Saturday, August 14, 2010

Consternation, uproar!

I have to be honest, I am a cynic, and one with a short fuse in the patience department to boot. Nothing gets my eyes rolling harder or elicits sighs of a huffy nature more than gooey, insipid claptrap. You know, like what Oprah and skridillions of other "self-help" creatures push. My attitude can best be described as "Eat, Lay, Shove". I'm sure someone could scan previous entries of mine and level a "insipid claptrap" accusation at me, and I'd cop to it because I am nothing if not painfully self-aware of how I get when I open up the Lecture Loft and start peeling off Nuggets of Knowledge (tm). Or maybe I should spell it Knuggets of Knowledge (tm)...hmmm, no, that's too cutesy, like calling a place the Kooky Kafe or Krafty Korner.

Anyway, I'm putting out there that I'm an asshole so you know that when I say things like what I'm about to say, you know I'm being very serious. Imagine me staring at you intently like James Earl Jones does in "Conan the Barbarian" when he's trying to hypnotize people before he beheads them, with the little "doodily doooo!" music sting from the "Tiki Idol" episode of "The Brady Bunch" when they go to Hawaii and Vincent Price is tall, Hawaiian-shirted evil. Or not. I can't really remember all that well at this point, but he's Vincent Price for Christ's sake, you know he had to have at least a little bit of evil in him. No, wait, he wasn't evil, but talked to a carved wooden Tiki face named, like, Bob or Oliver or some shit.


What I'm trying to tell you between the vomitings-out of my subconscious on a terrifyingly early Saturday morning is: it is time to get free and stop being afraid. Billions - BILLIONS! - of dollars are sucked out of us every year by those preying on our fears, fears that these creatures generate and exploit and have made a part of our general culture over the years. We are to do whatever it takes and spend as much money as possible in order to combat being fat, getting old, being "uncool", being "different". Oh, you can be different up to a certain point, mind you, especially if you still fit into a certain dress/pant size and, if you take your glasses off and put on some makeup or a classy suit, morph into the Hot Piece of Hiney that was being hidden by your damnable, silly desire to not follow the cultural norms.

We're to be terrified of food, too, have you noticed? It's always been there, but it's just getting worse the more people (people who wouldn't understand the concept of "privilege" if it sneaked up on them and bit them in the ass like a king cobra) yap about it. I think they're sincerely baffled by the concept that not everyone has access to farmer's markets, or even a decent grocery store. They don't get that no, it ISN'T affordable for everyone. And yet, these are the people on the evening news, instructing everyone that if they aren't eating precisely the way they insist you should, you are, essentially, a lazy, horrible, ignorant person. You know, fat. (insert eye-rolling here)

I am more terrified by the misinformation and overblown "DON'T LOOK AT IT KEEP YOUR EYES SHUT!" (/climatic scene in "Raiders of the Lost Ark" style) attitude about food than I am by a box of Frosted Flakes or the existence of fast food. I am genuinely dismayed, as I've said a trillion times before, at people hanging moral worth on what goes into their mouths. The thing I want for everyone, where possible, is to have a relationship with food that is enjoyable and generates nothing but feelings of "yuuuum". I want people to stop conflating having a normal appetite with disordered eating. I want people to stop believing that they must do all they can to ignore their hunger, to ignore what their bodies are telling them because they're terrified they'll "ruin" something. Lesley at Fatshionista fucking NAILED it when she said in a recent recap of "Huge": "Denial breeds craving — deprivation makes us desire whatever we’re missing more and more." If there's an effort that needs to be made regarding the food ingested by Americans, it needs to revolve around removing the shame that is hung on everyone for eating, period. It needs to revolve around working to give everyone safe, affordable access to food of all kinds. Yeah, it revolves around basically remaking society from top to bottom. Ain't I a stinker?

But it has to be done, so many things have to be done. It's hard work, but even the smallest, seemingly "nothing" things can have huge impacts. Simply being visible and living our lives without shame or apology is GIGANTIC in and of itself. I like to be insidious and sneak in my points in a cheery (yes, I can be cheery), casual fashion if an appropriate conversation comes up. I don't suddenly screech "YOU CAN'T TELL HOW HEALTHY SOMEONE IS BY LOOKING AT THEM!!!" during a chat about "The Lord of the Rings". I like the word "insidious" a lot. Hell, how do you think the powers that be work? They rock their shit in an insidious fashion, so why not do the same? I don't have any illusions that the "Thin Is the Only Way To Be" trope is going away any time soon, and ultimately, I'm a fan of body autonomy. But I am compelled on multiple levels to offer an alternative to everyone I possibly can, an alternative that isn't just for fat people, but for every single person on this planet. You have to do what you think you have to do in order to find your peace, but to give you a phrase: Don't Delay, Live Today.

Holy. SHIT. I think I have just found my cliche'd phrase that is going to pay and PAY HUGE BANK. Look out, Deepak Chopra, Wayne Dyer, and oh yes, OPRAH HERSELF: I am coming for you, and I'm equipped with Nuggets of Knowledge(tm) with which I will strike like a king cobra!


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