June 2, 2012 by Old Soul
Did you know that sugary drinks could lead to criminal behavior? How? Simply by making it illegal to sell or consume them. That’s right! The mere creation of an illegality involving an otherwise innocuous personal choice can make you a criminal! Mayor Bloomberg’s ‘War on Calories,’ has just been expanded to include sugary drinks and escalated to include fines. Perhaps this will eventually involve shutting down restaurants and other such businesses for cumulative violations or unpaid fines.
Perhaps Mayor Bloomberg will now appoint a ‘Calorie Czar’ to oversee inspections and thereby increase the city’s coffers through the two hundred-dollar fines they will impose for each infraction. Perhaps these operations will be conducted by specially trained teams of ‘Coke Commandos’ under operation code names like ‘Sugar Shock and Awe,’ ‘Waist Watcher,’ or my personal favorite ‘Cane Mutiny.’ That’s ‘Cane,’ as in sugar cane. Oh well, if I have to explain it…
As a result, beleaguered restaurateurs can only hope to fill their booths with inoffensively svelte coeds and thereby deter the impression that they might be serving ponderous portions of the disallowed liquids. Perhaps NYC’s more proactive entrepreneurs will create an underground economy of oversized – anything above 16oz. – non-diet drinks. No doubt in a city as populous as New York, there are millions of dollars to be made in the black market. What better way to avoid the mayor’s imposition of his ‘Bloomberg Diet’ as he ushers in his microcosmic metropolitan version of A Brave New World? Then it won’t be long before they plaster the subways, buses, and taxis with behavior altering mantras.
“Sixteen ounces is just enough, more than sixteen is too much stuff”.
“Too much sugar will make you fat, so choose your drink with care,
City Hall is watching you, so let the buyer beware”.
“If you sell more than sixteen ounces, your license they’ll revoke,
So stock up on the diet brands, of Mountain Dew and Coke”.
Admittedly, this all seems too farfetched to actually happen in the way I have set forth. It all seems too comical to be possible. It is unimaginable that such things would ever happen in the Land of the Free.
Is it really?!
Who would have imagined the Patriot Act, the Department of Homeland Security, suspension of habeas corpus, the TSA, or the NDAA? How many of us imagined we would be scanned, groped, strip searched, or detained at airports? How many of us would have imagined the FBI would deceive law-abiding Muslims into participating in fake terrorist plots and mislead the public into believing that we are under constant threat from insidious terrorist cells? How many of us would have imagined we would allow ourselves be subjected to infringements upon our civil liberties? All of this is pernicious to say the least. Yet today, after more than a decade of these policies and procedures, many have mindlessly accepted them as unalterable facts of American life. Therefore, is it so unimaginable that Bloomberg’s ban would also have overreaching outcomes?
It is now habitual for the brunt of the blame to be placed on the shoulders of the public while elected officials bear no consequences for their failures. As a case in point, let us consider the NYC School’s failure to meet the State’s standard on physical education. Yet again, the public is being punished for a problem which was caused in part by the failure of government to meet its responsibility. After all, is not physical education intended to prevent or mitigate the “crisis of obesity” present in the population. I am not saying that government is ultimately responsible for our health and well-being. I am saying, that when there is evidence that government – in this case the New York Public School System – is not fulfilling its obligation, it should preclude implementing onerous demands upon the public to correct for the government’s incompetence.
Finally, consider the unmitigated presumption of power by the mayor, in thinking his requirement is reasonable. Perhaps a vociferous backlash by disgruntled New Yorkers will prevent this ban from coming to pass. Let us hope toward that end.