: There Can Be Only One high profile Republican extremist woman saying overtly dumb, destructive things to the sheepish masses and stoking the fires of liberal outrage.
posted by MuffinMan at 2:00 AM on January 8, 2011 [6 favorites]


Holier than thou cows.
posted by pianomover at 2:47 AM on January 8, 2011


I'm trying to remember the last time I chose to do something simply to be defiant to some 'opinion leader' saying I should be doing something else. I can't. Yes, it's "human nature" but it isn't even acting of your own free will. You are, in a perverse way, letting other people tell you what to do. I joked earlier in the thread that if you consistently did the opposite of what Oprah recommends, you'd be doing the right thing more often than not. But you would still be letting Oprah control you, EXACTLY the same as the Oprah Cultists who do everything she DOES recommend.

Free will. It's just too damned complicated for some people. ESPECIALLY for the willfully ignorant and pathological liars who call themselves Freedom Lovers.
posted by oneswellfoop at 3:00 AM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm simply using myself as an example of how human nature operates.

A cautionary example, I think it's called.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 3:16 AM on January 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


DON'T TELL ME WHAT I CAN'T DO!!!
posted by zardoz at 3:51 AM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


I think we should ignore all the political, partisan nonsense and instead focus on the very real issue that has been raised here:

Sarah Palin wants your children to die.
posted by kyrademon at 4:03 AM on January 8, 2011 [8 favorites]


I don't think this is a political thing. People seem to be genetically bred to despise control of what they eat and how they get from A to B. This is the same in the UK. You've only got to see the likes of Jeremy Clarkson decrying speed cameras or parents having a go at Jamie Oliver for trying to make our young eat good food at school.

I also wonder how much of the obesity crisis is due to an increase in processed fats and sugars. You can tell people to exercise as much as you want, but if it's our food that's making us ill then something needs to happen there as well.

St Alia: I can totally see what you were trying to say. People do rebel against being told what to do by authority figures. However, I wonder if you actually are just noticing yourself using the phone while driving now.
posted by seanyboy at 4:11 AM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


People seem to be genetically bred to despise control of what they eat and how they get from A to B.

I reject this thesis outright. At least in the United States, a certain segment of the population is more than happy to be "told what to do" -- as long as the person doing the telling is a "Christian" and not a godforsaken Liberal. This is more about who is doing the telling than the telling itself.
posted by cj_ at 4:26 AM on January 8, 2011 [4 favorites]


Dessert should be banned. I don't approve of desserts. I find them unsavoury.
posted by Decani at 4:28 AM on January 8, 2011 [12 favorites]


The Ultimate Authority laid down ten rules. My reaction is always to go rape the neighbors wife and livestock. I'm a rebel that way. You betcha!

It occurs to me that the two most powerful people in the USA are black: Obama and Oprah. Telling us what to do! That must chaff a lot of asses. No wonder people don't respect the law any more. Just sayin'!
posted by five fresh fish at 4:29 AM on January 8, 2011


My first look at the "linear regression" of red state v. obesity is No freakin' way.

1.) Red v. Blue is shallow analysis--compare the purple by precinct and stretched and squeezed for population maps to see how damn dumb it is.

2.) That line through that scatter of points has little to no predictive value (Probablility in my estimation that it has no predictive value > .95).

It is crackpot logic stacked on top of bad method.

Oprah is fatter than Rush. <- this is the level of the "thought".
posted by bukvich at 4:40 AM on January 8, 2011


Reading this thread derail about cell phone use while driving has had one interesting side effect. It has connected this issue of individual freedom from government interference with driving. (Despite the fact it started with food).

Which has made me think: What is Sarah Palin's opinion on seat belts and could a member of the national media please ask her this question in a public forum, for the record? At the very least, keep the question in your back pocket and feel free to use it at a more strategic time, like a debate.

Because this attitude reminds me a lot of outrage that I used to hear from conservatives 20 years ago or so: "The government has no right to make me wear a seat belt". Makes me think that Michelle Obama's next initiative should be a national campaign on seat belt safety.

posted by jeremias at 4:43 AM on January 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


You've only got to see the likes of Jeremy Clarkson decrying speed cameras

Sure, but then you can also see lots of middle-aged men who want to break the speed limit repeating his words verbatim. It's not, I think, that people object to being told what to do so much as they object to being told to do things they don't want to do, or not to do things they want to do. Being a rebel on behalf of the status quo is a pretty profitable niche.
posted by DNye at 4:59 AM on January 8, 2011


They cling to their guns, religion, and cupcakes.

Republican hipsters?
posted by acb at 5:20 AM on January 8, 2011


I only eat Ding Dongs with my right hand.
posted by Sailormom at 5:27 AM on January 8, 2011


You know, this thread wouldn't be about Alia if we all decided it shouldn't be.
posted by Astro Zombie at 5:46 AM on January 8, 2011 [10 favorites]


Because this attitude reminds me a lot of outrage that I used to hear from conservatives 20 years ago or so: "The government has no right to make me wear a seat belt".

Yes, this also reminded me of when my state was about to pass its relatively tame seat belt law. People were calling into the local wingnut radio station basically screaming that it was their right as an American to go head first through a windshield.

Has anyone else noticed how quiet Ann Coulter's gone since Sarah Palin has come onto the scene?

They don't really speak to the same audience, do they? Coulter seemed to consider herself a bit of an intellectual who could nicely articulate deceptively logical arguments about the issues. Palin seems to be almost proud of her stupidity. Supposedly that makes her seem more in touch with the so-called "average person". Coulter has never had that kind of appeal (not that she ever intended to have it).
posted by fuse theorem at 5:46 AM on January 8, 2011


cj_ You misread what I said. I think some people like to be told what to do, but for some reason this doesn't seem to reach as far as diet or mode of transport.

On reflection though, and with the help of comments from DNye and jeremias, I think that what we're looking at here has roots in a fear of change. If this is the case, then it makes sense that the people who fear change the most are those that would fight against Michelle Obama's "nannying". i.e. People on the political right.

I'm digressing, but if fear of change, (or just plain fear) is what separates the left from the right, then it explains why people tend towards the right as they get older. It also hints that we really need left and right in any society, and power should be swapped periodically between the two sides in order to keep society from going drug-crazy / killing everyone who looks a little different.
posted by seanyboy at 5:49 AM on January 8, 2011


Astro Zombie: It wouldn't all be about her either if we didn't start screaming "THE WITCH IS WRONG, THE WITCH IS WRONG. LOOK SHE IS MAKING ME ANGRY AGAIN" and making veiled accusations of racism.

It would have been perfectly possible to have the exact same conversation with anyone else without derailing into the acceptability of one members right to express opinion. It's a shame people have to be so awful because they just don't like her.
posted by seanyboy at 5:54 AM on January 8, 2011 [4 favorites]


Remember back in 2008, when Obama was asked what people could do to conserve energy? One of the suggestions he made was keeping your tires inflated to improve your gas mileage. For about a week, the McCain campaign treated it like it was the biggest gaffe since "Macaca." They mocked the idea that you'd want to keep your tires inflated properly, even passing out pressure gauges at McCain rallies for people to wave over their heads when McCain referenced the ludicrous liberal idea that tires should have enough air in them.

I'm starting to think that was the exact moment when conservatism jumped the shark. Properly pressurized tires, eating healthy food, and apparently, not dying in a fireball because you're too stupid to hang up your cell phone while you're driving are all partisan liberal positions now. If I were Obama, I'd be tempted to ask people not to jump off of bridges in the middle of the State of the Union.
posted by EarBucket at 6:03 AM on January 8, 2011 [29 favorites]


Mock me all you want. You know perfectly well that none of you like being told what to do either you know perfectly well or what you like.
FTFY!

I think the more childish problem in conservative politics right now (though the "YOU CAN'T TELL ME WHAT TO DO!" phenomena is deliciously so) is the constant expression that disagreement with something (like unhealthy eating) or criticism of something (like someone's comments) is equivalent to subverting someone's free will or free speech.
posted by activitystory at 6:09 AM on January 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


Back on topic.

Another thing that weirds me out about this is that fat people (and children) know they're fat. They know the need to do more exercise. And parents know that if they have fat children, that they primarily are to blame for the obesity. I wonder if the solution to this problem isn't education (apart from what is currently there), but is something else.

I actually fear that in this modern age, with it's easy access to high calorie food, the only way to stop obesity would be to try and implement measures that are so draconian and authoritarian that no democratic society could ever hope to get those measures past it's increasingly corpulent voting population.

Or shame. Maybe public shaming (Biggest Loser anyone) would work.
posted by seanyboy at 6:10 AM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Republicans are all petulant five year olds playing grownup.
posted by octothorpe at 6:11 AM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Can't remember where I read it, or who said, but this whole thread is as good a demonstration as I've seen of it: the problem with the Republicans is that they are totalitarians when in power, and anarchists when out of power.
posted by Ipsifendus at 6:14 AM on January 8, 2011 [13 favorites]


Buy which I mean: That's not particularly helpful. I think we can discuss the political ramifications of obesity management without name calling.
posted by seanyboy at 6:15 AM on January 8, 2011 [5 favorites]


Palin is a big rattling rock in a can. Her belief is God's will will put her in the White House or make her and Tod rich beyond their wildest dreams. I think she will just get rich.

I find her fascinating in a sick way and infuriating and it is just like her to seize on one of these petty things. She tried this schtick a couple of months ago in Pennsylvania at a Christian School and the crowd went wild ( after she told a kid he would sing at the next inauguration). When she finds a niche she digs in.

I can't bear to listen to her or follow anything about her; I'll leave that up to Andrew Sullivan and his white hot hate. But from yesterday's Daily Dish, this interesting piece from USA Today, especially the skewering of the Palin subsistance hunting claim, while flying hundreds of miles to kill an elk.

It says a lot about the present state of the Republican Party that the litmus test to be the party head was to say that , yes Sarah Palin could win in 2012. May god have mercy on our souls.
posted by readery at 6:18 AM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Another thing that weirds me out about this is that fat people (and children) know they're fat. They know the need to do more exercise. And parents know that if they have fat children, that they primarily are to blame for the obesity. I wonder if the solution to this problem isn't education (apart from what is currently there), but is something else.


That something else is urban design. There is a strong inverse correlation between obesity rates and walkable neighbourhoods. When you have subdivisions where there are no sidewalks, the nearest shops are two miles away in a mall and anyone walking by the side of the road is likely to be stopped by police because they're either in trouble or up to no good, you have higher obesity. Willpower is finite, and it takes a lot more to buy a gym membership, drive to the gym and back and spend an hour running on a treadmill than it does to walk to the supermarket to pick up the milk. Especially when, in today's deregulated, post-Bush America, people are working longer hours for less real pay and can't justify the time or money for such an indulgence.
posted by acb at 6:19 AM on January 8, 2011 [20 favorites]


But the issue isn't the political ramifications of obesity management, it's the childish auto-reactions that the right-wing have to common sense advise.
posted by octothorpe at 6:20 AM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Sorry. Publicly shaming fat people for being fat isn't allowed. You can encourage. You can help. You can attempt to provide a better environment, but public shaming is off the table.

Thinking that publicly shaming might be a good idea is probably a good indication that you need to meet more fat people and talk to them, maybe put yourself at risk for embarrassing yourself in front of them as much as you think they are to embarrassed and or lazy to work out or eat better. They know it, they feel powerless or too stressed. The resentment and fight back is a defense mechanism. To some extent they are afraid they can't fix it to the point that they won't fix it - and the evidence points to the fact that they can't (negative feedback loop here). All public shaming does is drive them further in that direction.

I think that to a fat person who truly feels powerless, it may be a lot like asking a gay person to be straight... And now, back to my main point, would you shame a gay person for being gay?
posted by Nanukthedog at 6:25 AM on January 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


Has anyone else noticed how quiet Ann Coulter's gone since Sarah Palin has come onto the scene?

Not really. Her last big media moment was less than a year ago, when there was all that bother about her speaking tour in Canada. Her last book was out in 2009, and was a bestseller. Generally she publishes a new book every two years, so I suspect she'll have some horrible piece of shit for the delectation of her millions of followers out this year.

When five years have gone by without her on the scene, then I'll consider her quiet.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 6:26 AM on January 8, 2011


Sorry. Publicly shaming fat people for being fat isn't allowed.

Agreed. Who here has done this?
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 6:26 AM on January 8, 2011


Or shame. Maybe public shaming (Biggest Loser anyone) would work.

It was proposed a few comments above, not sure if it was said out of some element of frustration.
posted by Nanukthedog at 6:28 AM on January 8, 2011


Ah, I didn't see that comment. In the context of the rest of the thread, it seemed as though you were targeting healthy eating initiatives.

Yes, please, people. Shame is a horrible motivator. Don't rely on that.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 6:29 AM on January 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


Some good nicknames for Palin:

Snowbird Snooki
Half-governor Palin
The Wasilla Grifter
Mooselini (my favorite)
posted by scalefree at 6:30 AM on January 8, 2011 [4 favorites]


Palin will almost certainly run for President. She will almost certainly lose, which is fine; that's the goal. She's gearing up to be one of those professional campaigners who happily takes in campaign money but will be screwed screwed screwed if they ever actually win anything, because then they'll have to, like, work.
posted by Legomancer at 6:42 AM on January 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


Nanukthedog:

I'm pretty aware of the problems of obesity. My 38" waist and propensity to binge eat are evidence of this. I'd also agree with you that publically shaming those that are overweight is a terrible thing. It doesn't help, & it tends to drive us further towards obesity.

You realise though that any mention of anything to do with weight has the same effect on me. Any government drive towards healthy eating makes me ashamed. Any time a doctor tells me I'm obese, I feel shame. I'm not American, but if I were then Michelle Obama promoting an anti-obesity campaign would make me feel shame.

This may be the zeitgeist that Palin's tapping into. Nobody wants to be told that they're too fat, and it's a point Palin gets here and Obama seems to have missed. Don't get me wrong. I think the campaign is a good thing, but your anti-shaming argument isn't too far away from the point made by St Alia.

I think the point I was trying to make (badly), is that a societal disgust of obesity may actually keep people from getting too fat. We see this happening now. I'd probably weigh more if I didn't think it would make me an outcast. I also agree that attacking vulnerable people should be off the table. I'm maybe saying it would be good if there was a way of making people ashamed of putting on weight without making them ashamed of being the weight they are. This, I know, is an impossibility.
posted by seanyboy at 6:46 AM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


this may be an appropriate thread for me to note something that blew my mind a few days ago:

one of the literary agents i'm following on twitter sez that he's getting tons of novel queries that involve a popular uprising that overthrows an authoritarian (U.S.) gov't.

Palin's not a scary smart like Gingrich, but she's a different kind of scary smart. I have no idea what her goals are, but lord I wish this woman would go away.
posted by angrycat at 6:46 AM on January 8, 2011


I think that to a fat person who truly feels powerless, it may be a lot like asking a gay person to be straight...

Um, no. You're well-meaning, I'm sure, but this is kind of a dangerous bullshit path to go down rhetorically, and I advise you choose a better one. Disdain for gay people is just social conditioning; if we as the world all got over it tomorrow, all decided, hey, wow, maybe it's just not my business who someone else fucks (!), that would be that -- the end of problems with being gay. In this case, there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so. However, if we as a society all decided that being fat was awesome, you'd still have people seizing up with massive heart attacks, developing diabetes, blowing out their knees and backbones by forcing them to support excessive weight, etc. I don't think shaming is at all the solution, but the solution is also definitely not to pretend there's no problem.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 6:47 AM on January 8, 2011 [10 favorites]


This doesn't have anything to do with obesity at all.
posted by pinky at 6:48 AM on January 8, 2011


Late to the party, but...

@mudpuppie
For one whole month in the 80s, we had this diet that largely consisted of microwaved hot dogs and boiled carrots.

OMG, your Mom inflicted this diet on you, too??? I remember this! 1 hotdog, microwaved, one 1/2 cup steamed carrots, 1 cup steamed broccoli. Disgusting!
posted by LN at 6:49 AM on January 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


I think a lot of America's problem is too much time spent working, motionless. If you have kids too there just isn't any time when you get home for exercise and leisure. You gotta keep your sanity so you go with the leisure.

No, don't say it, exercise isn't leisure for fat people. It's boring and it hurts.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 6:54 AM on January 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


Palin will almost certainly run for President. She will almost certainly lose, which is fine; that's the goal. She's gearing up to be one of those professional campaigners who happily takes in campaign money but will be screwed screwed screwed if they ever actually win anything, because then they'll have to, like, work.

I think it's highly possible that this is her motivation. Nothing plays to Sarah Palin's strengths as a public figure like playing the martyr, so whether she's denied the nomination by the elite RINOs in the party, or the election is stolen from her by an African Muslim Socialist, she wins, assuming her goals are attention, fame, and money instead of power.

If that's the case, of course, it might make an awful lot of sense for her to run as a third-party Tea Party nominee. She'd have no chance of accidentally winning and having to be president, she'd anoint herself the only true conservative in the race, and she could sell books, go on tour, speak to adoring crowds of tens of thousands, get interviewed on TV, even force herself into the debates--she'd be a viable third party candidate, after all. It'd mean Obama sweeping about forty-three states, but so much the better for her. Her potent mix of resentment and victimhood won't really work with a Republican in the White House, after all.
posted by EarBucket at 6:55 AM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


(I talk on my cell phone in the car much more now since Oprah started her campaign against it. Just sayin'.)


Friendly recommendation: please read the comprehensive and well-researched New York Times series Driven to Distraction. It's a sobering read.

If you truly care about the health and welfare of your family, friends and neighbors, I hope you would consider becoming an evangelist for helping others learn about the real dangers of driving while tasking on a cellphone. It's a cause Jesus is surely behind!
posted by ericb at 6:58 AM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Oprah frightens Jesus.
posted by EarBucket at 7:00 AM on January 8, 2011


Palin & the Republican party would do well out of letting her run on a presidential ticket. If she wins, it's a huge swing to the right which will take generations to recover from and if she loses, then Obama gets another four years of doing the hard job of fixing the deficit, swing voters get pushed further to the right & the republican party gets more of a chance to rebuild.

Obama's a president the Republican party could do with in power.

Either way, the country is pulled further to the right than it was under Bush.
posted by seanyboy at 7:01 AM on January 8, 2011


(I talk on my cell phone in the car much more now since Oprah started her campaign against it. Just sayin'.)

What's that? I couldn't hear you. I'm in a tunnel.
posted by monkeymadness at 7:03 AM on January 8, 2011


I also hope that shaming doesn't hinder in some cases, because otherwise the exhortations in this thread not to phone drive are dangerous in the extreme.
posted by seanyboy at 7:04 AM on January 8, 2011


We're in agreement that solution is not in pretending there is no problem. I'm all for providing tools, information and assistance to folks. As far as I'm concerned, the first lady did *exactly* what she should do. She encouraged improvement. There was no shaming involved. The truth is though, at the end of the day - some people will make a change for their lifestyle, and some people won't. That they raise our health insurance premiums, is a massive bummer, but other options aren't options in a society where we work to give people the options not to listen to us.

As for my rhetoric, I'd agree the two are different in many aspects, but the concept of being viewed or portrayed as a pariah to society - fat or gay - well, lets just say that trying to make sure that you understand intolerance as social norms is something that both groups face as a challenge. Yeah, fat is (mostly) treatable from a physiologic standpoint, but hey - its a pretty intolerant solution to enforce that, and as such we can encourage good behavior and treat the disease from the back-end (diabetes, cardio-pulmonary issues, etc). Being gay is a societal conflict that we can legistlate to protect the rights of an individual, but we can't prevent some A--hole from being an a-hole towards someone that is gay.

I will easily concede am certainly not an expert in either category as a scrawny straight man.
posted by Nanukthedog at 7:08 AM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


St Alia is not for killing anyone.

You must realise that for phone-drivers who have been told phone driving is dangerous there's a skewed sense of risk over reward. Phone drivers are amongst the many other idiots (and by idiots, I mean people) in this world who think that they're a really good driver, and there's no way their alcohol consumption, texting, car overloading, phoning or turning round to tell off the kids will kill themselves or anyone else.

Can we just stop this retarded trolling / name calling.
posted by seanyboy at 7:16 AM on January 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


I'm glad that the Obamas never take her seriously. I pity Palin for her underdeveloped mind and trashy ways.
posted by anniecat at 7:24 AM on January 8, 2011


NOT because the government in its infinite wisdom is pushing it down my throat.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies

I see you've received the memo. Good soldier.
posted by justgary at 7:24 AM on January 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


One of my sisters was complaining to me that her school wouldn't let them bring in cookies or desserts or anything for parties.

That's funny, our friends who are parents of a 2 year old were complaining about the lack of restrictions on food brought in at their school because their daughter had severe dietary problems after eating cupcakes, which they don't normally feed her.

It's perfectly reasonable to have rules about shit, because we're all living together.
posted by odinsdream at 7:30 AM on January 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


PeterMcDermott: " The job of getting my dick sucked belongs to me, not to law enforcement officers."

Please don't suck your dick while driving. Have someone else do it, at least.
posted by graventy at 7:34 AM on January 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


It's perfectly reasonable to let kids have treats once in a while at school.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 7:34 AM on January 8, 2011


... while tasking on a cellphone.

Umm ... I meant *talking.* But, (multi-) tasking works, too.
posted by ericb at 7:40 AM on January 8, 2011


My reaction is always to go rape the neighbors wife and livestock.

If you want to rebel you are supposed to covet your neighbor's livestock. You are so doing it wrong.
posted by marxchivist at 7:40 AM on January 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


Apparently, dessert is a state, not federal, right.
posted by umberto at 7:41 AM on January 8, 2011


Snowbird Snooki
Half-governor Palin
The Wasilla Grifter
Mooselini (my favorite)


Caribou Barbie
posted by fuse theorem at 7:43 AM on January 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


Hey, the only time I smoke is while driving and talking on the cell phone.

This is a joke, people. Don't want anyone looking up the fitness thread I started and calling me a hypocrite.
posted by randomkeystrike at 7:51 AM on January 8, 2011


Upon reflection, this is something I've noticed about the conservative response to things before.

With all due respect to St. Alia, I don't think this is about "human nature" at all; it is about the conservative wing being reactionary. There is a tendency I have noticed that, when the liberal/left-wing/Democrat side does a thing, or someone from that side does a thing, that sometimes someone from the Conservative/rightwing/Republican side will do a thing in response for the express purpose of having a Conservative/rightwing/Republican side response, even if there was nothing intrinsically left-wing about the original action.

For example.

1. Ben and Jerry's donates a certain portion of its proceeds to progressive causes. In about 2005, a team of conservative ice-cream lovers finally got uncomfortable enough with that to decide there should be an ice-cream company expressly devoted to donating its proceeds to right-wing causes, and thus they founded Star Spangled Ice Cream, which offers six flavors and donates 10% of all its proceeds to the military.

2. In the first decade of this century, a number of wacky comedies took pot-shots at the then-present Republican administration. David Zucker took umbrage, and decided to make a "conservative comedy" -- An American Carol, which featured a Michael Moore parody as its lead character and traced his journey from being a liberal activist who wanted to cancel Independance Day as a holiday to a man who "loves his country" and announces his next film is going to be a JFK biopic "that's more accurate than Oliver Stone's."

Here's the thing, though, about these ventures; there's something that the creators of Star Spangled Ice Cream and An American Carol have overlooked, which I'm surprised they have overlooked.

1. The difference between Ben and Jerry and Star Spangled Ice cream is: Ben and Jerry did not start their ice cream company strictly and solely so they could donate their proceeds to progressive causes. It wasn't like they were sitting around Burlington trying to think up a fundraiser for Food Not Bombs or anything. They got into the business of making ice cream to make ice cream, period. Their donating money to progessive causes is something that came after the fact. But their focus was always on the ice cream itself as a priority. On the other hand, Star Spangled Ice Cream's purpose was to raise money for conservative causes, and to be a response to Ben and Jerry's. It almost feels like...the ice cream is, for them, secondary, and their primary intent is to just be a "take that" to another company that actually wasn't trying to attack them in the first place.

2. An American Carol was brought to us by the same team that brought us Airplane -- but was nearly universally panned by critics. That is, when the critics finally saw it; it wasn't screened for critics before its release, as Zucker instead turned to a conservative marketing approach, making copious appearances as guests to Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck and Mark Levin. It was posited as being a "conservative comedy" and an alternative response to "liberal Hollywood". On its opening weekend, however, it came in ninth in most Box Office tallies (the first-place movie that weekend, by comparison, was Beverly Hills Chihuahua). I remember seeing precisely one television ad for this film when it was in its release, and if it was primarily marketed with a "conservative approach" this is not surprising. However, it seems that most critics felt that in trying to make a "conservative comedy", Zucker's focus was a little too squarely on the "conservative" at the expense of the "comedy". As to the marketing approach, Zucker himself has said that, in retrospect, most of his target audience actually tends to wait for movies to come out on DVD rather than seeing it in theaters, and he's had second thoughts about the marketing.

My point being: it seems like there is a strange sort of reactionary compulsion some have on the right; if there is a popular or attention-getting thing that just happens to be made by someone on the left, some are absolutely compelled to offer a "right wing" response becuase they fear that there's somehow an imbalance without it. I wonder if, then, whether Sarah Palin may be reacting in much the same way, Michelle Obama said something about desserts that was actually quite logical -- that having dessert every single night isn't necessarily an automatic thing -- and Sarah Palin responded with a sort of "equal-time" response, motivated simply by the drive to "even things up".

It's not about food after all, is my point, or about "telling us what to do" or "human nature" or anything of the sort. Instead, Sarah Palin is making healthy eating choices a political thing, and is focusing more on politics than she is healthy eating -- even though Michelle Obama is not focusing on the politics at all.

However -- as with Ben and Jerry's or most other comedies -- Michelle Obama is getting a wider platform and a better response because she's focusing on what she's doing rather than making it a political point. Her message is for everyone, regardless of political affiliation. And her message is getting out because it is universal. Which ultimately is making her a better communicator than Sarah Palin. And so Sarah Palin's message is going to go the way of Star Spangled Ice Cream or An American Carol -- appealing only to those with such partisan bigotry that a person's political affiliation matters more to them than the quality of that person's work. And if those people really think they're better off eating lesser-quality ice cream after every meal and watching a lesser-quality movie, then....well, that's their lookout, and there's nothing I can do about it. ...And hell, it just means more Ben and Jerry's for me, especially since I only eat it once in a while.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:58 AM on January 8, 2011 [34 favorites]


Just as a side note, this recent article in science-based medicine addresses those changes in obesity definition that parrot_person was talking about above.
posted by gaspode at 8:10 AM on January 8, 2011 [4 favorites]


Caribou Barbie

Damn, I knew I missed one.
posted by scalefree at 8:22 AM on January 8, 2011


The Bad Carolina is the native and spiritual homeland of the American Darwin Award winner. Let Nature take its Course.
posted by trondant at 8:22 AM on January 8, 2011


Because I love you all I will go to the gym and drop my daughter off at work on the way and WON'T talk on my phone.

But NOT because Oprah said so.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 8:25 AM on January 8, 2011


odinsdream:
It makes me so goddamn angry that I live close enough to you that we could potentially meet eachother accidentally. It would be very, very unfortunate.

This might be some weird wordplay where "meet each other accidentally" means "meet each other in an accident caused by your bad driving practices", but in actuality, this comment reads like a threat. And I really hope that you didn't mean it as a threat because that's some fucked up shit.
posted by seanyboy at 8:26 AM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's the trolling which is retarded. Not you.

I'm curious about the distinction being drawn - I mean, "retarded" is generally understood to compare the syntactical referent (here, the behaviour of trolling) with the behaviour or intelligence of people with learning impairments, with pejorative intent. People may or may not be OK with that usage, but it's the understood usage. Which puts it in that acceptability no-man's-land along with "lame" and "gay" (used with pejorative intent), as far as I can tell. What the syntactical referent is is not as important as the metaphorical referent.

(Once could argue that "retarded" can be used with the sense of "regressive" or "atavistic", which is true, but I think not where this kind of usage gets its metaphorical power.)

posted by DNye at 8:27 AM on January 8, 2011


And now I have to find an acceptable pejorative for my HTML. All after "Not you" should be regular rather than italic, of course.
posted by DNye at 8:28 AM on January 8, 2011


I'll accept that there is a problem with me using the word, and the usage is problematic. It can be offensive. My point is the comment wasn't aimed at anyone. It was aimed at behaviour. There was no name calling.
posted by seanyboy at 8:35 AM on January 8, 2011


This might be some weird wordplay where "meet each other accidentally" means "meet each other in an accident caused by your bad driving practices", but in actuality, this comment reads like a threat. And I really hope that you didn't mean it as a threat because that's some fucked up shit.

On re-read, I see that it could be read as threatening. I sincerely apologize - it was not meant at all that way. If anything, I feel threatened by potentially being t-bones by her car.
posted by odinsdream at 8:40 AM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Um. Calling a behavior or a thing "retarded" is just as bad as calling a person that, in the same way that saying something is "gay" is just as obnoxious as calling a person gay in a way that suggests that being gay is anything other than awesome. A bigoted/exclusionary pejorative sucks no matter where it is directed.
posted by elizardbits at 8:40 AM on January 8, 2011


I would never have gotten gay married cept Palin said not to do it. Now I am stuck with a husband.
posted by Ad hominem at 8:43 AM on January 8, 2011 [5 favorites]


What we have here is two middle-aged women arguing about feeding their kids dessert. Wow, what progress women have made!
posted by jonmc at 8:49 AM on January 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


For the record, I'm a liberal Democrat and I don't do anything "just because Oprah says so" either. I don't like her telling me what to do either. Actually, I just plain don't care for Oprah period.

However, I tend to handle this by just...ignoring her. Because expressly doing something just because someone told you not to strikes me as...reactionary for the sake of being reactionary, and that just seems to perpetuate the argument. If I end up in a situation where Oprah is saying "don't do this" and it was something I wasn't going to be doing anyway, I just...ignore it, because who cares what she thinks? If she wants to take credit for the things I do, that's her problem. And that's if I'd even known what Oprah was saying in the first place, because I never watch her so how the hell WOULD I know what she was saying to do or not do?

So...the question becomes; if people don't like Oprah that much, why are they following her closely enough to know what she's even saying? And if they had already made up their minds to do something, and dislike Oprah that much, why the hell do they care whether Oprah does or does not approve of their behavior?

I mean, seriously, Oprah's not Santa or anything. Who cares what Oprah thinks of our actions? Oprah's not going to even know, or care, that you did something to spite her, so what is even the point of doing thus?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:51 AM on January 8, 2011 [6 favorites]



fff: ""I do more X now that someone disapproves of X, just sayin'" is too fucking retarded to even begin dealing with it.

There is just no hope that this society is going to survive its stunning, vapid stupidity.
"

Allia: "I see you are rebelling against politically correct speech there, friend."

palomar: "St. Alia, I didn't notice fff using the word, I had to go back and hunt for it. Since you clearly can read and type, having noticed and having alerted us to the word's presence, why didn't YOU step up and call out fff?"

Are you even reading this thread? It clearly has some serious problems, but not of them are St. Alia.
posted by Blasdelb at 8:55 AM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Because expressly doing something just because someone told you not to strikes me as...reactionary for the sake of being reactionary

It's not even reactionary. It's something a child would do. It's infantile.
posted by empath at 8:57 AM on January 8, 2011 [5 favorites]


My point is the comment wasn't aimed at anyone. It was aimed at behaviour. There was no name calling.

Sure - but I don't think that would be the grounds for objection, right? The syntactical referent is the behaviour, but the metaphorical referent is a person with learning impairment. So, whether you call a person, a behaviour or a cup of coffee retarded, the issue people will (or won't) have isn't with what the syntactical referent is but rather with the fact that it's a pejorative term based on learning impairment.

Certainly, there are also behavioural rules in certain situations about using pejoratives about people rather than behaviours - for example, schoolteachers are not supposed to tell children that they are stupid, but rather that they are being stupid, or that their current behaviour is stupid. However, I don't think that's the basis of the objection in this case.

I used "gay" as a comparison with the case of the British DJ Chris Moyles in mind. He was criticised for calling a ringtone "gay" on his morning show - the criticism not being that he was using it pejoratively to describe a person (which might have been identifiable and disciplined as simple homophobia), but that he was using a term that relied for its pejorative force on the idea that being gay was a bad and undesirable thing. The BBC rejected those complaints on the grounds that calling something gay with pejorative intent was unconnected to the use of the word "gay" to mean homosexual. I think that would be the way to argue that the term "retarded" was not offensive, or that usage of it was not intended to relate to a negative portrayal of people with learning impairments.

On preview: ah, right - your concern was to make clear that you were not suggesting that another member of MetaFilter was learning-impaired, rather than to argue that there was nothing problematic about the word itself. Fair enough. Given that yesterday a bunch of people were enjoying the rare opportunity to carpet-N-bomb MetaFilter and Metatalk, I hardly imagine there's going to be a backlash on this one.
posted by DNye at 9:01 AM on January 8, 2011


Everybody, I am ordering you as your better and a proud liberal, NOT to just flag it and move on.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 9:02 AM on January 8, 2011


Um...dude, I was just making an observation (and a joke). switch to decaf.
posted by jonmc at 9:02 AM on January 8, 2011


Jeez.

Mo.
posted by Combustible Edison Lighthouse at 9:09 AM on January 8, 2011


one of the literary agents i'm following on twitter sez that he's getting tons of novel queries that involve a popular uprising that overthrows an authoritarian (U.S.) gov't.

dam leaks.
posted by clavdivs at 9:15 AM on January 8, 2011


When your dietary choices destroy government health care budgets, maybe it's not so personal a choice after all.
posted by Brocktoon at 9:20 AM on January 8, 2011


next up, Grover Clevelands' medicine ball and the democratic response.
posted by clavdivs at 9:23 AM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


When your dietary choices destroy government health care budgets, maybe it's not so personal a choice after all.

yeah fuck greed and waste. Torch the Moonpies!
posted by clavdivs at 9:24 AM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


[bunch of nasty comments removed - go to metatalk from this point forward if you want to have the same old fights with the same old people. Do not make this thread into a referendum on one person's opinions.]
posted by jessamyn at 9:27 AM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Torch the Moonpies!
Hey!
posted by MrMoonPie at 9:37 AM on January 8, 2011 [4 favorites]


Everyone is greedy and wasteful, cept you, of course.
posted by Brocktoon at 9:39 AM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Because I love you all I will go to the gym and drop my daughter off at work on the way and WON'T talk on my phone.

But NOT because Oprah said so.


A useful thing I learned long ago is that is that one of the most important things in rhetoric is that the competence of the speaker has no bearing on the truth of the statement: the biggest fool in the world can say the sun is shining and that doesn't mean it is raining.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 9:50 AM on January 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


I feel a song from The Fantasticks coming on.

Ohhhhhhhhhhhhh!

Dog's got to bark, a mule's got to bray.
Soldiers must fight and preachers must pray.
And children, I guess, must get their own way
The minute that you say no.

Why did the kids pour jam on the cat?
Raspberry jam all over the cat?
Why should the kids do something like that,
When all that we said was no?

My son was once afraid to swim.
The water made him wince.
Until I said he mustn't swim:
S'been swimmin' ever since!

S'been swimmin' ever since!

Ohhhhhhhhhhhhh!

Dog's got to bark, a mule's got to bray.
Soldiers must fight and preachers must pray.
And children, I guess, must get their own way
The minute that you say no.

Why did the kids put beans in their ears?
No one can hear with beans in their ears.
After a while the reason appears.
They did it cause we said no.

Your daughter brings a young man in,
Says "Do you like him, Pa?"
Just say that he's a fool and then:
You've got a son-in-law!

You've got a son-in-law!

Ohhhhhhhhhhhhh!

Sure as the June comes right after May!
Sure as the night comes right after day!
You can be sure the devil's to pay
The minute that you say no.

Make sure you never say...
No!

posted by Faint of Butt at 10:14 AM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


[I am quite serious, MetaTalk is your option, as is email, continuing this interrogation in this thread is not an option.]
posted by jessamyn at 10:15 AM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


But I still think my main point stands, re human nature.

Don't confuse your nature with humanity in general. Advising a thirteen-year old to not do something might cause them to go ahead and do it out of a sense of misguided 'rebellion', but most people grow out of that stage and are able to listen to advice and then decide whether or not to follow it based on the content of the advice, not the simple fact that they received it.
posted by modernnomad at 10:24 AM on January 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


". . . I have noticed that, when the liberal/left-wing/Democrat side does a thing . . . that sometimes someone from the Conservative/rightwing/Republican side will do a thing in response for the express purpose of having a Conservative/rightwing/Republican side response . . ."

Good call, if you happen to be documenting similar reactionary behavior don't forget "The America Show", the right wing response to the Daily Show or politicalmavens.com, the response to the Huffington Post. Both covered in the blue circa 2006.
posted by jeremias at 10:29 AM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


See also Red Eye.
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:39 AM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Actually, jeremias, I feel I'd be remiss in pointing out the one counter-example I know of-- from what I understand, Air America was formed in response to a then-perceived right-wing bias in talk radio.

However, if you think about it, the right-wing talk radio already had a left-wing alternative in NPR, and as far as I can tell Rush Limbaugh et. al. didn't try to form specifically to be "the right wing NPR." So that strikes me as an isolated incident. But it exists nonetheless.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:39 AM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Air America did continue the trend of "We're doing this to be the [liberal/conservative] [thing]" by being terrible.
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:40 AM on January 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


(I talk on my cell phone in the car much more now since Oprah started her campaign against it. Just sayin'.)

Could you maybe compromise by hanging up the cell phone but not wearing your seat belt?
posted by straight at 10:45 AM on January 8, 2011


"smart-ass girl in the back of the class." That's the phrase I've been looking for!
posted by Namlit at 10:54 AM on January 8, 2011


On my way to the gym, I was thinking about this thread. Seems like I was willing to listen to those of you on the thread who shared your experiences re cell phone driving and it didn't get my back up. I realized this was the point I needed to be making: When it comes to positive social change it needs to be US persuading each other. NOT a media mogul making pronouncements and making A CAMPAIGN and giving us A PLEDGE to sign on her website making it again, all about HER.

Why do we need the government or Oprah Winfrey to tell us things that we should be hearing instead from our friends and family?
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 11:00 AM on January 8, 2011


You've only got to see the likes of Jeremy Clarkson

Have I? Really? Please tell me I don't have to. Please. I'm begging you.
posted by Decani at 11:05 AM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


I think that to a fat person who truly feels powerless, it may be a lot like asking a gay person to be straight...

I... think I'd better leave this one alone.

Jesus.
posted by Decani at 11:08 AM on January 8, 2011


politically-based humor has always been severely unfunny to me.

Good thing the papers don't run Pogo anymore.
posted by ovvl at 11:22 AM on January 8, 2011


Why do we need the government or Oprah Winfrey to tell us things that we should be hearing instead from our friends and family?

Because your friends and family, as smart as they are, represent a limited worldview. If you never heard anything from anybody outside of your "tribe," so to speak, you'll never grow.

What, we're not allowed to speak to you? Change the fucking channel if you don't like the conversation.

What no one understands here is this: Why are you offended by advice? Never mind whether or not you agree it's good advice. Why are you offended by the act of receiving advice?

"Vegetables are good for you. You should eat more vegetables."
"Fuck you!"
"You don't like vegetables?"
"No, I like vegetables."
"So ... you disagree with my advice? You're on a protein diet...?"
"Nope. I eat vegetables all the time."
"Well, what's with the anger?"
"I don't like being told what to do."
"I'm not telling you what to do. I'm making a suggestion."
"You're trying pass laws!"
"I'm Oprah Winfrey. I'm Michelle Obama. What laws can I pass?"
"But you're influencing people to pass laws!"
"And? You can influence people, too. You have a local school board, yes?"
"But you have a bigger platform than I do."
"That's a different argument."
"OK."
"I still don't understand why you're offended by this."
"I just don't like being told what to do. I want to only listen to my favorite voices."
"Sounds like what you really want is the freedom to keep your ears plugged. Guess what -- you're already free to do that."
"Smart ass."
"Indeed. Wanna split an orange with me?"
"Sure."
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 11:26 AM on January 8, 2011 [17 favorites]


When it comes to positive social change it needs to be US persuading each other

No it doesn't. It needs us to act like adults and listen to arguments and not the person making the argument whether that person is a friend or a tv personality. Making a decision to talk more on the phone while driving because of who said not to is very childish. If someone called me out on doing something similar I would be very ashamed of myself and try to do it less in the future. I certainly wouldn't blame 'human nature' on my own personal failings.
posted by Green With You at 11:27 AM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Why do we need the government or Oprah Winfrey to tell us things that we should be hearing instead from our friends and family?

I actually agree with your broader point that local community is the most effective way for values and advice to be passed along. Unfortunately, though, not everyone's local community is full of good values and good advice. For some people, Oprah may literally be the only person who ever says to them: "Hey, you shouldn't talk on your phone while you drive. Hang up." She's not the best person to get it across, but better her than no one.
posted by EarBucket at 11:30 AM on January 8, 2011 [2 favorites]



What, we're not allowed to speak to you?


YOU are. I consider you all my internet friends and family. There is no agenda such as there might be with , say, Oprah.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 11:33 AM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Don't change the subject. Why are you offended by advice?

That shirt doesn't look good on you. Maybe you should try something a little less orange.

???

Gonna punch me now?
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 11:38 AM on January 8, 2011


Why do we need the government or Oprah Winfrey to tell us things that we should be hearing instead from our friends and family?

Come on. First ladies (among others, but since we're talking about the wife of the president here, I'll stick to context) have always done this. Did you stop taking your kids to the library when Laura Bush had her campaign to encourage reading? Did you flip out about government interference when Nancy Reagan said drugs are bad mmmkay? Be honest (with yourself, if not publicly here) - were you upset when other first ladies had public campaigns for stuff like this? To the point where you were all "I'm gonna do the opposite of what you say because I don't like the messenger!"?
posted by rtha at 11:41 AM on January 8, 2011 [17 favorites]


Is it just me, or is the ridiculous derail kind of a microcosm of the national dialogue?
posted by box at 12:06 PM on January 8, 2011 [8 favorites]


Be honest (with yourself, if not publicly here) - were you upset when other first ladies had public campaigns for stuff like this? To the point where you were all "I'm gonna do the opposite of what you say because I don't like the messenger!"?

Well, I guess there was "Just Say No".
posted by jeremias at 12:49 PM on January 8, 2011


The sinister Oprah agenda.
posted by fleetmouse at 12:50 PM on January 8, 2011 [6 favorites]


> You know, from previous conversations with you, I'm almost certain you're a republican, or at
> least a conservative. Yet, you seem to not like authoritarianism. How do you reconcile that?
> posted by Mitrovarr at 3:00 AM on January 8 [6 favorites +] [!]

Oh look, a sitting duck.

One does it by extracting and holding up for view the hidden assumption on which the question depends--namely that republicans and/or conservatives like authoritarianism more than anybody else does--and discarding it. Now that that's gone there's nothing left to reconcile, as you see.


> Campaigns to enlighten and address issues aren't the same as "being told what to do." Look at
> the incredibly successful anti-smoking campaign.

And while you're looking, compare it to, oh, being that you must by force of law purchase health insurance.
posted by jfuller at 1:09 PM on January 8, 2011


Be honest (with yourself, if not publicly here) - were you upset when other first ladies had public campaigns for stuff like this?

Answer: No.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:15 PM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


I am sorry mr.moonpie
posted by clavdivs at 1:24 PM on January 8, 2011


I endorse the idea that people on TV should stop giving advice. I propose the televangelists go first.
posted by Ipsifendus at 1:37 PM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


There is no agenda such as there might be with , say, Oprah.

So, do all of the many 'No Phone Zone' partners, such as 27 states and the District of Columbia, The Department of Transportation, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), the National Organizations for Youth Safety (NOYS), FocusDriven, SADD (Students against Destructive Decisions), the Outdoor Advertising Association of America, RADD, the Entertainment Industry's Voice for Road Safety, Sprint, General Motors/Chevrolet and Liberty Mutual -- to name a just few -- have an AGENDA.?

Fuckin' A they (and Oprah) do have an AGENDA: To Minimize Death and Injuries That Can Be a Result of Distracted Driving.
posted by ericb at 1:38 PM on January 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


Well, I guess there was "Just Say No".

The 2009 - 2012 Congressional GOP Party Slogan: "Just Say No!"
posted by ericb at 1:43 PM on January 8, 2011


Why do we need the government or Oprah Winfrey to tell us things that we should be hearing instead from our friends and family?

Where do you think your friends and family are getting THEIR ideas from?

Look, I hear you on the whole "but she's making it ABOUT HER" grandstanding. But -- that doesn't necessarily discount the advice itself. If you wanted to strike a blow against Oprah's grandstanding, why not just do the right thing and not involve her? You know, do a whole "hah, I'm going to not use my cell phone, but I'm also not going to sign her pledge" or something?

Also, there are those who are taking the advantage of a big platform like this because it's their way of "paying back". People are going to pay attention to them no matter what, they figure, so why not actually take advantage of the fact that they have everyone's attention to say important things? Better than just continuously talking about how awesome they are, right?

And that's Oprah, anyway. Michelle Obama, meanwhile, doesn't do anything like this kind of grandstanding -- so why is Sarah Palin getting upset about it?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 2:31 PM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Let's drop the fucking politics and take care of our own already.

Thank you, mudpuppie. Yes, THIS.
posted by MonkeyToes at 2:55 PM on January 8, 2011


Did not read all of the comments here, but the first thing that hit me when reading the intro to this post was this:

Michelle Obama ...telling her children that "dessert is not a right."

Sarah Palin making smores "and saying, "This is in honor of Michelle Obama, who said the other day we should not have dessert."


Is that what Michelle Obama said? If so, those words certainly look different to me.

That, right there, is why I have such a problem. People taking quotes and twisting them.
posted by sundrop at 2:58 PM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


WAR ON DESSERT!!1!! Oh Noes! Won't Someone Think Of The Children?!?

Here are the four pillars of the First Lady’s Let’s Move! campaign: (from the first link)

1. empowering parents and caregivers
2. providing healthy food in schools
3. improving access to healthy, affordable foods
4. increasing physical activity.

These are guidelines that will lead to healthier children. Michelle Obama isn't breaking into anyone's house and snatching away their s'mores.
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 3:14 PM on January 8, 2011


This thread needs a dose of rational anarchy.

“A rational anarchist believes that concepts such as ‘state’ and ‘society’ and ‘government’ have no existence save as physically exemplified in the acts of self-responsible individuals. He believes that it is impossible to shift blame, share blame, distribute blame . . . as blame, guilt, responsibility are matters taking place inside human beings singly and nowhere else. But being rational, he knows that not all individuals hold his evaluations, so he tries to live perfectly in an imperfect world . . . aware that his effort will be less than perfect yet undismayed by self-knowledge of self-failure.”

Heinlein via
posted by Splunge at 3:17 PM on January 8, 2011


Is that what Michelle Obama said?

Yes. And she was referring to what she tells her own children, not anyone else.

I failed to include that cite in my original post; I had read the quote in other articles when putting together this post.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 3:20 PM on January 8, 2011


I believe sundrop meant did Michelle Obama say "we should not have dessert." Which of course, she didn't.
posted by dead cousin ted at 3:27 PM on January 8, 2011


There is no agenda such as there might be with , say, Oprah.

Oprah's "agenda" sounds like it is to reduce the number of people killed in car accidents due to people talking on cell phones. What a horrible, twisted monster.
posted by dirigibleman at 3:53 PM on January 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


[A few comments removed. You know where metatalk is, please let's not do the GRAR-about-account-history thing here. St. Alia, maybe consider giving the thread a fucking rest already.]
posted by cortex at 3:54 PM on January 8, 2011


EmpressCallipygos: "There is a tendency I have noticed that, when the liberal/left-wing/Democrat side does a thing, or someone from that side does a thing, that sometimes someone from the Conservative/rightwing/Republican side will do a thing in response for the express purpose of having a Conservative/rightwing/Republican side response, even if there was nothing intrinsically left-wing about the original action."

I saw the same kind of thing happen with Digg; some conservative users who had been banned/alienated from the site set up a short-lived conservative version called "Rigg." The name was especially amusing after the whole "Digg Patriots" cheating fiasco.

See also Fox News' ill-fated Daily Show knock-off The 1/2 Hour News Hour (promo), the "Christian YouTube" Godtube, or the much-derided Conservapedia.
posted by Rhaomi at 4:26 PM on January 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


Heinlein continues the tradition of having no connection to the history of anarchist thought, struggle, and community and instead simply calling oneself an anarchist because one doesn't like the government.

You don't see people doing this with democracy, communism, or monarchy, though that may be in part due to the effort by most people to pretend that said history of anarchist thought, struggle, and community never happened.
posted by Pope Guilty at 4:40 PM on January 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


The duty of an opposition is to oppose. - Winston Churchill
posted by jfuller at 5:00 PM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Heinlein continues the tradition of having no connection to the history of anarchist thought, struggle, and community and instead simply calling oneself an anarchist because one doesn't like the government.

We can just let anyone call themselves an anarchist, because then what would we have?
posted by empath at 5:29 PM on January 8, 2011 [4 favorites]


Pope Guilty: "Heinlein continues the tradition of having no connection to the history of anarchist thought, struggle, and community and instead simply calling oneself an anarchist because one doesn't like the government.

You don't see people doing this with democracy, communism, or monarchy, though that may be in part due to the effort by most people to pretend that said history of anarchist thought, struggle, and community never happened
"

Some of this makes no sense to me. Isn't anarchy a rule of no rule? That being so, doesn't the concept of rational anarchy hew very close to the actual concept? It is a man being in every way an anarchist.

Why would I as an anarchist, rational or otherwise, even care about your concept of a history or "community" of anarchist thought?

Or am I being to much of an iconoclast for your concept of anarchy? I take what I want and ignore the rest. I guess that means that I have to give back my Anarchist Membership Card. Oh wait, I burned that a long time ago.

Just kidding, never got one. Psyche!
posted by Splunge at 5:37 PM on January 8, 2011


What's interesting is I remember really clearly in the south the yammering of "DON'T TELL ME WHAT TO DO" - about regulations on smoking and cigarettes. There's still a lot of yammering about that, but then it also seems that you don't see as many 12 year olds sneaking cigarettes because it's all fun and looks so cool and stuff. And yeah, I was a kid that was offered a cig in 5th grade way back when. I always wonder if that happens as much now. I mean, it is considered normal now to discourage your child from smoking right?

Meanwhile I'm totally guilty of eating poorly sometimes. But I also look back on the fact that we never had nightly dessert in our family. Partly because I had two working parents, and partly because desserts were considered something for special occasions - nightly meals weren't some sort of gourmet ritual for us. Snacks were for after you got home from school. Didn't seem like a big deal, and I certainly don't feel sad that I didn't have more dessert. But then Mom was also a school teacher who also encouraged me to get exercise in one way or another, many times doing it with me (walking, bike riding, aerobics, etc.). And now I wonder if that was weird - a parent exercising with a child. Because I can't remember seeing many other parents doing that.
posted by batgrlHG at 6:04 PM on January 8, 2011


"DON'T TELL ME WHAT TO DO" - about regulations on smoking and cigarettes.

Driven by cigarette company marketing in tobacco dependent economies.
posted by empath at 6:27 PM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Dead Cousin Ted is correct. Sorry if I was unclear - I was trying to be sarcastic about the way Mrs. Obama's words were being used.
posted by sundrop at 6:45 PM on January 8, 2011


Doesn't Kraft or Christie sell S'more kits?

Palin is a marketing tool directed toward a sizable market of dim people who resent socially-liberal celebrities and can be easily manipulated into doing dumb things just 'cause.

Palin pitching S'mores probably moved a lot of product in the burgeoning transfuse market, made all the more effective by the goody-two-shoes Obama and her "desserts are dangerous" message.

The quality of citizen in large swathes of our society are emotional crippled. You can get them to do anything by preying on their insecurities. You betcha!
posted by five fresh fish at 7:25 PM on January 8, 2011


You know who else liked telling people what to do?

Jesus.
posted by coolguymichael at 7:44 PM on January 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


We can just let anyone call themselves an anarchist, because then what would we have?

Yeah, hell, let's just use random words to describe things. I'm gonna start calling myself a monarchist because words don't mean things!

Some of this makes no sense to me. Isn't anarchy a rule of no rule?

No. It's a political philosophy that's a couple of hundred years old. The "anarchy means no order" canard is nothing but political propaganda.

That being so, doesn't the concept of rational anarchy hew very close to the actual concept?

No. Heinlein is just another anti-statist capitalist who appropriates the word "anarchy" because it sounds cool. He's just a Libertarian, in the American sense of the word, like most psuedo-intellectual science fiction authors of the era.

Or am I being to much of an iconoclast for your concept of anarchy?

Pretend I'm making a jerking-off motion. (I am.)
posted by Pope Guilty at 8:32 PM on January 8, 2011


gaspode: Ok, so the change had to do with the overweight category and not with the obese category. Got it. So what? The fact still remains that people are using dramatic-sounding statistics to try to demonstrate how much fatter people have gotten on average, when in fact much of what it demonstrates is simply that the definitions of overweight have changed.

And just because people have become fatter, it does not follow that there is an obesity "epidemic". More people use a cell phone than did so a decade ago. That doesn't mean there is a cell phone "epidemic".

The evidence is not at all conclusive that "overweight" causes bad health. To the extent that there is a correlation, at least some and perhaps much or all of that can be explained by the way fat people are treated in our society. They are shamed and socially ostracized (which causes stress which is bad for the health). They may try repeated diets which weaken their health. Fat people tend to seek medical attention more reluctantly because they are treated abysmally. When they do seek medical attention, doctors are less likely to fully explore possible causes of health complaints, because they just "know" (being members of this fat-shaming society) that anything wrong with fat people is their own damn fault for being so damn fat. The idea that overweight causes health problems becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy.

To use an analogy that I'm sure some people will accuse of being false but which I stand behind, African Americans in 1920's Georgia were probably less likely to be healthy that their white counterparts. Was that caused by their being African American, though? I'd answer no. It was caused by the way society treated them, by poorer access to medical care, poorer diet, stress from social disadvantage, etc.

The more people jump up and down and insist how awful it is to be "obese" or overweight, the more pressure they put on people who don't conform to the preferred body type, the worse it gets. The harder it is for a fat person to live in peace in this society, and to build the supportive social networks that are so crucial to health.
posted by parrot_person at 8:33 PM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yeah, hell, let's just use random words to describe things. I'm gonna start calling myself a monarchist because words don't mean things!

The vast majority of people don't use the definition that you seem to want to use.
posted by empath at 8:42 PM on January 8, 2011


The vast majority of people don't use the definition that you seem to want to use.

And thus is an ideology with a long history of analysis and theory- one which drove forward the labor movement during the years of its greatest triumphs and for which people fought and died- erased.
posted by Pope Guilty at 8:51 PM on January 8, 2011 [5 favorites]


If they weren't so busy breaking Starbucks windows and setting cop cars on fire, maybe that wouldn't have happened.
posted by empath at 8:59 PM on January 8, 2011


Sorry, I'm kind of being a dick, I'll stop. The idea of anarchists imposing rules on who gets to be an anarchist just amuses me.
posted by empath at 9:02 PM on January 8, 2011


The popular definition of "anarchy" is just about as similar to what anarchy actually means, as a political philosophy, as

1) The popular notion of "communism" is similar to Karl Marx's actual theories
2) The popular notion of "socialism" is similar to any real definition of socialism

In other words, those of you talking about how hi-LARious it is that there might be a definition of anarchy that could be imposed, or even those pointing out that there is, in fact, a popular definition of anarchy so why shouldn't people use that one, do not sound *too* dissimilar from the people who say that Obama is a communist.

Just saying.
posted by kyrademon at 6:13 AM on January 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


Actually - Sarah has a point.

If you are not fat, you are not a patriotic citizen. Obviously, everything is a "right"? There should be no self-control self-discipline.

Because - if you are thin, then obviously you are not participating in economies such as;
- fast food industry.
- packaged/processed food industry.
- high-calorie, over-processed "restauarant" industry.
- high-sugar beverage industry.
- medications/prescriptions for health/obesity from pharmeceutical manufacturers.
- physical fitness industry.
- weight-loss/alternative supplement industry.
- mass-media, body-image industry.

So, citizen... It is your right - nay, your DUTY to CONSUME, CONSUME, OBEY, CONSUME... DO NOT QUESTION AUTHORITY, DO NOT FOLLOW WIKILEAKS, YOUR GOVERNMENT IS NOT CONTROLLED BY CORPORATE INTEREST GROUPS, YOU NEED A NEW CAR, YOU NEED A NEW TV, YOU NEED MOAR OIL...
posted by jkaczor at 1:26 PM on January 9, 2011


A Zen Roshi was asked by his students, "Who do you hold more in your favor? Those who love you, or those who hate you?" The Roshi replied, "Those who hate me. They think of me more often."
posted by Ndwright at 6:21 PM on January 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


So what? The fact still remains that people are using dramatic-sounding statistics to try to demonstrate how much fatter people have gotten on average, when in fact much of what it demonstrates is simply that the definitions of overweight have changed.

Here, watch this neat graphic. Those states are changing color well before '98.

You're entirely right about there being a lot of intolerance of obesity. A person should not be hated for being fat.

However, studies have shown that obesity IS correlated to higher rates of heart disease, which is the number one cause of death in the United States by far. And yes, while correlation isn't causation, it's still related. Preventing heart disease involves eating healthier foods and exercising. Targeting obesity isn't really a bad metric to determine healthfulness, because of the correlation, and because the results can be seen easily (albeit superficially), so it gives people an easier goal to work for.

I lost about 55 pounds over the course of a year. I used to believe I couldn't help the fact that I was fat. I felt horrible about myself. One day it dawned on me that I'm not helpless about my weight, though. I control what I eat. I control how much exercise I get. Through a series of lifestyle changes, I slowly dropped the weight. It was incredibly difficult, but it was possible. Now I'm in the "Healthy" BMI range, and I feel fantastic.

I know that it can be nearly impossible for some people to lose weight because of medication or thyroid issues. But I really doubt that it applies to the majority of obese people in this country. There's a problem with lifestyle in our culture. Michelle Obama is entirely right to teach her children that dessert is not a right. It's a luxury, a privilege, just like fast food, or frozen pizza, or soda. We live in a society that bombards us with these luxuries. Add that to the fact that labor and recreation now primarily involve sitting in front of a screen for 12 hours a day, and obesity is bound to happen. But the amount of food we're peddled and the type of lifestyles we've developed are unlikely to go away any time soon, so the only thing we can do to combat obesity is to recognize that we are in control of it.

Again, people should not be hated for being fat. But being fat isn't unalterable for most people either.
posted by girih knot at 8:53 PM on January 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


I think it is good that Michelle Obama is trying to do something positive. I wish that had been done for me. I would rather have been grumpy here and there as a kid because I couldn't have a treat I wanted and developed good eating habits rather than what actually happened -- I was fed poorly both at home and at school and all of the sudden being fat was a problem when I went away to college. When I became an adult I was supposed to magically deprogram all of the bad habits I had been practicing all of my life up until that point? I don't think it works that way. Now I am fairly miserable with a weight issue at 24 years old because diet and exercise don't come naturally to me, and I have to fight with myself every day. Michelle Obama is trying to spare a generation of people the misery I feel? Count me in.

I wish that more people understood that us fat folks were most likely taught to be this way and wanted to help us and encourage us rather than hate and shame us.
posted by delicate_dahlias at 9:39 AM on January 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


Palin's Breath.
posted by ericb at 5:13 PM on January 13, 2011


"However, studies have shown that obesity IS correlated to higher rates of heart disease, which is the number one cause of death in the United States by far. And yes, while correlation isn't causation, it's still related. "

Yeah, but in my opinion, it's correlated in the same way that being black was correlated with being lynched in Southern states of the US a hundred years ago. it fucking sucks that fat people are treated like shit and then if all the stress and social rejection and poor medical care results in health issues, they get blamed for that too.
posted by parrot_person at 10:58 PM on January 17, 2011


it's correlated in the same way that being black was correlated with being lynched in Southern states of the US a hundred years ago. it fucking sucks that fat people are treated like shit and then if all the stress and social rejection and poor medical care results in health issues, they get blamed for that too.

This is sheer nonsense. If this was the case, how could randomized animal studies using a high-fat diet cause diabetes and heart disease? It's not the stress or social rejection or poor medical care of the rats. Being overweight causes certain health problems. Inactivity and obesity are interrelated in many complex ways. Active obese people are definitely better off than inactive obese people but there are not very many 500 pound mountain climbers.

For the record, I am against making anyone feel bad because of their particular adipose distribution or genetic predisposition towards overweight, and think shame is a useless tool for motivation. I don't believe that the nebulous concepts of "willpower" or self-restraint explain anything useful to do with obesity.
posted by benzenedream at 1:34 AM on January 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


Depression does not cause diabetes. Getting fatter because you are afraid to be laughed at when you go swimming might.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 2:37 PM on January 18, 2011


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