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CELLULOID AND CELLULITE
a rant by Terry Baker
God damn it, I feel like Andy Rooney. I just want to bitch about something like a stuffy old coot just to hear myself bitch.
(*Ahem. Clears throught to prepare for best Rooney impersonation*)
You ever notice that Hollywood hates fat people? We are replete with the tried and true cliche of the overwieght character. Be they young, old, male, or female, chubs never fill up the screen with the heroic, helluva guy attributes. There are the young husky sort like Jerry O'Connell in Steven King's "Stand By Me". We also have Spielberg offer us a second helping of the character, "Chunk", played by the fat jiggling Jeff Cohen, in "The Goonies". Both of these portly pint sized players give us nothing but annoying whining and cowardice. Even that red headed kid from "The Big Green", now seen in Sobe drink commercials found himself typecasted as the fat annoying kid. Normally, as did O'connell, kids lose the babyfat as they age and grow to become a more slender thespian, opening the doors for more casting options. On the other hand, they could retain that weight and throw on a few more pounds for good measure as they blossom into adulthood, and ultimately, be constricted by the binding burden of the annoying fat guy typecast. See, the late, heavyweight, Chris Farley. Fat, annoying, slow minded guy in a little coat. Film after film. Or how about John Candy? An actor that treated himself to too many bonbons and lo and behold, was cast as the annoying fatass from there on out. Now, those two examples, fine comedians in their own right, would not be as marketable with their humor were it not for them being fat. Its the prime example of using obesity as a prop. You wouldn't exactly see those two examples breaking out in a dramatic piece, would you? Probably not. They were comedians and stuck with their given craft. Even still, within the realm of comedy, they would not be the straight men in juxtaposition to the skinny annoying guy that wrecks everything. No matter what the genre, the fat ass is type casted. Die molded, a very large die mold, into a role they must squeeze into every film.
Now, of course, Marlon Brando and Orson Welles turned in brilliant performances with several pounds of lard hanging to their frame. However, these fine actors were once thin. A couple of hundred pounds did not hide the talent, respect, and experience they had tucked under their belt. There in lies the difference. Brando and Welles had time to explore their sveldte talents before reaching maximum density. Reference The Breakfast Club's John Bender and his explanation of the two types of people in this world.
I know what you are doing while reading this. Stop it. You are thinking of as many actors and actresses that you can that may be overwieght and turned in a stellar performance in a great role. You are thinking of these thespian's roles that were not portrayed as slow-witted, annoying people. If you have conjured up a handful in rebuttal to my rant, then kudos to you. But, since you are trying so hard to arm yourself with ammunition against my allegations, takea big bite out of this: How many of these characters are heroic warriors that win the day and get the hot chick in the end? They did not stumble onto the spoils of victory by being goofy or lovable, but rather with cunning, strength and sheer magnetism. How many of these characters were fat assed, bad assess that kicked ass all over the screen? Were these chunky hunks saving the day and offering a catchy phrase like "I'll be back", or "I'll be back for another round at the buffet"? Were they flying into the danger zone with a need for speed or a need for Ho Hos? Did he sling the waifish, fair haired damsel on the back of his steed and force that poor horse to carry a combined 500 pound load into the sunset? See, Hollywood doesn't like to portray the weight challenged people of our society in that light. Fat people are not capable of having these admirable traits and cannot be our action heroes. Fat people cannot be the sultry temptress that seduces Michael Douglas to engage in a passionate love tryst, only later to seek bloodthirsty revenge after her inevitable spurn. To Hollywood, the overweight crowd does not need an icon. Portly children do not need a positve role model. Fat kids need Eric Cartman. Fat kids need to realize that you are on this earth to laugh at, poke fun at, and cheer as you jiggle your lard like a circus freak. In Hollywood's eyes, you whales are here for the moviegoer's skinny amusement, because you are oafish, annoying, and probably too dim-minded to recognize the taunting and laughter directed at you. So by all means, order the large bucket of butter bathed popcorn, the box of junior mints, and thrill as Hollywood reminds you that you suck to them.
Damn, I hate that fucking Andy Rooney.
This wasn't a soap box thing either. Just an overblown observation and an itch to bitch. So fuck me in the Goat Ass.
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