Archive for April, 2010
In the May issue of The Atlantic, Marc Ambinder has written a piece called, “Fat Nation,” in which he recounts his own struggles with obesity as he discusses the growing social problem:
“For the average fat person, life can be an endless chain of humiliating experiences….A television executive once remarked to me that my career as a political analyst would ‘really take off if [I] would just lose a few pounds.’ When I was fat, I avoided meeting people’s eyes. I didn’t want to subject them to my ugliness. Unfortunately, our culture reinforces this anxiety by turning obesity into pornography” (p. 77).
Thankfully for Ambinder, he found a solution to his obesity–a solution that has a relatively high success rate: bariatric surgery. I’m not sure I agree with all his policy prescriptions, but the article is insightful and interesting.
Like many, I have seen people I love struggle with weight issues, including obesity and eating disorders. It is painful to watch physical health deteriorate–but just as agonizing to observe the spiraling emotional descent into despair.
I am not obese by clinical standards. My BMI is 25.9; 18.5-24.9 is considered “normal weight,” 25-29.9 is “overweight,” and 30+ is “obese.” I have been trying to lose a little of the 45 lbs. I gained in college, with some success. But I don’t think anyone would consider me to be fat.
Ambinder calls our society’s obsession with obesity, “fat porn.” The popularity of shows like “Biggest Loser” and “More to Love” are an interesting and troubling phenomenon. Those of us who are at (or near) normal weight watch these shows with the sick fascination that draws us to Jerry Springer and train wrecks, fearing that we may someday end up like these poor fat folks. It reflects a attitude just as sinful as the gluttony and concupiscence that can lead to obesity and eating disorders.
I confess that I have not always looked at those who are obese with the love of Christ. My personal experiences with weight issues have made me more empathetic, but I still have a long way to go.
Brett McCracken of CT has written an excellent article about the relationship between the American Reformed folk and Tom Wright: "Wrightians and the Neo-Reformed: ‘All One in Christ Jesus.’"
(HT: Joe Hesh)
Video of the latest song from The No Longer, April 10 at Solid Rock Cafe:
Some of you will remember that several months ago Yahoo! shut down Geocities.com. It was a sentimental moment for those of us whose first forays into the online world include a Geocities page, composed either in HTML or with a basic tool like Word. Several years ago I realized that a blog was much better suited to my online self-aggrandizement desires than a small, hodge-podge site like Geocities. After I little while on a languishing Xanga site in college, I think I’ve found a happy, hospitable home here on WordPress.
In the early online era, my father was particularly wary of any personal information about the family being exposed on the Internet. One time I put up some page that mentioned my mom’s and sisters’ names, and he was so worried that he made me take it down. I think he was concerned about stalkers–this was before Law & Order: SVU, but he had a vivid imagination.
Now, we live in a world vastly different. My brother is about the same age as I was when I entered my first chess chat room, and he and Deb Facebook several times a day. If you wanted to stalk my sister or any one of thousands of other 19-year-old girls, it would be fairly easy. You could find out where she lives and goes to school, and track her school schedule from her Tweets and status updates. You would know what she looks like and who her BFsF are. It’s easier than ever to find out too much about a stranger.
And yet, I’m not terribly worried. Good grief–my parents are borderline technophobes–they have never gotten EZPass, for fear that Big Brother will track them. I’m not that bad–my bittersweet solace is that the government could most certainly find me whether I used EZPass or not.
I just wonder how public–exposed–a life my currently in utero son will live when he is a teen/young adult. Who knows what information folks will post on the social networking successor to Facebook’s successor? Maybe a map of his DNA, a full-body scan, his financial information and a tracking device in his surgically implanted mobile device? I’ll be the overprotective father, worrying about his safety, and he’ll eschew my warnings.
And, he will probably grow up just fine…