The Big Picture: Arch-Villains

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Now I really want a burger and a that bad?

That is what i have been saying for forever. And I'm still a year away from voting here. It isn't the kids who pay for this stuff, it is the parents/adults. So why can't you think of ways to control the parents from being complete morons instead of the restaurants from doing their business. Tell your little kid No and move on. I first realized that when i was about 14, and the rest of the world, it seems, hasn't even gotten close.

Or maybe it is that whole silent majority thing. Where almost everyone thinks that, but just go along with it because they don't know almost everyone else disagrees with the loudest person, and so they always go with them.

Mehh I'm never really too fond of people dragging natural selection into the personal responsibility argument. Natural selection doesn't really work on the kind of timescales we are familiar with (at least not for complex forms of life, bacteria and the like are different of course).

Like someone else said it could lead to thinking about things like Social Darwinism, but I don't think Bob goes that far. Furthermore, while 'stupid individuals remove themselves from the genepool' sounds nice it's not the only way natural selection works.

I do agree with the rest of the video though.

When I saw "Arch villians" and "We have met the enemy, he is a clown" I would have guessed this was about the Joker. Oh well.

Anywho, mostly unthinking parents getting angry about choices having consequences, eh? Stupid is as stupid does, they say.

EDIT: Related, I'm pretty sure:

Great episode. I think you got into a pretty serious issue, looked at it from all sides and made a pretty solid decision on your part as to where you're at. No fence sitting from Bob, no sir

I thought this episode was pretty much right on the money. Blame Ronald McDonald, instead of the parents who keep shoveling the stuff down their kids throat.

Whats a real killer for fast food is the fact its so damn easy. Cooking takes time, energy, and attention. Fast food you just ask for what you want and bam you get it

Great episode. I love it when you tackle the more realistic topics, oddly enough.

They pretty much killed Cookie Monster for supposedly making kids obese. He use to eat nothing but cookies. Since too many kids are fat because their dumb parent let them sit in front of the TV a eat too many cookies, they changed it so that 'cookie monster' says cookies are a sometimes food!

until the parents figure out this their fault we'll just keep on playing the blame game.

While I disagreed with a great number of things this episode (not the least of which putting natural selection as the beginning and end of society's moral obligation). I completely agree with your ultimate conclusion.


Mostly agreeing with you, but just to let you know, being fat or poor does not make you more susceptible to acquiring bad habits. Being poor possibly makes the necessity to eat fast food (it being all some people can afford, and all) more prevalent, but that's all.

There is a stigma, a very noticeable one, that poor people and fat people are stupid. That's not the case (as in, seriously, believe me, it is SO not the case). In that same measure, being fat and poor does not make you more susceptible to acquiring certain (bad) habits.

Actually being fat, having a low social status (for example poorness) and bad eating habits are all strongly correlated between themselves. The rich and the educated have significantly better eating habits. Also fast food is significantly more expensive than home-made food. I can cook several meals for myself with the price of a one Big Mac.

Getting health problems through bad eating habits is a choice for the vast majority. The choice lower end of the society is more likely to make.

Last Doomsday I slept, and ate cereal, played video games and what not, pretty good way to go I suppose. Oh, and watched this.

Awesome day =3

Smoking is in and on it's self nothing but inhaling poison.
Besides it's drug induced euphoria it has no redeeming qualities.
And, it's also bad for others around you.

Fast food, while not great. is also still food.
It nourishes you. Yes, a well balanced meal might be better, but it still does the trick.
And if you exercise after your big mac, you can balance it out.

Last time I checked blowing up balloons didn't cure lung cancer.

I have no special comment on the main topic of this episode, but the "protecting people from their own stupiditiy" part caught my attention.

I'm sure others will tell you (I mean Bob) that social darwinism or anything slightly pointing to that direction is not exactly humanitarian. I think you know that very well, and I (think I) get what you mean by letting people suffer the consequences of their stupiditiy. I think you are generally right about it. Everyone should at least know and understand the consequences of their actions. Unfortunately, these actions usually affect others as well. Protecting people from their own stupidity actually protects other people as well and that is why I think it's important. Take smoking for example: it's unhealthy to everyone inhaling the smoke, not just the smoker. A drunk driver is dangerous to everyone else as well. And so on, and so on.
Therefore, I beleive protecting people from their own stupidity is, in most cases, very important.

excellent episode as always

Typical of society. Intentionally do something hurtful, and instead of blaming themselves for their own self-destruction behavior, they have to blame something from the media.

Side Note: I'm surprised a couple people didn't remember Joe Camel. He was Camel's mascot until the late 90s. To be honest, I still thought he was their mascot. You've got some pretty young viewers, Bob!


Loved your definition of natural selection!
I didn't know about this, it certainly is stupid. Enforce a parenting license and it's all fixed.

I wouldn't say "parenting license" I would be more inclined to encourage birth control and then give parents guidelines on how to properly raise children in a way where they will grow up psychologically and physically healthy, personal morals and teachings are up to the parent. However if your kid ends up being 200 pounds when he/she is 7 the state should take them away.
As A Side Note to terrible parents: "I don't tell you how to raise your kids!" is not a good argument, because while that might be true mine have never been arrested.

This is not a perfect world. Just cuz we teach people how to raise kids doesn't mean they will listen. It's impossible to reach all, and it's really hard to reach a very small amount. The only way to do anything of impact is to force it on people. People will still be able to have children all they want, but will receive no help from the state. It's force education on those that want it and those that don't care might at least have less children due to money constraints.
If you want to continue this discussion, do it over PM, don't want to derail the thread.

The funny thing is I was watching this while eating Mc Donalds.

How the hell is this show even called "The Big Picture"? My God, someone was being generous...

He does have a point, in this day and age people are unwilling to accept that anything is their fault, scapegoats are the norm and people are sidestepping the real issues. Ronald McDonald is not making people inflate like balloons, people sitting around all day doing absolutely nothing except eating and sleeping is why people are getting fat, I'm not going to blame TV or anything for that either, I'm just saying take responsibility for your own flaws and actually get off you asses and do do something about it. Addiction is in itself only a problem when you let it become a problem, my mother used to smoke heavily before I was born, she actually put in the effort to break the habit and she hasn't looked back since, people just need the will power to say "No more!" and stick to their guns.

When you recall that McDonald's encourages people to eat its food in excess with marketing slogans such as: "Have you had your McDonald's today?" then Bob's argument really falls apart. McDonald's food is physiologically addictive and should be treated the same as any other similar substance, ie: heavy government regulation. McDonald's is, in essence, marketing heart attack inducing heroin to children, hoping to get them hooked from a young age so they'll be addicts their whole life. The "personal responsibility" argument is irrelevant.

Totally awesome. Glad I made my right-wing conservative sister watch it too! She was made the same "Joe Camel was bad, Ronald McDonald is too" jump in logic.

Good episode, not great, but good. I agree totally, I just prefer your nerdier topics. Well well, there's always next week.

Exactly. I think you sometimes misjudge your audience here on the Escapist, Bob.
I'm guessing we are on average a lot smarter than the average Joe, judging by the civility and well thought out comments I see on almost every forum topic.

We already know it's stupid yet easy to blame the McDonalds, so you're not making much people rethink their position with this. Make stuff that makes us smart nerds chuckle, we like the positive side :)

I've a few points to make. Firstly, most of what moviebob said was a fair argument (though the opening was bordering close to eugenics), though this issue of childhood obesity is a major one.

As a british medical student, part of our training revolves around public health, and naturally we did work on childhood obesity. Undoubtedly it is a serious problem, arguable more-so than smoking now. The morbidity can be just as severe (everything from type II diabetes, heart failure, stroke through to increased risk of certain cancers and complications under anaesthetic for surgery) and the sheer prevalence of it now - in the UK over 25% of children will be obese by 2050 - and that fat children often make fat adults - makes my point. The cost of this is already 16 billion annually, set to rise to over 50 billion by 2050.

Now its not all due to diet, we can't just blame corporations, and the parents need to be held accountable. But on the other hand, parenting is very difficult, and if a child tells mummy he wants McDonald's, sometimes for mummy its easier just to let her son have what he wants instead of dealing with the consequences. As for your options given in you video - interfere with the parents, or interfere with a corporation, I know what I'd back, and it isn't with you. Child protection courts in England are already shrouded in controversy and trials held behind closed doors, with numerous examples of children being taken away (okay, a lot of the time justifiably). I would suggest that you yourself don't have enough experience in the matter to judge that parents of overweight children should have to defend themselves from a government. So a more practical approach with fewer ethical issues would be to prevent such fast food companies from targeting children in the first place, so that a generation will hopefully grow up healthier and pass the lifestyle to the next. For as you said, if targeting junk food doesn't solve this epidemic, then how long before video games get brought into it?

I hope you (moviebob) read this (as you mentioned in your recent column), as I believe these arguments important and you have a voice more likely to be heard than mine.

Not bad Mr. Chipman. Just one thing I'd like to mention in order to satisfy my crippling know-it-allism: Natural selection doesn't really exist anymore in the human population. Civilization and the advancements that it brought in regards to food production, medicine and whatnot have allowed us to radically alter our collective position to the point where we've essentially opted out of natural selection as a species. This means that what little evolution is still going on in the human genome is largely the result of sexual selection. Although evolution by sexual selection is probably largely negated by social constructs such as monogamous marriage and taboos against incest. With our current understanding of heredity and genetics we could probably take control of our own evolution but eugenics has been taboo for quite a while now.

It's all lies - Joe camels real purpose was to make camels start smoking.

But in any case this is the usual Bob perspective on things, Bob doesn't smoke so everybody who smokes is a raving idiot and Joe Camel is just a step to far.
On the other hand Bob IS a obese person who likes McDonald's and therefore Ronald McDonald is okay.

Sooo, from what I gathered from the video, Bob's solution is to just make people stop being idiots?

Yeah see, I'm all for that, except good luck to whoever tries that.

Every somewhat not stupid person will agree on that and you made this episode well, but I can't help but feel that the density of new information was not as high as usual. "People, start to raise your children in a responsible and intelligent way" has been said quite often already.

But then again, we might have to repeat those words more often, because so far they don't want to listen ^^

It's all lies - Joe camels real purpose was to make camels start smoking.

But in any case this is the usual Bob perspective on things, Bob doesn't smoke so everybody who smokes is a raving idiot and Joe Camel is just a step to far.
On the other hand Bob IS a obese person who likes McDonald's and therefore Ronald McDonald is okay.

It's always easy to make the, but he's X so he's Biased, yes he's fat so automatically he's going to do the opposite of what the majority of fat people do nowadays and defend the people supposedly responsible for obesity.....oh wait. Joe the Camel was a despicable way to market to children, the difference is that cigarettes for years were fine, they still caused health problems but nobody really cared, times changed and now smoking is an expensive habit which is pretty much reserved for your house, your car, and in an alley way somewhere. Fast food IS unhealthy for you, but unlike smoking is not going to give you cancer or emphysema or any permanent damage, also fast food is not the only food that's bad for you that may lead to obesity. Overall he makes a compelling argument based on HIS OPINION,if you don't agree than that's your prerogative doesn't automatically make him 100% wrong

They pretty much killed Cookie Monster for supposedly making kids obese. He use to eat nothing but cookies. Since too many kids are fat because their dumb parent let them sit in front of the TV a eat too many cookies, they changed it so that 'cookie monster' says cookies are a sometimes food!

until the parents figure out this their fault we'll just keep on playing the blame game.

I watch, well see Sesame Street while kid watches it, all the time and cookie monster eats the letter of the day (on a cookie) every episode and once in a while he eats something else.

They didnt pretty much kill cookie monster. 95% of his character is still eating cookies.

I think this is a situation where the backlash is bigger then the event.

I have to disagree with your views on evolution and survival of the fittest, even though it scientifically explains how we came to be, it in no way should be applied into a moral and social context. After Richard Dawkins wrote The Selfish Gene he had to explain to a load of dicks who took it to mean that everyone should just be selfish that Darwinism shouldn't be used as a way of life. Now we have acquired intelligence through natural selection, we can overcome it. We have developed morality and ethics, possibly as a side-effect of other traits acquired through evolution or maybe because of beneficial mutualism, this means we can move away from the cold and heartless world defined by natural selection. That's why we have Fuckin' hospitals!

PS I enjoy the odd cigarette :)

Childhood obesity....Hilarious lol.

OT: I completely blame the parents for feeding their kids mcdonalds And not making a healthy home cooked meal. Or that instead of saying that it is in their genes or some other BS tell them to go out and play. If your kid eats mcdonalds and just sits around playing videogames all day he is going to get fat. It's a fact of life.

the thing is so-called "fast food" is nowhere near as bad for you as stuff in a lot of sit-down restaurants. When at was at Anime Central nearly two weeks ago I ate at Giordano's (a famous Chicago pizza chain) and I don't even wanna THINK about how many calories that pie had.

The key is to educate perants and children about nutrition, the fact that many, usually poorer people see macdonalds as an easy option for their childen is a side effect of both lack of education in this area and simple lack of time on the part of people who likely work long hours for low pay. I think there is a lot of merit to their being an OPTION for healthy, fast food since everyone does not have the time to cook a full meal for their family. The content of many products could deservse a second look since many products aimed at kinds contain some pretty lacking ingredients BUT macdonalds is fine if only eaten once in a while, no one is telling you to eat it all the time.

I am what you would call a portly gentleman but being a chef/student/writer (its an odd situation) i love to cook and make all my own meals, quite a lot of them actually. I eat a lot yes but it not particularly unhealthy stuff and due to my job i have to eat at odd and what many would call all the wrong times. The debate about obesity usually fauls to take into account the ideas of both choice and pressures, people don't feed macdonalds to children because they think it is the only food for them they do it becasue it is convenient.

So refreshing to see someone else discuss the belief that we have now broken Darwinism by sheltering the stupid from letting them off themselves. It's why I became a Libertarian actually, at least partially. People should be free to do most anything short of depriving another citizen of their freedoms, such as murdering them, and if that leads them to a quick death because they lack common sense or the concept of discretion, so be it.

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