To continue Wednesday’s mile-wide rampage: Lou Dobbs can fucking bite me.
On Monday night, Lou Dobbs did a segment on how “Meatless Monday” is being adopted by the Baltimore city school district in an effort to cut costs and get children to eat healthier food. The segment showed schoolchildren eating vegetarian chili and grilled cheese sandwiches, and CNN reported that they found no parents who objected to the policy.
The news network also noted opposition to the one-day-a-week of vegetarian food by the American Meat Institute – a trade group that represents meat processors and packers with obvious financial interests in meat consumption. Without pointing out factors that helped fuel the initiative, such as childhood obesity and a national school budget crisis, CNN reported that the AMI is concerned that “students are being served up an unhealthy dose of indoctrination.” The institute’s Janet Reilly claims the policy was depriving students and parents of “choice.”
After watching the segment, Dobbs described this as “a real political storm in the making.” Um. Really?
Yesterday, I explained to the dumb fucker writing in the New York Times, for crying out loud, that his article made no sense. He insisted it did. I told him I’d sent that article to ten smart, interesting people, asking, “What is this guy’s point?” Most of them wrote back to say they had no idea. The writer then said his OpEd was intended to be tongue in cheek, his facts were correct and the editor did a slash job on his prose so his point was garbled. I told him that part of basic composition is to learn the difference between what you think you wrote and what you actually wrote. On the page. See? We then told each other to fuck off in colorful terms. It was brilliant, really. When he tries, he really can compose a sentence!
Part of our problem when we discuss poverty, nutrition, obesity, health care, insurance, reform of any kind, politics – anything, really – is that we are working in the medium of language. We do not agree what words mean. Good example: I said he is a bad writer whose work will hurt people. He thought I was saying I was a crazy person who found his email address and pressed the send button. It’s a mistake anyone could make. It’s not entirely his fault. We were using words and a lot of people, even smart people, don’t know what words mean or what they’re saying.
Example: if someone says to me, “We need to get more people on insurance and the problem will be solved” I hear ordinary words married to deceptive ideas, producing an argument that doesn’t hold water. It’s pretty simple if you’re actually listening. Let’s count off the problems:
* No one needs insurance. Everyone needs health care.
* The agent that needs more people on insurance is the insurance industry.
* The problem, in the case of that speaker, is not how does America solve its health care problem; no, the problem is how does the insurance industry increase its profits.
* The pronoun We is used to create a tribal identity that includes the speaker and the listener where no bond may exist, certainly not a shared need.
* That people who are not insurance industry flacks repeat statements like this is a function of successful advertising and public relations.
Statements like the above quoted signal that I am talking to a person who is not thinking about the topic anymore. His thoughts have been codified for him by an outside source. This person has gone to sleep. He probably does not know that; it is a waste of time to talk with him. That’s a lot to learn from one sentence. Imagine if we listened all the time?
Back to Lou Dobbs, who can still fucking bite me: presenting the American Meat Institute as an aggrieved party is HILARIOUS. Asking if anyone in this country talks straight anymore is a spittake waiting to happen. And tossing off that little lie that most children don’t get enough protein is a deft touch. Most Americans get more protein than their bodies need – so says the American Heart Association, but maybe Lou thinks the AHA is a bunch of pinko slackers. Babycenter.com’s research nutritionist Debby Demory-Luce says if your child refuses meat altogether, don’t have a cow.
The only time I worry about protein intake is when a child is on a restrictive vegan diet without dairy or eggs. If your child follows such a diet, either by your choice or because of his own food whims, you may want to consult with a registered dietitian who can help you devise ways to make sure your child gets enough protein from alternate sources.
The truth is that most Americans get twice as much protein as they need.
There’s nothing even the tiniest bit controversial about going meatless one day a week. There ought to be a very heated discussion, however, on the subject of Lou Dobbs.