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04/03/2008

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That woman...ew

Definitely beats Sarah Jessica Parker in the unsexy dept.

In unrelated news I've landed my post-grad job.

Congratulations Jessica! We will toast to your success this weekend. Academia, Gummint or private sector?

Once upon a time, society looked down upon the obese as being morally deficient, what with gluttony being one of the seven deadly sins and all. Now, we see the overweight of the world as "victims" of bad genes, or an unhappy childhood, or whatever.

Maybe the older view has something going for it. After all, sometimes weight problems are one sign of being unable to control one's urges. Y'know, like that guy, Bill Something, who always ate at McDonald's after running, and had a gut, and stuck cigars into interns, and stuff.

Actually, Squidly, once upon a time obesity was a mark of social status, since being thin was a sign of a lack of food. Fat people were assumed to be wealthy, healthy and desirable.

The "sin" of gluttony, which was not one of your big Biblical sins but rather an interpretation, was a reaction to ostentatious wealth.

That would be, of course, the ostentatious wealth you conservatives fight so hard to protect.

So, let me get this straight, Tom: you want the government to tax the wealth that you, personally, have accumulated? Why don't you assuage your conscience by writing the IRS a nice, big bonus check this year, and let the rest of keep our own money?

Are you really going for this class warfare/jealousy nonsense, or are you just being obstinate?

Just noting a factual error in your assumption ("Once upon a time, society looked down upon the obese as being morally deficient..."). Society, today, looks down on the obese as morally deficient more than it ever has before.

As for the remark about ostentatious wealth, well, that was just getting in a little jab.

Sorry I didn't follow up earlier.

I just don't see how it can possibly be true that the obese are seen as morally deficient more now than in the past.

Quite simply, in modern times, the obese are everywhere, and are accepted and accomodated everywhere. They even get special consideration in light of their girth (like the electric wheelchair for the morbidly obese judge). While some may utter unkind words in private, no one is publically decrying them for their moral shortcomings; all we hear is sympathy for their "bad genes" and the like.

As for obesity being a mark of social status, in some places and some times, yes. However, the idea of gluttony as a mortal sin goes back to the 4th century; it goes along with lust and avarice as a kind of uncontrolled selfish desire, which is the "underlying" evil.

Sorry for taking the subject up to such a high plane, but where you see a humorous vignette, I see a manifestation of a larger social issue. In this case, it is the loss of virtue and a lack of morality, in both the judge (who shows her selfishness not only in her diet but also in her treatment of her subordinate) and the public (who elected this morally deficient woman in the first place).

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