Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Supersized Ego Me 

It has been done before (including by Soso R. Whaley of the Competitive Enterprise Institute), but the latest trendy anti-corporate propaganda piece "Supersize Me" gets another slap. Writes Imre Salusinszky at the "Australian":

"The Australian tested Spurlock's claims by putting me through a seven-day version. But instead of Big Macs and large fries, thrice daily, I was to concentrate on the healthier offerings. The results were startling. After a week of nothing but Maccas, I feel just fine. And I lost 2.5kg."
Salusinszky didn't actually cheat by staying on McDonald's salads diet the whole time (and who could blame him): "by day three, I was eating from the regular menu, with two conditions: I ate in moderation, and apart from one lapse, avoided the fries." Salusinszky was not only careful about what he ate, but also maintained a regular exercise regime.

The only thing that Spurlock's experience demonstrates is that if for thirty days you eat nothing but the most fattening offerings from the McDonald's menu and don't exercise, you're a fuckwit. It might make you fat and depressed, but it will also make you rich and popular among the trendy leftie crowd who believe that fast food chains make our kids obese so they can sell them to Halliburton to plug holes in ruptured oil pipes in Iraq.

The cynicism and bad faith of leftie propagandists is only exceeded by the naivete of their audience. After "Supersize Me", what's next?

Spurlock does thirty laps a day for a month in a swimming pool filled with radioactive sludge and his hair fall off, thus clearly demonstrating the need to close down nuclear power stations.

Spurlock eats one kilogram of DDT every day for a month, causing his pet canary to lay eggs with unnaturally thin shells. By the way, Spurlock dies.

Spurlock visits local places of worship, urinating on the altar and smearing feces on the walls; each time he's ejected by the outraged congregation, proving once and for all that those Christian nuts are really intolerant and can't take a joke.

Speaking of left-wing propaganda, blogger Frank J makes the point out that contrary to the oft-quoted media claim that "Fahrenheit 9/11" set the record for the highest opening by a documentary is in fact incorrect. "Jackass; the Movie" grossed $22.8 million over its opening weekend, a million more than Moore's work. In fairness, that's not quite correct; the actual takings as oppose to estimates, put "Fahrenheit" at just under $24 million.

Still, there are parallels. "Jackass", "Fahrenheit" and "Supersize" all involve people doing stupid stunts that none of us of sound mind would try to repeat. "Jackass", however, does it for fun, without a political agenda. Hence, it's not art.

That's why the "New York Times" A O Scott wrote about "Jackass":

"[D]emented science experiments... [W]hat if you snorted a line of wasabi? You'd vomit... [T]his small tribe of young white men is motivated by extreme boredom and a playful, quasi-erotic sadomasochistic camaraderie... [L]ike a documentary version of 'Fight Club,' shorn of social insight, intellectual pretension and cinematic interest."
Here's A O Scott on "Supersize Me":

"[A]ffable, muckraking documentary, elaborates on some facts that everyone seems to know: mainly, that the United States is in the midst of an epidemic of obesity and related health problems, and that fast food is bad for you... [M]ovie... goes down easy and takes a while to digest, but its message is certainly worth the loss of your appetite."
Or take "Chicago Tribune" Mark Caro on "Jackass":

"[W]illful idiocy for idiocy's sake."
And Mark Caro on "Supersize Me":

"The logic of Morgan Spurlock's 'Super Size Me' may not be airtight, but you don't feel like he's telling a whopper... For the record, McDonald's never recommended that anyone binge on its food for a month like Spurlock did. Still, if Spurlock was looking for a dramatic, effective--and, by the way, very funny--way to make his point about the fast-food chain's culpability in our culture of rampant obesity and homogeneity, he found it."
So that's the secret of success: doing stupid things for a "good cause". I'd rather snort wasabi, thanks.


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