cassidyrose: (Harlie claw)
I always thought Mick LaSalle was a big 'ol asshat. This just cements it:

A couple of weeks ago I got some nasty reaction to my review of JUST WRIGHT, the new Queen Latifah movie in which she is the romantic lead. She plays an average woman who becomes the love interest of an extremely desirable man -- an NBA superstar who could presumably have absolutely anybody. In the most delicate terms imaginable, I questioned how the movie could present its hero's attraction for (let's just say it) an obese woman, without in some way accounting for the unusual nature of that attraction. (warning: many of the comments are just horrible).

Because, apparently, someone who could "have anybody" would never actually choose to be with a fat woman, according to LaSalle. So, in LaSalle's world, men who love fat women only love them because they can't get the skinny ones? Really? Is he really saying that? Oh yes he is.

And really, on what fucking planet is Queen Latifah anything but a super-desirable female? I mean, I thought that was a given.

And let's not forget that female leads in Hollywood have progressively gotten skinnier over recent years--size zero is the new four. Hollywood isn't having any "fat delusions" is the same old crap but worse than ever.

What a self-important asshat! Urgh.
cassidyrose: (Harlie claw)
I have never liked Jamie Oliver. Back in the day when he was on the Food Network I found him annoying and pompous. Then he donned the fat suit and televised the autopsy of a fat man ostensibly to show us fatties how we are killing ourselves, because, you know, he really cares so much about us and our health and not about sensationalist tactics to draw ratings and keep his career on life support.

Well then...then I was fully convinced of his jack-assery and was fully hoping never to see his smug face on TV or in print again.

But now we have something even more special.

Now he has come to save us American fatties from ourselves in the form of a more-disgusting-than-typical reality TV show where he gets to be our skinny Jesus chef (read the post and comments at the link because they deconstruct his new show better than I can here right now). Because, you know, we are killing our children and we need some fame-whore tool to tell us so! And, let's be clear--it is the mothers and underpaid female school cafeteria workers who are to blame for this assault on our youth. I guess someone forgot to tell me that low-paid women have all the power now! Wow, glad we got that straightened out.

I am too tired to say much more about it now, but really, read the story and comments at the link because it really sums up the seven hundred types of wrong his bullshit is.

I seethe because the great majority of folks who come across his particular brand of bullshit/fatsploitation/humilitainment lap it up with a super-sized spoon and feel all happy and sumg inside because they aren't as fat/stupid/lazy/slovenly/evil as those damned stupid fatties on TV.

And for that, I weep.
cassidyrose: (Harlie claw)
There is a troubling article about increased maternal deaths related to pregnancy here. The writer plays up the supposed dangers of the obesity in pregnancy in the first paragraph, though if you actually read down you see that the evidence points to the insane c-section rate as the primary culprit (duh!). Serious editorializing going on always gets my goat in news articles...especially articles reporting on medical issues. What is even more troubling is that the lead-in on the front page of SF Gate for the article is this: "Near-tripling of [maternal death] rate in the past decade has doctors worried about the dangers of obesity in expectant mothers.". Absolutely nothing about increased c-section and induction rates which appear to be real issue. In the article it is written:
    "Changes in the population - obese mothers, older mothers and fertility treatments - cannot completely account for the rise in deaths in California, said Dr. Elliott Main, the principal investigator for the task force.

    'What I call the usual suspects are certainly there,' he said. 'However, when we looked at those factors and the data analyzed so far, those only account for a modest amount of the increase.'"
And even though obesity is listed in the doc's list, older mothers and fertility treatments are called out in the same context. Why didn't they make the first paragraph of the article and the lead-in? Rhetorical...I know's because, as I read recently (cannot recall which awesome rad fatty said it, sadly), "fat people are the reasons America can't have nice things." So, again, it is all the fatties' fault...even when it isn't.

Oh, and the kicker? Right below the link and lead-in to the article about how supposedly fat women are killing themselves with pregnancy (when actually it is the medical system killing them with unnecessary surgery) there is a link to an ostensibly related article about Michelle Obama's "fight against obesity."


It is bad enough the diet industry and medical/pharmaceutical industry has manufactured the "obesity epidemic", we don't need newspaper reporters and editors fanning the flames.
cassidyrose: (Harlie claw)
I could almost laugh at these idiots if I didn't a.) think there were far too many of them, b.) they weren't holding signs with things like "We came unarmed this time" and c.) there weren't palpable levels of racism present.


Seriously, WTF is up with committing oneself to being so damned ignorant and hateful?

cassidyrose: (Harlie claw)

This is just straight-up crazy, fucked-up, bullshit. The presence of confederate flags, blatant racism, and total disrespect for what actually happened under the Nazi regime just makes it all even more infuriating. Of course, every single person in those photos is white, white, white. It is all just appalling.

The ignorance just burns.
cassidyrose: (light blur self)
There is a lot on my mind that I haven't had the time nor energy to fully articulate here. My life really isn't all about food and cooking, after all, but sometimes that is the easiest stuff to post. In short, some things that are churning in my brain that should become full posts soon are:

--The tragedy that is the Jaycee Lee Dugard case and how I feel this is a true example of how unimportant women and crimes against women are taken by the majority of the criminal justice system. By this I mean, Phillip Garrido was supposed to be serving one fifty year sentence for kidnapping a women and another life sentence for raping her (while he held her hostage in a storage shed) and he was paroled in ten years. Ten years. During his parole he was ostensibly regularly checked up on by parole officers who failed to ever search his property. Even after a neighbor reported seeing young girls living in tents in his backyard. You can bet that if he was a paroled drug dealer his house would have been torn apart on a regular basis, but since his crime was rape (against a woman in this case) no one bothered. It disgusts me. The laziness of the Contra Costa detective who claims he didn't know Garrido was a registered sex offender even though this was PUBLICLY available knowledge at the time who investigated the neighbor's claim appalls me. I bet he would have been all up Garrido's business if the woman had reported marijuana plants in his yard instead of children in tents. Fuck.

--Whatever fucked up shit it is that leads certain men to kill the women and children in their lives. If you want to take yourself out, be my guest. But don't kill your wife/girlfriend/partner and children in the process. (Yes, women have done this, but it is far rarer than men doing it). It is like the ultimate assertion of privilege and power. It makes me ill.

--The new NYC "Don't drink yourself fat" anti-soda campaign. There are a million reasons not to down 32 ounces of Mountain Dew a day other than the fear of becoming fat. Playing on fat-phobia and highlighting fat as the reason not to drink sugared soft drinks is problematic in so many ways. More on this later.

--The NY Times article outlining some of what went down at a New Orleans hospital during hurricane Katrina. The doctors' decision to not evacuate people with DNRs was criminal and unethical and euthanizing many of them was all that to the nth degree. A DNR DOES NOT mean "I have an advanced terminal illness and am ready to die whenever" it only means "If my heart stops/I stop breathing do not attempt to resuscitate me." Many people live for years with DNRs filed. Not to mention the racist comments by one of the doctor's in the article (he referred to "crazy black people") and the underlying racism, classism, fat-phobia, and ableism that informed the doctors' decisions. A fat, black, non-terminally ill man was the last patient to be evacuated and was nearly left behind. Another fat, black, non-terminally ill, disabled man, (without a DNR) was given lethal doses of morphine and other drugs so that he would be die rather than have to be evacuated. The fact that the doctor accused of performing the majority of the injections, and of determining who was going to live and who was going to die, now is working to get laws enacted that would protect doctors from civil suits stemming from their actions during emergencies makes me kind of ill. The situation in that hospital was a nightmare due to a total lack of emergency preparedness, but the doctors' poor decisions only made it worse.

--We are in full fire season here in California and have a good two months to go. It is getting bad our there. Scary stuff.

--On a completely unrelated note, I am in my first choreographers' showcase as a choreographer in a couple of weeks. The Fly Girls are performing a new piece and it is exciting, but it is also a bit nerve-wracking. I am dancing in the piece as well, and I have been in showcases like this a dancer before, just never as the choreographer. I am looking forward to it, but I am feeling kind of small in relation to some of the other people showing work. Still, it is a good thing.

And with that I am off to take care of some of those tomatoes.
cassidyrose: (glasses/high contrast)

If anyone wonders why my cranky-pants have been glued on all week it is largely because of the blatant, willful ignorance and idiocy embraced by asshats like the woman in the video.

I mean, really. Nazi policy? Are the spin masters on the far-right just coming up with the most asinine crap they can think of just to see if people will believe it?

I can barely be coherent about it all.
cassidyrose: (Harlie claw)
I am saddened, but not surprised, that this happened in a community very close to where I grew up. The racism and sexism, while alive and well all over the country, is palpable amongst the good 'ol boys in the Central Valley. It disgusts me. What disgusts me further is the contention that the "jokes" weren't racist and that they had no racial component. And invoking the "I have black friends" thing is so tired. I mean, really.
ATWATER -- In the past several months Atwater City Councilman Gary Frago has sent at least a half-dozen e-mails to city staff and other prominent community members containing racist jokes aimed at President Barack Obama, his wife and black people in general.

In all, the Sun-Star obtained seven e-mails that Frago sent from October 2008 to February 2009 from an anonymous source.

Some compared Obama to O.J. Simpson while others suggested that "nigger rigs" should now be called "presidential solutions."

Perhaps the most overboard e-mail was sent on Jan. 15. It read: "Breaking News Playboy just offered Sarah Palin $1 million to pose nude in the January issue. Michelle Obama got the same offer from National Geographic."

Frago admitted sending the e-mails, but showed no regret. "If they're from me, then I sent them," he said. "I have no disrespect for the president or anybody, they weren't meant in any bad way or harm."

The list of people who either sent or received the e-mails reads like a who's who of Atwater community and political leadership, including a county supervisor, a former police chief, a city manager, a former city council member, a former president of a veterans group, a former grand knight of the Knights of Columbus, among others.
cassidyrose: (dancing bear)
I have to say I am surprised at the super-supreme media coverage of Michael Jackson's death. I get that he was influential and important and his death was a surprise, but apparently I missed the Jackson fan-train a long time ago.

I am sure this feeds my mystification. And I mean no offense to those who were fans, I just would not count myself as one of them.

When Michael Jackson was at the height of his popularity (Thriller-era) I was an eight year old groovin' to The Beatles, wishing the remaining members would magically re-group. When I turned nine (in 1983) I had a Yellow Submarine birthday cake. I never really liked "pop" music and never cared much for Michael Jackson. It amuses me now for the nostalgic/cheese factor, but there are no great memories tied to it. Seriously, I remember watching the Thriller video, but I wasn't in love with it or the music. I just didn't care all that much. I was busy memorizing the lyrics to every song on "Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band". By the time Bad was released I was in junior high and on my way to becoming a bona fide REM, U2, Midnight Oil, and Love and Rockets fan girl. I would have rather died than listened to anything remotely resembling Jackson's music. By the time I hit college I was devoted eternally to U2 and was introduced to the Grateful Dead (and Blues Traveler and Phish, but those took longer to "take). Jerry Garcia's death in 1995 hit me like a ton of bricks and a large part of that was that The Dead was still touring. I had just seem Jerry onstage. They were celebrating thirty years of Dead shows and there was so much more planned for coming years. Jerry's death cut all that prematurely short. The remaining members have done some great work since, but it is not the same as it was. Over the past ten years I have really, really grown to love Phish and had a minor meltdown when they split, seemingly for good, a few years back. (They are back together and I am seeing them in August.)

Through all my years of music listening I don't think Michael Jackson was ever a voluntary choice of mine and I don't think I am entirely alone on the planet, or even country, in that. Again, no offense to those are/were fans, but I am not sure that his death warranted quite the epic level of coverage it got today.

Celebrity deaths are treated so strangely at times.
cassidyrose: (Harlie claw)
One more reason to hate the Boy Scouts. If boy scouts exceed a weight limit they will not be allowed on high adventure activities. Additionally, parents that exceed the limits won't be allowed either. Here is the actual form from the scouts (Scroll down to part B for the relevant bits):

Just charming. This is not a safety or health issue. This is pure discrimination. The BSA have no idea how "healthy" a thin man is compared to a fatter man. From the BSA form: "Individuals desiring to participate in any high-adventure activity or events in which emergency evacuation would take longer than 30 minutes by ground transportation will not be permitted to do so if they exceed the weight limit as documented at the bottom of this page. Enforcing the height/weight limit is strongly encouraged for all other events, but it is not mandatory." emphasis mine. Basically they are setting a precedent to restrict all their activities to those who fall in the "non-fat" category. Or something. It makes no fucking sense. Thin people can have and do have many health emergencies. I don't understand the reasoning. Well, I do, but it is so fucked up it makes me want to scream.

Good thing we already decided BSA would have no part in the lives of our children due to their anti-gay and anti-atheist bullshit.

cassidyrose: (Harlie claw)
"Dr. Robert B. Fogel, who taught at Harvard Medical School and practiced at Brigham and Women's Hospital until 2004, said he altered numbers and invented anatomic details reported in an article about obesity and sleep apnea. The journal Sleep retracted the article in February and the federal Office of Research Integrity concluded its investigation last month.


The falsified paper concluded that the shape and volume of a person's airway combines with obesity to make those patients more likely to suffer sleep apnea, a breathing disorder."

More, specifically, here is what Fogel did:
"--Changed/falsified roughly half of the physiologic data
--Fabricated roughly 20% of the anatomic data that were supposedly obtained from Computed Tomography (CT) images
--Changed/falsified 50 to 80 percent of the other anatomic data
--Changed/falsified roughly 40 to 50 percent of the sleep data so that those data would better conform to his hypothesis."

Fogel is now a clinical director research at Merck. Because, you know, he is such a touchstone of medical ethics and veracity.

This is just some of the damage that comes for the majority of the medical community and general public accepting as undisputed medical fact that fat=unhealthy. This study is six years old, which means for six years now doctors have most likely been using it to explain to fat people why they have sleep apnea and have most likely been pushing weight-loss as treatment, rather than exploring other treatment options. Needless to say, this is not just bad science. It is bad science that affects the treatment and healthcare options of fat people. It is wrong and disgusting and people like Fogel have no business working in the field whatsoever. It makes one wonder how many other studies are full of falsified data, doesn't it?

Additionally, I think there there was another case recently where data was falsified in a different obesity study--I will need to search around for that.


Jan. 15th, 2009 12:14 am
cassidyrose: (looking over shoulder)
It is very difficult to believe that it is so damned cold elsewhere in the country when I wore capri pants and a t-shirt to the park today and was warm. FWIW, it is crazy unseasonably warm here, but still, it is weird to see the stories of massive, freezing snow storms when we are digging out our spring clothing.
cassidyrose: (Harlie claw)
No, Hans, strangling someone to death is not "painless" for the victim. Really, it is not. It is torturous, you fucking entitled piece of shit poor excuse for a human. Perhaps you will learn that firsthand in prison where I hope you rot until the day you day. Or maybe you and Scott Peterson can be placed on a deserted island together far way from the rest of us. That might be justice.

And you know what? I don't want any "contribution" you think you can make to society while you are in prison. You aren't that fucking special. You are a murderer just like dozens of others you will be sharing your meals with. You killed your ex-wife and mother of your children, hid her body in your mother's car, dug her grave, buried her, lied about what happened to her repeatedly and told slanderous lies about her to everyone, including your own children. You've done enough and seriously, nothing you could ever do or say will ever redeem you as a remotely decent human being from where I sit. You are a murderous piece of slime.

I am stepping away from the keyboard now.

As you were.

no words

Aug. 11th, 2008 12:25 am
cassidyrose: (looking over shoulder)
That 4X100 relay final (men's swimming) was made of awesome.

I am stunned. I actually jumped in the air and screamed.

What Lezak pulled off was nothing short of absolutely amazing.
cassidyrose: (weight diversity)
In case you missed it, the Japanese government is now mandating that individuals between the ages of 40 and 74 have their waists measured as part of annual check-ups. If those in "violation" (waists larger than 33.5 inches in men and 35.4 in women) will be expected to lose weight. And will receive "guidance" in doing so if they fail. Then "more" guidance if they still don't comply. Employers whose employees don't reduce the number of inches their waists measure will be fined. Then fined some more.


There are so many things wrong with this I am not even sure where to begin. Here's a few off the top of my head: shaming people into weight-loss is never OK; the government, any government, has no business knowing the size of my waist or any other part of my body for that matter; penalizing employers with employees in waistline-violation will certainly lead to those employees being pressured to lose weight by their employers AND will certainly lead to a disproportionate number of waistline-violators finding themselves unemployed; this creates panic and anxiety around size and weight where there is already plenty and it is not going to help anyone become "more healthy"; there will certainly be a number of people who will, in desperation, try any number of horribly unsafe weight-loss techniques; this whole thing is just a breeding ground for the development of eating disorders; and it is just downright creepy.

Anyhow, the illustrious Marilyn Wann has created a project/action in protest of this called 1000 Fat Cranes. You can be a part of it. Click on the link, check it out and fold a fat crane for peace.


Jun. 26th, 2008 03:31 pm
cassidyrose: (light blur self)
It is still really smoky here from all the fires. The sky is not blue or even really gray--it is white. It is difficult to see the hills that are only a few miles from our house. It smells like smoke intermittently outside. We are avoiding being outside as it is making us sick. We are not even all that close to any of the current fires. I cannot even imagine what it is like where the fires are actually burning/have burned.

This is going to be a really long and really bad fire season.

I weep

Feb. 5th, 2008 12:58 am
cassidyrose: (light blur self)
Sometimes people just scare me.

The bizarre not-even-thinly-veiled racism (and just plain crazy) evident in this letter to the editor of a newspaper serving the town I grew up in (among several others) just chills me. Sure, it is some random wacko who writes crazy letters to the editor, but you know what? I went to school with people who thought and talked like that. I don't mean high school. I mean college. I think one of my favorites was the woman who didn't understand why a.) we kept talking about Islam in a class about middle eastern gender issues and b.) why the bible wasn't considered an appropriate academic reference source for a paper in a women's studies class. Oh, and how could I forget the woman who insisted there were no African-Americans in local law enforcement for no other reason than "they just don't apply for the jobs"?

Then there is this flavor of crazy. Yep, ol' Barack is just waiting to get elected so he can turn the good 'ol US of A into the People's Republic of North America. It is part of the super-seekrit-liberal-gay agenda.

And while those letters are bad, it pales in comparison to some of the bigotry, hatred and racism I have experienced and witnessed in that particularly scary pocket of California and in other places, like say, rural Missouri. I mean, it's really endearing that men my dad works with tell him he has "fag stickers" on his car because he has an "equal rights are not special rights" bumper sticker. Or, say, it is so heartwarming to be approached by a stranger in Missouri who tells me she is fascinated by my "dark, shiny hair" because "You ain't even oriental, are you?" Or, say, I just loved that when I was president of the GLBT club on my university campus and our posters either got torn down and shredded, or had bible verses written on them. Oh, yeah, that brings me back.

It is easy, sometimes, to feel a bit too comfortable in the Bay Area, to think that maybe the world is as hateful as I often tend to think it is. Then I read those letters, or travel, and realize just how much hatred, bigotry, racism, sexism and homophobia is acceptable in so much of our country. I cannot even believe (well, sadly I can) that Huckabee got any votes at all. I swear he has some sort of Handmaid's Tale fantasy going on.

So, I weep. And then I vote. Please do the same.
cassidyrose: (all that jazz--butt)
So, as many of you have certainly read, some assclown (Mississippi Representative W.T. Mayhall, Jr.) has proposed legislation to ban restaurants and other "food establishments" from selling food to "obese people".. Yes, this is real. More information including links to the full text of the bill can be found here.

Now, I am not going to comment much on this proposed legislation except to say that it obviously disgusts and frightens me. It doesn't frighten me in that I think it will pass, it frightens me in that anyone thinks it is OK to propose such freakishly discriminatory legislation and thinks it is all good and fair, because, you know, we are in the middle of an "epidemic". I am sure I don't need to explain my stance on such asshatary.

What I am more concerned about is some of the knee-jerk responses I have seen to this and other fat-discrimination stuff in fat space. One commenter on a fat community immediately posted about how this is unfair because some people, like herself, are fat through no "fault" of their own. You see, it would be so unfair to discriminate against her because it is not her "fault" she is fat.

Um, excuse me.

How is this relevant to the discussion at hand? Why does it matter why anyone is fat or not in terms of basic human rights and discrimination? Is it OK to discriminate against people if being fat is their "fault"?

What about the people who are happy being fat and do nothing to change it? Are they OK to discriminate against?

Not to mention how distasteful I find it when people come into fat space and explain at every opportunity they they are medically-induced fatties, not lazy-at-fault-fatties like the rest of us. I find this distasteful because a.) it only further plays into in the "good fattie" vs. "bad fattie" mentality, b.) the inverse of their argument is that those non-medically-induced fatties are less than them and c.) this argument implies that there is something inherently bad and wrong about being fat and one's fatness is excusable if one has a good enough excuse.

Here is part of a reply I made to a comment talking about how unfair such a law would be because the commenter is a no-fault-medically-induced-fattie:
    When you start dragging out examples about how you, or a friend, or a family member, etc. aren't at "fault" for being fat you are automatically implying that any number of people are at "fault" for their fatness. What exactly are you saying about those of us who don't have a medical "excuse" for our fatness? That we should be discriminated against? That we deserve less protection under the law than you or others with medically-induced fattie-hood? Not to mention, shouting out that some people "can't help being fat" when discussing discrimination against fat people, says to me that your reasons for being anti-fat discrimination are that there are fat people who can't help it. The inverse of this is that there are fat people who can "help it" and it is OK to discriminate against those people.

    Sized-based discrimination is not wrong because some people have medical conditions that have caused them to gain weight. It is wrong because it is wrong to discriminate against individuals based on size. Period. End of Story. It is not about "fault". It is about demanding equal protection under the law for all people, regardless of size.

The more I think about it, the more I get annoyed with the whole "don't hate us because it's not our fault" line. The point is, it doesn't matter why someone is fat or not. Fat or not, we all deserve basic rights and the freedom to live in a world where we are not discriminated against, legally or otherwise, because of some trait of ours. Likewise, I have always found it counterproductive when individuals or organizations lobby for queer-rights on the basis that being queer is innate, and again, not "our fault". Again, this argument feeds the belief that there is something wrong with being queer and the only reason us queers should be afforded basic human rights is because we cannot help but to be this way. I call bullshit on that. There is nothing inherently wrong with being queer, just like there is nothing inherently wrong with being fat. Trying to absolve oneself of the responsibility or "fault" of being either one sends the message that there is something wrong or bad about being either.

I am not arguing that acknowledging the biological aspects of being fat or queer is without value. It absolutely has value, particularly in terms of medicine and in terms of understanding just how damned diverse the human race is. It is also incredibly valuable in debunking the myths around how mutable either one is (I am not equating the two, btw.) However, the biological basis for being fat is not relevant in terms why fat individuals deserve equal protection under the law. Fat people are subject to many layers of discrimination from the casual (being treated shoddily by waitstaff) to the very serious (having unexplained weight-loss be blown off by doctors only to discover it was caused by cancer), but stomping our feet and saying "But it's not our fault so you have to be nice to us" is not only not helpful, it is counterproductive. To get where we need to be, as many fatties as possible need to embrace their bad-ass fat selves and stop making apologies, excuses, explanations, etc. for their fattie-hood. We have nothing to apologize for, nothing to excuse and certainly nothing to explain.

Asshats like Mississippi Rep. Mayhall don't need our explanations about how or why we are fat. They need to see some serious bad-ass fat rage.

We don't deserve mere tolerance or acceptance. We deserve liberation.


cassidyrose: (Default)

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