Tuesday, 4 August 2009

If you don't give a damn, admit it

The left, the liberals the progressives, don't give a shit about good food and access to physical activity for the poor, one iota. If they did, believe me we'd know about it.

Yes, the obesity crisis framed as an issue of personal responsibility uses the terminology and constructs of conservatives. And yet, the broad left of the political spectrum use it and trade on it, endlessly. The fact that liberals and progressives haven't even bothered to construct their own version using their own terminology shows it chimes with their feelings.

Even if they do believe that fatness is self inflicted self abuse, they do not express it in those terms when they speak about drugs or alcohol, nor do they even tend to cast it solely in that light. But then, they're not supposed to make you look fat and common.

They seem able to contemplate a range of views and above all, they pride themselves in listening to the voices of drug and alcohol addicts themselves. This is used as a basis to formulate their opinions on the subject and a positive pride is taken in that.

They can hardly hide their scorn for those who dismiss drug and alcohol addicts as the self-inflicted, thinking them to be base and idiotic. Yet those same rules don't even begin to apply with fat people, who they treat with almost unmitigated contempt and we are not even addicts.

Or perhaps that's the real problem we aren't sensationalist enough. Don't give too many vicarious thrill stories of outlandish excess.

Even if people do think that FA underplays conditions like type 2 diabetes, I don't know why you would but let's leave that aside for now, what about all the years fat people have spent in abject obedience to the uber law of calorie counting?

Does that not show something? That we believed, we tried it, we took it seriously, we lived by it for goodness sake? When you see the arguments they make about food deserts.

Unless poorer people have never had access to vegetables, or never eaten them, somewhere between that and now, they must have lost access to them, the question is how? The crisis is often dated generally as beginning in about 1979 in the UK certainly and earlier for the US. During that time in the UK and other industrialised countries including the US, have had governments containing virtually all hues. They were doing what exactly?

We are told that fresh food is cheaper, cheaper for schools to feed it to the children then eh? And yet somehow this cheaper healthier rational healthy lifestyle, or the horror that passed for it, somehow managed to be evicted from schools, for the far more expensive industrial food effluent that some countries saw fit to feed children with.

Letters were written to which politicians by which eminent doctors? Professional bodies, organisations, unions and so on?

I say come to pass, but quite a few people can remember when these assumptions were not the dominant code, that you at least try to feed children balanced meals-even if they actually taste like pig's swill. And provide them not only with physical education, but the means and place to play, such as erm you know playing fields and such.

Yet now a lot of this has gone. It has happened over the exact span of the crisis years. So what the hell is that about? Time enough to galvanize to at least attempt to prevent it. Time to tell governments about type 2 diabetes and the terrible problems being stored up if societies continue to get fatter. Where the lobbying, the raging opinion pieces, stating that epidemic heart conditions would ensue?

Forgetting of course that an actual epidemic of heart disease began after the second world war reaching it's peak in about the 1970's only abating in more recent times (after the crisis) why let that spoil a rollicking catastrophe narrative.

And where were all those, broadly of the left to counter that? Or maybe even other voices? The truth is, that if poorer people lack access to fresh fruits and vegetables, if poor children don't have access to sporting facilities or that which will aid their physical development, it's not because no body ever thought that it was a good idea to deprive children of this, but because they calculated the value of said children to be less important than other goals.

Now the guilt of self inflicted accountability says, blame them.

There have been conflicting time pressures. Discussion about increasingly literacy standards, versus time for physical education/development, it seemed to be decided that we couldn't have both. Commitment to after hours activities from teachers waned, you can't blame them. Over and above disagreements, why can't we stop pretending choices weren't made and some things were prioritised more others? Why this ludicrously po face fake rage against the enemy rather than handling this in a mature manner admitting certain things got lost? 

Literacy standards won. That isn't bad!

It's just so much easier to go on the warpath and obscure these things.

Presumably, it was known in the 70's that lessening the amount of physical activity in schools might be an issue given the big hoo ha about the plague of heart attacks. Presumably it was calculated that those who fell victim to these purported inevitable consequence of less PE would be able to read better books whilst waiting around in hospitals.

Where have the angry brigade been all this time?

We are expected to believe that they really care about the health of the poorer citizens and their children? If feeding children industrial food slurry, shaped into patties or fun animal shapes and taking physical activity out of the school curriculum was ever thought to be a good idea, it was only felt to be a good idea for certain people's children.

I've been hearing about unconvincing so called campaigns to feed the issue of the poor fresh food and let's have physical activity in schools for all this time, nothing ever happens. Frankly I've given up on the idea. What's done is done, it would have been easier to keep and improve on what we had, if we couldn't manage that, what the hell is the point in all this pretence that anyone is going to do diddly squat in that direction any time soon?

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