I finally received a link to the “We Are Hungry” video that I could view. In case you haven’t seen it, here it is:

I love this video not just because it’s funny, but also because ridicule can be an effective political tool.  The overlords don’t like it when the common people start laughing at them.  You can get angry, you can protest in the street, you can call your representatives and complain, etc., but those actions don’t knock the overlords from their mental pedestals.  Being publicly ridiculed is another matter.  When people are laughing at you, they are above you. There’s a reason we refer to ridicule as “looking down” on someone.

Back in the 1990s, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission decided the Hooters restaurant chain was being unfair to men by hiring only young, pretty women as waitresses.  Never mind that Hooters employed plenty of men as cooks, dishwashers, managers, etc. … nope, by gosh, if a restaurant whose entire marketing strategy was built around pretty waitresses in skimpy outfits refused to hire men to wait tables, something bad was going on and the overlords needed to fix it.  So the EEOC demanded that Hooters change the very concept that had made it a successful chain and pony up millions of dollars in back pay to men the restaurants never hired.

Hooters could have fought back with high-priced attorneys (which they probably did), but they also understood and employed the power of ridicule.  They placed ads like the one you see below in newspapers and on billboards.

One full-page ad placed in newspapers featured the same guy you see in the billboard.  The text simply read:  What’s wrong with this picture?  Your government.

The EEOC dropped the case and (laughably) accused Hooters of intimidation.  Sure, we all know how easy it is to intimidate a federal agency.  The “intimidation” was the company’s successful strategy of encouraging ordinary citizens to laugh at their government overlords.

Let’s hope the USDA feels equally intimidated soon.

 

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35 Responses to ““We Are Hungry” Video”
  1. Jose says:

    This gives me hope that our youth haven’t been fully assimilated into the nanny state.

    Irreverent, creative, rebellious, clever, but not cruel.

  2. Scott says:

    If you want a funny male spoof of hooters type in, chasers Dongers on youtube, I ain’t gonna try linking it because it didn’t work last time.

  3. Bikini Boy says:

    I stopped thinking Jon Stewart was funny a long time ago.’

    Did you see his rebuttal to this?

    http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/thu-september-27-2012/starved-by-the-bell

    Beyond saturated fats, I have found (especially through books like SSoS) that ample protein is a staple of a healthy diet. It’s actually quite difficult to eat 850 calories of something that is a raw protein. I felt like throwing an apple – or a pork chop at Jon.

    What’s a shame is many people laughing don’t even know the very simple science behind why this whole idea is very wrong.

    A clear case of not getting it.

  4. Don in Arkansas says:

    This policy may help in that more and more students will start bringing their lunch to school instead of eating the cafeteria crap. I work in the local school system and when I see what they feed the kids and call it healthy it makes me cringe.

    I think that’s bound to happen. Hunger alone will prompt more kids to pack a lunch.

  5. DJ says:

    Glad you finally got to see what you’ve been missing… it is a great video.

  6. Katie says:

    Gosh, those hooters photos are hilarious! Great article.

  7. J P says:

    Somewhere in D.C. there is a dietary expert at the USDA (and by expert I mean a know it all humorless know nothing) having a fit about this video. I love it! Very cool by using ridicule. Very Breitbartish!

    I hope some expert is having a fit.

  8. Florian says:

    This video is strange, nontraditional, and it scares/confuses me.

    I’M GOING TO YELL NOW.

  9. DebbieC. says:

    Hmm, my 3-year-old grandson spends Friday nights with me. He weighs 40 pounds and is perfectly normal weight as he is also quite tall. Last night I watched him consume about 1100 calories worth of food for dinner, and yet three hours later he came up to me and said “I need to eat”.

    This morning I went out to breakfast with him and his mom and dad. They ordered him 2 large pancakes (they are wheat eaters), 2 scrambled eggs, and two strips of bacon. He ate every single bite and was ready to eat more when the plate was clean! He’s only 40 pounds and 3 years old, but would have been cranky and crying if his food had been limited to 750-850 calories. :-)

    Growing kids can really pack it away when they’re in a growth spurt. I’ve seen that with my daughters.

  10. Lori says:

    I remember those Hooters ads. I’m all for equality, but some things just don’t work both ways. I like a good-looking guy as much as the next woman, but unless a meal comes with a massage, good-looking waiters aren’t going to entice me into a restaurant.

    On an earlier topic, I see McDonald’s has calories posted on their menu. I compared the Angus burgers to some others and thought, Cool. I can order an Angus burger and get 200 more calories for about the same price.

    The law of unintended consequences will kick in. Lots of people will make the same decision you did.

    • Walter Bushell says:

      Where else but America do restaurants and food perverters^W purveyors make a sales point of how little food they are selling you?

      I suppose the practice has spread, backed by our fast food empires.

  11. Emily says:

    Wow, that is awesome! And so true. When I was in high school I raced cross country skiing in the fall/winter and pole-vaulted in the spring. Oh, and I had a zero period class. I packed my lunches, but they had to be pretty huge, even as a girl, in order for me to be able to train effectively.

  12. The concept of mandated school lunches is so foreign to me, literally, because I live in the Philippines. When I was in elementary school (grades 1-8 in US schools I believe), we had three options for lunch. Our parents either packed us our own lunch, gave us lunch money to buy our own, or the bought us meal tickets for preset menus offered by the school cafeteria. High school didn’t sell meal tickets so it basically meant the school never really cared what you ate.

    We had no menu restrictions in high school back in the 1970s. You ordered what you wanted, period.

  13. Beowulf says:

    I love the scene with all the kids stuffing their lockers with junk food. Yes, let’s starve the kids at lunch so that they’ll have to eat chips and soda to keep going in the afternoon. Great plan for healthy eating, Nanny Overloads.

  14. David Tromholt says:

    I sometimes wonder if mother nature created the Internet (surely without nature, technology wouldn’t exist) in order to counter the ill advice and stupidity we’ve been fed with by authoritarian institutions for decades. You know, as an attempt to balance things out and clean up the mess of mis-information.

    Anyway, if it wasn’t for the Internet, important thought-provoking media like this video, (and this blog) couldn’t go viral.

    Bless the Internet!

    PS: I hope you’ll make another movie Tom, Fat Head had a huge influence on me and was a great help in convincing my girlfriend to improve her lifestyle. Combining smart & funny always makes it easier to digest all the technical stuff. Thank you.

    Thank you for watching.

  15. Bret says:

    Accused them of INTIMIDATION? Had the EOCC not sacrificed enough dignity already??

    Given the USDA’s demonstrably scant possession of intelligence and accountability, I agree a similar situation involving them is quite likely.

  16. JuneBug says:

    The sad thing is reading the comments made on other sites. Posters saying “It’s the kids fault if they are hungry. They should go get more vegetables and fruit if they are still hungry.” Yes, a big bowl of broccoli will keep you full for hours. Ha.

    I wish someone would start pointing out that the brain is made of fat and since children are basically growing their brains, maybe giving them the one substance that is critical to that process would be a good idea.

    I’ve considered making a film about that.

  17. Jana says:

    I love how the teacher crosses out Food=Fuel. Like the government is re-writing science. I hope this video inspires others to make similar videos.

    One thing I noticed was that this is a high school with an open campus. What about those students who go to a school where they can’t leave at lunch and the “lunch monitor” told them they couldn’t eat what they brought from home because it contains too many calories/protein/fat? A generation of malnourished children coming right up.

  18. ben says:

    Weren’t you on the side of less 3rd party parenting when it comes McDonalds and Happy Meals?

    http://www.fathead-movie.com/index.php/2010/12/17/the-guy-from-cspi-sues-again/

    The role of feeding **YOUR** kids should be on **YOU**, not the government. If you don’t like what’s being served, then make them a sack lunch and eat at home… better yet don’t have kids and you won’t ever have to worry about what the government is forcibly making them eat.

    TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR RAISING THE MOUTHS YOU BRING

    Yes, it should be on parents. So if parents don’t mind their kids walking through a school lunch line and buying whole milk while refusing to take a fruit or vegetable, the government shouldn’t order otherwise.

  19. emi11n says:

    This stupid policy is all about the government feeling like it is DOING SOMETHING about the ZOMGOBEESITYCRISIS. Will this be effective? Hell no. The kids will do like in this video and go buy junk food when they get the chance. If they leave lunch hungry, they’ll just eat more later to make up for it and it’ll probably be the same kind of crap foods that used to be in those vending machines that aren’t in the schools anymore. In the meantime, their school performance will suffer. But hey, who cares about that when there are FATKIDZ!!!!! in the schools? Who cares about the side effects as long as the terrible OBEESITY is stalking our children? Sadly, the people I’ve heard talking about this don’t see what’s wrong with it. Because after all, if those kids ate all the food they are given instead of throwing out the veggies and fruit they wouldn’t be hungry, doncha know. And 850 calories is a LOT, at least in our diet culture that thinks every meal should be less than 500 calories or it’s a heart attack on a plate. Oh, and did you notice that none of the kids in the video are fat? Thank heaven our government is here to ensure that they stay thin!

    Anyone who thinks eating more fruits and vegetables will fill kids up and prevent hunger is clueless — especially since the government geniuses have mandated low-fat meals. Serve them spinach the way I serve it to my kids — i.e., with butter, parmesan cheese and sour cream mixed in — and then they might feel full.

  20. emi11n says:

    Oh, and I forgot to mention, what about the kids in poverty who rely on school meals? Why is it good to starve them during the week when they might not have much food at home? and what about kids going to school in districts with MANDATED school lunch?(like Chicago) No escape for them either!

  21. Darius says:

    Regarding the John Stewart video mentioned, I think the most disturbing thing to me was conflating a teacher providing a script for a bunch of high school teenagers with the creepily cult-of-personality obama video of a bunch of elementary schoolers being made to chant Obama’s name in praise.

    First of all, re: the Obama chanting video, no such crap ever happened for either of the Bushes or Reagan that I know of. I was in elementary school when RR got elected and never saw any such thing (anecdotal, I know) nor heard of it, and being plugged into the democratic talking points network via acquaintances through the 90′s and early 00′s, I’m sure I would have heard of any perceived “dear leader” worship. Heck, the worst examples I’ve seen on that as parody include personal shrines to GWB a la the major in “Chuck” – who was painted as a lovable and loyal character anyway. Plenty of examples of “those eeevil conservative christians are brainwashing their kids (how else could they believe that crap?)” – but no examples even in parody of making kids chant the praises of the president.

    So in short, even if Stewart wasn’t referring to hypocrisy re: similar behavior towards past presidents, the Obama video qualifies as a bit… unusual. And the tone matches much of what I’ve seen of totalitarian propoganda.

    So what about the “similar” video that fox news “hypocritically” suddenly loves, in order that he may mock fox?

    OK, if their HS media shop is anything like my daughter’s they likely took the project, ran with it, filmed it, edited it, and directed it. There may have been some advice or supervision from adults, but most likely the kids carried the brunt of the load. In addition, satirical or sketch pieces are a long time staple at my daughter’s school, and several other HS’s I’ve edalt with lately. I suspect that is generally true in many places. Lastly – I’m willing to bet the english teacher doubles as the journalism teacher, much as my daughter’s school.

    In short – I think there’s a world of difference between teachers directly leading elementary or kindergarden age kids in a cult-of-personality chant praising one figure, and a teacher writing a script for something that was almost entirely voluntary participation, with the students driving most of the work.

    Lastly – while the point that “the government’s buying lunch, you get what you get” is true, ignoring the skyrocketing rate of kids throwing out their lunches in disgust, plus the nanny-state schools that have banned kids from bringing foods the school doesn’t approve (one school “asks” not to bring peanut butter. Grrr. ) is utterly one sided.

    He’s trying to pretend there’s no “there” there.

  22. J says:

    Great Hooters argument.

    If you want to build your business by hiring and serving nothing but white people, the Govt should keep its damn nose out of your business. And if a bank wants to just make loans to white people and only hire white tellers, well that’s their business too.

    See how dumb that sounds.

    And please no false equivalency crying from the middle aged white male, AKA the least discriminated against group in history.

    And as for “People should” unfortunately “People don’t” I disagree with the governments nutritional guidelines, but I respect the fact that its trying. If there were no nutritional guidelines at all, I’m positive business would eagerly step in with the most addictive, lowest quality foods to keep a healthy profit margin. All backed by super slick, reassuring mass media.

    1) Yes, the government should keep its nose out of your hiring decisions. When I open a business, it’s not the government’s money being put at risk. It’s mine. When I hire someone, it’s not the government’s money being spent to pay that person. It’s mine. If I’m stupid enough to pass over the most qualified person because I’m a bigot, I just got less for my money than I could have otherwise. If I build a business that succeeds mostly because I hire pretty young women who are willing to wear hot pants and halter tops while working as waitresses, that’s my business. It’s not up to some pinhead at the EEOC who has no financial stake in the success of my business to decide he knows better.

    2) Banks only make money by lending it out. Any bank stupid enough to refuse to make loans to qualified borrowers simply because those borrowers aren’t white would suffer financially. In case you missed it, we had a rather dramatic economic meltdown that was caused in part by the federal government deciding banks weren’t making enough loans to people with riskier credit profiles and pushing them (sometimes under threat of prosecution) to make more such loans.

    http://www.tomnaughton.com/?p=324

    3) Ah yes, it’s only our fine and dedicated federal government that keeps greedy capitalists from screwing up everything, isn’t it? That explains why I can’t find decent food in any grocery stores or restaurants. Horror of horrors, they’re selling me food without following federal mandates to meet the USDA guidelines. We had “no nutritional guidelines at all” imposed by the federal government until the 1980s. We also didn’t have nearly as many fat kids or diabetic kids. I guess the greedy capitalists forgot to swoop in and serve the lowest-quality foods.

    4) I don’t give a rat’s ass if the government folks “are trying.” Heck, they’re always “trying.” The urge to DO SOMETHING! whenever they see (or imagine) a problem is exactly what makes them dangerous. Going to work for the federal government doesn’t give little groups of supposed experts some kind of magical competence to make the correct decisions for millions of other people.

  23. LCNana says:

    Thanks for the vid, Tom, sad, funny, effective. The mind boggles, though, to think of how fixated we all are (I mean society at large) on FOOD when we have so much and others have so little.

    We must step back and look at what we are doing. Food IS fuel. Not fulfilment of desire, a fashion statement, a status symbol, creative art or whatever. Especially since we have so much of it that we can actually “play” with our food.

    In other places in the world bad people do bad things like deny their own people the basic food they need to fuel their bodies – in order to stay in power and control money/property/whatever.

    I’d like us as a people to actually think about food as fuel. That would be a start. These kids have the right idea.

    Very good points.

  24. chuck says:

    people need to stop relying on others to feed them. PACK your own lunch dammit!

    I think that’s a good idea. But for those who prefer to buy a lunch, the USDA shouldn’t be telling them what they can, cannot, and MUST put on their plates.

  25. Firebird says:

    I recall in elementary school we had to bring our own lunch because the school did not provide it, except for milk, and whole milk at that.

    In Middle school, we had lunch tickets so we could get the subsidized meals the school provided. Not only were we allowed to eat or not eat some of the things that were served, egads, we were allowed to go back for seconds. Then, when the time was right, the lunch ladies would let us know when we could go for ice cream!

    In high school, there was no limit to what you could or couldn’t eat, and you could also go back for seconds, thirds, fourths, etc.

    That was in the 80s.

  26. Nowhereman says:

    I remember that, too, Firebird, only my experience extends back quite a ways longer than yours. My school lunches were all packed by my mom for myself and my sisters from the time we were in kindergarten through to junior high school. Only when we got to high school did not need to, unless we really wanted otherwise, but the cafeteria and snack bars in those days, while not always healthy, did provide a good, wide variety of food. No food police (which I found funny that the kids made reference to a government rep that looks less like someone trying to help people and more like an old Soviet political officer enforcing dogma) telling us what to eat or not to, except occasionally we’d be given information, then allowed to decide what to do for ourselves.

    Boy have things changed… and not for the better.

    On a somewhat related positive note. Tom talks about wisdom of the crowd effect on the internet, but I’ve been witnessing recently a real world example at my local Trader Joes stores on two major fronts. First is in the meat department, where bacon tailings (the fatty end pieces that are cut off and usually discarded) have become insane sellers and are literally flying off the shelves along with an increasing prevalence of organic beef from grass-fed cows.

    The second front is in the snacks section. I lamented some months back to an employee that I’d would love to see potato chips with olive oil instead of canola oil. He said they did and showed me tucked into an obscure, partially hidden row was bags of olive oil cooked chips. Three simple ingredients; potatoes, salt, and olive oil. Wow. So I bought a bag and found they were fantastic! Best chips I’ve had since the old days when chips were cooked in proper tallow! Well, I thought it was too good to last and would soon be off the shelves and a relic of history, when each time I came back, I noticed that the row of one was now more prominently displayed and the product was going fast. Well now at present, they’ve expanded it up to two rows and they still can’t keep enough on the shelves to satisfy people! Meanwhile I noticed that the other brands of chips cooked in canola or other processed vegetable oils are not moving anywhere near as fast.

    See people aren’t stupid and they are getting better educated as to what is and is not good for them or they instinctively know what tastes better and satisfies them.

    There is hope.

  27. J, would you want go to a gentleman’s club if there were a government-mandated rule that a certain percentage of the dancers were fat? It’s discrimination not to hire someone because of their weight, isn’t it?

    Your example sounds dumb because it IS. Any business owner who did that would be out of business. They wouldn’t be serving most people by choice, and of the ethnicity they DID serve, virtually all of them wouldn’t go because they’re NOT racists and they DON’T want to support behavior like that.

    Bingo.

    (Fat? Heck, the EEOC would probably consider it a crime that all the erotic dancers were female, never mind not being fat.)

  28. Underground says:

    “If there were no nutritional guidelines at all, I’m positive business would eagerly step in with the most addictive, lowest quality foods to keep a healthy profit margin. All backed by super slick, reassuring mass media.”

    Oh crap, we’d better get some guidelines quick!!

    Ooops.

    Yeah, the current guidelines did so much good.

  29. Christopher says:

    All this talk about Government getting in the way Corporations trying to sell cheap, processed, unhealthy foods is giving me a headache. Government doesn’t control these corporations. These corporations control the government, and the rest of us for that matter. The very fact that there are companies that are ‘too-big-to-fail’ is proof of that. These companies have so much power that if one of them goes it could collapse the entire economic system. These corporations know this, and have Government kissing their rears because of it. Have I missed anything Tom? Because I feel like I didn’t expand this enough.

    I don’t believe letting those companies fail would collapse the system. I believe that’s the fear they put into us so we’ll agree to give them our tax money for bailouts. Corporations do control the government to a large degree, but the root problem is that the government has the power to rig the game in the corporations’ favor. Take away the government power, there’s no one worth bribing.

  30. Linda says:

    Tom,

    I was interested to note yesterday that the “hungry” video has really stirred some interest nationally. Yesterday, on NPR’s radio show “Tell Me More” four panelists concerned with children’s interests discussed the government’s interference in the school lunch programs. All four agreed that the responsibility for what children eat lies with the parents. Unfortunately, all four agreed that low fat, whole grains, fruits and veggies was the way to go. Now, if these same intelligent people working to “educate” parents on proper nutrition could be educated in “real” nutrition for children, we would be getting somewhere!

  31. 1956okie says:

    Thanks for posting this. A friend of mine who has three sons–all athletes–has talked on Facebook a lot lately about the students in their small-town school complaining about STARVING after eating school lunches. They’re even packing extra food to get them through the day and sports practice. The kids are really getting worked up and are about ready to complain to the school board. I hope they are heard!

    I hope so too.

  32. Lauren says:

    Oh, you gotta read this report – a school in Florida is considering installing camera near trash-cans because they noticed kids are throwing away the fresh fruit and veggies. Crazy!
    http://radio.foxnews.com/toddstarnes/top-stories/school-may-install-trash-cams-to-spy-on-kids-tossing-veggies.html

    We knew that was coming …

  33. Marilyn says:

    I suppose one possible “workaround” would be for the kids to eat as much fat and protein as possible at breakfast (maybe including some leftover meat from last night’s dinner, à la Barry Groves) and dinner. Plus a high fat/protein snack when the kids come home from school. Then one could view the school lunch as simply a mid-day snack, with most of the kids’ nutritional needs satisfied at home before and after school.

    True, but they shouldn’t need a workaround. They should be able to eat until they’re not hungry.

  34. Marilyn says:

    Tom wrote: “True, but they shouldn’t need a workaround.”

    I agree completely! But until things are as they should be (we can still hope), an alternate game plan might be helpful to the kids.

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