Way back in 1999 The Hittman Chronicle predicted that once the nannies got tired of harassing smokers, they'd be going after a bigger segment of the population - eaters. By now everyone has heard the story of Caesar Barber, a weak willed porker who is suing Wendys, McDonalds, Burger King and KFC for his self-induced obesity. Caesar, who is shaped roughly like a cannon ball, is the first volley in what promises to be a long and torturous serious of attacks on convenient, inexpensive food.
We also predicted food nannies would be using tactics perfected by the anti-smoker nannies, who have manged to enrich themselves while vilifying smokers. They're not just using them, they're bragging about it. Dr. Kelly Brownell, one of the leaders of the new food police, never misses a chance to compare Ronald McDonald to Joe Camel. And one of the most hateful leaders of the anti-smoker movement, John Banzhaf, is also setting himself up as one of the leading food cops.
One of the favorite techniques of the anti-smoker movement has been the misuse, and often the outright fabrication, of numbers. The food police are using the same tactic. In 1998 the government changed the body mass index (BMI) and 30 million Americans became "obese" overnight - without gaining a single ounce. According to these new numbers, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Michael Jordan, Russell Crowe and Tom Cruise are are either obese or overweight. We're also assailed by the number, apparently made up out of thin air, that obesity causes 300,000 deaths a year, and costs tens of billions of dollars.
America has always had a problem with nannies. The first peak was the passage of prohibition, which gave birth to organized crime and massive police corruption. (The anti-smoker movement was going full force at the time too, but died down until it's resurgence in the sixties.) Immediately after repealing prohibition, we made drugs illegal, which has led to us having the worlds highest prison population (by percentage). Nannyism is expensive.
It's not just food and tobacco. MADD, once a venerable organization with the laudable goal of getting drunks off the streets, has now become a temperance movement and is working furiously to redefine drunkenness. Many environmentalists are lobbying to force people back into smaller vehicles. Gun grabbers, as always, are working hard to nullify the second amendment. The city of Halifax has made it illegal to wear perfume, after shave, or scented hair jell. Each week some new group pops up, determined to harass us into switching to their pet lifestyle. We used to be able to ignore such miscreants, but no longer. Using lawsuits and legislation, they are making their lifestyles mandatory.
Nannyism has made compromise a thing of the past. Conflicts used to be resolved by both parties coming to a common agreement that each of them could live with. Smoke bothers you? Fine, we'll have smoking and non-smoking sections, and everyone can be happy. But to a nanny, a compromise isn't a solution. It's just getting one step closer to their goal. Once a compromise has been in place for a while they start demanding a new one. When they get that one, after a brief cooling off period, they fire off their next demand. They turn the heat up very slowly until their opponents goose is thoroughly cooked.
The anti-smoker movement started in the sixties with the perfectly reasonable request to put smoking and non-smoking sections in airplanes. Now smokers are losing custody of their kids, being fired from their jobs and being kicked out of their own homes. "Slippery Slope" is no longer a type of argument; it is the battle plan of every nanny group. As a result, it has become foolish to consider any compromise, no matter how innocent or reasonable it may seem. We can be sure it's just first step to more restrictions.
Two things are necessary to halt the growing nanny movement, and neither of them is likely. The first is a halt to lawsuit abuse, the nannies most powerful weapon. This is unlikely, because we keep electing lawyers into office. The second would be to demand intelligent, humane and reasonable laws. This is unlikely, because we keep electing lawyers into office.
Will it ever end? Probably not. One would think people would be fed up enough to put a stop to this. One would be wrong. Smokers, for instance, make up a quarter of the population, but the majority of them remain complacent about being shit on over and over again. If 10% of them would get politically active they'd be one of the most powerful lobbying groups in the country. Yet they continue to put up with outrageous taxes and increasingly inhumane treatment. We can expect the same complacency from every other group in the nanny's sights. There are too many sheep in the world.
We should all drink, smoke, drive big cars etc., now, while we still can. That way we'll have something to remember fondly when we've become a complete nanny nation. Our grandchildren will look at us in disbelief when we bother them with "when I was a kid" stories. ("Come on, Grandpa, you expect us to believe you ate meat and drank beer back then?") But occasionally, we should interrupt our indulgent spree with a lunch consisting of tofu and organic lettuce washed down with soy milk, consumed in a solar powered restaurant where the portions are kept small and healthy. We need to develop a taste for it, because sooner or later, that's all that's going to be allowed.
The Center for Consumer Freedom is one of the very few active anti-nanny organizations. They even provide semi-amusing games to make their point.
The WHO is setting themselves up as the world wide nanny.
THMC Articles on related subjects:
Porkys - A fat guy looks at the fat acceptance movement.
The New Racists - A look at what (besides money) motivates nannies.
Cops Always Have The Best Marlboros - A modest proposal for handing nicotine nannies.
The premise of Demolition Man seemed slightly silly when it was released in a decade ago. Now it seems to be a nearly perfect prediction of what we have to look forward to.
© 2002 Dave Hitt