Provocations in Poundage
Yeah, I know. Better I make fun of about 10 religious faiths at once, right?
We’re not supposed to mention the other f-word, it’s not PC at all. (I’ll just spell it so we don’t scare the chubby children: f-a-t.)
Somehow in the States, it’s considered better to “not say anything.” Rather than embarrass someone or “hurt their feelings,” we’re encouraged to allow our friends and loved ones to eat themselves to death. I’m still searching for the kindness in that. I mean is, “Darling, you look 15 pounds heavier than you did the last time I saw you” really that horrendous to say to someone you care about? Apparently.[pullquote]Do I have statistical renderings here to demonstrate to you that, as a group, the writerly congregation may be pressuring the pews more this year than last? Are you kidding? We can’t even get an ISBN on every book out there.[/pullquote]
But I’m at these conferences a lot, you know. Well, of course you know. And for a while I thought the meeting rooms were getting smaller. Then I figured it out. We’re getting bigger. We the People. We, the Writers Unweighed.
I had a particularly busy round of conference events in the first six months of this year, lots of time on the road, and found myself part of our expansionist movement. My exercise routine went south, young man, not west, and I’m now enjoying the special pleasures of reducing my weightier contributions to the field. And I couldn’t help but notice that I was hardly alone.
Do I have statistical renderings here to demonstrate to you that, as a group, the writerly congregation may be pressuring the pews more this year than last? Are you kidding? We can’t even get an ISBN on every book out there.
But I’ve got eyes, as my maternal grandmother used to say. (She did indeed have two of them, she was unassailable on the point.) And nobody knows the truckloads I’ve seen of what does not look like muscular development among our bookish brethren. Male and female, mind you, the scales jump for the just and the unjust.
I’m concerned about the issue on the wider range, meaning beyond publishing and in terms of our American experiment — which was not intended by the Founding People to be about face-stuffing.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (yes, “Centers,” plural) can sober you right up with their Obesity and Overweight collection of facts and figures. Pear-shaped figures, as it were.
Among US adults 20 and older:
- 35.1 percent are obese
- 69 percent are rated as overweight
I’ll bet my Omron pocket pedometer that the writerly sector trends heavy. So I want you to at least think about it with me. Might burn a calorie or two in the cogitation. Even in this summer of our discontent (boy are we hearing from some hotter heads), let’s look at the pale and paleo realities, and think together about what we could do to avoid collapsing those podiums when we pick up our literary awards.
I’m going to give you one alternative and then I want you to share your best idea with us. [Read more…]