Confirmed. Will Anderson is still a dickhead.

So last night I was vegging out and watching the Melbourne Comedy Festival Oxfam Gala on Channel 10.  The Gala is always a bit of a mixed bag – some of the acts are hilarious and I wish they had longer spots, while other acts are dreadful and seem to go on forever.  It’s mainstream comedy, so I always expect a bit of fat-hate to make it in there somewhere, and there were a few quips throughout the night.  I may have made a couple of obscene gestures at the TV, but the moments  passed quickly.

Then Will Anderson came on.

I should have known better than to keep watching.  Anderson has built half his career on bad fat jokes (and the other half on dick jokes).  But after the whole Gruen Transfer Anti-Discrimination Ad hoopla, I was curious to see what he’d do.

Some background:  Anderson hosted a show on the ABC called The Gruen Transfer, which looked at advertising and how it worked.  In one of the segments, called ‘The Pitch’,  ad agency had to come up with a way to ‘sell the unsellable’.  In one episode, the ‘unsellable’ was Fat Pride.  Two ads were created – one, predictably, exploited  the stereotype of fat gluttons over-consuming for cheap laughs.  The ad was aired on the show and judged as the winner of the segment.  In contrast, the second ad:

…was made to be a legitimate approach to the problem, with a sincere intent to persuade Australians to reconsider their prejudices.

The ad wasn’t aired, however, because it was deemed too offensive and inappropriate.  It used a series of racist, homophobic, anti-Semitic, and fat jokes  to make the point that fat hatred is discrimination and is not acceptable.  I’m not questioning that decision, it WAS offensive and inappropriate.  (So was the ad that was aired, but fat hatred is obviously not deemed inappropriate on Australian television.)  Instead, viewers were directed to a (now defunct) website where they could view the ad and the panel discussion around it.  You can watch the Gruen Transfer segment here and the banned ad here, but be warned, they really are offensive and may be triggering.  I can’t find the panel discussion on youtube, but if anyone has a link, let me know?

The panel discussion was the most interesting thing about the whole hoopla, and Anderson seemed like he got it that fat jokes are on a level with the other types of discrimination.  But apparently not.

Anderson started his segment by whinging about how hard it is for him to get a blow job (Oh really?  I’m so surprised!), and quickly turned to fat hatred.  His routine went quickly from classist mockery to suggesting that we should run over fat kids for their own good.  Thanks, Will, that’s fucking hilarious.  Death threats always make me laugh.  No, I know that it wasn’t a serious proposal, but for fuck’s sake, joking about killing people based entirely on how they look? NOT FUCKING FUNNY. In fact, I’d say it’s stupid and lazy and boorish, and, wow, all the things Anderson seems to think fat people are.  Coincidence?

In other news, good news, happy news, my PhD Confirmation went extremely well – so well, in fact, that I don’t know what I was nervous about.  I’m counting that as a win for fat pride.

Obesity: It’s like killing mittens

So there’s an absolutely ridiculous article about how Obesity May Threaten Mitten Industry, based on the ridiculous headline to this apparently serious piece of ‘scientific journalism’.  Which has had me giggling to myself pretty much all day.  It’s like a wonderful piece of absurdest satire (is that even a thing?).  It’s so ridiculous that it makes the absurdity of so much obesity reporting really fricken obvious.

1. Take an observation (a small sample of fat people have, on average, slightly warmer hands and slightly cooler bellies than a small sample of thin people).

2. Draw some conclusions (fat people loose more body heat through their hands because fat has insulating properties…?).


Well, that settles it.  I’m donating my seven pairs of mittens to a charity for cold skinny people.  Well, ok, it’s actually six pairs of gloves and only one pair of mittens.  And those mittens are also convertable to fingerless gloves, so I don’t know if they even count at mittens…

Never mind the logical disconnect where warmer hands would actually feel colder (ever had a fever that’s made you shiver?).  Or that, if you were loosing body heat through your hands, it would be extremely efficient to put on mittens to trap the heat and stay warm (same logic as wearing a hat).  It would even be more efficient than, say, putting on a jacket, since your fat belly is already keeping all the heat in there (ha! obesity is really killing the jacket industry!  I knew it was killing something!).

I wonder if Carol Burdge, executive director of the International Glove Association, actually mean to imply that fat people’s hands were somehow akin to finely calibrated instruments that could accurately register the temperature to fractions of degrees when she said “You could use your hands like thermometers”?

Self-esteem is baaad, mkay?

So Fat Lot of Good and Axis of Fat have already posted some great responses to the Susie O’Brien piece on why self-esteem is bad for fatties, the economy, and Good Thin Folk (also published in the Herald Sun, that bastion of outstanding journalism).

I don’t really have the patience to go through most of the sheer ludicrousness, but I did want to comment on a couple of things.

The first the idea that having a very, very few fat people in roles that aren’t overtly about ridiculing them will somehow make everyone WANT to be fat – ASPIRE to be fat, even.  I mean, if the models at Australian Fashion Week are doing it, it makes sense that the rest of the population will follow like mindless sheep.  Never mind that those models were only used in one show, and that was for a plus-size label.

According to Suzie:

… it just doesn’t make any sense to also be sending the message that it’s not only OK to be fat, it’s a sign of self-empowerment.

Suzie dear, I think you may be seriously confused if you thinks that encouraging self-esteem in fat people is the same as encouraging people to get fat as a form of self-empowerment.

Oh, but self-empowerment is not ok:

But the discourse of self-empowerment surrounding the move is stopping us asking why so many young people are size 16 or more in the first place.

I’m thinking that if staying under a size 16 requires shaming and social ostracism, maybe a better question is how the limits of ‘acceptable’ bodies are defined and policed, not how we come to exceed them.

And then there’s this doozy:

Alarmingly, a new Australian study of more than 30,000 people shows obese and morbidly obese men are less depressed and less suicidal than those of a normal weight.

Hang on, WHAT?  It’s ALARMING that fat people aren’t depressed and suicidal?   We’ve been given Fashion and Fat Models and that has somehow made us all forget that we’re intrinsically worthless and should just kill ourselves quickly so the good thin folk don’t have to pay for us while we malinger?  WHAT?

Yeah, fuck you, Susie O’Brien.