Wednesday, 22 February 2012

The Lost Ethos Of 'Live And Let Live'

It's not often you find common sense in the pages of CiF, but here's some.
I think the whole weight-centred approach to health is extremely unhelpful. It stigmatises people who don't fit into the "acceptable" range, regardless of whether these people are healthy or not. To hold weight loss up as the path to health can be dangerous.

Instead of demonising people for being fat we should start focussing instead on health. [...] We may see a reduction in obesity rates, we may not – but isn't it the obesity-related illnesses we really want to reduce, rather than simply berating people because their bodies don't fit in with guidelines, which are currently in doubt?

We cannot continue to take a one-size-fits-all approach to health. The idea that we simply cut consumption by X number of calories isn't leading to the expected benefits. Could it be possible that we don't know precisely what causes the body to lose weight and maintain that loss?
Well, quite.

But, of course, Graun commenters - being the credulous souls that they are - have no doubt whatsoever. They're all smugly confident that something they read - somewhere they can't quite remember just now, but it was an 'expert' wot wrote it - makes them an unimpeachable source of knowledge in nutrition and exercise.

You see, for those who truly believe in one-size-fits-all, top-down state diktats based on homogeneity of humanity and ecological level epidemiology, we're all the same. Metabolism is constant, individuals are not diverse as in other pet statist areas, and those who are fat have quite obviously brought it on themselves.

The condescending bile rains in on the author who, for some reason, was tempted to write at CiF, probably on the basis that she was talking to 'thinkers'. Well, that's the way they like to view themselves anyway. The truth, as evidenced by this stuff - and believe me, I was rather surprised at the pitiless attitude exhibited by people who, on any other thread, would be bleeding their hearts all over their keyboards - is that they're just as devoid of thinking as the Mail commenters they despise.

They believe 'live and let live' is a shonky Paul McCartney hit from the 70s, rather than an ethos, and derive great enjoyment in pronouncing judgement on the lives of others. Only in this instance, mind, as they're privileged or assiduous enough to be fit and lean (and don't some of them crow about it).

Tomorrow, they'll be back pouring shame on the 'privileged' rich who they see as inflicting the same uncaring scorn on those who can't climb to the same level. In that case, you see, everyone isn't equal or homogenous anymore, and it's the Mail lot who are insensitive and arrogant.

But then, like the child seeing the Emperor, someone more understanding wanders in and breaks the spell.
This is just a prediction, but here goes...

Step 1 - An interesting, informed , balanced and thought provoking article

Step 2 - The tidal wage of ignorant, smug, abusive comments
about how easy it is to lose weight, how people only have themselves to blame, how people who are heavier than the government says they should be are disgusting and so on.

I struggle to understand why so many people seem to actively hate overweight people. Is it perhaps because 1) they are easy to identify visually, and 2) they are one of the last societal groups it is still OK to sneer at and feel superior?
Do you know what? I think he's onto something.

While Guardian readers like to portray themselves as more erudite and discerning than Mail readers, they are all occupying two sides of the same coin. Perfectly willing to peer into the lives of others; to condemn anything they personally disapprove of; and eager to shout it loudly.

It's a microcosm of the country, I'm afraid. So comfortable are our lives now that vast swathes of our population have very little to worry about except what other people are doing. Immune to the thought that they might be being manipulated by vested interests - which they are - the UK is a seething mass of people who seem incapable of realising that 'divide and conquer' has worked on them beautifully.

Individuals have always harboured pet hates, the difference between the past and now is that it is increasingly acceptable to exhibit them rather than employ tolerance ... a fast disappearing quality which used to be valued.

In the past, Mary Whitehouse had a following of a few thousand for her curtain-twitching ways. In the 21st century, her brand of interference in the lives of others is embraced by millions.

What a big fat shame.


Edgar said...

it's time to stop pussyfooting around with these morons. Step one: bang all their stupid heads together. Step two: introduce them to the normal probability distribution function. By definition,  it is perfectly normal for an individual to be upto, say, a couple of standard deviations from the mean. This is not only natural, it is demanded by the central limit theorem. But you can't teach those useless pillocks anything, can you? Oh, no ...

DerekP said...

What can you expect when the smug, unthinking, ideological Left have the state-sponsored opportunity to pick on a minority group - United Again Fascists?

Thomas said...

Lib-prog diversity!! Except, when it comes to weight. Except when it comes to diet. Except when it comes to menu selection. Except when it comes to parental packed lunches. Except when it comes to drinking. Except when it comes to free market pricing. Except when it comes to smoking. Except when it comes to free market branding. Except when it comes to individual opinions outside the narrow standard mean. Lib-prog diversity!! Yea!!

Legiron said...

The McCartney song was 'Live and let die'. To many people, it's now an anthem for their attitudes.

Moi said...

"So comfortable are our lives now that vast swathes of our population have very little to worry about except what other people are doing."
Or maybe it's just that the people who write these mega-critical-of-anyone-who-isn't-like-me comments have lived such lives of boring risk-free conformity - not smoking, never taking drugs, drinking moderately, exercising daily at whatever the proscribed amount and intensity the Government of the day dictates, religiously forcing down their five-a-day, cutting down on salt, cutting down on sugar, cutting down on fat, being straight, getting married, producing the obligatory 2-3 children etc etc that their bile and scorn at anyone who dares to be different in any way is actually a reflection of their massively suppressed jealousy due to the total lack of any interesting individuality in their own small, insignificant, safe little lives ...

Thomas said...

It reminds me very much of a quote from C.S. Lewis "The Screwtape Letters" (page 161), in which the senior demon/temptor is explaining to the junior demon/temptor certain facts of human-kind and how over the ages it has always been a proven formula through which the dictator(s) in charge are able to get everyone to conform to the same standard norm, without question, obeyingly, including making certain everyone else stays in line with them, thus keeping everyone bonded in chains of slavery, but on auto-pilot, the best chains there are - which reads as follows:Quote:"You remember how one of the Greek Dictators (they called them 'tyrants' then) sent an envoy to another Dictator to ask his advice about the principles of government. The second Dictator led the envoy to a field of grain, and then snicked off with his cane the top of every stalk that rose an inch or so above the general level. The moral was plain. Allow no preeminence among your subjects. Let no man live who is wiser or better or more famous or even handsomer than the mass. Cut them all down to a level: all slaves, all ciphers, all nobodies. All equals. Thus Tyrants could practise, in a sense, 'democracy.' But now 'democracy' can do the same work without any tyranny other than her own. No one need now go through the field with a cane. The little stalks will now of themselves bite the tops off the big ones."UnQuoteIt can be applied as much to let no man drink, smoke, eat fat, salt, sugar, not not worship the material body through the religion of "health", etc. and so on - as far as the self-leveling process goes and getting everyone on board to making sure everyone is bound by the same chains.