There seems to have been a bit of a tweetstorm in the aftermath of Jeremy Vine’s recent tweet.
I was writing about it yesterday in The Inconsiderate Jeremy Vine. And now my blog has been sucked into the storm as well. These days I potter along with about 500 hits per day, but this morning it’s up at 5000 hits today, and it’s still only 11 a.m. And I’ve attracted several new commenters, some in favour of Mr Vine, some against.
So it looks like the storm is still raging, and has now begun to spread outside Twitter. How wonderfully interesting.
One of yesterday’s comments from Clicky drew attention to a bizarre new ad, which I reproduce slightly enlarged:
As far as I can make out, the warnings at the bottom say:
Like smoking obesity puts millions of adults at greater risk of cancer
I can’t fathom out what this ad is trying to do. It seems to be advertising three different kinds of cigarettes, all called Obesity. Where can I buy a pack of 20 Obesity? Don’t they know that tobacco advertising is banned?
Some commenters immediately drew attention to the well known fact that obesity is frequently a consequence of giving up smoking. I’m not sure why it is, but it may be because the act of smoking is rather akin to the act of eating, and so when people stop smoking they start eating instead/ How else to explain the weight gain?
I suppose that CRUK (pronounced “crook” or “crock”) are trying to demonise obesity like they demonised cigarettes. But cigarettes are a product that people can buy, and obesity is not.
CRUK’s tweet accompanying the ad:
And are there really “obesity-related cancers”? Do fat people get more cancer than thin people? If so, it’s news to me.
Both the war on smoking and the war on obesity (obesity that was very often a consequence of people giving up smoking) are essentially moral campaigns. The moral zealots disapprove of smoking (and usually of drinking as well) and they disapprove of fat people. They wish to populate the world with slim, fit, non-smoking teetotalers.
Where did the expression teetotaler come from?
It originated, as we learn from the Landmark, with a man named Turner, a member of the Preston Temperance Society, who, having an impediment of speech, in addressing a meeting remarked, that partial abstinence from intoxicating liquors would not do; they must insist upon tee-tee-(stammering) tee total abstinence.
Theirs is really an aesthetic preference. They want a world full of beautiful people. It has nothing whatsoever to do with health, or even with cancer. They want people to look good. They want women to be pretty and men to be handsome. They are primarily concerned with appearances rather than underlying realities.
But everything they do is ugly. Their smoking bans are ugly. And their health warnings are ugly. And that includes the garbled, twisted, incoherent Obesity ad above.