Tuesday, March 10, 2009

If comments were calories...

So in my overlong post below, I mentioned the 655 comments (717 at current count) garnered by a Jezebel post about the "crisis" in availability of chic plus-sized clothing.

Well, the response to Michael Pollan's bloggy musings on how we should probably not eat so much weighs in at a whopping 1,593 comments, including such brilliant insights as: "If man didn’t eat it 10,000 years ago you shouldn’t eat it now." I wanted to call this an extreme and ridiculous position (surely dinosaurs ate local and seasonal, too), but since cheese may have been an option back then, maybe not?

So, the moral of the story is, size and food - not shoes and French Jews - are where the readership lies, with weight loss twice as comment-inspiring as body acceptance. Indeed. (A belated thanks to Rita for the link.) I suppose this means that if I want any readers I should be blogging about how much Thai food I had for lunch (lots!) and how impossible it is to find jeans that fit (done!). If there's a common denominator lower than this, I'm not finding it.

3 comments:

Matt said...

Well, if you didn't have so much Thai food for lunch, you could find jeans that fit! Someone had to say it. Of course, that might not be true if the problem is length or something, as it sometimes is w/ me, since as far as I know Thai food doesn't make you shorter or taller.

My favorite crazy food idea, though, even more than that we should not cook things because doing so isn't "natural", is that we should only eat things w/ the seeds inside them so that we can, um, "return" the seeds to the "ecosystem". In a natural way. Thankfully, though, while I have met a few raw-food nuts (not people who just like it- I'm not opposed to people doing what they like- but who think it's what we all ought to do), I've never met any of the seeds-on-the-inside-only nuts in real life.

Only 716 more comments needed now!

PG said...

I found Eberstadt's piece a little absurd in its straining parallels. In particular, she doesn't distinguish clearly between quantity of sex and number of partners. I don't know of anyone who thinks that lots of sex in a marriage is a bad thing (as I recall, Pope JPII even tried giving advice on how husbands could make their wives enjoy sex more), and now that there is reliable birth control (despite JPII's disapproval of same), there's not much moral reason for a husband and wife to avoid sex at any time. You even have pastors challenging their flocks to have sex every day for a week. On the other hand, even people who are highly secular often adhere to the idea that sexual promiscuity, particularly after marriage, is morally bad and physically hazardous due to risks of disease.

In contrast, while one aspect of the sin of gluttony is demanding a gourmet variety in one's eating, it's most often associated with large quantities of food. Certainly to the extent that gluttony is bad for you, it's due to quantity more than quality; preferring a wide variety of foods ranging across the Pyramid is good for your health.

In this respect, food and sex desires actually seem very different as to why they're categorized as bad.

I think one of my favorite historical romance novelists, Laura Kinsale, got it closer to right when she said we have shifted the emotions that we used to have about religion toward health, giving our bodies the regard that Europeans in the Middle Ages used to give their souls. Food is part of this, but by no means the totality, and we're a lot less judgmental about people's eating than about other habits like smoking. The gym is the new church, with minutes on the treadmill the new Hail Mary.

Phoebe said...

"Well, if you didn't have so much Thai food for lunch, you could find jeans that fit! Someone had to say it. Of course, that might not be true if the problem is length or something, as it sometimes is w/ me, since as far as I know Thai food doesn't make you shorter or taller."

As you'll see if you look at the jeans post I link to, the problem is neither length nor width, but the fact that women's jeans are either too low-waisted or too high-waisted, a problem that affects women of all sizes.

(Also, what if my jeans were too big? Then more Thai food would be the answer. Either way, more Thai food is always the answer.)

PG,

Good points. Although I think idea of 'food as the new sex' comes from the same place as 'food as the new locus of immorality.' That's just not exactly where the author takes it.