Crane Stupid

Leonardo DiCrapio first appeared in the public spotlight when he starred in a clutch of films prior to his major breakthrough, which was Romeo and Juliet. One of these films was 'The Basketball diaries' which was about his descent from a promising young basketball player to a drug-addled rentboy who had a propensity to nosh off old men in public toilets. Perhaps he had experiences of this from his early 'casting' sessions. It is actually a pretty good film, so you should probably watch it, and if you are a paedophile you will certainly be wearing your 'pause' and 'slow motion' buttons out! Di Caprio rightly received a lot of praise for this role, but he also got rave reviews for his performance in another film, which I just cannot understand.

 'What's Eating Gilbert Grape' is a strange title for a strange film. It has Johnny Depp in it, looking suitably emo/moody (delete as appropriate) as well as a young Leo who plays some sort of retard. He received many plaudits for basically taking the piss. I may well go to hell for this, but me and my pals used to pretend we were 'mongs' by making dumb noises and stuff, because we were horrible little scrotes. But any bloke who tells you that he has never imitated someone with a mental disability is a LIAR. They are the same blokes who profess that they have never watched porn. LIARS. You know who you are.

Anyway, it soon transpires that 'What's Eating Gilbert Grape' is probably his mother, who is sooo morbidly obese that, upon dying, she is lifted out of her house by a crane, because she is too massive to be removed by any other means. I remember watching that poignant scene about 15 years ago, and through my unbridled tears of laughter thinking 'this could never happen'. A bit later, I became aware that this kind of thing DID in fact happen, albeit in America. A common response to improbable stories about individual greed and hubris is 'Only in America', which is what I thought to myself as I digested this news, and then forgot all about it and probably had a massive wank.

Only it's not only in America anymore. This morning, my effeminate jaw literally hit my desk as I read about a 19-year old girl from Wales who recently fell ill and required an ambulance. I suppose that in itself is pretty unremarkable. But what perplexed me is why it took 30 people 8 hours to extricate her from her house? The reason, my chums, is that the girl in question is 63 stone. Of the people, some were builders, who had to knock down 2 walls just to provide enough clearance to remove her from the house. I would imagine that the remainder were there to try and lift her, presumably using one of those harnesses that they put beached whales in.

People have a staggering attitude to obesity. Waddling heart attacks like Beth Ditto are applauded for 'not conforming', yet the irony is that you will have to be of a healthy weight to 'not conform' soon. Are we that sensitive that we would rather turn into a nation of mega-fatties than maintain healthy lifestyles? Most people believe that obesity is some type of insidious disease that comes along and turns otherwise healthy people into gargantuan monsters overnight. 'It's genetic!' they protest, as they stuff their cavernous gullets with chocolate eclairs. Generally, it's not. There are some individuals who have glandular issues, but they probably account for about 0.01% of the fatties out there now. The rest of them are stupid and lazy.

Why is obesity a seemingly human-only affliction? Of all the other ailments which generally affect all of our mammalian brethren, obesity is one of the few that affect us, and only us. That's not strictly true. I have seen obese animals before, but they were all pets, owned by equally-rotund humans. So what's the common denominator here? Could it be... too... much... food? Is that the simple answer to the question which seemingly perplexes so many people today, who 'can't understand' why they are so massive? Is that why 40% of all adult males in the UK are expected to be obese by 2040? Is that why, in poorer nations, obesity generally doesn't exist?

Nah, it couldn't be that simple.

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