Big Brother is Watching You

For those of you who don’t know, my favorite book of all time is 1984. I have read it five and a half times (I couldn’t finish it again this summer before coming to school), and I am just absolutely in love with it. The title of this entry comes from the book. This slogan is plastered on every sign throughout the country: Big Brother is Watching You.

The idea of being watched over by our higher government powers is something quite frightening, at least to me it is. History has shown us time and time again that dictators often take totalitarian control of a country because they are “doing what’s right for the citizens”. They are not scrutinizing the people’s every move for any personal gain, but for the good of the country. When citizens do not know how to make their own valid choices, the government steps in to lend them a hand. Often, this can begin in the most subtle ways.

I believe it was two days ago when CNN did a wonderful documentary titled, “America’s Killer Diet”. It opened with depicting a young, Jamaican boy who had gained weight exponentially since coming to the U.S. The story was heart-wrenching and very sad to watch. The documentary continued with showing the various ways in which America’s diet, to put it bluntly, murders us. The saturated and transitive fats, the calories, the carbs, the processed garbage- it destroys our health.

One of the big problems CNN touched on was the amount of Omega 6 oils consumed by U.S. citizens. Omega 6 oils are essential to our diets, but not in large quantities. They are found in the form of soybean oil, and over-consumption of these oils cancels out our consumption of very important Omega 3 oils, found in certain types of fish, almonds, avocados, etc. (As a side note, check the food labels on your next meal; you’ll be shocked to see how many things contain soybean oil).

Anyway, the documentary proceeded to interview various nutritionists, doctors, and lobbyists regarding the excess amounts of Omega 6 oils in everything we eat. One woman even went to far as to assert that the government should prohibit these oils from being so widely used, even suggesting banning them completely as a concern for public health. She then continued to say, “I guess that sounds something like a nanny state, but if that’s a nanny state… haha well then so be it.”

The gears in my head came to a screeching halt. WHAT?! “If that’s a nanny state then so be it,”?!?!?! I truly cannot believe how often people are so willing to let government creep so far into their lives. This woman told CNN, told the country, that she believes that it is okay for the government to dictate WHAT WE EAT. It is not as if America has stopped importing a certain kind of crop from another country because the country has been using toxic pesticides…No. This is completely different.

This woman has said, in so many words, that citizens cannot make their own healthy choices, so the government needs to make them for us. False. I am taken back to ever-enduring words of Benjamin Franklin who said, “Those who are willing to give up a little bit of freedom for a little bit of security deserve neither and will lose both.” You said it, Ben.

If you are willing to stuff your face with McDonald’s four times a week, please do not come crying to the Supreme Court that you are now morbidly obese. McDonald’s, along with other multi-million (multi-billion?) dollar fast food corporations are doing what they do to make a buck. Your own choice was to down a Big Mac instead of munching a carrot. Your prerogative was to grab the large fries as opposed to a yogurt. YOU PICKED the milk shake, the fried chicken, the cookies, the deep frying, the whatever. You chose it; you deal with it. I do not for one second believe in condemning the fast food industry for the obesity of the American people. So many individuals find the strength to say no; why can’t you? So many others find the energy to hit the gym a couple times a week; why can’t you?

If we tell the government, “Hey, it’s fine with us. Step in and dictate what we may eat; make us thin again through restriction on foods,” what kind of barrier have we taken down? How far will that allow the government to go until we’ve decided it’s gone “too far”? From that point, where do we draw the line?

To the mother of the Jamaican boy who was somewhere between 10-12 years old (I cannot remember)… suffering from high blood pressure, sky-rocketing cholesterol, and teetering on the border line of diabetes… Where were you through all of this? Why didn’t you ever say to your son, “You’re eating poorly. You’re gaining weight. You’re not exercising. You need to change your habits, or I’m going to change them for you,”? It was her job as a mother to take care of her son’s health, and I feel like she failed to do so. However, she is now able to blame it all on our country’s food products, get some time on a CNN documentary, and earn some extra cash for her and her son’s appearance.

God bless America.


8 Responses to “Big Brother is Watching You”

  1. Kevin S. Says:

    Haha I love how you ended with God bless America. I think you are totally right that people should be responsible for what food choices they make. I believe the government should not dictate what we eat, and if I can recall what I learned in the 3rd grade, the government has a nifty little pyramid sectioned off into 6 groups called uh the Food Guide Pyramid, which is designed to show people in picture form whats good and whats not. The only problem I have with the fast food industry is the word fast. If anything I think Drive Thru’s should be outlawed. Just because I’m lazy doesnt mean I want to eat crap food. Many a time my friends and I have fallen slave to the drive thru simply because its quick and easy. Who honestly drives around looking for a 24 hour grocery store at 3am so they can get something healthy? Not many. 24 hour drive thru’s are throwing gas on the fire.

  2. throughpaulseyes Says:

    I just started going through some of your older pieces, and even though I’ve said it before, I’m going to say it again. Your writing is awesome.

  3. throughpaulseyes Says:

    O and don’t shove a tube up my butt

  4. Bill Says:

    I find it ironic, to say the least, that you have grave concerns about big brother, but “hang out with” the likes of Hillary Clinton, Johnathon Edwards, and Bill Richardson. If Hillary Clinton is ever elected president, “you ain’t seen noth’n yet!” as regards Big Brother (or sister).

    We are quickly becoming a police state, what I like to call The United States Of Russia. Hillary Clinton will hasten our complete transformation.

  5. 06jk Says:

    Hey Bill. Great point, and thanks for your comment.

    A friend of mine is actually an intern on Hillary’s campaign, so whenever they need volunteers for certain events, I’m usually there. On one occasion, Edwards happened to be at the same location, so I also sought him out for a photo. However, if I had a friend that was on Rudy’s campaign and I had an opportunity to volunteer and get photos, you can bet that I would be there.

    It’s not really me “hanging out with”… it’s more me trying to cling to coattails. Hahaha.

  6. amberfireinus Says:

    Ok, I guess I need to weigh in on this one too (pun intended).

    Lets start by splitting the post into two sections commenting on both points.

    Your first point was regarding Big Brother is watching us all and the realities of that in our world.

    Here is something scary for you to think about on this subject. 3 years ago, for my husband’s 40th birthday, we threw him a big bash party in Florida. We rented a party house with absolutely every amentity, and our friends and family flew in from all over the world to be there with us. My husband really wanted to spend his 40th with Mickey Mouse. That was the big deal (I dont know why as he is a Brit).

    Anyway, we all get to Disneyworld and line up to get tickets. We all paid for our tickets with our credit cards (as you get a better exchange rate if you do that). Thats fine.. we used them for most of our purchases. But then it happened. We get to the entry gate, and they demanded for us each to give a fingerprint as a passkey into he park.

    Big Brother flew into all of our minds. We arent particularly the paranoid types of people, but every single one of us felt uncomfortable being asked. My brother flat refused. So they required him to show identification before allowing him into the park.

    How scary is this? A corporation the size of Disney having your credit card details which give them your name and address, credit score and phone number on their files, then also having your personal bio info too? They have cameras facing you as you walk into the park so they have pictures of you (and who you are with or who stands next to you) to complete the whole invasion of your personal privacy. The ramifications of such a thing are beyond the imagination. What they could do with that information is worrisome to say the least.

    We asked why they decided to use this very poor technology (I could go into it as to why it is poor.. but thats another blog post). They responded that they just wanted it for security as people were constantly losing their tickets into the park, passing them around, etc. Dont you think that solution is just a little bit overkill? And expensive to install and maintain?

    I dont care personally what line they want to give you about this subject, but there is way more to it than they are telling the general public. I dont feel that this type of personal privacy invasion should be allowed. Do you?

    To your second point… we are a society of excess and no boundaries. We are told that if it feels good, do it. We expect our children to self soothe, and then become surprised when they do it with food or drugs.

  7. 06jk Says:

    Ohhhhh my gosh! Please write a blog on your experiences with Disney! That would be great! How scary…

  8. amberfireinus Says:

    Ok Jak, you asked for it. There is a full on scale discussion on this 1984 Disney senario going on in my blog…. just for you…lol

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