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October 28, 2010

Marie Claire, Maura Kelly and “Fatties”

Filed under: Observations — Tags: , , , , — sbj @ 11:27 pm

I am going to make some not-friends with this piece, I imagine. First of all, I’m going to be talking about that $#@%^ Marie Claire article that we have all probably heard more than enough about by now. Secondly, in the discussion, along with what troubles me within it, I am going to look at what Maura got right.  and…finally… I’m probably going to go on far to long about it all…

Yep, I said it… what she got right.

Since that probably grabbed your attention, and many of you aren’t really going to process anything else until I do it, lets start there. What Maura Kelly got right:

  • This country has a very serious and growing problem with obesity. As a nation (and I am speaking very generally here) we have eschewed the valuable lifetime essentials of fitness and nutrition.  In gradually losing the battle against pop culture (time spent outdoors turning into time spent in front of television or a computer screen; home cooked balanced mean turning into getting the door, because its dominoes; etc. etc. etc.).  A renewed focus on nutrition, exercise and general health is a very good idea.
  • This country has a very serious and growing problem with permissiveness. Rather that stand resolute against a growing tide of bad habits, personal negligence and malaise, we have taken a position of “tolerance” more closely related to simple acceptance.  Again, I am talking in general here.  Look at the way people dress on airplanes, at dinner, at church.  Look at the way people take care of their things.  Look at the way people take on debt.  I could go on, but I’m pretty sure you get the idea.  The real problem though is in the reaction to these things.  It is easier to excuse a trend than to stop it, and that is the tack it seems we take far to often in this country.
  • This country has a very serious and growing problem with facing the truth. There is nothing in this article that has not been said to you, me, and the wall a hundred times in the last 10 years or so in a politically correct and responsible way.  However, we, as a nation don’t want to hear it.  We want to pop through the drive through to save time (or because that bacon double heart attack just tastes really good); we want to watch 6 hours of football Saturday **and** Sunday.  Telling people we have a national obesity problem has not done a lick of good, for nearly a decade (just like telling people we have an oil problem, or a global water problem, or, or, or…).  Mrs. Kelly, by contrast started a national dialog, with the people that really matter (the general public) in a matter of a few - albeit irresponsible – minutes.

Having said all of that…

I, also, take exception with the article, and the way it leads the (very necessary) conversation.  It generalizes and pontificates without knowledge or basis.  While some people may “elect” to be overweight, many do not.

Further, if an individual opts into obesity, who are you or I to say that is not their right?  While I acknowledge that our country faces a general health problem; and further that I think it is our own fault, I do not suggest that regulating what people eat or do with their weekends is the answer.  I believe in peoples right to make their own choices, no matter how personally destructive they may be (although I do draw a line when their choices effect others).

By contrast, suggesting, or opening a conversation about, the unacceptability of televising two overweight people being intimate is a very short jump from suggesting the unacceptability of televising two Asain, or Mormon, or elderly people being intimate.  It creates, embellishes or supports bigotry and has no place in a remotely evolved society.

The “problem” of obesity that we face as a nation is a general problem not an individual issue; and should never be focused on individuals.  In reality, obesity is not the disease, it is just a symptom of the disease.  Just like the declining production of actual things, just like eroding moral character, just like the ability to speak or write proper English, and many other symptoms; it is a function of a fundamentally lazy society, a culture of convenience over substance.

We are not going to fix is by chiding some “fatties,” or removing the issue from our national view.  What is going to change things is a fundamental change in the way we raise our children.  You want to reduce the national waistline?  Take your kids shopping with you instead of leaving them home on the couch or on the computer.  Teach them the value of the fresh fruits and veggies you are purchasing (you are purchasing fresh food, right?); later, have them help you make a meal from scratch.  Turn off the television, grab your kids and go for a hike, play a game of soccer, or swim in a nearby river.  Change the environment your children are growing up in, and by doing so, you will manifest the change you want to see in the world (or in the case of Mrs Kelly, in prime time programming).

Finally… do we really want to act like positive loving interactions, by anyone regardless of appearance, are one of the hot button items we need to address while at the same time we are at war, we sell Halo, Red Dead, Assassins Creed, and Modern Warfare.  Is a little affection such a bad thing?  Modeling a loving caring relationship, that does not care about the trappings of what society thinks you should look or act like sounds pretty positive to me.

These are two people who love each other for who they are, not who a television audience thinks they should be.  I’m not sure you can make a convincing case, to me anyway, that there is a more important or valuable lesson to be taught.

October 27, 2010

What I might do…

Filed under: Just life — Tags: , , , — sbj @ 8:33 pm

someecards.com - I'd love to get some face time with you when your face isn't buried in your phone

I’ve been pondering this for quite a while, and I think I have decided that my cell phone has become a bit to ubiquitous in my life.  I have become to dependent upon it for all sorts of things (sports scores, email, text messages, and even ~gasp~ phone calls amongst other things); and other people have become to dependent on it as a means to get in touch with me as well.

Part of my problem is that I don’t like the current (rather common) practice (of which I am sometimes guilty) of treating the person calling in as a priority over the person I’m having a conversation with.  I don’t like putting people in front of me “on hold” for people who are calling; and I really don’t like being put “on hold” by someone picking up a call.

A bigger part is that I believe we as a culture (and I as an individual) have become too enraptured with technology and the speed it brings into our lives.  I feel like instant access (to email, to the web, to people via text and phone) has become a bit of a rush, I’d like to slow down a bit… at least one day a week, anyway.

The biggest part, for me, is that I feel like time with people isn’t
really time with people anymore.  I have caught myself in the middle of conversations with family and friends, checking my text messages or email because something came in, and there was a lull in the conversation.  People do that to me all the time, and I hate it… so I’m sure I don’t get high marks when I do it.

So, what I’m thinking is this.  On Saturdays, I’m going to turn my cell off and leave it in the bedroom (all alone and afraid… it’s not used to being without my company after all) and i’m simply going to interact with those in my company.  I may turn it on once in the afternoon to make sure there are no messages that someone is in the hospital or anything.  But, unless someone is, I will not be returning any calls or text messages.

If you are not part of my plans on a particular Saturday, you will not be a part of my world.  If you are a part of my plans on a Saturday, you will be my entire world.

Yeah… I think thats what I’m going to do… the only real down side is that I’m going to have to start wearing a watch again…

October 26, 2010

I’m just gonna brag – Fantasy Football Edition :)

Filed under: Just life — Tags: , , — sbj @ 5:43 pm

My team is monster.  Through a series of trades over the first 7 weeks of the season, my team has grown into what I view as an unstoppable force.  Lets take a look shall we:

Quarterback:

  • Kyle Orton
  • Aaron Rodgers
  • Mike Vick
Wide Receiver (the admitted “Weakness” of my team)
  • Brandon Lloyd
  • Reggie Wayne
  • Randy Moss
  • Hines Ward
  • Percy Harvin
Running back (fasten your seat belts… this is just ridiculous!!!)
  • Arian Foster
  • Adrian Peterson (yep, Peterson is my #2 running back)
  • Darren McFadden
  • Frank Gore
Tight End
  • Vernon Davis
Kicker
  • Sebastian Janikowski
Defense
  • Washington (okay… this could be a little better… but with this team, are you really worried about your defense???)
Defensive player
  • Patrick Willis (there are better players out there, point getters anyway, but, this is me picking with my heart… gotta go with my niners best player… and he’s still very productive!)
You know you have fantasy football envy… heck, even if you don’t play… you probably recognize how beast this team is!!!
So, no saving the world today… or even making you think… just reveling in my unbelievable FF team.
look out league… and let the excuses begin!!!
Have a good day :)

October 20, 2010

If you don’t know… you betta ask somebody…

October 19, 2010

The Case for Boise State (BSU)

Clearly, this is not my usual fare. it is even more out of line for me because the coach of the BSU Broncos Chris Peterson himself refuses to lobby for BCS “cool points,” and I really respect him for it.  Further, I am not of the mind that BSU is the indisputable best team (or even #2) in the nation and should be handed anything.

Having said that…

The talk of BSU not belonging in the conversation and needing a football fluke of epic proportions to qualify for the national championship game makes me wonder where they get the guys who occupy seats in these media companies.  Lets take a look at some numbers:

  • BSU and BCS member Texas (who knocked previously unbeaten Nebraska out of the national title picture last week) have one common Opponent, Wyoming.  Both won handily, but Texas won by 27 on their own field while BSU won by 45 at Wyoming.  Points can be deceiving, how about more fundamental stats… Texas out gained Wyoming 389 to 257.  BSU? 648 to 135.  For the game, Wyoming rushed for a whopping negative twenty-one (-21) yards against BSU… you read that right, negative 21. (BSU also held another opponent, San Jose State, to negative yardage… more on that a little later). Edge… “Little Guys”
  • BCS number one (#1) Oklahoma has beaten unranked Utah State, Air Force, and Cincinnati by a combined total of twelve (12) points.  The closest any individual unranked team has come to BSU this season was 43 points, they have beaten the unranked opponents in their closest three games by a combined total of one hundred thirty six (136) points.  BSU beat (then) ranked Oregon state (of the BCS Pac-10 conference) by more points (13) than Oklahoma beat those three unranked opponents (again, 12). Edge… “Little Guys”
  • BSU has a common Opponent with Alabama (BCS #8), Utah (#9), and Wisconsin (#13 – who just beat the previous consensus #1 unbeaten team, Ohio State, last weekend) – San Jose State.  Only Boise State went to San Jose, the rest played on their respective home fields.  Each out gained SJS; Wisconsin by 96 yards, Utah by 255 yards and mighty Alabama by a whopping 416; however,  BSU out gained them by 445.  Along the way they surrendered a measly 80 total yards and held San jose State to negative twelve (-12) yards rushing (yep, you read that right – again – negative yards rushing for the entire game).  BSU, again the only team that traveled to play SJS, still beat them by a wider margin than all but Utah (who, I might add… is a “little guy”).  Edge… “Little Guys”
BSU is regularly pounding inferior opponents. They have beaten two BCS conference teams with essentially exactly the same team (minus last years biggest defensive play-maker and special teams player) that destroyed Oregon last year and handled TCU in a BCS bowl.  To say that this team does not deserve to be in the national title conversation is nothing short of ridiculous.
Having said all of that…
If I was voting, today, my top 5 poll would look like this:
  1. Oregon
  2. Auburn
  3. Boise State
  4. TCU
  5. Oklahoma
So, as you can see, I also believe they need a little help to get to the title game.  Specifically, Auburn or Oregon needs to stumble.  However, again, saying they do not belong in the conversation or that the road for them is “impossible” I just do not understand.  Perhaps one of you can shed some light for me?

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