Tuesday, March 13, 2007


My problem has never so much been what we do in this country, so much as it's been way that we do them.

Everything seems to start out well. And then the Experts And Over-doers get involved and ruin everything. We wind up taking so many things to extremes, and it's just ridiculous.

Along about the time "Disco" was in its final death throes, we started on our way to the Fitness Craze. A guy named Jim Fixx took up running. We always ran before. Athletes ran for thousands of years before this guy was born, but he wrote a book about it and the Craze was born. Again, it started out with good intentions, after all, fitness is never a bad thing. But, we of course had to take it from the sublime to the ridiculous. It didn't stop with running, which was bad enough; we had the whole Exercise Fever to contend with now. We had gyms opening up everywhere, Jane Fonda started putting out "Workout Videos", and going to exercise became an exercise in fashion sense. Sneakers became "Cross Trainers" and along with the name change, came a hefty price tag. And thanks to the whole fad we got two things: Healthy runners dropping dead all over the place (Fixx, the Running Guru, himself died of a massive heart attack after a morning run in Vermont), but more importantly, who could ever forget Olivia Newton John's "Let's Get Physical"?

To emphasize, it isn't what we do so much, it's the way we do it. All of a sudden, everyone was a physical fitness expert. It became just another vehicle for people to try and show how much better they were than you. I remember a few years ago, the whole "Recycling" thing began. I mean the craze, not the concept. Environmentally conscious people had been doing it for years, but then it kicked into the social consciousness, and look out! Again, we had a whole new breed of "experts", people who were suddenly very interested in seeing how much better they did the job than those around them. Designer recycling bins in the suburbs-ARE YOU KIDDING ME? It got to the point where I feared someone would say, "Hey, buddy, how're the kids? How's the garbage?" It just seems to me that as soon as the Experts get involved in something, it becomes that much less attractive to do.

And of course, our propensity for overdoing things puts a damper on the fun, too.I can think back to when we were introduced to "Law and Order", a clever, well-written law enforcement drama. We were hooked! And I remember MTV and it's idea for "Reality TV". I watched the "Real World" those first few seasons, and it was fun, and interesting, and entertaining.

But now, we have "Law and Order", its spinoffs, CSI and the spinoffs, and 32134 Reality TV shows. You're either watching shows about people being murdered, or you're watching shows featuring people you sometimes would like to see murdered. We have overdone it once again.

Which reminds me: how long before someone advertises "The first Big-Screen TV actually visible from space"?

We probably don't have to worry just yet about a "Hybrid Vehicles" craze. They don't make them fancy enough at the moment, for them to become status symbols for the Rich and Annoying to drive down our throats. I have noticed, however, a dwindling supply of the last "craze": the Monster SUV's! How insane was that whole thing. It wasn't a bad idea to have one of them in the beginning. But of course, "keeping up with the Joneses" meant bigger, and bigger, and BIGGER. One nitwit I know went out and bought this ridiculous monstrosity that cost him more than I'd paid for my first house! I'm not sure if they died off some because of gasoline prices, or the fact that the only way they could make them any larger would be to slap a set of wheels on a house. And we know that The Rich and Annoying would never be caught dead in a mobile home.

Anyway,the latest "movement" seems to be the whole idea of "Organic Foods". Again, it's a good thing in and of itself. Nothing wrong with being healthy. No preservatives, all-natural, good for you-as I said, not a bad thing. It's just the people who have now grabbed the reins and are treating this whole thing as though they're now the resident experts. "Oh we eat only organic foods now, I don't know how you could eat that stuff!" Three years ago, she nearly put McDonald's Quarter Pounders on the "Endangered Species" list, but now she's going to preach about my slice of pizza. The whole "movement" thing in this country always derails because people use it to posture and extremists always ruin the party. We have advertisements here for an organic, natural-food line called Kashi. The spokeswoman starts the commercials by saying such profound things as "I take fun seriously", and "our foods help you have fun better". So that's what's been lacking in my life?

You don't think this will get nutty? Think back a few years to the Oat Bran Craze. Or Olestra (you know, the "fat-free" potato chips ingredient). Those were the only times that we couldn't say that the Experts were full of you-know-what, because the typical overuse of those products kept them sitting on the bowl for hours on end.

How on earth am I supposed to eat these foods with all these morons around making me sick?

Oh well. I could think of something "organic" that I'd like them to eat, but if I say it, I might get my mouth washed out with soap or something.

Enjoy the ride!


  1. It was the SUV craze and now the hybrid is starting to phase but won't come into fruition until it is the hybrid SUV craze. It has started.

  2. Ah yes, the bandwagon. Don't forget the no-carb craze that's been going on. I don't think I'm a fan of organic food. Organic food = no taste = yuck.

    I hope you're not dissing all SUVs because then we'd have a problem. Not that I have a Hummer or anything, but I love my trailblazer.

  3. This was a very smart, well written post. It had me nodding, smiling and a few down right knee slappers.

    Gas in our area is over $3.00/gal. No big trucks at our house. Dave commutes 4hrs/day @ $500/mo in gas! Aug. retirement will make us rich. LOL

  4. Anonymous11:14 PM

    How true--this one could go in the paper also, Jimmy!! Barb

  5. Hi Jimmy - thanks for stopping by. What a great post. ~ Lori

  6. LOL...this is just like AOL. it erased my comment & i have to start again!!

    and of course I'm in a rush...i just finished my organic, no-carb lunch & i have to hop in the SUV while i rush across town to my power yoga class & then zip on over to study the Kabala... so much to do, so little time :)


  7. Good rant. I agree with the lot, except that we eat organic veggies, does that make me one of them?

  8. Kristen, lol definitely not dissin' the SUV's. 1. I drive a Ford Explorer, and 2. No way I'd mess with you!!!

    Rach, you're definitely not one of the people I mentioned. You see organic veggies as a healthy food, not a status symbol :)

  9. I have always wondered how many times they can make something new and improved. There is only so much you can do to a product. But every year there is a different version of it and all of sudden they bring back the original version or formula.


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