Ralph Nader, class act

Just wanted to update my little Political Round-up post the other day. Governator backed off on the whole killing puppies things. Guess it finally occured to him what he was suggesting. The Vice Presidential Dick apologized for telling Senator Leahy to go fuck himself and expressed his shame at using such langugage in the halls of the Senate to attack an elected representative of the people. Oh, wait, no that didn't happen. He expressed a deep sense of satisfaction, no regret, said he felt better having cursed out a Senator, and that it was something that "badly needed to be said" and was "long overdue". Majority Leader Bill Frist thinks there is no problem with this because it is an election year and people are just being passionate. And then he proceeded to slam Democrats for their lack of civility. Not really. Well, not quite, anyway. Civility, of course, is Republispeak for staying quiet while you bend over and get fucked up the ass. Big time.

So remember, feel free to tell Republicans to go fuck themselves. Their party leadership considers this just the kind of discourse that is long overdue, so feel free to give them what they want.

And speaking of civility, Ralph Nader is in the news again. He's calling Michael Moore a "giant beach ball" Nader's bitchy because Moore is distancing himself from Nader because he doesn't support his Presidential campaign. So Nader responded in the adult way by releasing an open letter mocking the director's weight and bragging about how he and his friends are "trim and take care of themselves". Democrats and Republicans are like? Seems more like Dick and Ralph have a lot in common. But remember, the progressive war hero is completely unacceptibly liberal. We need someone like Nader who hates fat people, mocks gays and women, ignores blacks, busts unions, abuses employees, and invests in corporations that engage in genocide, war profiteering, sexual discrimination, exploitation of the oil market, weapons production, and price gouging on medications. Because nothing says progressive better then, well, all that. Real class act that Nader. Just remember his "giant beach ball" remark the next time some self-righteous Naderite whines about how put upon Ralph is.


Sexual Aesthetic

I’ve been pondering my fat admiration lately. On the off-chance an uninitiated has stumbled in here (by the way, welcome), this is basically referring to the fact that I’m attracted to fat women. The preferred term for this is usually “fat admirer” although some hallow objections are occasionally raised about how it should something like bbw admirer (Big Beautiful Woman: read Fat Woman) or Fat Woman Admirer. I think that’s redundant myself. All heterosexual men should be women admirers. If they aren’t, that’s a problem. It has nothing to do with FA’s in particular. Essential, Fat Admirer is just a simple and quite concise explanation of the point of difference. I admire fat. I find it aesthetically pleasing in all of its forms. Now, I want to be with a woman who intellectually stimulates in addition to physically stimulating me, but that’s beside the point. FA is just a little label meant to define one simple thing. Calling myself a fat creative funny intelligent progressive maybe with glasses probably with a small chest a bit short who is accepting of her body and rejects intentional weight loss woman admirer gets pretty damn unwieldy, don’t you think? And who could really use FCFIPMWGPWASCABSWIAOHBARIWLWA as an abbreviation, anyway?

So, like I was saying, I’ve been pondering my fat admiration lately. I’ve put up a personal ad at a general use site that’s notoriously fat unfriendly but has a wide readership. I’ve gotten some interesting response, which is nice for a change, but it occurs to me that I’ve never really considered how specific my physical type might be. Its not really been an issue for me in a long time. I sorta fell into my last two relationships and both women were relatively similar physically. I definitely liked it, so I wonder if that’s really my type now.

I used to always point out that I was attracted to women 200lbs and over to demonstrate how non-limiting being an FA was in comparison to being, well, a thin admirer. Some like to act as if being attracted to fat women is some kind of ultra-specific fetish. Why? Because I have a range of 400lbs that I find attractive where most guys are lucky if they have a range of 40lbs? Anyway, I guess I’m wondering if I might be a bit more specific than I realize.

I find smallish fat women aesthetically pleasing, don’t get me wrong, but I’m not sure there is a real sexual attraction there. I think it just sort of stops at the aesthetic point, though. Like, “that’s cute” but not progressing to “that’s hot.” But I’m not sure I really have a more specific point. I mean, I definitely know I’m a belly man, but I’d never really thought about a specific point where sexual attraction really begins. I guess I’m more, “I’ll know when I see it”. I’d guess around 300, but I can too easily think of exceptions below that point. And when it comes to physical attraction, I think being a belly man is more important to me than any specific weight. But both are easily trumped in importance by a woman who is accepting of herself. But, I don’t feel like I can just give up on the “total package” yet.

Which reminds me, I was supposed to write a post detailing what I’m looking for in a woman. Maybe that’s what I should have done instead of fussing over the difference between being aesthetically pleased with a fat woman, and being sexually attracted to a fat woman. But, for another day, now.


Politcal Round-up

In the words of Ben Folds, "Yeah, well fuck you, too!" In case you haven't heard, Dick Cheney told Senator Leahy of Vermont to "go fuck himself" on the floor of the Senate the other day. And what did Leahy say to get Dick all worked up. "Hello". This launched Cheney into attacking Leahy for criticising his dealings with Halliburton. In response, Leahy expressed his displeasure with the Bush administration calling him a bad Catholic for opposing Bush's judicial nominees. To which, Dick responded as only a Dick can with "go fuck yourself." The Administration has taken to euphamisitically calling Cheney's blow-up a "frank exchange of ideas". Yeah, way to go on that whole restoring dignity to the White House thing.

And good ol' Ralph Nader continues to destroy what remains of his reputation. Aside from his self-serving and absurd endorsement of John Edwards as John Kerry's running mate (Edwards is unquestionably more of a moderate than Kerry), he clearly knows who really supports his campaign. Republicans. Out in Oregon, reports are coming in that the Bush/Cheney campaign is actively soliciting people to attend a Nader signature drive. A script has also gotten out from Citizens for a Sound Economy where they explicitly urge people to try to get Nader on the ballot in order to jointly defeat John Kerry. Nader's spokespeople have said they don't see anything wrong with this. In case you're curious, CSE is Republic special interestes group financed by corporate money and run by Dick Armey. You may remember him as the Republican attack dog/Majority Leader who called gay Massachusettes Congressment Barney Frank, Barney Fag. Remember, this is all *after* Nader failed to generate support on his own to get a place on the Oregon ballot. They have a rule where you can bypass the law require thousands of signatures if you get 1,000 at one event. Nader went for the easy way and failed. Now he's going for the easy way with explicit support from far-right-wing corporate interests. And lets also not forget that down in Arizona Nader is likely to get knocked off the ballot as over 32% of signatures gathered appear to be invalid. And how was he gathering signatures? By piggy-backing on petitions for an anti-immigrant law and the repeal of clean elections in Arizona. Yeah, Ralph is really trying to build a progressive movement. You can tell by the alliances with the corprorate funded, gay-bashing, anti-immigrant, opponants of clean elections. Because what progressive doesn't agree with those values?

And finally, Governor Arnold wants to kill kittens and puppies. No, really. That isn't a joke. He wants to repeal the law that says the top priority for animal shelters is to find homes to adopt stray pets. Arnold wants the top priority to be the swift murder of all the pretty kitties and puppies. Did he miss a class in Politics 101? Honestly, when does a politician come out on the pro- side of killing kittens. Don't you learn that right after the whole kissing babies thing?


The "I-don't-give-a-fuck-kids"

I've occassionally shilled for [adult swim] on Cartoon Network here, so I wanted to link to an article from Washington Monthly that is a great study of the programming block's history and significance. Very good analysis about how good things happen when no one cares what you're doing. Check it out.

Christian Idolotry

So, there is going to be a Christian version of American Idol. The latest of many Idol impersonators, the Christ Pop folks are predictably behind the curve on this one and jumping on a fad as its already outliving its usefullness. But such is the way of contemporary Christian co-opting of pop culture.

Co-opting of cultures, of course, has a long history in Chrstianity. The Catholic scholars I went to college with termed it "Putting New Wine in Old Bottles". Basically, it was a way of winning converts by shortening the trip from pagan to believer. So, it really shouldn't be a surprise that Christian's continue to immitate the work of the pagans in service of their faith.

Except, the motivation seems to have changed dramatically, and the result ain't as nice as Christmas. I mean, who is getting converted by the awful pop music that's put out by the Christ Pop industry? Come on, you've all heard the damn informercials late at night. The music sucks, plain and simple. A couple artists have found ways to incorporate faith into their music, but not the complete-lack-of-subtlety artists that are all the rage of full-blown Christ Pop. I don't know a single Christian who enjoys "Christian" music, because frankly its just plain awful.

Clearly, a lot of people do enjoy it, though. I have to suspect, however, that they do so not on the merits of the music (one hopes, anyway), but rather purely on the subject matter. They consider all non-Christian music to be sinful or whatever. They only want worshipful music. Fine, whatever. A lot of good worshipful music has been made over the years, though. Gospel, hymnsongs, spirituals, the great masses, all really fantastic and enjoyable music. Why not listen to that?

Because I suspect the real purpose of Christ Pop is retention, not conversion. They fear pop-culture's pull, but instead of presenting a fundamentally different alternative, they just want to remake pop culture in Christ's image. The think the young folks won't stick around unless they can play Pagan like all their friends. The thing is, the folks who seem to like Christ Pop are pretty much the sort of people who would loathe anything not completely Christian. So, why bother with the pseudo pagan Idolotry?

Its funny, because I actually really want to see the new movie Saved, which at first glance looked like a Christ Pop kinda movie, but a second glance is clearly a more mature look at Christian youth culture, neither cheerleading or condemning them. I'm especially encouraged to see Mandy Moore playing the stock character of the overt Christian who is more concerned with everyone knowing how Christian she is than actually being a good Christian. Moore is very committed to her faith, but its good to see that she's not a blind bible-thumper, but that she can have a sense of humor about the subject, too. I love her line-reading on the commercial quote "I am FILLED with Christ's love!" Its clearly an over-the-top portrayal, but I can't say I don't know people just like that.

But, I suspect, more thin skinned Christian's will take issue with the film, just as they take issue with all things pop-culture until they figure out how to imitate it.


Great Expectations?

"I never thought I'd be sitting next to an Iraqi president of a free country a year and a half ago." -George W. Bush

Really? So as we were preparing to invade Iraq and overthrow its dictator, W. didn't think we'd actually win? Really, what is that quote supposed to mean? Yeah, I know its just self-congratularoty pap, but its also just plain stupid. What did he think was going to happen when he invaded Iraq? Had he thought about that? Its not like he's sitting next to a democratically elected Iraqi president, where maybe he just meant he was unsure if we'd have a democratic government set up by now. (not that being a democratically elected president is a big deal to W.) This guy is just appointed. What was Bush thinking about 18 months ago if not about the defeat of Sadaam Hussain?



So, I saw some of those Girl Love Handles that got Dan Savage all bent out of shape a couple weeks back. Or, at least, an example of the kind of "extreme" I'm sure Savage and other haters would use to illustrate a point when they are really talking about damn near any young woman in low-rise pants. This girl was not so much wearing low rise shorts as she was wearing shorts that were noticably too small and had to be worn under her belly. No doubt inspiring a new spiteful initialing like GPB (Girl pot belly). But along with the belly were a pair of unmistakable love handles. The girl was hardly fat. A size 12 at most, but the outfit certainly emphasized what fat was there to the extreme.

A couple of thoughts. First off, is that seriously what Savage and his ilk are so damned concerned about? Honestly, how would this site so negatively effect your life just to have seen it? It was so amazingly not worth caring about.

The other thought is that this girl's outfit is the kind of thing FA's get overly worked up about. And no, not in the simple "ooooh, fat girl belly showing!" way. I think its too easy to read too much into seeing one woman who is allowing her fat to be seen. I know I've done it. You can see why. Tight shorts or not, this woman was reasonably well dressed. It may not have been "high society", but it also wasn't anything explicitly "slutty" nor unkept. Its also clear that she must have known the ramifications of the outfit and the display of her flesh when she put it on. You see some women who are constantly tugging down on short shirts, but this wasn't a close call. There was no way those shorts could have been worn anywhere but below her belly. Surely this must be a sign of a greater acceptance of fat. Surely this must foretell of a future where fat women feel the same freedom to choose their clothing as thin women. Surely this conspicious display of fat is a good sign of something.

Except, it really probably isn't. I want to think seeing a woman dressed like this means we are making some kind of progress (dubious, though it may be, I'm firmly in the camp that thinks fat women should feel free to wear whatever they damn well please and not be concerned with the kinds of negativism expressed by Dan Savage should any fat flesh be allowed into daylight) But, the fact is, it doesn't really mean anything. This isn't some great political statement. Its probably not even a great personal statement of self-acceptance. She probably just wants to dress like her thin friends and that desire is overriding any shame over her fat.

And just like I, as an FA, can read too much into such a sight, so do the critics of fat people. They, oddly enough, jump to the same conclusions I find myself wanting to adopt, although with a very different spin. To them, this is proof of the fall of civilization and all that. Proof of a permissive attitude towards fat they are so certain must exist if there are so many of us fat people around. While the FA may see this woman with unwarrented optimism, the fat basher sees this as justifying their own absurd fears. Kind of a weird situation, really.

The sad fact is, I don't think we're making progress. I saw the same sort of thing 10 years ago and had the same optimistic hope that this was proof of a growing acceptance of fat bodies. But in the 10 years, I just haven't seen anything but an increasing backlash against fat people.


Guilt before innocence

I've been wanting to post for a few days on the Scott Peterson trial going on California. No, not to revel in the horrible specticle. But rather, to question why everyone assumes this man is guilty. The way this story has gotten reported on, I'll admit I fell into that trap, too. He had to be guilty, after all. Everyone said so. So it came as quite a shock when I saw reports about the trial discussing how tough it was for the Prosecution.

Really? Because I hadn't heard anything about that before.

So I looked into it, and I was shocked at just how weak a case there is against Scott Peterson. It rests entirely on the assumpsion that he acted kind guilty afterwards. It'd be an insult to even call this a circumstantial case! Yet this trial is going to last 6 months? I realize that the less direct evidence you have, the longer a case will run, but just what is the evidence? Suspicious coincidences are not enough to convict someone. The concern is, are they enough to inflame a jury when a defendant can't completely prove their innocence. After all, Scott Peterson may have killed his wife. I certainly see reason to suspect him, but I'm kinda stunned the case has gotten this far and that the media coverage has been so one-sided.

I can't even get past the motive. Supposedly, Scott wanted to carry on an affair so he killed his wife. Except, Scott's a bit of a dick and he's had affairs before. And this time its with a woman who already has a family, so why would he be so eager to kill his wife and unborn child just to be with a woman who has a kid already and who he has only known for a month. It doesn't make sense.

What's more, the police have been lying about their case. They had long claimed that Peterson lied about a tv show that his wife was watching when he left her, insisting the show he described aired a day earlier. I read this claim myself just a couple days ago. Turns out, its completely untrue. The show was on exactly when Peterson said it was on. They've lied at other times, too, to try to turn Laci's family against him.

It all really upsets me because an uncle of mine was sent to prison in a high-profile case because the police, prosecutors, and judge all railroaded him. I've seen these abuses up close. I was maybe 5 when he was put on trial and it'd be a few years before his conviction got overturned and his case subsequently tossed out for lack of evidence. (in brief, a confession from another man was suppressed by the police) He may have been released, but it ruined his life. It doesn't matter if the evidence isn't there or even if someone else confesses. When you get brought up on horrible charges (in my uncle's case it was rape/kidnapping/murder of a young girl), it stays with you. People assume you must be guilty. He got himself killed while driving drunk a couple years latter.

I'm ashamed at myself for jumping to a conclusion about Scott Peterson's guilty, but I'm more ashamed at the Prosecution's haste to bring so weak a case.


Catching Up

So, I'm kinda pent-up with posts, so I'm going to throw a bunch out all at once. I moved to a new apartment on Saturday and am still settling in. Just got my computer up, but I still need to install something to get it online again. I have less space then I'd probably like, but I think I can deal with it. The fact is, my room is about the same size as my old room, and everything fit there. Just a matter of getting everything out into its own space again, which just takes time.

Which, alas, I don't have. I've been really busy with my part-time job at Target. I've just got too many hours. I don't think I'll be able to stay past early July. Its just too rough on me. I could do 15-20 hours a week, but not the 26-28 they have me working. Especially not when I'm closing most of those days. I'm closing three nights in a row this weekend. I hate to leave it, but I have to make my full-time job my top priority. If they can't adjust my hours, I'll probably be gone soon enough.

Anyway, I did have one story I wanted to relay in this post. A friend of mine was helping me move into my new place and at one calm moment in all that, she remarked that I looked like I had lost weight in that cheery, congratulatory tone people use to say that. I was pretty happy with my non "You're Welcome" response, basically just saying that I found it very unlikely that I had lost weight and not adding any value judgement to the concept of weight loss.

Funny thing is, she was right. My new roommates own a scale, so I figured I'd check just to see, and I have lost like 15 pounds since December. Which explains why my clothes have been fitting loosely. Naive as I am, I was just annoyed that the clothes seem to have gotten stretched out and didn't fit the way I wanted anymore. Frankly, annoynace is my greatest feeling with regards to losing weight. I like my clothes. I'm getting generally happy with my body. I don't really want that getting messed up. But, its not like I'm trying to manipulate it, so I should just take it in stride.

Dieting Nonsense

Caught this from the AP, today: Dieting Can Weaken Immunity

Short form: Dieting is very, very bad for you, but do it anyway.

How difficult is this for "obesity" researchers to understand? If a treatment fails upwards of 95% of the time and the treatment has been shown to be dangerous and harmful all on its own, then you stop advocating that treatment. You don't even need to get to the point of questioning whether being fat is so bad in the first place. Dieting is harmful and ineffective. Why is it still being pushed? You'd never see this elsewhere in medicine. Especially not over a disease as dubious as fatness.