Loews says fat slobs are messy – but please buy more of our food

There’s a ridiculous cross-promotion running in Loews theaters right now. They try hard to encourage good behavior with those “trailers” than run. Don’t talk on your cellphone, don’t pirate movies, and of course, clean up after yourself.

This particular spot shows a moviegoer leaving a mess behind, claiming it’s not his, but then the hosts of Forensic Files (a show on Court TV) appear and pick up all the crap he’s left behind and test it to prove that it’s his. Or something like that. Very over the top and silly.

What’s wrong is that the rude patron is really really fat (and unkmept) and has eaten an enormous amount of food – much of which is scattered on him and the area around him. So, you go to the movies and sit through all these ads and persuasion to eat! drink! buy! and then you see an ad where the person who enthusiastically did so is presented as a failure, because they ate a lot and are fat and physically unappealing and violate social norms by being messy.

Why isn’t the messy person a thin attractive moderate consumer? Because that doesn’t bring enough moral bluster to their sanctioning. The hypocrisy is disgusting – at one point the forensic scientists pull some tell-tale trash from the ground and prominently display it to the camera – it’s a bag from M&Ms. So even within this ad we have product placement encouraging us to buy and consume candy, all the while making us feel repulsion for the fat slob who indugles his physical desires and as a consequence behaves unacceptably.

In our theater this ad was shown shortly after a hyperkinetic employee wheeled a concession cart in and prevented any pre-film conversation among friends by shouting an aggressive corny sales pitch that made me cringe (but left other patrons applauding). In my physical-limitation-equals-personality-flaw bigotry I’ll point out that he had a very very slight speech impediment that rendered his over-the-top blustering somewhat twisted.


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