What the hell? “The vulnerability, the fallibility” Aaro is now turning into “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” Aaro! Bird flu? My arse. SARS wasn’t a pandemic, nor was Ebola and therefore by induction we are immortal. Or in any case, there’s nothing we can do about it anyway so gather ye rosebuds while ye may. As Nietszche said, what does not kill me, I will probably get 400 words out of for my Tuesday column in the Times.
No, no, that was just the characteristic Aaro introductory toccata. Nasty and pointless little jibe at the Today programme, I notice; do not think for one single minute that this was unintentional or just by-the-by. Every little bit of crap you can chuck at the BBC helps, particularly if you work for Murdoch and are shilling for New Labour. Aaronovitch certainly does know the difference between 200,000 people dying at an actuarially predictable rate as part of the normal consequence of events and 50,000 people dying suddenly and in a short period of time, and I for one am not going to waste precious Watching energy in lame “fiskings” of him by pretending he doesn’t.
The meat and drink of this column is, of course, the fact that Aaro has tamed his belly, and so you lot ought to too, because heart disease is a bigger killer than bird flu. I am, to be honest, surprised that the Pritikin Institute doesn’t get a plug by name, particularly since Times readers are quite likely to have missed the Guardian “fat camp” story and thus might not necessarily realise that when Aaro exhorts them to change their lifestyles and diets with a bit of willpower, that’s not exactly how he did it himself. Possibly the Times has a sort of Blue Peter self-denying ordinance when it comes to plugging brands by name, but I doubt it. However, I wouldn’t go so far as to say that this is an intentional deception being practised by Fat Camp Freddy on his readers, because the whole spiel of the Pritikin Institute (most famous alumnus:
David Aaronovitch Michael Moore) is precisely that their miracle formula is just common sense and willpower. But even so, it’s worth pointing out.
But anyway, the real point of this column for me is the exercise in (presumably?) unintentional irony. Given that Aaronovitch is on record as having said that “I have a feeling (and I could be wrong) that [the Lancet report on Iraqi casualties] may be a dud”, and his quite disgraceful browbeating of the author’s report on the Newsnight special on Iraq, can anyone see this paragraph as anything other than a subconscious cry for help (by the way, Nick, this bit is what’s called “deconstructionism” by we the effete pomo liberal left)?
I am a late convert to many of the marvels of capitalism, but when it comes to the food industry the old Bolshevik emerges again. These companies lie and dissemble in their packaging, dispute until they can dispute no longer every bit of research that links their horrible products with modern ill-health, and they suborn or browbeat government and agencies. Take the Advertising Association and its attitude to the marketing of junk food — food which is high in sodium and fats, low in nutrition and which, together with our sedentary lifestyles, is killing us. The Director-General of the AA recently described as “unproven” the idea that junk food advertising contributed to ill-health. Only if it is “unproven” that advertising leads to sales — a proposition that would bankrupt the entire ads industry.
Meanwhile, Decent Dave continues to regard the case as “unproven” that That Bloody War might possibly have been a horrible great disaster. When it comes to scientific opinions on politically sensitive matters, I suppose that one of the many marvels of capitalism, is that you pays your money and you takes your choice.