Saturday, May 09, 2009

A warning on this post. If you post any trite 'advice', I reserve the right to say something really mean. But as a concession, I admit you're a much better person than me, knowing what's best for strangers all the time.

I'm always late on the train. I was reading the sample chapter of Carol Lay's book about fat and the first thing I thought of was 'man, that's a whole lot of time and effort spent on eating every day. A whole lot of mind space spent on ticking off how many calories an orange has.' With the amount of time and energy we spend on weight loss, we could have set up colonies on Mars by now. My second thought was 'Too bad Random House didn't pick up her awesome comics that she's been drawing for years and collect them'. I understand that the American appetite for books on weight loss is insatiable, but man is it disappointing to hear yet another story about fat thighs when Carol has told so many other interesting and amazing stories.

Also, I was reading the American Failure blog, and I thought 'this guy is way too optimistic about most folks.' In this post on video games, he gets two things wrong. First, video games are not just young men anymore. Second, there's an underlying assumption that these guys could obtain any actual real success in life with years of effort. Of course, the problem is that the bar for success is way too high for some people to reach, even with years of effort.

In a world with so many variables, some people are going to be stuck with less than optimal abilities. Something taking them years of effort may be considered total crap by everyone else. For example, it would be a big achievement for me to go into a kitchen without causing havoc and chaos, but for everyone else, that's extremely easy. I guess what I mean is that the effort is too high for the return on investment.

What if greasy Cheetos boy spends years trying to be able to run a mile? Would he really be better off than if he played video games for all that time, had fun with some pals, and wasn't able to run a mile?*

*I can't run a mile, actually. And it would probably take me years to be able to. Scoff if you will.

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