FatLand: The Early Days – 47

FatLand Free Press   May 7, 2013

Letting Them Know:  One Woman’s Tour on ThE Other Side

By Margaret Clancy

It is in a way a risky business, even to be talking about not dieting or cutting back on one’s food intake here, on the “Other Side,” as FatLanders call the USA.

The one way Angela Sirotto – a statuesque FatLander with compelling dark eyes and hair and a delivery to match- can justify any of what she discusses here is to explain that she is talking about another place, not the USA at all. The USA, she emphasizes, has its own laws.

Unfortunately this does not sit well with the American  members of FatandProud, an organization sworn to uphold the rights of fat people all over the nation.

“By saying that the USA has its own laws and FatLand has other laws, Angela implies that the Gluttony or anti-Gluttony Laws passed here recently are legitimate when they are not.  No one has the right to tell anyone else how to eat or live, no matter where they live or who they are.  And no one has the right to put people on pills or diets or both involuntarily because they weigh a certain amount,” says Erica Hustell, tall, buxom, blond and effervescent in a pink wool suit with a cream blouse.  “Telling people they should come to FatLand to escape these laws is like telling people they should go underground to avoid nuclear explosions. Sooner or later people have to come up for air.”

Angela resents Erica’s implications. “I am a firm supporter of the work FatandProud does, and they risk a lot to tell the truth,” she says. “But face it – when it is not possible to purchase a chocolate bar without being weighed, or giving hefty bribes, the situation has gotten a lot more serious than one organization, however proud and determined, can deal with.  We offer a placein which fat people simply don’t have to worry about what they eat or weigh. I wish that FatandProud members would be able to abolish the Gluttony Laws. This is simply not the case, at least these days. Who is living in the real world now?”

Angela speaks to at least three audiences per day and sometimes four, if time and transport permit.

“The reception usually starts out as hostile,” she says. “Then when I say to them, “How many of you feel healthier than you did previously?” and most of them don’t raise their hands, they start to understand. Actually I was sure that they would have been brainwashed enough by now to feel that they would have to feel healthier simply because so many of them  are on some kind of pill or even have had surgery. But the amazing thing is that the American people have so much more spirit than that. Ironically this is the spirit that keeps FatandProud alive, and I laud that spirit. But not everyone is cut out to live as a rebel, especially in this rabidly anti-fat climate, first of all. Secondly,  people who have seen the way FatLand has risen from camp grounds and now provides not only a home but a way of life for fat people know that we are doing work that is as important for fat rights as the work FatandProud is doing. These are two sides of the same coin.  We would like to extend an invitation to all fat people and people in the USA who are on some kind of diet pills to visit FatLand and see how they feel there.  Then and only then they can decide where they would be happier.”

“FatLand,” she continues in an echo of the speeches she will give later on, “offers fat people a way to live in dignity and hope without making them change or shrink themselves.  They are not only all right, but in FatLand they are beautiful. I hope that people will visit us and see how they feel there in FatLand.”

Angela smiles. “As a resident of another territory, I am allowed to eat more than the residents of the USA who weigh as much as I do. Perhaps people simply respond to the fact that I have more energy than they do. And that in itself is a telling point. Who wouldn’t want to live in a place where they could feel more energetic and worthy? You know, we sure don’t discriminate against fat people when we hire at FatLand.”

Angela gets into a taxi.  It is somewhat but not terribly difficult for her. She edges back against the seat and buckles the seat belt – just.  “I’m off to Wisconsin,” she says. “Home state for me, so let’s see how it goes. Then I go to Michigan. Then Ohio.”

I wish her the best of luck.  The taxi speeds off.

I look at the people passing by.  Their faces resemble nothing so much as a nation starving after some terrible war. And yet the only war here is that of the Health and Diet conglomerates against other citizens. Since the citizens are clearly in the majority, one would think that they would wake up soon and throw out the scoundrels who are profiting from others’ starvation.

But revolutions occur in their own time.

 Until then, I will go back to my hotel and then thankfully back to FatLand, where superb meals and happy faces await. And yes, in a way this is a selfish choice. For me it is the only choice.

And I hope that it is a choice that some of the ten thousand people Angela will be speaking to this week will make…

Eastern Colorado, May 7, 2013 

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