Monday, April 18, 2005

I'm back!

Just returned from a week's vacation at DisneyWorld. Fun time, esp. for the kids. I typically despise making trips to FLA, a state lacking much (particularly interesting terrain -- no hills, etc. -- but also anything non-consumer (it's strip mall and credit card heaven down there)), yet the weather was beautiful and our resort stay lovely. Needless to say, I've been out of the loop regarding any news (or at least I tried my hardest to ignore it), but I'll quickly get updated on everything.

Two side observations regarding my trip:

1) I had to laugh at a theme park called The Holy Land Experience, conveniently nestled in between the Disney and Universal parks. I didn't have the time but would've loved to attend for just one day -- if not for anything else than to witness the three "musical-dramas" Via Dolorosa Passion Drama, Praise Through the Ages, and Centurion. I'm sure they rank with Disney's Beauty and the Beast, Lion King, and Tarzan Rocks! shows. I also assume they have a "Hall of Disciples" (similar to Disney's "Hall of U.S. Presidents") and a "Tower of Babel" (similar to Disney's "Tower of Terror"). Oh, and rather than pay a parking fee, I guessed the attendants (in robes) finger wave and judge you for a few minutes and then command you to proceed.

On the subject of religion, I was right concerning NBC's Revelations (see prior post below) as it apparently garnered the best ratings for NBC in years. Look for this mini-series to become a full-fledged series (with merchandising tie-ins) and also look for even more religious-oriented product from -- of all places -- Hollywood.

2) If there was any doubt the U.S. had an obesity problem, just go to one of Disney's parks and it will become quite evident to you. Now before I get angry emails note that 1) I myself, while not obese, am certainly not buff (for what that's worth), and 2) I'm strictly making an objective observation. The sheer number of very large people is astounding. In fact, a good number of them don't even bother walking but instead rent out those motorized scooters (which I believe were originally designed for the elderly!). You will even spot entire "large" families scootering around. Many park rides have warnings that they're not built for individuals with certain "body shapes or structures."

Again, it's not as if I went out of my way to notice this trend -- my heavily Christian and church-going father-in-law concurred with the sightings. It's quite sad and will no doubt become as huge a problem for the country as these people are big. And it won't just be the obvious health issues (where by the way, those staying in fairly good shape are subsidizing the health cost for the problems associated with obesity), but also the USA Today recently cited that collectively all that extra weight means added airline fuel use, which translates into more carbon dioxide released, etc., i.e. a domino effect that exponentially balloons to enormous numbers.

I hate to say it but I wouldn't be surprised if a backlash eventually erupts, with many of the thinner folks in this country deciding they're not going to literally pay for the excess of others. If there's already significant taxes applied to the purchase of cigarettes, is it too far-fetched to imagine taxes applied to fast food and the like?

Yes, move over class warfare, make room for weight warfare.

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