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You Are Dumb, which is not a blog, posts new columns every weekday, except for a couple of days each month when it doesn't. It is also a Twitter feed, @youaredumb, with content in a similar vein but much shorter. My spinoff food site, Forkbastard, can be found easily enough by the clever.
Archive - Jan 20, 2004
Memo to all you Atkins motherfuckers: YOU ARE DUMB.
OK, go ahead and do your little low-carb thing if you want to. That's fine. I'm not a nutritionist, I don't know what the deal with the various studies are, I don't care whether or not your friend lost a ton of weight on it. None of this matters to me. None of this is why you are dumb.
Maybe it's not even your fault that you're part of a fad. An "emerging market". A consumer group. A ripe, lush cash cow for the food industry to grind into tiny bits laced with the prions of insanity. But you're caught up in something, and that something gets bigger and dumber every single day. So you may want to consider some cost/benefit analysis, look at the people you're being associated and lumped in with, and just eat some damn ravioli and buy some bigger pants. Seriously.
It was bad enough just a few scant months ago, when the carb-watchers started infiltrating the public space with their discussions and their ketosis and their "no cake for me, please, I'm watching my carb intake". That was annoying, but that's OK, because people obsessing about what they shove in their (now crustless) pie-holes is just so much background noise.
I mean, let's face it. We all know why you love the Atkins.
Editor's Note: In case you haven't figured it out yet, the term "Atkins" is being used as a broad catchall for Atkins, South Beach, and various low-carb eating plans, in addition to the so-called "diets" of people who saw on Regis and Kelly that "carbs are bad" and are thus ordering bowls full of stuff at Mexican restaurants.
You love the Atkins because it tells you what you want to hear. I'm not passing judgment on the effectiveness, short-term or long term. I'm just saying that this Atkins shit is telling you that multigrain whole-wheat nut-berry bread is the stool of Satan, which is something you secretly thought in your deepest heart of hearts anyway. But that's fine.
Now, though, you're being marketed to. And because you're being marketed to, we are now being bombarded with retardorays from the food industry, who have seized on the meme that carbohydrates are some kind of Dioxin-level threat to humanity and are desperate to point out to a protein-addled country that their products contain less of the dreaded C-Word than their other dreaded C-word, competitors.
So first we had the specialty foods. The low-carb energy bars, the low-carb food replacements. There's a specialty market that claims to offer low-carb POTATOES, and how they manage that is anybody's guess. And that was bad.
And then the chain restaurants started pandering, and TGI Friday's started offering a licensed Atkins menu, and the rest followed suit. If you're eating at TGI Friday's, odds are you're either surrounded by people you hate, or you're one of the people surrounding people who hate you, so whether or not you can get "potato skins" with slabs of raw pork replacing the potato is the least of your worries.
But now everyone's in on the act. Low-carb beer, because we apparently needed something new for Guinness-drinkers to make fun of Middle America for. Bunless Whoppers. BUNLESS WHOPPERS. You get it in a bowl. A Whopper in a bowl. Without ketchup or mayo, but with bacon. The AP story calls this a sign that "the burger wars are taking a turn for the healthy." I call it DUMB IN A BOWL.
Not convinced yet? Check under the sea. The fine people at Star-Kist have seen fit to remind us that their pouch full of tuna has.... zero carbs. Yes, that's right. A plastic pouch filled with nothing but chopped-up fish meat, and the public needs to be sold on its carbless qualities. There is, apparently, a significant subset of the population that thinks that FISH ARE MADE OUT OF BREAD.
Oh, and Frito-Lay is working on low-carb tortilla chips. God only knows what they'll make the things out of instead of, you know. CORN, but at least whatever vat-grown concoction of plastics, chemicals, and cow ass the chips are formed from, it won't have very many carbs in it.
Your choice is before you. On one plate - some toast, a candy bar, some fettucine Alfredo, and a couple of Valium. On the other, ten pounds of bacon and twenty pounds of DUMB. Choose wisely.