Proper Labeling Solves Everything

With Apologies to Marion Sinclair

Buried deep within Obama’s new health care law is a provision that requires retail fast food chains to list calorie counts on their menu boards, including their drive-through boards. It is almost without question that some will argue that such a “frivolous” provision has no place in a bill that is ostensibly designed to address weighty issues like health insurance affordability and insurance industry abuses. Also some right-wing nut jobs are certain to lambast this as yet further proof of encroachment by an increasingly intrusive “nanny-state”. However, the simple fact of the matter is that this type of protection of the public, particularly the children, is not frivolous at all and long, long overdue. Furthermore, the real tragedy here is that this type of law and provision just simply does not go far enough…not nearly far enough.

The provision, Section 2572 of the health care law, is really a merging of Senator Tom Carper’s LEAN Act with that of Senator Tom Harkin’s and Congresswoman Rosa Delauro’s MEAL Act. It is essentially a food labeling requirement targeted to fast food chains, those businesses with more than 20 locations. It has been a popular idea among progressives and public health advocates for years. While some argue that it is targeted toward inner city residents whose diets are disproportionately composed of fast food, I would argue that its primary beneficiaries are really the children.

Let’s face it, one of the main customers at fast food restaurants are kids. McDonalds blatantly advertises to children with their creepy Ronald McDonald clown character and his hoard of equally creepy, and apparently mute, friends like the Hamburglar, Mayor McCheese, the “Fry Guys”, etc. It is probably one of the main reasons why children’s obesity rates have climbed steadily since the 1970’s. Note, Ronald McDonald was introduced in 1967. Also consider that a third of children aged 2-19 in the United States are considered overweight or obese.

It is actually kind of funny that in recent years there has been some ballyhoo about the childhood obesity rate in the US “leveling off”. Hell yes it has leveled off, a third of all children are already fat! The only way to sustain the increasing rates of childhood obesity that this country has seen in the last 30-40 years would be to widen the doors at McDonalds and put in a couple more drive thru lanes. I mean, it has only leveled off because all of those fatty fat fat-tards can’t possible fit in the restaurants all at once.

So, this bill is really about protecting the children from obesity and it is about time. I actually see this as personal vindication of my position with my ex-wife. I have told her for YEARS that it is simply not my obligation as a parent to regulate my child’s intake of calories. She simply cannot seem to get it through her thick skull that I am not a bad parent but that the government has simply been failing me by not doing its part to parent my children for me. No matter how much I tell her this, she simply doesn’t “get it”. This was actually the main cause of our divorce, her inability to comprehend this simple truth…oh, along with her compulsive lying, blatant disregard for family finances, abject evilness and generally sucking-out-loud as a person. But those were minor items…comparatively.

So, this law will go a long way to help parent those children whose parents are simply incapable or unwilling to spend the time to look-up the information for themselves. I mean, it is not like we have some kind of fancy “world wide web” of information where corporations post this kind of data coupled with ubiquitous, free access at one’s local library. And even if we had that kind of magical technology, it is not like it would be fully indexed and searchable from a clean, easy to use interface. (http://www.lmgtfy.com/?q=calorie+content+of+a+Big+Mac) Besides, anyone with a brain already understands that it isn’t the responsibility of parents anyway. Obviously, it is more properly handled by large, unaccountable bureaucracies, which is how it has been done since the stone ages.

But, like I said, this law does not go far enough, not nearly far enough. The problem is that this new law only covers a single aspect of children’s lives but does not cover everything that might potentially impact them or that they might consume.

For example, my ex-wife is always nagging me in the winter about my kids showing up in T-shirts, shorts, flip-flops and minor cases of frostbite after spending the week at my place. It happens every winter and every time I try to explain it to her that it’s just the loss of a couple fingers and toes.. big deal. It is not like these articles of clothing come with instructions as to what temperature degree ranges for which they are suitable and not suitable. I mean, that is really the proper role of government, to mandate that kind of information be placed on permanent clothing labels, right? Am I right? Of course I am. But she never listens. “Blah blah blah bad parent blah blah blah you suck blah blah blah”. Man can she nag…let me tell you. How can I tell when she is nagging? Her lips are moving.

Another area that I wish the government would address with these kinds of labeling laws are TV programs and songs. I mean, I set my kids in front of the TV all day long and I have no idea what they are watching or whether or not it is good for them. Who has the time to research all that or pay attention to what they are watching and listening to? And those “rating” things don’t help. What we really need are some meaningful labels for TV programs, nursery rhymes, books and songs that explain the potential issues with each item of media. I can imagine one such label for the deceptively innocent-seeming Kookaburra song:

Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Parental Guidance for: Kookaburra (song)

Parents should be advised of the following federally approved observations:

  • This song does not adequately explain its subject matter. The Kookaburra is a large, terrestrial kingfisher (bird) native to Australia and New Guinea.
  • This song may promote the concept of royalty or royal status with the designation of the Kookaburra as “king”. This concept is at odds with the democratic/republic nature of the United States of America and our Constitution, which specifies that “all men are created equal”. Therefore, this song may be considered subversive to our way of life.
  • This song makes inadequate geographic references, thus promoting ignorance of world geography. The Kookaburra lives in Australia and New Guinea, not just in any old “bush”.
  • This song may attempt to humanize simple, dumb animals. Kookaburra’s do not actually “laugh” but rather their normal bird call may sound similar to what some people would consider a “laugh”, or at least maniacal cackling in the case of the Blue-winged Kookaburra.
  • This song may promote homosexual stereotypes with the inappropriate use of the word “gay”
  • This song may confuse children into believing gum drops really grow on trees. Note that a “gum tree” grows neither gum nor gum drops. “Gum trees” are actually a colloquial term used to refer to Eucalyptus, Corymbia and Angophora, three similar genera that are referred to as “eucalypts”, and are known as “gum trees” because many species exude copious amounts of sap from any break in their bark.
  • This song promotes overeating, which is generally regarded as an unhealthy life-style choice according to the Surgeon General of the United States of America. You should not attempt to eat all of the gum drops that you can see.
  • This song may make inappropriate statements about the supposed evolution of humans from lower primates by eluding to confusion over distinguishing a human from a monkey. This passage could also be considered racist.
  • This song promotes inappropriate medical treatment procedures. You need to get a tetanus shot after being punctured by a rusty nail, not just cry about it and lament life’s misfortunes.

Kookaburra sits in the old gum tree
Merry, merry king of the bush is he
Laugh, Kookaburra! Laugh, Kookaburra!
Gay your life must be

Kookaburra sits in the old gum tree
Eating all the gum drops he can see
Stop, Kookaburra! Stop, Kookaburra!
Leave some there for me

Kookaburra sits in the old gum tree
Counting all the monkeys he can see
Stop, Kookaburra! Stop, Kookaburra!
That’s not a monkey that’s me

Kookaburra sits on a rusty nail
Gets a boo-boo in his tail
Cry, Kookaburra! Cry, kookaburra!
Oh how life can be

By: Marion Sinclair

See, how am I as a parent supposed to know all that or in any way interpret those kinds of things from that song? I don’t want my kids picking up negative homosexual stereotypes from what is a seemingly innocent song. But, if we had warning labels for songs, TV programs, books and nursery rhymes, then every time I heard my kids singing Kookaburra, I could whip them with a vacuum cleaner cord, make them kneel on rice and send them to bed without any supper because they were engaging in vile hate speech against degenerate, pillow-biting fags.

Originally published 2010

Author: theobjectiveobserverblog

Always go with funny...

One thought on “Proper Labeling Solves Everything”

  1. Would it be OK if I cross-posted this article to WriterBeat.com? I’ll be sure to give you complete credit as the a6uthor. There is no fee, I’m simply trying to add more content diversity for our community and I liked what you wrote. If “OK” please let me know via email.

    Autumn
    AutumnCote@WriterBeat.com

    Like

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