Saturday, June 23, 2012

Misplaced effort.

So they had a human interest story on the local news this morning about some local guy who had applied as a contestant on The Biggest Loser* twice before and been rejected, but had actually received an invite from the producers to this year's casting call.

Why had they called on him? Well, he spent the last year engaging friends and friends of friends in the video and music industries putting together a musical video plea describing why he should be on the show.

As I watched this guy, who was so big he was redshifting the studio lighting, describe all the effort that had gone into the production of this video over the past year, I couldn't hold it in anymore and blurted at the screen "If you'd put as much effort into losing some weight as you put into getting onto a game show about losing weight, you wouldn't need to go on The Biggest Loser, you big loser!"

I'm not sure what it says about the fate of our bizarre media-driven culture that somebody will spent thousands of calories shooting retakes of himself throwing footballs in a park to get on a game show about dieting, but won't spend an ounce of willpower to put down the ham sandwich and jog around that same park a few times.

I'm sure this is all somehow tied-in in some meta sort of way with the whole "paparazzo getting decked by Justin Bieber" Decline and Fall of Western Civilization thing...

(*For my fellow cave-dwellers, The Biggest Loser is apparently a reality-slash-game show about very large people trying to lose weight and not, as I had initially surmised, a Barry Manilow impersonator karaoke-off.)


Firehand said...

"But if I do it by myself, who'll see me? Who'll praise me on tv?" Etc.

I know people who bitch about their weight, but won't even make the effort of taking walks around the block. Blargh.

Buzz said...

Or bitch about their weight while ass-growing on the couch, snarfing down Snickers, 44 ounce Big Gulps, and ice cream, watching Bigger Losers, Ass, Ow My Balls, and Dumbasses Twirling with Washed-up Has-been Stars.

Brad K. said...


Back forty-some odd years ago, our high school debate topic involved capital punishment.

One of the bits of trivia that stuck with me, was that when the UK abandoned public executions -- the number of murders dropped.

Don't disparage the allure of the "moment in the sun". Look what an effort after WWII to increase the healthiness and hardiness of potential soldiers (high school sports) has grown into the Superbowl -- and how many budding loggers, astronauts, farmers, garbage truck drivers, and kindergarten teachers were sucked into professional sports.

Look at how the Irish past-time of banging on each other grew into the Gillette weekly TV fights -- and professional wrestling.

Look at how an interest in ending exploitations of English rule resulted in Occupy Wall Street, and the free-spending Obama administration, here in the US.

Look at how the invention of cleavage and the cod piece grew into . . well, that went a couple of different directions, none of them putting potatoes on the family table.

As for "Biggest Loser", keep in mind the training effect. Every pound one loses from a peak weight, trains the body to be more efficient at re-gaining that weight. Studies show that the body is hard-wired to maintain the peak weight -- the best way to maintain 200 pounds or 130 pounds is to never gain that next pound over that.

I mean, how many kale chips can a person enjoy, before the memory of those apple fritters, those baked chickens, and those two foot so-called "hero" sandwiches restore "baseline" behavior? Why do folk suck down "diet" drinks without noticing that artificial sweeteners pack on extra body fat? Advertising, merchandising, fashion. The drive for a "moment in the sun".

By-the-by, I picked up a reel-type mower at the flea market last week. It leaves the patch of lawn I tried it on looking different, some how. I found the push mower quite satisfying. I tried it on a small patch of lawn and put it away, quite satisfied.

Sabra said...

Why work to lose weight slowly and sensibly when you can be taught to have an eating disorder (several hours of exercise a day + ~900 calories is what we warn teen girls against) and become "famous" at the same time?

Kristophr said...

Ermmm ... light approaching this person would actually be blue-shifted.

Or possibly shifted into gamma radiation.

Comrade Misfit said...

Several years ago, I was at a cocktail party, where a woman was going on and on about how her husband would be a terrific contestant for "Who's the Biggest Loser". I agreed with her and said that he'd be perfect for the show.

Then, five minutes into her exposition as to why her hubby would be great on the show, I turned to a woman standing next to me and muttered: "I didn't know that the show was about losing weight."

She almost sprayed her drink across the room.

Justthisguy said...

I'm just happy to learn that there are bigger losers than I am. MUCH bigger losers. I believe I weigh about 135 lbs, soaking wet.

Rob Reed said...

That's interesting.

Phil Morden was a contestant on Top Shot Season 4. He's local to me and we shoot at the same club.

He's a video producer in real life and a 3 gun competitor. When I interviewed him for my Examiner column (since he's local) he told me he really thought he got on the show because he was able to make a really polished and entertraining audition video.

Just interesting that someone else had the same type of experience.

Tam said...


"Ermmm ... light approaching this person would actually be blue-shifted."

The studio lighting approaching the camera's lens was slowed by the massive gravitational field on the sound stage.

Tam said...

(In other words, he would see the lights as blue-shifted, being gravitationally 'down-slope' from them. The rest of us, being 'up-slope' from him, would see them as redshifted.)

Brad K. said...

@ Rob Reed,

"make a really polished and entertraining audition video."

Wasn't that also in the movie Legally Blonde? Or didn't Phil use a Chihuahua?