You know what I can’t stand about Dick Cheney? It’s not the shameless corruption. I’m not all that annoyed by the whole war in Iraq thing, either. I’m pretty sanguine about his treatment of his daughter and her partner. In fact, the domestic and foreign policies he supports as vice president to the preznit are just fine with me in general. Tax cuts for the obscenely wealthy? Fetus fetishization? Surges? Bring ’em on!
Sadly, No! What really outrages me is that the guy is a big fat fatty fatass. I mean, have you seen the man? What a lardbutt! What a corpulent monster! He just weighs so much! Forget jumping off a tall building for the good of the nation, Dick–skip the thousand island and go for a hike or something, huh? Taft is dead.
No, really. Fat fat fatty fatty fatty fat fat.
Maybe I’m being complacent–maybe I’m aiding and abetting the terrorist fat cells that have infiltrated the bodies of so many Americans–but I fail to see the relevance his pants size has to his political views, or what place fat jokes have in condemning them. So he’s fat. So what? He also has a little soul-patch thingie I don’t find very flattering. Is that why he’s objectionable? Is his appearance directly related to the disastrous immaturity of his political views? Oh. Apparently so:
Ab Hugh’s weight isnt really what makes the picture funny. It’s the awkwardness, the ill-fitting clothes, the belt pulled too tight under his gut, the scraggly moustache and the vacant expression. He looks exactly the way we all imagined. Like a roleplaying nerd. It’s Glenn Reynolds with his greasy hair and ill fitting polyester suits and Tacitus with his lightsabre. We made jokes for years about wingnuts being emotionally stunted overcompensating Risk-obsessed geek. and its turns out its true. Every macho hypermasculine war-crazy wingnut is a pussy (except of course totally killer martial arts ninja warrior avenger Vox Day). If Hugh was scary-fat like Boo-Yaa Tribe or Giant Haystacks it wouldnt have worked. as it is he’s just slack.
(Amp is a portly guy with a ponytail who draws comics and likes Buffy the Vampire Slayer, incidentally. We at Feministe prefer Battlestar Galactica.)
Now, some would undoubtedly invoke the “Coulter” or “Hamsher” fallacy here, and argue that we should not give a flying fuck about the feelings of these people. I mean, who cares if we call a wingnut a fatass or even a transvestite or an ugly bitch whore? They’re wingnuts. Wingnuts, remember? Fucking wingnuts. We should be using every slur we have. We are wholly justified–nay, morally obligated–to use cultural disgust with fat bodies against them. And, yes, here it is, not just once:
My only point is one I harp on all the time — civility vs. decency. Ampersand can link to the supremely indecent, but refuses to link to the uncivil. This is fat-acceptance gone wild, where how one addresses psychos who happen to be overweight (and living cliches at that) trumps ..well, shit that really matters.
Who gives a shit about being nice to fucking sociopathic wingnuts? A photoshop, a fucking photoshop of Daffyd ab Hugh, from months ago, is still scandalous? Christ. And apparently to the point that it’s worse than what Daffy is generally advocating!
(Yes, I’m aware of the ‘reaching for the wrong weapon’ argument. But fuck that. These wingnuts are so awful that they deserve to be attacked with all available rhetorical weapons. If they look stupid on top of everything else then of course I’m gonna use that against them. These people can’t be shamed, they can only be ridiculed, made laughingstocks of. Look, I’m a Leninist when it comes to this sort of thing: my aim is to wipe the floor with political enemies, because that’s damn sure what they are trying to do to me. Fuck this liberal ‘be nice and civil to all people’ shit.)
Off limits: physical violence, ‘outing’; making fun of a person’s gender, national origin, sexual orientation, ethnicity, race or handicap. Everything else is fair game, including physical appearance — especially when the physical appearance is so fucking cliche like Daffy’s. Glenn Reynolds looks like a nerd. Daffy looks like Comic Book Guy. James Taranto looks like a fucking evil toad. And so on. How many photoshops have we done making Perfesser Corncob look even more geeky? Did the civility police of the local nerd union chapter complain? Not that I recall, and thank god they didn’t. But of course they wouldn’t: no one would take seriously a ‘Nerd Anti-Defamation League’. Nor would any such theoretical league be serving anyone’s interests by defending Glenn Fucking Glennocidal Tendencies Reynolds.
By making fun of Daffyd ab Hugh, we’re not blanketly attacking all fat people the world over. By a long shot. It’s more honest (but still not quite fair, I admit) to say that by complaining about our making fun of Daffyd ab Hugh, some people *are* taking up for him.
(I’ll cheerfully go on record right now as saying that making fun of geeks and nerds is also pointless, immature, and really stupid. You’re writing on a blog to other bloggers. About government policy and media trends, no less. This all erupted over a photoshop funny. I hate to break it to you, but we’re nerds.)
Sadly, No! You’re completely full of shit. The post and the follow-up attacked him for being fat. The clear implication is that being fat–rather than any of the truly noisome qualities embodied by ab Hugh–is disgusting. This means that other fat people, regardless of their political views, are right to feel as though they are being attacked. Why would it be wrong to deride him for, say, being a big faggot? Why would that be offensive to queers in general? When you insult someone on the basis of their sexual orientation, you imply that their sexual orientation is wrong and unpleasant. That means that even faggots you didn’t directly reference are being insulted.
And don’t look now, but at least a few commenters on the follow-up post have responded to Amp’s read of the post by arguing that fat people do deserve ridicule. If they’ve got a problem with being accosted by total strangers who just can’t refrain from telling them how disgusting they are, they should lose the weight. In fact, how dare you object to insulting comments about your fat ass, fatass? Don’t you realize that they’re the only thing keeping you alive?
Keep up on those laps, and don’t stop at the Chik-Fil-A, or the Micky-Ds. Keep walking, and have a drink of water if you’re thirsty. Walk until you’re tired. Really tired. Then do it again tomorrow. And then more of it on Friday!
We appreciate your progressivism, but it doesn’t do us any good if you’re dead of a heart attack or a stroke.
They don’t seem to have any difficulty generalizing.
I agree wholeheartedly that the feelings of reactionary assholes do not deserve coddling. I don’t think that Amp really cares whether they are insulted, either, regardless of their size; while he’s a polite guy as a rule, his commenters and guestbloggers do not make nice. He links to mean potty-mouth blogs all the time.
Amp, however, is not a wingnut. Many fat people are not wingnuts. Amp is a committed progressive. Amp runs a big fat progressive blog. Sadly, No! and its commenters reacted to Amp the progressive and his really rather mild complaint about a pretty mean-spirited slur on people like Amp by…treating Amp exactly the same way they treated the conservative asshole.
Irrational hatred of fat people and fat bodies is a real problem in this country, one that leads to tangible discrimination and–as any fat person could tell you–lots of casual abuse. That’s horrible, and it’s not something that a progressive should dismiss in order to keep cheap shots cheap. Amp doesn’t deserve it, and that means that ab Hugh doesn’t deserve it either.
But really, that’s not the only problem with this–maybe not even the worst one. Remember what I said about how we’re the nerds? It’s not just because we get into flame wars.
Do you remember what happened the election cycle before last? Do you remember how Al Gore’s suits became more important than George W. Bush’s incompetence? Do you remember how Al Gore was ridiculed for his his stilted speech, his wooden mannerisms, his inability to tell a joke, his wonkishness, his solemnity, his earnest concern? In other words, his nerdiness? Remember how he was turned into the loser of the election not because he was the worst potential president–because hoo boy–but because he was a big dork? Remember the utterly straight-faced arguments about how Bush deserved your vote because he’d be more fun to have a beer with? Remember how the same thing kinda happened again four years later?
These days, Al Gore gets ridiculed for being a fatass AV nerd who cares about girly crap like the environment. And we get into endless wars because we care more about whether or not the president looks cool in a bomber jacket than whether or not he can do his job. Our next candidates are already being evaluated on the most superficial criteria imaginable. Hilary’s too mean. Obama is cute. Edwards smiles too much. Way better hair than that guy with the hair, though. Civilian death tolls? Whatever. And have you seen what Nancy Pelosi is wearing? This country is being run and covered by a bunch of middle-schoolers.
So, no, it’s neither a good thing nor a trivial problem when someone gets ridiculed for being fat when he really should get ridiculed for being wrong. The last thing this country needs is another Nelson Muntz.
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