“Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life, son.”
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…
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:
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.
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.
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
And here’s an interesting headline from TruthOut.com dated 2008:
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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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.
Lastly, we come to the third leg of this tottering American stool:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!