By way of update on a previous post (now in April 2005 archives), I’d like to draw some attention to the recent work of one Soso Whaley, who has responded to Morgan Spurlock’s ridiculous anti-McDonald’s documentary “Super-Size Me”.

But first let me backtrack a couple of steps. Spurlock is a leftist. Like most leftists, he doesn’t like people to see him as such – it hurts the cause of lefties to openly espouse left-wing principals, because people in general would not agree with the ultimate conclusions of their politics. So, in “Super-Size Me”, Spurlock portrayed himself as a regular all-American Joe who genuinely, simply wanted to find out if eating at McDonald’s was healthy or not. It worked. To all intents and purposes, “Super-Size Me” was taken at face-value by most average Americans, and people were shocked at the outcome – during the course of his 30-day burger binge, Spurlock supposedly gained 25 pounds and saw his health deteriorate rapidly (in one bizarrely melodramatic scene, a doctor even warned him that he would die. Whoopee.)

But Spurlock was not motivated by sheer curiosity. He was motivated by his ridiculous, idiotic, blindly prejudiced left-wing politics, specialising in a phoney ‘representative-of-the-underdog’ sort of rebellious political root. While he may have fooled most of those who saw his pathetic rendering, he didn’t fool me. In a throwaway moment halfway through the movie, Spurlock’s vegan girlfriend pleads with him to abandon his 30-day diet, revealingly saying “You know this system is wrong.” All of a sudden we aren’t talking about food anymore, are we! His anti-capitalism could only be seen by the few, I guess.

Even so, not everyone was with him. I enjoyed very much reading through the various online opinions offered by those who thought, among other comments, that he was “a douche-bag”. Some other views went like this: “Morgan Spurlock probably carefully calculated what his dietary plan at McDonald’s would do to him when he began [to film]. Fast food became the new evil that was to blame for America’s obesity. That’s much easier than, perhaps, putting the blame where it belongs: on the eating, thinking human being who could plan meals and actually stop eating when necessary…” (from Blogcritics.org). “…a third grader with a basic knowledge of the food pyramid can tell you that eating nothing but fast food for 30 days will more than likely have some bad effects on your body…” (from Drumwaster.com). “Not that I’m the picture of health or anything, but to hear this Morgan Spurlock tell it, my asshole should’ve exploded about 15 years ago….” (from hip-hop blog ByronCrawford.com in a post entitled ‘Lets hunt and kill Morgan Spurlock’).

I won’t go into the details of exactly why he is wrong and his point deficient of any logic – I spent a lot of time doing that at the time. Sufficient to say: his understanding of humanity is severely impaired, in much the same way as Michael Moore’s – albeit more politically subtle.

Nowadays, Spurlock has a television spin-off called “30 Days”. In this, he tackles other issues close to his left-wing, cholesterol-congested heart, such as an episode called ‘Minimum Wage’ in which he and his fiancée find out what its like to support a whole family on $5.15 per hour. Or the episode entitled ‘Muslims and America’, where he adopts Islam as his religion and lives in a Muslim community for 30 days. Or ‘Off the Grid’, which sees “…this fossil fuel addict wean [himself] from [his] consumptive habit” for 30 days. Or ‘Straight Man in a Gay World’… the producers have obviously tapped into and partnered with his particular brand of lunacy. And, in the deliberately understated style of “Super-Size Me”, his fricking point is never actually made explicit. Is the point of showing us how people live on minimum wage only to make us thankful for what we’ve got? Or is it another example of that hallmark of leftism, the fatalistic approach to life which sees it as impossible for a person on minimum wage to actually affect the amount of their income; is it to make us realise that we should have our wealth redistributed to make their lives easier? Is the point of ‘Muslims and America’ to soften our approach to the war on terror? Is the point of showing us how to live without fossil fuels intended to scare us into voting for coercive measures on climate change? Why will so-called liberals not spell out what they are aiming for? Why does Spurlock not explain what he actually believes?

Back to “Super-Size Me”. An AP report recently found a woman who has LOST weight eating at McDonald’s. “Inspired by the documentary “Super Size Me,” Merab Morgan decided to give a fast-food-only diet a try. The construction worker and mother of two ate only at McDonald’s for 90 days — and dropped 37 pounds in the process. … [On Spurlock’s “Super-Size Me”] Morgan, from Raleigh, thought the documentary had unfairly targeted the world’s largest restaurant company, implying that the obese were victims of a careless corporate giant. People are responsible for what they eat, she said, not restaurants. The problem with a McDonald’s-only diet isn’t what’s on the menu, but the choices made from it, she said.” Finally; a rebuttal of his whole arrogant concept.

And Merab Morgan isn’t the only one. “One person went so far as to make her own independent film about dieting at McDonald’s. ‘Me and Mickey D’ follows Soso Whaley of Kensington, New Hampshire, as she spends three 30-day periods on the diet. [This is great…] ‘I had to think about what I was eating,’ Whaley said. ‘I know a lot of people are really turned off by the whole thought of monitoring what they are eating, but that’s part of the problem.’” Yes indeed. Soso Whaley gets even better once you start to hear the other things she has to say. “I’ve had it with all the doom and gloom, alarmist, anti-everything attitude of certain individuals and organisations who want to control my life, your life, everyone’s life with little regard for individual tastes, freedom of choice and personal responsibility.” You can check out more of her stuff at the website of the Competitive Enterprise Institute (slogan: ‘Advancing Liberty – From the Economy to Ecology’): http://www.cei.org/dyn/view_expert.cfm?expert=245.

Throughout his documentary, Spurlock’s implication is this: ‘I’m such an idiot that I can’t make my own choices … my digestive system is being raped by McDonald’s.’

Whaley’s implication: ‘Grow a brain, asshole – and start taking responsibility for yourself by making some good decisions for a change.’

At last…. someone out there who GETS it.

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John Wright

johnwright@softhome.net