24 October 2011 2 Comments

Salon: My Sharon essay excerpted

I’ve an essay on Ariel Sharon and his irresistible appetites — culinary and political — in a book out this week called Eating Mud Crabs in Kandahar: Stories of Food during Wartime by the World’s Leading Correspondents. My essay is excerpted on Salon.com and elicited some responses from people who were too daft to see that I was using Sharon’s weight as a metaphor for his Rabelaisian politics. Instead, the commentators thought I was being nasty about fat people. Given that I am only 4’6″ and weight 400 pounds, I’m offended by those comments and would write very nasty responses to their comments, if it weren’t for the fact that my fingers are too fat to hit the keys on my computer keyboard.

2 Responses to “Salon: My Sharon essay excerpted”

  1. Gail Bentzinger 24 October 2011 at 7:41 am #

    So I read the whole piece and I, even as a tubby American, didn’t think you were making fun of him but rather pointing out that he ate to soothe himself. Not out of self-hate, as you say, though you know him better. I don’t know him at all. I didn’t think it was unkind, but rather matter-of-fact about a guy who was sort of obsessed with food. In your wife’s photo albums I see you are a man of normal weight. some people eat to soothe anxiety and it sounds like this is what Sharon did, at least it sounds that way to me. But I don’t see you making fun of him at all.

  2. Matt Beynon Rees 24 October 2011 at 9:05 am #

    Thanks, Gail. In the piece I develop a theory based on long observation. It’s in the nature of the internet that there are some who read such work and decide on the spur of the moment and based on their own snap prejudices to write pretty offensive stuff about the writer. I appreciate very much that you enjoyed the piece. And I should add that I have a soft spot for tubby Americans, as indeed do most tubby Americans :)

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