Wednesday, April 6, 2011
The urge to be king...
We stumbled on this bit of absurdity today - a NY City Councilman has introduced a bill that would "restrict toys to meals that contain fewer than 500 calories and 600 milligrams of sodium, and in which less than 35 percent of the calories come from fat (making exceptions for nuts, seeds, peanut butter or other nut-based butters). In addition, the meal would have to contain a half a cup of fruit or vegetables or one serving of whole-grain products."
Clearly the bill is aimed at McDonald's Happy Meals, and indeed the Councilman, Leroy Comrie, "said that he was motivated in part by his experiences with his own children, who are now 17 and 13. 'Both are fast-food aficionados, and it’s my fault,' he said. 'I’m not healthy. I’m the typical parent with no time and limited options, so you’re grabbing whatever is going to make your child happy. My wife has yelled at me repeatedly for grabbing Happy Meals.' Mr. Comrie, who admitted that he was 'seriously overweight,' said he hoped to 'beg and cajole' enough supporters to pass it."
So let's see if we've got this straight - Mr. Comrie has trouble controlling his urge to eat unhealthy food, and as a result wants to restrict others' right to do so.
Now, as we have often said, this is not a political blog, although we think our leanings (such as they are) are fairly apparent (and consistent with the absurd) - put simply, live and let live. Indeed, as we have discussed in the past, one of the more frequent rejoinders we get from people--if nothing matters, what's to stop you from just killing people?--is ridiculous on the face of it. The question should rightly be turned around - if nothing matters, how can you justify taking such actions? The only logical reason to kill people would be if you felt it improved "your" life in some way...but if nothing matters this is a meaningless proposition.
Similarly, we have been (and continue to be) surprised that there seems to be a correlation between the absurd and a "liberal" mindset (liberal as currently defined, not the classical liberals who believe more or less what we do). The rationale seems to be that "liberals" are compassionate, and seek to better others' lives through government.
But...............there is a world of difference between being compassionate in one's own dealings, and forcing others to behave in a similar fashion. Thus, we find it mildly amusing that so many believe (as we do) that nothing matters, and yet also believe in the "rightness" of forcing others to behave as they see fit.
We should note that this is a bipartisan affliction - indeed, when we sent the above piece to Inigo, his response was "Pathetic, but not surprising… It’s that kind of mentality that permeates all the big gov’t types, left and right."
Indeed. And here is where we can bring this full circle. For what can possibly explain this urge that possesses the vast majority of humankind? Why would anyone ever presume to tell another what to do, except in the rarest of cases (one's own life being threatened, for example)? Particularly when one considers people for whom adequate shelter, food, and clothing have been acquired, this behavior seems downright mystifying...
And unfortunately, the only answer we can come to is that such individuals are not, in fact, absurd. For the only reason to behave in such a manner is, as with achievement, or acquiring material objects, or even stockpiling facebook friends...to chase, however unconsciously, the chimera of immortality. (E.g., he was such a good man - he helped so many people.)
To give of oneself is compassionate, and reflective of the lack of self. To force another to give is another matter entirely...
Posted by . at 2:55 PM