I really wanted to share with you, my blog friends, my fun weekend, but was at a loss as to how to tie it to the core subject of this site. Then, once again, Dr. Sharma came to my rescue (that later).
Not only was my weekend fun, but it was steeped in irony. I had floor tickets for the Jimmy Buffet concert in Kansas City. Here I am with my husband.
Here are our dear old friends, who came from Columbia, Missouri, to join us.
The event was ironic in that NO ONE who could afford floor tickets could have possibly been the drunken, deadbeat, pothead losers that we were all celebrating ourselves to be. It was all a stinking ruse. We were, in fact, middle aged (or upper middle aged) mostly professional types, many sporting Hawaiian shirts. Here are some pictures from the crowd.
Actually, Jimmy Buffet himself has probably long ago shed the Jimmy Buffet lifestyle. He now owns a restaurant empire and sails boats and they showed him on the big screen participating in some kind of sport that appeared to be a cross between surfing and kayaking where he skimmed waves standing atop a large banana-shaped vessel wielding a long-handled paddle. (Anyone know the name of this sport? It doesn’t happen as inland as Kansas City. Looks fun.) The guy is actually pretty buff and youthful for his age; his face shows the lines of someone who smiles too much, but it’s not the face of someone who introduces massive amounts of smoke into his lungs.
In the row ahead of us, three seats remained empty until about 15 minutes into the show. Then three, er, gentlemen who actually DO practice the Jimmy Buffet lifestyle showed up. They were late to the show, obviously, because the leader needed additional time to marinate his shirt in beer. The other two stumbled after him. After about five minutes, the one in the middle fired up a tobacco cigarette. Many of us started groaning, my husband told him to put it out. Giving the fellow some credit, he tried to mitigate the smoke exposure for us, the innocent bystanders, by placing his mouth an inch away from his marinated partner’s scalp and blowing into his hair. (We are all grateful, too, that the smoker kept the fire end of his cigarette pointed skyward, so the marinated shirt didn’t ignite.) Security showed up before the cigarette was ready for snuffing, and no fewer than ten hands shot into the air, our pointer fingers helpfully extended, to identify the offender. Some fingers (not mine) even poked dangerously close to the man’s ear canal. Security, with all due politeness, handily evicted our smoking miscreant, his two friends following in reluctant solidarity. Then the rest of us continued our singing, bemoaning flip flops that blow out, pop tops that disturb our peaceful stupor when we step on them and tattoos that show up on our bodies without a clue.
It was a hoot. But how was I to find the example of blatant irony that would connect obesity science to Jimmy Buffet? I LOVE DR. ARYA SHARMA! Here’s his post from Saturday. Click on the video if you want, but it isn’t too exciting. One talking head after another expresses that it is important to “build trust” among the stakeholders trying to solve/end/reverse the “obesity epidemic.” No one broaches any specific area of mistrust. No one says anything much at all, other than, “It’s important to be friends and discuss this politely.” One of them said it was important that “all the different sectors and subsectors” be involved in what another calls “a societal sea change.” All the subsectors? Here’s the list of sponsors at the end:
Canadian Obesity Network, Canadian Partnership Against Cancer, Coca-Cola Canada, Corus Entertainment, General Mills Canada, Health Canada, Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada’s Health Check Program, International Life Sciences Institute of North America, Clear shift (formerly Ipicus), Kellogg’s Canada, Kraft, McCain Foods, McDonald’s Restaurants of Canada, National Institute of Child Health, Pepsico and the Public Health Agency of Canada.
Dr. Sharma received one emotion-packed response from a fellow who obviously had had his fill of being treated like an object by the obesity establishment. He started by calling the video “huey.” (I would have spelled it “hooey,” but that’s probably a US spelling, as opposed to British/Canadian.)
I left a response to the effect that the foxes (Big Food) are building trust with the farmers (Health Care agencies and nonprofits) to decide what to do about the chickens (fat people). The chickens have no voice. One important interest that clearly lacks the credibility to be included in this big trust-building party is the Health At Every Size (HAES) movement. There is no evidence of representation from the International Size Acceptance Association (ISAA), the Association for Size Diversity and Health (ASDAH), NAAFA or other groups who might have an important opinion to contribute to this discussion. (Maybe they came, but one of them lit a cigarette and they all got expelled.) There wasn’t even someone representing the interests of health agencies that address eating disorders. What a crock, and an irony.