“Ask Literally Any Fat Person”
September 14, 2019 7:42 AM   Subscribe

Late Late Show host James Corden responds to Bill Maher’s claim that fat shaming “needs to make a comeback.” (single link YouTube)
posted by sallybrown (100 comments total) 60 users marked this as a favorite
 
I was a fat kid, and to this day I feel a strong sense of solidarity with fat adults no matter where my own weight is at the time (the silver lining to a childhood of being fat shamed!). I take a huge amount of pride in James Corden for saying this. Come sit by me, I would rather we squeeze together than sit next to an asshole like Bill Maher any day.
posted by sallybrown at 8:00 AM on September 14, 2019 [66 favorites]


Hail to thee, fat person!
posted by Faint of Butt at 8:00 AM on September 14, 2019 [4 favorites]


Bill Maher, and every other asshole concern troll who is desperate to fat shame without blowback, can just fuck right off into the sun.
posted by jzb at 8:01 AM on September 14, 2019 [108 favorites]


The idea that’s changed my life the most in the past few years had been that everyone has struggles that most people never see or know about, and that therefore we should practice kindness with everyone.

The second idea that’s changed my life is that I stopped watching Bill Maher’s snow.
posted by Automocar at 8:04 AM on September 14, 2019 [114 favorites]


My only disagreement with Corden is that he says Maher is fat shaming from the goodness of his heart. Maher is a heartless, soulless hack.

Also re Maher: given the catastrophes we are currently dealing with, you chose to zero in on fatness as worth our concern??? We are trying hard to extinct ourselves, dude, how you feel about fat people is not really something I give a shit about just now!!!
posted by emjaybee at 8:09 AM on September 14, 2019 [56 favorites]


Never would have thought James Corden of all people would have a go at Maher, but very glad he did. Best thing he's done.
posted by gohabsgo at 8:09 AM on September 14, 2019 [12 favorites]


"We're not all as lucky as Bill Maher, you know? We don't all have a sense of superiority that burns 35,000 calories a day."

Beautiful.
posted by mochapickle at 8:10 AM on September 14, 2019 [125 favorites]


Also Bill Maher:

"I'm SO TIRED of people reminding me I'm a white dude. I GET IT, I'm a white man and that means I'm EVIL and never allowed to say anything and my opinions don't matter and I guess I'll just SIT IN THE CORNER and SHUT UP. Maybe you don't need to remind me I'm a white man literally every time I open my mouth? Maybe I already know that?!"

Imagine that thin-skinned dude trying to last a week as a fat person.
posted by straight at 8:12 AM on September 14, 2019 [141 favorites]


Bill Maher is a prototypical case of someone who believes himself to be an asshole genius who is in fact just a garden-variety asshole. He is a worthless hole of a human and we'd all be the better to never hear of or from him again.
posted by tocts at 8:13 AM on September 14, 2019 [76 favorites]


Was Bill Maher always an a-hole, or was it a case of being either very young or being on the same side with him on a few of his views years ago which made him not just palatable but actually funny in time immemorial?
posted by theDillinger at 8:13 AM on September 14, 2019 [5 favorites]


It is probably true that being overweight is not as unhealthy as the average person believes it to be, although Paul Campos's The Obesity Myth might overstate this idea somewhat. That said, Maher certainly makes a good case, daily as far as I can tell, for smug-shaming.
posted by kozad at 8:19 AM on September 14, 2019 [6 favorites]


RON HOWARD VOICE: (He did not sit in the corner and shut up.)
posted by straight at 8:21 AM on September 14, 2019 [39 favorites]


Bill Maher gives me secondhand embarrassment sometimes.

Whenever I read about the latest stupid thing he's said, I'm just ... struck by how behind on the discussion he is. He's always five steps behind people who know an issue, and two steps behind people who maybe don't know the issue that well but aren't insufferable assholes and are willing to listen. He repeats talking points that have been debunked years ago as if they're some great insight. And commentary is his job, what he's known for.

He's intellectually lazy, and not that smart, but through privilege and luck he's managed for years to hold on to his platform as some kind of pseudo-lefty "real talk" specialist. What a farce.
posted by Kutsuwamushi at 8:21 AM on September 14, 2019 [63 favorites]


He was always an asshole. But he's gotten worse, because a lot of people have evolved on some of the issues about which he's always had fucked-up views, and so now he's an asshole but also a bitter old man who realizes he's out of touch and resents the world for making him feel that way. There's a certain kind of dude who was once an edgy young man and who really can't handle the fact that the same schtick now makes him seem like everyone's boring bigoted uncle.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 8:21 AM on September 14, 2019 [82 favorites]


Maher was always a jerk, but then he took a Carlin and turned into a hateful asshole.
posted by davelog at 8:23 AM on September 14, 2019 [9 favorites]


If Maher truly takes his advice to heart and literally no words ever come out of his mouth again that’d be super sweet.
posted by obfuscation at 8:34 AM on September 14, 2019 [7 favorites]


Was Bill Maher always an a-hole, or was it a case of being either very young or being on the same side with him on a few of his views years ago which made him not just palatable but actually funny in time immemorial?

I don't think that the two are incompatible. Sometimes it may be a matter of someone having a filter that keeps them from saying some stuff in public, at least for a while, until it doesn't.
posted by Halloween Jack at 8:35 AM on September 14, 2019 [1 favorite]


Was Bill Maher always an a-hole, or was it a case of being either very young or being on the same side with him on a few of his views years ago which made him not just palatable but actually funny in time immemorial?

He was an asshole in a way that felt reassuring when I was growing up in an oppressively born-again Bush era culture. Time has passed, and the people who used to make their living being mean about the religion most likely to ruin my life (Evangelical Christianity) seem to have refocused their energy on being mean about Muslims. Bill Maher was always terrible, but you could argue that he used to punch up and down. You can't argue that anymore. (He's also casually misogynistic in a way that's still acceptable culturally, but doesn't interest me personally.)

I stopped watching him earlier, but I lost all patience for his playing footsie with fascists shtick in 2015. He is, by the way, KING of the "you're not laughing at my hilarious joke because you're OFFENDED" thing. It honestly never seems to occur to him that people don't find him amusing.
posted by grandiloquiet at 8:40 AM on September 14, 2019 [23 favorites]


Was Bill Maher always an a-hole, or was it a case of being either very young or being on the same side with him on a few of his views years ago which made him not just palatable but actually funny in time immemorial?

Always an asshole. But he can also be funny or completely right-on sometimes, so it can be tricky to nail down—unless you're his target, I suppose. Then it becomes really clear.

My only disagreement with Corden is that he says Maher is fat shaming from the goodness of his heart.

Me too, but here's why he did it. Because he wants Bill to hear him and digest it and change, and Bill's a fucking narcissistic white male with some power, so it takes some couching. Ask any woman about giving feedback in the workplace. If you want that asshole to hear you, you have to wrap your criticism up in compliments so you can trick him into hearing that he's a "good guy" first because only then will he even start engaging with what you're trying to say—sending out a couple "you're awesome"s lubes the narcissist's T channel, in more sciencey lingo.

I hate it, but it's a fact of life I've lived with since birth, and until shit changes, that's how we have to handle these fragile men—or they'll shoot us or take away the things we love. Fun story! I was going to edit out the bitter, but... yeah, I guess bitter's pretty much how I feel about it.
posted by heyho at 8:43 AM on September 14, 2019 [132 favorites]


Maher is fat shaming from the goodness of his heart.

I believe that as much as I believe Cordon was watching Maher's show on TV last week.
posted by ODiV at 8:54 AM on September 14, 2019 [7 favorites]


Not only is Maher an asshole, but Corden is right about the environmental and socioeconomic determinants of population-scale obesity.

But he does share Maher's premise that obesity is a problem, and it's important to take a nuanced and critic look at this premise. Obesity has been used as a shorthand for health by the medical industry in lazy ways that have lead to conventional knowledge that's sometimes not supported by science. And when we lazily connect weight with health, we cause the same problems that Corden attributes to fat shaming.
posted by entropone at 8:55 AM on September 14, 2019 [27 favorites]


Bill Maher suffers from a bog-standard "white dude thinks he's smarter than he is" distortion field. I never got his popularity.
posted by hilberseimer at 8:59 AM on September 14, 2019 [19 favorites]


He is, by the way, KING of the "you're not laughing at my hilarious joke because you're OFFENDED" thing. It honestly never seems to occur to him that people don't find him amusing.

See Also: Ricky Gervais
posted by jontyjago at 9:00 AM on September 14, 2019 [35 favorites]


You know, I'm really not a James Corden fan, and I know what he said has the help of good scriptwriters but what I'm typing here is horribly outdated and I'm really quite a big James Corden fan.
posted by edd at 9:10 AM on September 14, 2019 [18 favorites]


The world would be better place if we could all just stop saying shit about bodies that are not our own. Or at the very least avoid saying shit about bodies that do not resemble our own..

(I should probably not say some of the shit I say about my own body too.)
posted by vespabelle at 9:12 AM on September 14, 2019 [37 favorites]


I don't need your fat shaming, Maher. What I feel daily from achilles tendons that have been hauling two men about on one man's ankles for too many decades is quite enough negative reinforcement to be going on with.

What you need to ask yourself, Maher, is just how much suffering would keeping weight under control need to involve, in order for somebody this much smarter than you to have chosen to live with this level of chronic pain instead. And then you need to shut the fuck up and think about that.
posted by flabdablet at 9:28 AM on September 14, 2019 [58 favorites]


That said, Maher certainly makes a good case, daily as far as I can tell, for smug-shaming.

Yeah, there's tons of things that I think shame could/should be weaponized against. For me, smug-shaming is on the list right next to being-racist-in-public shaming, calling-the-cops-on-black-folks-for-no-reason shaming, etcetcetc. I'm all for shaming people who do things that negatively effect other people. But shaming people for being fat? Their fatness doesn't affect you, their fatness doesn't change the world for in any meaningful way for people who aren't fat. Shaming fat people just isn't going to do anything close to what Bill Maher wants, like Corden explained.

My favorite part of Corden's piece was when he played the Maher clip where Maher says fat shaming should make a come back, and hardly anyone clapped or laughed. I mean, I'd prefer if nobody clapped or laughed, but tbh I was expecting waaaay more people in the audience to respond positively when Maher said that fat shaming should make a come back.
posted by 23skidoo at 9:30 AM on September 14, 2019 [9 favorites]


What you need to ask yourself, Maher, is just how much suffering would keeping weight under control need to involve, in order for somebody this much smarter than you to have chosen to live with this level of chronic pain instead.

I regret that I have but one favourite to give.
posted by jacquilynne at 9:39 AM on September 14, 2019 [17 favorites]


I don't know whether these lines from Winston Rowntree's webcomic Subnormality were written specifically about someone like Maher, but they seem appropriate:
"How about... I dunno... fuckin' people who make fun of overweight people fuckin' suck even more than it seems a-and are hypocrites 'cause..."

"'Cause we all have something we do a lot and if what you did stuck to the outside of your body you'd be big too, it just doesn't. Fuckin'... fifty course meals of hate with hate sauce every night and you're somehow better than anyone else? Everyone's fuckin' fat, motherfucker."
posted by teraflop at 9:39 AM on September 14, 2019 [32 favorites]


Fat shaming has been proven NOT to work. You can stop pretending your tiny, shriveled little peppercorn of a heart has any goodness, Bill.

Maher is a bigoted jerk who is increasingly unfunny. He's also That Guy who thinks #MeToo is rooooo-ining romance! A real prince, that Bill Maher.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 9:46 AM on September 14, 2019 [33 favorites]


I love that Corden finished by basically quoting the teacher, from Matthew 15:11.
posted by TreeRooster at 10:12 AM on September 14, 2019 [7 favorites]


Usually I don't go in for entire threads in which we pile on somebody for being an asshole, but I'm enjoying this one. Bill Maher has chosen to be an asshole on the assumption that some people like watching his smug faux-intellectual pretend-rebel schtick. And I guess some do.
posted by kozad at 10:15 AM on September 14, 2019 [6 favorites]


I professionally and personally am convinced that "fat shaming" does not work and is most likely counter productive. This shaming includes lecturing, belittling, unnecessarily commenting on it, pointing out the attractiveness of thin/normal weight persons etc. I also believe there is an obesity ( BMI 30+) epidemic and it is a significant health concern that contributes to any number of serious and debilitating conditions--I don't need to list the litany of illnesses to which it contributes. My question--and I hope I am not baiting--is how to best talk about this as a legitimate public health concern, a cultural/social issue a policy issue and at times an interpersonal issue. BTW--I stopped watching Bill Maher after a few episodes--I find self righteousness off putting from what ever end of the ideological spectrum.
posted by rmhsinc at 10:16 AM on September 14, 2019 [7 favorites]


"I'm SO TIRED of people reminding me I'm a white dude. I GET IT, I'm a white man and that means I'm EVIL and never allowed to say anything and my opinions don't matter and I guess I'll just SIT IN THE CORNER and SHUT UP. Maybe you don't need to remind me I'm a white man literally every time I open my mouth? Maybe I already know that?!"

But Mr. Maher, you won’t shut up and you won’t go into your corner. It’s reasonable for people to assume you don’t get it. Also, since you never close your mouth, we’re still on “reminding you, take 1.”
posted by GenjiandProust at 10:18 AM on September 14, 2019 [12 favorites]


He was an asshole in a way that felt reassuring when I was growing up in an oppressively born-again Bush era culture. Time has passed, and the people who used to make their living being mean about the religion most likely to ruin my life (Evangelical Christianity) seem to have refocused their energy on being mean about Muslims.

Yep. Bill could be fun when he confined himself to the "right" targets. In this sense, at least, he really is the modern-day Mencken he imagines himself to be.
posted by non canadian guy at 10:24 AM on September 14, 2019


But he does share Maher's premise that obesity is a problem, and it's important to take a nuanced and critic look at this premise. Obesity has been used as a shorthand for health by the medical industry in lazy ways that have lead to conventional knowledge that's sometimes not supported by science. And when we lazily connect weight with health, we cause the same problems that Corden attributes to fat shaming.

Perhaps, but do we really buy for one minute that Maher's fatty-abhorrence has anything whatever to do with concern for people's health and wellbeing, as opposed to Bill's own aesthetic prejudices?
posted by non canadian guy at 10:32 AM on September 14, 2019 [20 favorites]


This is probably a good place to share a comic essay pair that recently came out:
"Unhealthy" contains two comic essays from people who've always been told their bodies don't look healthy enough, and have mentally and physically damaged themselves in the pursuit of looking "healthier". Ignatz-nominated cartoonist Sarah Winifred Searle recounts how she'd sabotage her body by intentionally eating food that would make her sick, and her ongoing attempts to build a kinder relationship with food and allow herself happiness. Cartoonist Abby Howard sought out a calorie-counting program and started down a path of pika and point-saving which ultimately led to a lifelong struggle with bulimia. It's an ongoing battle, but both want to share with people what it truly is to be "Unhealthy".
It's $2 and Abby Howard's essay grapples directly with the effects of Bill Maher's attitude. By getting it you can support somebody who is funny, smart (what Bill Maher only thinks he's doing) and kind.
posted by foxfirefey at 10:40 AM on September 14, 2019 [11 favorites]


I think what I like best about James Corden is he presents as an extrovert who isn't scary to Introverts.
posted by 80 Cats in a Dog Suit at 10:40 AM on September 14, 2019 [7 favorites]


My question--and I hope I am not baiting--is how to best talk about this as a legitimate public health concern, a cultural/social issue a policy issue and at times an interpersonal issue. BTW--I stopped watching Bill Maher after a few episodes--I find self righteousness off putting from what ever end of the ideological spectrum.

Primarily by addressing the issues and causes surrounding obesity:

1. By discouraging shame and blame
2. By eradicating poverty
3. By reducing barriers and stigma to mental healthcare across the whole population
4. By reducing workplace stress and reducing hours required for full-time work
5. By subsidizing healthier, fresh, unprocessed non-GMO foods
6. By addressing food deserts
7. By funding and supporting local programs like rails-to-trails and bike lanes
8. By restructuring healthy vs. nonhealthy categorizations that are currently assumed through flawed models such as BMI calculations
9. By depoliticizing the food pyramid we're all taught in school
10. By accepting that people come in all sizes, and all are deserving of love and respect.
...
posted by mochapickle at 10:44 AM on September 14, 2019 [87 favorites]


I realized recently that the reason New Rules is sometimes amusing is because that's the part of the show Bill doesn't write.

I think people like me appreciated Bill in the Bush years but when the New Atheism schism happened he threw his lot in with the IDW, and is now just another alt right gateway drug. A goodly chunk of his message is that it's OK to hate people simply because of who they are.
posted by klanawa at 10:44 AM on September 14, 2019 [6 favorites]


Why It Was Easier to Be Skinny in the 1980s: A new study finds that people today who eat and exercise the same amount as people 20 years ago are still fatter.

The Paper:
Secular differences in the association between caloric intake, macronutrient intake, and physical activity with obesity
Results
Between 1971 and 2008, BMI, total caloric intake and carbohydrate intake increased 10–14%, and fat and protein intake decreased 5–9%. Between 1988 and 2006, frequency of leisure time physical activity increased 47–120%. However, for a given amount of caloric intake, macronutrient intake or leisure time physical activity, the predicted BMI was up to 2.3 kg/m2 higher in 2006 that in 1988 in the mutually adjusted model (P < 0.05).

Conclusions
Factors other than diet and physical activity may be contributing to the increase in BMI over time. Further research is necessary to identify these factors and to determine the mechanisms through which they affect body weight.
posted by MrVisible at 10:47 AM on September 14, 2019 [36 favorites]


I saw a comment today elsewhere that's still blowing my brain apart to the effect that, if diet and exercise scolds were the disciplined virtuous people they present themselves as, they could spare some of that discipline to shut the hell up and stop being a dipshit in public. But they don't.
posted by threementholsandafuneral at 10:48 AM on September 14, 2019 [45 favorites]


Has fat shaming gone away?
posted by 922257033c4a0f3cecdbd819a46d626999d1af4a at 11:14 AM on September 14, 2019 [5 favorites]


if diet and exercise scolds were the disciplined virtuous people they present themselves as, they could spare some of that discipline to shut the hell up and stop being a dipshit in public

It's really simple, all they need to do is bleat less and empathise more.
posted by flabdablet at 11:20 AM on September 14, 2019 [38 favorites]


Why It Was Easier to Be Skinny in the 1980s

Cocaine.
posted by flabdablet at 11:27 AM on September 14, 2019 [25 favorites]


If Cancel Culture was a real thing then I wouldn't keep being reminded of Bill Maher's existence.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 11:33 AM on September 14, 2019 [4 favorites]


But he does share Maher's premise that obesity is a problem, and it's important to take a nuanced and critic look at this premise. Obesity has been used as a shorthand for health by the medical industry in lazy ways that have lead to conventional knowledge that's sometimes not supported by science. And when we lazily connect weight with health, we cause the same problems that Corden attributes to fat shaming.

Yeah, I wish he hadn't bought into the premise that fat people have the obligation to do everything they can to be thin. That's extremely harmful, too.

I've listening to Gina Kolata's Rethinking Thin on my commute and enjoying it. It's old, I know, but worth reading/listening to anyway.
posted by lazuli at 11:46 AM on September 14, 2019 [8 favorites]


Has fat shaming gone away?

No, of course not. But the people who fat shame now get called out on it, and being shamed for being a fat shamer seems to trigger them. As usual, it's projection all the way down.
posted by Frayed Knot at 11:54 AM on September 14, 2019 [8 favorites]


Because he wants Bill to hear him and digest it and change, and Bill's a fucking narcissistic white male with some power, so it takes some couching. Ask any woman about giving feedback in the workplace. If you want that asshole to hear you, you have to wrap your criticism up in compliments so you can trick him into hearing that he's a "good guy" first because only then will he even start engaging with what you're trying to say—sending out a couple "you're awesome"s lubes the narcissist's T channel, in more sciencey lingo.

I absolutely agree with this, but I also remember Corden saying, "Any time I have met Bill Maher in person, he has been nothing but pleasant and kind and nice." So he has that going on in his brain as well, that the guy is nice to him in person (and then well, acts like this in general). I bet it's a headfuck.
posted by jenfullmoon at 11:55 AM on September 14, 2019 [7 favorites]


I think people like me appreciated Bill in the Bush years but when the New Atheism schism happened he threw his lot in with the IDW, and is now just another alt right gateway drug.
I don't know. I think it was always pretty clear that Maher had some big honking issues with women. And I think that hatred of fat people is intimately tied to misogyny, which is not in any way to imply that men aren't targeted by anti-fat prejudice. But I think that fatness in men is often seen as a failure of masculinity, which is why misogynists like Maher view it with so much disgust. (I also think that Maher would probably say that he isn't talking about Corden, that he's talking about *really* fat people, and Corden is not really fat. It's actually sort of interesting to me that Corden identifies as a fat person, because I think of him as being within the acceptable range for men. It's interesting that this is clearly something that has caused him a lot of pain.)
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 11:56 AM on September 14, 2019 [18 favorites]


Speaking of shame, I’m ashamed that I hadn’t given completely up on Bill Maher and that I’d cut him an endless amount of slack as a privileged hateful little schmuck because he was a rationalist unafraid to speak uncomfortable truths that needed to be said and on balance his missteps were outweighed by his contributions. But he really pushed himself over the edge with this thing and outed himself as just another poorly informed bigot with a microphone. A classic populist, aka bully, cut from the same white male privilege cloth as Trump.

Corden shows amazing class and restraint in his response which is a trait I’ve learned to admire greatly. But for Maher, a man who fancies himself a rationalist with a disdain for hypocrisy, he should know that there is a mountain of scientific evidence showing that the “Try harder to lose weight, fatty!” approach to obesity is a very very ineffective intervention for a serious and widespread public health problem and in fact makes the problem worse on many levels, from individual harm to the esteem of people trying to be healthier to creating a climate of hatred and blame among people who might be in a position to address the systematic factors that contribute to the problem. And I think if you cornered Maher in a serious reflective mood, he probably knows all this and he chose to ignore his better self because it got a laugh and made him feel superior.

He did this reading prepared remarks from a TelePrompTer in front of a camera. He had plenty of time to rethink the logic and impact of what he was saying. Fuck this guy.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 12:02 PM on September 14, 2019 [2 favorites]


I don't know if this is still true, but Maher used to be longtime BFFs with Ann Coulter, queen of fat-shaming. So his assholery on this topic does not come as a big surprise.
posted by pangolin party at 12:07 PM on September 14, 2019 [3 favorites]


I may have to explore more of this Corden chap as I enjoyed that very much.

Probably would've been even better if I didn't have to watch Maher talk though.
posted by SystematicAbuse at 1:03 PM on September 14, 2019 [1 favorite]


I absolutely agree with this, but I also remember Corden saying, "Any time I have met Bill Maher in person, he has been nothing but pleasant and kind and nice." So he has that going on in his brain as well, that the guy is nice to him in person

I heard this as more of the same "being nice" than any kind of honest assessment of the guy. Some kinda celebrity code, at least for the polite ones?
posted by Glinn at 1:45 PM on September 14, 2019 [1 favorite]


Some kinda celebrity code, at least for the polite ones?

I heard this as “I will give you the absolute maximum amount of credit possible before I ravage you for being a hateful prick.”
posted by sallybrown at 1:49 PM on September 14, 2019 [21 favorites]


Also, it frames this as not Corden having a personal beef with Maher for having been insulted directly.
posted by clew at 1:53 PM on September 14, 2019 [18 favorites]


Additionally, it paints Maher as two-faced- someone who espouses certain kinds of ideas on TV, but they're not really ideas that he wants to put into use in his actual life
posted by 23skidoo at 1:59 PM on September 14, 2019 [8 favorites]


I read the "Maher has been nice to me" as pointing out Maher's hypocrisy: "He's been nice to me, so why would he turn around and say something so hateful?"
posted by entropone at 2:07 PM on September 14, 2019 [5 favorites]


”Believe me, I can see a dick.” Well played, James Corden.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 2:21 PM on September 14, 2019 [10 favorites]


Also Bill Maher:

"I'm SO TIRED of people reminding me I'm a white dude. I GET IT, I'm a white man and that means I'm EVIL and never allowed to say anything and my opinions don't matter and I guess I'll just SIT IN THE CORNER and SHUT UP.


Oh, Bill. We don't want you to shut up because you're white. We want you to shut up because you're incapable of any sort of kindess, decency, or respect. Feel free to fuck all the way off, and kiss my fat, luscious ass in its glorious entirety on your way out.
posted by MissySedai at 2:51 PM on September 14, 2019 [16 favorites]


The best jab was 1:20 in. Given Maher's ego, there can't be anything that pisses him off more than John Oliver's popularity.
posted by riruro at 3:07 PM on September 14, 2019 [13 favorites]


Milo made me give up on Maher, but I should have left much earlier for his anti-medication stances, bigotry against Muslims, and fat shaming. There was a period where it seemed like he had this rant every other week.
posted by bootlegpop at 3:08 PM on September 14, 2019 [3 favorites]


Beyond being just wrong and assholish, going after fat people (like me!) is just so lazy. With as much money as he must be making, Maher should be expected to come up with material that is better than something you'd hear at an open mike night at a comedy club. Better than a tweet by a troll with an anime character avatar. Better than comments made by group of middle school boys in between armpit farts. Try to be better at your job, Bill.
posted by LindsayIrene at 3:27 PM on September 14, 2019 [18 favorites]


Wait, I thought that "quote" from Bill Maher about being tired about being reminded he's a privileged white dude was an ironic fake quote of the sort of thing he might say? But MissySedai is replying as though he said it? But it's fake, right? Even though he's an asshole?

This is why you shouldn't put into quotes something which isn't actually a quote...
posted by Justinian at 3:28 PM on September 14, 2019 [1 favorite]


Oh, and there is a possible link between antibiotics and weight gain. Which shouldn't surprising when you consider that livestock are regularly fed antibiotics to make them get bigger faster.
posted by LindsayIrene at 3:34 PM on September 14, 2019 [4 favorites]


But it's fake, right? Even though he's an asshole?

"They [Democrats] made the white working man feel like you're problems aren't real because you're 'mansplaining' and check your privilege," Maher said Friday. "You know, if your life sucks, your problems are real. What should I do? Cut my dick off and check my privilege?"
posted by lazuli at 3:48 PM on September 14, 2019


Ok so he once said something which is sorta related to the quote, but the quote is not real. I'm not defending him; we just should be clear about when we're quoting someone and when we're not.
posted by Justinian at 3:51 PM on September 14, 2019 [4 favorites]


Bill Maher isn't remotely as smart as he thinks he is.

Edgy dullard.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 4:57 PM on September 14, 2019 [2 favorites]


non-GMO foods

Jesus, why? What do people think selective breeding of crops is over a long enough time scale? I don't know why perfectly reasonable ideas have to be lumped in with the naturalistic fallacy so often. (If anyone wants to bring up Monsanto et al, the actual issues with them are not GMOs)
posted by Wandering Idiot at 5:04 PM on September 14, 2019 [46 favorites]


Also, it frames this as not Corden having a personal beef with Maher for having been insulted directly.

Idk, it also makes it look like Corden is a little oblivious about the many other groups of people to whom Maher has been an entire dick.
posted by naoko at 6:04 PM on September 14, 2019 [3 favorites]


Huh. I’m probably the only MFer that wouldn’t know Bill Mahar if he disappeared under the front bumper of my car. I’m sort of tempted to study a couple mug shots so I can enjoy it if it ever happens. But isn’t he a celebrity? He’s probably happy as a fifty-cent sponge in a pit toilet with all this free publicity.
posted by Gilgamesh's Chauffeur at 6:49 PM on September 14, 2019 [3 favorites]


I would much rather sit in coach between two James Cordens than fly first class beside one Bill Maher.
posted by armeowda at 6:55 PM on September 14, 2019 [23 favorites]


Canaries in the coal mine: a cross-species analysis of the plurality of obesity epidemics. This study, published in 2010, found that the rates of obesity in multiple laboratory animal species have been increasing for decades despite the animals' diets not having changed, and no one knows why. It's speculated to be due to some kind of environmental agent that is more prevalent now, perhaps an endocrine disruptor or a pathogen. Whatever it is, it's likely that humans are also exposed to it (probably moreso since lab environments are comparatively clean and well-controlled) and this may play a significant role in the increase in rates of human obesity during the same time period.
posted by biogeo at 7:22 PM on September 14, 2019 [47 favorites]


I'm proud to say that I've been calling Bill Maher a left-leaning version of Bill O'Reilly since about 1995. He's always been a stooge and a hack.
posted by Pickman's Next Top Model at 8:03 PM on September 14, 2019 [7 favorites]


I don't know. I think it was always pretty clear that Maher had some big honking issues with women...

Oh yeah, totally, and that's almost the point. He was a fellow traveler and that made a lot of people overlook his vile traits (same with Shermer, Harris, Hitchens, etc.) But once there was a moment for sober reflection, a lot of people were like, "hey, hold up... these guys are assholes..." That's one of the things that caused the schism.

And yes, I would totally expect Maher to move the goal posts when confronted. When you get down to it, he's a fucking coward.
posted by klanawa at 8:28 PM on September 14, 2019 [1 favorite]


Kelly Anneken:

Me: Oh James Corden is clapping back on fat shaming let’s take a look

James Corden: We know being overweight isn’t good for us...hahahahaha fatties b eatin, roit guv?

Me: 😬😬😬 *stops watching, sends health at every size lit to JC*
posted by deadbilly at 8:31 PM on September 14, 2019 [8 favorites]


Ok so he once said something which is sorta related to the quote, but the quote is not real. I'm not defending him; we just should be clear about when we're quoting someone and when we're not.

Yeah, sorry. There's a reason there's no good typographical way to indicate that a supposed quotation is actually an exaggerated version of the sort of thing a person might say. It's a bad, dishonest rhetorical device even when I really feel like the target deserves it. I hoped that using ALL CAPS would indicate I WAS USING PARODY to illustrate my belief that Maher is the sort of SNOWFLAKE that would melt if he had to face 1% of the heat he is so smugly dishing out. But I coulda just said that instead of putting fake words in his mouth. I apologize for the confusion.
posted by straight at 1:09 AM on September 15, 2019 [2 favorites]


What superb writing! And delivery, thank you Mr Corden.
posted by Coaticass at 1:49 AM on September 15, 2019


I always liked Bill Maher. But sometimes, maybe more than sometimes, he can be a real ass hole. This was one of those times.

I'm considering giving Bill his papers and saying goodby. I think I've out grown him.
posted by james33 at 4:49 AM on September 15, 2019 [1 favorite]


But sometimes, maybe more than sometimes, he can be a real ass hole.

This means that he’s always an asshole, but he’s learned to wear a human mask most of the time so he doesn’t get ostracized.
posted by Etrigan at 7:17 AM on September 15, 2019 [8 favorites]


"I would much rather sit in coach between two James Cordens than fly first class beside one Bill Maher." That would probably be one of the most enjoyable flights of my life. Unless I wanted to sleep. But otherwise, I can just imagine how much fun two James Cordens would have together, and you just know they would include you and the ten closest rows.
posted by postel's law at 7:20 AM on September 15, 2019 [11 favorites]


2. By eradicating poverty
...
5. By subsidizing healthier, fresh, unprocessed non-GMO foods

What the fuck?

This is a bunch of wand-waving: we need to get people to make difficult lifestyle and dietary changes, and to suggest that a prerequisite is eliminating poverty is absurd. It practically means give up for at least a hundred years.

What is your purported mechanism that GMO crops increase obesity? Because they make food cheaper and feed more of the world? We don't have too much food.
posted by floam at 10:32 AM on September 15, 2019 [1 favorite]


2. By eradicating poverty

This is a legit point—poverty constrains access to healthy food options (e.g., lack of full service grocery stores in the neighborhood) and can crimp the amount of time one has to prepare food.

But I'm not aware of any reason GMOs can be blamed for increased obesity.
posted by she's not there at 10:50 AM on September 15, 2019 [7 favorites]


This is a bunch of wand-waving: we need to get people to make difficult lifestyle and dietary changes, and to suggest that a prerequisite is eliminating poverty is absurd. It practically means give up for at least a hundred years.

I'm not sure if you've had an opportunity to watch the Corden video linked within the FPP, but he mentions the effect of childhood poverty explicitly at 5:59. And we don't have to wait 100 years to make a difference. While addressing poverty at any level would affect obesity rates immediately to some degree, our focus should always be on eradicating poverty for everyone.

As for the GMO issue, based on the comments here, I have been reading up on this today and it's clear I was working under outdated, assumed, and incorrect information. I'm grateful for the feedback. If I could, I'd update this to the following:

5. By subsidizing healthier, fresh, unprocessed foods

Additionally, the ... at the end of my comment suggests that there are other ways we can address the causes of obesity. For me, addressing my obesity in a meaningful way depended on having a light workload and the latitude of lots of free time to walk and exercise. It meant having easy access to healthy, fresh, affordable food. It meant not having to cook for other people, so I wasn't tempted to eat when I wasn't hungry or cave to social pressure.

It also meant being economically stable enough that I wasn't stressing out over paying my rent or other bills. It meant being fully medically insured and not having to deal with any personal major medical issues.

In short, dealing with my obesity was a full-time job with a million moving pieces, and with most of the settings set to EASY, and it was still incredibly difficult.
posted by mochapickle at 1:42 PM on September 15, 2019 [20 favorites]


we don't have too much food

actually, a full 1/3 of all food produced is wasted.

poverty has very real impacts on health and obesity, the statistics are all out there widely available and common knowledge at this point.

we have plenty of good food for everyone, it's a matter of access. but there are reasons that it's literally impossible for many people to shop at whole foods or even normal grocery stores due to systemic poverty.
i think about the times growing up when we could not afford food in my house and how that has lead me to having a scarcity mindset in many long term ways. i hoard shelf stable foods like lentils and beans. i also think about the fact that when we had food, we were made to eat 2 vegetable dishes (usually potatoes and something else green) and how that's probably instilled in me healthier eating habits. so in complex ways poverty and nutrition have long term impacts (right down to the several weeks out of many when we didn't have food in our house!) on me, as an anecdotal example. solving poverty would absolutely help with obesity. it doesn't have to be an all or nothing framework. it's not like we miraculously solve poverty and obesity disappears. it's far more complex than that but no less worthy (or relevant) a goal.
posted by erattacorrige at 2:47 PM on September 15, 2019 [4 favorites]


Why It Was Easier to Be Skinny in the 1980s

Cocaine.
posted by flabdablet at 11:27 AM on September 14

I'm sure this was quite literally true for a variety of demographics—and not just the usual fast-lane types, i.e., music, entertainment. E.g., based on my experience, cocaine use was all but required of restaurant and bar (of course) employees.
posted by she's not there at 3:17 PM on September 15, 2019


People I know who lived through the 80s -- even the ones who are chatty about their drug use -- never used cocaine. Plenty of them smoked, though...
posted by grandiloquiet at 3:36 PM on September 15, 2019 [3 favorites]


That a high percentage of food is lost to waste and spoilage does not mean we have more than enough food. Consumption is rapidly increasing in Asia and fertile land is already highly utilized. Millions outside the west are malnourished and it’s likely to get worse as China develops. We definitely do not have too many vegetables here on planet Earth and GM crops are one of the only rays of hope.
posted by floam at 8:15 PM on September 15, 2019


I think fat shaming is, for some people, an easy way to feel and act superior to someone, and enjoy bullying another person without fear of being universally labeled as an asshole.

I also agree that Corden was courteous to Bill Maher with all that talk about Bill being polite and kind to him in person to try and forestall any personal counterattack. "I'm sure he meant well blesshisheart".
posted by M. at 7:57 AM on September 16, 2019 [4 favorites]


For people confused about Maher's popularity, you have to understand that he made his bones in the early nineties on appealing to angry people who considered themselves smarter than anyone else. His first big TV gig was a show called "Politically Incorrect"that was a half hour of mostly dunking on religion. His whole schtick was how smart he is, and only dumb people don't agree with him. Weaponized smugness. This was a pure dopamine ferris wheel to a particular kind of Gen-X/early Millennial socially awkward misanthrope. They found validation for the first time in their sad lives, and that grateful fan base never wavered.

Because of this, Maher can still sell out a theater and play to a sea of graying guys with various Hitchens quotes on their black tee-shirts.
posted by FakeFreyja at 9:25 AM on September 16, 2019 [7 favorites]


how to best talk about this as a legitimate public health concern, a cultural/social issue a policy issue and at times an interpersonal issue

1. when talking to fat kids about being fat and needing to be less fat, frame it as a HEALTH issue and a FEELING BETTER issue, not a "you're ugly because you're fat and if you were thin you would have friends and dates and be happy."

2. don't assume that fat people are stupid and are fat because they're stupid.

3. understand everyone is fat for a different reason, and that mental health is a big reason for a lot of people.

4. treat people as if they have value even if you don't find them physically attractive.

if we had more time to grocery shop and cook meals, we might not hit fast food on the way home from work. if jobs paid a living wage, we might not have to work 2+ jobs. there's a lot more, but i'm tired of being fat in this world, and none of what i say matters, because i'm fat and don't count.
posted by misanthropicsarah at 1:37 PM on September 16, 2019 [12 favorites]


This is a bunch of wand-waving: we need to get people to make difficult lifestyle and dietary changes

Aww, bless your heart.

If you've got a moment, would you mind pointing to the studies that show which lifestyle and dietary changes exactly result in overweight and obese people returning to a 'healthy' BMI and maintaining that weight loss long term? I'm not talking about the ones that say 'hey, the people in this cohort lost a mean of 20 lbs, and a year later they'd put most of it back on'. I'm talking about the ones you seem to think (a) exist and (b) have been proven to work.

(I'm kidding. You can't, because on the 'it works, somewhat, for most people, we guess' front, there's bariatric surgery; and all of the rest is an anecdote about your friend who totally lost so much weight that one time, pics on Reddit of people who get IF to work and none of the thousands of people who couldn't (or who did, but now it's three years later and they're heavy again), and people like Michael Mosley selling books saying 'hold up, Ima tell you how I, a wealthy, university educated, white, thin person, lost six whole kilograms this one time', and that's it.)
posted by some little punk in a rocket at 7:35 PM on September 16, 2019 [8 favorites]


The long-term effectiveness of a lifestyle intervention in severely obese individuals

Impact of long-term lifestyle programmes on weight loss and cardiovascular risk factors in overweight/obese participants: a systematic review and network meta-analysis

Nobody can say that dietary or lifestyle changes guarantee complete return to a healthy BMI, but the outcomes are better and the BMI can remain significantly reduced after the initial year. We shouldn't let perfect become the enemy of good.
posted by floam at 9:51 PM on September 16, 2019


Nobody can say that dietary or lifestyle changes guarantee complete return to a healthy BMI, but the outcomes are better and the BMI can remain significantly reduced after the initial year. We shouldn't let perfect become the enemy of good.

That first study lasted 4 years, it wasn't that they stopped their intervention for three years after the initial year and then checked the long results three years later. The participants got lots of support during those years, for instance the liquid meal replacements were provided, but also 2-3 refresher courses per year, each lasting 6-8 weeks. Also, there's a huge selection bias: they had to check quite a few boxes before being able to participate. In the second analysis, very few studies are included with a post-intervention follow up.

In other words, getting people to make those difficult lifestyle and dietary changes might require a lot of outside intervention/help and even then we don't know if and how those people manage in the long run, after the researches have concluded their one year study. "We shouldn't let perfect become the enemy of good" is true, but in this case even 'good' seems to be a bar that's very hard to meet.
posted by Ms. Next at 4:41 AM on September 17, 2019 [7 favorites]


It would be really awesome if we could stop this from devolving into yet another discussion about how fat people can lose weight.
posted by sallybrown at 6:35 AM on September 17, 2019 [21 favorites]


It would be really awesome if we could stop this from devolving into yet another discussion about how fat people can lose weight.
You're completely right, that is off topic. Apologies for having contributed to that above.
posted by Ms. Next at 7:01 AM on September 17, 2019 [1 favorite]


It would be really awesome if we could stop this from devolving into yet another discussion about how fat people can lose weight.

The only voices I ever want to hear on that topic are those of people who have lived with a 45+ BMI for at least five years, have consistently maintained 30- for the last ten, are a parent, and have not had bariatric surgery.

Nobody else has got the remotest chance of actually being across all the relevant issues.

Anybody who does fit those criteria and has any kind of desire to share their methods and experiences is welcome to memail or email me, and will find me receptive and appreciative. Anybody who doesn't can keep their half-baked opinions to themselves, tyvm.
posted by flabdablet at 7:34 AM on September 17, 2019 [3 favorites]


Er. Would anyone like an in depth discussion of the five studies in that 21-study meta-analysis that actually bothered to do any follow up post-intervention at all? Because I wrote up half of one that talks about the methodological issues and the magnitudes of the findings of each, including some discussion of why it's really a much more complicated problem than just "eat less, exercise more!" and then I had to go teach. And, well... I don't want to talk over anyone. I'm just interested in what the "perfect" and the "good" is here, anyway. And, well, it's not like I have anything to add except increasingly more authoritative agreements with what others (misanthropicsarah, in particular) have already said, where "authoritative" equals "an in depth dive into the literature.")

Also: how is someone else's level of fatness an interpersonal issue?
posted by sciatrix at 8:52 AM on September 17, 2019


It's an interpersonal issue because all those years of fat-shaming being perfectly acceptable have trained an awful lot of people to experience disgust and/or contempt when they perceive obesity; naked obesity, doubly so.

Some people find it completely acceptable to express that disgust and/or contempt quite freely, thereby perpetuating the interpersonal issue. Others display varying degrees of incompetence at hiding it. Many, many people internalize it.

It's also an interpersonal issue from the fat person's point of view. We're pretty adept at picking up on other people's disgust and contempt, and either writing those people off as Yet Another Shithead To Be Avoided or needing to pretend not to have noticed it, depending on how pressing a need we have to maintain some kind of relationship there.

In my experience it's quite rare to encounter people who either don't experience the customary negative reactions on seeing me at the swimming hole or are genuinely competent at hiding it. It's lovely when it happens; it's one of those experiences like turning off a noisy fan, where you don't really notice how noisy the thing has been since approximately forever until the noise suddenly goes away.

So thanks for that, Maher and all the others who think like he does. Obviously your poorly disguised loathing is something I would totally be relying on to keep me healthy. Don't know where I'd be without it. Eleventy billion times fatter, probably.
posted by flabdablet at 10:18 AM on September 17, 2019 [3 favorites]


Obviously your poorly disguised loathing is something I would totally be relying on to keep me healthy. Don't know where I'd be without it.

Yeah this is exactly why I have problems with framing the fat issue as a health one. it's inappropriate IMHO for anyone who isn't your doctor or clinician to be telling you or anyone else what's healthy or not for you. the 'but this is a health concern, i am just concerned for your health!!' framework further serves to stigmatize and shame fat people. it's also nobody else's goddamn business to assess anyone else's health and provide unsolicited, unwarranted, and often plain wrong advice or input on the 'health' of another person. suddenly every fat-shaming person ever cares about the 'health' of fat people? it's just boundary-crossing and condescending and thinly veiled fat-shaming.
i dated a fat man in the past and even his doctors were unable to address the health component of his body in a destigmatized and non-shamey way, in most cases, which just deepened his distrust of people and their 'concern' for his body and its fatness. so not only should nobody who is not someone's PERSONAL health professional be saying anything to anybody else about the health of another's body, but even health professionals need updated training to provide adequate CARE for their own personal, private patients protected by HIPAA.
posted by erattacorrige at 8:19 AM on September 18, 2019 [4 favorites]


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