South Park and Philosophy: Bigger, Longer, and More Penetrating

By Richard Hanley | Go to book overview

9
Nice Going, Fat-Ass!

RICHARD HANLEY

To make a point, this is going to be a slim chapter…

Here in the U.S., about five percent of the population is obese, and another twenty to thirty percent are overweight. But there's hope, I read recently. A new drug, Slentrol, promises to help, by reducing the amount of fat absorbed from food.

By the way, the population I'm talking about is the dog population of the U.S., sixty-two million of 'em. We're so fucking fat, even our pets are fat. We are, as a nation, disgustingly fat. Compare our situation with that of Starvin' Marvin, who lives in Ethiopia (“Starvin' Marvin,” and “Starvin' Marvin in Space”). Marvin has what philosopher James Rachels calls “the other weight problem,” characterized by undernutrition.

Here in the fat-assed U.S. of A., a weight problem means being overweight. And this should not be downplayed. I recognize that it's not easy to be a fat-ass, and not easy to change. But when Horace Sanders's dad claims in “Fat Camp” that “you need to accept the fact that most fat people are just genetically fat,” that's bullcrap. What's true is that most fat people have enablers. Cartman has his Mom, who tells him he's just “big-boned,” and plies him with comfort food. In fat camp, in “Fat Camp,” Cartman enables the other fat kids by supplying them with contraband candy. And in our great nation, “food” companies ply us with all manner of tempting treats in lieu of real nutrition.

In Ethiopia (and Alabama, according to “Cartmanland”), people are just plain starving to death. They would give a testicle to have our weight problem. South Park is pretty tough on Sally Struthers, whom it depicts as Jabba the Hutt, and as a candy

-99-

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