Fatty Food… …Fossil Fuel
The planet, like our bodies, is a closed loop. Instead of leaving a foul-smelling trail, our bodies just bloat up. With planetary or personal systems, we count on redundant purification to keep us from keeling over. So far, so good.
Sure, we might get diabetes or high blood pressure or just become morbidly obese, but there are pills, diet plans and even $urgeries for that. We might have a planetary disaster or two, but that’s no reason to change our lifestyle, is it? Plenty of fish in the ocean…uh, just not in the Gulf of Mexico for a generation or two.
Americans push enough fat, sugar, alcohol and chemicals down our collective gullet that it’s a wonder we function at all. We often shun exercise and relegate deep thinking to places called ‘tanks’. We look at the world’s larger problems and ask why someone doesn’t “do something”.
Excuse me; pass those chips, will you? I don’t want to get up.
Bodies are amazing things, and often, we manage to plod along with minor aches and pains, despite a barrage of self abuse. My fear? Catastrophic system failure on a personal and planetary level.
Yesterday I went to the Independence Day Parade in downtown Great Falls, Montana. The good news: patriotism appears to be in good supply. The bad news: I doubt we could waddle away from our enemies, let alone dig a foxhole for cover. For a moment I flashed forward six months: Santa’s Ho-Ho-Ho belly was strapped on everyone of every age and stature.
Great Falls had parades when I was a kid: people were not this big.
Remember Bonanza on TV? There was Hoss, played by Dan Blocker. Hoss was a big fella, and back in 1964 I’d blink twice looking at him beside fellow actors Michael Landon and Parnell Roberts. Flipping through the channels recently, I caught a re-run, and I wondered why everyone else looked puny. Hoss ain’t a big fella anymore. He’s an American.
All those generations fighting and dying for our freedom, and once we perceive that the threat is over, we sit down and we don’t want to get up. Slowly, quietly, the threat becomes insidious. It becomes ourselves.
Speaking of getting up, can you pull another Bud out of the cooler for me? Thanks.
Turns out that running from our enemies was good for us. It kept us on our toes, literally. If I didn’t get on the honor roll, if I didn’t get the President’s Physical Fitness Award, the Commie Menace might win.
Realizing that we are our own oily enemy–fatty food and fossil fuel–doesn’t motivate us: all this news coverage just causes stress eating, which leads to indigestion, which makes us ask for the prescription medication we saw on TV. Line the medicine cabinet with enough of this stuff and it will cure you of your ultimate problem: Life.
I’m worried about more than our bodies. Are there any double-blind field studies being done on how obesity affects brain function? Catching people’s eyes in downtown Great Falls yesterday, I wondered if this layer of fatty glaze interferes with deductive reasoning skills, making facts and ideas too slippery to grasp and retain.
Obviously our oil addiction has interfered with our intellect: real, painful solutions would be in place if we were thinking straight.
Maybe I won’t have that deep fried Snickers Bar after all, but mmmm, it looks mighty good.
I’m a Great Falls native, a product of local public schools, and a lifelong resident. I ain’t no anemic eastern liberal…still, I found myself looking at the Chinese-made flags waving from distended lawn chairs and wondered how long our redundant filtration systems can persevere before our webbing gives way and our collective asses wind up in the gutter.
If we boil ourselves in our own oil…could I have fries with that?