For the first time in ages, Alan and I are going to a Halloween party. Actually, we’re going to a killer Halloween party, Theatre Bizarre’s “The Initiation” at the Masonic. Costumes are mandatory. The ticket says those that obscure identity entirely are preferred. So. Hmm.
Alan, ninja shopper, immediately hit Etsy and fell hard for the plague doctor getups. He likes the idea of placing aromatic herbs in the snout to cleanse the miasma from the air, probably a good idea among the throngs at the Masonic.
As for me, he suggested this rabbit mask, perhaps worn with my black wool tail coat and my riding boots, for a March hare vibe, although I think it would also be arresting with a black velvet cocktail dress I might be able to wedge myself into. The price is ridiculous, but we’ve had a little good fortune lately, and I could justify it as an art purchase, as I’d certainly hang it on the wall afterward. Who doesn’t want a demonic leather rabbit face looking down on them in the living room?
Looking through the rest of the offerings from this particular shop, I wonder what sexual proclivity I might be advertising with my rabbit mask, unbeknownst to me. The rabbit is a symbol of fertility, after all. I’d hate to be followed home by some sort of Furry variant.
The Theatre Bizarre documentary trailer is online, and is entertaining, although you are warned of an outburst of profanity toward the end, so — NSFW, unless you’re using headphones. But some great imagery.
Sweet, sweet Friday. I thought you’d never get here. Only about three hours of assorted this ‘n’ that, and then the rest of you is mine-all-mine. The school year schedule has settled in, with a couple of new activities that virtually guarantee I will never nap again. Although Kate is the one I feel for — her homework load is ridiculous. On back-to-school night the counselor said two hours is standard for a student with a basic course load, and add an hour for honors classes. Her extracurricular is music, but not at school; she was prohibited from auditioning for jazz band because she’s not enrolled in the music program. (During what hour of the day? I wondered.) So she’s doing the youth program at the DSO, which is going to be great, but is demanding at a whole new level.
I guess it’s pointless to object, because this is The Way Things Are These Days, but it still bugs me. Every so often I read something worrying about the things teenagers can see on TV these days. TV? If your kid has time to watch TV for longer than a few minutes at a time, he’s not doing his homework.
So. Before I leave, a few words about fat.
When Mark Bittman wrote, the other day, that the campaign against fast food will have to be conducted at the cultural level and patterned after the one against smoking, I shifted in my seat a little. That’s partly because I enjoy an Egg McMuffin from time to time, and also because if you’re waging war against corporations in the name of public health, the collateral damage is going to be human.
Many fat people will tell you their condition is the last acceptable prejudice, and I don’t doubt it. People who would drive nails through their tongues before allowing it to speak the word “nigger” have no problem casting casual slurs at fat people, seeing it not as a thing one cannot change but as a character flaw. They have a point. We all know how to lose weight, and to the extent we don’t, well, it’s our choice. I’d argue that we all have character flaws, and if we’re lucky, they’re not visible to the world. We watch baroque pornography online, or harbor vile thoughts about others. We’re wearing our special underwear right now. We cheat on our taxes. We stole our best friend’s girlfriend, or maybe we just had a quickie that one time. We dream, late at night, about getting in the car, draining the bank accounts, and heading west without a word to those left behind.
This is all prompted by a discussion I find not just ridiculous but offensive, i.e., is Chris Christie too fat to be president? Michael Kinsley:
He is just too fat. Maybe, if he runs for president and we get to know him, we will overlook this awkward issue because we are so impressed with the way he stands up to teachers’ unions. But we shouldn’t overlook it — unless he goes on a diet and shows he can stick to it. … Controlling what you eat and how much is not easy, and it’s harder for some people than for others. But it’s not as difficult as curing a chemical addiction. With a determined, disciplined effort, Christie could thin down, and he should — because the obesity epidemic is real and dangerous. And the president inevitably sets an example.
There are many reasons to think Christie shouldn’t be president, but this isn’t one of them. And oh, I know — I’ve chuckled at fat-Rush Limbaugh jokes with the rest of you. And I laffed out loud at Cooz’s most recent expression of lyrical genius, filed just moments ago. But I’m going to decline to participate in the fat-bashing this time.
(Oh, and Michael Kinsley? How casually you state that fixing disordered eating patterns is less difficult than “curing” a chemical dependency. You quit heroin by not taking heroin ever again. A fat person trying to lose weight still has to eat. A while back my health-care searching kicked up a story out of Australia, in which a number of fashionistas told the truth and nothing but the truth about what they eat. One drinks hot water all day long before sitting down to a 1,200-calorie dinner. Another confesses to taking a daily over-the-counter cold medicine, because her doctor told her it would boost her metabolism by a tiny amount. That’s as fucked-up as any McDonald’s habit.)
Let’s end the fat hate. Just for a while, to see how we like it. And because I’m not totally dour on the subject, I’d like to unearth one of my favorite SNL sketches of all time, Bill Clinton at McDonald’s:
I love it because it gets to the truth about both Clinton and so many fat people — they are that way because their appetites, for everything, are large. I always thought Clinton’s fondness for chunk-making food was an expression of his essential generosity and love of people. Not to mention salt and grease.
So, some quick bloggage:
Lance Mannion considers Archbishop Timothy Dolan, darlin’ of the right.
You all were right about Officer Pepper Spray yesterday; I just wasn’t keeping up with the story. Jon Stewart takes it one step further.
And now, I’m off to (almost) start the weekend. Enjoy yours.