Monday, April 05, 2010

Daining to Counsel His Lessers

The NY Times has an insightful look at the condescending nature of NY State's health commissioner, Richard Daines, who's on a crusade to save us all from the predations of soda pop. Here's the money quote that captures his essence-and that of his world view: "Waxing passionate the other day, he managed to make soda purveyors sound almost like drug dealers. “I raised my kids on Park Avenue,” he said. “You can walk at least from 60th Street to 96th Street on Park Avenue. You won’t see a single soda billboard, you won’t see a single fast-food outlet, and I don’t think you could buy a soda. Basically, a child raised in that corridor has a soda-free day after school.”

Is this guy for real? First of all, there is no-except for an errant store here or there-retail activity at all on Fifth Avenue, it has been zoned out by the rich swells. But does Daines believe that Fifth Avenue in Manhattan is the real world. But really, all he has to do is walk a few blocks over to Madison or Lex, and he'll find enough grocery stores and bodegas to get a soda fix from.

Daines then compares his own affluent environment to that of Harlem: "But walk 30 blocks north to Harlem, he said, and the picture is different. “This is cheap, it’s heavily advertised, it tastes really good,” he said. “And then we plunge kids into that environment, and we say, if you have a problem, you lack self-control.”

This guy should really be muzzled. He gives elitism a bad name-and he is so out of touch that you just might find his name on some psychological disorder chart; under a psychotic break-like category. He really believes that advertising saturation is creating some kind of a false consciousness environment that is inveigling those poor low income dupes-folks who are eagerly awaiting liberation by the great white father.

Our good friend Nelson Eusebio highlights the commissioner's out-of-touchness-and he gets the last word: "Mr. Eusebio, the tax opponent, recommended that Dr. Daines devote his time to promoting a “holistic diet” and educating young people about the benefits of exercise. “Educating people helps them more than taxing them,” Mr. Eusebio said. “If taxation was a form of diet, New Yorkers would be the healthiest people on the planet because we are the most overtaxed people on the planet.”