making fun of others

We All Need Somebody to Pick On

Somebody to Pick OnYou know, it occurred to me that those lyrics in Let it Bleed could be easily twisted Yankovic-style to: we all need somebody to pick on. It’s an American pastime. America is one of those places where people like to make fun of other people who are not like themselves. I suppose it’s a way that people can feel better about their own lot in life. There’s always somebody who is worse off in some way you can pick on. Ask Cat Stevens.

I was watching Cat Stevens last night, aka Yusef Islam, get inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I never quite got over Cat Stevens leaving the music industry in the 1970s. Almost all of his songs, I could play on guitar and his lyrics were memorized by heart. It was painful for me personally when he abandoned his fans, as silly as that might sound to some of you. I also pretty much stopped listening to new music about that time. No Cat Stevens, screw it.

I was also too busy selling real estate and dealing with all of the drama in my life during the 1980s to care about any new bands. So, as a result, I pretty much missed that era, which according to Yours Truly I didn’t miss much — although my husband, who graduated high school 11 years after me, would disagree. We often argue about my view point, that being that the 1980s was a huge vast wasteland of big hair and nonsense. It wasn’t until the early 1990s that my taste in music was restored, and I was able to move past the music of the 1960s and 1970s to embrace new musicians.

As he stood on the stage to accept his award, Stevens made a joke about how he was better off than some of the others in the crowd. That was a true statement. But it also made some people hit their heads on the tables laughing. It was funny but it was sad. In contrast, there’s always somebody worse off. My mother used to talk about the starving children in China whenever I complained as a kid about her meal choices.

It made me think about a conversation I had with my sister earlier in the day. We noted how difficult it is to gauge how much another person weighs, especially extremely overweight people. She was astonished to discover that hefty people she thought had weighed like 500 pounds were really only 280 or 300 pounds.

Then, I came up with an idea for a new television show: America’s Got Fat. Contestant’s could appear kind of like on The Dating Game, hidden behind a screen, and the skinny little rails who make up the panel of judges behind the microphones could guess how much the contestants weighed based on answers to questions. I bet it would be a big hit. Everybody knows somebody who is fatter than they are, and people seem to love to pick on the obese. Then the winner could go on a diet, supervised by one of the judges.

I can’t tell how much people weigh. It doesn’t matter to me; although I did just reach my goal of losing 25 pounds myself over the past 3 months, just in time for my upcoming trip to Maui. My reward for a successful first half of 2014 and overcoming the challenges associated with my career as a top Sacramento real estate agent. It is kind of nice that Cat Stevens came back, don’t you think?

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