Change Takes Fuel and We're Using it up on Bullshit

By Don Hall 

We have become an increasingly thin-skinned bunch of shitheels.

Chew on that for a second. At least five of you read that and determined within seconds that I was A) referring to you and your cause, that B) it came from a middle-aged white guy so who gives a fuck, and wondered C) who uses the word 'shitheel'?

We also, as citizens of the ADD, distraction abundant smartphone and social network age, have an increasingly decreased amount of personal mental energy to expend on any one thing. In a world with so much shit that needs our attention—the Man-Made Death of the Planet, the Overthrow of the Corporate Overlords, the odd tendency for America's Boys in Blue to play a first person shooter video game with the lives of black men and women, all that rape-y shit—there seems to be an awful lot of misplaced activism going on.

Case in point: "Fit-Shaming"

The current trend in social and mainstream media is not only disturbing but is also filled with attacks against healthy, fit people and support for being "big and body confident" without mention of the health issues associated with being overweight. Are we entering another period in time in which health suddenly becomes looked down upon? For the safety of our children and the longevity of our lives, we better hope not.
Post-pregnancy photos of women that look nearly as good as they did before pregnancy have angered women across the Internet, women barking that any woman who has a successful, quick comeback from a baby belly is "a crazy person" or "starving herself," both of which are simply not true. Although it's not easy for these women to avoid cravings or to squeeze in workouts they do so to ensure amazing health for both of themselves and their babies during and after their pregnancy.

Fitness models and trainers get tormented for showing before and after photos pre-competition or pre-photo shoot. They receive thousands of degrading comments like, "You looked fine before—just be happy with who you are," or the ever-popular, "Gross, you look like a man." There is nothing wrong with challenging yourself to see what your best athletic body looks and feels like. If health is a priority in your life, you make time for it, along with all of the other things that you must do on a daily basis. It is not an either/or situation. 

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Fit-shaming is like illiterates making fun of educated people and morons taking issue with all those high falutin' scientists. fit-shaming is as stupid as fat-shaming.

First, try your hardest to get over worrying about what other people think of you. You're fat. Or you are a bit lumpy in those fleshy areas. Or you had a baby and haven't managed to drop the weight. Or you're getting older and your metabolism has slowed down. Calm down and internalize the reality that the world isn't here to conform to your version of beauty or health. Is the current paradigm all about being fit and trim? Yup. Because we live in a time when there is abundant food everywhere. Wait until the water dries up and there isn't any food to be found and suddenly, plump, overfed people will be the new standard of hot.  

Plus, face the simple fact that there is nothing wrong with you. Weight gain and loss is as natural as breathing. It happens to everyone. If you're big enough to have it cause you discomfort, then lose some fucking weight or get used to discomfort. If your weight is causing you health problems, do something about it.  

In the meantime, how about putting some of that misplaced personal rage at people being fit and healthy making you feel like a tub of humanity into something that benefits more than your hurt feelings?

Outrage takes fuel. Like an 18-wheel truck, it takes more gas to get it going than it does to keep it moving. Every new daily offense is a start/stop move that sucks the tank just a bit dryer than necessary. Sure, as a 23-year old, it seems that your supply of fuel can last forever. Don't bet on it, kiddo.

So when you spend a 24-hour news cycle posting your outrage at a Hedy Weiss review that you disagree with so vehemently that the only thing you can come up with is to call her a defender of white supremacy and call for her firing all day long,  you wasted that whole day on something stupid that will affect no change whatsoever.

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Personal empowerment is not about making other people do what you want them to. Personal freedom is not about freedom from discomfort or rudeness or offense. If the general irritation of living on a planet with other human beings is such a burden, move to Montana or buy a car. Or maybe get one of those giant hamster bubbles and roll around in your designated personal space.

GMOs.

Jesus Christ, what hysteria. GMOs have been around for centuries. Further, there is ample scientific proof that GMOs are an almost overwhelming safe and beneficial science. Anti-GMO types are the Left version of Climate Science Deniers. If you want to protest, protest the corporations who own the GMOs.

Yes, people who hunt endangered species are dickholes but that hand sanitizer you use every morning has more to do with making species extinct than all 47 of the peckerheads posing with that giraffe they bagged. It's just that your Purell kills the un-cute species.

Anti-vaxxers are morons. There are actual organizations of complete mental midgets (er... little people) protesting changes on Facebook. There's even an Asperger's Pride movement.

With the idea that citizens are no longer co-existing members of society but are now customers whose satisfaction must be guaranteed, I get the need to protest and even litigate against personal affront. When a dirty joke becomes sexual harassment and a stereotyped comment becomes hate speech, when every interaction is just a series of slippery slopes and any topic can serve as a trigger for someone else's trauma, each individual is in danger of becoming a singularly fragile hothouse flower unable to contend with the realities of life experience.

The Internet is a giant puddle of vomit from our minds all over the ether and my suggestion is that you use its power to protest things that matter to humanity and society rather than you and your four friends. And, no, you and your outrage do not represent anyone but you.