Aug 20

Fat “acceptance”

This is why I have problems with the fat acceptance movement, because a lot of it is the “shame anyone healthy” movement.

Note that the woman being made fun of is obviously very fit. While her muscles aren’t extremely well-defined (which is hard to do for women anyway), her arms are full and her core abs are visible (and healthy).GAfJcFV None of her bones are protruding anywhere. Those are called “abs” and that’s what they look like when you work out a lot.

But most notable, her Latissimus dorsi musculature is very pronounced, giving her upper torso even from the front that definite V shape that screams, “I work out a lot and in the right ways.”

In other words, she’s very fit, probably very strong, and unless she has some undetected physical problem separate from her fitness regimen, obviously very healthy.

Though I am sure I didn’t get it nearly as badly as a woman gets it, when I was in the army and I’d go back to North Florida where probably 70% of people are overweight and 30%+ are morbidly obese, I’d hear things like, “You are so skinny you are going to blow away.”

Yeah, actually, I was 25 pounds heavier and much, much fitter, but I’d lost all my adolescent pudginess and was all wiry muscle.

At one point I could run two miles in just over 11 minutes. I could do 115 push-ups without stopping. I was fitter than most people ever get in their lives. And yet I was shamed for improving myself, just like this woman in the photo.

It’s an interesting change in my lifetime as the percentage of overweight/morbidly obese people has surged, anyone of a normal and healthy weight (like the woman in the photo) is seen as aberrant and abnormal.

Fuck that. There’s a difference between acceptance and being a colossal wrong dumbass.

I know that I am not as charitable as I could be, but I’ve gone down the path after the army of being overweight verging on obesity, and it is in NO way more freeing, nor does it feel better, or lead to a better life. When 40% of Americans will experience diabetes in their lives, pretending it’s all good while their limbs rot off, celebrating corpulence just seems full of dipshittery to me.

Be fat if you want to be. I don’t give a fuck. But pretending that healthy people are anorexic and somehow flawed doesn’t lead me to supporting fat acceptance (which to me sounds like “giving up and surrendering to the diabetes”) and doesn’t make me give a shit about your movement or its goals.

I’ll always have more respect for the person who tries than the one who sits at home typing nasty comments while stuffing their face full of Ho-Hos.

If that offends anyone, well, get in line.

Aug 18


Yeah, some cultural appropriation is offensive, agreed.

But what makes me laugh about it all is that some of the “appropriated” cultural items were themselves adopted by the culture accusing others of appropriation not that long prior. In other words, people are up in arms about the very things their grandmothers and grandfathers did with aplomb. (Most “ancient” traditions also aren’t nearly as old as people imagine, also.)

I understand the iniquities of colonialism and all that. That is a factor. It’s not nothing. But about some things, people should really just chill the fuck out and concentrate on something more important.

Aug 18


I’ve been more sensitive lately to journalists recounting history inaccurately.

For instance, I just saw this claim about WWI.

For the first time in human history, warring sides could see each other from above and plan their attack.


Balloons had been used extensively in military operations starting in the US Civil War, sixty years prior. Fixed-wing aircraft made that easier, but it was nothing new.

That took me ten seconds on Wikipedia (though I already knew most of it). Why can’t journalists do this?

Aug 17


With Ferguson, even more people are discovering what I learned as a nineteen-year-old escorting mainstream media for the US military: that is, the media almost never reports what really happened, but rather some sexed-up, nearly fact-free version of events that reproduces the prejudices and obsessions of their audiences.

The truth really doesn’t matter. Gaining as much attention and thus the most eyeballs and ad clicks is what matters.

You think the media is working for you?

No, they are not and never were. They are working for the people who pay them, i.e., the one-percenter white male over-50s who run the media in reality.

As in most of life in late capitalism, if you follow the money you know right where to look.

Aug 17

In a World Where Freedom Is Never Free….

From a comment here:

German police officers fired a total of 85 bullets in 2011, 49 of which were warning shots, the German publication Der Spiegel reported.

Officers fired 36 times at people, killing six and injuring 15. This is a slight decline from 2010, when seven people were killed and 17  injured. Ninety-six shots were fired in 2010.

Meanwhile, in the United States, The Atlantic reported that in April, 84 shots were fired at one murder suspect in Harlem, and another 90 at an unarmed man in Los Angeles.


Aug 17

Fry cook

I don’t mind vocal fry in regular speech, but I absolutely cannot stand it in songs. First of all, if you’re using vocal fry in a song, you’re almost certainly off pitch.

Second, it just sounds bad, like you broke your voice. While ok in regular speech, while performing it makes you sound like you need to take a break. Or perhaps never sing again.

Vocal fry just has no place in music, really.

Aug 15

That said

Despite what I said in my post below, I’m always a bit shocked when I read comments that people make about low-wage workers, such as Dan in the comments section of this story.

(There is no reliable way to link to comments on Slate any longer. Another brilliant UI/UX “innovation.” The “share” button appears to allow it, but doesn’t actually function in any of the four browsers on two different OSes in which I tested it.)

So here’s a screenshot of one of his odious comments:


Not only is nearly everything in the comment casuistic or utterly fallacious, it is contemptible in that it presumes that social arrangements have to be this way.

They do not.

I’ve spent many years studying and learning about other economic arrangements throughout human history. Not that all of them were superior, but the market system as we think of it now is an anomaly. Pretending that society must be ordered just as it is now is completely ahistorical and is in no way supported by any evidence at all.

It is a convenient fantasy used to justify inequality and theft of labor from people like Jannette Navarro.

The universal basic income is the best solution to all this, by the way. As long as it’s not allowed to be hijacked by libertarians to destroy Medicare/Medicaid and Social Security.

And Dan is a putz scumbag.

Aug 15

Use the robot force

One of the reasons I’ve only been lukewarm on fighting for higher wages in industries like fast food and manufacturing is it’s like fighting over who gets to sit on the sun deck on a sinking ship.

That is, those jobs are all going to go away. It would help people now, and that’s why I care at all. But it won’t help them for long, and the higher wages go in those fields the faster those jobs will disappear forever.

In 30-40 years, 95% of fast food jobs will be kaput.