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Kevin Smith Loses Weight, Feels Bad About It

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Posted on February 12 2011 10:30 pm
Walter Hudson is a political commentator and co-founder of Minnesota's North Star Tea Party Patriots, a statewide educational organization. He runs a blog entitled Fightin Words. He also contributes to True North, a hub of Minnesotan conservative commentary. Follow his work via Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.
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“Clerks” director Kevin Smith has lost 65 pounds after an embarrassing incident where he was deemed too heavy to fly last year.

In an interview with Joy Behar on her “HLN” show last Tuesday, Smith shared that the moment made him angry and spurred him to lose weight. He said: “I felt at that moment, I was like, ‘You know what? I’ll lose the weight, but I’m not putting on thinner clothes.’ Because why? I’m still the same person I was when I was 65 lbs. heavier.”

He added that the incident made him a more forceful advocate for overweight people, noting: “I feel mixed feelings about losing the weight. I sympathize far more with heavier people than I ever will with thin. I’ll never be thin.”

Why, if I may be so bold as to ask, would anyone ever have “mixed feelings” about healthy weight loss? What is an “advocate for overweight people?” What is this disenfranchised constituency which needs Kevin Smith to speak on its behalf?

Smith, whose latest film is “about vicious [Christian] extremists running amok in America,” seems here to have further demonstrated his leftist worldview. The idea that overweight people need an advocate implies they are being somehow cheated without one. We are left to wonder what an advocate for overweight people would argue for.

Presumably, as Smith did after being kicked off that plane last year, an advocate of overweight people would argue that they are somehow entitled to fly and should not be discriminated against for being overweight.

“I was wrongly ejected from the flight … ”

… Smith has used almost every Information Age tool available — his blog, social networking websites, a podcast and the 24-hour news cycle’s insatiable churn — to conflate a personally embarrassing ordeal into a larger contretemps about society’s alleged mistreatment of overweight people.

Southwest ultimately tweeted a response that expressed regret, but restated its seating policy, which would appear to place the blame back in Smith’s, uh, lap.

Although Smith clearly came away from the Southwest Airlines incident with the conclusion that he ought to lose weight, and sensibly acted upon that conclusion, he apparently retains the opinion that he was “wrongly ejected.” Why else would he be talking about overweight advocacy? What end would such advocacy serve? Forcing airlines to change their policies?

Like a so-called limousine liberal who has “mixed feelings” about being rich, Smith feels compelled to assert his solidarity with the overweight despite his healthy accomplishment. Is this some new twist upon white guilt? Thin guilt? Health guilt? Why should anyone feel bad about losing weight?

The only reason which makes any kind of sense, if you can temporarily shoehorn your intellect into the leftist mold, is that Smith resents having been embarrassed into losing weight, and elevates his feelings above genuine rights. Smith’s perceived right to fly, without being called fat, trumps the airline’s right to set its own rules and operate as efficiently as possible. Smith bloviates as though Southwest Airlines wants to embarrass and alienate its customers. It couldn’t possibly be that they engineered the most efficient way to transport the most people at the lowest cost, and that method excluded his highly unusual girth.

Larger seats or a similar accommodation for overweight people would mean fewer passengers on each plane, which would mean higher fares. Is Smith really saying that everyone else who isn’t prohibitively overweight ought to pay more to maintain his self-esteem?

I don’t see any other way to look at it. It’s an example of cultural Marxism, “for many… an annoyance and a self parodying joke… [but] deadly serious in its aims, seeking to impose a uniformity of thought and behavior on all Americans… [which is] totalitarian in nature.” No one has a right to fly, just as there is no right to food, housing, healthcare, or any other provision. You cannot have a right to something which others must provide. Any assertion to the contrary is advocacy for tyranny.

Similarly, there is no right to move through life without being offended or embarrassed. Smith’s expressed solidarity with overweight people seems to imply there is a battle to be fought in the culture to change everyone else’s perception of what is attractive or reasonable. But the idea that you ought to change what you think and feel because it offends someone else ought to be far more offensive than any superficial judgment. Where Smith only perceives an incursion, he attempts to justify an actual one.

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