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(Click to enlarge)

UPDATE: Okay, yes, "supine" might be a better word choice here, if a tad clunky. But definition #2b for "prone" in Merriam-Webster's Dictionary says "lying flat or prostrate." Close enough, I say!

As another commenter pointed out, this is a cartoon from several years ago. I've been exceedingly busy with travel and moving into a new home, so I had to use a rerun this week. I thought this one would be somewhat relevant since Memorial Day kicks off the start of summer vacation season (for those lucky enough to get a vacation).

My intention here was not to "fat-shame," but to make fun of the sedentary Western lifestyle, and various forms of travel pampering that cater to that. A recent NYT article describes the sad and counter-intuitive decline in health that occurs in Mexican immigrants after they arrive in the United States. Younger generations abandon traditional foods and stop walking. Those who decry America's obesity epidemic often get shamed themselves for fat-shaming, but I would argue that this is a separate matter from body-image issues that result from willowy fashion models and anatomically-impossible Barbies. I strongly believe that we need to be free to talk about our ongoing public health crisis.

Originally posted to Comics on Wed May 29, 2013 at 06:50 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Just got back from a vacation (13+ / 0-)

    Some of the fattest people I saw/heard had 'accents' that were not American.

    Just saying that obesity is increasingly a world-wide issue...no pun intended.

    A weapon that is also a treasure is certain to be used.

    by wonderful world on Wed May 29, 2013 at 07:02:04 AM PDT

  •  Always nice... (20+ / 0-)

    ... to see a good 'healthy' dose of fat-shaming and 'Americans are all fat because they are lazy and gross pigs' on the front page of this ostensibly liberal web site. Reminds me of just how liberal and accepting it really is.

    •  I was just about to say the same thing! (9+ / 0-)

      It seems that everyone always has to find a punching bag.  

      Well, it is unacceptable to publicly make fun of Black people or minorities.  I thought we would always be able to pick on the gays but they have taken that away so I guess fat people are now the "acceptable" target.  

      Now, I knew that anything darker than pasty white / pinkish was fair game in slurring black people and foreign sounding names or accents warranted criticism with foreigners and of course, even the slightest "unmanly" comment or action was capable of verbal and even physical onslaught for the limpo wristed virmin but what about the el fattos?  

      Is it anything greater than my current size or can I make fun of any female bigger than the Olson Twins?  How about fat location?  If someone looks healthy but has a big butt, can I call them a fat ass?

      I just want to make sure I get my bigotry correct.

      "Perhaps the sentiments contained in the following pages, are not YET sufficiently fashionable to procure them general favour..."

      by Buckeye Nut Schell on Wed May 29, 2013 at 07:16:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Weight does not equal race or gender. (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Grendel, Larin, filby, claude, eXtina

        We have a problem in America that far exceeds the low % of obese individuals who are so because of a legitimate medical issue(s).

        I was gonna listen to that, but then, um, I just carried on living my life. - Aldous Snow

        by GoGoGoEverton on Wed May 29, 2013 at 07:31:55 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  So it's ok to humiliate and otherwise mistreat (5+ / 0-)

          fat people?

          Why do I get the feeling that you're not one of us.

          LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

          by dinotrac on Wed May 29, 2013 at 07:33:55 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'm on the record saying that it isn't. And no, (0+ / 0-)

            I'm not obese.

            I was gonna listen to that, but then, um, I just carried on living my life. - Aldous Snow

            by GoGoGoEverton on Wed May 29, 2013 at 08:07:49 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  And just who deterimines what is "Legitimate"? (0+ / 0-)

            Is it the same department who determines what "Legitimate" rape is?

            We have companies screwing with the nutritional value of our food, putting sugar into foods it doesn't belong to increase desire, we have jobs that are increasingly stationary but requiring more and more hours a day, we have long commutes that require sitting even though you are getting tired, we have bills and stress and on and on and on...

            And anyway, who exactly is it that determines what I am supposed to look like anyway?  When I got out of the Navy I was 22 years old, 5'9" and I weighed 218 lbs and according to my BMI index, I was 53 lbs overweight.  However, I was running three miles a day and could rep 250lbs on the bench press 25 times.  I was in the best shape of my life and over 50lbs over what they were saying I should weigh.

            Nothing gives you the right to judge anyone and write things like:

            We have a problem in America that far exceeds the low % of obese individuals who are so because of a legitimate medical issue(s).
            There are people who say there are a low percentage of people who are born gay, low percentage of people who are non-criminal and black, a low percentage of people who are mexican and here legally,...  

            You are looking down on people whom you perceive to be inferior due to their own poor judgement and are disclaiming the fact there are a few medical exceptions.  You are insinuating that they are fat because they are just lazy people.  (probably worse than those lazy black people because black people's laziness was inherited and not their fault).

            "Perhaps the sentiments contained in the following pages, are not YET sufficiently fashionable to procure them general favour..."

            by Buckeye Nut Schell on Wed May 29, 2013 at 11:58:13 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I like to go with 'science' and 'doctors' in this (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              claude, eXtina

              case.

              I was gonna listen to that, but then, um, I just carried on living my life. - Aldous Snow

              by GoGoGoEverton on Wed May 29, 2013 at 12:03:47 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Doctors? nt (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              GoGoGoEverton

              "I'm sculpting now. Landscapes mostly." ~ Yogi Bear

              by eXtina on Wed May 29, 2013 at 01:18:17 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Doctors determine "Legitimate" Medical issues? (0+ / 0-)

                Is obesity itself a "Legitimate" medical issue?

                What if it is genetic?  Are some people "Big Boned" (as they used to say) to describe people with a predisposition to being over weight?

                What about eating disorders, is that a "Legitimate" medical condition?

                What about weight gain due to depression, stress, thyroid dysfunction, food allergies, Lack of good bacteria, too much good bacteria...  Which ones are legitimate?

                How about people who are so damned stressed out just trying to make ends meet that their sole source of fucking comfort is a fucking bag of potato chips and a God damned milk shake?!?! Is that a fucking legitimate fucking Medical Fucking Condition!?!?!

                Go ahead and point fingers and judge people that are over weight and tell them that it is their own fault that people are fucking cruel to them.  You tell them that if they would just eat healthier and go jogging they wouldn't be so sick and physically unappealing and a drain on society, and worthless...

                Go ahead and judge but remember, if you think being fat is bad enough that you have the moral authority to ridicule and blame them, regardless of your own physical appearance,  you are some really ugly people.

                "Perhaps the sentiments contained in the following pages, are not YET sufficiently fashionable to procure them general favour..."

                by Buckeye Nut Schell on Wed May 29, 2013 at 01:54:22 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Your last 3 paragraphs have nothing to do with (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  eXtina

                  doctors and science.

                  Your first ones, the answer to all of them is:

                  "If your doctor says you can lose weight by exercising and/or eating better and that it would help your health and/or keep you from becoming unhealthy, it's legitimate.'

                  Questioning the overwhelming weight of medical opinion is not unlike denying global climate change.

                  I was gonna listen to that, but then, um, I just carried on living my life. - Aldous Snow

                  by GoGoGoEverton on Wed May 29, 2013 at 02:00:18 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Doctors often have nothing to do with science (2+ / 0-)

                    One of the biggest spreaders of old wive's tales and stale advice around.

                    Worse -- they are often symptom counters, not health assessors.

                    There is decent evidence suggesting that "obese" people with good blood pressure, sugar level, cholesterol and the like are about as healthy as thin people.

                    That doesn't mean that obesity is desirable -- it's still an extra effort to get my fat butt out of the chair, and I sweat more cycling on a hot day, etc, etc.

                    All things being equal, I would prefer to be 100 lb lighter, but...

                    With good pulse, bp, cholesterol, etc -- at least I'm healthy enough to work on that goal.

                    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                    by dinotrac on Wed May 29, 2013 at 04:25:44 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I just do not get these people... (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      dinotrac, Batya the Toon

                      I have read many of their comments elsewhere and they have always seemed like good people.  I agree with most of their political views.

                      I do not understand how they can so openly and repeatedly insist that they are right in their characterization of people who are over weight.

                      I cannot imagine anyone defending their position in spite of the insensitivity of their argument.  

                      I am much more offended by the comments than I was at the comic and I am not easily offended.

                      I read here on dkos recently a general consensus that for minorities, it is the minority who gets to decide what is offensive to them.  I agreed with that statement.  I am not black so I do not have the right to say what is or is not offensive to a black person.  That is reasonable to me.  How is this any different when it comes to my body or anyone else's body?

                      "Perhaps the sentiments contained in the following pages, are not YET sufficiently fashionable to procure them general favour..."

                      by Buckeye Nut Schell on Wed May 29, 2013 at 08:26:07 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Because you are seen as being to blame for (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Buckeye Nut Schell

                        your body. You (we) are somehow morally and intellectually inferior.

                        After all, if you had strong character and were intelligent, you'd bre thin.
                        Right?

                        I wonder how many of those folks feel the same way about, say, a cocaine addict?

                        Thing about being fat (as opposed to drug addition) is that you can't go cold turkey on food.  Tends to be bad for continued breathing.

                        And -- jumpin' gee willikers! Every other freakin' thing you can buy is loaded with hidden fat and/or sugar,  those of us who are lucky enough to work often sit and do it, and the rest have other things on our minds and --- gosh, I wonder how many of these thin folks could actually lose 50-100-more pounds if they were to pack it on? Very different from 5-10-20.

                        It's just soooooooooooo easy to stick that nose up in the air and be disdainful.

                        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                        by dinotrac on Thu May 30, 2013 at 02:29:25 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

        •  But obesity is tied to race and income... (3+ / 0-)

          ...as a public health issue it's really not important whether you consider the cause of someone's obesity as "legitimate" or not. There are causes, obesity is concentrated among certain demographics, and it should be dealth with. Why it's such a target for humor is a little unknown to me -- it's like far jokes in terms of sophistication. But I'm truly unclear on why it's part of a political conversation outside the public health funding/program angle.

          it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses

          by Addison on Wed May 29, 2013 at 07:44:33 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  That's a bit misleading. (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            dinotrac, filby, eXtina

            Obesity correlates in %'s of population to lack of education and healthy food, but to imply it's only a problem for the poor and those lacking healthy food options is wrong.

            I was gonna listen to that, but then, um, I just carried on living my life. - Aldous Snow

            by GoGoGoEverton on Wed May 29, 2013 at 08:09:07 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Please stop being dishonest... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Buckeye Nut Schell
              but to imply it's only a problem for the poor and those lacking healthy food options is wrong.
              I don't care that it's "wrong", because I never said that. It's wrongness has nothing to do with me, because I never implied that. I wrote, as anyone can see:
              obesity is tied to race and income
              ...and:
              There are causes, obesity is concentrated among certain demographics, and it should be dealth [sic] with.
              Both are true statements (i.e. not "wrong"), and ones that have a great deal of impact on the preventative public health aspects of the problem.

              it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses

              by Addison on Wed May 29, 2013 at 08:18:22 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  You use very exciting language. (0+ / 0-)

                I wasn't being 'dishonest' anymore than you'll accept what you wrote was 'a bit misleading'. Saying something 'is' implies that it's a primary cause, not one correlation, imo. 'Obesity CAN be tied to race and income' (i disagree with the former unless you can demonstrate a metabolic rate diversion amongst races in a controlled environment) or 'one thing obesity correlates with' is more accurate.

                I was gonna listen to that, but then, um, I just carried on living my life. - Aldous Snow

                by GoGoGoEverton on Wed May 29, 2013 at 08:23:45 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Always double down (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  DSPS owl, Buckeye Nut Schell

                  So you're saying that you would not accept the statement that 'personal wealth is tied to family education levels', 'the amount that a state gets back from the federal government compared to what it pays in federal taxes is tied to its political leanings', 'tooth decay is tied to sugar consumption', or 'who gets elected president is tied to the number of votes that each candidate gets'?

                  If so, then you're being disingenuous. If not, then you're simply not speaking the same language (English) that the rest of us are.

                  As for race, you're simply absolutely wrong there, and I can't help but think you're being disingenuous there as well. Race in the US is inextricably tied to socioeconomic status, the location in which you live, the kind of foods you eat, the kind of work that is available to you, and many other things. These are all correlations. So it is no surprise that race is fairly strongly correlated to weight problems.

                  Perhaps you would argue that it's not race that's causing them, but the other issues, but that entirely misses the point. It's like saying that eating more food is not strongly correlated to weight problems, it's digesting the food that's the issue. While it may be technically true, it is useful to note that eating food and digesting it are strongly-enough correlated that it might be worth tackling the problem before you eat the food, rather than after you eat it but before you digest it.

                  Likewise, if we were to concentrate on providing better assistance to and opportunities for minority people, you might be surprised at how big a dent we could make in obesity.

                  •  Stopped reading here: (0+ / 0-)
                    Race in the US is inextricably tied to socioeconomic status,

                    No, race is tied to who your parents are/were.

                    Again, if I was a racial minority in the country I would find it extremely offensive that someone with a self-inflicted weight problem compared their issue with the systemic one that has affected me.

                    I was gonna listen to that, but then, um, I just carried on living my life. - Aldous Snow

                    by GoGoGoEverton on Wed May 29, 2013 at 09:18:12 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  You are really justifying your hateful remarks... (0+ / 0-)

                      What gives you the right to keep putting people down and then fighting for your "Right" to keep putting them down?

                      How is that any different from the people like Westboro Baptist saying they have the right to hate gays because they choose to have sex with the same gender and therefore it is "self inflicted".  

                      How is it different from someone claiming the right to hate Mexicans immigrants because they chose to come here and therefore it is "self inflicted".

                      You choose to but mean to people and I choose to think you are a bigot because your assholiness seems to be "self inflicted".

                      "Perhaps the sentiments contained in the following pages, are not YET sufficiently fashionable to procure them general favour..."

                      by Buckeye Nut Schell on Wed May 29, 2013 at 12:08:34 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  No I'm not. No one is refuting anything, (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        eXtina

                        they're just calling me, the diarist, and others 'haters', 'prejudiced', etc. Tell me again what overweight, entitled American tourists have in common with people who live in food deserts and have no thyroid gland?

                        I was gonna listen to that, but then, um, I just carried on living my life. - Aldous Snow

                        by GoGoGoEverton on Wed May 29, 2013 at 12:11:56 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

        •  Prejudice is not limited (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Buckeye Nut Schell

          to race or gender.  Your slip is showing my friend, as is your hatred of people you consider to be less than you.

          Don't meddle in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup.

          by Whitewitch on Wed May 29, 2013 at 11:58:40 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Next up is old folks. (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Larin, dinotrac, Whitewitch, sngmama

        /snark

        I'm not always political, but when I am I vote Democratic. Stay Democratic, my friends. -The Most Interesting Man in the World

        by boran2 on Wed May 29, 2013 at 07:54:18 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  yeah, too bad she didn't explain this one (6+ / 0-)

      I always rec Jen's work but this really is just a standard fat joke combined with an Ugly American joke. Subpar compared with her normal output.

      Also, from what I've seen and heard about tourists, American tourists tend to not be obese (those people stayed home, duh).

      History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce - Karl Marx

      by quill on Wed May 29, 2013 at 07:36:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Obesity is a public health issue which can (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Red Bean, filby, rbird, mungley

      stand for awareness-raising - I don't feel this is meant to "shame" individual people who are overweight, IMHO.

      I've reported on obesity and its potential impacts/causes as part of the Overnight News Digest about a dozen times in the past year, for example - only because relevant and potentially interesting studies and/or events have come up at times.  Most of those I reported were related to modern diets and activity levels - i.e., educational issues.  A number of attempts have been made to classify obesity in the USA as an epidemic, in order to raise more awareness and lay the groundwork for sea-change in attitudes among both the genpop and medical professions.

      Beyond those considerations, I see this cartoon as poking at a number of weaknesses apparent in the USA societal psyche: lack of introspection concerning world events, exceptionalist attitudes in the face of obvious reality, a proclivity for thin entertainment in the face of more pressing issues, etc.

      "So, please stay where you are. Don't move and don't panic. Don't take off your shoes! Jobs is on the way."

      by wader on Wed May 29, 2013 at 07:41:25 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  With regard to your last paragraph ... (4+ / 0-)

        ... do you seriously think that's what the cartoon's about?  Seriously?

        Because plain old walking tourism would have done just fine for that -- show tourists pointing at the funny architecture and the weird food and ignoring more important things happening: hunger, violence, what-have-you.

        But there aren't any More Important Things happening in this cartoon, because clearly what it's about is how physically lazy Americans are.

        •  Yeah, I do (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          GoGoGoEverton, mungley

          I saw the cartoon as obvious symbolism about USA culture and our lazy-tuned, out attitudes about apparent reality or anything non-USA.  It's made far more effective by turning USA citizens into Jabba-the-Hut caricatures, IMHO.

          I'm not picking any sides here - it's the language of the comic that I picked up.

          "So, please stay where you are. Don't move and don't panic. Don't take off your shoes! Jobs is on the way."

          by wader on Wed May 29, 2013 at 08:27:51 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Which is to say... (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Batya the Toon, Nattiq, wader
            It's made far more effective by turning USA citizens into Jabba-the-Hut caricatures, IMHO.
            Which is to say, 'it's made far more effective by injecting a healthy dose of fat-shaming'.

            I understand you don't think of it that way. That's because you're immersed in a culture that has normalized it to such an extent that most people don't see it at all. It's like talking about 'rape culture' or 'privilege' with almost anyway, or, possibly a better comparison, like discussing racism with a not-overly-racist conservative. None of his friends say the n-word or want to lynch black people, so clearly there is no problem with racism any more. And if the unemployment rate for black people is double that for white people, it must be explained by something other than racism, because clearly, as we've just said, there is no such thing any more.

            But anyone willing to look around for a bit of subtext can see examples of all of those things on an everyday basis.

            •  It's offensive to compare obesity to rape, race, (0+ / 0-)

              or anything else that is demonstrably out of the control of those affected.

              I was gonna listen to that, but then, um, I just carried on living my life. - Aldous Snow

              by GoGoGoEverton on Wed May 29, 2013 at 09:15:42 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Except whenever it is demonstrated (0+ / 0-)

                that "excessive" weight is out of control of the affected, people blame the affected for having insufficient willpower and take their failure to fix themselves as proof that fat really does equal lazy.

              •  People like you are the reason... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Nattiq

                five year old girls think they need to go on a diet.

                People like you are the reason that perfectly healthy young boys and girls starve themselves and hurt themselves when they do not fit your ideal image.

                People like you are the reason that Americans spend billions of dollars every year trying to meet an impossible standard set by anorexic models in magizines and on TV showing kids what they are supposed to look like.

                People like you are the reason overweight children (and adults) get bullied and abused and overlooked and rejected and ignored and...

                 People like you are the reason a lot more overweight kids comit suicide than die from being over weight.

                It is people like you that are truly offensive.

                "Perhaps the sentiments contained in the following pages, are not YET sufficiently fashionable to procure them general favour..."

                by Buckeye Nut Schell on Wed May 29, 2013 at 12:16:03 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  If so, then you're the reason people die (0+ / 0-)

                  of heart attacks well below the average life span. You're the reason Type 2 diabetes is rampant in the US today. You're the reason the US consumes exponentially more food than populations double its size. You're (part) of the reason our healthcare expenditures are through the roof.

                  I would also argue you're the reason a child is so overweight to begin with that he/she wakes up in the morning knowing that they will look very different from most others in school.

                  Model expectations have nothing to do with excuses for being OBESE without a severe medical issue.

                  You think society is judgmental now? Just wait until we have universal healthcare access and the people who are overweight from untreated medical conditions no longer go untreated, and can live healthier and more active lifestyles, with more money to eat better.

                  I was gonna listen to that, but then, um, I just carried on living my life. - Aldous Snow

                  by GoGoGoEverton on Wed May 29, 2013 at 12:24:23 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Oh no! Some kid is going to LOOK DIFFERENT. (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Buckeye Nut Schell

                    I don't know if you realize it, but including that point makes all those health statistics you're citing sound kinda hollow.

                    Almost like the real issue is that you think fat people are unsightly.

                    And honestly, whether or not that's true in your case, it illustrates a larger point really well:  it is literally not possible to divorce the aesthetic from the medical in the current dialogue about weight.  And so long as aesthetic judgment continues to be as hateful and harmful as it currently is, medical judgment is going to be affected by it -- and so are the psyches of kids who will grow up internalizing all that hate.

                    So long as "you're not taking good care of your health" keeps translating to "you're a contemptible creature who deserves to be mocked," it is going to be that much harder for people who grow up hearing that to actually start taking care of their health.

                    But more importantly, so long as that's the case, there are far worse things wrong with us as a society than our weight.

                    •  Just so I'm understanding clearly, you're saying (0+ / 0-)

                      that there's an aesthetic motivation to the medical science behind obesity evaluations?

                      I was gonna listen to that, but then, um, I just carried on living my life. - Aldous Snow

                      by GoGoGoEverton on Wed May 29, 2013 at 12:50:28 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  You're not understanding clearly. (0+ / 0-)

                        I'm saying there's an aesthetic motivation to how people treat fat people.  It affects how medical science is understood and applied in daily life, and how it is used to justify fat-hate.

                        There are in fact any number of problematic aspects to the current medical practice's treatment of fat patients, but that's not what I'm talking about.  I'm talking about the wider society's treatment of fat people, which may use health as a cause-flag but is demonstrably counterproductive to the end of making people any healthier.

                •  Sorry, but could we get a little real, please? (0+ / 0-)

                  There ARE five-year-old girls (and boys) in this country that DESPERATELY need to go on a diet. Is this to a huge extent a product of our baby foods being up to 1/3rd sugar, large portions of our populace brainwashed into thinking Sunny D is JUST as good as orange juice!!!, and our political system, corrupted by insane contributions from food industry giants, consistently putting the health of corporate profits far, far before the health of its citizens??? Of course it is. Have foods in the US been manipulated so a to be as close to addictive as possible? Yes, they have. Are there areas where, even if you could afford it, healthy food is damn near impossible to obtain? Hell to the A yes. Is the deck stacked incredibly heavily against the individual in this case? Of course. And on TOP of that, are there people with genetic conditions and medical issues that make losing weight even more of a challenge? Most decidedly, yes there are.

                  But for crying out loud, you and I both know there are many, many people who are more than capable of walking a moderate two miles a day and don't (I'm one of them, far too often). Or even half a mile. Or even across a parking lot rather than circling three times to get a slot right by the door. We can choose to educate ourselves about food content and choices. We can, if we are motivated enough, produce our own fresh produce -- even in the middle of a food desert. No, we can't control everything by a loooong shot -- our genetics, our medical history, the education and income level we were born into and often have little escape from, what our parents fed us -- and those things make the challenges a LOT harder for many of us -- but there is a lot we CAN control. And for me, comparing my weight issues and obesity to rape or race or sexuality or any of a zillion things that truly are beyond my control is deeply offensive, because I REFUSE to believe my weight is something that I am powerless over. It is my body, my health, and at the end of the day, my responsibility.

                  •  I absolutely agree... (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Batya the Toon

                    My point is that it is up to you to control it and I hope you do.  I hope you find the will power to be the best you that you can be and I will stand here and cheer you on all the way.  Yes you can control it but it does not give anyone here or anywhere else the right to criticize you, shame you or talk down to you or me.

                    I quit smoking after 35 years.  It was hard.  I finally found a method that worked for me (the e-cig) and I am so thankful for it.  That does not give me the right to talk down to someone else who has not found their way yet.

                    My point was that we have people here who feel like if you are fat it is your fault and therefore they have the right to shame people about their body.  I see perfectly healthy children thinking they need to lose weight.  I see young beautiful teenage girls who starve themselves into looking like skeletons because they do not want to be labeled as fat (my youngest daughter is one of them and she is a size 2).  Kids hurt themselves because of this social pressure.

                    I REFUSE to believe my weight is something that I am powerless over. It is my body, my health, and at the end of the day, my responsibility.
                    That is a great attitude but it does not mean that people here, or anywhere else, have a right to make fun of you, insult you or belittle you.  

                    Just like we do not have a right to shame someone who is permiscuous, or who smokes or is gay or transgender or is Christian or Muslim or likes crappy old black and white B movies...  That is against everything this site stands for (at least, the site I know it to have been for the last seven or eight years I have been coming here).

                    Please explain to me why someone here feels they can judge anyone as to whether their weight issue is a legitimate medical condition?  As if that makes it somehow acceptable as opposed to the lazy kind of fat?

                    Obesity is a medical condition in and of itself so I am still not sure what makes it legitimate or not.  I guess if you cannot help it, if you go to the gym everyday and starve yourself and take the right pills and have the right operations and still cannot lose weight, then it is a legitimate medical condition and the shaming will stop.

                    I was overweight as a sixth grader and my father shamed me by calling me fat (among other things) in front of my friends and family and made fun of me constantly.  By the time I was in eighth grade, I had grown six inches and wrestled and played football and was thin and at that point, he took credit for it because he believed his shaming me is what made the difference.  Even when I worked hard and succeded, it was not my doing, it was his like I should have appreciated that treatment.  I hated him for it.

                    That is how I see some of these commenters here are acting. Like shaming fat people will somehow help them to get thin.  Does that work for anything?  Does shaming gay kids or adults make them straight?  Does shaming "sluts" make them virtuous?  Does insulting atheists make them want to become Christians?  Does calling liberals communist, unAmerican baby killers make anyone want to become conservative?

                    And it really pisses me off that they know they are insulting people and they know that it is hurtful and still they feel justified in saying this shit because they feel fat people deserve it.  Let me tell you something, nobody deserves to be treated as less than, nobody.

                    "Perhaps the sentiments contained in the following pages, are not YET sufficiently fashionable to procure them general favour..."

                    by Buckeye Nut Schell on Wed May 29, 2013 at 07:57:02 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

            •  One of my very few, very close friends is obese (0+ / 0-)

              and we've talked about her condition, how she feels about herself, how others perceive her, how I perceive her, etc. many times.  My father has become obese over the years and we just had another conversation - in a long string of such on that part of his life - a few days ago.  I have siblings who have become markedly overweight and am supportive of them as people and sympathetic to how they feel in the larger society, as well.  And so forth.   "I have friends who . . ."

              To me, "Jabba the Hut" is a caricature that comes as part of the package that includes marked self-interest, lack of compassion for most things around oneself and the notion of sloth with entertainment that is brought to their feet.  Jabba is therefore a symbolic notion of these elements, not meant to be a stand-in for any actual human who happens to have an obese body.

              In many ways, I saw these characters as a cross between Jabba and the Wall-E society: both represented a cultural view towards being served for their desires, yet having those desires mean very little of much apparent value, in the end.  Disassociated from events around them that didn't involve themselves, essentially.

              Jen certainly took a chance in offending lots of folks by using this symbolism to make her point about the inward-facing USA exceptionalist culture, and I can't argue that your perspective is invalid to offer - because it's not.  This type of cartoon doesn't have to get a reaction on one level for her to think about the next piece of work's impact she offers.

              "So, please stay where you are. Don't move and don't panic. Don't take off your shoes! Jobs is on the way."

              by wader on Wed May 29, 2013 at 05:55:09 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  Raising Awareness... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Batya the Toon, wonderful world

        and getting in a shaming and a slap as well must be extra special good.  This "cartoon" did nothing to rais my awareness of a public health issue.  It only made me shamed that the DailyKos would support hatred for people who are not as "others feel they should be".  You do realize there are people who are overweight due to depression, medication for depression, working long hours in sedentary jobs with no funds for joining a health club and/or living in a an area where walking is taking your life (or at least your safety) in hand.  Where food choices are the $1 happy dinner or nothing.  All the liberals and fun loving hippies here realize pointing and laughing is rude right?  Your so off on this subject....so very wrong.

        Don't meddle in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup.

        by Whitewitch on Wed May 29, 2013 at 12:05:49 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  None of those people are going to Europe. (0+ / 0-)

          And again, extremely poor AND sick AND living-in-an-unsafe-area people are not at all the majority of the overweight and obese.

          I was gonna listen to that, but then, um, I just carried on living my life. - Aldous Snow

          by GoGoGoEverton on Wed May 29, 2013 at 12:08:23 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Considering that I don't see this strip being (0+ / 0-)

          about weight as its centerpiece, no - I don't think I'm off on the subject at all.  It happens to have characters who represent the ultimate, self-absorbed consumers that we as a nation can be, why would you not offer Wall-E - like characters to make your point?  They fit the mold of that aspect in our society well enough.

          Sure, people can also look at this and say it's mostly about obese people being simply fat, lazy and . . . I don't know, something else that's a stereotype in that realm which we can throw in.  But, that would make the strip rather pointless, so I didn't see it that way at all.

          "So, please stay where you are. Don't move and don't panic. Don't take off your shoes! Jobs is on the way."

          by wader on Wed May 29, 2013 at 06:25:45 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  It's been all over The Onion lately too. (0+ / 0-)
    •  Americans are fat (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      GoGoGoEverton, shaharazade

      there's no two ways about it. Did you watch the OK tornado coverage, the mothers of the children in those schools that were demolished? All fat. It is a problem.

      "I'm sculpting now. Landscapes mostly." ~ Yogi Bear

      by eXtina on Wed May 29, 2013 at 12:32:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Always nice (0+ / 0-)

      I agree! I just love hearing someone who does not know me assume that I never exercise and watch television all day because I am an American.

      I've got news for you, Mr./Ms Cartoonist: I work three jobs to make ends meet. Fortunately, I have two work from home jobs and a house sitting job.

      I manage to fit in at least 90 minutes walking every morning and average 3-6 miles per day because I don't have to sit in a car to drive to work. In that respect, I am very lucky.

      I'd love to be able to afford a European vacation to walk around and see the sites. The problem here is not that I am too fat to walk  but that I am too broke to take time off for any reason.

  •  I would love to know what prompted this. (5+ / 0-)

    Did I miss a story about a rush by Americans to book non-walking vacations?

    "War is not the answer, for only love can conquer hate." ~ Al Cleveland & Marvin Gaye (1970)

    by JBL55 on Wed May 29, 2013 at 07:08:18 AM PDT

  •  Oddly enough.... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wader, houyhnhnm, shaharazade

    This morning I was thinking about that artist that did clothed sculptures of fat and frumpy and kitschy American tourists. What is his name?

    "If this Studebaker had anymore Atomic Space-Age Style, you'd have to be an astronaut with a geiger counter!"

    by Stude Dude on Wed May 29, 2013 at 07:12:23 AM PDT

  •  Very confused. (5+ / 0-)

    Why did this person do an extended, non-political, anti-American fat joke for this political pro-American site?

    it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses

    by Addison on Wed May 29, 2013 at 07:14:00 AM PDT

  •  I thought it was funny (10+ / 0-)

    Reminds me of WALL-E and the people in the floatie chairs.

    A village can not reorganize village life to suit the village idiot.

    by METAL TREK on Wed May 29, 2013 at 07:16:47 AM PDT

  •  Year before last (7+ / 0-)

    we took an 11 day cruise from Italy to Greece and Turkey, including a day and a half in Istanbul - plus a few days in Italy pre-cruise visiting Pompeii, the Amalfi Coast, and Capri. We walked and walked and walked many miles most days up and down hills, uneven stairs, over cobblestones, etc. We were off the ship early morning and returned in the evening physically exhausted. Mainly just used the ship for dinner, sleep, and transportation. It was intense, but we saw amazing places (Acropolis, Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Santorini, Mykonos, Ephesus)... We needed a vacation after our vacation. Most other folks we met on that ship were more like us than like the cartoon. I realize the cartoon is the stereotype, but the reality is that nowadays in some places American tourists are actually preferred to some of the European and Japanese tourists - we are considered nicer, friendlier, less rude, and more easygoing and generous, believe it or not.

    •  You are right (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wonderful world, Nattiq

      It's been my experience the Japanese tourists come in by the busloads and can overwhelm something that ought to be small and quaint.

      Forgive me but I found that children from Italy and Spain were completely out of control versus the well behaved ones from France and England.

    •  I also took a Med cruise two years ago (0+ / 0-)

      It was marvelous in more ways than one.

      But when I would speak to people from other nations, they were frequently surprised to find that I (an American) knew things about their history, their culture, and their current events...sometimes things they did not know themselves. I remember esp. in a palace in Istanbul where I pointed out the Baroque influences to my child and a lady from Amsterdam was astonished that I knew what they were.  Another time, a young couple from Germany were amazed that I knew who Emperor Maximilian was.

      It isn't that we are perceived as rude or miserly...but the prevalence of American equals ignorant that I find so horrible.

      A weapon that is also a treasure is certain to be used.

      by wonderful world on Wed May 29, 2013 at 09:25:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I love overseas travel (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    houyhnhnm, Grendel

    When you get back after a long time abroad the first thing that hits you when you are back stateside is how heavy everyone is here.

    I'm heading to Africa this summer!  very excited!

    •  what strikes me (0+ / 0-)

      Not so much how heavy people are, but the fact that they move down the center of the sidewalk like barges -- never looking ahead, never sidestepping, seemingly oblivious of the fact that there are other people.

      I've only been out of the country twice -- to two very different cultures.  That's what struck forcefully each time, both while I was abroad observing other American tourists in contrast to the locals and when I got back home -- that lack of awareness of other people's space.

      Tanks.

      Well . . . .

      Light is seen through a small hole.

      by houyhnhnm on Wed May 29, 2013 at 07:50:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  London Underground escalators (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        wonderful world

        Always stand on the right of the London Underground escalators.

        There is a rule on London Underground escalators: always stand on the right.  American visitors always seem to upset the locals with that one

        •  I wish they'd do that in airports too. (0+ / 0-)

          Post some signs so that people trying to make connections don't have to stand behind folks who aren't...and who are taking up the entire escalator.

          A weapon that is also a treasure is certain to be used.

          by wonderful world on Wed May 29, 2013 at 09:26:24 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Oh yeah (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          houyhnhnm, wonderful world

          I remember that vividly from the one time I was in Europe, some 20 years ago.  I learned, so did my parents when they came to visit me (because I explained to them).  I could see it being rather a challenge for new visitors to non-English-speaking countries who don't understand the repeated requests to "Rechts stehen, links gehen" or the equivalent.

          Actual obedience to pedestrian crossing rules is another minor culture shock.

          On the other hand, Americans are much better at behaving in lines than people in many places I've been.

  •  What was this inspired by? (0+ / 0-)

    Other than a general commentary on the American obesity issue? Feels like something was promoted or invented that inspired this..

    I was gonna listen to that, but then, um, I just carried on living my life. - Aldous Snow

    by GoGoGoEverton on Wed May 29, 2013 at 07:29:48 AM PDT

  •  I'm an American (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wonderful world, Nattiq

    I'm not fat or lazy.  

  •  I'm not so sure about the last frame (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wader, DSPS owl

    Everest climbers abandon ascent after attack by scores of angry Sherpas

    When the man looked in the window of the bar and he grinned
    And said if you come back we just may not be your friend
    I don't want to see you around here again
    You come back next time we may not pretend

    Light is seen through a small hole.

    by houyhnhnm on Wed May 29, 2013 at 07:35:39 AM PDT

  •  There's a brand new McDonald's in town (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Yo Bubba, wader, wonderful world

    They tore down the old McDonald's in Andalusia, Alabama a year or two back.  That one had a playground.  The new McDonald's does not have playground, but it does have video screens where overweight kids can minimize physical activity while consuming way more calories than their bodies require.  
    I find it somewhat comical, but simultaneously depressing - that no one has protested in the local newspaper or press.    

    I'll put on my glasses.... and tell you how sweet your ass is. (w/ apologies to Señor Bega)

    by mHainds on Wed May 29, 2013 at 07:36:25 AM PDT

  •  Brilliant! You keep on Ms. Sorensen! (6+ / 0-)

    Reminds me of a grad student that was always complaining about the dry climate and all the plants with thorns and spikes.  I finally said, "Why did you come to the desert for graduate school?"  

    "A weed is a plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered." Ralph Waldo Emerson

    by Yo Bubba on Wed May 29, 2013 at 07:40:28 AM PDT

    •  Yes...keep on making fun of fat (0+ / 0-)

      and lazy americans.  This is so NOT what goes on with most travelers that your comparison to the "grad student" is not remotely correct.

      Don't meddle in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup.

      by Whitewitch on Wed May 29, 2013 at 12:18:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I Am Overweight And I Find This Cartoon (7+ / 0-)

    not that funny and kind of offensive.  I try to walk as much as I can, but I also have Morton's Neuroma and nerve problems in my feet.  I don't have diabetes.  I will have trouble walking if I ever visit Europe.  I don't really want to be prone, but having available scooters would be an option that would be really helpful.  

    "Don't Let Them Catch You With Your Eyes Closed"

    by rssrai on Wed May 29, 2013 at 07:43:37 AM PDT

  •  obesity is a very serious public health issue (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GoGoGoEverton

    and should be treated as such

    •  This cartoon does not (0+ / 0-)

      deal with a "serious public health issue".  You know death is the end game right.  We are all going to die...so worry about your health and let others worry about theirs.  Or are you the weight police with a handbook, measuring tape and scale that will enforce your ideal of the perfect body on the rest of us?

      Don't meddle in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup.

      by Whitewitch on Wed May 29, 2013 at 12:19:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  It's a joke, folks! Lighten up! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Grendel, psnyder, shaharazade

    Oh, did I really say that?

    Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight! Clean Coal Is A Clinker!

    by JeffW on Wed May 29, 2013 at 07:50:55 AM PDT

  •  I spent 10 days in Viet Nam (5+ / 0-)

    several years go.

    it was SHOCKING to see all the flab when I returned to America.

    I love this cartoon: it is how I see most Americans.

  •  Prone = lying face down; (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    psnyder, DSPS owl, Nattiq, shaharazade

    Supine = lying face up.

    I was wise enough to never grow up while fooling most people into believing I had. - Margaret Mead

    by fayea on Wed May 29, 2013 at 08:01:44 AM PDT

  •  Fat jokes are funny! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Whitewitch, Nattiq

    ....what's next, a minstrel show?

    My idea would be the smug yuppie tour of Europe, with a chef from Portland accompanying the group - no eating the local cuisine prepared by non-hipster locals!

    9-11 changed everything? Well, Katrina changed it back.

    by varro on Wed May 29, 2013 at 08:07:38 AM PDT

    •  Thanks for making fun of Portlanders (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      GoGoGoEverton, shaharazade

      How...inclusive of you.

      So -- Let me get this straight: you are positing that it's wrong to point out the fact that a sizeable (heh) portion of Americans are overweight, get too little exercise, and are blissfully disinterested in the world outside the U.S., but it's just darn funny to make fun of people from Portland? To stereotype them as hipsters?

      OK.  Got it.  

      •  I live in Portland.... (0+ / 0-)

        ....and as they say on Community, "Greendale [Portland] is our toilet - only we can crap in  it!"

        And hipsters are intolerably snobby - and they also serve to gentrify the city and send minorities and the poor scrambling elsewhere to find a place to live that they can afford.

        9-11 changed everything? Well, Katrina changed it back.

        by varro on Wed May 29, 2013 at 12:13:33 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  If I was fat because I was ill, I'd want shaming (0+ / 0-)

    on everyone who is self-inflicted overweight and/or could do something about their unhealthy weight, so that I wasn't grouped in with the much larger % of people who have weight issues.

    I was gonna listen to that, but then, um, I just carried on living my life. - Aldous Snow

    by GoGoGoEverton on Wed May 29, 2013 at 08:20:17 AM PDT

    •  How would that help anyone? (5+ / 0-)

      Why are you going through the effort of role-playing hypothetical fantasies to justify shaming other people? Is it that important to you that you need to leap into fiction so that you can assume someone else's credibility on the issue? There are real issues at play. We can talk about them easily. They don't involve shaming anyone, that's just something you want to do.

      it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses

      by Addison on Wed May 29, 2013 at 08:24:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yeah, saying I'd want shaming implies I'd (0+ / 0-)

        accept truly insulting or deriding behavior, which I wouldn't, so I take that back. I'm simply saying it doesn't help those that really do have medical issues that greatly affect their weight when so many Americans are overweight because of lifestyle choices and lack of self-control.

        I was gonna listen to that, but then, um, I just carried on living my life. - Aldous Snow

        by GoGoGoEverton on Wed May 29, 2013 at 08:30:49 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'm trying hard not to be insulting (6+ / 0-)

          But that's one of the most obnoxiously judgmental things I've heard in ages.

          Tell that to my friend from back East, who works two jobs, and whose jobs plus commute total almost 15 hours a day, and who has no energy to do anything but eat and go to sleep when she gets home.

          Tell it to the people I've met who live in hotel rooms because they're too poor to afford a real place to live, and who therefore have to eat fast food for every meal, because they have nowhere to cook and can't afford anywhere more expensive than McDonalds.

          Tell it to the single parents who work and take care of their kids and whose every waking hour is divided carefully between those two responsibilities.

          In short, every damn person is a unique individual, and though it may surprise you to know this, very few of them are lounging around on sofas eating bonbons all day. And, though this may also surprise you, very few people who are overweight because of medical issues (like, say, another friend friend who could not walk more than twenty feet at a time due to bad knees for sixteen years before she could afford knee replacement surgery) are in no way angry at other overweight people.

          That she leaves to skinny people. Like you.

          •  You should point some of those folks to DK. (0+ / 0-)

            There are lots of great diaries that discuss nutrition on very tight budgets, etc. There are also several resources for dieting and eating management, etc and even the dollar menu at McD's is not the long-term cheapest way to go. Most of us work our asses off, most of us have a sore shoulder or knee, but it's 2013 and it's a lack of education, or willpower, that is often the culprit for those without medical issues. Sure that's judgemental, but you didn't refute any of it really, you just detailed the circumstances. Like Chuck Pagano says, we ALL have circumstances.

            I have a constructive solution to each one of the excuses you listed out above, but writing your comment implies to me that you're not really interested, you just don't want to feel bad.

            I was gonna listen to that, but then, um, I just carried on living my life. - Aldous Snow

            by GoGoGoEverton on Wed May 29, 2013 at 09:11:23 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  "truly insulting or deriding behavior"? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          wonderful world, Nattiq

          You mean like saying "I don't care what your circumstances are, if you don't have a medical condition that I consider legitimate, then your weight problems are your own lazy-ass fault"?

  •  Okay, so I was in Europe last year (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Nattiq

    in several countries, Spain, Portugal, Ireland to name a few and there were overweight people in all of these countries and they did not all have german accents.  They were young, middle aged and older citizens.  They were speaking many different languages.

    What did we have in common?  We were all walking, biking, swimming, and eating food that tasted like ambrosia.  So, if you are going to be overweight, go to Europe because being American means you are just a fat lazy slob who can't walk and eats crap food.  Markos wonders why ad revenue is falling?  Sheesh/head slap.

    I would place my faith and hope in the mercy of Christ, not in the judgment of Christians,” Wendell Berry.

    by Larin on Wed May 29, 2013 at 08:29:06 AM PDT

  •  This is several years old (0+ / 0-)

    I've been a fan of Jen's for years. Pretty sure this is a reprint of an old comic.

  •  THIS fat broad hiked all over Europe, thank you. (9+ / 0-)

    Full disclosure: I'm 220 lbs, give or take about 4, and have been so for a decade or two. (I credit my robust German ancestors, who turned out stout hard-working women.)

    I had no trouble walking and biking all over England, Scotland, Amsterdam, Vienna, Milan, and Paris. My 300+ Scots friend (a vegetarian, btw) was happy to show me around Edinburgh (and got me hooked on Indian food).

    True, I don't run very well - hereditary foot problems. But I can swim a full mile at a stretch and stop because I've got things to do, not because I'm exhausted.

    Fat / Lazy or Bad or American. But it DOES often = Poverty, Unequal Access to Nutritious Food, Unequal Access to Healthy Movement, and HighFructoseCornSyrup in Goddamn Everything We Eat Since the Reagan Years.

    (Well, okay, for me it's 50% DNA and 50% M&Ms.)

    Thank God, the Bob Fosse Kid is here! - Colin Mochrie

    by gardnerhill on Wed May 29, 2013 at 08:41:08 AM PDT

  •  As a person with chronic muscle pain (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wonderful world

    who is about to leave for a European vacation, involving a tour of prehistoric caves, this cartoon sort of highlighted my insecurities.  Will I be able to take all the walking?  Having a couch ready at hand here or there would be heaven.  (Sitting can cause me pain.)  But still I was not offended by it.

    "A developed country is not where the poor have cars. It's where the rich use public transportation." - Mayor of Bogota

    by Time Waits for no Woman on Wed May 29, 2013 at 08:51:28 AM PDT

  •  They aren't even prone in the strip. (0+ / 0-)

    Prone means laying on your front.  On your back as shown in the strip is supine.

    quis custodiet ipsos custodes -- Juvenal VI, 347-8

    by golem on Wed May 29, 2013 at 09:39:17 AM PDT

  •  This is outrageous and insulting. (4+ / 0-)

    No one would ever want to be pushed up Mt. Everest head-down.  It would cause a painful headache.

    When extra-terrestrial beings make their first appearance on our planet, and ask for representatives of our species to best exemplify humanity, I'm sending a nurse, a librarian, and a firefighter.

    by Wayward Son on Wed May 29, 2013 at 09:54:58 AM PDT

    •  Yes, but you'll note that (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      GoGoGoEverton

      but he's not using oxygen anyhow.

      He's going to get a terrible, terrible  headache either way....

      at best.

      © grover


      So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

      by grover on Wed May 29, 2013 at 01:06:30 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I assumed the snacks were oxygenated. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        grover, GoGoGoEverton

        And cool ranch flavored, probably.

        When extra-terrestrial beings make their first appearance on our planet, and ask for representatives of our species to best exemplify humanity, I'm sending a nurse, a librarian, and a firefighter.

        by Wayward Son on Wed May 29, 2013 at 01:21:41 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  With lots of superhydrated gummy bears (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          GoGoGoEverton

          to aid digestion.

          Wow. They think of everything. Don't they?

          © grover


          So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

          by grover on Wed May 29, 2013 at 01:24:57 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  There's an interesting documentary on youtube (0+ / 0-)

          about cognitive function being studied on a group of climbers ascending to the Everest peak, and the effects of the oxygen lack. Worth a watch for sure. Sorry to be all srs.

          I was gonna listen to that, but then, um, I just carried on living my life. - Aldous Snow

          by GoGoGoEverton on Wed May 29, 2013 at 01:33:06 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  If the Over-ton window keeps shifting, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GoGoGoEverton

    eventually the folks in this comic will be considered svelte.

  •  So hate it when people (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Batya the Toon, sngmama

    show their prejudice and other people applaud it.

    Don't meddle in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup.

    by Whitewitch on Wed May 29, 2013 at 11:53:04 AM PDT

  •  You should have entitled the company (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GoGoGoEverton, Jen Sorensen

    "Prone to Wander."

    An Fhirinn an aghaidh an t'Saoghail. (The truth against the world.) Is treasa tuath na tighearna. (The common people are mightier than the lords.)

    by OllieGarkey on Wed May 29, 2013 at 12:11:03 PM PDT

  •  You did however do an excellent job (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Batya the Toon

    of fat shaming and pointing to americans as lazy no good, no appreciating beings Jen.    And you did it all with an old cartoon - cause gosh your life is just so busy and hey fat shaming is always good for a laugh.  Well done you, eh?

    /snark.

    Don't meddle in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup.

    by Whitewitch on Wed May 29, 2013 at 12:31:21 PM PDT

    •  If we can admit (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Jen Sorensen

      that fat Americans exist, that they sometimes look moderately unattractive bedecked in Walmart casual, that lots of Americans focus narrowly on their own prosaic comforts and entertainments while ignoring the wider world (oops, is 'wider' a fat reference?) around them, than we can perhaps glean from this little comic the skinny bit of mildly sardonic amusement it was intended to provide.

      On the other hand, of course, we can foam up and hate on Jen Sorensen. Whatever floats our barges, er, boats, I meant to say boats, or really slim little canoes or kayaks would be plenty or heck they'd even be excessive 'cause really all we need is just a dingy, a little dingy's all we really need...

  •  Reading the article that Ms. Sorensen links to... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Batya the Toon

    ....there's a number of different causes, but most seem to be linked to the fact that people coming out of abject poverty see things thought of as unhealthy as rewards, not things to be shunned.

    Naturally, the food they grew up with is linked to bad memories of poverty, as is walking and bicycling.  

    Once someone hits the middle class, driving everywhere and fast food reminds people of the suburbs, and people want to desperately distance themselves from suburban life.

    9-11 changed everything? Well, Katrina changed it back.

    by varro on Wed May 29, 2013 at 12:40:53 PM PDT

  •  We went away this weekend. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GoGoGoEverton, Jen Sorensen

    Pretty lakefront location: Fishing, boating, lots of trails to explore.

    There was a hugely diverse population of citizens enjoying the features.

    But every several campsites, there was a family with a TV watching movies or sports, during the day, on a perfect spring day.

    Prone camping.

    In how many cultures is this normal behavior?  

    I get the joke.  She's not making fun of overweight people. She's making fun of people who bring TVs and DVD players when they go camping.

    Next time, she should draw thin people and avoid all the controversy because quite a few Americans are thin, but still out of shape and disinclined to actually interact with the elements that they traveled far to see.

    © grover


    So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

    by grover on Wed May 29, 2013 at 01:02:49 PM PDT

    •  She's conflating those things. (0+ / 0-)

      Which is part of what makes this comic fail, as those things aren't related.

      •  I don't think she is. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Jen Sorensen

        I guess some folks will find something offensive if they choose to.

        {shrug} I haven't found Jen to be a bully before. Sometimes things just are what they appear to be.

        I just read what she said and took her at her word.

        I'm often amazed at how offended people get when they read the comic strips here though. Matt, Jen, Keith, etc... you'd think Markos contracted with the most insensitive artistic louts he could find....

        © grover


        So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

        by grover on Wed May 29, 2013 at 04:49:01 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Oh, I don't think for a moment (0+ / 0-)

          that Jen is being intentionally cruel.

          But intentionally or not, she is very visibly making fun of overweight people here.  I don't see any reasonable way to read this comic without drawing that conclusion.

  •  when I stand in line at the 7-11 (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    vtjim

    behind a grossly obese person and observe them buying a 64 oz sugary drink,  a bag or two of  Fritos or the equivalent and a couple of candy bars  (not at all an unusual circumstance), it is impossible not to draw the (private) conclusion that the person is responsible for their own weight condition.  If they have an actual medical condition that causes their excess weight, and are still in line buying that stuff, that person is also responsible for their own weight condition.

    They are entitled to their own opinion as to whether or not they have a "problem".  I am entitled to my own opinion and whatever conclusions based on visible evidence I choose to draw.

    Does appear to be a Very Sensitive Topic.  One might gather from the commentary that it is downright rude and unfeeling of one to appear in public at all with one's 135 #x67.5 inch 68 yr old body.

    don't always believe what you think

    by claude on Wed May 29, 2013 at 01:31:56 PM PDT

  •  Sad, but true.... (4+ / 0-)

    When you travel, please try to be an ambassador, and help change some preconceptions while you're out there! (ie: we're not all fat, loud, lazy, litigious, self-centered, geographically-ignorant, rude individuals who expect everyone, everywhere to understand English!)

    •  Seriously. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      smileycreek

      I was once traveling on a second-class from one end of Mexico to another.  

      The driver slowed down at the end of a tourist town. Strange. There was no depot there. We had just gone through one about 20 miles away.   A family of white people with American accents hopped onboard. The head of the family had been waving $100 peso bills at the driver on the side of the highway.  They couldn't be bothered to take a taxi into town apparently.

      This guy made a big deal of handing over the equivalent of about US$800 to the driver. Then waved around his remaining wad of cash, on a bus full of people who work hard for a few dollars a day.

      I leaned over to my travelling companion and whispered to him in Spanish, "if that guy got mugged, it would serve him right." One older lady winked at me.  A young man leaned back at me and asked, "you're American?" I smiled and said, "not today."  The woman patted my back and said, "you're one of us." We chatted the rest of the way.

      The wealthy family got off at the next town. We did too and said goodbye to our new friends.

      I noticed a large rug hanging up at the bizarre. I asked the vendor ¿Cuánto cuesta?  He told me two thousand, and I started joking with him that I'm no foolish gringa and 2000 pesos was far too much for a peasant like me; but we could agree on a fair price.  We started to negotiate a price in Spanish.  The wealthy obnoxious family arrived. The wife admired a rug like the one I was looking at. She asked how much?  Two thousand, he said. "Two thousand dollars?" She asked. I saw the vendors eyes about to bulge as he glanced at me to see if I would betray him.

      "Yes, I said. Two thousand dollars. It's a great deal. I'm buying that one myself."

      "Oh," she said. "Honey. Let's get it."

      He counted out the that much money in pesos. The vendor could hardly believe his luck.

      I paid the vendor about $80 for mine, which I thought was a fair price. He was willing to give me it for free. But I wasn't about to take advantage of his good luck.

      And I wanted him to be able to tell others that there are many good Americans out there.

      I often imagine the Rich Gringos telling their friends about what an incredible bargain they got on their wonderful new rug.

      Heh.

      © grover


      So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

      by grover on Wed May 29, 2013 at 02:20:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  And tip liberally, too! (0+ / 0-)
      Welcome from the DK Partners & Mentors Team. If you have any questions about how to participate here, you can learn more at the Knowledge Base or from the New Diarists Resources Diaries. Diaries labeled "Open Thread" are also great places to ask. We look forward to your contributions.

      Oh, I used to be disgusted
      Now I try to be amused
      ~~ Elvis Costello

      by smileycreek on Wed May 29, 2013 at 02:46:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  An easier way (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shaharazade, Batya the Toon

    If your intent was not to fat-shame, I suggest that the easiest way to depict sloth might have been to draw at least one American in the cartoon as thin.  Plenty of thin Americans (and non-Americans) are sedentary, and plenty of fat people are active.

  •  Weight issues are not soley (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Batya the Toon

    a matter of will power, nutritional knowledge, or exercise, but also a factor of genetics. Some people seem to be  genetically predisposed to weight issues, in spite of their efforts to be a size 6. While everyone should take action to maintain a healthy weight, we must recognize that it will be more difficult for some then others, and we should therefore not be too quick to judge their weight issues as an indifference about their health.

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