A brief clarification about fat people and vaccines
Because ranting tends to obliterate any effort at nuance and obscures important words, I feel like I should emphasize a few points about yesterday’s post. It would be easy to portray the whole thing as “fat people are gross and vaccines are for dupes,” even if interpreting it that way after a close reading requires a good deal of resistance to important conjunctions and conditional phrases.
If you’re fat, or chubby, or whatever, you’re in the majority of Americans and hardly invisible in running. I have fat friends, some of whom were once skinnier than I am, who read my tirades about the orca class of lying influencers and laugh at them with robust appreciation. Anyone who has been to a road race in the past twenty-five years and is surprised to see fat people there, some of them obviously veterans of the scene and capable of some surprising things, should probably undergo a formal neurological examination.
This is a big part of why the whole push to get “oppressed” people into running is a crock anyway—those people have been a part of our sport for decades. Only recently did it become a thing for certain fat, gay, or ethnic-minority types to pretend that no one has ever seen them exercise before and that they need freebies and endless adulation as a result. No, it’s just that you’re not the only show in town, and concerns like the size of your ass and how you like your blowjobs or rug-munching are way down on the list of things any serious athlete could possibly care about.
My post had strong overtones of “The world only finds the thin (and tall, and lustrous-haired, and rich) attractive.” That is obviously false. But if you weigh 300 pounds and think you can bellow your way into the collective spank-bank of America’s heterosexual male population, good luck. If the fitness magazines fill up with Latoya Snells to the exclusion of people who actually work out, tell the truth on occasion, and aren’t revolting to look at in every way, then people will turn their eyes and attention elsewhere. I mean, these same capering posers don’t go looking for photos of the cast of Revenge in the Nerds when they feel like getting their own freak on.
If you’re fat and intent on getting fatter, that’s also your choice, albeit one that may not be in your best medical interest. You own that body and have the right to give the finger to anyone who explicitly judges you for how you handle it unless you wield it against others. (I’m reminded of a guy I read about years ago who was charged with assault for intentionally farting on, or at least at, a police officer.) Many of those fit-looking people are engaging in a lot of pathological behavior of their own to look like they do; they just don’t have to wear it around and serve as easy targets for snap negative judgments.
But if you’re fat and intent on getting fatter and you belong to the cohort of Twitter columnists and left-media goons who have been castigating backwater Cletus types for not doing their part and getting a shot at every opportunity, well, now you’re just really, really dumb. This assessment is solidified by the fact that fitness magazines—in another 2021 reality right out of a comedy skit from any pre-2015 episode of Saturday Night Live—are putting people like you on their covers, and that gear companies like HOKA—the U.S. professional arm of which seems to be collapsing—are giving you shoes to admire and not run in while you spout angry, stupid lies nonstop on social media.
And that’s another thing. If you continually put pictures of yourself online and caption them with wisdom like, “I’m fatter than ever and live in bed with brownie-crumbs and I’m proud of myself, and BTW fuuuuuck your advice! #running #fitness”—all while calling yourself a mentor, coach, role model, influencer, whatever—you have absolutely no rational grounds for being butthurt when people rise up to point out that, yes, your shtick is successful and you’re just as disgusting as you’re aiming to be, maybe more so. They didn’t put those photos online; you did, knowing you look like a water buffalo that lost a game of chicken with a speeding 18-wheeler, on a site people visit explicitly to look at and judge what they see. And you don’t get to run a grift without pushback from people tired of the nasty stink of it all.
And speaking of malignant narcissists who manage to maintain or even grow their professional platforms despite transparent dishonesty and overall incompetence, who else but Lindsay Crouse appeared on CNN recently to bemoan “spreading anti-science messaging in a pandemic.” This is a goggle-eyed moron whose entire reason for being alive is spreading falsehoods—about herself, mostly, since the top news story of the day in her story is always Lindsay Crouse, but also about everything else.
Crouse always looks like a special-needs zombie who has received many hours of coaching about how to maintain a somber, knowing look, and it’s impossible to disconnect this from what’s clearly happening, or not happening, within her brain-like matter. Not only is she wrong about Novak Djokovic—whose overhand smash to the loins she would accept in a heartbeat if he had sufficiently depraved tastes—but she’s the worst possible choice for a purportedly vital public concern. And I hope this CNN trashmouth with the weird collar goes to his suburban home at night and drinks himself into a dangerous stupor over knowing he works for a misinformation outfit that would have impressed the Cold War version of TASS.
I’m also not an anti-vaxxer. The one I got in June is almost certainly worthless to me now, but working scientists have yet to produce one that’s any better against the present threat. If I see vaxxed and boosted people getting COVID-19 at a spectacular rate as well as typically feeling really bad from the shots themselves, then I’m not exactly making an anti-scientific choice in abstaining, especially given my overall lifestyle. I’m also not closed to the possibility of far more effective vaccines and treatments emerging. I’m not the kind of paranoiac worried that the government is creating this century’s version of thalidomide babies, but I also know what the real incentives are for pushing people to get these shots, and I’m just not interested in contributing to the enrichment of Pfizer and other pharmaceutical companies unless I need what they’re offering.
So, that’s it. I’m still mean, but, though I’m obviously not really striving to avoid collateral damage, I’m trying to be mean to a specific group of people who richly deserve it. If I could force them to improve rather than watch them screw everything up, constantly and mostly on purpose, I would. They deserve to be punished somehow, and this will have to do for now.