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More Lard With My Coke, Please
2003-01-27 23:01:23

Cackles of the Mad Reverend
At its best New Wave/punk represents a fundamental and age-old Utopian dream: that if you give people the license to be as outrageous as they want in absolutely any fashion they can dream up, they'll be creative about it, and do something good besides.
-- Lester Bangs


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 true?

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!

Over.  End of Story.  Go home now.


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