Entries Posted in "August 2004"
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I'm Obese, and I'm a Victim
August 9, 2004
Warning, extreme compassion lacking ahead.
So when I heard that parents were pushing department stores to start carrying plus-sized children's clothing, I bit my tongue because yes, while we should be encouraging children to live and eat healthier, they need fashionable clothes to wear on the way back down to a healthy weight. When I found out there was such a thing as "The National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance" I shrugged it off because hey, big people need love and support too (by the way, they held their national conference last week). But when I heard about this, I was outraged. The story's old, but a recent Dateline brought the issue to the surface once more.
For many years now, Southwest Airlines has had the strict policy that passengers must pay for all the seats they occupy. How novel. While this policy is not unique to Southwest, it seems they have been singled-out. For a few years, different obesity public interest groups have been on their soapbox against this policy. As simple as the straight-forward policy sounds, leave it to Americans to complicate it. It seems that a band of overweight (and we're not just talking a little cellulite here and there) citizens have come against Southwest Airlines in the form of the great American way called the lawsuit. The claim? Discrimination. Now I once worked for the Department of Human Relations in a municipality and our running joke was that one of the hardest things to prove in a court of law is discrimination, yet everyone wants to claim it. In this case, it's just ridiculous.
I've flown Southwest Airlines on more than one unfortunate occasion, and my experience with their "no-frills please wipe your lipstick off the cup so the next passenger can use it" gimmicks would logically lead me to rake them over the coals and side with the fat people. However, in this instance, I just can't do it.
These people are off their rockers. America is the only place I know of that even panders to such whiny, irresponsible behavior. Granted, yes, everyone is entitled to respect, dignity and decency, and if these airlines are truly out of line in their approach to enforcing their policy, then I'd suggest they right their customer service wrongs immediately. But there is absolutely nothing wrong with the policy itself. This is a policy that's been in place and hasn't changed for years. If these citizens (grown, responsible adults mind you) who've allowed themselves to swell beyond 400 pounds want to complain because they have to pay for extra wiggle room for their 5th roll of fat, they need to do it on the Stairmaster or the Bowflex. For as much time and energy as it takes to file a class-action, one's future productivity would be better spent with a nutritionist.
Americans refuse to deal with consequences. There are public consequences for allowing your weight to swell to the place that you cannot fit in a seat. Granted, coach isn't exactly comfortable for my small, lightweight frame either, but the size of airplane seats are no mystery. They've been the same size for years. It's one thing to be naturally "thick". Being unhealthily overweight is quite another. And I'm sorry, but there is not one bone in my mortal body that accepts obesity as a norm, a standard, or acceptable way of being. It is a choice (like most things) and when I travel to other countries, I don't see nearly as many overweight people as we have in the land of the free and the home of the blame. Study after study continues to show us that far too many Americans (including children) are clinically obese. These same statistics tell us that they can expect to live 7-9 years less than people of normal weight. Call me uncompassionate, but this blame stuff is foolishness. It's time we wake-up and smell the Slim-Fast.
Caught in a Fashion Faux Pas II
August 8, 2004
I tried to hold off, but I couldn't any longer. This time I was in the passenger seat when I snapped this picture (still moving of course hence the blurriness) of this nightmare sitting outside none other than a local Seattle Starbucks. Since you may not be able to see the fullness of the details, let me walk you through this one.
Here we have a perpetual James Brown "wannabe". I know what you're thinking, "this can't be a real person". So sorry to inform you dear reader that yes indeed, James' brother lives in Seattle. Since he seems destined for stardom, I'm sure he won't mind starring on my smallish website for a few fashion whacks. Let's just call him "James Jr."
First off, this outfit just offends on so many levels, I don't even know where to begin. But as I did with my last spotting of a fashion-nightmare, let's start with the boots. No, then again, as bad as his boots may be, there is something about this photo that's more intrusive than the boots; it's the hair.
1) The hair. Not perms, but PERMANENTS went out with another era. This hairstyle is just atrocious. If James Brown can't pull it off, just what makes "James Jr." think he can do it? Look above his forehead. Are those BANGS??? Why yes they are! In fact, it seems we're looking at the rock of Gibraltar. At any minute I expected to see little men running off the top of the cliff, parachuting into the air. Absolutely under no circumstances should anyone ever think to leave the house with their hair looking like this. The world can only take one James. And these days, it seems he can't even take himself. I am deeply disturbed by this hairstyle.
2) The shirt. Am I mistaken, or was that shirt made from my grandmother's drapes? Aside from the fact that it was an 88-degree day, and this shirt was 57 pounds heavy and long-sleeved, under no circumstances should paisley, flowers, or any sort of comforter-looking material be used a. in such abundance b. on a man.
3) The belt. This is harder to see in the pic, but it's that big reflecting thing you see on his waist. Actually, that is just the buckle. James Jr. seems to think he's some sort of superhero because as big as that gigantic Muhammad Ali starter-kit medallion around his waist is, it had better have some special powers. My best guess, he keeps his Aqua Net hairspray in there.
4) The pants. Again, not clear from the pic, but James Jr. here seems to have forgotten that it's not cool to wear tight pants. Not only are they tight, just where's the flood? When you sit down, your pants should not become capris. Oh but it gets worse. I'd be fine with James wearing tight capris, if they didn't reveal these 70's throwback boots. Which leads me to number five.
5) The boots. There are only certain people who are allowed to wear maroon lacquered cowboy boots. Those people are not black and they don't live in Seattle. I would have nothing against the boots if they didn't have 3-inch heels. The picture doesn't show this, but trust me they're there. This is completely unacceptable. No high-heels on men. Period.
Thus ends my fashion critique for the month. My camera will continue to be on the prowl. And as a last thought folks, really, we've just got to better.
[The author apologizes for the perceived frivolity of this post. Do understand that for her, fashion is a very serious matter and she feels a heavy burden to release the masses from fashion victimhood, however will get back to the regularly scheduled program of things of a more serious nature--like why the NAACP needs to retire.]
Hot Seattle Happenings
August 6, 2004
Although I'm a little under the weather, right about now, I'm intensely resisting the urge to go audition for the third season of The Apprentice tomorrow.
Michelle Malkin is in town tonight defending and promoting her newest book In Defense of Internment: The Case for 'Racial Profiling' in World War II and the War on Terror. This book is, well, as Rachel Jurado at Banana Republican said, "Ball-sy". Not sure I can back this one.
The Blue Angels are in town. So is the rain.
The new IKEA (world's cheapest furniture) catalog is out today...holla!
Only took about three days, but a judge here in Seattle today declared Villi Fualaau and his convicted rapist Mary Kay "I'm a Twisted Ho" can have unrestricted contact. Why bother?
I'm taking the weekend off, I think. Well, maybe.
Vote Bush. Or at Least Act Like You Will.
Maybe Jesus isn't your homeboy. Maybe you don't want to "Go Veg" or wear any of the over-played shirts out there. I'm not usually one for political t-shirts (they don't really go too well with heels and a purse), but I think I'm being driven. Right about now, I sooooooo would rock this t-shirt with pride.
I'm feeling a little strong on my anti-liberal establishment side today.
Let There Be Joy!
An unnamed source captioned this picture, "Whoever Smelt it Dealt it". Now I don't presume to know what type of stress one subjects themself to when they become the President of the free world, the Secretary of State, and the white guy that stands next to the President and Secretary of State (I assume he's important but again, political aversions require me to embarrassingly admit that I don't know who this dude is although he looks too young to be Rumsfeld sans the glasses or maybe it's Tom Ridge), but really though, a little joy would be nice don'tcha think?
Maybe they're in desperate need of a Michael Moore-covered bullseye at which to throw rubber tipped Slim-fast darts.
Maybe like me, last night they once again refused to recognize they just might be lactose intolerant.
Maybe someone double-dog-dared them to see who could go the longest without blinking during a press conference.
Maybe an ugly naked guy just streaked across the White House lawn.
Maybe Colin Powell really did "pass gas".
Maybe they're off partying and the figures we see are Madame Toussieau's wax stand-in doubles configured to look the way these three looked at the exact moment Janet Jackson thought up the phrase "wardrobe-malfunction".
Or maybe, just maybe, they have some of the most diffcult jobs on the face of the Earth. I don't envy these fellows. Not. One. Bit.
Shall we start a fundraiser to get a joy therapist on staff at the White House? Hey, the Democrats would have done it (along with a masseuse, a reflexology specialist, yoga teacher, acupuncturist and Buddhist chanter) and charged you for it too by the way.
By the way, unrelated thought: as believers we ought to pray for those who rule in authority over us that we may live a quiet and peaceable life. That's it! Maybe they're praying!
Best. Part. o'Summer.
August 5, 2004
The Blue Angels are practicing flying outside my office window as we speak. It doesn't get much better than this. I'll try to snap a photo.
(Update: Seriously though, as I'm watching the BA's you'd think I'm having an out of body experience I'm so excited. Like really, really excited. Like acting uncivilized, jumping up and down, in the middle of my office, face pressed against the window like I'm five-years-old.)
The "Angels" are in Seattle for their annual show this weekend. If you've never had the opportunity to catch the maneuvering of some of the most elite pilots in the world, you don't know what you're missing.
Now here's the question of the day 'round these parts. If you had an opportunity to go up in a Blue Angel, would you? As exciting as it sounds, the most common reaction to the G-force is profuse vomiting mid-air. Since I'm not a fan of vomiting, I'm gonna have to say, "No". My brother on the other hand, would do it in a second.
Best Black Seattle Conservative Blogger?
Funny. I think I was one of two nominated for this award by Seattle journalist and blogger Matt Rosenberg of Rosenblog. Was there really any competition? I mean seriously...was there? If somebody knows another black conservative Seattle blogger, let me know. Chances are, even if there was, they're somewhere in obscurity.
Rosenberg listed off his picks in response to our local Seattle magazine's annually published (and somewhat authoritative) "best of" list which included "Best Liberal" (they voted our U.S. Rep. Jim "one nation under G**" McDermott) but managed to leave out a "Best Conservative" category. I guess there's nothing good about conservatives right? Nope, not in Sea-town. But as Rosenberg said, what do we expect from the,
[...]"20- to 50-something readership of hemp-wearing, bicycle-riding, tofu-snorting, childless, 113-pound Trustafarians, and unreconstructed Deaniacs."
UPDATE: How very un-classy of me not to include a link to the other famed Best Seattle Black Blogger: Reason and Mechanism by Kevin Leo. He's a cool cat too! (Apologies Kevin)
UPDATE II: I'm an idiot. There is another Black Conservative blogger I left out, Robert at The Mulatto Advocate holds it down consistently for the Pacific Northwest.
There Are 59 Falsehoods in Fahrenheit 9/11
Former Colorado state attorney general and crusader for common sense, Dave Kopel of the Independence Institute, released a fascinating report on the falsehoods in Michael Moore's latest concoction. A volunteer filmmaker reproduced the movie to include captions stating where Moore was deceiving. People these days sure do have a lot of time on their hands. Although, I understand the goal. I've already stated my issue with "Frump boy" aka Michael Moore.
But wow. Only 59? Seems rather low. Then again, just one falsehood would be just cause to expose the man. Apparently, people who want to get their hands on this new edited version must download it via Kazaa, an internet file sharing program (think Napster). So in order to view the shadiness of Michael Moore, people are supposed to illegally download an illegal bootleg of an illegally edited copy.
Sounds so virtuous...and ironic.
You Know Your Neighborhood is Safe When...
You can do this.
My family lives in urban Seattle. Their immediate neighborhood is nice, but they still live in a part of the city less known for wealth and prosperity. That's my nice way of saying it's the cultually diverse part of Seattle. It's actually the only culturally diverse part at that. Generally, culturally diverse parts of the city don't get much respect from city council and those in the suburbs stick their noses down at such folk. To be closer to work, I however, somehow managed to snag a place in one of the nicest and most expensive (and very Republican) neighborhoods in Seattle ("snag" is the operative word here). It also happens to be predominately white (this is not my preference). Go figure. Being near the ritzy gated community and all, I expected my neighborhood to be safe.
So the other day I spent the night at my parents' house, and while I was leaving for work in the morning, I saw my younger sister, Amelia's car parked out front with none other than the keys, peacfully lodged in the door. I of course, had to take a picture of this idiotic moment whereby she still managed to wake up to a present vehicle, with a CD player, CD's and nothing missing. I on the other hand, called myself living in the "nice" part of Seattle and had everything snatched out of my car in one night. Now whose 'hood is safe?
Things that make you go hmmmmmmmmmm.
ACLU-ization of Schools
August 4, 2004
While doing some research on Mary Kay Letourneau, I found an excellent Town Hall article about sexual misconduct in public schools. While the focus of the article is picking apart a recent report from the federal Department of Education on "sexual misconduct among educators", academic, Janice Shaw Crouse's discussion on mixed messages is what peaked my interest,
"We can illustrate the mixed messages with an exercise in visualization: a story, if you will, about today's schools.
Visualize two separate classrooms in the same school. In one classroom, "comprehensive sex education" is being taught. The students, (whose hormones, it is understood, dictate that they copulate like rabbits), are being taught how to deploy contraceptive devices. They are also urged to overcome their inhibitions (to what end is not clear) by saying out loud the correct terminology for male and female genitalia -- no giggles, this is serious business.
Meanwhile, in the classroom next door, the school's employees (except the sex Ed teacher, of course) are at a mandatory federally-funded seminar on avoiding sexual harassment. The curriculum carefully covers all of the social niceties these children of the sixties, seventies, and eighties missed under their mothers' tutelage: avoid discussing, touching, making eye contact with, or in any other way taking note of or mentioning genitalia. With traditional moral values having been swept away by the ACLU and Company, we now must erect legal barriers to constrain undesirable behavior. Pity.
These earnest reminders of appropriate behavior and legal boundaries will, no doubt, deter the pedophiles. And the hebephiles, which the new report dutifully identifies as the correct terminology for those who are attracted to seventeen-year-old teenagers, as opposed to those attracted to children.
Down the hallway in the principal's office, a new teacher is being hired. Unbeknownst to the leadership of the new school, this teacher has a history of sexual abuse with students. Unfortunately, this information was expunged from his record. Thanks to the efforts of his teachers' union, of which he is a member in good standing, identification of sexual predators is blocked.
What a kerfloogle.
Now this is good reading. This is a good preface to a discussion on sex education in schools--a subject I'm overdue to talk about but have been ruminating on a proper angle from which to write. Anyway, somewhat unrelated but today I feel like being militant about something other than the fact that the shirt I'm wearing and purse I'm carrying really do
match, so I'd just like to say that I'm against condom distribution in schools. Period. No gray areas.