Junkfood Science: Robotic Perfection — Free people are imperfect

August 22, 2008

Robotic Perfection — Free people are imperfect

Author Kathleen Parker observes that having China host the Olympics may have been a wise decision for unexpected reasons. She reminds us to remember the lessons of history. This is a profound article warning where we could be being led in the name of perfect health and bodies, and in the war on obesity.

I don’t want to spoil it by excerpting, as her entire article is important reading. Writing in the Star Express, she begins: “Even as China's opening ceremonies for the Olympics inspired awe, there was something repellent in the exactitude of such mass perfection...”

Postcript: It was unimaginable that a simple link would become foder in efforts to manipulate and hurt the fat community. Thank you to all of the JFS regular readers who have written in support and understanding of what's really going on. This was not a comment on the amazing and beautiful Olympic opening ceremonies. Like you, I had simply been touched by the parallel between a government wanting absolute perfection and everyone's body to look thin and fit (and that poor little girl not deemed pretty enough), and the writer's observation that such public perfection is only achievable by sacrificing individual freedoms. As she wrote, democracy is imperfect and free people are diverse and will be fat, have bad teeth or whatever. Most of all, I was touched that she understood the history of eugenics that resulted from societies around the world obsessed with perfection and conformity, including our own. It gives one goosepimples on where our war on obesity and efforts to eradicate obesity (and elderly, minority, disabled, and other undesirables deemed too costly by the state) could be leading us, especially when one recalls history and her haunting note that the Olympics were hosted by Nazi Germany just before the Holocaust. It's not easy to advocate for those being harmed by abuses of power and science, and who have no one speaking out for them. But we'll continue to do our best to try.

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