posted by meowser
Update 4/10/08: Now cross-posted to Shakesville. W00t!
Second update/erratum: It has come to my attention that the boats in It’s a Small World actually date from the 1964-65 World’s Fair, not from Disneyland’s opening in 1955. Please see addendum later in the post.
Dude, I am so not giving Newuniversity.org and that hideous, disgusting article by Kevin Pease, “a third-year psychology and social behavior major” about what a senseless tragedy it is that Disneyland is making the seats bigger in It’s a Small Seat — er, World — any link love. So lemme instead direct you to the most excellent takedowns by Paul at Big Fat Blog and Lindsay at BABble, and if you must click from there, go for it. But I don’t recommend it if you’re eating. I mean, eating anything ever. Because you’re not ever supposed to, fatass, Kevin says so, and he’s gonna be a hotshot shrink in a few years, which automatically makes him the rightest.
Kevin doesn’t actually know any fat people personally. I mean, ew, right? Everyone knows about the fat cooties thing, so he’s not gonna mess with that. But being a future shrink he can divine all our thoughts with a single glance, and he knows, just knows, that we haven’t earned the privilege of having seats that accommodate our capacious pantaloons on one single ride in a park complex that has almost a hundred rides all together, because we haven’t, not a one of us, ever even thought about trying hard enough to slim down, much less ever had any authority figures in our lives try to force or coerce us to. Nope. Never happened.
Take blind people. They are given special accommodations whenever possible in order to make their lives easier. Obese men and women want to be treated the same way. This claim is ludicrous, especially when you consider that obesity is a fixable condition. It may not be easy, but if a blind man were told he would no longer be blind if he ate his fruits and vegetables while exercising four times a week, he would do it.
Oh ho ho! Behold the sound of millions — nay, billions — of fat asses put simultaneously in their lowly little places! Only I think there were a few typos in that last sentence. Try this:
“It may not be easy, but if a blind man were told he would no longer be blind if he ate nothing but 800 calories or less of non-starchy fruits and vegetables and worked out hard for 3 or 4 hours every single day without fail for the rest of his life…uh…”
Yeah. Much better. You’re welcome, Kevin.
And of course, slimness will lose its magical appeal altogether if amusement parks keep enabling us. I mean, the insanity of it. You ask for a churro, you hand them money, and they actually give it to you. They don’t even take a waist-hip measurement for the privilege. (At least not until the next President cracks down on that sort of thing, of course.) Before you know it, Beth Ditto will be hosting the Grammy Awards, and maybe even running for President and winning. (At which point churros may be had again by all.) You’d think they actually wanted to make money or something and had some knowledge of their customers’ bases…er, customer base. See, he’s even got me doing it!
Look, dude, I used to live in north Orange County. A lot of locals visit the Diz regularly using something called an Annual Passport. Some people even get them for free or at discount through their jobs, but they range from $259 to $379, depending on whether parking is included and/or whether you’re allowed in on the blackout dates, and both the main Disneyland Park and California Adventure are covered. A single-day admission to either park is $56 $66 ($56 for ages 3 through 9), so if you go six times in a year — and many locals go far more often than that — it’s worth it. And 32.9 percent of Orange County’s entire population is Latino, with a much higher concentration of Latinos in north county, which was not the case back when the park (and It’s A Small Buttock — handsmack! I mean World!) opened, when both the park and the surrounding neighborhoods were pretty much All White All The Time. (Although the park was never officially segregated, it was, in its infancy, a place where anyone who was the tiniest bit “different” from the Middle American WASP ideal was not exactly made to feel welcome, and even white men having facial hair of any kind or head hair that was “too long” were refused entry.) Not to mention the fact that amusement park rides back then were considered to be pretty much exclusively for kids. White kids, that is.
So now you have not only more adults riding the rides, but more people of color, in addition to the fact that more fat people of all ages and races can actually find clothing in their sizes and bring themselves to put it on and leave the house, ZOMG. That being considered, it’s a wonder that they’ve felt the need to only rejigger one of the original rides still left from its opening to fit bigger asses. (My own ass, 49 inches at its maximum, found the seats in all the rides there plenty comfortable; although I can understand why someone a bit larger than myself might find it something of a tight squeeze, it’s still about the only amusement park I’d even consider worth the money in terms of the percentage of ride seats I’d fit into.)
(Addendum: I just checked out the Miceage link where the ride modification was first described (trigger warning: not a fat-friendly link). It says the IASW boats and flumes actually date from the 1964-65 World’s Fair, not from the park’s opening in 1955. It also says the size of the boats is not changing at all, only their buoyancy and the depth of the flumes, further lending credence to my “more adults riding the rides, not more fatties, was the reason for the modification” theory. And Orange County’s demographics were still lily-white in 1965, so my basic points above still stand.
If you want to see what the boats actually look like, the link does have pictures that show that unlike most Disney rides this one has bench seating, hence is already pretty girth-accommodating. But if one Giant Fatty takes over a whole row of a boat, that means that two slimmer people wouldn’t be sitting there instead. One 175-pound man plus one 135-pound woman weigh more than one 300-pound bench-hogging fatty, so if your goal is to prevent the boats from sinking, you WANT more and bigger fatasses on the ride, do you not?)
But even that much accommodation is too much for poor Kevin’s broken little brain. Kevin probably has never even talked to a fat person, ever. How could we expect such consideration, when we all have Cheetos in our ears and couldn’t possibly hear him? But having such mindnumbing mindreading abilities, he is able to give us this:
[T]he obese community wants us all to believe that if someone is obese, we should treat it as a disability.
No, Kevin, I don’t want to be treated like I’m “disabled” simply because of my weight. I mean, gah, isn’t damn near the entire point of these blogs to get people to understand that a) fat people aren’t necessarily physically limited in what they can do, and b) those fat people who do have disabilities are not so because of their weight?
You, Kevvy-boy, were obviously nursing a wicked hangover the day the prof talked about social handicap versus physical handicap, since thin people are allowed to have vices, so let me give you the refresher you so desperately need. Let’s say you, Kevin, had feet that were much, much larger than the average man’s feet. Let’s say these feet were big enough that no shoe manufacturer made shoes or socks to fit you, and that your only option was to have shoes custom made that cost $500 a pop and socks hand-knitted for $50 a pair. Let’s say you didn’t have $500 to spend on a pair of shoes and $50 to spend on socks. Are your big feet a physical handicap? No, you can walk around in them just fine. But are they a social handicap? Sí. Now, let’s say that all of a sudden there was an influx of men who had feet just as big as yours, because the potato famine ended and they dared to finish all their french fries (gasp!), and they are actually having the guff to go into Foot Locker and ask for size 20 Air Jordans. Now there is what you econ prof called a “market” for larger-sized shoes. If Nike doesn’t consider it worth their while to make Air Jordans in a size 20, but some other shoe manufacturer makes shoes that size that are just as comfy and only cost $50, and matching socks for a mere $5 a pair, are they doing so to “encourage” the wanton consumption of fries, or are they just acknowledging a certain amount of human variation that could make them a few bucks since absolutely nobody else is acknowledging it? The essay question’s worth 50 points, Kev, so take your time. Take lots of it. Hangovers are nasty.
I just scratch my head to the point of drawing blood whenever these hatebags insist that acceptance has to be a zero-sum game when it comes to weight. If it’s okay to be fat, it must ipso facto means that thinnesss must be hated. It reminds me of all the people who used to ask me, as a teenaged feminist, “But why do you hate men?” Like, why don’t I stop setting my neighbors’ cars on fire? I hate when I do that.
I can just picture Dr. Kevin’s future sessions with his oh-so-lucky patients.
“But I DO exercise 4 or more times a week and eat plenty of fruits and veggies.”
“No, you don’t, fatass, you’re lying.”
“It’s true that I eat other things besides fruits and veggies, but you know, I kind of HAVE to to stay alive.”
“No, you don’t. All the nutrition you ever will need in your life is stored in your fat ass. You don’t need anything but veggies until you’re thin, and that’s just to fill your greedy stomach.”
“Besides, if a blind person had to go on a radical diet for the rest of his/her life trying not to be blind, the way I’d have to in order to stop being fat at you — i.e. go WAY beyond moderate healthy changes in diet and exercise habits into being CONSTANTLY hungry and exhausted, working out 4 hours a day on 800 calories or less, every single day — you wouldn’t tell them they were obligated to do that in order to be accepted, would you?”
“Yes, I would, if blind people were over half the population.”
“Oh, I get it. People who are ‘different’ are cute little accessories as long as there aren’t too many of them. But if they outnumber the likes of you, then they suck. Right?”
“You’re just pissed because nobody wants to fuck you, you ugly fat bitch.”
Ayup. Pass the baby-flavored churros.