Today I was at a community house for local activists/radicals/anarchists and found this sticker posted underneath by the water dispenser:
Surgeon General's Warning:
Consumption of soft drink bevarages may result in
Rotten teeth, diabetes, obesity, malnutrition, osteoporosis, & Cancer
Well it wasn't exactly like that, because it was all in caps.
I took it down, and tomorrow I'm going to leave this in its place:
To the person who put up that sticker, and everyone else who couldn't be bothered to take it down.
I have gotten tired of taking down messages that reinforce mainstream ideas about food and bodies. Rather than just removing that sticker, I am going to explain why I find it problematic - in the hope that one day peopel will stop putting such messages up - or at least other people will take them down before I see them.
1. I have no idea why you thought this message is necessary. Presumably you believe that there are people out there who have been deprived of the information that soft-drinks can lead to rotten teeth, and there only way of accessing this information is through alternative chanels. We obviously live in very different worlds.
2. Telling people that they shouldn't eat a particular food because they might get fat, is about as un-radical message as you can find. I'm not even going to go there, you should know better.
3. As activisits we should be focusing on health collectively rather than individually. We challenge the system of unemployment rather than blaming people for not getting a job. Surely we should challenge the system of food production rather than blaming people for getting sick
4. Think for a second about people who have the diseases listed - would you really be ok with someone with rotten teeth reading that? Are you even aware about the link between rotten teeth and poverty? Is this just another way of making sure that only middle-class alternative types feel comfortable in this space?
So lets stop with the moralistic bullshit around food. Let's treat food politically or ignore it. Repeating mainstream messages is not an option.
PS: Surgeon General? Can we please stick to the bureaucrats we are actually inflicted, without borrowing other people's.