Fastidiousness is the midwife of oppression. Authoritarian stats are neat freaks that want their ducks in a row and have a pathological fear of anything that has not been scrubbed clean of all that makes it human and unique. The sophisticated ones are oblique and subtle in their approach. Over time they put together rules and regulations, which, individually, seem so innocuous that people barely notice that the screws are being tightened, but in their totality are oppressive and highly restrictive.
Authoritarian states of old obsessed on what people thought and how they acted. Modern states obsess on what people eat. In this respect, Mike Bloomberg’s New York City is on the cutting edge of contemporary authoritarianism.
When speaking of New York City, a caveat is necessary. In the public’s mind, New York City covers an area roughly from the tip of Manhattan to the borough’s 96th Street, allowing for an margin of error of ten to fifteen blocks in either direction. Most outlanders are unaware that the city has its own flyover land in the form of its outer boroughs.
But getting back to Mike, the man is very concerned that his subjects eat right. First he pushed through legislation regulated the amount of transfats in food. Next, he made restaurants post calorie counts. Now he wants to regulate the salt content in food. I guess he figures the proles don’t know how to eat right so their big brother has to tell them to finish their veggies. All of this was over and above his smoking ban so his subjects’ nostril wouldn’t be violated by the rank odor of cigarette smoke, one tendril of which would be enough to send the victims lungs into a spasm of pulmonary disorder.
The rationale for these rules and regulations is that they saves money by reducing the medical expenses associated with the poster child disorder of the twenty-first century, “obesity.” Mike wants us all svelte, even if it costs us our freedom to eat as we please. It’s so damn sloppy that way. The idea of all that salt and grease ravaging our bodies is too much for Mike to bear.
Of course, the expenses associated with the treatment of obesity pale compared with the expenses associated with old age. It costs an arm and a leg to keep those senior citizens breathing. If Mike was serious about saving money he’d outlaw aging. The old farts are parasites draining assets from the system that would be better used to treat Manhattan’s beautiful people. By caring for the aging we are creating a moral hazard in which citizens are encouraged to age. But, by God, they’d think twice about doing so if they knew they wouldn’t be cared for in their dotage.
But, what can you expect from an administration that banned large demonstrations from Central Park’s Great Lawn because it might hurt the grass. That’s America for you, more concerned about its lawn than its liberty. If the grass is green and the air is fresh and women can slip into a size six, all is well. Fastidiousness rocks!
Friday, January 15, 2010
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