Fat Head: How Monica Lewinsky Changed My Life
are largely fat. Almost 65% of us are either overweight or obese.
This is fine with me. Excluding the higher insurance rates I pay
to compensate my elephantine fellow citizens, I could care less
about the condition of their fat asses.
are swelling unnecessarily in another, far more insidious way.
With each tick
of the digital clock, pointless movie reviews, frivolous dogma,
worthless editorials and regurgitated rhetoric disguised as information
bloat our brains and artificially inflate the importance of the
media conglomerates are churning out sugarcoated, empty-calorie,
hyper-speculative swill. At the present rate of consumption, the
total number of over-opinionated Americans will double within
the next decade. Judgmental mammoths will run amok.
We need to get
serious about our fat heads. In this time of judgmental hyperbole,
the less frivolous viewpoints we have, the better.
say. “What can I do to loose excess fatheaded opinions?”
tell you about that in a moment. But first, let me explain how
opinion-consumption awareness began in 1998 when it seemed that
everyone was gorging
themselves on assessments about a woman named Monica Lewinsky.
Ms. Lewinsky was “a whore,” “a Mossad agent” “an
opportunist,” “a real pro,” “a honey trap," “a
sock puppet” “a voluptuous beauty” “a
felon,” and so on ad nauseam. Americans were on an opinion
binge, consuming more frivolous points of view than their fat
heads could bear. In spite of the incessant media smorgasbord
of super-sized informative communication, the only thing that
anyone could really claim to know about Ms. Lewinsky was her position
at the receiving end of one of our president’s non-presidential
And yet, thanks
to Monica, my life changed. Tired of the endless stream of pontificated
lard served up as intellectual gruel, I decided it was time I
loose my excess brain fat.
went on a 24-hour judgment diet. I said nothing about Monica
was a revelation — a metabolic tune-up that boosted my energy,
increased my intellectual tone, and helped me lose those unwanted
self-righteous inches creating pressure against my cranium.
a couple of years after the Lewinsky-opinion glut, a Harris Poll
released a report showing that 83 percent of all Americans believe
in the virgin birth. With it, a new round of fattening opinions
began and America’s judgmental obesity increased. After
all, what could be filled with more head calories than a Harris
Poll statistic about parthenogenesis?
eight out of ten people we pass on the street believe it’s
possible for a woman to get pregnant without having sex? Or
do they entertain
the idea that Mary may have been artificially inseminated? Or
that she reportedly had the opportunity to cheat on Joseph opening
the possibility that Christmas evolved out of a novel excuse for
infidelity? Or are Americans really mystics who have an unwavering
faith that the Holy Spirit deposited the Son of God in the womb
of a nondescript Jewish woman not so unlike Monica Lewinsky?
I could feel
my head trying to form a ridiculous high-fat opinion just thinking
about it. That Harris Poll was the final straw. Before long, I
decided give up junk opinions for one day every week.
diet was not without its challenges. Not so much because I was
opinions on the side, but because everyone around me seemed to
insist on sharing theirs with me. Like those porky colleagues
who bring Danish to weekly staff meetings when they know you’re
trying to control that annoying little jiggle at your beltline,
these miscreants mercilessly tempted my will to improve my pudgy
on,” they would say. “What do YOU really think?”
What I thought
was it takes tremendous personal strength to live a contemporary
American life without passing judgment on worthless bits of information.
For a while,
my friends began to form opinions about my lack of opinions. Their
heads swelled with inconsequential appraisals. I refused to give
paid off. Today, even casual acquaintances pause a moment before
offering the tidbit o' the day, knowing that their hunger for
junk-food repartee will go unsatiated. They know I can effortlessly
decline to voice an opinion about Scott Peterson or Kobe Bryant.
probably asking yourself right now, “Is this diet right
course, it is. I’m not asking you to give up your shallow
opinions entirely, just one day every week.
be surprised how painless it is to say goodbye to those add-on
attitudes. Before long you’ll learn to end intellectual
frustration and break free from that defeating inconsequential “that’s
what I think” cycle forever. You’ll lose irrelevant
opinions and keep them off! There’s no guesswork. It’s
fun and simple.
how you can resist those empty brain calories.
when someone asks you for a junk opinion, just say that you
when you feel the urge to make known your own petty judgment
any prompting, just say these two simple words: “Monica
take pleasure in the startled looks.
a matter of months you’ll feel the difference. The unopinionated
time you spend will help you cogitate more freely. And when you
DO have a judgment about something of consequence, you’ll
be amazed how satisfying it is.
longer will you grow fatheaded trying to form an opinion about
or Simon Cowell or Krispy Kreme or fanny packs or Winona Ryder’s
shoplifting or Jocko’s nose or Harry Potter’s paganism
or Saddam Hussein’s artwork or mullets or corked bats or
Carlos Ponce and Beyonce.
too, can belong to those brave souls in the polling pie charts
by the extra-thin slice entitled “Don’t Know/Don't
always plenty to talk about without sacrificing your intellectual
integrity by indulging in media inflated gossip. And who knows?
The world might be a better place with you not saying what you
think you think.
Callahan, August 21, 2003