I might have a valid point to make
July 29, 2010 9:08 AM   Subscribe

A mystery man keeps appearing in the background of live news reports. But why? posted by mippy (103 comments total) 20 users marked this as a favorite
 
Mystery solved!
posted by swift at 9:12 AM on July 29, 2010


He's got nuthin' on Frank Chu!
posted by rtha at 9:12 AM on July 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


Unsettling, especially in light of the fact that apparently everyone he's ever taken care of has died.
posted by saladin at 9:12 AM on July 29, 2010


Guy tries to make valid point about media, internet makes flash game where you can kick him.
Well done, internet.
posted by lholladay at 9:14 AM on July 29, 2010 [14 favorites]


fidgetwith gets super extra mega nerd points for calling their collection of sharing icons "share and enjoy!" and depicting them as half buried.
posted by luvcraft at 9:15 AM on July 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


Guy also has an unsettling flesh-toned sweatshirt.
posted by Think_Long at 9:15 AM on July 29, 2010 [3 favorites]


"I could have a valid point about something but the microphone is always passed to the person alongside me. The point I am making is that the more you push me aside, the more I'm going to be determined to make my presence known."

That person is normally the BJ, though. They'd probably do the same for Brad Pitt. Unless, of course, it was a story about a hospital opening in Tooting, in which case they'd ask him whom he was there to adopt.
posted by mippy at 9:15 AM on July 29, 2010


What I really want to know is, why was he wearing the same clothes every day?
posted by audacity at 9:16 AM on July 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


At least he was making a point. In the US, that guy would have been wearing a shirt reading "BABA BOOEY".
posted by jquinby at 9:17 AM on July 29, 2010 [15 favorites]


Apparently he's also protesting our society's unreasonable expectation that people own more than one shirt.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:17 AM on July 29, 2010 [15 favorites]


Dammit!

*Stands behind audacity all the time*
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:18 AM on July 29, 2010


Some people have too much spare time.
posted by Fizz at 9:18 AM on July 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


Saladin-
Not surprising at all. Most people who require a personal attendant will expire significantly sooner than the attendant.
posted by TomMelee at 9:20 AM on July 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


I was relieved to learn that it was viral advertising... although a part of me wishes there was no statement to it, and he'd disappear as mysteriously as he'd arrived.
posted by codacorolla at 9:21 AM on July 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


Surely it's not viral advertising if he's doing it off his own bat?
posted by mippy at 9:23 AM on July 29, 2010


Sorry, I mistyped there, "I was relieved to learn that it WASN'T viral advertising."
posted by codacorolla at 9:24 AM on July 29, 2010


Time traveler. He's pinning down his timeline by "establishing" himself at verifiable times and places.

This is complicated, but basically, if nobody knows about an event, it may or may not have happened and you can mess with it to your heart's content. But once that event is established, documented, known to be part of the historical record, then it's fixed. This is why Kennedy's still dead, Hitler still rampaged across Europe, etc. etc.

In this guy's case, we don't know what he's doing between these appearances, but we now know he was in particular places at particular times. He's shortening the intervals for which his status is unknown and making it more difficult for others to tamper with whatever he's doing. For example, it's now firmly established that he was not killed prior to any of those TV appearances.

It's a fairly basic defensive technique, part of the standard fieldcraft for people planning to take potentially significant actions in controversial historical segments.
posted by Naberius at 9:24 AM on July 29, 2010 [185 favorites]


Wait a minute. Wait a minute. This is a sub plot on Fringe, isn't it?
posted by crunchland at 9:25 AM on July 29, 2010 [12 favorites]


The next step is to mass-produce masks of this guy's face, so that he can be present en masse at every news report, Being John Malkovich-style.
posted by phunniemee at 9:25 AM on July 29, 2010 [8 favorites]


>Unsettling

>internet makes flash game where you can kick him. Well done, internet.

>Guy also has an unsettling flesh-toned sweatshirt.

>That person is normally the BJ, though. They'd probably do the same for Brad Pitt.

>What I really want to know is, why was he wearing the same clothes every day?

>Apparently he's also protesting our society's unreasonable expectation that people own more than one shirt.

>Some people have too much spare time.

Way to go, YOU GUYS!!! Geez, what a crowd.

Well, I think what he's doing is pretty cool. He starts to notice that he's the guy who doesn't get to have an opinion, so he just stands there.

I think he'd probably be found standing behind a lot of MeFi commentators, by the looks of things.
posted by circular at 9:26 AM on July 29, 2010 [5 favorites]


I was hoping he'd turn out to be a real-life Observer.
posted by howling fantods at 9:26 AM on July 29, 2010 [4 favorites]


Seeing the photos reminded me of seeing him on the phone in a live 'from the Court' report and thinking at the time 'wow that guy really wants to be in shot'

What I really want to know is, why was he wearing the same clothes every day?

Perhaps he's like Einstein* and just has loads of the same outfit so he has doesn't have to spend time thinking what to wear every day.

*... according to, I think, the film The Fly
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 9:27 AM on July 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


So it's not an ad for Fringe? I'm confused.
posted by mek at 9:28 AM on July 29, 2010


I realise this is really childish but I like it when people stroll past the journalist and wave.
posted by mippy at 9:29 AM on July 29, 2010


Way to go, YOU GUYS!!! Geez, what a crowd.

For the record, my comment above is in invisible sarcasm tags.
I was trying to say that his point has basically been proven.
posted by lholladay at 9:29 AM on July 29, 2010


TomMelee - I agree, it's not surprising, just unsettling. I'm beginning to suspect that maybe he's Death incarnate, lingering in the background of newscasts to remind us of our inescapable mortality.
posted by saladin at 9:29 AM on July 29, 2010


If he applied that same amount of energy into diet and exercise that he put into getting on TV, he probably wouldn't be "that fat guy that wants to be on TV."
posted by charlie don't surf at 9:30 AM on July 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


Reminds me of Rollen Stewart.

This is complicated, but basically, if nobody knows about an event, it may or may not have happened and you can mess with it to your heart's content.

Events have causality regardless of whether anyone knows about it. Nobody knows I took the last donut. Because you couldn't find a donut, you went to the shop this morning. Shazam -- I "caused" you to buy a dozen glazed.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 9:32 AM on July 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


fidgetwith gets super extra mega nerd points for calling their collection of sharing icons "share and enjoy!" and depicting them as half buried.

Whoa, no kidding. That's so awesome my sunglasses just turned opaque.
posted by adamdschneider at 9:33 AM on July 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


He could have been doing something useful like murdering all of those mainstream news twerps instead of just standing there idly.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:33 AM on July 29, 2010


It's Watson!
posted by brundlefly at 9:34 AM on July 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


"It is a statement about the image conscious media. I am overweight and people like me are treated as unsightly because of the way they look.

"I could have a valid point about something but the microphone is always passed to the person alongside me. The point I am making is that the more you push me aside, the more I'm going to be determined to make my presence known."
Yes, the media consistently ignores overweight white men, the counterexamples of John Candy, Chris Farley, John Goodman, Michael Moore, &c., &c. notwithstanding. I wonder if he's considered the possibility that, by constantly showing up wherever some TV reporter is doing a whatever-you-call-those-framing-bits-on-the-street shot and hovering around them, he's pretty much guaranteeing that he won't be asked for a vox pop on the suspicion that he's got his pet rant cued up and ready to roll. And passive-aggressiveness works so well in getting your point across.
posted by Halloween Jack at 9:37 AM on July 29, 2010


it's now firmly established that he was not killed prior to any of those TV appearances

What the hell are you talking about? He's a time traveler. He could have been killed thousands of years ago.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 9:41 AM on July 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


If he applied that same amount of energy into diet and exercise that he put into getting on TV, he probably wouldn't be "that fat guy that wants to be on TV."

And if he wasn't fat and balding, people would pay more attention to him, and then he wouldn't feel the need to make a statement about how conventionally unattractive people are considered to be invisible. He'd achieve personal gain (not being invisible) but sacrifice cultural gain (no one should be invisible).
posted by muddgirl at 9:43 AM on July 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


Time traveler. He's pinning down his timeline by "establishing" himself at verifiable times and places.

Exactly why I joined MetaFilter.

I've said too much...
posted by Splunge at 9:44 AM on July 29, 2010 [3 favorites]


Boy, those Marble Hornets have really kicked it up a notch. Nice work, fellas!
posted by Benjamin Nushmutt at 9:46 AM on July 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


Huh, so it's just a guy trying to make a statement? I guess that's at least as plausible of my theory which is that he is a secret agent time traveler with amnesia who is trying to find which of the clones of himself is actually the one trying to kill the head of the alien senate in the year 3126 and is now hiding in the past waiting to do the deed.

I mean, in the grand scheme of things, either of these offer pretty reasonable explanations.
posted by quin at 9:47 AM on July 29, 2010


Does this have something to do with Ghostbusters 2?
posted by inigo2 at 9:48 AM on July 29, 2010


"It is a statement about the image conscious media. I am overweight and people like me are treated as unsightly because of the way they look.

I understand and even agree with his point, but he'd be a great deal less unsightly if he'd just get a damn haircut.
posted by mudpuppie at 9:48 AM on July 29, 2010


When do the Doctor and Amy show up?
posted by jbickers at 9:48 AM on July 29, 2010 [6 favorites]


He reminds me of the Jesus figure lurching through the background of Kieślowski's Decalog. Nobody ever listened to him either.
posted by Beardman at 9:48 AM on July 29, 2010


It's The Doctor.
posted by infinitywaltz at 9:50 AM on July 29, 2010 [4 favorites]


What I really want to know is, why was he wearing the same clothes every day?

Is anyone asking this seriously? Obviously it's much easier for him to get noticed if it's always the same guy in the same clothes. Same as this guy.
posted by straight at 9:51 AM on July 29, 2010 [3 favorites]


this is awesome.
posted by mrgrimm at 9:58 AM on July 29, 2010


Is it Bong Boy?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:00 AM on July 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


Well, I think what he's doing is pretty cool. He starts to notice that he's the guy who doesn't get to have an opinion, so he just stands there.

I'm not sure what he's specifically complaining about, though. Surely he gets to have just as much an opinion and access to communal decisionmaking as I do? Which is to say, not much, but also not influenced by his looks.

Or is he upset and never getting cast on tv or never getting interviewed for a vox pop?

This kind of reminds me of Hermann Kutzer, who regularly gets to influence millions of people on what stock to buy or not to buy. He gets more public exposure, respect and opinion than I'll ever have, that's for sure.
posted by Omnomnom at 10:04 AM on July 29, 2010


Unslender Man.
posted by shakespeherian at 10:06 AM on July 29, 2010 [4 favorites]


"The point I am making is that the more you push me aside, the more I'm going to be determined to make my presence known."

"I could have a valid point about something but the microphone is always passed to the person alongside me."


They don't approach you because you are always there, genius.


I see BBC reporters getting MOS's all the time from people who look as "bad" or "worse" than this guy.

The producers obviously know this guy and they now expect him to show up at remotes throughout London. Which means before the segment, they are most-likely telling the reporter in his/her IFB not to approach him.
posted by L'OM at 10:07 AM on July 29, 2010


Seriously, that shirt is just doing nothing for him. He desperately needs warm tones.
posted by 8dot3 at 10:09 AM on July 29, 2010


I'll bet he reads this newspaper...
posted by schmod at 10:10 AM on July 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


I think he's wearing an ugly shirt on purpose, and it fits to his message. Is good.
posted by Omnomnom at 10:11 AM on July 29, 2010


It's Banksy!
posted by Ian A.T. at 10:12 AM on July 29, 2010 [3 favorites]


"I could have a valid point about something but the microphone is always passed to the person alongside me."

I find this statement kind of hilarious. "Pay attention to me! I might possibly have something of substance to contribute!"

"Okay, what's on your mind?"

"...Pay attention to me!"
posted by Gator at 10:12 AM on July 29, 2010 [3 favorites]


Guy also has an unsettling flesh-toned sweatshirt.

Well, toned to his flesh, anyway.
posted by JanetLand at 10:14 AM on July 29, 2010


Meh, we've had one of those in Portugal for years now. Except he has no teeth and has a big mole in his cheek. He always shows up glued to the back of whomever is talking on TV so he is known as "lumbar plaster".

Needless to say he became a minor celebrity when one TV presenter finally turned around and asked him why he did it. He did not have a valid point to make.
posted by lucia__is__dada at 10:19 AM on July 29, 2010


While I was living in DC, I got tired of the tourists taking pictures and walking slowly in swarms, so I started a game with myself of trying to get into as many people's pictures as possible. I figured that some day I'd see myself in a friend's vacation pictures. I only kept it up for a couple of weeks but it was surprisingly fun.
posted by sciencegeek at 10:25 AM on July 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


Guy looks a bit like Andy Pipkin.
posted by usonian at 10:26 AM on July 29, 2010


Well, I think what he's doing is pretty cool. He starts to notice that he's the guy who doesn't get to have an opinion, so he just stands there.

See, the problem is that most television news is worthless to begin with, and most of the people whose opinions are solicited are idiots regardless of their appearance. If he's angry about being excluded from the parade of morons* between weather and second-half sports that's his prerogative, but I think his whole shtick is based on a pretty flimsy premise.

*Excluding my favorite person on the street, who was being interviewed about how windy it was when a large chunk of styrofoam that had been blown off of a building was picked up by the wind and whomped her across the back. I spent a good thirty minutes looking for the video, but no luck.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:29 AM on July 29, 2010


Is he angry? I don't see much anger. It's performance art.
posted by muddgirl at 10:33 AM on July 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


My first thought was that it was the Doctor -- but then I remembered that the Doctor is both more discreet, and has a better dress sense.
posted by jb at 10:35 AM on July 29, 2010


The grinning visage of death?
posted by cazoo at 10:35 AM on July 29, 2010


Fine, 'put out', 'dismayed', 'chagrined', 'vexed'.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:36 AM on July 29, 2010


Halloween Jack: Yes, the media consistently ignores overweight white men, the counterexamples of John Candy, Chris Farley, John Goodman, Michael Moore, &c., &c. notwithstanding.

I assume you're being ironic here. But the first of your counterexamples died back in 1994. Another, who I've never heard of, died in 1997. The fact you can name two living overweight celebrities in a country where over 60% of adults are overweight or obese isn't really very compelling evidence against his argument that overweight people are underrepresented.

Halloween Jack: And passive-aggressiveness works so well in getting your point across.

He's no more or less passive-aggressive than any civil rights protester.

I reckon the guy has some serious dignity about him, and the point he makes, about the vital importance we place on appearance, and how the unconventional are routinely elided from public discourse, is kind of thought-provoking.

The fact that he's getting a whole bunch of hurr-durr-lose-weight-get-a-haircut-change-your-stinking-shirt-lardass comments on MeFi (the same MeFi that has a collective freak-out when someone's cousin's friend was at a party two months ago where someone used "gay" to mean "lame") kind of bolsters his point, dontcha think?
posted by dontjumplarry at 10:37 AM on July 29, 2010 [15 favorites]


If he wore colors that were better suited for the camera, he might actually get on TV.
posted by The Light Fantastic at 10:38 AM on July 29, 2010


I kicked him 138,412 meters!
posted by yhbc at 10:38 AM on July 29, 2010


Also, it's pretty clear to me that the "microphone" he mentions isn't a literal "man-on-the-street" mike employed by local news services. It also seems strange to assume that he is standing back there hoping to be interviewed about something (considering the segments he is intruding on are not "man-on-the-street" segments).
posted by muddgirl at 10:40 AM on July 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


I just hope this guy has an identical twin
posted by robocop is bleeding at 10:40 AM on July 29, 2010


It would have been better if he was naked.
posted by stormpooper at 10:42 AM on July 29, 2010


I suspect his appearances are really a viral campaign for Vitaminwater. Watch -- in upcoming appearances he'll be 'popping and locking' behind the news correspondents.
posted by ericb at 10:42 AM on July 29, 2010 [5 favorites]


It also seems strange to assume that he is standing back there hoping to be interviewed about something (considering the segments he is intruding on are not "man-on-the-street" segments).

And it doesn't look like he's carrying around a lot of antiques.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:46 AM on July 29, 2010


Just how relevant are contemporary customs regulations and currency restrictions in a modern expanding industrial economy?
posted by Devils Rancher at 10:51 AM on July 29, 2010


Ah, brings to mind Rollen Frederick Stewart in his rainbow wig and 'Jesus Saves' t-shirt and often holding up a sign (John 3:16) while popping up in the background of televised sporting events.

"A few years later Stewart went completely off his nut, staged a series of bombings, and wound up in prison after a bizarre kidnapping stunt.*"
posted by ericb at 10:52 AM on July 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


"Stewart was arrested in 1992 after a standoff in a California hotel during which he entered a vacant room with two men he was attempting to kidnap and surprised a chambermaid who then locked herself in the bathroom. Reportedly, Stewart believed that the Rapture was due to arrive in six days. During the standoff, he threatened to shoot at airplanes taking off from nearby Los Angeles International Airport, and covered the hotel room windows with 'John 3:16' placards."*
posted by ericb at 10:54 AM on July 29, 2010


"I kicked him 138,412 meters!"

Ha! 146,955 for me! I win!
posted by mr_crash_davis mark II: Jazz Odyssey at 11:01 AM on July 29, 2010


While I was living in DC, I got tired of the tourists taking pictures and walking slowly in swarms, so I started a game with myself of trying to get into as many people's pictures as possible. I figured that some day I'd see myself in a friend's vacation pictures. I only kept it up for a couple of weeks but it was surprisingly fun.

I love to do this. My wife and I call it "McCaining," a nod to JSM's befuddled wandering in front of the TV cameras after the 2008 presidential debate in Nashville.

It's not just for tourists, but for anyone taking a posed picture or videotaping something:

"La di da ... " *walking slowly but surely in front of a camera, turning around aimlessly, looking everywhere BUT the camera*

My 4-year-old nephew is quite adept at this in family photos. I'm not sure if it's intentional.
posted by mrgrimm at 11:05 AM on July 29, 2010 [3 favorites]


If he wore colors that were better suited for the camera, he might actually get on TV.

I'd like to think that's part of his point--to demonstrate how unreal TV reality really is.
posted by mrgrimm at 11:06 AM on July 29, 2010


"But Yarrow was happy to talk this week about his new-found fame. ‘People stop in the street and say: “You’re the guy on TV, keep up the good work.” I seem to have brought happiness into people’s lives.‘I’m getting emails from all sorts, from 14-year-olds saying: “You are a legend,” to 60-year-olds who have found me on Facebook. It’s growing and growing every day. The thought of becoming famous is quite frightening.’"
posted by iviken at 11:07 AM on July 29, 2010


...why was he wearing the same clothes every day?

"People will remember you better if you always wear the same outfit." -- David Byrne
posted by neuron at 11:09 AM on July 29, 2010


The thought of becoming famous is quite frightening.

Oh, Pyrrhic victory!
posted by Gator at 11:11 AM on July 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


Fat British guys protests how British TV overlooks fat people. Yes, TV overlooks fat people, true.

British TV however is by far the most inclusive of "realistic weight" people, by far, by fucking miles. I've watched TV in several countries, really. Alright, maybe some Island nations with very strange sexual norms include more.

You know what? British TV has NOT been improved by it's inclusion of ever so slightly overweight people. I'm just slightly overweight myself. I'm not interested in overweight role models. I'd rather another source for encouragement to eat less.

How about we simply ban TV channels that don't exhibit a realistic weight distribution from advertising any foods with excessive sugar or fat content? I'm pretty damn sure they'd ditch fatty meal ads rather than include your ass, which is way more helpful for overweight kids.
posted by jeffburdges at 11:13 AM on July 29, 2010


Bullshit. He's a bodyguard, there to intercept anyone who tries to sneak up on the reporter or who they're interviewing. (The cameraman isn't looking for troublemakers, so too often doesn't spot them until way too late.)

Off-camera is out of position if someone came running, he's perfectly placed to get a crazy streaker in a quick headlock. Lame cover-story, but if someone with worse intentions than streaking decided to hit one of those politicians, they'd look at him and go "Oh, the crazy fat man who wants to be on television" and maybe not go for him first the way they would an obvious bodyguard. Even so, his time is probably done now that he's exposed, as it appears he was a free-lancer rather than in-house security fr a network.

Next time you see a paparazzi fest, you'll see the huge, impressively well-dressed man ushering the star into the club. Unless you look close, you won't see the somewhat shabby, just-as-big guy or big-coat-for-a-little-man-what's-he-got-under-there guy a few steps away slip in quietly behind them. The 400-pounder in the thousand dollar suit isn't the baddest man on payroll, just sayin'.
posted by Slap*Happy at 11:18 AM on July 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


Also, he wears the same shirt so the reporter, soundman and cameraman can identify him at a glance, and he won't stick out. Cream-colored t-shirt or polo works well.
posted by Slap*Happy at 11:24 AM on July 29, 2010


There's a great horror story called "each thing i show you is a piece of my death", in which a man mysteriously shows up in news stories, movies, etc. who was not there at the time of the filming. You can download the story to read for free from the Clockwork Phoenix website because it was nominated for an award. Very creepy! I'm glad this situation is a little less sinister.
posted by rivenwanderer at 11:47 AM on July 29, 2010


What I really want to know is, why was he wearing the same clothes every day?

Is anyone asking this seriously? Obviously it's much easier for him to get noticed if it's always the same guy in the same clothes. Same as this guy.


Not to mention this guy.
posted by umberto at 1:12 PM on July 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


I love to do this. My wife and I call it "McCaining," a nod to JSM's befuddled wandering in front of the TV cameras after the 2008 presidential debate in Nashville.


Madness? ThisIsPhotobomb!
posted by jquinby at 1:31 PM on July 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


This provoked my thoughts. I like it. I kinda think for the next few months there're gonna be fat people at the back of every news report though.

Hopefully, that'll discourage news producers from unnecessarily going LIVE to particular locations. There's nothing more annoying to me than a slight time delay and a stilted, unscripted report from someone standing outside Parliament or on a hill near a motorway overbridge similar to the type of overbridge that someone famous used to live under. This especially bothers me when it's a Government funded news show and it's a fucking weather story. Last year there was a big storm working it's way up the country, but by the time the 6 o'clock news came around, it had passed. Luckily, Vicki Wilkinson-Baker of ONE News wason the scene, standing on the side of a pretty standard street describing the devastation this storm was causing. It wasn't even fucking raining. She must have felt like the biggest asshole.

He also kinda reminds me of that tracksuit guy in Donnie Darko.
posted by doublehappy at 1:39 PM on July 29, 2010


Honestly, he wouldn't be all that bad-looking if he cut his hair, and didn't insist on wearing tight-fitting, sweatstained t-shirts.

Discrimination against overweight people may be tragic, since some people appear to be genuinely unable to control their weight outside of a certain range. However, there's no excuse for being a slob.*

Big people don't have to look bad.

*Mental conditions notwithstanding. But we're not talking about that here.
posted by schmod at 2:25 PM on July 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


Fat people are held to a higher standard when it comes to looking sloppy. Clothes are generally made for a set proportion, and the effect of ill-fitting clothing is amplified at larger sizes. I, personally, get nearly everything tailored, at a cost of $5-$30 per alteration. Luckily I have the means. In many of the pictures, it looks like Mr. Yarrow's hair is mussed by the wind. He probably doesn't employ a stylist to keep it blown out as journalists do.

But we're not talking about that here.

Aren't we? In many cases similar to this one, it has turned out that mental disorders are an issue.
posted by muddgirl at 2:30 PM on July 29, 2010


dontjumplarry: The fact you can name two living overweight celebrities in a country where over 60% of adults are overweight or obese isn't really very compelling evidence against his argument that overweight people are underrepresented.

Except that he, personally, never made that argument. Go back to the bit that I quoted; he's making a blanket statement about "people like [him]", i.e. overweight, which I find to be patently ludicrous. The overweight are made fun of, yes, but not routinely and thoroughly ignored in the way that he is.


He's no more or less passive-aggressive than any civil rights protester.

Dude. Please.

I reckon the guy has some serious dignity about him, and the point he makes, about the vital importance we place on appearance, and how the unconventional are routinely elided from public discourse, is kind of thought-provoking.

I haven't watched much TV news recently, but unless it's changed radically in the last several years, there are a lot of "unconventional" people that end up in vox pops.

The fact that he's getting a whole bunch of hurr-durr-lose-weight-get-a-haircut-change-your-stinking-shirt-lardass comments on MeFi (the same MeFi that has a collective freak-out when someone's cousin's friend was at a party two months ago where someone used "gay" to mean "lame") kind of bolsters his point, dontcha think?

Not particularly. The blue is no more immune to Gabriel's Theory [NSFW language] than anyplace else. And, being fat myself, I don't particularly care for your lumping me in with them.
posted by Halloween Jack at 2:44 PM on July 29, 2010


> "My first thought was that it was the Doctor -- but then I remembered that the Doctor is both more discreet, and has a better dress sense."

Beige sweatshirts are cool.
posted by m@f at 3:05 PM on July 29, 2010 [3 favorites]


If he applied that same amount of energy into diet and exercise that he put into getting on TV, he probably wouldn't be "that fat guy that wants to be on TV."

So rather than make a valid point about how the media treats people the majority deem unsightly, he should remake himself to suit popular conceptions of what someone with a worthwhile opinion looks like?

What about people who can't just lose weight to look acceptable to our sensabilities? People who are just ugly? Or little people? Or people with an obvious condition or injury or disability? People who are viewed as freaks rather than normal individuals? AKA all the other people we never see on our televisions except in "very special episodes" of things?

I think he's making a great point and I'm glad he's making it.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 3:10 PM on July 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


It is high time someone stood up to the celebration of unattainable beauty and chiseled physiques that is Antiques Road Show.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 3:21 PM on July 29, 2010 [3 favorites]


a protest against the media.

At this point, that's a bit like protesting the sun, as a wise man once said, yell all you want it'll still burn you.
posted by jonmc at 5:13 PM on July 29, 2010


What about people who can't just lose weight to look acceptable to our sensabilities? People who are just ugly? Or little people? Or people with an obvious condition or injury or disability? People who are viewed as freaks rather than normal individuals? AKA all the other people we never see on our televisions except in "very special episodes" of things?

I work in retail and ride the NYC subway. I see them all the time. I watch TV to escape. and this dude looks positively ordinary to me.
posted by jonmc at 5:39 PM on July 29, 2010


So rather than make a valid point about how the media treats people the majority deem unsightly, he should remake himself to suit popular conceptions of what someone with a worthwhile opinion looks like?

There's no evidence he has a valid point, he's just assuming the media don't want to show him because he's fat. Maybe they don't want to show him because he's a weirdo. There's plenty of evidence for that.

In any case, regarding my point about how he should lose weight, I have this quote taped to my refrigerator:

"If we do not like what we see in the world, we must face that we don't like within ourselves. As we change, the world will change with us."

This guy's story has a tragic subtext of misdirected self-loathing.
posted by charlie don't surf at 9:06 PM on July 29, 2010


Whatever his real motivations, it seems pretty callous and frankly bizarre to read:

"It is a statement about the image conscious media. I am overweight and people like me are treated as unsightly because of the way they look. I could have a valid point about something but the microphone is always passed to the person alongside me. The point I am making is that the more you push me aside, the more I'm going to be determined to make my presence known."

and basically respond, 'well you'd loose some weight if you didn't spend so much time trying to make your presence known and valued!' :| hurf durf.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 9:42 PM on July 29, 2010


MetaFilter: a tragic subtext of misdirected self-loathing.

I know I shouldn't but something within me compels at times.
posted by hippybear at 10:30 PM on July 29, 2010


There's no evidence he has a valid point, he's just assuming the media don't want to show him because he's fat. Maybe they don't want to show him because he's a weirdo. There's plenty of evidence for that.

I want to say the Pledge of Allegiance to a Republic in the morning when you come out
posted by krinklyfig at 11:43 PM on July 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


We've got one in Italy, too.
posted by aqsakal at 12:51 AM on July 30, 2010


Bullshit. He's a bodyguard, there to intercept anyone who tries to sneak up on the reporter or who they're interviewing. (The cameraman isn't looking for troublemakers, so too often doesn't spot them until way too late.)

No no. I used to work in BBC News and we didn't get bodyguards; I work across the road from ITN and see people doing pieces to camera with just camera and sound guys there. Even the Channel 4 anchor Jon Snow cycles down the road to work. Nice conspiracy theory, but no.

"British TV however is by far the most inclusive of "realistic weight" people, by far, by fucking miles. I've watched TV in several countries, really. Alright, maybe some Island nations with very strange sexual norms include more."

You know, I thought about this after reading HalloweenJack's comment - none of those people are much on TV here, and who is Chris Farley? - and it's kind of right. But I thought about it, and while there are a lot of overweight people on talk shows and soaps, I couldn't think of many news and TV presenters at all who could be described as 'fat'. Fern Britton at a push, but she's not a news journalist any longer. It could be that this guy - who could be fat for a number of reasons, not least because he likes being fat - only watches the news, and only sees the slim and attractive getting to talk to camera.
There are very few attractive, in control of the show fat people on TV here - I can only think of Mark Lawson off the top of my head. Maybe Adrian Chiles if you were being uncharitable. Elsewhere, it's large people being screamed at on Jeremy Kyle or being lectured on Big Meets Bigger. If you're sensitive about such things, it's easy to feel marginalised.
posted by mippy at 3:23 AM on July 30, 2010


"How about we simply ban TV channels that don't exhibit a realistic weight distribution from advertising any foods with excessive sugar or fat content? I'm pretty damn sure they'd ditch fatty meal ads rather than include your ass, which is way more helpful for overweight kids."

They already have restrictions in place to prevent HFSS foods being shown around kids' shows. Any McDonald;s ad you see on Nickelodeon will not feature a Big Mac.

And again, maybe he doesn't want to 'help' overweight kids but have more overweight people on TV. The rights and wrongs of this are for others to decide, but it seems that he wants visibility for the overweight, not changes to lifestyle.
posted by mippy at 3:27 AM on July 30, 2010


Colin Baker's Doctor in adventures we've not seen before?!?
posted by kuppajava at 8:52 AM on July 30, 2010


none of those people are much on TV here, and who is Chris Farley?

Maybe he was never big in Britain? (excuse the expression) Chris Farley was an American comedian who made his bones on Saturday Night Live and went on to star in some commercially successful (but critically panned) comedies, before dying in 1997 at the same age (thirty-three) and the same way (heroin and cocaine overdose) as his idol, John Belushi. You might have heard of him if he'd lived to finish his next project: Shrek.
posted by Halloween Jack at 10:48 AM on July 30, 2010


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