Tuesday, December 25, 2007

And another Leaden Fork award goes to

all the folks involved with this incredibly tasteless book.

How to Get Fat is one of a series of so-called "self hurt" books. We know they're supposed to be funny because of the Dick-and-Jane-style illustrations. Other titles in the series include How to Get Into Debt, How to Drive Like a Maniac, and How to Traumatize Your Children. Now there's a knee-slapper. They're all published by an outfit called Knock Knock, which describes itself this way:

We are Knock Knock, a semi-spanking-new design company with aspirations to greatness. We concoct, manufacture, and distribute witty objects of cosmopolitan panache. . . . Our customers comprise the impish, the dapper, the droll, the young-at-heart—those who feel misunderstood by Santa-inflected wrapping paper and maudlin gilded greeting-card sentiments that rhyme. . . . Knock Knock seeks to integrate art and commerce—creating original, authentic, noncynical products that support themselves in the marketplace so that we don’t have to deal with “clients.”. . . Rather than a product category, material, or target market, Knock Knock’s unifying force is a sensibility. Also, we read a lot.

I'm all for poking fun at ourselves, but this one just doesn't seem funny. The humor here derives from the usual assumption that being thin is a choice and that any idiot would certainly choose it. It's really nothing more than a po-mo diet book.

Should you feel like weighing in on this book, you can contact the publisher at info@knockknock.biz or call (800) 656-5662.


wriggles said...

I have to say that I'm more interested than offended, in fact, I'm not offended at all. Although the book suffers from the intrinsic lack of content in anti-obesity arguments, through trying to be clever they actually threaten to achieve a clarity missing from most of the 'debate'. For instance they talk about a carpe diem approach to food, I've never heard it expressed this fully, because the standard of 'debate' on fat is so woefully base the overwhelming majority of the time. It doesn't offend because their general approach is so tame.
From what I've read, if you change the references it reads just like a weight loss book.
It kindly instructs aspirant plebs, whilst congratulating the responsible middle middle classes on keeping civilisation alive through stoical resistence to the forces of excess.

Anonymous said...

These people are vile. Pure and simple.

Harriet said...

I've been wondering if maybe I'm a little oversensitive on the topic. But . . . I think not.

wriggles said...

I suppose what I'm getting at is that this is so tame compared to other things that are going on. If I was to get offended more than wryly amused at their ignorance, that they think is such obvious common sense I would be constantly angry.

I'm also take into account that all that they appear to be saying is currently seen as legitimate 'medical' and scientific opinion and we know it. It would be easier to say they were vile if it wasn't lead from on high, maybe I'm missing something.