The Big Picture: Arch-Villains

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9Darksoul6:
Bob, you're fat, probably morbidly obese, and that's why you can't have a non-biased opinion on the subject. I never actually saw you, but I'd bet 100 bucks on that.
Also, I'm no vegetarian, but it's being proven for nearly a decade now that just eating meat takes as many years from your lifespan as smoking; that said, it's not hard to imagine that fast-food-based diets are more damaging than that. Honestly, I don't give a fuck, but let's keep in mind that if all people were like me, generally speaking, this world would be far worse than it is now.

This is MovieBob, while he is quite fat, I don't think he is morbidly obese.

image

About 3:49

Welcome, boys and girls, to another exciting adventure oooof... MovieBob Hates Fox News Way Too Much!
Join us as we explore the statements (and implied statements) of Bob Chipman, a very insightful, very deep-thinking and very likable internet personality who unfortunately is one of the millions of snarky young adults who don't give Fox News (and/or the people on it) a fair look before considering it to be ultra right-wing reactionary shock stock.

Issue #291

Glenn Beck, Bill O'Reilley and Sarah Palin are on YOUR SIDE, Bob. Conservatives generally support businesses like McDonald's. Even more than liberals, actually; the very health freaks we're talking about are typically on the left.
I know they'd be more likely to not support something regulating what parents can do to their kids, in a general sense, but for this particular case, you're on their side. Completely and totally.

The end

Edit:

About his weight

Screw anybody and everybody who plays this card on him. Why don't they continue being like that and go up to somebody and say he only supports the president because he's black? Then go tell a waitress that she only supports abortion because she's a waitress and therefore "must have needed one at some point"? Then go to a doorknob and tell it that it only supports a lower tax on hand sanitizer because it's a doorknob?

If you want to see fat kids here in a Japan (a nation with a populace for the most part does NOT suffer from endemic obesity), go a McDonalds. The company has cornered the 'afterschool studying/socialising' market, especially in the freaking heat. Essentially, this generation of Japanese kids will be the ruin of the nations incredible health statistics and perhaps even longevity statistics.

However, outside a McDonalds, surveying the older generations, it is more likely that the person directly infront of your in the street is slim rather than obese or overweight. Fingers crossed. Diet IS, however, very important to health and longevity, and during the Korean war, researchers found that American GIs in their 20s had internal organs of equivalent 'age' to Koreans in the 40s and 50s! Why? The conclusion was that Korea, free of fastfood and Western dietry excess at that time, was not wearing out bodies at an exponential rate.

Alcohol companies invest in 'awareness' about safe drinking. Fast food companies can do the same, if they want Brownie points with the public.

If heroine had a camel clown mascot the world would be screwed, right guys?

FAT man protecting his food. Big surprise.

There has to be a line drawn in the sand somewhere, and I think you drew it in just the right place. Great show!

I think its freakin hypocritical to say that "Animation can be for adults" then get pissed about Joe Camel. I was a kid, and never found smoking appealing b/c of some freaky camel.

I am all for personal responsibility, but McDonald's should put forth a little extra effort and use better ingredients. I make an annual pilgrimage to McDonald's to remind myself why I only go there once a year. In terms of price, McDonald's is relatively expensive where I live; a single Big Mac meal costs as much as two boxed lunches, which are considerably more nutritious.

Come on now, Bob.

If you're going to have a burger as your potential last meal, at least make it a good one ;) Sure McD's is the popular name brand that everyone knows, but a Big Mac? Really? They've gotta have a decent burger joint in your area. A Red Robin or Whataburger near you? No Chili's or Fridays? They don't at least have a Carl's Jr. or Jack in the Box near you?

Ok, burger choice aside. Bob is spot on here. There comes a time when personal accountability must play into it. Yes, fast food is generally unhealthy, but taken in moderation (and combined with a "normal" amount of physical activity) will have little to no ill effects. Cigarettes, on the other hand, will likely kill you even in moderation, and no matter how many miles you run or situps you do.

Thumbs up, Bob. Spot on. (even if it didn't generate a staggering comment count)

OK, I really disagree.

One, bringing up the evolution argument in this matter is incredibly stupid. You know in what ways humans have evolved since the dawn of civilization? Some people are being born without canines. That's it. Evolution takes millions of years to take hold on complex organisms like ourselves, and if allowing people to die made humans stronger against that we would all have an inherent fear of electrical sockets already. I can see how making laws that force idiots to protect themselves can be silly from a completely utilitarian point of view, but trying to wipe out the 'driving motorcycles without helmets' gene from the species is not something that actually happens.

Two, Ronald McDonald is a relic of the past already. Things have changed. McDonald's came into being when selling kids a cheap toy and forcing their parents to buy a burger and fries with it was normal and the American Way of Doing Business™. That's not the case anymore. Just like 50's folks saw no harm in using Fred Flintstone to promote cigarrettes, we don't see any harm in this kind of marketing, but our children will.

Three, I agree with what Americans think of as a 'conservative' notion that the government should interfere as little as possible with people's lives, only doing so in extreme cases (I do think, on the other hand, it should be much more forceful with business). But the issue with the idea of policing the interactins between parents and their children is - how does that work? That's something that requires incredibly robust social services, and if your social services can't even find all cases of domestic violence, how do you expect it to find all cases of something so much more subtle? The way you want it to work just doesn't work.

Four, they already blame games for the lack of exercising. And frankly, I do too, partly.

Five, when the economy is at a downturn, the best way to get it rolling again is to make a lot of money changing hands to warm it up. Johnny Depp didn't harm the economy - he actively helped save it. So where do you want me to put this statue of him? I hear there's an open spot in Detroit they're not using for a Robocop statue after all.

Orekoya:
How is it McDonalds fault? I watch plenty of child programming from time to time and haven't seen a single kiddie commercial with Ronald and his gang in at least half a decade.

I see Ronald a lot. But McDonald's change ad campaigns real fast so it's like they cant decide if they want to still use him or not.

Wait, what the fuck did I just see? *Pauses* *Rewinds*

Is that...is that a picture of Batman fighting a shark with a lightsaber? That just might be the most awesome thing I have ever seen in my life. Does anyone have a link to that so I can set it as my wallpaper on every electronic device I own?

As for the subject itself, I agree with what that first guy in the Facebook comments said. I think a good chunk of the reason America is so fat is because we're more car dependent then most other countries. Did anyone else see that bicyclist topic from a few weeks back? Obviously I can't claim this as pure fact, but a lot of the Europeans in the topic were very pro-bicyclist while Americans were mainly the ones against them. (It was about bicyclists on main traffic roads, just to clear up any confusion) It seems a lot more Europeans use their bikes as their main method of transportation then Americans do. You generally aren't going to see Americans bicycling to and from work unless it's a small town. Again, this is all just based on personal observation, so take it for what it is.

...Come to think of it, that's not really what Bob was talking about at all. Oh well.

Ron English took on both the subject of cigarettes being marketed to children (his Joe Camel anti-vertisement campaign may have played an important role in Joe Camel's retirement) and the use of Ronald MacDonald and his ilk to sell unhealthy fast foods to all of the impressionable tykes around the globe.
I'm left to wonder what he would make of the link between video games and a lack of exercise/sunlight if he'd make anything of it at all.

dante brevity:

Nurb:
I'm of the same opinion; tobacco is different than fast food, because fast food isn't chemically addictive like tobacco is.

I'll find them for you if you want, but a Google search will help you find a dozen studies that say fast food is chemically addictive. Not just in an emotional/comfort capacity either; people who've eaten diets with high sugar get the shakes when the sugar is taken out of their food. I'm not saying that this should make fast food illegal; I'll be ticked if someone tries to take away my very addictive caffeine. Marketing these things to kids, though? No.

You missed the posts above explaining how fast food is NOT CHEMICALLY ADDICTIVE. Same way weed is in no way addictive, but people CAN form a dependancy on it, gambling, video games... etc

The morbidly obese are addicted to food period, but there's nothing chemical about it that makes the brain addicted like crack, tobacco, or alcohol.

There's a difference between chemical and emotional/mental created addiction.

I had two cousins who used to love McDonalds, to the point where they wanted to eat every meal there. If they didn't get Mickey D's, they whined. And Whined. And WHINED. As a result, and to shut them up, their parents took them to eat there once a day. At their next checkup, they weren't obese, but their cholesterol counts were 297 and over 300.

Fast food has more bad effects than just making you fat. Me, I try to eat it once in a while, but it's not fast food that makes me fat. Eating too much and a sedentary lifestyle makes me fat.

Cocamaster:
I pretty much agree with the central theme of the video, but then he goes and rambles about how scientists should replace bad parents, which is pretty much the opposite of personal responsibility, and then uses a picture of three of the people that would most agree with the central theme of the video to demonize those who would rather have their parenting rights respected, which I assume would include him if the situation presented itself. (...and it's always the same people...)

...

When using the Darwin argument of natural selection to point out the importance of personal responsibility, you must remember that you're also basically saying that someone that has the "insight" to remove himself from the gene pool can't be blamed for doing the same to his offspring.

This.

Cocamaster:
But I once brought up this issue to her, and this is what she told me, after 35 years of dealing with this, which is something that resonated with me and changed my opinion on the issue:

"It would be extremely arrogant of me to pretend that just because I am a professional in this field, that I am a better parent for this particular child than its own parents."

Basically, her argument is that she deals with these children in a specific environment, school, with much defined rules and expectations from those involved. She doesn't provide for these kids, feeding them, playing with them, dealing with their issues, other than within the context of this clearly defined relationship of teacher-student. Children themselves behave differently in school than they do at home.

This.

Earaldor Xerron:
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.

This.

Dastardly:
Yeah, I run into that all the time as a teacher. Make a suggestion, and a parent slaps you with the, "Do you have kids?" argument. Please. Let's look at what I had to do just to prove I was fit to be in this classroom:
:list of self-congratulatory achievements:

Not this. A lot of parents went through a lot of those same processes (their brand of certification - if any - will of course differ) just so they could put a roof over their kid's head and put food on the table for him. And those who don't are probably putting in 60+-hour workweeks just to survive. And their investment in their child extends far beyond 172 half-days.

I can't think of a time when I left my boys in the care of anybody for more than ten minutes that was not themselves a parent. One thing I have consistently seen the parents understand - and the non-parents fail to understand - is that the child informs the parent as much as the inverse when it comes to raising children. "Do you have kids" may seem an insulting question to people with clinical or academic training in their field but parenting is neither clinical nor academic; it's experiential, and that's no one's fault.

Moreover, I trust my pediatrician to address my questions regarding my child's health when I first commission her expertise in that field. She doesn't exceed her mandate and she doesn't presume to inform on, for example, how I should discipline my child or how to help him get along with others at school. Maybe that perspective on how and why I trust the expertise of a stranger in a limited scope can help inform the potential difference in a reaction to someone serving the parent's need versus pitting yourself against them as an advocate for the child.

I despise the "natural selection" argument, not just because it's somewhat offensive, but because it's extremely stupid. There have been many brilliant people in history with self-destructive tendencies. You did sort of acknowledge this, but the rest of your tirade overshadowed it. You seem to suggest that just because someone keeps themselves healthy/safe, it automatically means they are smarter than your average self-destructive individual. Here, I'll give you five seconds to think of a successful idiot... yeah, exactly. "Evolution" (there aren't any inverted commas sarcastic enough) doesn't seem to be doing such a good job after all.

An obsession with your health does not demonstrate intelligence or lack thereof. You should know, you're fat. There is a significant difference between choosing to do something despite it being detrimental to your health, and choosing to ignore the fact that what you are doing is harmful, despite overwhelming evidence. Most people who smoke these days are aware of the consequences, and although it may be true to an extent, I can't help but feel that "they're idiots and they deserve to die as a result of their own stupidity and humanity will be better off without these idiots carrying the idiot gene" is needlessly inflammatory, and more than a little ridiculous. Having said that, it is definitely not the government's place to be putting these relatively non-issues ahead of real political concerns.

You almost had my total agreement, until you mentioned the term "personal responsibility". It's not that I don't appriciate the term, or disagree with the concept, but I don't like how the term has been used by corporate interests to be absolved of any responsibility in anything because "they didn't force anyone to do anything." Not just fast food, tobacco companies and predatory credit lenders have made a mint encouraging (or at least not discouraging) their consumers to make decisions they know full well are bad for them. I've even seen the odd online neo-libertarian twerp say we shouldn't prosecute fraud because people dumb enough to be ripped off deserve it. I'm in support of personal responsibility, until it allows people to start laying traps for me. I'd be more inclined to blame the toy in the happy mean box (the only reason I ever ate McDonalds) than the clown, but I do think a sensable step might be to at least market fast food as the treat is should be, rather than a fewuant meal replacement.

Ah, but that cuts into profits, and we can't have that.

mikev7.0:

punipunipyo:
(Music)"send in the clown~..." I too also hate politicians for pointing fingers, and you did made a good point when you said "what next? Blame Mario for our kids lacking excise?". Yes Joe Camel should die and forever burn in hell, yes, let the clown go, yes don't trample on our hobbies... But as I was agreeing to these points, I started thinking...

They could have made this "kids getting fat" issue just an "awareness movement", but they did, years ago, (I could even say, when they did that whole "Golden Pyramid" thing) but they weren't successful. They try telling us off from meat, promoting vegetables, promoting healthier food, that didn't stop us from over eating. Individuals stood out and alert people; "super size me", "my ears of meat"..etc making EXTREME MANEUVERS to go as far as to say "meat is the problem, go vegan!"... still didn't work. as our schools changing from "coke vending machines", to "water vending machines" (no joke, I live in California, this is happening in my home town!). They (government?) are resorting to "forcefully remove excessive sugar, calories, fat...etc. from our kids' diet. and you know, they did studies where kids who eats right, and have no excessive sugar/ bad eating habits preform better in class.

I still think kicking the clown in the ass is not right, and up front violation of the second amendment... but I can't say this wasn't because everything else failed, and they were left with not much other options...

Wow. Um, how exactly is that an "and up front violation of the second amendment..." which states: "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." Sorry, but I don't get what you're saying there. At all.

Otherwise great show again Bob, but I think I'm going to skip most of the comments from now on since about 80% of them are always people just saying the exact same thing you just pointed out in the video! Keep it up!

oops... first, i mean... the right of speech... my bad... going to correct it now... shame on me....

I quite agree with this.

I find it interesting how I can really agree on many things with MovieBob, and vehemently disagree with him on several others.

There definitely needs to be a license one has to get before they can legally have children. You take tests (obviously cannot teach everything), you learn how to be a good parent (again, it cannot teach everything, but it can give you a good idea), you prove that you can support the children, then you can have them.

That's MY Big Picture.

EDIT: No, I'm not saying some people can't be good parents without any prior training or knowledge (this typically depends on their intelligence, common sense, how much time they've spent with kids in the past, how they were raised, etc.), just that some people should not be raising children. Give them a horrible environment and it screws them up and makes them a far less stable, less useful member of society.

And yes, that is the whole 'Greater Good' argument going on. But then again, having parents who know what they're doing (to a degree) will probably make you less likely to be mentally scarred and traumatized, or have tons of emotional baggage.

Good episode, I highly recommend watching Fat Head, its on netflix live stream if you got it. Guy loses weight on a 100% fast food diet, while ripping the Supersize Me guy a new one, proving that its more about what and how you eat, rather then at what restaurant.

Btw, for anyone actually trying to lose weight, I recommend getting the book "4 Hour Body". I've been trying to lose weight for over 15 years, while injuring myself over and over again from over exercise, and theres so much fantastic information here that got me to lose 25 pounds while not going to the gym even ONCE. Not exaggerating in the slightest, as I hate gyms with a passion. I just recently hit my goal of getting under 200 pounds (im 6' 4") and I feel better then I ever have in my entire life. And no, I'm not some official salesperson for the author or anything.

It's all about eating the right things (mostly meat, beans, and lots of veggies soaked in butter/oil), then your body will do the rest. It's basically a high fiber/potassium, low carb diet (not to be confused with atkins, ITS NOT FUCKING ATKINS) and it works like a charm. The worst things for your body are actually things like cereal, rice, anything with high amounts of glutten, etc. But I still eat those things, just only once a week.

If anyone DOES read this and becomes interested, congratulations on your new life.

dante brevity:
I will not blame McDonald's one little bit for anyone over the age of 18 getting fat on their products. That said, I'll make an argument that Joe Camel and Ronald McDonald ARE the same in some ways. I know that burgers are legal while underage smoking is not, and I also know that McDonald's is dealing above board in their marketing to kids while Camel was being sneaky about it. Therefore, I'll restrict my argument to the following: Both McDonald's and Camel used their mascots to encourage kids to become habitual users of a product that is demonstrably bad for them.

Eating even one fast food meal offers the same health/pleasure trade-off as a cigarette, and adults like Bob (and me) can make this choice as we wish. Eating one probably won't hurt you (barring allergies), and eating one very occasionally will have little effect on you, but regular moderate to heavy use WILL have a negative health impact. Also, both are habit forming and chemically addictive. Kids cannot properly understand what fast food is; they (and some adults) see it as just another kind of food, instead of the nutritionally worthless, calorie excessive junk that it is.

Also, consider that these cartoon characters have a long term strategy in mind. Joe Camel's targets are in their 30s right now, and many of them are still smokers. How many of those kids had access to cigarettes when they saw their first ad? The same number that could walk to their local McDonald's and buy a Happy Meal, i.e. the ones with bad parents. However, plenty of kids with good parents saw the ads too, but couldn't act on them right away. Later during their middle school years, the cartoon influences worked their magic, and plenty of well-parented 13-year olds used spending money on both Camel (illicitly) and McDonald's (right out in the open).

This issue isn't about moderation: most kids don't understand moderation. If one of something is good, twenty is better. When we let kids make choices (and McDonald's is baldly attempting to influence the choices of children), they shouldn't be held accountable for life if they or their stupid parents make bad ones. Unfortunately, that's what happens a lot today. What are you going to say to a 75 lb. 4-year-old? "Sorry, Sally, but you're going to have to pay for your parents idiocy and my right to get a Thickburger with a lifetime of diabetes and heart disease."

I'll make a radical claim: every child deserves to graduate high school at a healthy weight. Kids won't necessarily claim that for themselves; their families and communities need to help provide them a healthy diet. ALL parts of a community need to pitch in: families, schools, churches, and businesses. And when one community member seems to be willfully disregarding this right to aid its bottom line, you better believe I want the government to come in and crack the whip. If that means sending Ronald McDonald to the same pasture as Joe Camel, I'm all for it.

Wait hold on, did you just say that fast food is as dangerous as cigarettes? Source?

Decent episode, no need for the shot at Johnny Depp, not his it was a crappy movie and he is a great actor.

I agree, keep the clown it isn't make kids fat, dumb parents are.

Caramel Frappe:
It's my choice to attend to McDonalds and buy their Caramel Frappe. I'm aware of the calories and the health risks, but I do so anyways? Why? Well, it's very delicious for one thing, but also because I set myself to work out through the week to burn those calories and I always don't have it just because.

Some time try to count how much working out it would actually take to burn the calories from a single Big Mac. For reference, you would have to climb 40 steps to make up for chocolate Oreo cookie.

Emergent System:
There's a lot of subtle deception in the food industry, but McDonalds doesn't seem to be up to that. A hamburger, though probably not the ideal food, is fairly nutricious. Unless you, like a certain world-famous moron, go straight from being a vegetarian to eating several thousands calories more than your daily requirement of the stuff every single day, you should be fine.

I hate that Morgan Spurlock duchebag.

I agree with the Morgan Spurlock sentiment - although "Supersize Me" was a relatively entertaining documentary, I never understood why people found it so revelatory. "Mcdonald's is BAD for you. NO WAY!?!? Wow, look at how SICK he got! I'm NEVER eating Mcdonald's AGAIN". I just had to shake my head when I heard crap like this from people who just watched the documentary.

However, I'm just curious - since when is a hamburger "fairly nutritious"? I mean, the ONLY, and I mean ONLY thing, that a hamburger contains in it which could be considered important to the diet is protein - yes, I know we all need fat in the diet, but the fat ratio (particularly saturated fat ratio) to carbohydrate ratio is far too disproportionate, and as for essential vitamins, a hamburger contains...well, none of them. I'm just interested as to what you meant by that...

ace_of_something:
You should be a politician speaking so much without actually saying anything.
I will reiterate this concisely.
When it comes to marketing and personal choice. Certain things are different.
It's not all the same.

So, an Ad hominem attack toward me, and a cry for the virtue of the double standard. Nothing more to see here. Come back when you have an actual reply.

Sutter Cane:

dante brevity:
Snip

Wait hold on, did you just say that fast food is as dangerous as cigarettes? Source?

Happily. Fast food increases risk of obesity and type-II diabetes.
http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(04)17663-0/fulltext
http://ajph.aphapublications.org/cgi/content/abstract/99/3/505
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1353829208000981
http://www.nature.com/ijo/journal/v31/n6/abs/0803616a.html

The last one has my favorite quote: "The food quality and portion size need to be improved before it is safe to eat frequently at most fast-food chains."

Fast food is chemically addictive.
http://www.medical-hypotheses.com/article/S0306-9877(08)00642-7/abstract
http://www.medical-hypotheses.com/article/S0306-9877(09)00484-8/abstract
http://www.nature.com/neuro/journal/v13/n5/full/nn.2519.html

Studies like these are showing that heating high-fat, high calorie food, like that available cheap and easy in fast food restaurants, triggers the same brain chemical mechanism as "cocaine or heroin."

Remember, I'm not making the argument that we need to protect adults from these foods, just kids that make bad choices and can't know better shouldn't be marketed food that's not "safe to eat."

TheSchaef:

Dastardly:
Yeah, I run into that all the time as a teacher. Make a suggestion, and a parent slaps you with the, "Do you have kids?" argument. Please. Let's look at what I had to do just to prove I was fit to be in this classroom:
:list of self-congratulatory achievements:

Not this. A lot of parents went through a lot of those same processes (their brand of certification - if any - will of course differ) just so they could put a roof over their kid's head and put food on the table for him. And those who don't are probably putting in 60+-hour workweeks just to survive. And their investment in their child extends far beyond 172 half-days.

I can't think of a time when I left my boys in the care of anybody for more than ten minutes that was not themselves a parent. One thing I have consistently seen the parents understand - and the non-parents fail to understand - is that the child informs the parent as much as the inverse when it comes to raising children. "Do you have kids" may seem an insulting question to people with clinical or academic training in their field but parenting is neither clinical nor academic; it's experiential, and that's no one's fault.

Moreover, I trust my pediatrician to address my questions regarding my child's health when I first commission her expertise in that field. She doesn't exceed her mandate and she doesn't presume to inform on, for example, how I should discipline my child or how to help him get along with others at school. Maybe that perspective on how and why I trust the expertise of a stranger in a limited scope can help inform the potential difference in a reaction to someone serving the parent's need versus pitting yourself against them as an advocate for the child.

You can think what you like, of course. Obviously, as I mentioned originally, I'm not talking about all parents. I'm simply rejecting the notion that a parent "knows what's best" by virtue of simply being a parent. It would be like me claiming that because I attended school, I'm educated.

No. If I'm not demonstrating the skills I supposedly learned, my claim is empty and I'll be fired. That's why we're put through rigorous proving processes before we're even allowed into a classroom (and continuously put through those processes while we're in there).

There is no such certifying process for parents. The most they ever have to prove to anyone is that they're not beating or starving the child, and that the child has some clothes and a roof. And because their position in the child's life is infinitely more influential, I don't think they should get a free pass just for having figured out how babies get made.

Most parents do a pretty good job. Many do a wonderful job. Those parents are the ones who realize that their job isn't just to keep the kid alive--it's to teach the child. By the time a kid is 18, he's spent just over 10% of his life in school. That's it. We can't be responsible for 100% of his education.

But you want us to just roll over and believe that simply because a person is a biological parent, they automatically know what's best? I'm sorry, but my experience has taught me that is not automatically the case.

- When a kid shows up to my class in the same outfit three days a week--a Christmas shirt in the middle of August, to boot--but mama comes into a parent conference with her hair and nails all pretty, dressed up like the Queen Mother? And no, she's not interviewing for jobs. She's collecting Welfare and child support. She just likes looking nice while her kid gets nothing. I'm supposed to believe she knows--or even cares--about what's best for her child?

- When a child can't read or do basic math, but is too old for the school to legally hold him back anymore, and the parent doesn't take any steps toward using the free help we offer in our after-school, non-paid time to try to get that kid caught up, because they get an extra check each month as long as the child is classified as "learning disabled?" And we're supposed to believe they've got the child's best interests at heart?

- When a child can't even keep their head up and concentrate in class for ten minutes, falling asleep because he was out all night standing on the street corner playing lookout for his drug-dealing older brother while the parent was hooking out of her house?

- When a child can't focus on learning anything because his parents don't provide food with their Welfare check, because they just had to get some new rims for the car? And the school is forced to provide two of the "three meals a day" to the child, for free, year-round, just to ensure the kid isn't starving to the point he can't learn?

- When a woman who already has had two kids taken away by the State for neglect and criminal issues, and her next kid is going the same way, and she comes in for a conference only after a court order. And she's pregnant again?

- In a less extreme and far more common example, when two parents can't even act like civil, mature adults during a parent conference, and instead bicker with each other in the exact same way a child would, and do so while their child is watching, and then want to claim their child's failure and misbehavior in school is our fault?

With things like this considered, which we encounter every year with multiple kids, I refuse to accept that someone automatically knows how to parent simply because they have a child? Sorry, I just can't buy that. I draw my conclusions based on evidence, not titles.

(And yeah, the same goes for teachers. My "self-congratulatory list of achievements" wasn't a list of achievements at all. It's a list of the things I had to do just to be allowed to enter a classroom, and a list of the standards I must meet in order to stay there, nothing more. If at any point I stop demonstrating mastery of those standards, the degree and license mean nothing. The list was provided only for sake of contrast, not because those things hold any weight on their own.

It doesn't guarantee a good teacher, but at least it's something. A teacher education curriculum is about 50% "content area" stuff--science teachers learning science, etc. The other half is about how children learn and are motivated, evidence-based practices for teaching and managing behavior in and out of the classroom, stuff like that. If even all of that doesn't guarantee a good teacher, how much less of a guarantee do we have on parents simply because they're parents?)

I found the comment about blaming Master Chief for the lack of civility in online play hilarious because Master Chief is mute.

"Frankly I think modern society places far too much emphasys on protecting stupid people from the consequences of their own stupidity" / "Nature is very good at this natural selection thing, and one of the main mechanisms by wich it operates is that self destructive idiots remove their negative influence from the gene pool by self destructing as a result of that idiocy"

That one deserved a quote. Amazingly put Bob. True in every single word.

Nurb:

dante brevity:

Nurb:
I'm of the same opinion; tobacco is different than fast food, because fast food isn't chemically addictive like tobacco is.

I'll find them for you if you want, but a Google search will help you find a dozen studies that say fast food is chemically addictive. Not just in an emotional/comfort capacity either; people who've eaten diets with high sugar get the shakes when the sugar is taken out of their food. I'm not saying that this should make fast food illegal; I'll be ticked if someone tries to take away my very addictive caffeine. Marketing these things to kids, though? No.

You missed the posts above explaining how fast food is NOT CHEMICALLY ADDICTIVE. Same way weed is in no way addictive, but people CAN form a dependancy on it, gambling, video games... etc

The morbidly obese are addicted to food period, but there's nothing chemical about it that makes the brain addicted like crack, tobacco, or alcohol.

There's a difference between chemical and emotional/mental created addiction.

I didn't miss the posts; they're just wrong. Fat, sugar, salt and caffeine, all of which are excessively present in a fast food meal, all share addictive properties with other "drugs" like "crack, tobacco or alcohol." I understand the argument that some things are not inherently addictive, and I agree with you that marijuana is probably one of these. Fast food isn't, though.

However, even if McDonald's was addictive like gambling more than crack, the fact remains that we don't market gambling to children. If Casinos trotted out a cartoon character mascot and bought airtime during kids' shows, you better believe parents and the government would cry foul.

Cocamaster:

Dastardly:
...stuff...

First, let me preface by saying that I highly admire your position as an educator and the sacrifices you and your peers make for our children.

My mother is a teacher herself; pushed through 12 years of professional training to end up in a job where it's only tangible reward is knowing you are helping someone else build their future. She has told me of many horror stories of parents, which I'm sure you have many of your own.

But I once brought up this issue to her, and this is what she told me, after 35 years of dealing with this, which is something that resonated with me and changed my opinion on the issue:

"It would be extremely arrogant of me to pretend that just because I am a professional in this field, that I am a better parent for this particular child than its own parents."

Basically, her argument is that she deals with these children in a specific environment, school, with much defined rules and expectations from those involved. She doesn't provide for these kids, feeding them, playing with them, dealing with their issues, other than within the context of this clearly defined relationship of teacher-student. Children themselves behave differently in school than they do at home.

It is not the place of the teacher to parent, just to teach. That said, teachers can teach parents, too, and parents SHOULD listen. It's all about establishing a relationship.

I'm sorry I missed your reply! It didn't send me a message saying that I had one, but I found it a moment ago.

I agree with your mother. I would certainly be extremely arrogant of me to pretend I am a better parent, and that's why I would never do so. However, what I'm saying is that I don't automatically have to believe that they are a "good parent" simply by virtue of the fact that they have a child. That's all I'm saying.

If I want to claim I'm a good teacher, I have to provide constant evidence. I had to provide quite a bit of evidence just to become one. If I stop providing clear evidence, I lose my claim to being a "good teacher." The burden of proof is constantly upon me to live up to that claim.

I reject the notion that some (not all) parents put forth that what we say as educators holds absolutely no weight because some of us "don't have kids." Or even those of us that do, "don't know what's best for my child." If you look at my earlier (quite long) reply to another poster, you'll see some of my personal horror stories that demonstrate some of these people clearly do not know what's best.

I'm not claiming to be a better parent, but some of my suggestions as a teacher might have merit. Please understand, I very nearly never make these kinds of suggestions. And when I do, it's in the context of a discussion about the child's behavior at school. I would never presume to tell a parent how to do their job. But when a child is misbehaving in class, and I recommend something to the parent that we could do in school, and that parent responds by telling me I don't know what I'm talking about because I don't have kids?

The parents I'm talking about are the ones that shield themselves from any criticism or suggestion from anyone, by hiding behind the, "Well, I'm his parent and I know what's best" mantra. If anyone in any leadership or teaching position pulled that crap, they'd be out on their ass in no time. And parenting is the single most important leadership and teaching position, yet it simultaneously requires the least training or experience to get into.

manic_depressive13:
I despise the "natural selection" argument, not just because it's somewhat offensive, but because it's extremely stupid. There have been many brilliant people in history with self-destructive tendencies. You did sort of acknowledge this, but the rest of your tirade overshadowed it. You seem to suggest that just because someone keeps themselves healthy/safe, it automatically means they are smarter than your average self-destructive individual. Here, I'll give you five seconds to think of a successful idiot... yeah, exactly. "Evolution" (there aren't any inverted commas sarcastic enough) doesn't seem to be doing such a good job after all.

An obsession with your health does not demonstrate intelligence or lack thereof. You should know, you're fat. There is a significant difference between choosing to do something despite it being detrimental to your health, and choosing to ignore the fact that what you are doing is harmful, despite overwhelming evidence. Most people who smoke these days are aware of the consequences, and although it may be true to an extent, I can't help but feel that "they're idiots and they deserve to die as a result of their own stupidity and humanity will be better off without these idiots carrying the idiot gene" is needlessly inflammatory, and more than a little ridiculous. Having said that, it is definitely not the government's place to be putting these relatively non-issues ahead of real political concerns.

I like this guy.

Enosh_:
"blaming master chief for lack of civility" this line is killing me, given that he himself made the agument that halo is to blame a billion times

Lol moviebob, with always great and solid arguments.

Isn't the issue here advertising to children as a whole rather than that McDonalds is advertising to them? A society that bans high fat food is a crappy society and I think most rational people can understand that, but with these kinds of calls I can't help but think that the undercurrent of all this is that advertising to children as should be banned. I have to confess I'm somewhat open to the idea if it's implemented well, there are plenty of things I did as a child that I disagree with as an adult primarily because of advertising and me not being old enough to rationally consider it.

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