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AdLib On April - 8 - 2010

“Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life, son.”

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bK-Dqj4fHmM[/youtube]

Who would have thought that the best advice for America in a motion picture would have come from Dean Vernon Wormer’s reprimand of Flounder in Animal House?

America is suffering under a plague of excesses and thank goodness, corporate America’s answer to this is to feed those morbidly obese flames.

Let’s begin with the first item on the list…

FAT

Many are already drooling over the news of the latest fast food creation…the Double Down by KFC. Have a look but make it brief, looking at the Double Down is the same as consuming 100 calories:

THE DOUBLE DOWN!

Now this masterpiece of coronary rush hour is two pieces of fried chicken sandwiching two pieces of bacon, two melted slices of Monterey Jack and pepper jack cheese and the Colonel’s special sauce made from the tears of vegans. I guess they’re saving the sausage, nachos, alfredo sauce and onion rings options for their follow up sandwich, the Triple Bypass.

As MSNBC noted:

The fried version has 540 calories, 32 grams of fat and 1,380 milligrams of sodium.

Current government guidelines recommend less than 2,300 mg of sodium per day for people over age 2. Most Americans consume about 3,500 milligrams daily. An entire meal should contain no more than 600 milligrams. Acceptable fat is about 65 grams daily on a 2,000 calorie diet.

I’m thinking it’s called the Double Down because the people who order it are thinking, “That hamburger I ate with Krispy Kreme Donuts for buns didn’t give me a heart attack, I’m betting this won’t either!”

Or perhaps its referring to the fact that twice as many obese Americans will not be able to get up by themselves when they fall down after a diet of these monstrosities, “Help, I’ve eaten a fatwich and I can’t get up!”

The Double Down debuts on April 12th. Keep them cardiac wards on full alert!

As of today, approximately 1/3 of Americans are obese. Here is a map that displays cases of obesity nationally:

What is interesting is comparing it with the following map from the NYT that displays which counties voted for Obama or McCain in 2008:

Now if a deep fried block of American cheese ran as the GOP nominee for president in 2012…like it did in 2008…

Which brings me to the second category:

DRUNK

I would apply this to overindulgence of both alcohol and other substances.

About 1/3 of this country is or has been alcoholic. Some more stats on alcoholism per The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism:

About 42 percent of men and about 19 percent of women reported a history of either alcohol abuse or alcoholism during their lives. Whites and Native Americans were more likely than other ethnic groups to report drinking problems.

Alcohol abuse was defined as drinking-related failure to fulfill major obligations at work, school or home; social or legal problems; and drinking in hazardous situations. Alcoholism was characterized by compulsive drinking; preoccupation with drinking; and tolerance to alcohol or withdrawal symptoms.

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/07/02/health/main3007571.shtml

Add to that prescription drugs.According to a 2007 study by MedCo Health Solutions, an insurance company, 51% of all Americans with insurance are taking prescription medicines regularly. And that was 3 years ago, imagine what that percentage is in 2010.

http://medco.mediaroom.com/index.php?s=43&item=317

Here are some interesting stats from the American Heart Association:

  • Adverse drug reactions (ADRs) may be the fourth-to-sixth leading cause of death. Serious ADRs occur in 6.7 percent of hospitalized patients.
  • 32 million Americans are taking three or more medications daily

http://www.americanheart.org/presenter.jhtml?identifier=107

And here’s an interesting headline from TruthOut.com dated 2008:

Prescription Drugs Kill 300 Percent More Americans Than Illegal Drugs

A report by the Florida Medical Examiners Commission has concluded that prescription drugs have outstripped illegal drugs as a cause of death.

An analysis of 168,900 autopsies conducted in Florida in 2007 found that three times as many people were killed by legal drugs as by cocaine, heroin and all methamphetamines put together. According to state law enforcement officials, this is a sign of a burgeoning prescription drug abuse problem.

http://www.truthout.org/111208HA

So, if the Double Down doesn’t kill you, the medication you take to deal with its aftermath just might.

And let’s not forget what may be the biggest addictive substance in our society, tv and entertainment. Americans are watching more tv than ever, averaging over 5 hours per day.

Some simple math, 24 hours in a day minus 8 hours for sleep, 10 hours for work and travel to and from and minus 5 hours of tv, equals 1 hour of each day left for everything else like showering, doing homework with the kid(s), going to the KFC drive through…

TV viewing at ‘all-time high,’ Nielsen says

And this may be no surprise to parents who see their kids staring hypnotically at the video game they’re playing:

Computer games stunt teen brains

Hi-tech maps of the mind show that computer games are damaging brain development and could lead to children being unable to control violent behaviour.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2001/aug/19/games.schools

And there is this article from WaPo:

Study Links Violent Video Games, Hostility – Research in U.S., Japan Shows Aggression Increased for Months After Play

By Donna St. George
Washington Post Staff Writer

Monday, November 3, 2008

Children and teenagers who play violent video games show increased physical aggression months afterward, according to new research that adds another layer of evidence to the continuing debate over the video-game habits of the youngest generation.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/11/02/AR2008110202392.html

How much time are people spending playing video games? According to an AP-AOL poll in 2006:

Forty-two percent of online gamers said they spent at least four hours playing games during an average week, compared with 26 percent of those who don’t play online.  About one in six online gamers play more than 10 hours a week.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/12686020/

Some interesting stats about video games from The Entertainment Software Association (ESA):

  • Sixty-eight percent of American households play computer or video games.
  • Sixty-three percent of parents believe games are a positive part of their children’s lives.
  • The average game player is 35 years old and has been playing games for 12 years.
  • Thirty-seven percent of heads of households play games on a wireless device, such as a cell phone or PDA, up from 20 percent in 2002.
  • The average age of the most frequent game purchaser is 39 years old.
  • Forty percent of all game players are women. In fact, women over the age of 18 represent a significantly greater portion of the game-playing population (34 percent) than boys age 17 or younger (18 percent).
  • In 2009, 25 percent of Americans over the age of 50 play video games, an increase from nine percent in 1999.

http://www.theesa.com/facts/index.asp

Lastly, we come to the third leg of this tottering American stool:

STUPID

Despite the advance of technology, Americans may be getting dumber (thus, the owners of smart phones may develop inferiority complexes simply by owning one).

With regards to science, from an article in the NYT:

While scientific literacy has doubled over the past two decades, only 20 to 25 percent of Americans are “scientifically savvy and alert,” he said in an interview. Most of the rest “don’t have a clue.” At a time when science permeates debates on everything from global warming to stem cell research, he said, people’s inability to understand basic scientific concepts undermines their ability to take part in the democratic process.

Dr. Miller’s data reveal some yawning gaps in basic knowledge. American adults in general do not understand what molecules are (other than that they are really small). Fewer than a third can identify DNA as a key to heredity. Only about 10 percent know what radiation is. One adult American in five thinks the Sun revolves around the Earth, an idea science had abandoned by the 17th century.

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/08/30/science/30profile.html?_r=1&ex=1125547200&en=631977063d726261&ei=5070

Here’s some results from a Harris Poll in December of 2008:

  • Only 53% of adults know how long it takes for the Earth to revolve around the Sun.
  • Only 59% of adults know that the earliest humans and dinosaurs did not live at the same time.
  • Only 47% of adults can roughly approximate the percent of the Earth’s surface that is covered with water .(*)
  • Only 21% of adults answered all three questions correctly.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090312115133.htm

As for Americans’  knowledge of their democracy:

The vast majority of Americans cherish the U.S. Constitution but do not know much about it. Yet most of us believe that the health of our Constitutional democracy depends on active and informed citizenry. Specifically,

  • More than half of Americans don’t know the number of Senators;
  • About 1 out of 3 don’t know the number of branches of the Federal Government;
  • 1 out of 6 believe that the Constitution establishes America as a Christian nation;
  • Almost one-quarter cannot name a single right guaranteed to us by the First Amendment;
  • 20% believe that only lawyers can understand the Constitution;
  • 84% believe that the U.S. Constitution is the document that states that “all men are created equal”, thus confusing it with the Declaration of Independence.
  • http://ratify.constitutioncenter.org/CitizenAction/CivicResearchResults/NCCNationalPoll/HighlightsofthePoll.shtml

    When it comes to young adults, here are some results from 2006 on their knowledge of geography:

    • One-third of respondents couldn’t pinpoint Louisiana on a map and 48 percent were unable to locate Mississippi.
    • Two-thirds didn’t know that the earthquake that killed 70,000 people in October 2005 occurred in Pakistan.
    • Six in 10 could not find Iraq on a map of the Middle East.
    • While the outsourcing of jobs to India has been a major U.S. business story, 47 percent could not find the Indian subcontinent on a map of Asia.
    • While Israeli-Palestinian strife has been in the news for the entire lives of the respondents, 75 percent were unable to locate Israel on a map of the Middle East.
    • Nearly three-quarters incorrectly named English as the most widely spoken native language.
    • Six in 10 did not know the border between North and South Korea is the most heavily fortified in the world. Thirty percent thought the most heavily fortified border was between the United States and Mexico.
    • Fewer than three in 10 think it important to know the locations of countries in the news and just 14 percent believe speaking another language is a necessary skill.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/12591413/

    To top this off, here are some amusing results from the most religious nation on their own religion:

    Sixty percent of Americans can’t name five of the Ten Commandments, and 50% of high school seniors think Sodom and Gomorrah were married.

    http://www.usatoday.com/news/religion/2007-03-07-teaching-religion-cover_N.htm

    What being fat, drunk and/or stupid really means is being weakened. The weaker that one is physically and mentally, the easier to dominate and manipulate…as we saw with HCR and continue to see with the blind anger of teabaggers that is being manipulated by the wolves-in-sheep’s clothing, the wealthy, corporate elitists such as those behind FreedomWorks and Fox News.

    Like hapless overfed, drug-addled, dumb animals being led by a Judas Goat to the slaughterhouse, about 1/3 or more of Americans will fight for the freedom to lose their freedom and a viable pursuit of happiness.

    Especially when it interferes with wolfing a Double Down and guzzling a sixer of Bud Light Golden Wheat while playing “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2” during the halftime break of the Superbowl.

    But don’t let this discourage you from trying to do something about this! Let us turn to page 94, Paragraph 18 of The Book of Animal House:

    Otter: Bluto’s right. Psychotic, but absolutely right. We gotta take these bastards. Now we could do it with conventional weapons that could take years and cost millions of lives. No, I think we have to go all out. I think that this situation absolutely requires a really futile and stupid gesture be done on somebody’s part.
    Bluto: We’re just the guys to do it.
    Boon: Let’s do it.
    Bluto: Let’s do it!

    [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q47bpOCTcaY[/youtube]

    Written by AdLib

    My motto is, "It is better to have blogged and lost hours of your day, than never to have blogged at all."

    115 Responses so far.

    Click here to leave a comment
    1. javaz says:

      Honest to Goddess, this article probably describes me to the Tee!
      (except you left out smoking cigarettes and watching Captain Kangaroo!)

      But seriously, who in their right mind would ever order that fried chicken, artery clogging, heart-stopping sandwich?

      Holy Batman and Robin, we are in trouble -- feeding our minds with MSM faux news, feasting on high-carb, fat laden food, drinking too much, taking too many prescription drugs, and not smoking enough weed, well, we are doomed.

      To quote David Letterman whenever they show McCain and Palin together -- it really does look like an ad for Viagra.

      Maybe we should take the advice from the French when it comes to socialized medicine, decriminalized pot and red wine.

    2. Chernynkaya says:

      More on the Double Down:

      KFC’s freakish all-meat sandwich, explained

      http://www.salon.com/food/food_business/index.html?story=/food/feature/2010/04/08/double_down_interview

      Is that right? KFC Double Down sandwich is “the vilest food product created by man”?

      http://voices.washingtonpost.com/checkup/2010/04/is_that_right_kfc_double_down.html?wprss=checkup

      And another site said it best:

    3. javaz says:

      Has anyone mentioned the Heart Attack Grill -- 8,000 calorie meals and people over 350lbs eat for free!

      http://www.heartattackgrill.com/

      Oh, just discovered this tidbit --

      Glenn Beck will be in Phoenix this weekend for his ‘American Revival Tour’ --

      As you may have read in Feathered Bastard yesterday, the weather this weekend may be a little wet. Sure, the sun will be out, but a Glenn Beck tear storm is projected all day Saturday.

      Fox News’ resident cry-baby will be in Phoenix this weekend as part of his “American Revival Tour,” and the one thing the bulgy Beck seems most interested in doing is plopping his piggly ass down at the Heart Attack Grill for a Quadruple Bypass Burger.

      On Beck’s radio show today, a caller alerted the seemingly swollen Beck to the Valley hot-spot, and the idea of a restaurant devoted to promoting health problems seemed to captivate him.

      “Their fries are cooked in lard,” Beck said in amazement. “Can we go tonight?”

      Go there tonight? Glenn, with your heart apparently workin’ overtime already, we say go there every night.

      http://blogs.phoenixnewtimes.com/valleyfever/2010/04/glenn_becks_coming_to_phoenix.php

    4. PatsyT says:

      Man vs Food

      How do Americans stand a chance with this stuff on the air ?


    5. boomer1949 says:

      AL,

      You have mail.

      Thanks a heap,
      boomer

    6. FrankenPC says:

      You know what the Double Down really needs? Dip it in french toast batter. Deep fry it AGAIN. Add powdered sugar. Annnd wa-la! The Double Down Monte Cristo. DD-MC YO!

      I feel like I’m laughing at the executioner.

    7. FrankenPC says:

      Good read. Pretty much knew what we were up against. But it’s good to have it cataloged in one place.

      Regarding the plague known as The Double Down. An astute commenter on another board realized that The DD was only a sign of the apocalypse. The apocalypse itself will reveal itself when KFC and McDonald’s merge to create a monstrosity with the DD on the outside, and a Angus Burger on the inside. It will be known as the Thermonuclear Double Down.

    8. KQ says:

      Fat, Drunk and Stupid, yup great correlation with almost 30 years of conservative domination in electoral politics. I don’t know if we were ever that well educated compared to the educational standards in Western Europe for example. The US has always been a bit of a back water, especially the areas of the country you noted. The problem is with the mass migration down South from the Midwest and North gives those Fat, Drunk and Stupid areas of the country more political clout.

    9. PepeLepew says:

      That Krispy Kreme commercial reminded me of this old Simpsons bit:


    10. Chernynkaya says:

      BTW, Adlib-- those two maps of the US say a mouthful! (pun intended)

      The correlation is inescapable.

    11. SanityNow says:

      …and why only two pieces of bacon on the Double Down? If you are going to do something, do it all the way.

    12. SanityNow says:

      Thanks Adlib. I feel like a terrible American now. Not upholding the trend at all. We in this household make every meal from scratch. Every meal. Our children are not obese. We only allow one soda with our completely home made pizzas during family movie nights on Fridays. If we want a burger, we have to make it ourselves. Onion rings? same thing.

      I once took the boys to Applebee’s when their mom was gone on a trip and they had been relentlessly bugging me about eating there because of all the adds they see. So I took them. When we got the food, they started eating. I asked them how it was. They shrugged their shoulders and said “eh. doesn’t have much flavor.” never hear another word about places like Applebee’s or Red Lobster or Olive Garden anymore. (and btw, it was our oldest son that pointed out the fact that the Olive Garden’s logo has grapes instead of olives.)

      • AdLib says:

        Hey Sanity!

        There is no better burger than the ones my wife makes with her special recipe (steak burgers really). Her homemade onion rings are light and the best.

        We don’t eat burgers often but we too enjoy making them to buying them. However, we do get an In-N-Out burger on occasion.

        In Europe and other parts of the world, cooking is viewed as one of the joys in life. For many overworked and exhausted Americans, it is a chore so they welcome the opportunity to hit the KFC or McDonalds with the kids.

        My daughter is 6 and we’ve never taken her to a McDonalds. She was with a friend once and called me from the car on the mom’s cell phone to tell me that they were going to McDonalds and she didn’t want to eat anything there. I told her it was okay and not to worry about getting whatever she wanted, she said she’d get a salad.

        We avoid chain restaurants for the most part and try to eat at local, proprietor-owned restaurants when we go out, to support them instead of the corporate giants. But we’re not absolutists about it.

        Your problem now is that you’ve brought your kids up to appreciate the flavor of real foods so you’ll never be able to slip the cheap stuff in on them.

        • SanityNow says:

          that is a problem I will gladly take. We want to make sure the boys are able to truly fend for themselves rather than order off the value menu. Plus, the chicks dig a guy who knows his way around a kitchen.

          And since we’ve been poverty poor, it is amazing how truly healthfully and economically a family can eat if they are willing to endure the joy of cooking at home. Most meals take under an hour to prep and cook and you know exactly everything that goes in to the meal. I can honestly say that I look forward to every dinner every night. I think my favorite meal is a very simply roasted chicken, simple green salad, some sort of steamed veg and a glass of cheap wine.

          I suspect that the drive to a fast(read fats) food place, order the meal, eat the meal, and then drive home takes longer than that and throw in the cost of gas and wear and tear on the horse-less carriage, and you are way over budget in almost every respect.

          • AdLib says:

            Not only that, but if you grow fruits and veggies yourself, it’s great all the way around, budget-wise, health-wise and flavor-wise.

            My daughter and I plant our vegetable garden every year, we just did it over Easter break.

            She enjoys going into the backyard in the summer and having a bit of a buffet out there.

            This year we’re growing corn, broccoli, peas, beans, tomatoes, cantaloupes, watermelon and more. It’s not a huge garden but enough to get a few of each growing.

            We’ve also got blackberry and strawberry bushes, fruit trees, etc.

            Again, it’s not a huge area but as we landscaped over the years, I always liked to plant trees and bushes that bore fruit so we could always have fresh and un-bioengineered things to eat. Plus, I felt that it would help teach my daughter patience and seeing the big picture, planting a seed then nurturing it so it grows into something very nice.

            And after all this time, that approach has indeed bore fruit!

            • kesmarn says:

              Ah! We just got our seeds yesterday! Cosmos and Morning Glories for the flower lovers, and corn, green beans, tomatoes, carrots, zucchini and peppers for the veggie garden. We got some started in flats and will be able to get them outdoors about May 15. The rest, we’ll be able to just plant in the garden directly by then. Fun!

            • SanityNow says:

              can’t wait to move back down to the Bay Area after the little league season. My youngest is a gardener at heart. The range of things to grow increases exponentially and the growing season lengthens nicely as you get in to CA.

              • AdLib says:

                Yep, you can grow nearly anything in Cali.

                A warm welcome awaits you on your return to CA.

                We try to mix it up each year, this year we’re trying radishes for the first time.

                But I always grow tomatoes, you can’t get tomatoes like homegrown in any supermarket.

              • SanityNow says:

                oh man. pickled radishes from taco trucks. mmmmm. my kind of fast food.


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