Oh, Jackie. I love when you recap.
By Gregory Jacobs-Roseman (Composer-Lyricst)
Today on the Ides of March, the fateful day when Julius Caesar met his maker at the hands of Marcus Brutus, I considered continuing my New York series of the past three weeks into a fourth installment devoted to the now overturned soda law – a development that made me quite annoyed this week. But so much happened this week – what with Mercury in retrograde or something, that I figured the time was right to do a week-in-review post. So here’s what went down this week by category, through the eyes of yours truly.
LOCAL/U.S.: Food Fight
Unless you were living under a rock this week, you heard that Mayor Bloomberg’s so-called “soda ban” (an awful name for the law) was struck down by a judge.
Everyone has their opinion on the law, but talking to friends and hearing the media this past week, it seems few people actually understood what the law was trying to accomplish. This law was aimed at stemming obesity in kids living in poorer neighborhoods of the city – kids who often buy their meals at fast food restaurants and other local establishments. I for one say limiting the amount of sugar and calories they can imbibe in one sitting is a good thing, and could have gone a long way to promoting healthy living.
But we live in America, and this story was ripe for media outrage. It was sold as if the government was telling adults what they could and couldn’t drink, which is the opposite of what it was going to do. No one was going to stop a grown adult from getting a refill on his or her 16-ounce soda. But don’t tell that to the anti-education, FOX News-watching yahoos out there, because in an effort to do nothing more than give a big middle finger to Michelle Obama and what Sarah Palin dubbed “fake America,” Mississippi lawmakers approved what they call the “anti-Bloomberg bill,” a law that bans Mississippi cities and counties from enacting legislation limiting portion sizes, banning trans fats & the like, or posting calorie counts on menus. Really, Mississippi? Hey, how’s that whole being the state in the nation with the highest rate of obesity thing working out for you? You better be thankful the healthcare law passed, otherwise your entire state would be diagnosed with a pre-existing condition.
It’s the children that really suffer in all this, and that’s what makes me crazy. A bunch of so-called “freedom-loving” adults are content to watch their kids grow overweight and develop disease just so they can enjoy their big gulps. I have yet to hear a convincing argument for why kids should be consuming that much sugar on a daily basis.
Here's the only kind of sugar you need (any excuse to include a little Hedwig). Also: are there any Musical Theatre songs about soda? I can't think of a single one.
WORLD: Does The Pope Shit In The Woods?
I'll have you know, dear readers, that I searched long and hard for a video clip of the "does the pope shit in the woods" quote from The Big Lebowski but it does not appear to exist online in a form I could find. There's this one from Californication but it's just not the same.
Did you hear? There’s a new Pope! Pope Francis was selected on Wednesday as white smoke rose from the Sistine Chapel chimney, and this guy reportedly walks the walk – the first ever Pope from the New World, he’s also a Jesuit which means he’s super into poor people or something and doesn’t even like fancy cars or those Prada shoes all the Popes wear.
Now here’s the thing: I was raised Jewish, I’m currently agnostic, gay, and a socialist, so I shouldn’t give two fucks about the Papacy. And yet, I’m also a student of history, so I can’t help but be in awe of the historical moment for a deeply flawed institution that has been around for centuries. Yeah. The dude is awful on gay rights and women’s rights and whatnot. But remember that this is the Catholic Church we’re talking about here. It took them 400 fucking years to forgive Galileo for suggesting the Earth revolves around the Sun. I’m not saying that gives them an excuse, I’m just saying this is an institution that doesn’t take kindly to change. A new Pope isn’t gonna suddenly catapult them into the modern era, and anyone who thinks he can is being a little naïve.
But hey, unlike the last guy, this one wasn’t a member of the Nazi youth. So, you know… that’s something.
Growing up Jewish and gay, this was my only exposure to Catholicism. Thus I assumed that all nuns behaved like this all the time. (Also, Rue McClanahan, I still love you.)