Alarming News: I like Morgan Freeberg. A lot.
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler: We were following a trackback and thinking "hmmm... this is a bloody excellent post!", and then we realized that it was just part III of, well, three...Damn. I wish I'd written those.
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler: ...I just remembered that I found a new blog a short while ago, House of Eratosthenes, that I really like. I like his common sense approach and his curiosity when it comes to why people believe what they believe rather than just what they believe.
Brutally Honest: Morgan Freeberg is an intriguing guy...[he] asks great questions and answers others with style, flair, reason and wit. On the blogroll he goes. Make him a part of your regular blogospheric reading. I certainly will.
Brutally Honest: Morgan Freeberg is brilliant.
Common Sense Junction: Misha @ Anti-Idiotarian never ceases to amaze me. He keeps finding other good blogs. I went over to A.I. this morning for my daily Misha fix and he had found this guy named Morgan Freeberg in Fair Oaks, California, that has a blog, House of Eratosthenes. Freeberg says its "The Blog That Nobody Reads" but it may now become the blog that everybody reads.
Jaded Haven: Good God, Morgan, you cover a topic from front to back with a screwy thoroughness I find mind boggling. I'm in awe of your thought proccesses, my friend, you're an exceptional talent. You start by throwing in the kitchen sink, tie in someone's syphilitic uncle, bend around a rip tide of brilliance and bring it all home in a neat, diamond dripping package of an exceptionally readable moment of damn fine wordsmithing. I love reading you.
Mein Blogovault: Make "the Blog that No One Reads" one of your daily reads.
Philmon: When Morgan meanders, stick with him - he's got a point and it'll be worth it in the end. He's not a hit-and-run snarky quip kind of guy. The pieces all fall into place like tumblers in a lock and bang! He's opened a cognative door for you.
Rightlinx: Morgan at House of Eratosthenes is one of the best writers out there. I read him nearly every day because he manages to provide an interesting perspective, even though I don't always agree.
Poetic Justice: Cletus! Ah gots a laiv one fer yew...
This blog is named after a library administrator who lived in ancient times, who ran around peeking into holes in the ground, and ended up figuring something out that was much bigger than he was. Drawing upon that as a lesson, we remain open to the possible hidden meaning behind seemingly innocuous observations, which may at first blush appear to have no meaning at all.
One of these observations is, that when people start to talk about womens’ body styles and sizes, and/or the clothes that are made available for those women to put on those bodies, the crap that comes tumbling out of their mouths almost never makes any sense.
Another one of these observations is, there is something deeply ingrained in the culture of that place called “Europe,” something that seems to motivate people to form gassy, flashy, bloated opinions about what someone else should or shouldn’t be doing. Here in America, I can find people who form opinions about anything & everything at the drop of a hat — but there’s this unwritten rule that an effort should be made, just as lip-service if nothing else, to define how the controversy you’re trying to create is any of your business. I mean, at least before you get to the part about commanding other people to do things, with authority you don’t really have.
Now, I don’t know what causes these things to be the way they are, or what kind of case I could build to convince someone these things are so, should that audience gaze upon my arguments with a jaundiced eye. And whoever would undertake to objectively assess whether or not I have any business noticing these things, would be hard-pressed to conclude that I do — just as it’s hard to figure out what business a library administrator has, peeking into wells to find the size of the earth, at a time when there were astronomers and well-diggers employed in doing those very things. I’m not a woman; I don’t buy womens’ clothes. I’m not in Europe, and never have been there.
I just find this kind of disturbing, is all.
Stores urged to drop super-skinny mannequins
By KRISTINA PEDERSEN, Daily Mail 08:24am 28th April 2006
Shop window mannequins should have the figures of “real women”, campaigners said yesterday.
They fear the unrealistic proportions of models in shops could be contributing to the rise of eating disorders.
Over the past 50 years, the average dress size has increased from 12 to 16. The average woman’s weight has gone up from eight to 11 stone.
But most high street fashion stores, including Mango, Topshop and Zara, use mannequins that fit a size six to 10. At 5ft 10in, most are also five inches taller than the average woman.
A spokesman for the Eating Disorder Association said: “The reason the stores have these proportions is because the mannequins are normally standing above shoppers, so as they look upwards the dummies look shorter and squatter than they really are.
“But of course this doesn’t change the fact that they still look slim.”
Officials in Andalusia, Spain, have already banned the use of mannequins smaller than the average Spanish woman.
The Spanish government is hoping to implement this across the country. “We would welcome any ruling that puts less pressure on women to get thinner,” said the Eating Disorder Association spokesman.
“They are already inundated with unrealistic images as it is.
“It is down to advertising and what companies think will help sell their clothes.”
A spokesman for Spanish-owned Zara, said: “We use the standard mannequins from our supplier.
“We would be happy to use larger sizes if they became available.”
Gotta love good ol’ Europe. Everything everybody does is everybody else’s business. Should, should, gotta, must, should, gotta, gotta, must, ought, should.
Now, if this were to be published in an American paper, I would expect to see something that would clarify for me what the Eating Disorder Association is, and how it’s any of their beef. That they don’t like the mannequins the way they are, is crystal-clear to me. I would just like to know 1) is it any “skin off their nose” if the mannequins are left unchanged, and if so, how; and 2) since the Eating Disorder Association wants the mannequins changed, what kinds of powers can that august body bring to bear to make it happen?
I need both of these pieces of information, to decide for myself if this is really “news” to begin with. If EDA doesn’t have an actual interest in the decision, and they don’t have any authority to bring their desires about, then the story boils down to this: Someone somewhere has a negative opinion about the way someone else is doing something. Well, shoot. Look around. Everyone’s got an opinion about everything that’s being done by anybody…and very few of those opinions are flattering.
If the EDA, and those who write about them, seek to stimulate a national debate in Great Britain about what is “normal” it seems to me very strange they would want, to use a cliched expression, “to go there.” When you’re fat, and you see a model and/or mannequin that is not fat, it’s not normal to re-define yourself as normal and the model as strange. A desire to expurgate that other ideal from public view, lest someone else see the model and get the idea that the model is “normal,” is likewise not-normal.
If we’re talking about a model and/or mannequin that is so skinny as to appear unhealthy, it’s quite nonsensical to suppose that something chubbier and healthier, only starts to look healthy when the skinny model is whisked away. If the stockier body type looks okay when it stands alone, but may suddenly take on an appearance of being a bit too rotund when compared to something else, I’m really at a loss to see how anyone is helped when the comparisons are changed. What does that do, exactly? It’s kind of like the bunny rabbit closing its eyes when the fox comes looking for him, reasoning that if he can’t see the fox, well then no way can the fox see him!
Oh, I do recognize eating disorders. I understand people, especially women, can get into unhealthy body images and from there, descend into an unhealthy diet. The thing I can’t quite get past, though — and if EDA is thinking about this, it seems they’re not thinking too hard — being fat is unhealthy too. The medical evidence of damage from a thicker body style, is no less solid than the evidence suggesting a proliferation of eating disorders arising from thinner styles, and desires for same. Fat, once it reaches excessive levels, is bad — bad for your heart, bad for your blood, bad for your brain. Fat, once it reaches excessive levels, changes peoples’ appearances. What a wonderful device that is, that so many health risks can be anticipated based on physical appearance.
What an incredible responsibility it is, to figure out who is “inundated with unrealistic images,” ponder worryingly about what might happen to those inundatees with less-stable thinking processes, and prevent such disasters from coming to pass. Is this really the line-of-work EDA wants to do? Is it ready to take responsibility for making sure these unrealistic-body-messages are intercepted everywhere? How about answering to a higher authority, when the interception of those messages doesn’t happen, or comes too late?
No, I don’t see that kind of sunlight in this well. I think the EDA, simply put, approves of chubby women and disapproves of skinny women, because they represent chubby women who don’t like to be reminded they’re chubby. Whether the fashion stores feel compelled to listen to them, or why they do if they do, is a mystery I’ll have to try to unravel some other day.
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