Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Documentary Review - Fed Up

What are the SWPLs watching on Netflix? It’s now a matter of time at any SWPL party before someone brings up the “d” word: documentary. I will admit the Hogocaust scene in a food documentary had me spooked out for weeks, and I will honor the pigs that die in gas chambers by eating bacon. I am not going to go full SWPL, and build a party small talk persona around watching one life changing documentary. My wife saw a preview for “Fed Up”, and was intrigued by the idea. It was one of those documentaries on food and obesity. Would it go the whole way and lay much of the problem at government policies? Sort of, but the quality production values are the cue that no way will deeper problems be touched.

The documentary is narrated by Katie Couric and has interviewees like Michael Bloomberg and Bill Clinton. There is no way that a documentary with that star power is upsetting the apple cart. This documentary does tackle some obvious villains like food industry lobbyists, capitalism and grrr, bought off, corrupt physicians. My God! Sugar is the big villain here, which is a good thing. The documentary follows three teens who are obese and their struggles. A fat white guy who has two thin siblings. A fat white girl who looks like she has a deeper disorder since her face looks like she is in pain and misshapen, and a fat black kid with the voice of a 60 year old man. We’re not told the whole story about them or shown it because something seems up. There’s just a few too many steps one could take that the documentary will not do. This is standard Narrative talk with a focus on sugar being the bad guy.

One problem they dance around is carbohydrates. The doc mentions how guidelines were manipulated to not talk about scaling back eating, but I was alive in the ‘80s and ‘90s and remember the “reduce red meat” propaganda. Beef lobbyists fought that one but lost. If the documentary wants to say the government did not recommend that or set the tone, okay, but we know the media did, and well, it's more proof that the media is sovereign. The film has a speaker who states that the carbs in cereal get turned right into sugar by the digestive system yet the documentary does not them follow the line for the major shift in dietary guidelines starting in the ‘80s. They show the food pyramid but do not fill it in because if they did, they’d show you a diet based on more and more carbs. Those fat teens dieting looked to be scarfing down carb heavy foods on film. Sure, it is “healthy” to normies who buy the standard dietary narrative. This documentary had Gary Taubes as an interviewee, yet did not let him hammer home the point on fat and protein that he is being vindicated on with new research. This film is not going there because the progressive blessed food guidelines would be shown as a sham, and then, what else that they say is a sham?

Some other problems that the documentary would never ever touch are our national mental crack up, scale and our political system. We cannot touch on the emptiness of modern life in drug documentaries, did anyone think this one would tackle it with food? I've spoken to gastric bypass patients, and their descriptions of the dessert they miss the most sound like a heroin addict describing the rush. The sheer scale of “America” the entity makes these kinds of problems practically unsolvable. The documentary kept harping on how big food chains and fast food has entered our school systems. Well, what kind of tight budgeting are school systems facing and who is going to be the low cost provider? Keep ratcheting up school spending elsewhere and there will be less for food. How weird is the importance of schools providing food? Did the documentary want to avoid the free lunch explosion in America? The problem of lobbyists and fiddling with national policy and guidelines is from the government getting into farming policy with FDR. Money only fiddles with government because government messes with the economy. Agricultural policy is what it is because people once needed the votes, and now the system can be used for looting and graft.

Is this documentary just another “Big Food is Big Evil” documentary? Yes. Humans have little agency, advertising destroys their decision making ability and this film follows the Supersize Me format of treating people as automatons who have no power. Katie Couric, Bill Clinton and Mike Bloomberg are not going to be involved in a probing documentary. Clinton even does his sad eyes, bite the lip, "I'm sorry" face when asked about '90s food policy. This is just enough to get people mad at Big Food and create an external villain, "sugar". There is something weird with one family eating the same but not everyone gets puffed out fat. Why not explore any genetic reason? Why not wonder if there is a biochemistry reaction to food that differs? Is there something in the food? While this documentary mentions multiple items, it really focuses on sugar as the bad guy we need to eliminate. "Attack sugar and it all gets better!" sounds like a retread of "Get rid of fat!". Our global obesity problem is a multivariable problem. No one solution will fit. Even if we had the solution or fixes, would our system allow them? While this documentary is a nice one to watch, it is frustrating for the two steps it takes rather than the ten steps it could.

19 comments:

nikcrit said...

Is this documentary just another “Big Food is Big Evil” documentary? Yes. Humans have little agency, advertising destroys their decision making ability and this film follows the Supersize Me format of treating people as automatons who have no power.

Well, i give 'Big Food' a bit more blame than I do the tobacco and alcohol industry lobbying, because while these latter vices are entirely voluntary in the sense that one can abstain altogether, no-go on that re. food, so it's much easier to exploit the progression from core nutrition to food-porn indulgence. still, a lot of these Big-Food-is-Evil docs point out that the food lobby is starting to eerily ape the rhetoric and course-of-action legally and p.r.-wise that the tobacco industry took thirty years ago..

I say right-on in this dept. I mean, one can adopt the libertarian take and lament the lack of blame on human choice and agency, and of course there's much to that. But i see the results in the schools ----- all these limon-jalapeno Cheetos and Tropicana Punch breakfasts; the 2-for-a-buck mini-bag chip marketing packs for ghetto corner stores, etc.
And even out there in alabaster 'burbs, you had all those spandexed aerobic-class soccer moms in the ;90s sucking down sugar-sweetened yogurt and 'whole-grain' carb-loaded bread yet still wondering why they couldn't rid themselves of their thunder thighs.

Big Food is as responsible for lax American minds and bodies as much as 'Jews in the media' or some other pet AR scapegoat. So why not expand the rants?

people for sunset blogs said...

okay 28 this is a quality website. it could be every bit as big as isteve. except for one thing. nikcrit. do you see him at isteve. no. do you see him here.every single goddamn post. loud, annoying persistent. 28, comment sections are like street blocks and it only takes one and BOOM their goes the neighborhood. keep the rants on topic. nikcrit is as responsible for shit comment threads as jews are for shit news or some other part of the the media. so why not ban nikcrit?

Suburban_elk said...

There are no "folkways" for white Americans to have healthy lives.

Folkways would be about all aspects of life, eating and forming families being two big areas, and what are the rituals around those things?

A lot is written about American women and how they are screwed up, and will not make good mothers because they cannot cook, among other things. I have done my share of complaining about them, but really they are just part of the bigger picture.

The larger problem is that there is no identity and or purpose in being a white American. We have no voice and we are not going anywhere. The idea that Clinton, and much less Obama, is some sort of leader? Who could even be pointed to or singled out, as a leader?

I hear a lot of talk about this problem of "scale" but am not sure that it works as explanation. Perhaps i am not getting it. Is it simply the notion that we no longer live in villages that are on a human scale, with roadways and pathways and marketplaces that are not built around the car?

I think that the problem is that individuals, such as myself for instance, are completely divested of any authority in their neighborhood. Who is supposed to be running the damn show? There are decisions that need to be made.

If we are talking about food, the number one thing to do is grow potatoes, down at the park where there is good dirt. But of course that unfeasible to the point where it sounds like a joke - when in fact it is the best idea in the world - and yet it will not happen.

There are community gardens down at the park, actually two that i can think of. One of them run by some Christian church, one of those open-armed new non-traditional denomination, and it is very, uh, African. In that garden these Africans are the only ones putting in the time to keep their plot looking good. My white neighbors for the most part can't be troubled with that. Incidentally i have 128 seeds going right now, peppers and egg's, and am planning on 64 more tomatoes, later on.

Some other problems that the documentary would never ever touch are our national mental crack up, scale and our political system. We cannot touch on the emptiness of modern life in drug documentaries, did anyone think this one would tackle it with food?

I agree with that statement. We do not exist as a people with any sense of identity, which would be the first thing necessary to live good lives in a pleasant place. We can not even begin to discuss who we are. We do not even exist.

Since everyone is talking about nikcrit, i think it is relevant how he describes the blogs that he frequents, as being about light-hearted banter and a steam release valve type of thing, for frustrated and angry white men to vent. But that is a mischaracterization, as well as being a mocking put down. I am not here to complain about things - i want to contribute to the biggest questions of our times - because they are are not talking about it on television. We are not children here.

Well that is my morning rant, the liquor stores are almost open. I had salmon last night, with pesto from the freezer made with walnuts (pine nuts are too expensive) and garlic and basil from the backyard, last summer maybe even 2013. Double-bagged and it keeps well, how is that for swapple cred?

NZT said...

Good job calling out the scale/alienation/atomization angle. For a lot of people junk food is clearly a palliative, one of the only things in their life that gives them any visceral pleasure. We got all kinds of addictive engineered Franken-foods just as society was changing in ways that made people much more vulnerable to addiction. This is not to excuse the fatties, but obviously we didn't have nearly this many obese people 50 years ago and whatever changed since then, it probably wasn't human nature. People feel stressed, directionless, and emotionally vulnerable, so they binge on sugar/fat/salt/alcohol to drive those feelings away for an hour or two.

Suburban_elk said...

Hey what is the deal with the ultra long comment approval delay? it is your show but come on.

nikcrit said...

How was I off-topic?

Son of Brock Landers said...

Suburban elk - I had meetings all morning. Coukdnt approve when giving presentations

People for sunset - Thank you for the praise. I will still let nikcrit comment but that is a good warning, which leads to...

Nikcrit - some of your comments are good, some are unnecessarily off topic or you bring up yourself when no one cares. Step up your game.

nikcrit said...


i think it is relevant how he describes the blogs that he frequents, as being about light-hearted banter and a steam release valve type of thing, for frustrated and angry white men to vent.

Unbelievable; the times I've mentioned the 'venting' aspect of these blogs, it's in deference and while in the process of humbly acknowledging my interloper status; furthermore, I've always been respectful of your opinion, defending certain attacks directed toward you (albeit unasked-for, that support was) and careful to be mindful of the outlier/interloper dialectic before I complain about something specific. In fact, the times I mention the 'white venting' aspect, it's to contrast those instances against those in which serious and objective discussion prevails!

But some just can't put aside the racial opposition, even for a moment.

I think you guys need Obsidian or one of your other black strawmen to argue with; then you can feel easily righteous and superior.

Bucket hangers! lolzz.

PA said...

Nikcrit, if people say you do x, then maybe the aggregate or the subtext of your commentary is, in fact, x. Socially, perception is reality. So fix others' perception of you or gtfo. What you needn't do is be an argumentative little bitch in line with the stereotype of the effeminate nigger personality.

We don't need obsidian, and we don't need you. We don't need anyone whose in it for the attention and validation.

nikcrit said...

What you needn't do is be an argumentative little bitch in line with the stereotype of the effeminate nigger personality.

lolzz. You've said as much before; you're about the only person I know who'd try to put the compensatory "girly-man nerd" tag on me......now, i'll defer to all the testosterone on this post and let you and elk have a 'pine-nuts-vs-walnuts-in-the-salmon-pesto' debate.

PA said...

We can't see your big muscles and hear your indubitably baritone voice on this forum. We just see your bitchy argumentativeness and womanish attention whoring.

peterike said...

Awwww c'mon now. If Nikcrit didn't exist we'd have to invent him. I don't know why people get so bent over this stuff. It's just interwebs yak yak. Save your anger for, you know, just about everything else going on in the world.

PA said...

In the spirit of amicability, here is a hipstery-sounding song I discovered today and quite like:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mwaGzIPpbBI

Suburban_elk said...

If Nikcrit didn't exist we'd have to invent him.

Yes.

But somehow … the personal dynamics … get in the way of the larger point. The larger point is not for me to define. Please anyone have a go. I would say larger point is, white people do not know who they are, they do not have "folkways".

Part of those folkways is how to relate to other people, in and out group.

It seems so simple … but Life is lost. Life is no longer in our hands because "scale".

Because we are not evolved to live, here!

peterike said...

In the spirit of amicability, here is a hipstery-sounding song I discovered today and quite like:

Hey, I like that band! The chick's voice is sorta weird, but she's got a great rack. And in general, I like their kind of alt-folk sound. Been digging their albums since hearing this. But boy oh boy are they a WHITE band! They better hire some diversity into their soon. I mean, we certainly have to put a stop to THIS kind of white people having fun doing white stuff with other white people.

https://youtu.be/AclhwQKlgfw



Anonymous said...

Against my better judgement, and i apologize in advance, but it seems worth a few more words, on the situation that has evolved in some recent comment threads, which will not be unknown to the readers.

In light of recent events which have transpired, there have developed disagreeable and less than optimally flattering circumstances in dynamics and portraiture, and in particular one character.

You know of whom i speak. Though it would be clarifying to list the name of this suspect character, so doing might possibly add to the seeming intractabilities of the engagement; and so he will remain unnamed. And in this spirit, i too am anonymous, for this post; though if asked will not deny it.

It is a delicate matter though, and for discerning sensibilities to determine, at which point the seriousness of these infractions transgress what will be allowed for as appropriate. To this observer it would seem that the larger audience has at ends its patience and willingness to engage in exchange with the character in question. Though of course on that determination, each to his own.

But to get to heart of it (already), the exact nature of the offenses of the character in question, should be described, and shown for how they are not in accord with what might be allowed for acceptable. Simply put, the offensive nature of the contributions from the character in question, is their selfishness.

Anonymous said...

Now selfishness and narcissism are in deed thought and every which way, problems of the age, which might be argued in defense of the character in question. As a defense though that will not be effective because however common deadly defects might be, they are not sought after or desired; at least not by other people.

But still some degree of these flaws has to be allowed for; and in themselves they are not fatal. They become fatal when they are combined with malevolence. Now on the question of whether the character in question in guilty of such a transgression as that? i will not venture yay or nay though i would note that in a recent argument he claimed that his thoughts regarding other races - and their women - were not hostile; and it was thereby implied (or his perception was implied) that the thoughts and views behind the other argument were.

This argument referenced immediately above neatly sums up what are irreconcilable differences in the views and the goals of the practitioners and proponents, for and against, of "racism" aka "race realism" - which terms must be here and now regarded without unfounded value judgment and associations. The argument and its contained irreconcilable differences will not be elaborated, for the sake of brevity, and for that they should be well enough understood anyone reading this far; but the larger point is that the irreconcilable differences of the argument transcend the individual parties. And so it is yet another example of race realism and how its most basic arguments and proponents, are irreconcilable.

Again, the details of the particular argument, about who is hostile to whom, and who is not, and whether the parties in question are honestly evaluating and stating their position and feelings, are not relevant. It is an irreconcilable - god that word is hard to type! - argument on an irreconcilable theme.

I apologize, now again and no longer in advance, for this lengthy post. It obviously occurs to me that, if the whole argument for judgment on a character, which of course is not to be taken lightly, is to be founded on one argument, and the consequent claim of the inherent irreconcilability - that word again! - as revealed by that argument, then the argument should not be be left out. So to put it simply, it was about - what else? - women; and the rest of it, given that race is a primary topic, can be easily inferred accurately enough.

In summary irreconcilable goals between the parties dictate the terms of the contention.

Even though this has been lengthy, the argument about who gets what is not even addressed. But need it be? Does not every character have a clear stance on what is at stake? The women are the basis of all social value, and they are at stake.

It seems unlikely that these will be the last words on the topic but perhaps it is to be hoped that they are. I am not satisfied with the state of clarity thus attained; rather it has retracted, sort of like a, well nevermind. Next time less is more but hey bandwidth is cheap and this is all text based - and so at the end of all things, victory is shown as perhaps not what it was once thought of as.

nikcrit said...

Though it would be clarifying to list the name of this suspect character, so doing might possibly add to the seeming intractabilities of the engagement; and so he will remain unnamed. And in this spirit, i too am anonymous, for this post; though if asked will not deny it.

Ummmm, what up sub_elk? No need to be so cryptic and tongue-tied; if you're feeling too uncomfortable about conversing as equals with a negro, I'll gladly channel my white rustbelt side in replying to anything you wish to know or garner, okey-dokey?

Still, i am trying to get more detached and immeiately on topic; others have had their fill of all or any blog-outlier's personal bio bits as of late----- just know that i'm not fucking any white woman these days, so maybe we could just take it from there, ainna?

Suburban_elk said...

We do converse as equals because the conversation is all that we have. In the real world it is about who has the bigger penis and who has the bigger posse, but on the internet it is about who is more persuasive, through ideas sometimes but more often with social skills.

Who wins in the real world is not just as simple as big penis and big posse - if slash when there is a higher level of organization, usually known as civilization. But as that dissipates? and here we are.

On the original topic of netflix documentaries, here are two. The first is brought to mind because of that penis non-sense: Unhung Hero. Actually it is not recommend except for those who like watching documentaries about millennials to laugh at.

The second is recommended: Web Junkie (2014), about China's "internet addiction". The faces of the teenagers in "rehab" for internet addiction were the faces of joyless children. What becomes of they who spend their formative years in virtual reality. With boys it is video games and with girls social media; those would be different questions. The documentary fails to provide much in the way of analysis, except for one comment at the end by one of the kids who says internet addiction is a social phenomena, and that is about it for context. But it raises questions and is good viewing for lots of sorry Chinese faces. Not to hate on China, but it is good for that. It is plain to see that virtual reality stunts growth.