The Good Rev lays down the nitty-gritty on high-fat diets and their effect on the WAR ON TERRORISM!
I picked up the SF Comical Tuesday morning (01-07-02), and
running down the left-hand side of the front page was a headline that
screamed 'Obesity Called A Threat to U.S. Security.' My mind
whizzed with all the implications. Fat people being hauled off to
Guantanamo Bay. Testing of new laser-guided bombs on Kentucky Fried
Chicken and McDonald's. John Ashcroft on CNN nailing planks across
the door of a Dunkin' Donuts. Bacon skyrocketing to $20 per pound.
Richard Simmons getting a place on Mount Rushmore.
Jesus H. Christ! Has it really come to this? I'm about
ready to start playing nightly shows that open with 'Swing Low.'
Why, just Monday morning I felt like we'd hit bottom as a nation
and couldn't possibly slink another micrometer further into the
cesspool of decaying genes and confused chromosomes. The cause that
day was a commercial running on CNN wherein two clean-cut,
professional-looking white guys in their early and late thirties,
respectively, were in a bar discussing how drug money funds terrorism.
Someone at the White House finally figured out how to win the drug war
by tying it to a war where we're actually experiencing some
success. Does it matter that the commercial's premise isn't
Mexican tar heroin dealers don't do Allah, nor for that
matter do the pot farmers in Kentucky's notorious hollers. Most
coke still comes from South America, and so far as I know the drug
lords there are still Catholics (even if they no longer go to mass).
Then you got your methamphetamine producers of America's desert
west and drenched northwest. Having read a lot of the arrests for
crank, I can't seem to recall a single Middle Eastern name among
them. Ditto for Ecstasy producers, whether here or in France. Since
that bust in Nebraska, LSD's gotten so scarce that it couldn't
finance a 7-11 robbery.
Powdered heroin, on the other hand, is another story
altogether. It's comparatively expensive and quite chic among
the wealthy set. If not for powdered heroin sales, we'd be
contributing even more of our hard-earned, ill-spent tax dollars
propping up the tenuous Afghani government. Not to mention the flow
from Southeast Asia, which hasn't abated a single pound since the
CIA stopped flying it to America for them. So from that perspective,
maybe heroin is financing terrorism. Sunnis make up the majority of
Muslims in Asia and Oceana. And while I'm on that tact, let me
also say that some South American cocaine probably does finance
left-wing rebels in places like Columbia, though their cause has more
to do with capitalist exploitation than religious ideology. But
barring those isolated tangents, the broad-sweeping allegation that
drug money supports terrorism is just silly.
Apparently that silliness has now crossed over into the
security threat of obesity. From the logic of the drug commercials
and the Justice Department, the government's reclassification of
body fat would make purveyors of fatty foods terrorists. That
includes corporate chip behemoth Frito-Lay, the parent of
Tostitos--the sponsor of that bastion of Americana, the Fiesta Bowl.
I wonder how many people realized a terrorist organization had
subverted America into watching its logo and commercials for five
exciting hours last Friday night. Selling us the weapons of mass
insecurity, which we inflict on ourselves several times a day.
Teenage girls will now have a new label with which to deprecate
themselves into a Prozac habit: Traitor. Obviously the popular guys
won't go for her because she looks fat in the mirror, and now all
the other normal guys will also think she's a potential Columbine
bowler for not matching the dimensions of magazine cover models. Thus
marginalized, she'll never go back to the sugar poppy music of
whatever generic rave happens to be on the racks at Wal-Mart by then.
Once that happens, her dollars at mall chain stores will dwindle,
though she may pick up a lifelong smoking habit. In the new
nationalism, she'll be a double-traitor by then--both fat and a
minimal consumer. Maybe a pharmaceutical habit will help make up for
the latter transgression.
Like the drug war, nothing the government has done before has
been effective in the heifer war. The Surgeon General has warned us
about fatty foods hardening arteries, extra pounds taxing the heart
and skeleton, acne from fried snacks, and a host of other unattractive
and sometimes lethal maladies that go with wolfing down supersized
Cokes and Big Macs while sitting on our duffs watching television all
the time. Not so much as a dent, though. We don't have the time
to get to the gym with commuting to work, fixing dinner, mowing the
lawn, doing the dishes and laundry, paying bills, and putting in
overtime. Or we don't care. Getting older means getting softer
and spreading out a bit. As you did with your furniture and wardrobe
and cars, so shall you with your gut, thighs, and butt. It's an
entitlement, like stock dividends and a pension plan. Either way, the
government hasn't been able to cut back on our porkyness.
Until now, that is. Maybe the specter of 'enemy
combatant' will finally be the motivation that will finally get us
out and jogging to victory over the Evil Axis and weekend booze-n-blow
parties. Solitary confinement behind concertina wire, cut off from
friends, family, and Hostess has an odd effect on the body and mind.
You'd not even have a lawyer to negotiate you a couple of Hershey
bars or some methadone. Just you, the Army, and day after unbearable
day of Meals Ready to Eat and marching in place. The choice is yours,
courtesy of a former cokehead boozer whose money NEVER went to
supporting terrorism of any kind. Really!