With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility

by Linda Szugyi | February 10th, 2014

Readability

With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility

by Linda Szugyi

We all know that an obe­sity epi­demic is besieg­ing this great nation–nay, even the whole indus­tri­al­ized world.

We all know the typ­i­cal “lib­eral” responses to this prob­lem: 1) happy pro­pa­ganda, 2) the strict approach, and 3) demo­niza­tion of cor­po­ra­tions (always a favorite of hard­core sta­tists).

We also know the typ­i­cal con­ser­v­a­tive and lib­er­tar­ian response (they actu­ally seem to agree in this instance): “don’t tell me what to eat!

Both sides are focus­ing on a small, inci­den­tal bat­tle of the real war. The real war is cul­tural, of course, and its lines are much more broadly drawn than our aver­age BMI.

The real war is masked by the sheer nov­elty of the issue at hand. At what other point in his­tory has a size­able pop­u­la­tion had the prob­lem of too much to eat? How ironic, really: the poor­est among us are also the fat­test.

Fat isn’t really our prob­lem, though, is it? Obe­sity is only a symp­tom of the larger, cul­tural war between indi­vid­ual respon­si­bil­ity and col­lec­tive sal­va­tion.

At this point in his­tory, indi­vid­ual respon­si­bil­ity is at a dis­tinct dis­ad­van­tage. Cul­tur­ally, we have been shirk­ing that pesky respon­si­bil­ity for a good fifty years at least.

Even more impor­tant, indi­vid­u­als in Amer­ica today have a tremen­dous amount of power when it comes to the sim­ple ques­tion of how to fill our stom­achs. Will it be sweet, or savory? Spicy, or mild? Beef, chicken, fish, or vegan? Thai, or Indian? Ital­ian, or Mex­i­can? The pos­si­bil­i­ties are end­less, afford­able, con­ve­nient, and always delicious.

I’d say that we as a soci­ety have more money than sense. It might be more accu­rate, how­ever, to say that we have more access than sense. After all, if you don’t have the money, then just put it on the credit card. If you are eli­gi­ble, then let the tax­pay­ers help you access that yummy junk food.

Amaz­ingly, it is the work of only 2% of our pop­u­la­tion that pro­duces all this gas­tro­nomic power. You can chalk that up to the inno­v­a­tive won­ders of our mod­ern food machine, or to the insid­i­ous evils of said food machine, depend­ing on your per­sonal inclination.

Of course, the lib­eral solu­tions won’t solve the prob­lem. Happy pro­pa­ganda will fall on deaf ears. The strict approach will become the norm. We are already accus­tomed to the idea of pay­ing the gov­ern­ment for the sin of tobacco use. It is not a stretch to imag­ine pay­ing for the sin of junk food.

Will the strict tax­a­tion approach make any mean­ing­ful head­way? Will the decrease in obe­sity be worth the decrease in indi­vid­ual free­dom? Being a regres­sive tax, it will pun­ish those that lib­er­als claim they want to help – the poor. Any newly cre­ated black mar­ket will always thrive. Also, the “evil” cor­po­ra­tions will find a way to work around gov­ern­ment regulation.

In fact, those demo­nized cor­po­ra­tions will hop right in bed with the reg­u­la­tory powers-​that-​be. Even the lame ones that sell you a prod­uct you can make in your own kitchen: the cold sand­wich.

Now, let me empha­size an impor­tant point: in Amer­ica today, we have more power and more choice in food than the rich­est rulers of ages past. That power is hard to judi­ciously exer­cise. Really, really, hard. I drive a par­tic­u­larly restaurant-​heavy stretch of road on a daily basis, and I have coined that drive “run­ning the gaunt­let.” a fast food gauntlet

Even with the win­dows rolled up, the aro­mas are so thick and entic­ing. They are thor­oughly melded together, mak­ing it impos­si­ble to tell which scents come from which build­ing. “Don’t bother cook­ing tonight,” those scents whis­per. “When your hus­band gets home, he’ll gladly bring you here.”

Per­son­ally, I’ve got about a stone of weight that I’d love to cast off, but I’m not cast­ing the first stone or any­thing. I’m just try­ing to be hon­est about the prob­lem with great power. Even the great power to pur­chase deli­cious food. Great respon­si­bil­ity comes with it.

As a mem­ber of the Mag­nif­i­cent Seven, I’m sup­posed to have a lit­tle bio at the end of every post I write. And I haven’t done that. In my defense, a per­son that bills her­self as “No One Of Any Import” doesn’t really see the point in self-​description. If you like what I’ve said, though, there is more on my per­sonal blog.

********************************************************

[olimome­ter id=4]

It’s Mon­day and the weekly goal sits at $51.11

With a weekly goal of $350 that means we’re only $298.89 to go to make week 2 in Feb­ru­ary a suc­cess as opposed to week 1.

Only 12 read­ers at $25 are needed to clear this weeks goal and start to make up on last week’s shortfall.

[olimome­ter id=2]

Your tip jar hit can help me do this. Please con­sider kick­ing in.

And now there is another rea­son to kick in on a more per­ma­nent way

linda thumbIf you become one of the 55 34 sub­scribers @ at $20 a month are nec­es­sary to secure the cost of DaM­ag­nif­i­cent Seven & my monthly mort­gage on a per­ma­nent basis but do so at the $25 level you can receive one of sev­eral Exclu­sive Orig­i­nal Chris Muir high Res Graph­ics of the orig­i­nal mem­bers of DaTechGuy’s Mag­nif­i­cent Seven Gang. like the one on the right


Low res tha lotPlease spec­ify which of the eight hi res (includ­ing myself you wish to receive) Sub­scribe at $50 a month and receive all eight. Sub­scribe at $100 a month and get all 8 wanted posters high res graph­ics plug the high res ver­sion of all of us exclu­sively cre­ated for sub­scribers of DaT­e­chGuy blog by Chris Muir him­self!

by Linda Szugyi

We all know that an obesity epidemic is besieging this great nation–nay, even the whole industrialized world.

We all know the typical “liberal” responses to this problem:  1) happy propaganda, 2) the strict approach, and 3) demonization of corporations (always a favorite of hardcore statists).

We also know the typical conservative and libertarian response (they actually seem to agree in this instance):  “don’t tell me what to eat!

Both sides are focusing on a small, incidental battle of the real war.  The real war is cultural, of course, and its lines are much more broadly drawn than our average BMI.

The real war is masked by the sheer novelty of the issue at hand.  At what other point in history has a sizeable population had the problem of too much to eat?  How ironic, really: the poorest among us are also the fattest.

Fat isn’t really our problem, though, is it?  Obesity is only a symptom of the larger, cultural war between individual responsibility and collective salvation.

At this point in history, individual responsibility is at a distinct disadvantage.  Culturally, we have been shirking that pesky responsibility for a good fifty years at least.

Even more important, individuals in America today have a tremendous amount of power when it comes to the simple question of how to fill our stomachs.  Will it be sweet, or savory?  Spicy, or mild?  Beef, chicken, fish, or vegan?  Thai, or Indian?  Italian, or Mexican?  The possibilities are endless, affordable, convenient, and always delicious.

I’d say that we as a society have more money than sense.  It might be more accurate, however, to say that we have more access than sense.  After all, if you don’t have the money, then just put it on the credit card.  If you are eligible, then let the taxpayers help you access that yummy junk food.

Amazingly, it is the work of only 2% of our population that produces all this gastronomic power.  You can chalk that up to the innovative wonders of our modern food machine, or to the insidious evils of said food machine, depending on your personal inclination.

Of course, the liberal solutions won’t solve the problem.  Happy propaganda will fall on deaf earsThe strict approach will become the norm.  We are already accustomed to the idea of paying the government for the sin of tobacco use.  It is not a stretch to imagine paying for the sin of junk food.

Will the strict taxation approach make any meaningful headway?  Will the decrease in obesity be worth the decrease in individual freedom?  Being a regressive tax, it will punish those that liberals claim they want to help–the poor.  Any newly created black market will always thrive.  Also, the “evil” corporations will find a way to work around government regulation.

In fact, those demonized corporations will hop right in bed with the regulatory powers-that-be.  Even the lame ones that sell you a product you can make in your own kitchen:  the cold sandwich.

Now, let me emphasize an important point:  in America today, we have more power and more choice in food than the richest rulers of ages past.  That power is hard to judiciously exercise.  Really, really, hard.  I drive a particularly restaurant-heavy stretch of road on a daily basis, and I have coined that drive “running the gauntlet.”  a fast food gauntlet

Even with the windows rolled up, the aromas are so thick and enticing.  They are thoroughly melded together, making it impossible to tell which scents come from which building.  “Don’t bother cooking tonight,” those scents whisper.  “When your husband gets home, he’ll gladly bring you here.”

Personally, I’ve got about a stone of weight that I’d love to cast off, but I’m not casting the first stone or anything.  I’m just trying to be honest about the problem with great power.  Even the great power to purchase delicious food.  Great responsibility comes with it.

As a member of the Magnificent Seven, I’m supposed to have a little bio at the end of every post I write.  And I haven’t done that.  In my defense, a person that bills herself as “No One Of Any Import” doesn’t really see the point in self-description.  If you like what I’ve said, though, there is more on my personal blog

********************************************************

Olimometer 2.52

It’s Monday and the weekly goal sits at $51.11

With a weekly goal of $350 that means we’re only $298.89 to go to make week 2 in February a success as opposed to week 1.

Only 12 readers at $25 are needed to clear this weeks goal and start to make up on last week’s shortfall.

Olimometer 2.52

Your tip jar hit can help me do this. Please consider kicking in.

And now there is another reason to kick in on a more permanent way

linda thumb If you become one of the 55 3/4 subscribers @ at $20 a month are necessary to secure the cost of DaMagnificent Seven & my monthly mortgage on a permanent basis but do so at the $25 level you can receive one of several Exclusive Original Chris Muir high Res Graphics of the original members of DaTechGuy’s Magnificent Seven Gang. like the one on the right


Low res tha lotPlease specify which of the eight hi res (including myself you wish to receive) Subscribe at $50 a month and receive all eight. Subscribe at $100 a month and get all 8 wanted posters high res graphics plug the high res version of all of us exclusively created for subscribers of DaTechGuy blog by Chris Muir himself!

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