Thursday, June 16, 2005


This Morgan "Spurious" Spurlock guy has been burning my britches for some time, though I've not written about him before. He wrote and starred in the movie "Supersize Me," and now has a TV show called "30 Days." In the movie, he spends 30 days eating nothing but McDonalds, and has a doctor document the adverse effects on his health as he gains weight. On his new show, he does other things for 30 days, hence the title. If his formula holds true, the show will be a huge success.

My problem is with his formula. I didn't see his movie, but the same result might be obtained by eating at any "mainstream" diner or restaurant in the USA that serves breakfast, lunch and dinner (basically everything but vegan-tofu joints or hoity-toity dinner clubs). For that matter, I could start drinking a bottle a day from the selection at my local liquor store and document much worse health effects. Perhaps this explains why he only appears in the first episode of his new series, which explores different "lifestyles" each week.

After I read the "secret conservative talking points" (also known as the truth) about his movie, I didn't bother to watch it. I will, however, try to see "Me & Mickey D," a new documentary by Soso Whaley. She documents actually losing weight by eating nothing but McDonalds for 30 days. The difference between her and "Spurious" Spurlock was that she chose balanced meals from their menu, though allowing herself treats on occasion, and exercised regularly. "Spurious," who rotated everything on the menu equally, supersized his meals everytime he was asked (ie;their standard practice at that that time), while not exercising at all. Remember, most people don't eat every meal at McD's, and the poor probably can't afford it, though they're as fat (or fatter, according to some studies)as the rest of us.

I've also heard the "secret liberal talking points," (also known as "the spin"); that he shows an aging hippie who has eaten a Big Mac and fries three times a day for something like 40 years, yet is in great health, also "documented by doctors"; that he shows that we're all so physically different that no one can predict what a healthy diet is for each individual; that this was a scientific experiment (with a subject population of one). The funny thing is that "the spin" is also true, though sometimes in a twisted way.

This is why his show may prove to be popular. In "Supersize Me," he latched on to a popular theme in our culture, and exploited it in a very clever way. The show will probably soon devolve into stereotypical nonsense, as I believe his movie is. Let me reproduce my favorite quotes from Adam Buckman's 06/15/05 NY POST column regarding the movie, and the first episode of his show: "well, duh." and "well, double duh." It's easy to sell this kind of crap to today's audiences. This is also why you probably won't hear about "Me &Mickey D" anywhere but here. Even the NY POST relegated it to the health section while running Buckman's 2 star review of "30 Days" in the TV section.

(There may be another reason for the NY POST's story placement: "30 Days" is shown on FX, a Murdoch-owned property, as is the Post. I should be glad that they even mentioned this independent film [Me & McD] at all in the Post, considering that it disses the creator of one of it's corporate cousins' new shows. Ironically, I found Mr. Buckman's negative review actually making me want to watch Mr. "Spurious'"new show. This, of course, to monitor any spinning that might be going on, and report on it first hand.)

My britches are still burning. Morgan "Spurious" Sperlock is making big bucks off of phony representations. He didn't try exercising to offset his increased calorie intake, and I want to see if he tries to work 80 hours a week to make up for his minimum wage job in the first episode of his new series. For the record, I worked many 72 - 80 hour weeks, even one 88 hour week in the first months at my current job. I also got the biggest raises for being there when needed, and getting competent at my job. I don't think that either can be accomplished in 30 days at any job.

The gimmick that his "experiments" hang on is ruling out the existence of personal freedom of choice, and ambition for a better life. Some small percentage of people may live the lifestyles he portrays, but most people choose not to. No one forces anyone to eat at McDonalds at all, or to take a minimum wage job, if they are capable of doing better for themselves. I haven't watched any of his spurious productions yet, so I will reserve the right to be wrong about him. He may think he's doing a service by warning people of the dangers of certain choices, for all I know. Let's just say that he's no John Stossel. That's as fair as I can be to this minor dingleberry.

I have some questions for "Spurious": When he went looking for a minimum wage job in Ohio, why didn't he apply to McDonalds? Might they have a starting wage higher than the "government mandated" minimum wage? -Or do they just hate him? Could he forgive them for hating him, if they do? Does he understand that the dent he and other cultural factors made in McDonalds' sales caused a slowdown in hiring and raises for the employees of the company and it's franchises? Does he care? My liberal source (OK, my fiance) says he does care, but I beg to differ. I see him as another liberal opportunist, riding the pop cultural gravy train.

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