I was linked by Boing Boing to an interesting piece this morning listing the Top 10 Most Absurd Time Covers done by ReasonOnline. I wanted to share because the commentary for the cover pictured to your right is rather refreshing.
Here’s a bit of an intro snippet to the concept behind making the list:
“[S]ince the British sociologist Stanley Cohen defined the moral panic phenomenon in the early 1970s as hysterical overreactions to imagined threats to social order, no publication has done a better (by which we mean worse) job of scaring the crap out of post-baby boomer America than Time, the top-selling newsweekly that’s dropping subscribers like the mythical meth mouth drops teeth.
On the Obesity panic cover Time offers up Radley Balko offers a few bits of “Settle Down” logic and science to combat those scare tactic statistics the media loves to throw around; including the 400,000 Deaths By Fat per year and Fatties Costing More for Health care bits that appear all the time when folks are trying to convince their readers of just how AWFUL fat is for each person AND THE WORLD!
I think that this one line in the critique “Moreover, while Americans have been getting fatter for 25 years” needs to take the same care in wording used for the rest of the scare tactics Time presents that teh author works on deconstructing. After all, the media just seems to love to throw in this “Common sense” phrase without acknowledging that it too is often just used to increase the sense of panic about Expanding Waistlines OMG without putting a bit of context in there.
“Over the time period that you’ve heard that the obesity rates have quote “doubled” or gone up by 70 percent, the average weight gain is 7 to 10 pounds” “Going back forty years, by the way, we’ve also gained an inch in height”
But that is just a tiny quibble. I feel that overall it was a nice little piece to see this morning.
Science: kinda refreshing once in a while y’all. You might enjoy some of the other covers shown too. Some interesting things to reflect upon on what is, here in Massachusetts, the third or fourth very gray and misty spring day in a row!