Super Sized Scariness

I’ve not long gotten back from a delightful evening of dinner and Super Size Me with the lovely Bronwyn. I was really impressed with the film; it was hilarious and thought-provoking as well as scary as fuck in terms of the statistics and some of the interviews. I mean, yeah, a lot of the stuff I already knew, much like most people, so it’s not like the information portrayed was a complete shock. That said, there was still enough information I didn’t know, or didn’t know as much as I thought I did, to elicit a few surprised gasps from me at various points thoughtout the film. For one, I am really, really glad I’m not a school child in America buying food from my school’s cafeteria. I thought my school’s caff was crap because you could only buy a salad roll if you ordered it before 9am and my bus didn’t get in until 8:55, but I now see that American schools are taking nutritional crappiness to new lows. I am also glad that, despite being a Uni student squished well under the poverty line along with most of the rest of my kind, I can usually afford to buy fresh and relatively healthy food (that said, I also make a conscious effort to make that a huge financial priority), and I have a fairly good idea of how to get the nutrients my body needs (Step One: Eat the carrot. Step Two: Back away from the Coke and the deep-fried lard). I can’t claim to be the diet and exercise guru (if I was, I wouldn’t be conscientiously trying to lose weight at the moment, because I wouldn’t need to), but the whole “energy in, energy out” equation seems pretty damn simple to me. Obviously it’s not, and there’s a lot of factors obscuring its realisation by many people, or there wouldn’t be so many people with health problems directly related to their weight.

I was relieved that the film relied a lot less on gross-outs than I was worried it might, after the impression I’d gotten from the reviews. Yes, there’s gross moments but there’s also an amount of levity that goes with them: I don’t know how a person comes to the realisation that footage of a gastric bypass operation can be made funny if you set it to classical music, but it can be.

The worst aspect of the film for me was Morgan’s girlfriend, Alex. I have yet to personally meet a vegan who was not completely smug and self-righteous, and she does nothing to squash the stereotype. I actually think veganism has a lot going for it if done properly (I was vegetarian myself for about four years, and did not do it as properly as I could have. Veggo kids, eat your legumes.), and I agree with a lot of the arguments vegans make for their lifestyle. Pity I usually just want to strangle the vegans themselves. I’m sure there’s plenty of nice, non-hysterical vegans who manage to open their mouths without oozing self-righteousness, I just don’t know any personally.
Also, I read an interview with her recently where she said she regretted talking so candidly about the effects of Morgan’s diet on his libido and their sex life. As someone who has been known to talk far too candidly about her own sex life, I feel I can smugly and self-righteously say: well, yeah, honey, you sound like a dick. Not so much in what she was saying, but in the way that she was saying it. If you’re not comfortable talking about sex, don’t. If you’re not able to talk much at all without sounding like you have the combined IQ of Paris Hilton and a housebrick, then please don’t. Fortunately, despite the amount that’s been written about her in reviews and the fact that she seems to be using the documentary to further her own career, she’s actually not present all that much.

In other news, I nearly had a heart attack today when I sat down to write an exam and discovered, with one exception, none of the stuff I’d swotted up on for it was actually on the blasted exam. That was fun.

7 Responses to “Super Sized Scariness”

  1. kT Says:

    YES. I hated that vegan girlfriend. She was horrible. I know at least one non-preachy vegan who is pleasant to be around, but she made me want to SHOUT THINGS AT THE SCREEN. It was the personality more than the veganness itself, but yes, it’s so often that the one goes along with the other.

  2. Dawei Says:

    I don’t want to see this film (even though I know I should) because I don’t want to see him ralph. I can handle blood, guts, violent killings, and every other bodily fluid/function, but if I hear someone is about to bortch I’m outta there.

    My sister is a vego, and she is the WORST vegetarian on the planet. She doesn’t eat vegetables! She only eats tuna (!!!) and bread!

  3. Ren Says:

    Damn – at least you studied for the right exam. I turned up to my first exam only to find out that it was the Psych exam and not Communications.


  4. Joel Says:

    My favourite ‘vegan girlfriend’ moment was the comparison between ham and heroin. Thank heavens for Morgan’s despatching of that statement! ‘I could be strung out on ham for weeks!’ Ah. Pure gold.

  5. Jonas Says:

    Haven’t seen the film but I know what you’re saying about those crazy vegans. I had a nice, unassuming couple around for drinks last week and talked turned to how they were vegans.

    Sure, its an interesting topic for a minute or two. But I don’t need a fucking lecture on the evils of eating veal or bacon. Christ, chill out.

  6. Aimee Says:

    Have to agree with you on the “ham vs. heroin” conversation, Joel – that was HILARIOUS. Seriously. Jonas, you have my sympathy. Maybe the best way to deal with people like this is to start banging on about how much you love meat? Then again, I’ve been on the flipside of that as well – sometimes all it used to take was for people to find out I was a vegetarian (I didn’t talk about it unless I needed to let someone know about my dietary requirements, and I wasn’t preachy) for them to harass me about my choices and, if the opportunity was present, to get in my face while eating pieces of meat and go “mmmmm!”. Bastards. There’s just as many arsehole meat eaters as there are vegans. It’s just that the vegans tend to be slightly more hysterical, and sometimes they get caught saying sillier things.
    Dawei, I hate to break it to you but…I don’t think your sister is a vegetarian. Is this the drunken outing one? Also, the vomit scene is pretty brief, you shouldn’t let it put you off the movie (I just typed “food” then. Hello unconscious mind!).

  7. Aimee Says:

    Also, Ren? I concur on the wooooshit. Did you end up doing okay on the exam?