Restart the Insanity

Plus: Sack of kittens; Summer Reading List

 Restart the Insanity

Remember Susan Powter--the brash, blond, buzz-cut Dallas soccer mom who was screaming "Stop the insanity!" on her weight-loss infomercials in the '90s, like some sorta inverse Richard Simmons? Well, she lives in Seattle now, has grown her hair long, has converted to lesbianism and is making a comeback--traveling across the country in a Winnebago to hawk her new book, The Politics of Stupid, with the message that all these South Beach Atkinsites are seriously effed up. She rolled through Dallas in late June, and we caught up with her to ask a few questions.

What's your beef with the Atkins people? I have seen it work for a bunch of friends.

My first thought, when I looked up from the diaper pail and heard Atkins, again, was "Didn't someone shoot that guy?" We've already done the high-protein lie in the '70s. Can't talk "high protein" without talking antibiotics, bovine growth hormone, dead cats and dogs for feed, horrifying mass-manufacturing conditions, destruction of the world's rain forests, an insane system of investment/returns--and a whole lot more. Facts are that the top five killers in this country are directly connected to the foods these boys are telling millions to eat. And the protein push is all about one of the largest lobbies in this country that started losing a whole lot of money when consumers got a tad educated. It's about the P&L--bammo--eternal life in a puppet named Atkins. Profit before people. [It's] emblematic of corporate America. And it ain't got nothing to do with solving the problem of the epidemic of obesity.

So wait, who's pushing this diet on us?

Duh. Where does the profit lie in the foods that used to "top" the food pyramid? I guess "they" don't like being bottoms. It's all about resurrection. Big money and lots of war go into themes like resurrection.

Coke vs. Diet Coke? Is one better than the other?

You'll have to ask: a) teachers who use it as the science experiment it is--which one dissolves teeth "better"; or b) someone who drinks the shit. 'Cause we don't.

When you say fast food is bad, that doesn't apply to Whataburger, right? Surely you've got to miss Whataburger.

Credit for the name alone--no need to even pretend any thinking went into that.

So you are a self-proclaimed "radical feminist lesbian" now. How's that working for you?

As opposed to "mediocre Republican heterosexual"? What do you think?

Ah, right, of course. Why do you think women drive themselves crazy in pursuit of the perfect body while men tend to, you know, not give a shit?

Women drive themselves crazy, do they? It's not the billion-dollar ad campaigns, socialized, glamorized, advertised slaughter, slavery? "You, too, could be" a beauty queen--[as if that's] one of my fucking goals in life--with three months of cutting, scraping, capping...all done by a panel of "expert" men who are there to help you, of course. Only one of the thousands of weapons of war directed [directly] at women...all reduced to "those little women driving themselves crazy."

OK, so just to be clear, when I'm ordering a double cheeseburger, I should get fries or should not get fries with that?

It's your colon--do whatever you want.

What's wrong with being fat, health issues notwithstanding? Are you prejudiced against fat people?

Health issues notwithstanding? What a stupid question.

I like your new hair, by the way. I think it's very sexy.

Oh, my God, he thinks I'm sexy!

--Dan Michalski

Sack of Kittens

In this installment of Sack of Kittens: Crossing Ellum. Looks like? The band Scott Stapp was in before Creed. This is, perhaps, because singer Matthew JC looks exactly like Scott Stapp, except he generally wears a shirt. Sounds like? The band Fred Durst was in before Limp Bizkit. This is, perhaps, because singer Matthew JC sounds exactly like Fred Durst, except he doesn't use words like "agreeance." In a previous Full Frontal interview ("Paradise Lost," July 24, 2003), however, Mr. JC did say he was "up in a heaval." Where do I know Matthew JC from? He was in another local band called Pulling Wool. Oh, and he was briefly on Fox's Paradise Hotel. How they describe their sound? From the official Crossing Ellum bio: "The band's broad musical influences, grounded in a pure guitar-driven/arena-rock feel, are combined with current hip-hop influences which culminates in music that's not quite 'guitar rock' and not quite 'rap-rock.'" What that actually means? It's also not quite "good." Kick-you-in-the-crotch terrible, really, but you wouldn't want to say that in a band bio, I guess. Other descriptions that might fit? Date-rape rock. Or maybe ick-hop. You make the call. Sample lyrics? "Knick knack, paddy whack, give that bitch a bone/Walk away fast 'cause I'd rather be alone/Jack was nimble, Jack was quick/Thoughts of you make me real sick," from--surprise, surprise--"I Hate You." Can I have some more? OK: "London Bridge is falling down/Ignoring you works best I found/Jack and Jill went up the hill/To get away from you because they had their fill." So: Crossing Ellum looks like Creed, sounds like Limp Bizkit and their front man was on one of those reality dating shows--isn't this a sign of impending doom? Only if they manage to sign a record deal. Or if Matthew JC manages to find the magical Tibetan dagger that will kill the Golden Child, as has long been prophesied. Number of kittens in the sack they're currently standing on? Eight, and they're hoping it ends quickly. Avenge them! --Zac Crain

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