Bill Maher must be one of the most controversial TV hosts of this moment. He has never been known for mincing his words and his latest controversy is one he must have seen coming from miles away…
It has to do with obesity. If you’re up for it, give it a click below. If you don’t feel like listening to his slightly annoying voice and arrogant demeanor, skip the vid and read my summary further down.
So basically, what Bill Maher is saying is that we should not be making fat people feel OK about the fact that they are overweight. He literally says “fat shaming should make a comeback” and that telling people otherwise is sending them to an early grave.
Enter James Corden, who was having none of Bill’s shit. He manages to make some good points as well as some self deprecating jokes, without watering down his message.
I thought that was awesome. And true!
But still… Hurtful as his choice of words may be, I do think Bill Maher has a point. Not in the sense that I feel we should be pointing and laughing at our large boned friends and family members (obviously), but I do feel that there is a growing acceptance that may not be as right as we are letting ourselves believe.
Actually… This is pretty much how politics (should) work, don’t you think?
Someone pinpoints a problem and offers a solution. Insiders and experts pitch in, creating nuance and a more complete understanding. Empathetic outsiders step in to find a place of mutual understanding and consensus.
From there you build a healthy and balanced policy that is satisfying (enough) for all parties involved.
After haven written a blog on psychedelics in July I got several reactions from people around me. A few of my friends let me know they thought I was being unfair in my testy accusation towards hippie-trippie space cowboys, in particular when I said there is no such thing as “inexplicable”.
My boyfriend said the following about it:
“Words are used to describe reality as we see it on a daily basis. The stuff you see and experience when doing “the trippy thing” is not every day reality. A trip will have you process information with your senses that is so odd that the vocabulary that a brain has access to will always feel inadequate to describe it.”
Sure. I can accept that.
What I do not accept is being dismissed by people.
Let me be clear, I am not talking about my boyfriend here. On the contrary, he never lets the limits of our vocabulary stop him from sharing his experiences and insights with me. He tells me about his psychedelic experiences in such a matter of fact way that an outsider may not even notice we are talking about something so “out there”.
There are others though who sort of set (people like) me aside as being naive, uptight and bigoted for not diving into the psychedelic hemisphere with them. They don’t always do this explicitly, which makes it harder to pinpoint, but it’s definitely there.
It annoys me because it is not true. I do want to understand. More even, I feel I may actually already understand it up to a certain degree and definitely more than I am getting credit for.
Aren’t they the ones demonstrating narrow minds towards me then, when they decide I am not worth the trouble of formulating a description for?
That last sentence makes me sound like an entitled nosey body, I realize that. I suppose me saying that isn’t the case, isn’t worth much, but emmmm… that really isn’t the case…
Maybe I should let it go but something about all of this is still nagging me. It has something to do with interpretations of what is real and accompanying feelings about who is right (and possibly my own overblown reactions to condescending behavior).
I’m going to chew on this one a bit longer and dedicate a new blog on the matter when I’ve figured it out.
On August 30th NY Times’ the Daily podcast discussed the political mayhem in Britain and Italy and pointed out how in both countries there is a power struggle going on. The two opposing sides of both conflicts are accusing the other of being un-democratic.
I thought this was interesting, as Italy and Britain are quite different, politically speaking. The things they have in common, being democracy and populism (and perhaps immigration-related issues) apply to many other countries as well, so it’s interesting to see how this all plays out and what lessons can be learned from it.
The situation in Britain is obviously Brexit related. Boris Johnson’s dropped a bombshell earlier this month when he announced he was going to suspend parliament. Limiting the amount of time to debate Brexit could increase the likelihood of a no-deal Brexit, which for some reason is what Boris Johnson seems to want more than anything….
Michael Barbaro sums the situation in Britain up:
So Johnson is saying, you’re calling it undemocratic for me to block Parliament’s ability to do my job, but I say it’s undemocratic for Parliament to get in the way of me realizing what the people voted directly for, which is Brexit.
In Italy the situation is a little different. Matteo Salvini, a popular and populist politician stepped down as interior minister, collapsing the government he was a part of. Presumably he was gambling on the idea that new elections would result in a larger majority for his party and thus, catapulting him to the very top position of government.
His plan backfired though.
With Salvini out of the way, the remaining political parties struck an unlikely deal to form a new government. With that, they avoided having to go through new elections)
Katrin Bennhold says:
His opponents hope that this will basically reduce his popularity and that, come the next election — which is formally scheduled in three years — he won’t be as powerful and popular as he is now. Of course, there are a lot of wild cards in this, because his narrative, of course, is the establishment is afraid of the people. The establishment is afraid of new elections. The establishment is afraid of democracy. That is what Matteo Salvini would say. (…) So Parliament would say they did this to save Italian democracy, but another way of looking at it is that they saved themselves.
Not particularly cheerful news, but I thought it was an interesting comparison…
Rosalia’s newest song is so simple and maybe even on the cheesy side but it has definitely been stuck in my mind for days.
MOVIES / TV
I watched the Frankenstein Chronicles and really enjoyed it. I must admit the only reason I clicked play in the first place is because I saw Sean Bean. He is an awesome actor. On the downside: I am getting tired of these unsatisfactory endings to series…
I watched Venom and thought it was kind of meh.
A movie I have NOT yet watched is the new Lion King movie. I am still wondering if I should… I’ve heard the graphics are awesome, but I am still ultra fan of the original and kind of scared of breaking the magic.
EPICURIOUS – Tea edition
My new favorite tea is the Pukka tea – elderberry echinacea. I love the smell, I love the tangy sweetness and I love the color!
I have a little sidewalk garden thing going on in front of my house.
Someday I hope to have a long row of large and happy sunflowers in bloom there every summer and all sorts of other smaller plants as well, providing food and shelter for insects, spiders and birds.
This is my third summer in this house and it’s starting to look pretty good.
That is, everything but my sunflowers… The gushes of wind that suck through my street just snap the sunflowers’ long stems in half. The couple of sunflowers I have left, are true heroes though.
They were blown to the ground but decided this was no reason to give up. They just kept on lifting their heads back up and are now even starting to bloom. The metaphors, life-lessons and hashtags I could take from this are endless. A round of applause for my little sunflowers that could!
What are you bad at and how does that influence your life? When I’m tired some of my most basic functions stop working, such as words and decisions. I can not word and I can not decision, when tired. It influences my life particularly when at a crossroads I can’t make up my mind and I can’t really explain what is making it hard.
What type of worker are you? Forgetful and chaotic, but constantly coming up with new ways to help me tackle that. I am still deciding if having an employer that lets me do that is actually good for me or not.
How much sleep do you need? I am very good at sleeping. If at all possible, I will make sure to get a solid eight hours. I do well with seven hours. Six is iffy. If I get any less, I stop doing the words and the decisions.
Are you rich? It depends on who you ask. My family is pretty much ok financially. Buying a house is within my reach. I can eat out whenever I want. What I CAN’T do: have a horse; travel (far) more than once a year; buy a house in the old center of Leiden,