Wednesday, August 31, 2011
The Sound of One Gavel Pounding
181.8 lbs. Considering the chocolate coconut haystack snarfing, I got off easy. But they were sooooooo good.
Two TVs in the locker room of the gym: one showing the Kardashians and the other showing “Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?” O, Irony, I worship at your feet.
Right knee is aching like a sonuvabitch today. At the advice of Dr. Best, no leg presses and at the advice of the knee saying, “Don’t even THINK about putting me on even the elliptical today”, not much in the way of cardio. I did, however, get in the recommended leg work (curl, extension, rotary calf) and a full upper body. However, at the point where I would be considering an hour of cardio, the knee was barking at me like a beagle (mouths with feet. I have yet to meet one that I can respect). I can take a hint.
From time to time (okay, pretty much as a running diatribe in the background), I comment on the American cultural views of body image/overweight/etc. Let’s be honest: in the movies, if there’s a fat guy, he’s either the schlubby comic relief or an incredibly evil bad guy. Jonah Hill. Jabba the Hutt. Instantly writing off/judging someone based on body shape is as shallow and idiotic as doing it based on race, religion, sexual preference, favorite color, love of WHAM and Culture Club (well, actually, the last two examples are fair grounds for ridicule). Fat people just don’t have their own version of NAACP or GLAAD. Even the mentally disabled have PSAs up for people to stop using the term “retard.”
It wasn’t always this way and since I spend so much time listening to the radio, I get to hear all kinds of stuff on NPR. A couple of weeks ago, there was a discussion about the prevailing American attitude towards body image. According to the expert (Please note: I don’t remember what show I heard this on or who the expert was. I am over 50 and I listen to a LOT of radio/podcasts), the hateful attitude towards overweight people came about during World War I, when food rationing came into being. Before then, nobody really cared, but with the need to support troops overseas, being heavy meant you were eating more than you should and depriving soldiers of their supplies. If you were fat, you were a traitor and giving aid and comfort to the enemy.
Even after the war ended, with the advent of Coco Chanel (Now we find out she was a Nazi spy. SKINNY BITCH!! NEED I SAY MORE???) , the Little Black Dress and the flapper silhouette, it didn’t change. Eventually, it worked its way into the American psyche and now if you weigh more than people think you should, you are all things bad: stupid, lazy, a leach upon society, unhealthy and therefore a drain on the American medical insurance and the reason the rest of us have to pay so much (I must say, I consume far less in medical services and goods than a few thin friends that I have) and probably clinically depressed, friendless and do nothing but sit in front of a TV all day stuffing your face. Again, I have friends that are at least 50-60 lbs. smaller than I and this description fits them better than it does me.
The last time I checked, we were at war, but we weren’t rationing food. My blood pressure this morning was 91/55 with a pulse of 76 (Okay, so the pulse rate is fast, but that’s always been fast, especially if the Red Sox are beating on another team or I’m looking at George Clooney). The last time I checked my cholesterol, it was fine as was the blood sugar. No subsidized scrips for Lipitor here, nor needles and insulin. That’s more than I can say for the family members who saw fit to dump on me (when I still spoke to them). And you couldn’t tell that just by looking at me. You also couldn’t tell that I have a law degree, I’m a fan of jazz (the real stuff, not that Kenny G crap), I can sit in a full lotus position (can you?) and can talk intelligently about baseball. As for bad, rotten, evil, I don’t even have any outstanding parking tickets and the fact that the cops were pulling me over all the time was due to a screw-up by the LA Metro Court that put my license plate number on a bench warrant (probably for a scrawny bastard). And for the record? Winston Churchill: overweight. Adolph Hitler: skinny little bastard AND a vegetarian. So were Himmler and Goebbels (yeah, I know Hermann Goehring was fat. However, he was an exception in that crowd). Not that I’m painting with a broad brush, but you get the idea.
Luciano Pavarotti had a voice that still makes me weak. I wouldn’t give you a plugged nickel for any Jonas Brother.
Look, fat people are not all the same. Yes, there are some who fit the stereotype, but there are others who hold down good jobs, have happy families and could walk further than you any day of the week. If you want to judge and dislike people, let them open their mouths first and give you a good reason.