Saturday, October 01, 2011

Unexpected remarks from Michael Kinsley

[The following comments have been edited and revised from a column in Bloomberg News.]

Michael Moore is just too fat.

That’s not a very liberal attitude. It’s discriminatory. It’s patronizing. It’s coercive. What business is it of ours whether Moore weighs too much (and who gets to define “too much”)? Why should we even care, as long as we like his policies?

Let me save you the trouble, boys and girls. I can write that column myself: “Liberals, who embrace diversity of all other kinds -- who demand quotas for transgender kindergarten teachers in public schools -- these selfsame liberals have the unmitigated gall to encourage discrimination against a truly oppressed group: people of weight.”

There is a theory, of course, that being fat benefits Michael Moore by authenticating his portrayal of Everyman -- just a regular fella, like so many others. Being overweight establishes Moore’s bona fides as a populist.

Controlling what you eat and how much is not easy, and it’s harder for some people than for others. But it’s not as difficult as curing a chemical addiction. With a determined, disciplined effort, Michael Moore could thin down, and he should -- because the obesity epidemic is real and dangerous.

Unfortunately, the symbolism of Moore’s weight problem goes way past the issue of obesity itself. It is just a too-perfect symbol of our country at the moment, with appetites out of control and discipline near zilch.

[Full disclosure: in addition to shortening the piece, I made one little change throughout: I switched "Christie" to "Moore." What's sauce for the goose ... ]



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