Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Sheehan Announces Hunger Strike, Michael Moore Strangely Silent 

Military Mom to the Stars, Cindy Sheehan, has announced she is planning an open-ended hunger strike:

Anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan announced Wednesday that she plans to begin an "open-ended hunger strike" on July 4 to urge the Bush administration to bring troops home from Iraq.
That should be a very effective technique: "Chief Terrorist Bush, do what I say, or else I'll STARVE myself to death. Hello? Hello? Is this microphone on? Why isn't he down here talking me out of it yet? I'm not kidding; I really mean it!" Yeah, that'll work. Just like giving herself a near-lethal Crawford sunburn really bent President Bush to her will.

And what exactly is an open-ended fast anyway?

In an interview posted on Code Pink's website, the group's co-founder Diane Wilson said the fast would show solidarity with Iraqis and U.S. troops. "Their bodies are on the line every day," Wilson said, referring to Iraqi civilians. "And so are the bodies of the U.S. soldiers. So shouldn't we be putting our bodies on the line?"

Wilson told her interviewer, fellow Code Pink co-founder Medea Benjamin, that a hunger strike "can be a very powerful action." She mentioned three previous hunger strikes she organized, two of which lasted more than four weeks.

The "Troops Home Fast," Wilson said, means that she will abstain from food and drink, with the exception of water, as long as possible. "I don't know how long I can fast," she said, "but I'm making this an open-ended fast. I plan to take this as far as I've ever taken anything in my 58 years."
So open-ended means "as long as she feels like it" -- not one of those nebulous and vaguely worded fasting definitions like "Until Success or Death or Tube Fed by Force." She's really serious.

So Cindy Sheehan and Code Pink are fasting to symbolically place their bodies on the line, just like the troops in Iraq. Unless they're planning to eat lead, sand, and IED shrapnel while also swallowing unfavorable New York Times coverage, I think the symbolism may be a little off. But it is refreshing to see they are actually planning to take only water during their fast. None of this "milk-shakes and protein powder" or "candy in the morning and whole grain pizza in the evening" or "fish isn't food" celebrity-diet-style fasting for them.

Speaking of celebrities, Cindy and her Pink Pals will be joined in their fasting by a number of them:

In her latest statement, Sheehan wrote that celebrities like singer Willie Nelson, actor Danny Glover and comedian Dick Gregory will show their support for her by joining in a one-day fast. She urged her supporters to do the same.
Ok, so that's not exactly the top tier of celebrity do-gooders. They couldn't even find a leading sexy starlet or two who need to drop a quick half-pound for an upcoming role? In fact, it's hard to shake the feeling that for some of these celebs, joining Cindy in this event is kind of like showing up on Hollywood Squares in the old days -- no one is exactly sure who they are anymore, but at least they get their mugs on TV for a few more minutes, and it keeps the agents happy. Besides, it's not like they have to commit to any sort of crazy, "open-ended" fasting in exchange for the pub. They just have to get through one day with only water. And they can probably start after breakfast and quit as soon as Cindy and the cameras aren't looking -- it's not the reality of the fast that matters, but the visibility of the support.

However, what is most notable in this list of celebrity participation is the omission of Michael Moore's name from the list of hunger strikers. One has to wonder how anyone could hold him back from jumping all over this opportunity (figuratively speaking of course). In one fell swoop, he could a) demonstrate that yes, he's not SO fat that he can't stay out of the 7-11 for at least one day, if the right cause and cameras are involved, b) make sure that there's no way Cindy can run around like this, sucking up all the moonbat media oxygen by herself, and get away with it, and c) prove there's no bingeing quite like make-up bingeing.

There has to be an explanation why the media hasn't yet announced Michael Moore's intention to join Cindy Sheehan's hunger strike. Perhaps it's because his agent won't allow him to play second fiddle in Cindy's orchestra, so he has to wait a little while before announcing his own, separate hunger strike -- which will obviously be much humongouser and probably the subject of its own (very carefully edited) documentary.

Or maybe it's just that he can't quite decide what an "open-ended" hunger strike means for someone with the inestimable reputational girth of a Michael Moore. Is it enough to skip snacks? Does exercising portion control count? These serious questions must be answered before this Mammoth Among Movie Makers can jump aboard Cindy's fasting bandwagon -- that and a quick replacement of the bandwagon's shocks. (Settle down, I'm a bit overweight myself so I'm allowed to crack fat jokes).

But seriously, it can't be much longer until we hear from...Wait! This just in! We've just received word of what Michael Moore's eventual "Help Starve Cindy" campaign announcement might look like:

Moore Announces Intermittent Hunger Strike for Sheehan

Film-maker Michael Moore will be supporting Cindy Sheehan's recently announced open-ended hunger strike with one of his own. While exact dates, times and media schedules have not yet been finalized, pending word of when Sheehan intends to crack, Moore spokespeople have leaked a few preliminary details.

"Michael will be undertaking an intensive and very lengthy intermittent fast in which he will only consume his food in several limited time windows each day -- and there will be no super-sizing." said Moore spokesman Jimmy Carter on condition of anonymity.

Carter also went on to explain Moore's disdain for Sheehan's media planning, particularly with respect to choosing the goals for her fasting. "The woman hasn't got an exit strategy. It's insane. If Bush doesn't surrender in Iraq, how does she ever plan to eat again without damaging the cause? Cindy may have absolute moral authority -- but she's got no common sense!" When pressed, the former President confided that he had advised his good friend and conventioning buddy to adopt a broad spectrum of easily meetable goals, reminding him "you can't retreat until you've decided how to declare victory."

There was speculation that Moore would also be aiming for a much more upscale fasting entourage than Cindy Sheehan's advisors had so far secured. Names like J-Lo and K-Fed were being bandied about, and plans were being prepared to rebrand the Oscar-winner as a hipper, trendier, more chic alternative to Casey's mom.

While Carter would not disclose the specifics of the list of fasting goals he helped draw up, an afternoon of journalistic dumpster-diving outside the Moore compound has turned up some critical pieces of the puzzle. In addition to vast quantities of fast food wrappers -- indicative of some serious pre-fast training -- a hastily penciled list on the back of a rather large greasy napkin lays out a list of fairly lofty goals:
  • We demand greater sensitivity from the media in labelling terrorists. The whole "militant" thing isn't working out -- these days "militant" is only used for those who kill and maim civilians and the public is starting to think that militant actually means terrorist. M-Moo (and J-Lo and K-Fed) will fast until the biased world media either finds a less judgemental label than militant, like "concerned interventionist" or "idealist" -- or until the media develops new style guidelines requiring that other professions like florists and Catholic priests be called militant too, to restore the original rhetorical cover once provided by the term.
  • Failing that, M-Moo will "fast" until the Microwave Manufacturer's Association ends the conspiracy artificially limiting the power of microwave ovens. Talking point: "In this age of Moore's law (no relation), when faster and faster computers can now compute pi to the last digit in less than a nanometer, it is a national ATROCITY and the fault of the BUSH administration that we still have to wait MINUTES for a stupid bag of microwave popcorn."
  • As a last resort, M-Moo will end his intermittent food regimen only once it is confirmed that President Bush has finally stopped beating his wife, or better yet, once photographic evidence of the contrary is provided -- either way, doesn't matter, as long as there is a press conference.

Linked with thanks to Third World County, Mark My Words, Point Five, and Committees of Correspondence.

UPDATE (via Michelle Malkin): Michael Moore's own website is now shilling for Sheehan's starvation. Still no word, however, from the big man himself.

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