If not now, when?

One American woman. Twenty acres and a 1650 farmhouse in Tuscany. Random introspection and hilarity, depending on the day.

02 July 2005

Rant of the Week (AKA, What I don't miss about America)

Give me a f***ing break. There's simply no nicer way to say it. If we needed ANY proof at all post 'finger-in-the-Wendys-chili' scandal that the American legal system is completely out of control, and that our culture in general is whiny, opportunistic, overly litigious, instant-gratification and blame-happy, THIS is it.

This Arlington, Virginia woman - Catherine Holmes - is actually SUING the dairy industry: Dannon, Kraft, Gen. Mills, and an assorted bunch of trade groups - because she didn't lose weight on the 'dairy diet'. She actually is quoted as saying, "I was thinking that I wasn't seeing the fat melting off like all those skinny little girls in the ads," O.M.G.!!!!! If only stupidity was a crime. What's next?!? An attack on Tampax, when she isn't miraculously able to compete in a tennis tournament and/or dive into a lake on a summer's day (at 110 lbs and wearing a slinky bikini) immediately after insertion? Or on VIAGRA, when she takes one and a ready-to-go man doesn't appear next to her on a mountain top at sunset? The very best thing I've found about living out of the US is that, by and large, people hold themselves accountable for their own actions. Don't put hot coffee in your lap, bozo. Or if you do and it burns the crap out of your leg when you spill it, do what 98% of rational people would do: Curse loudly. Go home. Change pants. Liberally apply burn cream. Cancel date for the evening. Suck it up, and learn a lesson.

Aaah. But though Catherine is the pretty face (said with tongue FIRMLY placed against my cheek) of this crime against reason, if you dig a bit further, you discover that the suit is actually brought on her behalf by the 'Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine' - a group made up of less than 5% actual physicians; actually a radical animal-rights group in disguise. (Not that I have anything against vegetarians. Or animal lovers. But it's like I say about anything ... if you have passionate beliefs, great - YOU practice them.) Don't like meat? Don't eat it. Oppose abortion? Don't have one, and don't perform them. Think tuna is bad because the nets catch dolphins accidentally? Eat egg salad instead. Think most TV preachers are psycho hate-spewers? Great - don't send 'em your $$$$. Hate spam emails? Delete them. Think porn is bad? Don't watch it, and don't let your kids roam the web unsupervised. Don't like George Bush? You're in good company, but for the love of all that's good and holy, do something more productive with your time and energy than sitting (unshowered in your birkenstocks) in front of his house for the next three and a half years with some half-baked protest sign. Go get involved in local politics, because that's where tomorrow's problems start. Because behaving like a wacko with nothing better to do than picket the White House is NOT - I repeat - NOT advancing the cause. Sigh. We're all responsible for our own lives. That weird, demonstrating radical segment of our society - on so many issues, some that I agree with and others that I don't ... really does leave me to shake my head in wonder. Kook-a-rama. And as for those 5% of the PCRM group who are actual physicians, they deserve every cent and then some of their skyrocketing malpractice insurance costs.

And to you, Catherine: YOU make me ashamed to be a self-confessed occasional yo-yo dieting, heavier-than-I'd-like-to-be-but-not-willing-to-give-up-the-things-I-like woman. No, honey. There's no magic diet, no free lunch (vegetarian or otherwise), and no cure for being hit with the ugly and stupid stick. Get your ass to the gym like the rest of us - or don't - but either way, stop blaming other people for your problems, and for heavens' sake, if you can't do all of that, please move to another country so you can stop giving Americans (and, also, I would hazard a guess, Democrats) a bad name. And, oh, please pick a country with a less voracious media than ours (and the US media should be ashamed of itself, too, which is also something I don't miss about America, but that's a rant for another day.)

But you're not alone in the hall of shame, Catherine. The winner of the 2004 Stella Award (named after the McDonalds Coffee Woman), is the equally-embarrassing Mary Ubaudi of Madison County, Ill. Ubaudi was a passenger in a car that got into a wreck. She put most of the blame on the deepest pocket available: Mazda Motors, who made the car she was riding in. Ubaudi demands "in excess of $150,000" from the automaker, claiming it "failed to provide instructions regarding the safe and proper use of a seatbelt." One hopes Mazda's attorneys make her swear in court that she has never before worn a seatbelt, has never flown on an airliner, and that she's too stupid to figure out on her own how to fasten one.

To marvel at more absolutely blood-boilingly stupid lawsuits, Stella Awards has you covered. Take an aspirin or two before you click, though, to thin your blood accordingly. I'd hate to get sued for referring you to the site if you have a heart attack in anger while reading. Yup. There are people worried about publicizing lists of sex offenders. If I were the crusade-launching type, it would be that people like this be forced to have BEWARE tattooed on their foreheads, so the rest of us know to avoid them.


Blogger green gazelle said...

....Well, well, I wasn't completely aware of this strong streak of political awareness, way to go. And I agree with ya: take responsibility, people! (From this point on, the ‘you’ word is meant for those that I’m describing, not you, K. But of course you knew that already)

PEOPLE: Stop trying to cram YOUR opinions and views of morality, sex, politics and religion on others. Guess what? We all have the same privilege & right to have our opinions & choices respected, not just YOU, ya selfish twit. And please realize that just because we don’t rant & rage out in public like yourself - we are NOT providing tacit consent and agreement. Some of us can know our truths & be silent about it most of the time.

Nope, you don't have to agree & you don't have to start a major battle. Venture to suggest a conversation, sharing these contrasting views. Set reasonable guidelines and parameters & honor them. You and your *opponent* just might learn something from each other during this exchange. Of course, you need to be mature enough to listen with an open ear (and mind). Can you do this? Huh, huh, huh? Or do ya only disagree so you can scream & shout; think up snappy picket poster slogans; even threaten or harm others? Totally illogical to me.

Ya don't like something that happens to you? TALK to someone in charge - don't take the coward's way out and sue or picket. You've never heard that attack brings out the defensive juices? - you'll most likely NEVER get what you seem to want with this behavior anyway. Just stress, anger & too much energy expended unnecessarily.

Litigation ought to be the last choice reluctantly made - not the first. You’re short-changing yourself & everyone else, besides wasting the energies of our already-overburdened judicial system. Is being stubborn, obstinate, rude & immature your goals in life? Please go someplace I don’t have to witness this stupid behavior, will ya? (We ought to have separate islands available or something, so those that feel strongly with the same opinion can talk among themselves & raise that level of indignation to the highest passionate point possible.)

K, your *good* rant provided some wonderful examples of the actions one might take instead of trying to force some Universal Urgency Action to legislate or regulate what everyone must feel, think and agree with each other, all the time. Bravo for touching upon many of the major reasons for rants. I would gently suggest, however, that contrary to your comment: ‘Go get involved in local politics, because that's where tomorrow's problems start.’ that local & community governments can also be the place where today & tomorrow’s solutions can be initiated & developed.

Incidentally, I took the time to bravely march on over to the Stella Awards sans the advised pain killer (perhaps not brave but frivolous). So many opportunities to *sigh* or get a head of steam up, there. Also checked out their companion-publication of HeroicStories *cuz I think of myself as a Half-Full instead of Half-Empty person.* For some darn reason, the little hairs perk up at comments like: “It was wonderful & inspiring to hear such a great story about compassion and a giving heart,” or “People have to realize that we are not here forever, and the way that some people act is absolutely needless. I hope more people get over themselves and start to contribute...to try & make this world a little bit better for them being in it."

Hey, I’ll drink to that. gg

10:01 AM  
Blogger green gazelle said...

p.s. Can't get that "THIS" is it weblink to work....

10:03 AM  

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