Over the weekend I saw something that made me want to throw my TV across the room.
Subway has started running commercials featuring kids talking about how they've "started eating halthier and exercising" and then they hold up their "fat pants" to show how much weight they've lost.
First, I couldn't fucking believe it. I just could NOT believe that a business would run advertising that could only result in making fat kids feel guilty and hate themselves even more than they probably already do. I mean, really, did anybody, kid or grown-up, ever see a commercial like that on TV and go, "You know, that guy says he just ate healthier and exercised and lost all that weight....I should do that, too," and then just stop all unhealthy behavior and become a poster-child for healthy living? Um, no. More likely, they see that commercial, feel horrible about how fat and lazy and terrible they are, mainline six quarts of Haagen Dazs and cry themselves to sleep.
And then I just felt like I'd been socked in the gut. Of all the travesties of modern culture, perhaps the biggest one is the way we teach (or rather don't teach) our children. So many people in my generation and those that follow reach adulthood without ever growing up - they don't know how to take care of themselves, they have no concept of personal responsibility, they expect everything in life to be handed to them - because everything in life has been handed to them. They're raised on video games and TV shows and fast food, by parents who spend so much time working, they've no time left for anything else, and they don't bother to take the time to show their kids how to think for themselves and work for their own and all the accompanying self-sufficiency and self-esteem. Basically, we fuck kids up utterly - we fail to give them the skills - functional or intellectual or otherwise - to do anything but blame other people, including us, for all the ills in their lives.
The thing about kids is that they're KIDS. They have no responsibility, no choice, no real say in their lives...and for the most part, they shouldn't! That's why they have parents. Parents are responsible for their kids' health. You want to target a commercial, why not aim it at the people who buy the food kids are eating: the parents. All the commercials can possibly do is feed into the guilt/shame cycle that keeps so many people with weight problems from feeling comfortable in their own skin, or making healthy choices about their physical health - and to do that to kids is just wrong.
So, basically Subway puts the onus on children to take their own health in their hands when they don't have the power, resources, or right to do a thing about it. Shame on whatever smug toothpick came up with this bright idea. I'm disgusted, offended, and I'll be instituting a boycott until the stupid commercials are taken off the air.
I had some really interesting experiences this weekend.
First, Saturday morning, I met with this very cool chick who's doing the book/CD/documentary/related concert series/whatever...she has an amazing idea of scope for this project she's working on, and I am *so* stoked to be part of it. It's basically an attempt to address the fact that music history has, for the most part, been dominated by men. I mean, there are female musicians through history, but, well it's like this: Mozart, Bach, Ravel, Lizst, Schubert, Tchaikovsky......and that one nun who was a composer, what was her name? Hilda Von something-or-other? Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Paul Simon, James Taylor, Willie Nelson, Cat Stevens, Harry Chapin, Jackson Browne.....Joni Mitchell, Joan Baez, Carole King. Women are there, but under-represented...so that's the problem to be overcome by this project, and the strategy here is a good one, I think. I'm really thrilled to be involved.
Part of her process is doing an oral history interview, meaning she gets, basically, the entire story of my life start to where I am now. Thinking about this made me all reflective about my life, and all the stuff I've done. I wonder if other people will find my life as enthralling as I generally do.
I've got all kinds of thoughts flying all kinds of all over my damn brain....but instead, I offer this. Enjoy!
Loud-mouthed liberal feminist. Anarchist knitter. Tequila-drinking artsy-smartsy fat chick. Bluesy folk-rock singer-songwriter. Rebel with too many causes. Quirky eclectic pagan poet. Paradoxical intuitive smartass. Sarcastic brainiac insomniac. You know, for starters.