Raped while eating a Mac

The People the Department of Health Never Meets

The Department of Health recently reported that ‘Ultra-processed’ foods may be linked to cancer. These included pot noodles, ready meals, cakes and confectionery with long lists of additives, preservatives, flavourings, sugar, fat and salt. These now account for half of all the food bought by UK families.

This followed a D of H warning the previous January, that nearly a third of UK children aged between two and fifteen are overweight or obese. The fattest five year olds are in low-income groups and twice as likely to be obese as middle-class children. It was also revealed that we spend more annually on treating obesity and diabetes than on the police, fire service and judicial system combined.

Who are these disturbing reports meant for? The people who take notice of them don’t need them and they point the finger at some largely unknown British person, whom government ministers and civil servants never meet.

Has anyone in the D of H ever met one of the guzzlers who are costing the country so much? Have they any idea about the kind of dystopia in which the fat-poor now live, fed on a diet of poor quality food, nasty TV and even nastier written content? If they are curious they could try picking up one of the women’s chat magazines, on sale in most supermarkets, but perhaps not at Waitrose.

Covers of Chat magazine have recently included: ‘Tortured, blinded, mutilated,’ Raped by my Dad for his sick porn movie,’ ‘Raped as I slept.’ In May 2017 a crop of weekly chat magazines, including Chat itself, sold in one Asda store, included sexual abuse, incest, corpse disposal, paedophilia, granny killers, rape, dead babies and a woman receiving an axe in the skull.

This week’s Chat, with its somewhat reductive headline, Life! Death! Prizes! Offers us ‘Raped Live on Screen,’ ‘Did Daddy leave a trail of death?’ And, ‘How could he do this to my girl?’ Showing a young girl with horrific injuries. Inside it offers: ‘More True Stories’ including features on unbelievable medical conditions, too disgusting to relate.

For about 90p these red-top tabloids sell a lot of isolated women, a morass of anxiety and violence; a world where healthy eating is the least of her problems.

Chat magazine was launched in 1985, by ITV publications, at a cost of £4 million. It sells about 400,00 copies a year, a similar figure to the similar, ‘that’s life!’ Take a Break, offering more lavish cash prizes, has half a million readers, while, Bella has about 200,000. That’s at least a million British women sitting on Dfs sofas, eating pot noodles and reading about rape and mutilation as if they were a norm of UK life.

Unlike traditional women’s magazines, the sort your mother used to buy, these do not give much advice on home-decorating, child-care or cooking. Apart from selling the idea that violent sex and incest are the norm, the latest issue of Chat tells you where to buy the best pizza, and how to make cheap toffee apple pancakes, perhaps to bribe the rapist when he gets home from the pub. Realistically considering its diet of death, it doesn’t have any health pages.

‘That’s life!’ has one, following an article on ‘Falsies for kids,’ comes a horrid ‘true- life’ story with a grisly photo, about a child with a tumour of the pituitary gland. With cynical hypocrisy under the heading, ‘Telly belly,’ comes a tiny piece about obesity in children who watch too much TV advertising. That must surely add to the reader’s helplessness and depression. It gives three recipes for poached eggs, and one for gammon and brie hash brown stacks, no calorie count is offered.

The more upmarket Woman’s Weekly which still has features on knitting, health pages, gardening and travel, and readers who ask which food mixers to buy, doesn’t do much better on diet. Its own nutritionist says his favourite recipe is poached eggs on a muffin with hollandaise sauce. The recipes are all for puddings, including salted treacle tart and chocolate Roly-Poly, plus appropriately, a feature on high blood pressure.

At least their readers have heard of hypertension. The chat magazines audience seems to live in a world of sugary drinks, fatty foods, fear of other people, and as much oblivion about dark reality as they can manage. Why would you want to move your lard-arse off the DFS sofa paid for on credit over five years, to go out and buy broccoli and celeriac with all that confusion and mayhem is going on outside, only to leave rapist partners and psychotic child murdering grandfathers on the sofa where you have just been sitting inside?

My mother’s favourite magazine, Woman’s Realm, first published in 1958, was full of features about home decorating, knitting and twenty quick recipes, all to be cooked from scratch. This huge cultural change in women’s reading matter hasn’t happened by accident.

Since the 1980s newspaper and magazine editors have noticed that aiming products at the educated bourgeois who have money but tend to spend cautiously, is not as lucrative as selling to an increasingly uneducated and growing under-class, who respond with enthusiastic naivety to advertising, whether for sofas, food or online gambling. Apart from expensive car ads and Waitrose at Christmas, TV ads now rarely feature a middle-class voice.

It has been a long time since the BBC or British educationalists tried to offer white middle-class values and aspirations to children. That kind of thinking surely belongs to the age of Woman’s Realm.

It’s obvious that what people ingest from their reading and viewing has a huge effect on their mental and physical health. For a teenager, reading teen magazines and looking at social media can make you slim, in some cases skeletally so, to the point of death. However, as an adult woman what you read can help to make you fat and increasingly helpless.

It is unlikely that any government department is going to change this, because our culture, skewed to the left, opposes any form of hierarchy, disapproving of anyone passing judgement on the lives of others. Besides this, according to liberal post-modern ideology, the writing in chat mags must be seen as of equal value to that of Shakespeare, although not perhaps Margaret Attwood. It wouldn’t be a surprise to hear someone on BBC Radio 4 say that if he was alive today Will would be writing for Chat or Take A Break.

Ironically the insistence on levelling has led to the de-skilling of the British working class. Girls no longer have cookery lessons, emphasising a knowledge of nutrition and how to feed a family cheaply. That would be seen as unthinkably sexist.

Most likely we will continue as we are; a fat, fragmented, class dominated society where some practical, vocational skills might or might not be returned to some people who are seen to most need them. Mrs May in her recent speech about university education hopes this will happen, she even suggests wanly, that some middle-class people will favour their children going into practical trades.

The answer would be to give all children in all state schools a rigorous education from primary school upwards. If our profound educational failure goes on there is little chance that thousands of British people and their children will ever prefer reading books about real life to chat mags about rape and child abuse, or that they will ever prefer salad to take-away pizza.

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12 Comments on Raped while eating a Mac

  1. Alas, there is very little money to be made from self-restraint, which is the root of all middle-class values, and indeed of civilisation through the ages. Without self-restraint there is just a society of indulgence on the one hand and power on the other: the sort of dystopia the Left has been cynically nurturing for the past 50 years.

    • Alas, the lack of self restraint is not confined to those of left leaning persuasion. It often comes under the markets banner headline of “choice”. And, it would seem, all choices – freely made – hold equal valdidity. Libertarians (right and left) offer many answers but few solutions.

  2. Agree with George T.
    I would add that successive governments presiding over a deficit would scarcely be in a position to encourage self-restraint. I wonder how we would respond if a situation like 1940 were to occur.

  3. From my winter fastness across the sea where I’ve never seen “Chat”, “Take A Break” or “Bella”, all I can do when I think of England is commiserate by paraphrasing the title of Alan Paton’s novel – Cry The Beloved C*ntry.

  4. The addiction of under-class women to magazines like ‘Chat’ and ‘Take A Break’ resembles the addiction of
    certain middle-class women to novels like ‘The Power’ and ‘The Hand-Maid’s Tale’, wherein women are raped, brutalised and dominated by men – white, Christian, middle-class men, of course.

  5. “ … give all children in all state schools a rigorous education from primary school upward”

    Quite so ! Grammar, logic, rhetoric; music, arithmetic, geometry, astronomy and quantitative sciences. Latin and Greek. Then Philosophy and finally Aquimas. Get to work. I’m going back to reading Homer now.

  6. To see the reading matter consumed by the under-class of today, one is reminded of the proles in Orwell’s 1984, who are fed a diet of pornography and vice in order to destroy their virtue and make them more pliable.

    On the subject of food, alas there is such a lack of pride in this country that to find good quality, healthy food on the go is extremely difficult.

    A recent trip to an NHS hospital shows this clearly…patient menus are horrendous; full of fat, salt-laden, poorly made food and a dessert which is inevitably larger than the main meal. Cafes in said hospital sell cheap, greasy sausage rolls and “chicken and mushroom” slices, and if you want anything else hot, good luck!

    There is no excuse for this. Fresh produce is cheap, it just takes a modicum of skill to prepare it.

  7. We all have unhealthy thoughts and impulses, the problem of which is a matter of scale.

    That is, if my unhealthy impulses are not kept in check, most of the harm is done in close proximity.

    However, if such impulses are acted on by government…well…I think you get it.

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