Round Up/rOUND dOWN

So, gosh. Some arrogant witch-doctor has presumed to pronounce on the state of Chris Christie’s health from a couple of thousand miles away. So much for her scientific training and medical propriety. The guy’s a jerk–though I do believe he loves his state–but he’s a human, and the fact that he’s in the public eye doesn’t mean that medical mental midgets from thousands of miles away get to pick on him. It’s still bullying, even if the bullier and the victim are famous.

And Lena Dunham’ Hannah has had a juicy liaison with a reasonably hot, highly accomplished older guy and the web has gone nuts because, clearly, that could/should/would never happen in real life. If this keeps up I may have to start watching the show out of a sense of admiration for the remarkable young woman’s feminist chutzpah.  Meanwhile, long may she write and produce and star in her painfully truth-telling and gutsy show.

And a nice mother has posted an article over on huffington post about how she responded to her 5-year old’s  calling her thighs fat. It really is a nice response (, but it makes me want to chew the keyboard in frustration over the fact that said 5-year old has already absorbed the anti-obesity zeitgeist to that extent.

And Terry Gross, bless her heart, had a couple more obesity “experts” on to talk about the NEJM article about the need to be careful with weight loss and diet information–that is to actually sort out the blather from what may or may not be solid research. I listened to some of it. I should undoubtedly listen to the whole thing on line, but I just cannot force myself to listen to more of the same crap, or new crap for that matter from two more people who are blithely going on about portion sizes (yes, we know, they’re too big), sedentary lifestyles (yes, I know I should be sitting on a balance ball right this minute, but please tell me, oh goddess of fucking fitness, how I am supposed to exercise 300 minutes a week–the level this woman was claiming was necessary for weight loss and weight loss maintenance–and teach and write and take care of my grandson several mornings a week and my aging and somewhat dotty live-in mother all the time and sleep and, and, and–and, most of all, why do you get to cast your idea of health and well-being as GOODGOODGOOD and virtuous and laudable and my life as unhealthy and damaged and in need of help from you????) , too much lousy food (okay, I’m with you on this one–there’s too much overprocessed crap in many people’s diets, but it’d be awfully nice if the doyennes of organic/local/vegan/paleo/whatever admittedly superior eating modality would maybe remember that they are members of a highly privileged class more often than not and stop casting their privilege as virtue. PRIVILEGE IS NOT VIRTUE.)

So, yeah, I really should have listened to the whole show before writing. But what I heard was exactly enough of the usual contempt-masquerading-as-concern that I really just can’t stomach it.

It’s just part and parcel of the idiocy that is the 24-hour news cycle. The talking heads need to be excited all the time and they need to keep us one edge and excited all the time, so they make absolutely everything into The Big Thing. Case in point:  yesterday a clearly twisted up man walked into the Wilmington, DE courthouse lobby (not through security–security did not fail) and shot his ex-wife and her coming-along-for-support friend to death before a custody hearing. The courthouse security shot him, and he also seems to have shot, but not severely, both of them. So, a really ugly and tragic domestic dispute that left 3 people dead, three wounded and three children orphaned. The guy had already done 48 months for kidnapping the kids and dragging them off to Latin America for 19 months. So this thing had been dragging on for at least 6 years. Dear God. I don’t know how he came to have a gun. But he wasn’t AlQaeda, it wasn’t a plot, and it was over by early morning. When I got to my dentist’s office at 11:30, all the local (Philadelphia affiliate) stations were still breathlessly covering it, repeating EVERYTHING they knew (pretty much what I just told you in three inches of text) over and over and over and over and over. And over. And over.  There was no actual news, there was just every blasted talking head in the Delaware Valley cutting back and forth to every other talking head in the Delaware Valley so they could each offer up 30 seconds more of brainlessly breathless blather.  And I’m sure there were people who were actually responding to that breathlessness.  Getting het up over what was an important, but not at the global level, story.

The obesity crisis is same thing. I have no idea why Terry Gross is so damned invested in it–she’s generally more sensible than that, but she seems to think it’s her job to give a forum to folks whose livelihoods are tied up in the Weight-Loss-Industrial Complex and let them add their agenda-ridden voices to the black-board-scratching chorus of  FatPanic.  I’m not saying that it’s an unimportant issue. I’m saying that she’s giving it an unreasonable amount of air time and feeding a frenzy which is counter-productive and which just fuels the self-loathing of fat people and the fat loathing of mean people, of which The Biggest Loser is the shining, slithering emblem.  God, I am tired of the constant noise. And tired of being tired.


On a positive note, I went to see 1. an endocrinologist (she’s been taking good care of my daughter’s thyroid for a couple of years, so I knew she was safe) in the interest of getting a little ahead of the t2d and 2. a nutritionist. I was scared of the endocrinologist (new docs are always scary, even when you know they’re okay), but I was nearly paralytic with terror about the nutritionist. I was lucky I didn’t actually faint from anxiety. But here’s the interesting thing. She suggested that I concentrate on learning to trust myself and my needs, and think about treating myself gently so that food stops being a set of weapons  and my heart stops the battleground in a war with myself. She didn’t suggest that I diet. She looked me in the eye and told me that I’m trustworthy and capable and that whatever choices I make out of self-respect and self-care are wonderful, but that making any of those choices in order to lose weight was not a healing direction. Yeah, I cried. Hell, yeah, I cried. But not for any of the reasons I’d thought I would.  She almost made me wish we had the capacity to clone humans so that there could be one of her in every town in the country and several in every nutrition program in every school.  She began to undo some nasty knots of misconception and misinformation and bullying and battering.  It was good.

round cat

5 thoughts on “Round Up/rOUND dOWN

  1. cathcarter says:

    I like the voluptuous orange cat. 🙂 And I REALLY like it that you had a good experience with a nutritionist. And while you couldn’t call this totally encouraging when it comes to People Being Asses about Other People’s Asses, here’s a really interesting art project:


  2. Cat says:

    AND, since looking in here I’ve seen some of he articles about the Girls thing. Like you, I haven’t watched it (I’m kind of afraid to get hooked on any current show–Brian lured me into Big Bang and now look at the time it takes). But this whole not-hot-enough-for-him hoohah just leaves me openmouthed and slightly sputtery, for reasons which are summed up pretty well on xojane: I mean, I mean, I MEAN (a la Arlo Guthrie)…you just don’t know where to START with the kind of arrogance that says, “I get to decide what’s hot–not just for me, but cosmically, utterly, for everyone, always”, or “having seen you on the street or in some social space for twenty minutes, or twenty seconds, I’m totally a better judge of your fuckability than you or your partners”, or “if I don’t want to fuck you, then no one could, possibly, ever, and if they do, they’re just messed up AND a personal affront to me.” Oh, and “Unlike everyone else, I am not a socially constructed being, so my narrow criteria for beauty are some kind of proof of something other than a very pervasive, remarkably restricted social standard which exists to sell stuff.” Really? Seriously?

  3. Timm Holt says:

    YES. And what about the$ of all that healthy organic food

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