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August 09, 2007

Creeping Nannystatism: First As Tragedy, Then As Farce

As Dr. Helen notes, this isn't nanny-state-ism, really, because there is no state involved. But the goals and rationales are of course identical.

She notes a show on TLC called "Honey, We're Killing the Kids," a reality type program which exposes how godawful the participating parents are, and bullies them into making better lifestyle choices for themselves and their children.

I realize that "Honey, We're Killing the Kids" is just a TV show and that the families on the show chose to be there. Yet, I can't help but think that the show is a metaphor for the type of public health policy that many nanny staters want to implement--legally enforceable rules that take away our free choice and demand that we adhere to a utopian view of health--whether we want to or not. "A government empowered to maximize health is not a government under which anyone who values liberty would want to live." I certainly don't.

I'm pretty sure that the first rule for good parenting should be "don't sign you and your children up to be humiliated and mocked on a nationally televised reality show," but what do I know.

'm not bothered by this all that much (and Doc Helen doesn't seem terribly bothered either, except in a where-is-this-heading kind of vague way). But it's kind of interesting. People do enjoy wallowing in and dissecting the flaws of others. (And I'm not being holier than thou here: When I say "people," I am most definitely including myself.)

But the best part is it also sets up this funny-because-it's-true Onion "TV" debate: Are we shaming fat little children enough over their fatness? Haven't these fatties had it a little too good for too long? How long are we going to give these fat fucks a free ride, anyhow?

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posted by Ace at 02:28 PM

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