Apparently, telling the truth is being hyperbolic

I’ve joined the 21st century by having (and actually following and posting to) a facebook account.  As usually happens on a social networking site, people talk.  And, of course, this week they’ve been talking about Kevin Smith and what happened.

Now, I’ve already written some things about that, that’s not what this post is about.  Instead, it’s about how I was accused of using hyperbole when I was describing the actual discrimination that fat people go through.  Not only being denied privileges other people have (because yes, flying is a privilege), but also being harassed, having violence done to them, having their children taken away for no reason, and other things.

Apparently, telling the truth is the new hyperbole.

Because, I know what the word hyperbole means.  But, just in case, I looked it up on

1.  obvious and intentional exaggeration.

2.  an extravagant statement or figure of speech not intended to be taken literally, as “to wait an eternity.”

Now, the things I stated in response to friends and friends of friends weighing in on the idea, was actual things that have happened.  I told about the so-called study accusing fat people of causing global warming (and also attempted to show how fat people were the cause of the global economic crisis as well).  I told about the children who are being taken away from their parents because they are obviously being abused (the children are fat, after all) in both the US and the UK.  I even told about the three state representatives in Mississippi who tried to get a law passed in Mississippi that made it illegal for fat people to eat in restaurants (that one had such a universal outcry the three authors of the bill dropped it a week later).

The responses I received were to tell me I was using hyperbole.

Then I listened to the interview Shannon at Atchka had with MeMe Rothe.  At one point, Ms. Hyperbolic herself accused Shannon of being hyperbolic.  Now, I’m sure she missed the irony in her statement.

But this is making me wonder:  Is the “other side” so used to using exaggeration in their debates that they just assume we are doing the same?  Are they so used to exaggerating the alleged health risks of obesity, they cannot even listen to the things we can back up, the so-called studies we can back up making everything fat people’s faults, or the mega study done showing that diets don’t work (also something that can be backed up)?

But really, why did nobody tell me that truth is the new hyperbole?  I mean, sheesh, I thought I was on the memo tree!


7 Responses

  1. Perhaps that’s because it’s truth they don’t want to hear?

  2. I personally blame the Republicans. Everything that America needed to hear (but didn’t really want to hear) for the last decade or so has been branded “hyperbole”. Living the American Dream requires being asleep; anything that might WAKE someone up to reality is to be discouraged by any means possible.

    And the habit of truth-quashing has spread to every aspect of life from the political camps. All unpleasantness is “hyperbole” because the real fear is that even if we acknowledge the truth, we have no power to change it. A sort of mental sleep-paralysis? I am of the basic training, dump ’em out of bed forcefully mode, myself!

  3. I, too, posted on the Kevin Smith incident and I can see both sides of that issue.

    If you take up more than one seat on an airplane, you are going to make other people uncomfortable – but the same can be said of screaming babies and obnoxious lonely businessmen who just gotta talk to somebody. I do think that even though Kevin has stated “I’m way fat,” he’s still wanting some sort of assurance that he’s not one of “those fat people” just yet – he’s whining a bit because Southwest won’t come out and say “Kevin Smith is not too fat to fly”. It’s kind of pathetic.

    As for Southwest, they handled the situation very badly: first, by publicly humiliating Kevin (and other obese people they’ve hauled off their planes) and secondly, by twisting themselves into a pretzel to appease a B-list celebrity when the rest of us would just get a voucher and be euphemistically told to put down the fork.

    • hmm. but kevin smith is NOT fat. he didnt require two seats, he didnt require the seatbelt extension.

      my husband…he’s a big guy. big as in i cannot get my arms around his middle, big as in he broke his recliner when he flopped into it one evening, big as in 300+ pounds. and he’s never been put off a plane (even in international flights) for his size.

      could that be because he has nice clothing on, or that he looks “important” with his business class flying self? or the fact he is doing advanced engineering work on his laptop, etc? or that he doesnt ask for/need the lapbelt extention?

      i dont know. all i know is that southwest airlines was WRONG for putting kevin smith off the plane. and um…having some 27 movies under his belt acting alone, not to mention his writing, producing, editing, and other roles, i wouldnt call him a “b-list celebrity.

      i got that info at

  4. Thanks for the response, Miss K.

    I am also a person “of size” (which of course explains the interest in this blog). However, I do think Kevin Smith is fat also (which he admits).

    Southwest is one of the more aggressive airlines when it comes to enforcing this policy, and they have every right as a private business to do so. But I also have the right not to fly Southwest if I can avoid it because of this policy, and I fly several times per year.

    And while I have no objection to this policy, I do have a STRONG objection to the way they enforce it – in the most embarrassing way possible short of an in-flight announcement. I also object strongly to the fact that airlines as a whole have reduced seat size to make more money at the very time when customers are obviously getting larger. The biggest crime here is POOR CUSTOMER SERVICE, which is rampant on U.S. carriers, and just plain WRONG.

    And I would say that yes, Kevin Smith is a B-lister. I happen to adore his moves (I own Dogma, Clerks, adn Clerks II and subscribe to his blog) but he’s not on par with someone like Meryl Streep or Johnny Depp as far as recognizability is concerned.

  5. oh i definitely agree with you, southwest ARE a bunch of stinkers for their policies. and we wont fly with them either (i dont fly at all if i can help it, my son flies several times a year to come see me, my husband flies for business to europe and asia from texas).

    if its going to be An Issue to fly…have a freaking real-sized seat, WITH seatbelt, and have a fitting before boarding the damn plane. just like they do with the luggage for overhead bins now. good grief. personally i think someone “in charge of passengers” just didnt like kevin smith’s movies and tossed him for that reason. (dogma rocks.)

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