Saturday, March 26, 2011

The post you've all been waiting for.

I woke up today with this idea in my head of what I could bllllllog about and I was all excited and rarin’ to go and then I had to have a bagel and a smoke and some caffeine and promptly forgot what the fuck I was going to write about.  As the day wore on and I played Zuma Blitz and Bejeweled Blitz until my eyes bled (haven’t hit the Angry Birds....yet) I kept reminding myself that I needed to write SOMETHING, need to yap about whatever, just some sort of mildly creative – “mildly” is an understatement  – thing so one could stave off the annoying whiny “I can’t WRIIIIIIIITE anymore” moods I’ve been finding myself in as of late.  Then I remembered that whenever my terribly delightful manfriendpartnerbeing happens to be online at the same time as I’m having these moods, he always says I should write about him. 

You asked for it, sucker.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Let's hold on a second here.

A note: I've decided to turn off comments because...well, I just don't feel like having comments or moderating comments.  I appreciate all of you who read it (all five of you), but not having access to moderating said comments during the day and refusing to not moderate doesn't engender much of a conversation beyond "that was good" or "fuck, you fucking suck" or whatever.  So I'm shuttin' 'em down.

Anyway.  So I was reading the glorious Fat Chat and Fatosphere feed, waiting for someone to pick up on a little news blurb I'd caught on the elevator whilst at work.  The elevators in the office building I work at has these screens that show news and sports scores and ads, and one of the news blurbs was about how First Lady Michelle Obama was saying that childhood obesity was negatively affecting the economy.  Hmmm.  Now, being a fat that has, apparently, helped to cause terrorism and is killing the planet (not kidding about those - people have publicly said that), I was curious to find out how fat kids could possibly be causing the economy to tank.  The feeds came through for me as I discovered this is what came flying out of her mouth at the National League of Cities conference:

"Childhood obesity is affecting your workforces too – obese children are less healthy and miss more school on average,” leading to more parental tardiness and absenteeism at businesses in their communities, she said. “When we talk about childhood obesity we are talking about the workforce you are trying to build, businesses you are trying to attract, budgets you are trying to balance everyday,” Obama said warning that businesses may be reluctant to invest and build in communities with an unhealthy future workforce. (from CNN)

Now, given that absolutely no sources or studies or anything was cited by Mrs. Obama in that little spurt of speechifying, I'm inclined to call GIGANTIC HORSESHIT.  Have a gander at Paul Campos' latest over at the Daily Beast, where actual studies and whatnot show that in fact, GIGANTIC HORSESHIT. 

Let me tell you some stories and yes, it's anecdotal, but perhaps it might shed some light on why fat kids miss more school on average - and it's not because us fat kids were sickly.

From first grade until eight grade, I was saddled with gym teachers who were, on a good day, complete assholes.  As a kid in elementary school, I was mocked and made fun of more by a grown man than any of my peers.  I went to other adults explaining the problem and...absolutely nothing was done.  In sixth grade, my teacher told another teacher of mine that I was "crazy".  I was shuffled off to a social worker who knew that all that ailed me was my fat and gave me diet books.  In junior high, my gym teacher was determined to save me from myself or whatever, and demanded weekly weigh-ins and for me to keep a food diary.  Thankfully, my mother shut that shit down right quick, and in my eighth grade yearbook, my gym teacher wrote something along the lines of "exercise is fun!".  But thanks to her and to the douchebag fuckface elementary school teacher, exercise wasn't fun, it was torture.  It was punishment for not being particularly good at games like softball or kickball, for not doing 25 sit-ups in 30 seconds for the Presidential Physical Fitness test, for not being able to do a chin-up.  I didn't like school very much and if I could weasel my way out of going, you bet your ass I did.  Did my mom miss work because of it?  Hell no.  We were still in the glory days of being able to be left alone in the house at a reasonable age. 

In my freshman year of high school, my entire homeroom decided that I was the fat ass they were going to pick on.  Signs on my back, tacks on my chair - did they get their bullying handbook from the 1950s?  A boy told me he'd kill himself if he were me.  Do you really think I was leaping out of bed every morning, eager to go to school to learn?  The only bright spot was that my mom was smart enough to get me excused from gym for three years straight because she'd seen the kind of psychological toll dealing with COMPLETELY HORRIBLE ADULTS had caused, and she wasn't about to force me to endure any more of it.  I consider myself lucky, though.  I really do.  I got lucky and found my feet and my people in theater and radio, and I could escape the crapweasels from sophomore year on thanks to having homeroom in the school radio station.  And what's so darkly amusing to me is that these same fellow students that took such delight in shitting upon me from a great height were the same fellow students who voted me "Most Original" my senior year and signed my yearbook and danced in a circle with me at prom. 

I do think that the overall concept of "Let's Move" is a decent one.  Like, the notion that everyone should have access to good eats and safe spaces in which to play and run about and whatever - I can't quibble with that because everyone should.  But instead, it's morphed into this bizarro fat-shaming festival that targets fat kids and ostracizes them even more than they already are and makes it clear that they're a problem to be solved, something to be fixed.  There's no acknowledgment of how eating disorders are turning up in younger and younger kids, no mention of how soul-chilling it is that four- and five-year-olds are talking about dieting, no thought given to how something like "Let's Move" is ultimately doomed to fail because thinness is its only marker of success. 

Every day, I'm more and more grateful that I grew up when I did because chances are had there been the same kind of almost inescapable pressure being put on fat kids to do whatever it takes to stop being fat when I was a fat kid, I very well may have done what that shitty classmate of mine freshman year thought I should do.  Aren't we supposed to be smarter than this? 

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Maximum overdrive.

I’ve been on a bit of a vacation for the last, oh, four weeks or so.  I spent most of February out of the country and then a week on my ass recovering from those two weeks.  There’s something almost sinister about the jetlag that sets in when one returns from Australia.  You’re crossing about 19 trillion time zones along with the International Dateline itself, and it stands to reason that one good quality 14 hour sleep would go a long way to resetting your clock.

Oh no, not the clock for this carcass.  I came home on a Monday and it wasn’t until a good nine days later that I felt like my body was realigned with the time zone in which I reside.  It was entertaining for about two days to sleep until two or three in the afternoon – then it got annoying and old and I wanted to have my shit back in its place so I could resemble a functioning human again. 

This little anecdote is really apropos of nothing, except to maybe say there’s a good reason why I haven’t taken metaphorical pen to metaphorical paper and rattled off some bloggings; or, more to the point, I am dreadfully fucking lazy and after a year or so of dedicated blogging regarding Fat Acceptance have a hard time writing a blog unless I have something I consider “important” enough to say. 

That’s the bitch of writing on one particular subject only for so long – the ability to fluff it up and get relaxed and ridiculous tends to go away.  I have a LiveJournal – well, “had” is more accurate a way to put it.  I haven’t updated it in over a year and let it drift into unpaid status.  But man, I used to take rather large pride in the kind of silly-ass dross and babbling I could chuck into the LiJo (I just totally made that up.)  I’d happily yammer about Orlando Bloom and music and whatever other pop culture hoo-hah that was delighting me at any given time, and then I made the mistake of, like, reading shit.  And paying closer attention to the world in general.  And suddenly realizing how much stuff is fucking wrong and evil and hurtful.  So basically, my “fun” writing took a big turn for the buzzkill. 

Not that I feel anything resembling regret about spending as much time as I did writing exclusively about FA, oh heavens no.  Frankly, I think I wrote some good shit.  But writing in a fashion approaching, like, grown-uppish caused my “fun muscle”, let’s call it until we all start giggling inappropriately, to atrophy in a fierce fashion.  I pay far less attention to pop culture and whatnot than I used to, mostly because so much of it winds up offending me or bothering me in some way and I really am not hot on feeling like shit while watching a movie or a TV show or whatever.  But I’ve found that it’s hard to shut off that part of my brain that wants to analyze the holy hell out of everything and explain why such-and-such moment on “How I Met Your Mother” was problematic for me and yammer for 20 minutes about what a fucking load of shit whatever tearful weight loss “success story” commercial was and create a feltboard presentation about how I would save the world or whatever.    

I don’t know that this entry will wind up being fluffy as a fucking cotton candy cloud because I’ve been pondering some things lately about my life versus other people’s lives versus other people’s perspectives about their lives and my life and I swear, I can be super-fun at parties and I can have conversations that aren’t deep or meaningful in any way.  I use Twitter, dammit, I USE THE TWITTER.  I suppose I’ve got a constant, severe case of compassion fatigue.  I fully admit I’m very conditional in my compassion.  I don’t hug nor do I pozzie those who rant incessantly about issues that one refuses to fix in one’s life.  I used to be that person, railing and complaining about things that no one but me could handle and repair, doing the “Look at me in my despair and how unfair the world is and it’s all because of other people and has nothing whatsoever to do with me” dance.  Then I realized what a fucking bore I had become and decided to spend the time I used to yap in a boring fashion about my boring ass to fix my boring-ass life so I wasn’t a walking black hole.  It’s hard work and it sucks and it takes a tremendous amount of strength to not go begging on the internet or in real life for people to file once again through Jane’s Bad News Buffet stocked with bummed-out baked chicken, frowny french green beans, and pouty pudding.  It expends a lot of mental energy to keep my head out of my ass and not make absolutely every single frigging thing in the known and unknown universe ABOUT ME.  I have my days of utter assholatry, but I can identify the behavior and stop it before it devolves into a FML-Fest. 

And that’s not to say that everyone is allowed to have days of wallowing.  Wallowing needs to be done.  But it also needs to end.  Just like this entry does because Christ, it’s reaching “Under the Dome” proportions.  So, in summary:

I was on the prison planet of Australia for two weeks and recovering from jetlag for another week and boy, are my arms tired

I am incapable of enjoying anything anymore because my brain is annoying

Get your shit together

There’s your Cliff’s Notes.  I’m off to flex my fun muscle.