Really, CRACKED? Really?

[TW for fat hatred.]

Have you ever been to the humor website CRACKED? It's one of those places full of interesting tidbits of mostly useless information. I've gotten lost there for hours, reading article after article, and laughing all the way through.

Tonight, I read 6 Lies About the Human Body You Learned in Kindergarten. Since their lists count down to #1, I enjoyed the first five. Yep, I knew that the tongue tastes things pretty much equally everywhere; yep, I understand neuroanatomy enough to know about elasticity; yep, I know that there are many more than just 5 senses. And then I reached #1: Your Metabolism Makes You Fat or Skinny.

The image that follows this subtitle is a montage of a slender, muscled man on one side sitting in front of a plate of raw spinach, a fat man on the other side shoving a huge burger into his mouth, both superimposed on an image of fat-creased skin. The article predictably goes on to characterize fat people as gluttons who eat far more calories than they can expend, as time bombs to a horrible fat-related death and as incapable of accurately reporting their true caloric intake. Naturally, since CRACKED is fond of including hilariously subtitled images, there are six images of either fat people, food, or fat people eating food. I'm not going to paste any of the subtitles here; they're easy enough to find if you really want to read them.

In short:

Calories in != calories out. I'm not a machine.

Fat people live just as long as "average" [sic] people. Quit conflating fitness with weight, please.

Individuals are a better witness to their experiences than strangers are. Calling fat people liars because your experience/culture/really bad interpretation of scientific research tells you that 99% of fat people eat themselves into fatness is an extremely dishonest and stigmatizing approach that serves only to inflate ego and marginalize fat people.

To preempt the commentary that CRACKED is a comedy site and therefore shouldn't be taken seriously, bigotry of any kind does not happen in a void. Each instance reinforces prejudice and hostility.

P.S. If you choose to read the article, for the love of all that is holy do not read the comments.


So, President Obama has decided that Medicare and Social Security need to be cut in hopes of gaining Republican support for raising the debt ceiling. In essence, he is willing to gut the nation's most vulnerable citizens in exchange for being able to spend more money on (presumably) military and defense.

Let me put this in on-the-ground terms. I work as an assistant manager at an affordable apartment complex for seniors. A large number of these people live only on Social Security, typically a measly $900 before Medicare is taken out. The SS COLA has been at 0% for the last two years - the first flatline since COLA was instituted in 1975. My county has consistently raised the maximum rent limits for affordable housing, meaning that if our private owners chose to, they could charge up to $863/mo rent on a 2-bedroom, 50% AMI (meaning the income limit is 50% of the median income for the county) unit. Our cheapest unit is $537/mo.

Compare that Social Security number with the rent numbers. Personally, I would love to see President Obama, or anyone who advocates cuts in SS funding, survive on $300/mo after paying rent - nevermind paying for the additional health care that comes with aging.

At this rate, we're looking at another 0% - or possibly negative% - COLA, coupled with increasing inflation, increasing rent, (presumably) increasing Medicare fees, increasing gas prices.

Yes, SS needs to be overhauled.

No, SS doesn't need to be cut.

Whatever is done with SS, it needs to be done with the welfare of the people who depend on it to survive as first priority. The financial lifeblood of millions of Americans is not a bargaining chip.