Tag Archives: video games

Whoring Out Obesity

Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, triglycerides, coronary artery disease, stroke and sleep apnea isn’t incentive enough for Americans to stay active. According to the CDC, obesity rates have risen “dramatically” over the last 20 years, with most states reporting rates of 25% or more in 2007. Bill Bryson once wrote that American culture has become so lazy that we drive a half-mile to use a gym treadmill. And he’s right: we even avoid activity when we exercise. We can blame television, video games, the Internet and junk-food diets for our expanding waistlines. But one company believes it found a solution — that the key lies in sexual innuendo. The laundry list of as-seen-on-TV products has never included a product so outlandish and disturbing than Flirty Girl Fitness, which recently begun penetrating (pun intended) television air space. The company is marketing a line of exercise products and DVDs that make Suzanne Somer’s Thighmaster look wholesome. The products include routines that encourage women, and young girls, to practice slutty dance routines with stage props like medicine balls and chairs. Hmmm, is that why Britney Spears looks so good? It also includes instructions forĀ pole dancing maneuvers that enable users to act out their wildest stripping fantasies. Why such products have reached the mainstream is beyond comprehension, and we’re in a sorry state if this is what it takes to stay fit. If a slew of health problems, mental well-being or self-confidence isn’t enough to inspire Americans to get off their ass, maybe the dream of being a whore will.

St. Elmo’s Fire

Elmo and his pals from Sesame Street have teamed up with the U.S. military for its latest video, “Talk, Listen, Connect: Deployments, Homecomings, Changes,” which teaches children with parents deployed in Iraq how to cope with the changes at home. Naturally, the Pentagon has provided input into the video’s development. As if the video gaming industry and sports sponsorships weren’t enough, now we have the military’s messages reaching our youth just after passing the teething stage. Is anyone else ashamed we live in a country that has resorted to puppets in order to justify war and violence? I’d like to ask the producers of Sesame Street how handsomly the military is rewarding them for lending the likeness of Elmo and Rosita for, essentially, free propaganda. If there’s bucks to be made, perhaps we’ll see Barney or Blues Clues follow suit. Or Spongebob can release a commemorative video covering the fifth year anniversary of the Iraq War. Let’s limit the puppets to ABCs, 123s, and leave parenting to the parents — not the Pentagon.

Pentagon Seeks Bottomless Budget

According to Time Magazine, the Army, the Marines, the Navy and the Air Force have pleaded with the Pentagon for several billion dollars more than the superfluously generous budgets alloted for 2009. The Air Force alone seeks $19 billion more than its $141 billion budget. Citing China and India as the benchmarks, the military has created a laundry list of ‘critical needs’ that the oft conservative-leaning Time reports includes dorm-room furniture. Since the end of the Clinton Administration, the U.S. Defense budget has doubled, under Bush. So much for fiscal conservative, eh? Democrats have suffered the longstanding stigma of being the big spenders, expanding government and raping the taxpayers, so to speak. But existing Defense spending — under Republican leadership — is comparable to World War II. If this isn’t rape, we don’t want to know what is. But all this extra cash sure does come in handy when it’s time to develop Pentagon-funded video games that glorify murdering civilians in less developed countries.