Random Questions

November 10, 2003


If you like looking at eye candy (cute people of the appropriate gender, for ogling purposes only), do you have a reciprocal responsibility to provide eye candy in return?

Should you have to buff up before you admire the sweet thangs who walk around showing [whatever body part inspires you]?

Can you fulfill this responsibility by sharing virtual eye candy? i.e. by posting pictures on a web page, taking photographs and sharing them, or encouraging someone to work out?

I ask because I am feeling fat and lazy this week, and yet the undergraduates continue to, well, be built like undergraduates.

I think the answer is that, while it would be a good thing if most of us buffed up or dieted down, the free rider effect means that there is no absolute responsibility to provide eye candy to others while admiring it yourself.

Perhaps if we could inculcate this sort of mutual obligation we could counteract the fattening of America. Alas, I fear we have tried it, and all we have gotten is an overweight nation, bulemic teenage girls, body-obsessed young women, folks ranting about Barbie, and lots of boring dirty pictures on the internet. Oh, and of course a growing worship of celebrities - who provide eye candy so that we don't have to.

I rather like that last thought. I have long wondered why we seem so obsessed with celebrities and, especially for folks who have access to the Internet, read People Magazine, or look at the various paparazzi rags, why we keep looking at pictures of these celebrities. Perhaps what we have is some level of transference: we can not provide eye candy for others in our own bodies, but we can swarm after a celebrity, make our little paper shrines to their appearance, perform the cadenced rituals of scandal and exposure, and by caring about them we make them our own. Sharing a picture or a story about a celebrity can then stand in for sharing a picture or a story about ourselves.

This is a wonderful theory. I have no intention of proving it. I do not even know how we might prove it. But, posting in a blog is the solitary electronic version of coming up with nonsense while drinking beer with your friends in the corner pub. I don't have to prove it, I just have to amuse my audience.

I do hope you were amused.

ps, The notion of reciprocal obligations as sex objects is something I first stumbled across in Anton & Wilson Illuminati Trilogy. The notion of fat people posting pictures of skinny people came up as I was surfing about the web and found some sites where folks had both an image of themselves and images of skinny people. Notice that I do not have an image up on this page - but it is also semi-anonymous.

Posted by Red Ted at November 10, 2003 07:43 AM | TrackBack