No Magic Pill

Knowledge + effort + time = success

Wall-E offends

Posted by Ben on Monday, July 14, 2008

I’ve been wanting to say something about this movie—and the reactions it’s been garnering among a select few—for awhile, but I also wanted to see the movie for myself before doing so. Let me say upfront that I’m a huge Pixar fan. They’ve made nine movies so far, eight of which are on DVD, and I own five of those (just couldn’t get into the Toy Story movies or A Bug’s Life, and of course, Wall-E hasn’t been released yet). Their short films are hilarious (my favorite is For the Birds), and they are masterful at carefully and equally balancing appeal for both children and adults—I think I laugh more (and more loudly) than any kids in the theater. Speaking of which, before I get into the meat of the matter, this was a nice reminder of why I detest movie theaters—prices, crowds, general impoliteness and dumbf*ckery, twenty minutes of previews and COMMERCIALS! Grrr…

I’m not sure if Wall-E is DVD-worthy for me—it’s visually designed for theaters and IMAX—but aside from just being a Pixar product, I wanted to see it after I saw a discussion with a link to this blog (I piggybacked off this discussion here—note: it contains some minor spoilers which are mirrored below). I especially like how the fat obese weight-challenged are now akin to oppressed racial minority groups. In the thread I started over at JP Fitness, “Mad Mel” linked a couple more topical items on what kids watch, so not only is Wall-E offensive to fat obese weight-challenged people, it’s also a potential threat to kids’ health and self-esteem. In other words, the victim mentality is alive and well when it comes to issues that disagree with people’s opinions (and even call them out on how they expect accommodation for perceived disabilities rather than truly unchangeable ones). In a single word mentioned before: offensensitivity.

(Thanks to this random blog for posting this comic strip that I’ve been unable to find for a long time until now.)

It’s no longer enough to fear/hate/ostracize/eliminate the things we don’t know. Now, this applies to things that simply disagree with our own dogmas and religions, both sacred and secular. Thank goodness for the Internet; otherwise, how on earth would we (a) find out about stuff we didn’t like and (b) express outrage that such things even exist? Please. As I noted later on in the second discussion thread:


1. The movie is set 700 years after the last humans leave Earth or die off. That’s not an insignificant amount of time for society to become 100% obese considering the rate at which it’s happening now.

2. Prolonged (read: over generations) exposure to microgravity has a negative effect on bone density, so with little/no gravity to stress the skeleton (and no perceived need to exercise since the exodus was supposed to only be five years), bones become less important and therefore shrink. This is explained in the movie. If anything, humans’ obesity is justified by long-term living in outer space. There is no mockery of current health trends.

3. The technological addiction portrayed is a very easy logical jump from our current electronic communications style. Hell, if this was really an issue, why didn’t people boycott the last Matrix movie? Oh yeah, because it was rife with religious overtones. Nevermind.


So, what exactly does it mean to be healthy? I like Brad’s thoughts on the matter. Why? Because that puts the onus of responsibility on the person—the adult individual—to conduct himself or herself in a manner that promotes bodily health, no matter how much it may hurt the ego to do so. Children are at the mercy of their parents, unfortunately in some cases, as the parents may have already-developed poor health habits through ignorance, defiance, or sheer laziness (I won’t go into a situation I’ve personally witnessed over the past several months). Even our pets are at risk, it seems. And who gets the blame? Everyone else (man, I LURVE me some Five Guys!)—Paul also mentions the childhood cholesterol prescription issue in that link as well. It’s all society’s fault, right? Of course it is…

Some quick links to previously discussed issues:
—Simplicity, moderation, consistency
—Eric takes his turn at lamenting poor research methods.
—Mass media addresses “that guy/girl” in the gym. Personally, I’m offended by the “heavy sweater” label *snicker* If only every gym had a sign like the one at Cressey Performance *sigh* While I’m at it, let me wax nostaglic for a moment on the Gold’s Gym in Myrtle Beach. What a great gym, not so much from an equipment standpoint—not that there’s anything wrong with it, just you and I can make great workouts anywhere—but from the people (or lack of certain ones), the (good) attitude, and generally friendly atmosphere. If you’re ever down that way and need a gym, go there during working hours if at all possible.
—Still little/no love for carbs or cardio. If you like them, do them, but just know how they affect your goals (and sanity). At least know your chocolate.
—I mentioned last time (after the rambling opener) that regular, consistent assessment is important in checking to see if you’re heading in the right direction. Please make sure that your assessments are (1) relevant and (2) specific.
Age is STILL not an excuse, so STFU and GTFO.

Now the newer mess:
—Last night, I succeeded in my first attempt at making low-carb stuffed squash (read: there was no follow-up call to Domino’s). In honor of this achievement, I present to you some fun food photos (here and here).
—Stiffness and shortness and watermelon. That’s just too easy (all SFW, by the way).
—There might be a health-related silver lining to skyrocketing gas prices.
—Oooooo, pretty food—oh, wait a minute… yeah, YOU try pronouncing half the stuff in the ingredient list.
—Cigarette usage reportedly continues to decline (congrats to Terry and his wife for kicking the nicotine recently!); teenage pregnancies reportedly rise for the first time in fifteen years. Is a smoking/Bill Clinton joke too easy (and inappropriate) here?
—School deconsolidation was a big issue not too long ago around these parts under the guise of better, more involved teachers; better parental support (of and by); and lower costs. Of course, the powers-that-be swatted the community away by saying GovCo knows better than the public. Now, it looks like healthcare might be making its own attempt to localize and personalize. Place your bets now, folks.
—Happy trails to pioneering heart physician Dr. Michael E. DeBakey.
—Geek-out: Corvette ZR1 (even though I’m a Harley guy, I still appreciate four-wheeled engineering), The Storm Track, fighting umbrellas.

Finally, your words of wisdom:
—Coach Steer reminds you that there’s nothing wrong with being strong.
—Ross resurrects an oldie-but-goodie.
—Mike karaokes the theme of CSI: who are you?
—Mr. Tanaka gives you a six-pack of what it takes to achieve success (hint: it ain’t Budweiser).


One Response to “Wall-E offends”

  1. patrick said

    Wall-E totally looks like the robot from “Short Circuit”… minus the cheesy 80’s style of course

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