I’m pretty sure The Furies are a bunch of women who are fat, tall, short, skinny, butch, trans and otherwise not conventionally feminine and/or beautiful. And I’m pretty sure there are a number of directions in which they need to be unleashing their particular brand of savagery all day, every day. But here are my target-recommendations for today:
1. Whoever at the Washington Post felt it necessary to mention the fact that Eric Garner was “obese” in the course of a piece on the obscenity of the Grand Jury’s decision. I just checked. It was Eugene Robinson. Really, Mr. Robinson, it was relevant that Mr. Garner was fat how? Michael Brown was also fat. The fact that the size of both these men may have been used by the murderers/cops who killed them as part of their excuses for feeling threatened may be relevant, but not as any part of a description of either Garner or Brown, and bringing it up just perpetuates a complex set prejudices about size and race that both privilege and persecute size, especially where men are concerned, and just plain persecute it where women are concerned. Bad journalism, sir. Bad word choice.
2. Aaron Sorkin. I know he’s a dumb-ass about a number of things, most often the female characters he writes (though he’s written some kick-ass broads, it’s hard to know how much of those roles were really made by Allison Janney and Meredith Eaton, for instance), and I know he’s preachy as all get out. But he preaches a big chunk of my particular social gospel and does it with force, humor and grace, and the fact that he’s saying that The Newsroom is likely to be his last TV show is breaking my commie-pinko-northeastern-liberal heart. My beef here is probably really with the casting director for The Newsroom. Did they absolutely have to cast a fat guy in the role of the repugnantly obtuse and self-congratulatory geek-hole who created and ran the repugnant and scary celebrity-tracking app for the show’s network? It wouldn’t have stood out so much had there been any other non-skinny humans on the show, ever. And, while Sloan’s (Olivia Munn) shredding of the slimy toad in her interview was a stand-up-and-cheer moment in many ways, it was also a pretty uncomfortable scene of a gorgeous and highly privileged woman demolishing an unattractive fat guy, so that no matter how righteous Munn’s character’s response to the slime-ball’s nihilism might have been, there was still a strongly unattractive/unethical visual going on there. I can’t find the actor on the imdb cast list, so don’t know his name. I hope he doesn’t get stuck playing one repulsive jerk after another.
3. A Swedish scientist has done a longitudinal study in which he has figured out that if the grandfather of a male was starved-but-not-to-death between the ages of 9 & 13, then the next several generations of men will have radically lower rates of any number of diseases, including heart disease and diabetes: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C3%96verkalix_study
I have this vision of over-eager-to-build-perfect-children parents, of whom there are a great many these days, basically starving their sons between 9 & 13.
I’m not pronouncing on the validity of this study, which is smallish, and whose results are not completely understood yet. I’m just worried about a bunch of (likely) upper-middle class boys being driven into eating disorders by their parents in order to ensure generations of superiority. It’s like when the Fear of Animal Fats was at its peak and those my-baby-must-be-thin parents were giving their babies skim milk, thereby inhibiting the growth of brain cells.
4. If I hear one more time that sitting is going to kill me, I’m going to puke (preferably on the news-boopsie who is intoning it). Maybe so. But it’s not like smoking–there isn’t the same weight (effing pun entirely intended) of evidence that there is about smoking and the inexcusable corporate conspiracy to make it as addictive and dangerous as possible. I’m not arguing that sitting all day, every day is good for humans, but since I can barely walk and read (in fact, I quit doing that the time I fell on my face while walking in to teach and had to cancel class because my face looked like it’d been sandpapered), and very much doubt my ability to write or crochet or sew or do any of the other crafts I do while standing, much less while walking on a treadmill. So, no matter how valid the sitting-will-kill you thing is, shut up about it, please, because it’s been turned into another way to point out that fat people are lazy and deserve to die early, miserable deaths, and we get too much of that already.
5. Finally, by way of lightening the fury, I offer this video, which I suspect made it onto HuffPo so people could laugh at the guy. But damn, can this guy move–joyfully, and without shame or hesitation, and really, really well. So hats off to you, West Virgina Guy. You keep dancing.