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Circus Peanuts —

February 17, 2012

Yesterday’s post wore me out mentally, so I was thrilled to find a bit of nonsense on Strong4Life’s Facebook page yesterday to lighten my mood as we head into the weekend.

As it turns out, civil order is breaking down in our society. Apparently there’s this thing called the “information superhighway” where people can post their thoughts, feelings and opinions and other people can point to those comments and say, “Hey, look, it’s a humongous dickweed!”

“How dare someone hold me accountable for my words!” these poor, abused victims cry. “When I posted my hateful, bigoted opinions on a Facebook page with 3,000 fans, I had no idea that someone would then repost my words on a blog that has 1,000 daily readers.”

Yeah, that’s the logic behind this complaint:

Obviously, Doofus J. Dingleberry is not this guy’s real name. I’ve changed it so he doesn’t have an aneurysm. But he’s responding to this post, where I included three examples of people (including Doofus) on S4L’s FB page who have accused us of burying our head in the sand like an ostrich.

Previously, I quoted Doofus in this post about how Strong4Life had been deleting comments that respectfully challenged their claims, while allowing comments like this one from Doofus:

I’m going to be brutally blunt: SHUT UP! I, like many other here are sick & tired of listening to your crap about how ‘BULLYING’ is the cause of obese children! Get over it! … You don’t want to believe the facts, fine, go back to your couch, open up a box of Hosten Twinkies & wash ‘em down with a 2L bottle of soda!

It amuses me to no end that Doofus seems to believe that if you are opposed to Strong4Life’s billboards, then you must be sitting on the couch eating Hosten Twinkies (I’ve never heard of Hosten, but they sound delicious!) and chugging two liters of soda. But since nobody here has said that bullying is the cause of obese children (although we have said that bullying often leads to unhealthy behaviors), I guess he’s not talking about us.

Anyway, I didn’t use a screenshot from the Hosten quote, I simply linked to the source so that people could read the full context for themselves, as well as to ensure that I’m not just making this shit up to provoke a reaction. I used screen caps of the ostrich comments side-by-side, so people could see for themselves how this motif is playing out.

Could I have covered their names and photos? Of course. So, why didn’t I?

Because Doofus had already bared his ass by talking shit about us, insulting us and telling us to SHUT UP because he didn’t like what we were saying. And when you’re that kind of an asshole, I am less likely to preserve your “anonymity” (on a public message board with thousands of fans) because I just don’t give a shit if I piss him off. Maybe if Doofus (and the others) hadn’t been such an unrepentant asshole, I might have thought, “Hey, let’s just use his words to illustrate my point, rather than his face and name” as I did in this post.

But here’s what really tickles me about Doofus’ protest: I didn’t post a private conversation with an expectation of privacy. I posted Doofus’ public comments. Does Doofus not stand by his public comments? Is there some reason why Doofus would want his comments to remain in the publicly accessible S4L page, but not on the publicly accessible Fierce Fatties blog?

Yeah, there is… you see, on S4L’s page, he’s surrounded by the selected sycophants that S4L allows to comment, so there his words are applauded and praised for their bluntness and willingness to confront the critics head on (the few critics that were allowed to remain, that is). Here, his words are being held to a different kind of light, and he doesn’t like being exposed for the idiot that he is. It hurts to be told that you’re a moron, and to have your own words used to illustrate your idiocy is even more painful.

And while I would have been happy to respond to Doofus on S4L’s page, I’m not allowed to. Therefore, I have done as S4L recommended and created my own forum for discussing their campaign, as well as the caliber of humanity that supports them.

But the fact is, it doesn’t matter whether I post his comments with his name and picture, or link to them directly, or just throw the quote out with no context… if someone were hellbent on finding Doofus, all they have to do is go to the Strong4Life page and look at the wall, which is open to the public, including those who don’t “like” the page or are banned from it completely (like me).

So, no, posting Doofus’ comment is not like taking photographs of topless women at a beach in Mexico, except for the fact that photographing people in public is:

A) Generally legal (PDF):

The general rule in the United States is that anyone may take photographs of whatever they want when they are in a public place or places where they have permission to take photographs. Absent a specific legal prohibition such as a statute or ordinance, you are legally entitled to take photographs. Examples of places that are traditionally considered public are streets, sidewalks, and public parks.

B) Something that anti-obesity crusaders do all the time on the news. They’re called Headless Fatties and I doubt any of these people have given their permission to be illustrations for “obesity epidemic” stories.

C) Nowhere near approach the level of creepiness and ethical ickiness of photographing strangers for wank fodder (and am I the only one who gets the impression that Doofus is giving us an example from personal experience?)

Finally, Doofus, the only ads that this site runs are automated and appear for those who aren’t signed into WordPress. Our site is run by volunteers and we don’t make a dime off of our work. However, as is our policy, we love to give credit as a modest repayment for the contributions of others. But since you won’t let me use your name for fear that the Fat Gestapo will come knock on your door at night to take you to the Hosten factory, I’m afraid I’m out of options.

I have absolutely no hate in my heart for you, Doofus, only a twinge of pity for those who have the misfortune of making your acquaintance in real life. If you are so ashamed of your comments that you require anonymity for their use, then maybe you shouldn’t be saying these things in public at all.

8 Comments leave one →
  1. vesta44 permalink
    February 17, 2012 11:23 am

    I commented on that post and it’s gone now – my comment was on the order of “Now the shoe’s on the other foot, isn’t it. Now you know how fat people feel when photographers take our pictures when we’re out in public and use those pictures, minus our heads, to illustrate how we fatties are ruining the world. You posted your comments on a public page for the world to read – once you’ve done that, you no longer own those words and have no rights over them at all. Anyone is free to quote them anywhere else and there’s not much you can do about it. Don’t like it? Don’t comment.”
    I forgot to get a screen shot of it, and when I went back to get a screen shot, it was gone. Guess S4L doesn’t want people to quit commenting favorably just because their words might be quoted elsewhere. And wonder of wonders, I’m still not banned. WTF is up with that, S4L?

    • Bronwen permalink
      February 17, 2012 12:10 pm

      I dunno, their banning is arbitrary. Maybe now that they’ve been called on it, publicly, they are just hoping that their war of deletion will make all the other nay-sayers go away.

      • Theresa permalink
        February 17, 2012 12:47 pm

        Nah, they are deleting stuff right & left, still. I am keeping a photo album of screencaps.

  2. February 17, 2012 4:02 pm

    Vesta I can see your comment on that thread at S4L on FB. Those people are ridiculous if they truly believe they are being violated by being quoted on something they said on a public page. They need to wise up! Keep up the good work Shannon.

  3. Erin S. permalink
    February 17, 2012 6:49 pm

    I still can’t stop laughing over how damaging we fatties are to their poor little feefees when they’re totally just trying to save our lives out of the goodness of their hearts!

    Umm… yeah. If you were ‘just trying to save lives’… you wouldn’t be making a boat load of pure profit at the expense of defenseless childrens’ self esteems, using other children you’ve brainwashed to harass your victims until they break and decide anything, even starvation, mutilation, and exercising past the point of exhaustion or even injury is worth it to stop the abuse.

    Course, I may just have a bit of a biased outlook. Seeing as I absolutely was not a target of bullies in school until the day the nurse, gym teacher, and guidance counselor pulled me aside to “discuss your weight problem” in front of the entire class at an assembly about the dangers of obesity. Hell, I even had *friends* before that. From that day on, I was never anything BUT a target for bullies, and the closest I had to friends were other targets who would and did turn on me in a heartbeat if they thought they could get in with the cool kids by doing so… and as far as I’m concerned, the only difference between what happened to me and what these billboards and this utterly reprehensible, irresponsible, and CRUEL billboards of bullying campaign does is that they are spared having to actually meet any of their victims face to face before they start getting bullied. So all they see are miserable, damaged children and they can just pretend that it’s the “obesity” that made them that way, since they never got to see those same kids before the bullies they created began their campaigns of abuse.

  4. Jackie permalink
    February 17, 2012 11:04 pm

    “Umm… yeah. If you were ‘just trying to save lives’… you wouldn’t be making a boat load of pure profit at the expense of defenseless childrens’ self esteems, using other children you’ve brainwashed to harass your victims until they break and decide anything, even starvation, mutilation, and exercising past the point of exhaustion or even injury is worth it to stop the abuse.” – Erin S.

    My all to this!

  5. February 18, 2012 2:30 am

    This is funny I remember reading his comments and thinking AWWW the truth comes out. The thing about haters is they can’t contain their contempt or venom for long. He posted several “concern for the children” posts and when pushed came out with the quote above about cramming food in our faces. There is another post somewhere where a guy says something about you’re claim of exercising and says it doesn’t matter if you slurp down Ben and Jerrys afterwards. In other words there is no way you can be fat and exercise so you must have a Ben And Jerrys IV. It reminds me of the Sopranos episode where the fat lady was eating healthy and her husband leaves and she runs down to the basement to cram a pillow case full of candy bars into her face. This is what people believe. If you eat healthy and exercise you’re just fronting because we all know in secret you binge on candy we saw it on the TV so we know the truth.

  6. vesta44 permalink
    February 18, 2012 10:22 am

    Yeah, and I love how he says he respects all people:

    Dave Armstrong ‎@SizeAcceptance: sorry, but that most definitely was a typo .. I am in no way referring to large people as ‘whales’. I RESPECT people for what they are; large small, medium whatever; I don’t care about their reltion, I don’t care about their sexual orientation … I respect humans for what they are.

    And then turns right around and assumes things about fat people he sees doing things in public, when he doesn’t know these people or know one fucking thing about their health, all he knows is that they’re fat, so obviously it has to be their fat alone that is causing their problems.

    With regards to large/obese people, I feel for them when I see them walking up stairs, sweating profusely, out of breath & actually having trouble breathing. I feel so sorry for them when they ride around on little scooters because their size alone prevents them from walking.

    He can take his double-talk and shove it – he hates fat people and doesn’t have respect for anyone unless they’re thin and agree with him and S4L. Fuck that. I crown him Asshat of the Week.

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