Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Hey, Y'all, Let's Move!


I get annoyed by Republicans and their "personal responsibility" meme because so often, they preach it while they completely avoid living it. So often, the meme is really just a spiteful response to reasonable ideas. And at times, it's used in response to issues that aren't applicable to a single person. For example, smoking in public. It's NOT a personal responsibility issue when MY lungs are filled with YOUR smoke. See? See how personal responsibility sounds great but isn't realistically implemented because YOU have an impact on ME. My personal responsibility to not smoke is moot because your personal responsibility is to say, "Fuck it. I have the right to liberty and freedom and any shit I want to do because I'm a damn American". But, no. The idea of personal responsibility stops at your skin. Like it or not, your choices effect others. So, if you make poor choices that effect me, I DO get a say.

The underlying problem, as I see it, is that the element of spite is there in almost every single issue where Republicans try to encompass themselves with some make-believe shield of "I wanna and you can't stop me". Not locking a gun away from your kids just to spite gun control advocates. Turning on every light/appliance/TV in your house on Earth Day or driving an old truck that can't pass inspection to spite the clean air advocates. Choosing to feed your kid total crap to spite Michelle Obama.

At some point, the revered "personal responsibility" is replaced by spite.

So, what does a 60-something year old woman's eating habits have to do with personal responsibility or spite or me? If she eats poorly, how does that effect me?

Well, when that 60-year-old woman's entire career is built on eating unhealthy foods and enabling you, me and every obese person in America to eat unhealthy, then her personal responsibility crosses a line into either denial, enabling, greed, pride or all of the above.

Paula Deen was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes. How long ago she was diagnosed, we don't know. But the scuttlebut is that she has known for quite a while and didn't disclose it. So, how does that effect others? Because she may have knowingly allowed people to keep eating in ways that cause serious harm to their bodies, that put a strain on the health care industry and that, in turn, effects the cost of health care for everyone. Not to mention the effects it has on a whole new generation of kids who have been taught that their personal responsibility is to eat more butter. These kids will have a much harder time re-learning how to eat.

I have NO CLUE what party Paula Deen votes for. I have NO CLUE if she is a "personal responsibility" Republican. But she is a perfect example of the abuse of the thinking that what you do only effects you. No, Ms. Deen. It effects millions of people when you promote a lifestyle that actually harms people. If you knew you had this food-related disease, why did you choose to pretend your role in society was irrelevant? Could you just not accept it? Could you just not figure out how to adapt your reality to the image you created? Could you not see the "personal responsibility" you had to your fans?

And through all of this Americans with spite and denial and pride, Michelle Obama has been educating kids and families about eating and exercising in realistic and healthy ways. She has been vilified for educating people. Her "personal responsibility" has been to set a good example of enjoying foods that aren't great for you -- in moderation. She has never said all Americans should eat only salads. But people despise her for suggesting we think and take personal responsibility for our health, and the health of our kids.

So, here we have two women. One who is beloved for her image of unhealthy. And one who is derided for her image of healthy. And yet, I imagine many of the same people who criticize Michelle Obama will come to the quick defense of Paula Deen.

So, you know what? Personal responsibility and spite don't mix. And in this case, it may actually kill someone.


Broadway Carl said...

According to this article, she's had the disease for 3 years but treats it with medication... which she is now planning on endorsing. It's all about money, isn't it?

But I do love this quote from Anthony Bourdain: "When your signature dish is a hamburger in between a doughnut, and you've been cheerfully selling this stuff knowing all along that you've got Type 2 Diabetes ... It's in bad taste if nothing else."

And her attitude is really disappointing and kind of disgusting to me personally:

"Deen however defended her cooking style on the Today Show this morning, telling Al Roker, "Like I told Oprah, 'Honey, I'm your cook, not your doctor," she said. "You have to be responsible."

When it comes to her famous Southern recipes, Deen said she wouldn't change her ways entirely, but preached moderation.

"People see me cooking all these wonderful, Southern, fattening recipes... it's for entertainment," Deen said. "People have to be responsible.""

People have to be responsible... but apparently not Paula Deen.

jhw22 said...

Yes, that article gave a timeline. But at this point, I question even that.

I pretty much loved all of Bourdain's comments.