Public Health

Soda Pop and Nipple Clamps: When Sex Metaphors Penetrate Discussions of Public Health

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Elizabeth Benjamin at the New York Daily News excerpted and posted some great (some would argue crucial) lines from her interview with NY State Health Commissioner Richard Daines, who recently took to YouTube in defense of Gov. David Paterson's proposed tubby tax—"an 18 percent levy on sugary drinks like non-diet soda."

Here's Daines on why the nanny state is peferable to a metaphorical spanking with a cheese grater:

"Simply because you can't or don't want to do everything doesn't mean you can't do the first thing or the most important thing," Daines told me during a recent interview.

"If you take a fair-minded look at the literature, you will see that the first and most important to do is to go after these beverages. We paralyze ourselves if we say we have to do everything at once or do nothing."

"…The message here is moderation, not abstinence," the commissioner continued. "I've seen lives ruined and controlled by things like obesity and tobacco and other addictions. If you really want your life controlled by that, it's like having a dominatrix instead of a nanny. [emphasis added]

With the exception of the dominatrix reference (I smell an impending Craig/Foley-esque scandal in this man's future), Daines' public health lingo is old hat: "We've determined that X is bad, that less of X is good, and that sadly, consumers are incapable of moderation. Ergo, we're taxing the shit out of X, which will make it easier for consumers to drink/eat/ingest-via-enema more of Y, which just so happens to be healthier--and now cheaper--than X."  

Any mention of public health deserves a reference to Jacob Sullum's teardown from 2007, "An Epidemic of Meddling," as well as a complimentary tub of bacon-flavored ice cream.

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  1. Don’t worry, citizens, the State will be your nanny.

    Unless you smoke pot, then get ready for the leather.

  2. If you really want your life controlled by that, it’s like having a dominatrix instead of a nanny.

    What if you’d prefer a bang maid?

    Charlie: You’re not gonna find a bang maid ’cause there’s no such thing.

    Frank: I already did. Your mom. Good-bye.

  3. Oddly enough, lots of adults would choose a dominatrix over a nanny as well…

  4. imagines

    between this and the Iowa City proposal to ban happy hour, we really need to roll back the Bibertarians in 2009!

  5. If you really want your life controlled by that, it’s like having a dominatrix instead of a nanny.

    Better to have a diaper fetish than be a submissive, I guess.

  6. Mellow greetings. What seems to be your boggle?

  7. Sorry, VM, but Obama plans to declare the U.S. to be the first Bibertopia in his inauguration speech. Following the speech, Obama will create the NNN–the National Nanny Network–which will send crack squads of nannies out to hand each American his own bib as part of the Obama stimulus package. Once America is enbibified, then the nanny state can be fully implemented without any messy spills or cleanup.

  8. hrumph.

    kicks pebble

    (will the nanny (above) be involved?)

  9. Ambulance services are the ultimate manifestation of the nanny state. They come careening down the street with their sirens blaring, and we have to get out of their way. Well, fuck them. Let the ill and the injured get to the (hopefully private) hopsitals on their own and quietly. Those who can’t pay will (hopefully) be tunred away by the private hopsitals and die, leaving more for the prodcutive among us.

  10. If you really want your life controlled by that then have fucking at it.

  11. Maybe I should be able to decide if it’s healthier to have sugar or sugar substitutes. I know, silly me.

    When’s the butter tax coming? It’s fatty and salty. Or the maple syrup coated bacon tax? Huh, fuckbags?

  12. Mellow greetings. What seems to be your boggle?

    You are fined one credit for a violation of the Verbal Morality Statute.

  13. “between this and the Iowa City proposal to ban happy hour”

    the what now?

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/chi-ap-ia-iowacitydrinking,0,2753917.story

    oh my.

  14. You libtards don’t understand addictions and how people suffer! A person may innocently start experimenting with gerbils, and work his way up to squirrels and groundhogs, and pretty soon all of his disposable income is going straight to the pet store and up his derriere!

    Oh, please help me! Help me rig up a hobbitrail for a declawed beagle puppy to my duodenum.

  15. yup dhex. yup.

    ProGlib. but. what about BOUNCY BOUNCY?

  16. What a terrible movie. Yet every year it climbs one notch higher toward prophecy.

    The day I see seashells in a bathroom stall is the day I jump off the roof.

    My personal favorite: “We’re police officers! We’re not trained to handle this kind of violence!”

  17. Or the maple syrup coated bacon tax?

    This should be double-taxed*, as it has the added evil of being not only fattening, but also very likely a dreaded Canadian import!

    *Triple-taxed if the bacon in question turns out to actually be Canadian bacon.

  18. Ah, VM, that’s why we’re libertarians. Here’s what a typical free-market nanny from Libertopia is expected to look like.

  19. Yes, yes, VM, that’s the idea. And people think libertarians are heartless bastards. Untrue!

  20. yeah yeah.

    in EDWEIRDOOO/LEFITI’s world, they’d all look like this.

  21. The government thinks it’s so bad they intend to make money on it.

  22. VM,

    As the evidence strongly confirms, freer markets produce much more attractive women. Case in point: Prior to the fall of the U.S.S.R., Russian women looked like this. After the fall, when something more marketish arose, they began to look like this.

  23. This should be double-taxed*, as it has the added evil of being not only fattening, but also very likely a dreaded Canadian import!

    No, Obama’s going to keep our maple syrup jobs from going overseas. Or to the Great White North.

    What a terrible movie. Yet every year it climbs one notch higher toward prophecy.

    Dude, it had Taco Bell as where everyone ate. It wasn’t prophecy for me in 1993, it was reality.

  24. I won’t force linky on you, but does the nanny come in a Gerard Butler model for us 51%-ers? 😉

  25. Completely makes sense.

    so instead of Richard Daines, we should have Claire instead??

  26. FrBunny,

    Well, the free market will serve women, too, though a nanny that will kick you into a pit every time you say, “This is a bad mess!” is of questionable utility.

  27. Whoa! Good links today. Also, did Riggs hint at the existence of bacon flavored ice cream? Hmmmmmmmmmmmm . . . .

  28. Who wouldn’t click a link with “nipple_slip” in the title?

  29. What a terrible movie. Yet every year it climbs one notch higher toward prophecy.

    Oh come on, that was a *great* movie. It’s greatness was in its terribleness.

  30. VM,

    How did you get a picture of me in my exercise outfit? That restraining order is still in effect you know.

  31. Naga –

    um. somebody else. um…

    *points dramatically*
    LOOK OVER THERE!!

    *runs off*

  32. Plan Nine from Outer Space was great in its terribleness. Demolition Man, if memory serves, was a legitimate action blockbuster in its day, and that makes my soul hurt.

    VM – thanks!
    ProLib – Leonidas was nice to the wife. And I’d be willing to take my chances.

  33. I bet in the prequel that he kicks her in the pit at least once.

  34. Kicks her into the pit, that is.

  35. I have watched many terrible movies for the lulz, and I have to say that I would probably rate Battlefield Earth as the best worst movie. They are so earnestly thinking they are making a sci-fi classic that it’s mind-bending. To truly understand this you have to watch the extras where Travolta and Roger Christian are, in fact, talking about how it will be a sci-fi classic. Awesome.

    Demolition Man, if memory serves, was a legitimate action blockbuster in its day, and that makes my soul hurt.

    Oh, come on. That’s nothing compared to something like Pearl Harbor or other various Michael Bay abominations. Or Roland Emmerich. Shit, I’d rather watch Uwe Boll.

  36. Firewalker is another goodie for lulz.

    ProGLib – thanks for the clarification!

    Fr Bunny: of course!

  37. I remember having a girlfriend in high schoolthat was always whining about how poor I was and thinking that if only Taco Bell was the only restaurant left her bitching would be minimal. Eat a burrito and be happy in the knowledge it is as expensive as the world will tolerate!

  38. Or Roland Emmerich.

    Independence Day was just on somewhere. God, what a steaming pile of celluloid. Also, you forgot Stephen Sommers.

  39. The Mummy was at least fun, BP. But I forgot to save some vitriol for Brett Ratner. I was working with a cinematographer one time and I made a really nasty joke about Ratner and Rush Hour, and it turned out he went to school with Ratner, and at least didn’t dislike him. Whoops.

  40. I was trying to differentiate the timeless awesomeness of awful movies like Battlefield/Plan 9 and the plain old contemporary lameness of Demolition/Pearl Harbor. Perhaps the hairs I split are a bit thin.

  41. Ratner went to the New York Film Academy, which has campi all over the US. In my experience, anyone who ever attended one of their 8-week workshops says they “went to school with Brett Ratner.”

    As if that’s a good thing.

    And I will go to my grave believing Kevin Smith has earned as much scorn as any writer/director in history.

  42. “I have watched many terrible movies for the lulz, and I have to say that I would probably rate Battlefield Earth as the best worst movie.”

    i love me some bad good movies but i cannot get through it. too much…slow…motion…laughing…

    the best worst best worst movie is showgirls, of course – it’s heart of darkness set in the middle of the crusted remains of the american dream.

  43. Who wouldn’t click a link with “nipple_slip” in the title?

    Someone who would click on a banner ad asking if his man is gay, hoping the answer is “yes.”

  44. demolition man is kind of ace, but when it comes to stallone, you have a simple choice – lock up or over the top.

    (his remake of get carter is surprisingly watchable, oddly enough)

  45. dhex – bacon-wrapped awesome sentence.

    for this citizen, Air Force One was pure horror of awful.

  46. Maybe, Bunny. He claimed to have actually done a project with Ratner and that’s why he knew him.

    And Kevin Smith is a massively overrated near-talentless schmuck. Sort of like George Lucas.

  47. demolition man is kind of ace, but when it comes to stallone, you have a simple choice – lock up or over the top

    Oh my god Over the Top is fucking great. A movie about arm wrestling. Who makes a movie about arm wresting? Incredible.

    I don’t know if you saw the 2008 Rambo, but that movie is fucking stunning in its level of violence. And this is coming from someone who eats while watching Cannibal Holocaust.

  48. of course, Epi, libmike will show up and tell you that the cannibal holocaust was made up

  49. Lucas is the directorial equivalent of a one-hit wonder. The only difference is that he got someone else to prolong the hit and that he merchandised the living daylights out of his hit.

    For those that quibble about the one-hit claim, well, I’ll give him half credit for Indiana Jones.

  50. Stallone peaked with Stop or my Mom will Shoot.

    Epi – I sounded snottier than intended. Your buddy could very likely have worked with him. Just because my crowd is full of pretentious liars doesn’t mean yours is.

  51. I didn’t see The Mummy, so I can’t speak about it. I was basing my scorn on Van Helsing, which sucks so bad it creates small black holes wherever it plays. That’s he’s helming Beverly Hills Cop IV doesn’t say good things, either.

    If you eat during Cannibal Holocaust, check out Takashi Miike if you haven’t already. No one does gore like him. Also, projectile lactation.

    I was trying to differentiate the timeless awesomeness of awful movies like Battlefield/Plan 9 and the plain old contemporary lameness of Demolition/Pearl Harbor.

    There’s utter filmmaking incompetence, such as breaking film continuity without purpose – crossing the line of action, eyeline mismatches, characters moving in different screen directions across cuts, etc. Ed Wood is the classic at this sort of thing, Uwe Boll’s ‘films’ are full of it, and even Bay has had his moments.

    Then there’s simple mediocrity – bad writing, poor direction, bad editing. Most of the rest of the guys discussed are perps there.

  52. Over the Top

    ’nuff said.

  53. Holy fucking shit, Epi!!! Jesus! I’m a little stunned just by reading the synopsis of “Cannibal Holocaust”! Dude, sounds pretty wicked not that I’ll be watching it or anything.

  54. of course, Epi, libmike will show up and tell you that the cannibal holocaust was made up

    Look, Deodato had to go to court in Italy to prove the human killings weren’t real. Maybe he’d have a point.

    Epi – I sounded snottier than intended. Your buddy could very likely have worked with him. Just because my crowd is full of pretentious liars doesn’t mean yours is.

    No worries, he wasn’t my buddy, I know plenty of pretentious liars, and I’m snotty as hell myself.

    If you eat during Cannibal Holocaust, check out Takashi Miike if you haven’t already. No one does gore like him. Also, projectile lactation.

    Ichi the Killer, bitches! YEE HAW! And the end of Audition, of course.

  55. (here comes the set up)

    I wonder if anywhere in the wide spectrum of psycho-sexual deviancy, there is a personality type that gets off on being abused by the government and having civil rights trampled?

    (run with it, people)

  56. check out “war supporters”. “torture supporters”. “greatest threat to us is islamofacism, and we have to spy on people at home to protect us”

  57. “I wonder if anywhere in the wide spectrum of psycho-sexual deviancy, there is a personality type that gets off on being abused by the government and having civil rights trampled?”

    Waterboard me baby! Yeah that’s the way I like it. I felt like I was going to really drown that time.

  58. Jeff P,

    I operate under the assumption that such deviants constitute a voting majority of the American population.

  59. You can watch Cannibal Holocaust in its entirety at the link.

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