Friday, October 29, 2010

Time Travelers and Fatties

The two latest Internet flaps are related to a 1928 Charlie Chaplin film and a bloggers comments about overweight people.

Let’s start with the Charlie Chaplin film. Irish filmmaker George Clark posted a clip on the Internet showing the 1928 premiere of Chaplin’s film “The Circus.” In it one can see a woman walking down the street and holding to her ear which Clark says looks like a mobile phone.

A mobile phone in 1928? Obviously the only explanation is a Time Traveler has been discovered.

Well, not really. I can think of any number of explanations more plausible than a, rather careless, Time Traveler was accidently caught on film. Here’s someone who clearly took great pains to dress in the style of 1928 to hide her identify as a Time Traveler, but has no problem walking openly down the street talking on an electronic device that won’t be invented for decades.

It doesn’t concern me that there weren’t any cell towers in 1928 since clearly she’s speaking to the time ship in orbit around the earth. Why is the time ship in orbit? Because time travel is only possible in the near vacuum of outer space.

But a simple slash with Occam’s razor says that far more likely is the lady is using a simple ear trumpet or even holding a bit of ice to relieve her toothache on her way to the dentist.

The other recent flap is due to an article by Marie Claire writer Maura Kelly called ‘Should “Fatties” Get a Room?’ The article is about whether people feel uncomfortable watching overweight people make out on television. This pressing philosophical question was brought to light as the result of the CBS show “Mike and Molly” which features two hefty folks that are romantically involved.

Apparently Ms. Kelly finds very fat people “aesthetically displeasing” and would be “grossed out” if she had to “watch two characters with rolls and rolls of fat kissing each other.”

Believe it or not she was foolish enough to admit this in print and then, predictably, she was subjected to an avalanche of criticism. At that point she backpedaled rapidly and issued an apology.

Well, since Maura opened Pandora's box, I have to be honest and To be honest and say that I find morbidly obese people “aesthetically displeasing” as well. I also find them a real pain in the ass in some situations such as when they’re in the seat next to me on an airplane.

I was in Chicago waiting to board a plane for Newark. I had gotten lucky that day and had a first class upgrade. There was an extremely overweight lady waiting to board the same flight. I heard her explain to the flight attendant that she was flying first class because she couldn’t fit safely into a tourist seat. She then requested a seat belt extender because the first class belt, even at maximum length, didn’t fit around her. No, she didn’t end up in the seat next to me, but you should have seen the look on the face of the guy she did end up next to.

I was coming out of the Giants game a week or two ago when I saw an extremely overweight couple coming down the exit ramp. He had to top 400 pounds and she had to be over 300 pounds. All I could think of was imagine having them sitting next to you game, after game, after game.

Two things I find distasteful are people who are “morbidly fat” and people who are “morbidly ignorant” such as Creationists. Now, I will admit that in a few cases the condition is beyond the person’s control, but in the majority of cases it’s not, and the fact they’re too freaking lazy to do anything about it is simply not cool.

If this makes me an insensitive jerk then so be it.

Hey, working out five times a week and limiting what you eat is no fun, but a lot a people do it. I’m 6’ 1” and I work at staying in the 200 pound to 205 pound weight class and even that they tell me is overweight.

Is it easy? No. Is it fun? No, not really, but just because it’s not easy and not fun doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it. If not for yourself then for those of us who end up sitting next to you on five hour flights.

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