The Your-Fat-Ass-Is-What’s-Wrong-With-America Gang Rides Again

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I don’t know about you, but it’s been a while since I’ve seen a good fat-people-are-chewing-up-the-world-and-spitting-the-pits-in-babies’-eyes story in the traditional media. I suppose most of them are having too much fun these days blaming the mortgage crisis on poor black and brown people greedily insisting on having their own house keys. (And if you actually do believe that all, or even a visible-to-naked-eye percentage of, those defaulted-upon jumbo loans for jumbo McMansions were actually issued to minimum-wage-earning black and brown people, I have a jumbo planet made out of cheese to sell you. Nothing due on principal for the first year, hurry on in!)

But have no fear, my fellow fatasses, Rolling Stone hasn’t forgotten how bad fat people suck and that we are to blame for everything that’s wrong with America. Whew. In their October 2 issue, there is a story by Matt Taibbi called “The Lies of Sarah Palin” (which wasn’t available online while the issue was on the stands, which is why I waited until now to blog about it). In it, Taibbi speaks of the “four-chinned delegates” and their “turkey-necked companions” who gathered at the Xcel Center in Minneapolis back in August to witness Sarah Palin’s vice-presidential acceptance speech at the Republican Convention and lapped up her every mendacious word like hungry kittehs.

Hm, so that’s how you gross out your readers about Republicans, huh Matt? By saying they’re fat? Because fat equals stupid equals fat equals stupid, on and on into infinity, and everybody knows that — even all your fat readers who just know that for every pound they lose they’ll gain an IQ point to go along with it, which will only be with them for as long as the pound of fat is gone. Yeah, stunningly enough, fat people (dieting or not) actually read your magazine. Or did. I’m perfectly willing not to ever again, though, if having fat readers will just ruin everything for you.

Anyway, Republicans are all fat? Glenn Beck, fatass? Ann Coulter, fatass? Mitt Romney, fatass? Michelle Malkin, fatass? Really? And just how fat are Sarah Palin and John McCain themselves? How is Matt going to scare us to death about them, if the Fat Bat is knocked out of his grimy little paws?

Oh, but no, he doesn’t mean prominent Republicans are fat — he means those dingbat sows at home who are as indiscriminate about what they eat as about what data they lap up. If it comes in a pretty wrapper, they’ll scarf it by the truckload without asking, because that’s what fat people do! Therefore, fat people all love Sarah Palin. Matt just proved it.

How much do you think Matt Taibbi gets paid to write this stuff for RS every month? Ten thousand a month? Fifteen? Twenty? More? You’d think, then, that for that kind of money, there might have been a little bit of, ahem, vision, to go with his invective. The word that kept leaping to mind when I read about his depiction of “Gidget address[ing] the Reichstag” and the eediots Matt is thinner and better than who hung on her every word, was this: Embarrassing. Because Matt, when he filed his story, had no idea that it was even possible for this woman to go up in flames the way she has over the last six weeks. He had no idea that all those Stupid Americans were not as easily led as he thought. But hey, we were fat. And we lived in middle America, far far away from the lovely slender white parts of Manhattan. How was he supposed to know any of us could think?

(Oh, and N.B.: Careerism and wanting to write like Hunter S. Thompson, which Matt Taibbi obviously wants so badly he can smell his frontal lobe molting with desire for it, don’t mix. Because in order to write like Hunter S. Thompson, you have to sink your entire brain into hot Crisco two feet deep until it singes, roll it around in powdered ketamine, then toss it back into the boiling grease and crank it up to 13 until the fire department shows up. And accept the fact that you probably won’t even be able to type your name straight after the age of 40. And…and…yeah.)

Oh, but it gets even better. Later on in the story, there’s this:

Here’s what Sarah Palin represents: being a fat fucking pig who pins “Country First” buttons on his man titties and chants “U-S-A! U-S-A!” at the top of his lungs while his kids live off credit cards and Saudis buy up all the mortgages in Kansas.

Dude. You complain that Sarah Palin is “all caricature” and then you puke up that? I will bet a lifetime supply of the McDonald’s fries you probably secretly love to eat that you are one of those fauxgressives who thinks of Barack Obama as “one of the good black people,” although you’d never be so impolitic as to utter those actual words to your neohipster brethren (though Joe Biden more or less did, and now the poor guy will just have to settle for being vice president). Because I am now going to call out that pair of bent clownshoes for what it really is: Racist, sexist, classist, and ablist.

Yes, that’s right. Racist, sexist, classist and ablist. And don’t give me “but I was talking about a white guy with plenty of money who can move around just fine.” Here is why. What you are saying, by putting down this mythic dude whose politics you don’t care for as “fat,” is that he does not appear white (i.e. classically chiseled from head to toe in keeping with White Anglo-Saxon Protestant appearance standards) or male (i.e. strong, tough, able, hardworking breadwinner) enough for your personal yuppie aesthetics. Like all fat-haters, you have taken a bunch of human properties socially engineered to be squirm-inducing — non-WASPiness, non-ableness, non-youthfulness, non-affluentness, and non-gender-binaryness — smooshed them all up into a ball with manboobs, and rationalized all the squirming by deciding on the basis of evidence flimsier than a Charmin airplane that he did it to himself, and thus it’s absolutely fine to declare open season. Therefore? CLOWNSHOES. (Oh, and just as an aside? It really does not matter if Matt Taibbi himself is a WASP or not. If only WASPs bought into WASP behavior and appearance standards, those standards would be deader than Heil Honey, I’m Home!.)

And here’s the fauxgressive twist to all this fathatebaggery, which I’ve been around enough leftish Web sites to witness over the years, which is this: It’s okay to make fun of fat people you don’t like, but it’s not okay to make fun of fat people you do like. In other words, Ralph Nader calling Michael Moore a giant beach ball is unkosher, but John Kerry calling Rush Limbaugh “doughy” (or yes, Al Franken writing a entire bestselling book whose title refers to Limbaugh’s avoirdupois, although that was over a decade ago) is just rockin’, because no reasonable person likes Limbaugh anyway. They do not see that by insulting Rush Limbaugh for being fat, they are also insulting Michael Moore. Because by doing so, you are (whether you intend to or not) folding your arms and demanding that Moore prove he’s better, smarter, more sensitive and aware, etc., than your average fatass at the Republican convention. A thin guy doesn’t have to supply that extra proof that he’s okay, that’s implicit until he proves otherwise. See? That’s what’s wrong with America, and for that matter, with most of the rest of the planet, Matt. People thinking they know someone just from looking at them.

Here’s the thing. I have not actually seen a full-body image of Rush Limbaugh in many years. Nor do I care to. Rush Limbaugh is a festering projectile hatezit crying out for moral Accutane. His words repulse me enough; I do not give a simpering fuck if today, right this second, he looks like Jeff Bridges or like Jar Jar Binks or, for that matter, exactly like me. (Wouldn’t that be a kick in the head. I really really hope not, though.) Mostly, though, putting down someone’s looks as shorthand for their rotten ideas is just plain lazy, and isn’t laziness one of the things the Matt Taibbis of the world allegedly despise us for?

Or, as Melissa McEwan once put it in her brilliant piece about Ann Coulter and the unfelicitousness of all the Coulter-is-a-tranny putdowns:

Ann Coulter is the high priestess of screeching hyperbole, whose natural habitat is the nearest studio chair on a right-wing cable hatefest, from whence she spews her bile-rich nuggets of insane vitriol like a mama bird projectile vomiting chunks of hate fuel to nourish her repellent babies, as they sit, gape-mouthed and wanting, waiting for their vile supper on couches in front of tellies across the nation so they may ever stay plump with outrage. And not only is she a monstrous font of diarrheic vitriol who disgorges a continual torrent of loathsome rhetoric to poison the public discourse; the frequency with which she manages to emit accurate (and original) assertions is approximate to photographic evidence of unicorns. She is as devoid of facts as she is of kindness and compassion. I’ve heard more astute political observations from a pile of day-old puke—and it didn’t have to plagiarize, either.

And you expect me to care about her oversized forehead? Seriously?

Now, someone tell me why Liss isn’t the one making five figures a month writing for Rolling Stone. I’ll be in the living room I don’t own, hunched over my voter pamphlet.

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