....LMB: "You Want Fries with That?"....

June 11, 2004

I saw the movie Super Size Me last week, but haven't had the time or energy to review it till now.

I think you all know the premise: guy says "what would happen if I ate nothing but McDonald's food for 30 days?", proceeds to eat only McDonald's food for 30 days, and then finds that it's a lot more harmful than anyone would have predicted.

First off, I have to say that it is a good movie. Most of the time when you see a documentary, you have to put yourself in PBS mode, accepting that you're going to learn something, maybe be intrigued, but you don't really expect to be entertained much. But I actually enjoyed myself watching Super Size Me. It flowed well, and remained interesting and funny through nearly all of its screentime. I'll make the bold claim that director Morgan Spurlock is a better director than the popular Michael Moore.

The movie is much more than advertised; ninety minutes of Man Eating Burger would be a good time for no one. About half the film is Spurlock eating McD's, traveling across the country, and dealing with the consequences of his binge eating. The other half is interviews, facts, and investigative journalism. Spurlock talks to nutritionists, fast food lobbyists, elementary school gym teachers, Big Mac addicts, etc. Spurlock paints a larger picture about American eating habits, health, and corporate exploitation.

The eating habit issue is quite important. We all hear about America's obesity epidemic, which is fucking obscene, given the number of people in this world who die young and malnourished. We all know the cause: a combination of cheap, unhealthy food and a lack of exercise. But there are other factors: ever-decreasing amounts of free time; lack of nutritional education for kids; lack of physical education for kids; lobbying efforts by junk food corporations to confuse the public; and huge, huge, huge advertising efforts by the fast food industry. All of this helps alter American culture and norms towards one in which eating large amounts of unhealthy food and participating in minimal amounts of healthy exercise are quite common, and those who take a more healthful path are seen as unique and exemplary.

Apart from the book Fast Food Nation, I'm not aware of any American cultural product that has managed to spark discussion and thought about these issues among average Americans the way Super Size Me has (although this is somewhat due to defensive corporate PR, which has helped raise the film's visibility). I've been slowly trying to change my own life, eat healthier, eat out less, and exercise more. I've made a bit of progress, and this movie did give me an extra kick in the ass.

Sadly, even eating food that most Americans would consider "healthy" has problems. Meat produced in factory farms with hormones and excess antibiotics; genetically modified vegetables; meals all processed to hell with mysterious chemical additives. I'm not an expert on the subject, so I won't speak much about it, but the more you learn, the more appalled you become.

Anyhow. Super Size Me is good, and you should see it.

Posted by Jake at 03:42 PM | TrackBack (0)
Post a comment

Remember personal info?

Lying Media Bastards is both a radio show and website. The show airs Mondays 2-4pm PST on KillRadio.org, and couples excellent music with angry news commentary. And the website, well, you're looking at it.

Both projects focus on our media-marinated world, political lies, corporate tyranny, and the folks fighting the good fight against these monsters.

All brought to you by Jake Sexton, The Most Beloved Man in America ®.

contact: jake+at+lyingmediabastards.com

Media News

May 14, 2004

Media Week

A Look Inside the PR Battle Against Super Size Me- the site IGN.com is primarily a site of news & reviews of "cool" things for young men: movies; video games; cars; high-tech gadgets; etc. So I was proud of them when I saw that they'd risen above shallow and hip to get an actual newsy scoop. The article above was conceived when IGN received three different press releases attempting to debunk the anti-fast food message of the movie Super Size Me. The IGN guys did their research, finding that each of the press releases originated from a different PR front group funded by members of the junk food industry, often by the Golden Arches themselves.

Reading With the Enemy- allegedly inspired by Super Size Me, liberal writer Oliver Griswold tells his harrowing tale of going 30 days absorbing no media but right-wing news. He sustained permanent liver damage, and he grew three extra toes. Okay, I'm lying.

The Coming Backlash Against Outrage- in a nutshell, the author argues that "In the weeks ahead, we’ll be encouraged to turn away from information surfacing about imprisonment and interrogation techniques that have held sway under U.S. authority in Iraq. Atrocities will be discounted, excuses made, messengers blamed."

Media Matters for America Television Spot Reveals Controversial Iraqi Prisoner Torture Commentary- new media watchdog Media Matters has been driving Rush Limbaugh nuts by publicizing his most ignorant and mean-spirited comments. They now seek to take it to another level by placing commercials on TV, quoting Rush's claims that the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse is no big thing. If it pisses of Limbaugh, I'm glad to hear it.

Fox Doctor's Diploma Mill Degree- Fox's TV show "The Swan" is a fucking atrocity. It should be called "The Prey", as one of the world's largest corporations uses its power to exploit the insecurities of some of America's most emotionally vulnerable women. To make the whole thing more professional, their team of experts--plastic surgeons, nutritionists, personal trainers-- also includes a "therapist"/psychologist. As my brother and I watched part of the show in horror, we wondered what kind of psychologist could possibly find this show to be in the slightest bit ethical. Well, maybe part of that is because she's not exactly a "real" psychologist. This article finds that Dr. Lynn Ianni got her Ph.D from one of those fake universities that will give degrees to anybody for the right price (granted, it looks as though she did get her Master's in psych from a real university).

Posted by Jake at 06:53 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)
More Media News

Jake Jake Jake


Fake "Ha-Ha" News




"Your head's like mine, like all our heads; big enough to contain every god and devil there ever was. Big enough to hold the weight of oceans and the turning stars. Whole universes fit in there! But what do we choose to keep in this miraculous cabinet? Little broken things, sad trinkets that we play with over and over. The world turns our key and we play the same little tune again and again and we think that tune's all we are."
- The Invisibles

More Quotes

Media News


Obligatory Blog Links



Watching "VH1's 100 Most Metal Moments", I was reminded of one important truth: Def Leppard really sucks.

More Snapshots

Columnists Of Note



Sonic Resistance


Dead Trees


Heavy Rotation



Squiggles of Insight



Design and Layout by Mark McLaughlin and Quang Tang
LMB Logo by Quang Tang

All other material by Jake Sexton (unless otherwise cited)

hosted by nice dream