Showtime’s “Happyish” – will it fall victim to the Apple Gods?

This show sneaked up on me.

And by “sneaked” up, I’m not implying there was a point ever that I didn’t like the show; what I’m saying is that its bleak fatalistic anti-consumerism didn’t strike me fully until later in its first season.

That was the bend where I nodded my head and uttered, “Wow, I really like this show.”

I don’t think Happyish did so hot in terms of ratings or reviews, or even word of mouth, for its sardonic anti-buy philosophy alienates about 95% of the television viewers, especially cable-television viewers.

This is a television series whose cynical, middle-aged essence excludes any laudatory beaming from that portion of the population it presupposes to mock and denounce within the parameters of its scripts. Happyish is a victim of its own meta problem: we are offending the substantive building blocks of your modernist lies (as unspoken to the target Showtime demographic).

For instance this scene happened in episode 7, and shall not cultivate much fanfare within the humorless playing field that is known as Apple Fanboy Park.

In fact, everything about the show is very metacritical, from its self-deprecatory Mad Men allusions (Happyish takes place in a Canadian ad agency) to its horribly caustic Keebler advertising campaign, self-deprecatory animations and all.

Will Happyish return for a Season 2?

Who knows. I’d love it to, and Showtime’s rather forgiving history indicates it might, but passion for the show has been lukewarm, at best. It is a “show after my own blog heart,” which is nothing to brag about in the quest for popular success, but oh well.

And…can you talk shit about the Apple Gods and continue living in the commercial realm?

I suspect Happyish’s own fate will prove to be very meta.

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The Dietary Industrial Complex: keeping you fat is profitable.

What is your idea of fun?

This is an important question, for I believe the answer may reveal much about that which obsesses and fixates (ie, squanders) our energies.

What is your idea of fun?

If I were to ask my co-worker, and she were to answer honestly (another impediment to this mind exercise), it would have to be “eating.” She eats and eats; then, eats again. A constant parade of morsels flow into her mouth all day. As with so many people in today’s urban environment, food is a mystical object, worthy of a deeply committed devotion of thought and habit. And her physique does not disappoint. She is morbidly obese. I suspect her BMI is around 40. It’s not just that she likes to eat. It’s about all the mental and emotional energy and life force she puts into the subject of food. She is a very selective eater (as many obese people seem to be despite the fact it looks like they will eat anything that moves) and she breathes heavily when eating, as if restraining an unbridled orgasm with every bite. She is a true glutton and we live in the age of gluttony. She is home! If the subject of food arises, she perks up like a dog who hears his food pail. She enjoys discussing food, all things food. Its preparation, restaurants, its presentation, her gastronomic experiences. She is not a one-dimensional person. She discusses other subjects, but none so passionately as food.

She is unabashed about her food obsession. She willingly admits she is obese while brashly continuing to pad that waistline by continuously masticating her cud throughout each day and night.

And she will never lose weight.

Even if she wants to. She is nutritionally unhinged; she has thrown in the towel and surrendered to a lifetime of morbid obesity. This is her right, but I don’t think she should be humored for it. She will never lose weight and we instinctively know this.

But as with many issues of a nutritional impetus, we don’t listen until scientists conduct overly-intricate studies in order to quantify common sense for news outlets.

In this case, the American Journal of Public Health published a mind-numbing study which just happened to break this surprising news to us.

…the odds of a clinically obese person achieving normal weight without surgical interventions are just 1 in 210 for men and 1 in 124 for women in a given year.

“What our findings suggest is that current strategies used to tackle obesity are not helping the majority of obese patients to lose weight and maintain that weight loss,” [said] lead researcher Alison Fildes…

The study was based on analysis of more than 278,000 people from the UK’s Clinical Practice Research database, tracked between 2004 and 2014, and it highlights the difficulty obese people face in trying to achieve sustained weight loss through diet and exercise alone.

They found that the higher a person’s BMI, the lower the likelihood that they would ever achieve normal body weight, as defined by the standard charts. Among the morbidly obese, only 1 in 1,290 men and 1 in 677 women managed to do it.

“This might be because people are unable to access weight-loss interventions or because the interventions being offered are ineffective — or both,” Fildes said. This study could not determine whether any weight loss was intentional or due to illness, or what kind of diet and exercise plan, if any, the patients used.

“We know that there are changes that happen in the brain when people become obese,” Dr. Kevin Niswender, an associate professor of medicine at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, told CBS News. “These data would suggest that those changes in the brain that happen in obesity are not reversible.” Niswender was not involved in the study.

“Research to develop new and more effective approaches to obesity management is urgently required,” the authors of the study conclude.

This whole what-do-we-do-about-obesity rigmarole is exasperating.

The rampant foodyism in our First World culture is exasperating.
The manner in which people stupidly cling to, and look for, “easy” solutions to obesity is exasperating.
The intricate manner in which so-called professionals discuss obesity and eating habits is exasperating.

Nutritionists and food scientists are the worst. They turn a simple problem on its fat head and complicate it with levels and levels of useless filler information that merely distracts from the problem at hand: why are people overweight? They then escalate the dialogue from one of advice to an active agenda of forced intervention on the part of schools and government, that dreaded nannyism that presupposes to know better, than us, what we should and shouldn’t eat.

It’s become so bad (I live in California, so I witness and experience such do-gooder government meddling first-hand) that we are in danger of now defining a new dynamic of various interests that are intersecting over a mutual agenda which involves effecting a dietary mandate that is simply a smoke and mirrors cloaking mechanism that hides increased profit-creating regulation: monetary profit for all upper level interests in this charade of food regulations, a dynamic that has no visible benefits for an ignorant populace that can’t deduce between the benefits of raw almonds and an Almond Joy bar.

The Military Industrial Complex gave way to the Education Industrial Complex. And it now bows to the Dietary Industrial Complex, and Michelle Obama is its first honorary hot-air-spouting figurehead.

I have placed a passage from the linked news story in bold above. It is this:

“…and it highlights the difficulty obese people face in trying to achieve sustained weight loss through diet and exercise alone.”

The problem is that the simplest route between point-Fat and point-Skinny is a straight line, but the representatives of the Dietary Industrial Complex stand nothing to gain if the mechanics of weight loss are deconstructed to such negligible steps of action. It behooves the propagators of the Dietary Industrial Complex to confound weight loss with unintelligible layers of conflicting hearsay and quack science.

The Dietary Industrial Complex doesn’t want you to lose weight; it wants to create an industry out of telling you how to lose weight despite the fact you probably won’t.

We don’t need “new” methods to address obesity. We need to unearth old common sense and struggle to make people find other avenues of “fun” besides food.

The straightest line between fat and skinny? Eat less, move more.

Too bad that elemental sliver of advice won’t make anyone rich or give Michelle Obama or California a smug mandate.

Posted in i d'own need no stinkeeng categorees

The Hair jumps the shark

Donald Trump actually sounded logical and sincere with that immigrant spiel, if not a little vainly and self-consciously inflammatory, but still, he brought up many points that no one else in the public eye dares.

But now he picks on crusty old McCain?

Dude, just leave it be. He’s no threat to you or your apocryphal Presidential campaign. God knows, I’m no defender of John McCain, but the old fart is irrelevant. I thought masters of industry didn’t squander their energy on nobodies.

I expect more from such presumably wealthy Alpha “leaders” than pathetic high school bully tactics.

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I love the smell of hate, for it is human.

While reading yet another treatise that glossed over the casual degradation of free expression on the internet, as if it were an afterthought, an incidental byproduct of the supposedly more pressing matters of online “hate” speech and “harassment,” I was struck by the appearance of a trope I’ve seen surface each time I dare to read such reports now.

It’s one of those tropes that is regurgitated so often and so effortlessly as to have winnowed its horrid plume into our consciousness to such a degree that it never occurs to us to call it out as it has mutated into an indelible prima facie that structures and underlies all discussion regarding internet freedom.

From Wired’s article “Reddit’s Future Is the Future of the Internet,” I spotted the trope lingering obliquely within this paragraph:

Reddit was conceived as an open forum, a place where conversation is self-regulated and community-driven, freedom of expression is prized above all, and authorities don’t meddle with—much less censor—content. And sometimes, wonderful things happen. But there’s also a dark side. Trolls and harassment abound, and users revel in despicable topics. At least 46 active subreddits are devoted to white supremacy, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. Misogynistic content also abounds.

This Wired piece lazily (and Wired is not alone in this since it is now a pervasive habit across all our culture) accepts, unflinchingly, the premise that hate speech and unpalatable (to the mainstream) views are bad and harmful. This school of unquestioning “analysis” is quite common.

The #1 presupposition is now an article of faith: 1) Unpopular opinions are bad and must be repressed, thus, 2) How do we repress such speech?

All modern cultural dialog leaps to #2 immediately in the realm of such debate. We all know and accept that hate speech is awful and must be stopped, so how do we stop it?

But why don’t we hear any voices which seek to put the brakes before proceeding to #2?

In today’s environment, questioning the integrity of #1 instantly makes you culpable of #1 even though you might not have ever uttered a cruel or harmful thought in a public forum. To merely humor an open examination of the relevance of the allowance of unpopular expression as an inherent practice of an intellectually vibrant society is to thus be guilty of what you are defending.

Such is the solipsistic thinking and paradigm that cultural feel-good socially conscious crusaders present us with. They have been allowed to frame, shape and mold the base assertions of the dialog. It’s time to take the boundaries back and reset them with a clear mind. Before it’s too late.

So I question this.

What is wrong with hate speech?

What is wrong with bigotry, racism and diffuse enmity against collective groups regardless of personal motive? Why must anomie be punished?

Before we tackle fixing this hate problem, why don’t we, collectively, as an allegedly intelligent society, first determine if, in fact, it is a problem to begin with? Alas, analytical thinking is not the strength of Social Justice Warriors and all who would follow their ilk.

Who said everyone must love everyone? What is wrong with hate and disgust?

For instance:

I’m a *short, *Mexican-American, *olive-skinned, *50-year-old *male. There are countless additional variables I can use to describe myself, but for now, I want to make the point that any of the (*) qualities I listed are prone to make me instinctively unlikable to a vast number of people for no discernible reason.

I realize this and do not care one bit. I do not care if someone expresses such reflective distaste, either. I am old school, bitch! I grew up during a time when we had balls and intestinal fortitude and strength of character that did not wither in the face of any measure of disdain.

You don’t like me because of (*), or multiple (*)’s? So the fuck what. We’re not here to be liked and we’re definitely not here to like everyone.

Can today’s tender children get this through their heads? You are hated, virulently so, by many and for no compelling reason.

Extinguishing the expression of such does not mitigate the hatred. Some things just cannot be helped, and despite all those apps on your phone or what your overprotective and over-empowered mother told you, you cannot control or legislate everything.

Grow up, you little shits.

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Who will save or kill Francisco Sanchez? Follow the blood…

Francisco Sanchez has a target on his head.

He is America’s whipping immigrant of choice, probably one of the most reviled men in America right now. He is accused of killing a pretty young white woman, Kathryn Steinle, in San Francisco on July 3.

I suspect Francisco Sanchez is not long for this world.

Too many groups of people want him dead. He has slowly nudged himself out of this Earthly existence. Not only did he allegedly commit the most senseless murder, he did it as an illegal alien, and he did it in the wake of the uproar that followed Donald Trump’s comments on June 16 in which he accused Mexican immigrants of consisting largely of rapists and criminals. It was as if Francisco Sanchez and his discovered gun were served up on a platter.

The timing couldn’t have been worse. What was Francisco Sanchez thinking? Mysterious and dubious circumstances aside, he now stands accused of pulling the trigger of a personal firearm stolen from the car of a BLM Federal officer, and killing Steinle.

No one knows who stole it, or who abandoned it wrapped in a t-shirt on the Eastern side of SF’s shores. And the wrath of America is showering down on him.

He granted (and apparently requested) a jailhouse interview with Cornell Barnard from the local ABC news affiliate in San Francisco.

The interview is a mesmerizing and confusing three-way ping pong match between Barnard, Sanchez and the occasional interloping translator.

Sanchez is entirely out of his element and his charmless ethnic mannerisms make for cringe-worthy news footage.

I won’t attempt to translate the last portion of the interview but basically, Sanchez fears his ultimate jailhouse demise. He implies there have been threats.

Interestingly, this specific translation was cut from the interview. In fact, at the very point where the translator was about to recite Sanchez’ doomed plea, there was a clumsy edit that skipped abruptly forward (or backward) onto Barnard’s questioning about Sanchez’ travels in the United States. I understand rudimentary Spanish, so I can put it together, but I don’t expect most Americans understand what Sanchez alluded to about being killed in prison as retribution, but trust me, he appears very mindful of that possibility.

At the very end of the video, Barnard thanks Sanchez for speaking with him, and quickly, Sanchez continues his conversation with the translator. It plays out like a plea and reminder that someone is out to kill him.

Now who will protect and/or dispose of Sanchez?

The Aryan Brotherhood is the obvious choice.

The Mexican Mafia, maybe? Why, though.

Why would the Mexican Mafia go out of its way to interject any role in Sanchez’ fate? In fact, the Aryan Brotherhood and the Mexican Mafia are renowned for their prison “teamwork.” Sanchez’ fate depends entirely on the conciliation of these two prison gangs.

We know why they would put him down.

But why would they not?

I have many theories about this incident, but I will say one thing: follow Francisco Sanchez’ blood for the answers.

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