Tuesday, December 31, 2013

New Year's in FatLand

The first official New Year's Celebration in FatLand was held on Deceer 31, 2014-January 1, 2015.

 A skating rink was created. Padded skates, kneepads and shoulder padding, as well as padded vests, were given out for those who simply wanted to walk around the rink instead of skating. There were lights overhead and a couple of bands, as well as an emcee. Emcees, actually. Angela was one of them.

Free hot cider was supplied.

When New Year's came, people sang Old Lang Syne. Then they sang the FatLand National Anthem (which is in the appendix of FatLand: The Early Days).

People were encouraged to walk around and go back to their places with other people, and with friends, if possible. The FatLand Board knew that many people in FatLand lacked family and many lacked friends still.  Counselors were instructed to make sure that everyone got home safely.

Visiting on New Year's Day, 2015, was encouraged through ad campaigns that had been started a month before. "Have someone to dinner on New Year's Day. Everything will taste better." Of course people had a good time with that one, but it did result in many group visits and sharings.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Creating Family and Community

Many refugees from the Other Side during the reign of the Pro-Health and Diet Laws had friends and organizational contacts who looked out for them and managed their escape/s from The Other Side to FatLand. However, there were also quite a few immigrants who managed, with their last reserves and cash and strength, to make it to FatLand on their own. They were broke, lonely and depressed.

The FatLand Board and therapists saw quickly that these people needed a lot of time and help. The way they gave a sense of community and family to these new FatLanders in dire straits was to adopt them. Every FatLander who did not have relatives in FatLand was adopted by a FatLander.

It is worth mentioning that fully half of these immigrants had parted company with their birth families long before. Most of their birth families were ashamed of them. Some of them were just beginning to develop new "families" of their own, some with good friends who appreciated them and thus fulfilled a family-type need for warmth and affection that their families were incapable of meeting.

So besides needing people to talk with, these immigrants needed someone to tell them that they were wonderful and worthy people. The counselors fulfilled their roles; others told them that they were needed and wanted. It took a lot of time and a lot of effort to manage to get so many new FatLanders to be proud of their bodies, their beings, themselves.

It was worth it.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Mortality in FatLand, and why it went way way down

As stated previously, mortality went way way down very soon after FatLand became a territory. It was probably getting lower even before that, but was tracked more closely after FatLand acquired territorial status.

When asked about the reasons for FatLand's extremely low mortality rate about 30 years later, one of the doctors on the FatLand Board said, "More than half of the reasons pertain to what we don't do. We don't: a) refuse patients care because they are "too fat" b) tell them to lose weight before treating them  c) stigmatize them by weighing them in front of other people - or weighing them at all, for that matter  d) ask them to squeeze into uncomfortable seats  e) provide them with hospital gowns that are too small and leave embarrassing gaps  f) tell them not to eat x, y or z foods g) assume that they are diabetic h) assume that they are or are not exercising a certain amount  i) criticize the way they look  j) tell them that they won't be able to get any partners  k) show disgust at their bodies  l) assume that they should receive any "average" amount of medication  m) overmedicate them because they are fat  n) undermedicate them because they are fat  o) ignore their own accounts of their experiences  p) act too busy to converse with them or answer their questions   q) assume they won't follow instructions  r) talk down to them  s) take their blood pressure with small cuffs, which would cause readings to be inaccurate  t) consider or call them lazy and unattractive  u) shy away from touching and comforting them because they are fat.

And this is of course just a recitation of what hospitals and medical centers don't do. Add: not being stigmatized or harassed when walking, working, playing, exercising, cooking. Add: being welcomed in any establishment, especially and including restaurants and food supply areas. Add: not being discouraged from exercising and other kinds of movement, especially but not only sports. Add:  not being forced to exercise or play. Add: being considered attractive and/or "normal" or in the swim of things by other people. Add: having access at any time to a counselor for any situation. Add: having a job for which one is qualified and not being discriminated against at work or in interviews for work and/or the hiring process. Add:  having a plethora of stores that carry one's size and an abundance of styles in that size and other sizes from which to choose.
Add:  not being made fun of in the drugstore when one wishes to purchase birth control devices or meds.
Add: not being made to feel self-conscious when one bathes or showers, in public or private. Add: And so many more..

Thursday, December 26, 2013

FatLand and self-esteem

The first couple of FatLand boards felt that they faced a daunting task in presenting FatLand schools and the rest of its newly emigrated population with images of fat people positive enough to assist all of them in promoting and celebrating self-esteem.

However, they found that it was not quite as daunting as they'd originally thought.

Angela, who had been one of the two women who had had a key role in producing "Living Fat and Happy" -the TV reality show that had indirectly fueled the beginning of FatLand- said to the board, "Well, look at all of those magazines with models from the Other Side. How did they do it?  They show their models smiling, confident, wearing clothes that make the most of their figures. Our women can be at least as hot if we show them smiling, confident and wearing clothes that showcase their sumptuous figures. And we should show them in a variety of poses  - running, walking, sometimes with another person, sitting, riding, playing, on swings, in sports, near the water, in the sky, if possible. Same for our men. And you know what? This may shock some of you, but promote some kind of erotica or porn sites, or both. It will show our FatLanders that they are hot!"

"And," she continued, "have contests in which FatLand writers write novels about people in FatLand or fat and interesting people from the Other Side. Maybe separate contests, one for FatLand novels and one for novels which feature fat people elsewhere. Fat heroes, protagonists, even villains if they are interesting and perhaps hot. Some hot fat pirates, for instance. Or fat vampires."

Her ideas proved practical and inspiring. Perhaps that is yet another reason that Winston Stark wanted her exiled from FatLand

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Here comes Santa Claus...

Turned out that many FatLand women had fantasies about Santa Claus, and they had very little to do with getting toys..(well, not those kinds of toys..)

One of them involved sitting on Santa's lap and telling him just how naughty she, the fantasizer, had been in detail..and how naughty she'd like to get with him.

Another one involved interesting stuff with Santa and his elves.

The person who was compiling the Santa fantasies, and who ultimately concluded that FatLand needed a few Santas for adults, hoped fervently that she did not hear of anyone who thought strange thoughts about the reindeer. Luckily she did not.

Then someone asked her why Santa always had to be a man, and she realized he didn't.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

FatLand Monuments and Public Places

The early residents of FatLand believed strongly in pluralism and in not privileging any one belief system or spirituality over another. This was at least partly because they knew all too well what privileging people who looked a certain way had done on the Other Side/USA.

As time went on and FatLand grew, people who were not quite as firmly pluralistic started to request permission from the FatLand Board to put up religious monuments in public places in FatLand. The Board turned down their requests every time, noting that they felt that public display of such monuments would cause divisiveness and feed rivalries.

In 2046, as yet another wave of emigres travel to FatLand, some among them wish to convert others to their belief systems.  They mount a campaign for FatLanders to be able to erect monuments in public places once again.

The answer of the Board is as follows:  We are all both private and public citizens of FatLand. As private citizens we have the right to put up in our own residences any signs or symbols of our celebrations of holidays. As public citizens we bring our ability to let go of any spiritual beliefs when we enter the public square and be present only as FatLanders. As public FatLanders we all meet together and remain tolerant and welcoming of each other, whatever our beliefs. As private FatLanders we allow anyone we wish into our private sphere and profess any belief we hold true. The two must never meet.

We thus must regretfully inform you that your application to place religious monuments in our parks has been declined.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Fatness and hotness

In a Facebook Fat Acceptance group yesterday and today, a discussion took place pertaining to the blog of a well known Fat Acceptance Activist, who wrote that fat women need not "settle" for someone to whom they are not attracted. She also wrote that fat women certainly could get together with "hot" men (she mentioned "tall men with tattoos").

The thing is that she did not mention the weight of the hot, tall men with tattoos, so theoretically they could be of any or many weights. (This is her preference, not mine.) But most of the men reading the blog took it to mean that she did not appreciate fat men, and/or that fat men were not "hot."

I read it a few times, just to see how I felt. At no time did I interpret her words to mean that fat men were not hot. And yet most of the men did. So I substituted "men" for "women" and "women" for "men" to produce a  statement about hot women to see how I felt upon reading it. I must admit that I didn't feel offended at all. The reversal simply produced a statement about how fat men could get together with all sizes of women. I would certainly hope that this indeed would be the case.

I read the blog post again, wondering. Did the writer not cater to men's egos enough? Then again, was the "tall men with tattoos" a bit too narrow, so to speak? And was the idea of  "hot" restricted a bit too much to a specific set of appearances?  If she had considered "hot" to be witty, urbane and verbally adept (my preferences), would fat men -or at least the fat men reading the blog- felt less left out?

I bring this up because there was something that the FatLand Board and counselors knew they had to handle, and this became part of the agenda for FatLand education, as well. They had to make people coming into FatLand feel a) that they themselves were worthy and sexy b) that fat people in general were worthy and sexy. It is not easy to make an entire population feel worthy and sexy when they have been told from the beginnings of their lives, and constantly, that someone with their particular look/looks is ugly and unsexy. Interestingly enough, though, simply coming to a place in which no stigma or harassment attached to their appearances helped to begin with. The rest was a matter of posting enticing photos and pictures, publicly sharing people who were strong and confident in their fat sexiness online and in print media (Margaret Clancy's FatLand newspaper helped a lot in this) and creating the "Hotty of the Week" photo section for women and men.

I know that this is indeed what some Fat Acceptance Activists are trying to do in magazines and other media. I am starting to understand why mentioning "conventionally hot guys" might hurt egos, even if the intention of the blogger was not to do so.

However, I would ask the men who took offense at this:  Have you never gathered with men you know and whistled at blonde, thin women and called them "hot"?

Yeah. I thought so..

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Holiday thoughts

There are many Christians, pagans and Jews in FatLand. There are a few Hindus, as well. There may be a few Muslims, but they have been pretty quiet thus far.

All this is to say that FatLand keeps its religions/belief systems very very separate from the FatLand Governing Board, which has pretty much stood for most of the government that goes on. That will change, as mentioned previously, in FatLand (3): To Live Fat and Free.

Thus far FatLanders have held services or gatherings inside their homes for the more religious holidays, if they wished,  and gathered together outside to celebrate FatLand territorial holidays. This will change somewhat, as well, as more FatLanders seem to want to express their religious beliefs in larger places with more of their sister and fellow believers.

What is considered important throughout, however, is that FatLanders give gifts made and/or created in FatLand. There is even a campaign to give non-traditional gifts, like poems, songs, cards, homemade greetings and crafts. Kind of echoes the USA in the nineties.

Before the Health and Diet Laws crept, then swarmed over the land.

And now, in 2046, the Health and Diet Laws have been repealed.

And FatLand and the USA must initiate and redo their entire relationship.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

The personal is political; the political is personal.

Today on Facebook, a friend said that she was happy to escape to my blog for fun when she wanted a break from politics.

Well, it may not exactly surprise many people that Fat Acceptance/Liberation is political for me in the deepest sense. Here's why.

Once upon a time it was considered more or less all right to discriminate against women who didn't think or look acceptable in the eyes of the Male Establishment  - in other words, it was all right to shame, belittle or ignore women who thought differently than the mainstream or who were not as thin as Barbie Dolls.

That is where Fat Acceptance/Liberation comes in. It is no longer acceptable to blame people -but especially women- for their weight. It is not acceptable to pressure women to starve themselves. It is not acceptable to assume that any illnesses or conditions a woman has are curable if she loses weight. (They are not, and thin people get all the diseases and illnesses and conditions that fat people get.) It is not acceptable to make fun of women who wish to exercise but who don't happen to look like Barbie Dolls.

It is not acceptable to discriminate against heavier women by paying them lower salaries than those paid to thinner women.

It is not acceptable to try to convince women that if they starve themselves or mutilate themselves surgically, they will become magically acceptable to some powers that be in Big Med and Big Pharma and Big Finance and Big Diet.  95 percent of weight losses are short-term, with all the weight and often more regained in 2-5 years.

Think of Fat Acceptance/Fat Liberation as the the next great issue of the Women's Movement. (And Ms. Magazine has published articles about how dieting is anti-woman and anti-liberation).

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Relearning Eating

Relearning Eating

When refugees came to FatLand from the Other Side during the Health and Diet Administration oppression, most of them had forgotten what it meant to enjoy a meal.  Friends of theirs had had to sneak food to them, or they had had their intake monitored very strictly by the Health and Diet admins, whether in their homes or in Reeducation Centers.

They often had to relearn how to eat, down to what they found tasty and what they didn't, how much they could or wished to eat, when and even where they felt all right about eating. At first some of them were even sneaking food into their rooms because they were still afraid that someone would see them and report to the authorities. When they finally figured out that no one was going to report them or come for them because they were eating, they started to make weekly trips to local supermarkets, at the urging of their counselors. Counseling centers offered cooking classes as well, which, according to graduates, were not only useful but fun.

The next step simply took time. When they weren't weighed and no one cared what they weighed in FatLand, people started to create food coops so that those in their neighborhoods would have access to cheap fresh  produce.                                                                                                                                         

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Interview with the Vampi- with Frannie

Tracey L. Thompson, author of Fatropolis (Pearlsong Press), has done a dynamite job of providing some really interesting and provocative interview questions. I'll try to do them justice.

Q. What inspired you, or gave you the idea, to write FatLand?

I spoke elsewhere, maybe even someplace in this blog, about the fact that one of my dad's hobbies was reading about and going to places where utopian ideals were present. The first utopian novel was Utopia, by Sir Thomas More, published in 1518. So for a long time, people have been seeking, whether in literature, reality or both, places that they consider will provide perfect living conditions. If you think about it, though, they had to have leisure and enough freedom from want even to write and think about utopias. FatLand is in this line. 

Yet another, related strain of utopianism was present in my upbringing - that of Socialists and union organizers, people forever trying to improve the conditions of workers and poor people in the USA and in the world. I grew up with the motto "a shenere, besere velt" (ah shen-er-eh, beh-seh-reh velt), "a lovelier, better" world," in my head, and the anthem of the organization in which my grandparents and parents were active, the words of which are these (Workmen's Circle Hymn):  "Un ale far eynem un eynem for al, baloyktn in eynem fun eyn ideal/Dem groysn, dem sheynem, fun arbeter klal."  "All for one and one for all, joined together in one ideal/the great, the beautiful from workers united." (Sounds a lot better in Yiddish..)

So in a way it was natural that I would seek a utopia in fiction for people whom I believe are some of the most oppressed in this country and in much of the world at this time, a group of which I am a determined member - fat people.

Q. Why is the story of FatLand set in the future?

It actually begins in 2010 with the first passage of the first of the so-called Pro-Health and Diet Laws. As more restrictive laws pass, more people seek an escape from the USA. I figured that in thirty years, it would be a thriving, going concern. Which it is, in the story.

Q. What made you pick Colorado as the place where FatLand was established?

Hehe.. I guess I've always liked the idea of Colorado, mountains, hiking, sunsets, and thought that there would still be enough land left to be able to provide for a territory of 400,000 - 500,000 or so.  Probably also, that there would be lumber and water resources enough for such a venture.

Q. Who is your favorite character in FatLand?

Oh, probably Winston Stark, the ultra-corporate villaiin who has a love-hate relationship with fat people and FatLand. He seems to be investing in it somehow much of the time, then aiming to destroy it the rest of the time. Part of him seems to yearn toward fat people and especially the fat woman he adores, but can't bring himself to marry. (In these feelings he is not alone. Many men seem to feel the way he does.)
Q. Your latest book is the second part to the Fatland Triology. Are you finished writing part III? When is it scheduled to be published?
Part III - FatLand: To Live Fat and Free- is slowly taking shape. I have a lot of ideas about what will go into it.

Q. What inspired the political intrigue in your books?

When we would sit around the dinner table - especially at my grandparents' place- politics and political intrigue were often the chief items of conversation. Of course half of  my grandfather's (mother's father) life was lived with political intrigue - from the time he had to escape from Philadelphia because of the Palmer raids after World War I (raids in which Communists and Socialists were arrested and often deported at the behest of Attorney General Palmer) up to and after the time he fought factionalism as a Socialist in the 1970's. (He died in 1985 after an eventful and very interesting life.) Just hearing about it and about the lives he and his friends lived were enough to get me fascinated by political intrigue.

Q. You are very skilled at writing sex scenes, if you don't mind me saying. What do you think makes a good sex scene in a book? Are there any books that have inspired you in this area?

I take that as a high compliment.

Ah. What makes a good sex scene:  slow seduction. Each time. Not the same kind, but the same pace. Slow. But also feelings must be present. Physical moves without intense wanting and without conversation and sounds and yes, smells or other sensual involvements, and moistness, are rather lackluster. And I think the reader should know the history of the lust or love or both, somehow. 

My inspiration was not a book, but a person.  I've never seen anyone as talented as he was at seducing. All I have to do is ask myself how he would do something, and I then derive the inspiration and order for a scene.

Q. I noticed that the streets of Fatland are named after famous Fat/Size Acceptance Activists. What gave you this idea?

The streets of Coop City and to an extent, the Amalgamated Housing Area, both in the Bronx, are named after Socialists and Progressives. I thought it would be a good idea to do something similar for FatLand - to name streets after Fat Acceptance and Liberation Activists.

Q. What is the take away message that you meant for readers to get from reading your books?

That they deserve to live their lives in joy and not in fear of the anti-fat police, whatever their size.

Q. What books have inspired your writing style?

This is trickier than it sounds because one can love certain books but not necessarily have one's writing style influenced by them.  I know which books had the strongest effect on me:  Villette, by Charlotte Bronte, Wuthering Heights, by Emily Bronte, and the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, by John Ronald Reuel Tolkien. I would like to think that they have had some kind of formative influence on my own writing, but I would not dare to claim them as such.
Q. 100 years from now, what do you hope people will say about you and your books?

She was crazy, but she was the first to write about a land where fat people could live proud and free.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Territorial status

Tracey L. Thompson, author of Fatropolis, sent me some questions to be answered via email. I will answer them tomorrow on this blog.

In FatLand (2): The Early Days, the archivists use interviews as a way to authenticate and add to the information they have gleaned from written sources. They find, to their surprise, that there were two logical sides to the question of whether FatLand should stay a territory or become a state.

A little extra wink and knowledge tidbit here:  If any of you have seen The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, you may recognize that the Convention scene: in FatLand: The Early Days was in many ways a rewrite/re-visioning of the Statehood Convention in the movie. Most FatLanders who cared enough to be politically active cared enough about the fate of FatLand to vote for it to remain a territory instead of becoming a state. Ironically, in this instance, the last thing most FatLand citizens wanted was for FatLand to have to follow the directives of the Health and Diet Laws that ruled at this point on The Other Side/USA.

Yet later in the book, Vespa raises some issues around territoriality. She points out that if they had decided to go for statehood, they would have had roads, electricity and infrastructure way faster than they actually obtained them, and that they would have had to accept funding from Winston Stark, whose love-hate affair with FatLand started around then.

But as many people pointed out, most people in FatLand at the time did not regard statehood as an option.

Friday, December 13, 2013

FatLand Spy Climb, FIN and drones

FatLand Spy Climb was a game invented by FIN, the FatLand Intelligence Network.  It consisted of pointing to hills or setting up a number of objects or obstacles and betting on the time it would take to jump or run over them. It came with its own precise point/s system.

Yet another proof that fat people could be fit.

The training for FIN, however, was as much emotional and psychological as it was physical. FIN members had to know where threats might come to FatLand, and from where, and what kind they might be. For this they had to know the politics and economic conditions of the countries in their areas. Some FIN members were assigned the Middle East. Others were assigned Europe. Yet others were assigned the Other Side/USA.

The greatest number of threats to FatLand came, of course, from the Other Side/USA. It is notable that someone from the USA was the only American to fly drones over FatLand, although, of course even the USA itself did not do so, even at the height of the Other Side's Pro-Health and Diet Laws enforcement.
It is also notable that when the Pro-Health and Diet Laws were repealed, the USA was bombarded with requests to obtain visas for FatLand.

They were curious, after all that time.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The female character I wish I were

Angela, from FatLand (2):  The Early Days is the kind of woman I wish I could be.

Very dynamic, superknowledgeable about organizing things, determined, tough, cool. (The witty part we both have - or I like to think so).  Angela knows how to get her questions answered. She knows how to get people to do what she wants. She knows how to motivate people.

She is also a great speaker. I am pretty good, but I don't get much of an opportunity these days. In FatLand (2) she goes into the USA/Other side to speak to people who might be interested in settling in FatLand when FatLand needs settlers.

And yet, as I do/used to do, she falls in love with the wrong person. He is not willing to go out on an emotional limb, and neither is she.

And yet...she mourns when he dies for the rest of her days..

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Mortality, Stress, an ax to grind

In FatLand (I): The Novel, the issue of mortality in FatLand, as opposed to the Other side, is explored. It starts to embarrass someone who has an ax to grind that FatLand's mortality rate is actually now lower than that of the Other Side.

Why? Well, many reasons. First of all, the stress level just in itself is much, much lower in FatLand. And many studies now show that the same symptoms and illnesses that are correlated with supposed fatness are also correlated with high stress levels. So guess what: when the stress goes, the illnesses either leave or appear in much less severe forms. And this goes for people of any weight. But it goes double for fat people because not only does stress make them feel sick, literally, but it deters them from doing things like moving their bodies and eating happily (i.e., they don't get the nutrition from their food that they should). In FatLand, where people can now move without being harassed and can eat without someone looking suspiciously at everything they eat, stress is further reduced for them.

Secondly, as stated elsewhere, the economiic safety net is very strong - payment during periods of unemployment, counseling and job matching service, single payer health insurance coverage. For everyone. A lot of stress is removed when one knows that her or his family won't starve if unemployment occurs and that a job will come along in not too long.

And of course the person with the ax to grind is none other than Winston Stark :)    He can't stand the fact that his CompleteFitness franchises failed in FatLand, so he is doubly disgusted when Sandor Forman's GymNotTrim franchises take off and are wildly successful and provide opportunities for FatLanders to move and play without worrying about their weight.

Winston Stark stresses over this and many other things pertaining to FatLand, counting the time until his plans can come to fruition..

Monday, December 9, 2013

FatLand Poetry Anthology

The Poetry Society of FatLand has finallly announced a request for poems about FatLand, to be included in an anthology!

This can only happen when there are enough poets in a place who a) are proud enough of where they live to want to write about it  b) have lived long enough in a place to know it well enough to write about it  c) have lived in contact with enough other people to derive feelings and stories about their particular feelings and interactions in their area or place.

They will write about streets, places, histories - their own and Fatland's, their own intermeshed with FatLand's. And if there is a bit of nostalgia, well, that is all good. It is good to feel nostalgic about someone or something because it shows that you either loved or wished it into being good enough to love.

A contest may follow, now that FatLand has gotten over its extreme non-competitiveness..good or bad? Not sure.

Sunday, December 8, 2013


A very much respected professor gives one of her most sought after courses twice a year at one of the FatLand universities. It is called "The Origins, Chronology and Reinvention of Scapegoating." In it, she explores the entire construction and creation of scapegoating particular groups or people. According to her, scapegoating is as old as speech itself. There were always in groups and out groups in the oldest cave clans, based on cave rights and hunting and attachment customs (attachment was the equivalent of marriage).

But when people started to settle down into farming communities, the nature of scapegoating changed. Instead of focusing on one group, or simply the opponents/adversaries of those who held a particular territory and/or cave, it began to divide people or even communities into hierarchies on the basis of the strength of their connection to a powerful leader. Those who were closest to the leader determined the order of favor of the groups in the communities.

She traces the history of scapegoating up to contemporary times, in which, she states, scapegoating is done by those of all groups and classes who wish to acquire status within their own group by imitating the leader and thus gaining status within their own group by gaining the approval of the leader for their actions. Thus, she says, fat people are scapegoated by those who may or may not actually hate them, but who know they will gain status by doing so. (And this certainly works out as true, even when the "status" is economic, considering the appeals of diet-selling concerns.) In this time, she states, the scapegoaters will often find support for their expressions of hatred from corporate and institutional concerns who are trying to target fat people for profit. This, she says, is what gives contemporary scapegoating of fat people such a deadly edge - the fact that it is both bolstered and even encouraged by both corporations and institutions.

Of course her lectures serve indirectly to support FatLand's claims of being by far the best places for both fat and not-fat people to live, since scapegoating is almost unknown in FatLand...

Saturday, December 7, 2013


It developed that in the time of their growing strength as a viable state, factions began to form along the lines of views of  gender orientation. The conservative FatLanders, of whom there were a growing number, were adamantly against making trans people a protected category.

Until they learned that two of the people on the present Board were trans. And not just any two, but two of the most prominent - the present Chair and the Vice Chair.


The more liberal faction had a field day with this fact. Then the conservative faction quickly found another issue around which to rally. Its leaders said that FatLand was paying too much unemployment compensation to those not employed, and that they should either have to work for it or face cuts in compensation.

The FatLand Board Chair, whom they had unknowingly attacked before they knew of her trans identity,  explained to them -or reminded them- that since all unemployed FatLanders go through counseling and sign up automatically to be informed of job openings, they really planned to work as soon as an opening came through.

The conservative faction then found another issue:  the lack of territorial sponsorship of Christmas Holiday Celebrations.

The Chair told them that they were perfectly free to mount any number of Christmas celebrations they wished, but that the Territory sponsored only Territorial celebrations, not religious ones.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Housing in early FatLand

In the very early days in FatLand (detailed in FatLand: The Early Days), many of those who wanted to live in what eventually became FatLand had only tents to sleep in. Those who had already built some kind of house took in refugees when they could. A lot of people worked very hard to put together temporary shelter and facilities for those who wouldn't be able to get housing for a while. In winter, early FatLanders took in as many people as they could.

There was a spirit of helping, but people found that it felt rather incredible to be able to help others -and get help from others- in a place and an atmosphere in which they knew they would not be taunted, harassed or otherwise stigmatized.

Thirty years or so later, some FatLanders felt nostalgic about those early days, the days in which they were all working to build houses and then to build FatLand.

One person voiced her disapproval of the slowness with which FatLand was building houses and roads and a viable water supply storage and pipeline. She felt that FatLand should have been a state instead of a territory. Many people argued with her and reminded her that being a state could easily have drawn FatLand into the Health and Diet Admin program, the very reason most of them fled.

Of course FatLand was voted into being as a territory in the territorial convention of 2014..

Thursday, December 5, 2013

FatLand signature dishes

Although FatLand has been addressing its restaurant imbalance and funding and encouraging smaller, mom and pop and diner type places, let it not be said that FatLand is not original in terms of creating and naming its own signature dishes!

In ice cream:  Candy cane swirl. Pieces of candy cane and marshmallows worked into and mixed into vanilla ice cream.

In stew:  FatLand Vegetable stew.  With sweet potatoes, carrots, tomatoes, yellow butter beans, parsnips, turnips, green beans, and lentils or pulses. Spicy!

In meat dishes:  Fried salami! Served on rye bread with mustard and small stuffed cabbage leaves on the side. The stuffing for these particular cabbage leaves consists of rice, raisins and mint leaves with a hearty sauce.

In South Asian dishes:  Palak paneer (spinach with cheese) coated with an almond crust. Served with raita (yogurt with mint).

In Italian dishes:  Yellow squash stuffed with eggplant puree and topped with provolone and sauce.

In fish:   Fried fish balls with truffles and egg salad and sour cream.


Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Restaurants in FatLand

Around the fifth year of so of FatLand's existence, the Board held a meeting with FatLand restauranteurs. There were bar owners, restaurant owners, bistro owners, pastry shop owners. What there weren't : owners of diners and family restaurants.

The FatLand Board Chair said:  We asked all of you to be present today because we felt that we needed to address a scarcity or void in the FatLand restaurant scene. Today there exist many gorgeous high end and chic restaurants and bars and bistros. And yes, pastry shops. What we don't have are more casual alternatives.  We also don't have fast food chains, but that is partly by choice. However, at least half of the time, when someone wishes to have a meal, she may not always wish to take genteel forkfuls of almond brioche with kumquat marmalade, or spear fried eel from on top of peppercorn-grilled and marinated tuna. She may simply wish to order fish and chips, or a bagel with cream cheese. That is where we lack. Of course she can get these things or at least their raw ingredients in a market. But what if she wants to sit down after a day's work and relax in a peaceful, casual atmosphere in not-super-fashionable clothes? And perhaps she wants franks and beans, or pizza, or corn fritters, or vanilla pudding. Right now we don't have one restaurant that serves these things.

We are offering you a chance to buy and start casual dining venues. We have a list of locations and suggested food offerings. You can of course change the offerings any time you wish. We just want you to get an idea of the probable clientele in each one.

Most of the restauranteurs made polite murmuring noises, but showed little to no inclination to look at the packet given out by the Board. Two, however, did show interest and started to ask questions about financing and location.

In the next six months, FatLand received a casual South Asian restaurant and a diner.
Both restaurants were standing room only for their openings and on subsequent weekend nights.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Broken Hearts in FatLand

When people escaped from the Other Side/USA to FatLand, dating and romance -and yes, sex- were often the last things on their minds. They simply wanted to be safe from the Fat Police, as they called the personnel employed by the Health and Diet Administration who were responsible for monitoring weights and for sending fat people to Reeducation Centers.

As time passed, however, and they began to see that people in FatLand wanted to be friends with them and sometimes more, they started to take minor steps toward establishing relationships, with the help of the Counselors. Some became involved in relationships, some happened on one-nighters.

To many of them, however, it seemed rather ironic and deeply upsetting that some of these relationships didn't last. They then turned to the counselors again, who assured them that life happens that way to everyone, and that they should try to get involved in things they liked and let the hurt leave when it was ready.

The best thing about FatLand, one of them observed, was that at least they knew that people weren't breaking up with them because they were fat.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Hosting Meals

Once a month, kids in FatLand host their classmates for a meal at their houses. Parent(s)/Guardian(s) puts out a spread, with the help of people who do exactly this for a living - they plan events and social occasions and meals. They even do the invitations. The only thing the parents and kids have to do is decide what they wish to serve. They take into account food preferences and allergies, but most hosts take pleasure in providing a wonderful and multifarious spread. This way FatLand kids get to experience a variety of foods and tastes and cultures.

The wonderful thing is that it is all paid for by the Education Fund.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Writers in FatLand

The Writers' Society of FatLand developed relatively late in the tale of years of FatLand. This of course occurred for a few reasons. FatLanders were working hard to achieve a territorial state and to defend that state from many sorts of incursions. The publishing apparatus for books in FatLand didn't exist until online sites for both publishing and printing and selling started to come into their own. But perhaps more important than either of these, FatLanders didn't feel completely rooted in FatLand until recently, when discoveries were made about their own history that astounded them.

There has been a rush to do historic writing about FatLand, and FatLand's early days. This takes the form of both novels and historical works. Cultural analyses and even economic analyses are popular, as well. Analyses of differing expectations of FatLand's citizens are plentiful, as are new books about the Mondo sized - the very large sized people now starting to disappear from FatLand's population.

And of course there are now novels and poems. Both genres also deal with pride in being from FatLand, and how it is much much easier and happier to be fat in FatLand, and how FatLand is an example for the world and a beacon of light for fat people everywhere.

And let us not forget all the books now coming about about FatandProud, the organization that helped future FatLanders to escape from the Other Side/USA..

Friday, November 29, 2013

Winter in FatLand

Winter in FatLand

I still love winter. But once upon a time I loved it even more because everyone put on nice thick jackets and coats and it didn't matter if you were fat. Nowadays women are supposed to want to wear coats that emphasize their breasts and waists. What the hell. Since when is winter supposed to be a parade of coat for sexist asshats?

But in FatLand, winter is fun. People either walk or skate or ski down streets in the snow and wear ski clothes or wonderfully warm locally made capes and coats that recall polar bears and mountain goats. And people gather at night in bars and coffeehouses to have good things to drink. If one doesn't want to walk or ski back, there are a number of alternatives. But it is more than likely that someone will be happy to give you a ride back.

The snow settles in white waves over the ground and icicles magick the night that already glistens with stars seen through one's breath on the wind.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013


I am not a nice person. Roberta in FatLand 2: The Early Days is also not a nice person. She is a lot more athletic and cagey than I am, but she is still not a nice person. She watches as Dash -the leader of their project to find out more about the origins of FatLand- seems to fall for Janine, the shorter blond archivist. Unknown to the other two archivists, however, Roberta is actually a member of FIN  - FatLand Intelligence Network. As were her parents, who are now retired.

Roberta first objects to Dash leading the project because he is not from FatLand. But he is an expert on 20th Century media, and they need his expertise to identify important papers and clues as to the Reality Show from which FatLand originated. She then starts to appreciate that they have some rather lively exchanges when they disagree about things. Janine, to her credit, is not stupid and does participate in a few of them. But she seems mostly to support Dash.

How often have women seen this - that the men they really like seem to be more interested in women with whom they don't have verbal rapports?

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Weddings and social participation

I said in a previous post that in FatLand 3, people will agree that it is time to start constructing things like wedding halls and hair salons.

But it actually took quite a while before FatLand even formalized the civil and legal wedding process. Frankly not a lot of FatLanders were thinking of getting married during the first few years. There was too much to think of and to do, and -the bugaboo- many lacked the self-esteem to participate in courtship. The block counselors were able to help with some of this by encouraging people to get out and have fun in FatLand. But the extra impetus toward self-esteem had to develop over time.

It developed when people started to walk around and see that not only were there a lot of people shaped as they were, but that they were not experiencing harassment or stigmatization of any kind. That was the first step.

The second step was to start participating in social activities - sometimes as minor as going to a cafe for lunch or stopping off to pick up a soft drink or candy or fruit.

The third step was to start talking to people. Not just casually, although that was starting to occur as people were walking around. But for a little longer, and more deeply.

The fourth step was getting together at/having parties or going to a Festival together (FatLand doesn't have all those festivals just so people can eat and sing - although it helps).

The fifth step... :)

Monday, November 25, 2013

Imagery of Escape and Protest

I just listened to one of my favorite protest songs, "Marat/Sade," sung by Judy Collins. It was not really written as a protest song at all, but ended up as one when its words began to resound with people angry at the state of things in the USA who wished to draw the parallel between conditions in France in 1789 and conditions in the USA in the 1960's, and then again in the 2000's.

In the 1960's, I was already aware of the gap between people who earned living wages and people who didn't or who didn't have jobs. Now, in the 2000's, the gap is between billionaires/multi multi millionaires and everyone else.

But the person I always identified with the words of Marat/Sade was my grandfather, who kept working at his Socialist paper but was then notified that goons were after him and that he had to get out of town (c. 1919). Many of his buddies were not as lucky and were deported.

So the imagery of escape in FatLand comes straight from my own family history.

My grandfather went south and worked on different newspapers there. He returned in four years, when the worst of the Palmer raids had already been conducted and the far right was now focusing on Immigration acts which would limit the numbers of people from Southern and Eastern Europe who would be allowed to come to the USA.

When we write and speak and organize people who do not buy into the "Thin = Healthy" dictum of the Diet/Health/Pharma complex, we are as dangerous to the established order as my grandfather was during World War I.

And as he did, we will go on doing exactly that - writing and speaking and organizing.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Fat Underground Railroad and its real life inspiration

On the FatLand page on Facebook, I noted that the Fat Underground Railroad that smuggled out fat people from the Other Side to FatLand, especially fat people who were about to be assigned to Reeducation Centers, was inspired by the Underground Railroad during the 1850's and early 1860's, led by Harriet Tubman  (with, by the way, strong participation from the Boston area. Yet another reason I love Boston..). She smuggled more than 300 slaves to freedom.


And here is the wonderful song about her, sung by Ronnie Gilbert (originally of The Weavers) and Holly Near.


I am honored to draw from real life occurrences and sheros. Let us hoist a glass to Harriet Tubman, our spiritual ancestor who saved so many lives.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Movie/Show ratings in FatLand

So how do FatLanders now cope with their kids wanting to see "forbidden" shows, including porn?

They don't disallow shows. However, shows that feature fat-shaming come with red flashing lights and the rating FS. Thus parents have the option of either viewing material with their kids and talking about it, or they can choose not to view it at all.

Fat positive shows come with a green light and the rating FP. Similarly, trailers and summaries and videos about "neutral" -non-fat-positive, non-fat-shaming or negative- come with "N" ratings.

Teachable moments occur when parents ask kids what they thought of the FP (fat-positive shows/movies) and the N (neutral) shows. Or- perhaps with determined parents and older kids- what they thought of the FS (fat shaming or negative shows) versus the FP shows.

Fascism? Not to me. To me this is informed choice, and a chance to educate.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Babies in FatLand

The entire issue of whether a woman should have a child, in FatLand, is up to her and her doctor. If she wishes to have a child, she has a child. If she is pregnant but does not wish to bear the child, the embryo or fetus, at whatever stage it happens to be, is removed. If the fetus is viable, it is removed and kept and cared for by the Department of Child Protection and Alternatives until an adopter is found.

If the woman who held the fetus in her stomach wishes to change her mind, she can do so until an adopter is found.

If a woman gives her child up for adoption, she has a month in which she can change her mind and decide to keep the child. If she wishes to have visitation rights, she may do so. If she wishes to bring up her child along with a helper family, she may do that, as well. The helper family arrangement seems to work rather well, for the most part, with both the biological mother and the helper famiily making a big fuss over the child and with both generally feeling extremely lucky to be part of the child's bringing up.

If someone- male, female, ungendered, transgendered or bi-gendered- wishes to bring up a child but needs assistance and support, the Office of Child Assistance stands ready to provide it. This includes advice, help in washing and cleaning -and this includes diapering a baby and cleaning the house- and cooking, buying clothes for the child, helping the child with homework, shopping for the parent, babysitting, nannying, teaching, planning parties. And more.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

FatLand Lounges

Besides excellent toillets, FatLand had/has world class lounges.

Forget the vinyl furniture of dorm lounges, and the rubbery impersonality of airport lounges. FatLand furnished the lounges in its official buildings and many of its businesses with deep, comfortable recliners and couches. Some FatLanders went into these buildings -official and unofficial- just to use the lounges. And no, they did not use the lounges for anything more nefarious than writing or thinking or reading or texting/voice talk.

There is a scene in FatLand 2: The Early Days in which the leader of FatandProud, peacefully ensconced on a cream colored sofa in a lounge in one of the Safe Houses, aids and abets an archivist in seduction. That is how ubiquitous the lounges were. And they were all furnished differently. One could listen to music, bring up almost anything on the Smart Screen, play whatever games one wanted  - and all in the quiet good taste of a pleasingly furnished lounge. Often, businesses found that it was just, well, good for business to maintain an attractively furnished, kept and supplied lounge. Made customers more likely to buy, as well.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

World Toilet Day: Toilets and FatLand

Since yesterday was World Toilet Day, it seems appropriate to talk about FatLand and toilets.

At first toilets in FatLand were made like "standard" toilets, except somewhat wider. These proved slightly more comfortable for most FatLanders, but still not adequate. The engineers and biometrics people soon figured out that not only did toilets have to be made wider, but the bathrooms themselves had to be made wider, both for men and women. The engineers and biometrics people (and some then called bariometric) also figured out that things like the flushing mechanism, toilet paper and sanitary napkin depository had to be placed very differently than they had been in standard bathrooms so that they were usable and would not cut into FatLanders' thighs.

Special bathrooms were then created for the Mondo Sized people, those over 400 pounds. These bathrooms came with cleaning jets, like in European bidets, but stronger, with longer and deeper reach. However, ironically, the second and third generations of FatLanders protested against building more Mondo Sized bathrooms because, they said, they used up tax funds and were not as applicable anymore. The second and third generations didn't produce as many Mondo Sized people. Perhaps this was due to their not having dieted and experienced the yo yo cycling that ratcheted up the weight of some first generation FatLanders, or perhaps due to lack of stigmatization, they grew into their "natural" weights without harassment or intimidation or concern trolling.

Be that as it may, the first generation FatLanders called them selfish and unfeeling. This difference led to a war of words which was finally resolved in debate in the new FatLand Congress, where it was decided that FatLand would maintain the Mondo Sized bathrooms it had already had built, but would wait until the results of a study then being carried out before they built more.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

To a Fat Revolution

The wonderfully ironic thing about being fat in the USA is that supposedly more than 65 percent of us are in the "overweight" or "obese" categories. This provides us with several alternatives. We can either unite and create the equivalent of a FatLand in the USA, in which everyone is treated with fairness, dignity and tolerance, and in which no one is stigmatized or harassed for what they weigh or any other characteristic or belief.

We can sit on people who try to stigmatize or harass us. (At times I like this one a lot.)

We can foment a revolution, which is what the Fat Underground, our predecessors and mighty first born, were doing, at times, with success.

We can write books which put forth, whether subtly or otherwise, the idea that being fat is simply another body size, with its resultant attractions and normalities and frailties, just like other sized bodies.

We can continue to expose idiocies like The Biggest Loser and many other media circuses that batten on the abuse of fat people.

And we can continue to live as if our lives took place free of hatred, bigotry and stigmatization.

In a way this may be the most revolutionary act of all.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Censorship in FatLand

Until the events of 2044 unfolded, FatLanders were able to access any sites they wished from anywhere. However, when investigation revealed that the children of Board Members indirectly aided in a murder by becoming involved with a site that actively promoted hatred of fat people, the Board decided that FatLand would have to undertake a more thorough vetting of sites to make sure that their citizens were at least aware of the negativity spewed by certain sites and, in a few cases, made the decision to censor them.

It was again a case of balancing possibilities. Should they allow an unfettered flow of anti-fat venom into FatLand, to be accessed by their children and adults, as well?  FatLand, they felt, had enough of a job to instill positive feelings and self-esteem in their children. If accessing a site and seeing the hate caused them to feel bad about themselves, there was really no good reason to keep it accessible.

On the other hand, if their children were feeling that they weren't seeing the rest of the world from FatLand, which sought to protect them from bigotry and stigmatization, perhaps they needed to see how it was in other parts of the world. Thus the FatLand Exchange Students Bureau was launched.

A better way to see the Other Side, they figured, than sneaking back and forth to The Laurels, the diner on the Other Side that served actual food in the time of the Health and Diet Laws.

And, they said, if this was indeed censorship..so be it.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Porn and Burlesque shows in FatLand

Porn and burlesque shows in FatLand?

Well, yeah..

At first the FatLand Board was not exactly thrilled at the idea. After all, in a way, everyone in FatLand had fled objectivization. So the thought of having bodies used to excite people sexually was not one they wished to get behind (no pun intended).

But Jimmy, one of the original inhabitants and members of the group included in the reality TV show that led to FatLand's establishment, explained to them that there was nothing wrong with having people in FatLand derive pleasure from seeing beautiful fat people.

Since Jimmy was a double agent and worked for Winston Stark as well, it was difficult to tell whether Jimmy was speaking on behalf of Stark or not. However, the Board concluded that if they didn't allow porn or stage shows, FatLanders would go elsewhere to seek them out. It was also true that non-FatLanders might actually come to FatLand to view beautiful fat people not wearing much, but they figured that one-day visas would take care of that.

And it might also provide FatLanders with more self-confidence, as well, to see that fat people could be alluring and sexy and hot.

And - since the establishments that promoted this kind of entertainment would be taxed, FatLand would gain and its treasury would be enriched.

It was specified, of course, that the shows would include both male and female entertainers..

Tuesday, November 12, 2013


Dietism - the tendency to regiment one's eating habits strictly according to detailed rules even after one goes off a prescribed diet.

To their consternation and horror, doctors, psychotherapists and block counselors found that at least a third of the time, refugees from the Other Side/USA were recreating and sometimes sticking to diets they had been forced to follow on the Other Side, even though the FatLand Constitution expressly forbid them. Upon discussions with these patients, doctors, psychotherapists and counselors all concluded that they had to do a lot more toward making patients at home with their bodies and their food choices than just telling them not to diet.

They decided that the best way to do this would be a series of social events, parties in buffet style highlighted by Tasting FatLand. This is/was a three day festival in which different restaurants and food stores and boutiques put out some of their favorite offerings on tables on the sidewalk on a couple of intersecting FatLand avenues. "You don't have to eat most of them," the counselor assured her patients. "Try some. See what you like. Ask the chefs about them."

This proved successful with about seventy five percent of the patients, who started adding more and different kinds of foods to their meals.

The other twenty five percent needed something else. The doctors, psychotherapists and counselors put their heads together, and decided that the best way to wean these often-still-frightened dieters off diets was simply not to say anything to them but to have them work - actual work, not psychotherapeutic work- with people who enjoyed their food, whatever it happened to be.

Bingo. Ninety five percent of the other twenty five percent got out of the dieting mentality.

It turned out the the other five percent were following certain diet-like plans for a very good, albeit horrific, reason. They had had electrodes implanted in a certain center of their brains, preceded by deep hypnosis which ordered them not to eat certain foods. (Jimmy in FatLand : The Early Days talked a lot about this.) The electrodes were removed from their brains. Their reactions toward forbidden foods remained for some time. Slowly the proscriptions started to erode.

Very slowly.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

The Light of Belonging

I was looking at a video of old subway and el (elevated) lines of the Bronx, where all of my grandparents lived when I was born, and where I lived at intervals, and where I visited often. I thought of the trains I used to take, and a poem I wrote about the el station serving one set of grandparents. I thought of the stately apartment buildings, many of them art deco.

Mostly I thought about how the large kitchen opened itself to seat us and feed us and make us feel wanted and happy. One of the most satisfying parts of this experience was, believe it or not, being able to look straight across into our neighbor's window (it was a big building!) and see them sitting down to dinner as we sat down to dinner, and to see the lights from their kitchen as they saw the lights in our kitchen through their window. Neither they nor we pulled down the shades or blinds. We were happy to let the light filter in so we could be lit and warmed by it, as they were lit and warmed by our lights.

I dream about this building and the kitchens at times, and the dream gives me a deep feeling of peace and belonging, as the reality did.

This feeling, more than anything else, is what I wanted and want people to feel when they think of FatLand.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

The FatLand Festival

Once a year FatLand holds its Festival to honor those who worked very hard to convey (often hidden) immigrants to FatLand in the early days, in the days when the Health and Diet Laws were being enforced most strongly.

This Festival also honors those on the Other Side who continued to work to get fat people out of the USA/Other Side if they were in danger of being sent to Reeducation Centers during this same time span.
All the names of the honorees are read. Then the FatLand Anthem is sung (See appendices in FatLand: The Early Days for words.)

Then everyone eats.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Sleep and FatLand

It may sound like a minor detail, but ,many of the people who came from the Other Side to FatLand observed that they slept much better. Of course during certain years, especially the years of the reign of the Health and Diet Laws, it was all too easy to experience sleeping problems on the Other Side/USA, so the contrast, once they did reach FatLand, was of course pronounced. But even after, FatLand continued to be a haven for people who liked to sleep, and often those who had had trouble sleeping in other places.

You can see why. Can you imagine sleeping in a place in which harassment for your physical shape and how you look is considered a serious crime? You are assured of not being attacked or belittled or hated, even, for how you look. It is as if a terrible and embarrassing burden has been lifted from your mind and body and heart. Violent crime itself is almost unknown in FatLand.

You go inside, open the window a smidgen to get some of the cool valley air and realize that no one is going to get angry at you or hurt you. You keep telling yourself until you almost believe it.

When you finally believe it..zzzzzzzzzzz

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Prove it all night

Once upon a time a really silly book entitled "The Bronx Diet" appeared - in the late 1970's or early 1980's, I think. It purported to make fun of diets. I don't quite know why it decided to use The Bronx in its title, unless to suggest a melting pot ethnic type place gifted with all sorts of yummy and late night restaurants (which The Bronx was for a long time).

But instead of taking this idea badly, I thought it would be super wonderful if a place like this actually existed. FatLand is replete with late night  restaurants and night clubs and 24/7 eating establishments. You can actually make a circuit of FatLand, starting at one end and driving or taking public transport (the buses run all night, something that also used to occur in the Bronx and now only occurs sporadically throughout NY) from one excellent eating/dining establishment to the other. You can of course procure spirited drinks as well, if you wish and if you drive responsibly and don't start to dance with a lampshade on your head.

I am also channeling Boston of the 1970's here, especially the Watertown diners that were open and stayed patient with a group of rowdy college kids who'd been inhaling..

Marijuana is of course legal in FatLand and is used medicinally for a number of ailments.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Hospitals in FatLand

Hospitals in FatLand are always fully staffed because people are paid to train for nursing.  During the reign of the Health and Diet Laws, some people actually sneaked/snuck into FatLand because their care and food were at least ten times better than on the Other Side/USA. Many of them were not fat. Many were.

Of course FatLand has bedsheets, beds, bathrooms, waiting areas, testing equipment, waiting area facilities, elevators and dining areas that are fat-friendly. But just as important or perhaps even more so, it has nursing personnel -and doctors and specialists!- who do not look with disdain or disgust on their fat patients (since they are rather in the majority, anyway). As people who live or lived on the Other Side know, nothing chills the blood like a stay in a hospital in which those with whom one comes in contact daily make nasty faces and nasty remarks and comments.

Ironically, according to statistics, FatLanders stay in the hospital an average of two days only, not three or four as is often the case on the Other Side. They seem to recuperate much faster than people on the Other Side. All sorts of theories and hypotheses have been hazarded, but none of them have zeroed in on the very simple truth behind these numbers, which is that FatLand medical personnel do not make remarks about any of their patients in the patients' hearing. So simple. And yet so difficult for hospitals on the Other Side to achieve.

Oh, gee. Couldn't be because people on the Other Side are weight-monitored and stigmatized for their size if it falls over a certain BMI, and the people in FatLand are not...


Tuesday, November 5, 2013

From Board to Republic

Election Day.

I have a feeling that in FatLand 3, FatLanders will reluctantly approve a republic type government with a Senate and a House of Representatives which will replace the present Board type of government. Protesters will argue that the Board form of government, while useful during the earlier years of FatLand, is simply inhibiting democracy and the free expressions of choice. Having senators and congresspeople, they argue, will make government in FatLand more responsive to the concerns of FatLanders. Those opposing the change/reform will argue that the republic type of government will make it easier for lobbyists to line the pockets of legislators.

Solution: No lobbying allowed.

But will such a form of government also divide FatLanders from each other and cause factions to grow?

Sunday, November 3, 2013

The Hospital: No Place for a Fat Person

As some or more of you may know, I have been spending a lot of time in the hospital in the past few days because my mom experienced chest pressure, weakness and swollen legs. (They have her on Lasix and other meds, in addition to the ones she is already taking.  She is 4'9 because of osteoporosis and basically not visible on a cloudy day. The staff seem to like her a lot because she is super easy to move. They see me as something between a nuisance and a pest.)

My being there got me thinking:  Hospitals are bad, bad places for fat people. Even as visitors. But worse for patients.

For visitors:  uncomfortable chairs, uncomfortable bathrooms, uncomfortable convertible couches, difficult to maneuver elevator spaces.

For patients: under or over judged medication amounts, harassment or bad treatment or lack of treatment by hospital doctors and nurses and aides, badly administered blood pressure tests, blood tests, EKG's, echocardiograms, chest and other x rays; badly fitted hospital gowns; difficult to use bathrooms; difficult or impossible to use beds; improper or incomplete clean-ups or body cleansing by nurses and aides; malicious name calling, ridicule and gossip within earshot of patient. Patient requests frequently ignored or given very slow responses.

So can you just imagine if all these problems for fat people are abolished in FatLand and hospitals are fat user-friendly? Boggles the mind, does it not?

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Slim People in FatLand

As stated in my last post, there are indeed some slim people in FatLand. As FatLand develops its own complex growth and weight curve, they don't stand out quite as much as they used to.

However, in the earlier years of FatLand, there were very few slimmer people. And they did stand out markedly. They were sometimes ridiculed and sometimes harassed. They had extreme difficulty finding clothes. They also experienced problems on FatLand public transport, which was designed for heavier people.

After the killing of a beautiful fat Egyptian dancer and  the involvement of a slim child of Board members in an attempt to undermine FatLand (after which she reversed her views and became a shero on the Fat Underground Railroad), the FatLand Board realized that they had to make sure that education and consciousness raising about universal Size Acceptance would be provided for children and adults. This effort did help, and in subsequent years FatLanders actually had some children who werer naturally slimmer and also those who grew up not having to diet. By this time, Size Acceptance in FatLand was pretty much a given, and there were now no incidents of slim-shaming.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The Clothing Industry and not dieting in FatLand

Some FatLanders arrived in FatLand already possessing sewing skills. Others didn't. However, the sewing-talented were more than happy to furnish the non-sewing-talented with wonderful clothes for reasonable prices, and during the first couple of years, even less than that.

What happened is that a glorified cottage industry developed into a large, cooperatively owned, government-assisted FatLand industry which furnished many garments, both retail and wholesale, to both FatLanders and Other Siders. And not just to plus-size people in the USA, but to those in Europe and Asia, as well. The dilemma of obtaining quality plus-sized clothes transformed into the prideful boast of "I get my clothes from FatLand." And because FatLand did not import any clothes, clothing makers, suppliers and designers in FatLand were able to charge reasonable shipping rates to their clients in other countries.

What amazed FatLand clothing industries was that the non-fat (makes them sound like a salad oil :P ) people on the other side started to request clothes from them, as well. At first they were unprepared for this phenomenon, but after a few conferences with the FatLand Board and their suppliers of raw materials (also located in FatLand, since they had found a way to grow cotton artificially), some FatLand cooperatives were able to convert some of their sewing locations to smaller sizes. Ironically, when the next generation of FatLanders were born, FatLand found that they needed clothes for those of their children who were non-plus size, the first generation in a long time not to diet. Many of their children were still "plus," by the old Other Side standards, but often not as fat as their parents. Again, this probably happened because the children were not forced to diet - an eating behavior which, about 90-95% of the time, ends up making people heavier than when they began- and were not pressured to be thin. And of course it didn't hurt that in general, they were not made to feel bad about themselves and were able to participate in any kind of movement they wished, including sports. This constituted about 30-35 percent of FatLand children born to the first generation. 65-70 percent of the first "native" generation of FatLanders were still "fat," by the old standards, but they grew up much much happier and healthier than those of their cousins still on the Other Side, for the same reasons.

So the fat  "curve" in FatLand looked quite different from that of the Other Side, with people of many sizes of slim and heavy, and none of them stigmatized for their size. At least officially.

Next post:  Being slim in FatLand

Monday, October 28, 2013

Cat show?

There is debate, even now, on whether to allow a cat show in FatLand. Dog people have parks dedicated to dogs, the cat people say. What do we have?

The thing is, though, that FatLand, until now, has tended to downplay competitiveness in most of FatLand life. For instance, FatLand does not allow ads that bash other companies or concerns. (Since FatLand has not had political parties until now, campaign ads have not been a problem.) Even in sports, FatLand tends to emphasize team efforts by FatLanders that allow them to take on other teams.

So the cat people who wish to initiate a cat show in FatLand are in a way going against the grain. And the FatLand Board is afraid that this kind of competitiveness will lead to things like a Ms. FatLand and/or Mr. FatLand pageant, which is what some of its citizens are already discussing.

What will happen? Will FatLand get a cat show? Will there be FatLanders striding up and down the stage singing or playing an instrument in pursuit of the Ms. or Mr. FatLand title?

Sunday, October 27, 2013

No zoo in FatLand

I keep wondering if there should be a zoo in FatLand. Something in me is constitutionally opposed to zoos. But I remember how I loved going to the Bronx Zoo when I was younger (when it was still the Bronx Zoo and not generally known as the New York Zoological Society). I don't know if there is enough space in FatLand in general to allow for the acreage that would permit most species to roam free without feeling crowded. But I truly don't like the idea of cages.

On thinking it through, there will be no zoo in FatLand 3. See how useful this blog can be ? :)


Friday, October 25, 2013

If fat people are not stigmatized..

Another area I didn't cover in FatLand 1 or 2 is sleep apnea. I have a strong feeling that a lot of the stress which led to fat people getting so-called metabolic syndrome will be completely removed, thus causing a lot of people in FatLand to be relieved or even cured of their sleep apnea.

I just keep wondering how far this can be pushed. I do talk about lower mortality rates in FatLand than even on the Other Side/USA because stress is lower, safety net is much better (health insurance is single payer and unemployment comp kicks in the minute one stops working for as long as one doesn't work) and people are just happier (camaraderie helps). But lipedema? Diabetes? Heart disease? Yes, the research shows that where fat people are not stigmatized, their rates of diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and high cholesterol are no different than those of the non-fat population, however that is calculated. Stigma causes the same syndrome that supposed "fat" does.

And once the stigma is removed..

Maybe, maybe, we will all live as if it never existed?

Thursday, October 24, 2013

FatLand Pets

Fat pets are also welcome in FatLand. They are not forced to diet, either. And they are not weighed. They are encouraged to eat a variety of foods, especially and including "people" foods, which furnish a lot of nutrition that supposed pet foods lack.

There are special parks for them, but a lot of FatLand establishments are pet-friendly, as well. There are hotels that supply pets for guests to play with and encourage the stays of personal pets, as well. There are a plethora of establishments for pet couture, as well as pet restaurants.

FatLand is Petland! (One of the ads for FatLand..)

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

A Dream of a Wonderful Reality

I do treat this issue, -the issue of becoming whole in FatLand after a life spent in dieting and being harassed and hated on the Other Side- somewhat in FatLand: The Early Days and in FatLand. But it is interesting to think about and exciting to write about just for the sheer joy of imagining it.

Imagine that you emigrate from The Other Side/USA while the Pro-Health and Diet Laws are still very much in effect. You have just escaped the probability of being sent to the Re-Education Center or were actually in it before someone bribed your way out. You have been told all your life on the Other Side that you are undesirable and that your eating must be monitored very closely, and that you cannot eat more than 1000-1500 calories a day, and nothing that contains certain substances. You have been told all your life that people have the right to make fun of you and harass you and sometimes torture you.

Then you reach FatLand, where you are allowed to eat anything you want, any time you want. You just don't know how to take this new freedom. At first you just eat a little more than you were allowed. You don't even go out much at first because you were so used to being harassed when you went outside, sometimes even assaulted.

The Block Counselor comes to see you and suggests activities you might enjoy. You agree to try one of them. You enjoy it very much, and also enjoy the new found camaraderie. On the way back from the activity, a couple of your new activity mates decide to go out for coffee or something stronger, and they very definitely include you in the invitation. You go with them, drink your first coffee with cream or beer in ages, and that feels incredibly good. The cheese pretzels accompanying the beer are out of this world.

When you get back to your place, you feel as if you are living in a dream. Then you realize that maybe, just maybe, the other side was a bad dream. This is reality. You have to pinch yourself to believe it.

Here's to the day when we can all live in FatLand...

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

I want

I want love songs written in FatLand. I want love songs to people in FatLand written in FatLand. I want people -young and old- to develop crushes on FatLanders. I want FatLand erotica. I want FatLand porn. I want comedies, dramas, romances, tragedies, existential monologues written in and about FatLand.

I want FatLand crossword puzzles and in jokes. I want FatLand specialties in fashion and food and politics.

I want FatLand protest songs and folk songs. I want a list of FatLand artists, singers, writers, sculptors, union leaders..ah. YES. I want FatLand unions and work coops. More on this later.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Two and a half hours left

Two and a half hours left to get your FREE copy of FatLand: The Early Days on Amazon Kindle.

The promo was unexpectedly interesting. It gave me a chance to reach out to friends instead of  staying holed up in my own corner.

It was also fun writing some of the ad-like posts. If it were to last longer and intersect with Halloween, I would write some zombie and vampire posts, even though there are no zombies or vampires in FatLand. Hmm..Stark might come close, though.

I hope that everyone who got a copy is enjoying FatLand: The Early Days.

It was also fun to see the FLTED's Amazon rank keep getting lower (that means more books sold). It has mostly gone back down now. But that's how it goes.

I would like to thank everyone who reposted links, offered encouragement and took the time to comment here.

And when you're finished reading, please question or comment here.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Another good reason for FatLand

Yet another wonderful thing about FatLand: If you make a friend, you're not afraid that you'll lose the friendship if someone starts referring negatively to fat people. I say this because today, someone suggested that I join his circle of musical friends. We are all interested in folk music, in listening to it and in some cases, in writing, whether music or lyrics. Great.

But I know very well that the minute one of them makes a nasty comment about fat or fat people or weight, I will be on the defensive. And if I can't convince him or her that such comments are unwarranted and bigoted, I will probably have to leave.

Once upon a time people just swallowed such comments, smiled and felt awful. Not any more.

I actually added Fat Acceptance to my profile on FB a few weeks ago.. I hoped people would understand from the entry that I will not tolerate bigoted remarks about fat people, about my own body, for that matter. It has not worked as well as I wished.

Yet another good reason to have FatLand..

Friday, October 18, 2013


I guess most authors feel a bit sad when they read the first negative review of their work. It happened to me today.

It was from someone in Australia who likes male-written horror stories and men's menage a trois stories (three men). I can sort of see where FatLand (the review was for FatLand 1, not The Early Days) might leave him/her (I don't know the gender) a bit disappointed :) He/she commented that FatLand sounded fascistic because people there were told what to do.

Yes, the Constitution of FatLand forbade dieting and scales.

I thought he/she didn't quite have a handle on Fat Acceptance. Then again, most people outside the movement probably don't.

And that is why Amazon styled FatLand: The Early Days dystopian fiction. Can you imagine...being forbidden to diet and weigh yourself. Enough to make one...celebrate! Those are two "rights" most fat people are very very happy to have taken from them.

I then realized that to some non-fat people, those rights perhaps matter more. Maybe it is actually fascistic to take away the rights of thinner people to weight themselves and to diet. But guess what: it is doubly fascistic to stigmatize, harass, shame and insist on people changing their bodies to suit an image. Somehow that simply didn't occur to this person.

I did see that the person actually read a book on fat and stigmatizing. Maybe there is some hope.

If FatLand is a "dystopia," I'll take it any day over this supposed less-than-utopia that is our anti-fat country and culture.

Oh..and he/she gave Grapes of Wrath one star, lower even than FatLand in his/her review. At least I'm in good company.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Winston Stark, Sandor Foreman and FatLand

The financier behind a lot of FatLand's original infrastructure was, as some of you know by now, a man named Winston Stark.

Winston Stark did not have a very strong moral underpinning. He tended to invest where he could make money. He thought he could make money on selling fat people a lot of guilt in the forms of diet pills, diet foods, diet drinks, Health Clubs/Exercise Clubs/Gyms with the message of "Get those pounds down now." He thought that FatLanders would fall for these like a ton of bricks.

He was very very wrong.

In the early days of FatLand, because of his contributions to FatLand's roads, electricity grid, farming efforts, industry, transport and other areas, the Board of FatLand let his gyms more or less alone. However, a FatLander named Sandor Foreman founded a business of his own called GymNotTrim. He emphasized very very strongly that the objective of GymNotTrim was for FatLanders to enjoy themselves and not worry about losing or gaining weight. To underscore his message, he added bar-restaurants in every GymNotTrim that sold delicious snacks of many kinds, as well as tasty drinks, some alcoholic, some not. He also added spice to GymNotTrim activities by creating Midnight Swims and ChunkyDunk Evenings, as well as competitions between FatLanders in different games and sports. GymNotTrim even boasted a library, computers and legacy board games and card games.

So, in effect, Winston Stark's Complete Fitness franchises lost so much ground to Foreman's GymNotTrim that he was pushed out. He retaliated by trying to get Foreman to merge, undercut Foreman's message on the Other Side/USA by implying that GymNotTrim was going to change its policy and emphasis (untrue) and then tried to have Foreman indicted for trying to negate the agreement between them.

Stark thought of FatLanders as ungrateful. Margaret Clancy tried to explain to Stark, who lusted after her and may even have loved her, that FatLanders did not wish to hear the message that they were inferior, which leaked out of every CompleteFitness poster and ad.

"They don't know all that I've done for them," Stark said, "and what might happen if I decide to charge them for it."

"They would be a lot more grateful if you stopped trying to shove CompleteFitness down their throats."

"That bastard (referring to Foreman) stole my clients."

"He didn't steal them. He had ideas that they liked."

"The hell he did. I'll get him yet."

You won't, Margaret thought.

But in order to find out if Stark did "get" Foreman, you have to read FatLand 3 :))

FatLand, The Early Days will be available FREE until the end of October 20!!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Dystopian novels??? No - Fatopian! Glitch has been resolved.

Kind of fun. In the new classification, FatLand is listed as a "dystopian" science fiction trilogy. Funny. I thought that FatLand was a utopia, or a "fatopia," a wonderful word and description coined by Tracey L. Thompson, of Fatropolis fame.

The part that is dystopian is the Other Side/USA. They maintain a rigid hold over laws purporting to be related to health and diet, which of course cause many fat people to flee to FatLand. FatLand, it seems to me is a utopia of sorts, a "fatopia."

The more I think about being able to live in a place in which I am accepted and welcomed in spite of my shape or what I weigh, the happier I am when I think of living in FatLand.

The glitch from yesterday has been resolved. FatLand: The Early Days is inded available in Kindle on Amazon for FREE. However, you have to enter "FatLand: The Early Days" in Kindle Store.

For fun, go down to where the rank is listed and read what it says :P

Amazon glitch, Love Your Body Day

Today was supposed to begin the offer of a free Kindle FatLand: The Early Days on Amazon. It seems that this is not happening, for some reason. I am really sorry. It was so much fun to publicize, and I loved the idea of being able to offer it for free for five days, in honor of Love Your Body Day.

But let us think about Love Your Body Day.

So many negative words about our bodies, especially but not only women's bodies, and so much negative energy attached to words about our bodies has crashed into the ethos that it is no wonder that almost all of us hate our bodies unless we actually make the effort to talk to people who believe otherwise. It is a radical notion, not to compare our bodies to those on the covers of magazines, until we learn a) that there is NOTHING WRONG with any body shape, and that b) even the women on the covers of these magazines don't look like they look there. Airbrushed and photoshopped out of their natural appearance, they become something resembling mannequins - wait, they ARE mannequins, in a way. Just slightly more lifelike than the ones in the windows.

So whether or not Amazon fixes the glitch that caused FatLand: The Early Days not to switch over to "Free" for five days, we can certainly honor Love Your Body Day -today, October 16- by thinking about how wonderful it is that bodies DO come in all shapes and sizes, and honor FatLand itself by being glad that it exists for people who do *not* believe in body hatred!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Cass Auditorium - For the best singer of them all

Mama Cass was beautiful, fat and a superb singer, possibly one of the best rock-folk rock singers of all time.
She was the one who gave the Mamas and Papas pizzazz and piquancy. She was the one at whom keys were tossed, of whom autographs were begged, the one whose fan club was largest.

And yet John Phillips didn't want to let her into the Mamas and Papas because she was too fat. (Too fat for what? For people to love her? She proved him completely wrong.)

He just didn't understand the draw, the fun, and that the Mamas and Papas brand clicked because of the contrast between blond, thin, somewhat aloof Michelle and exuberant, large, endearing Cass. The male voices basically backed up the female voices, except on a few songs.

If a FatLand had existed for Mama Cass, she wouldn't have had to go on semi-starvation diets, and she wouldn't have died of a heart attack directly attributed to her yo-yo dieting, done because she didn't fit certain strict parameters of allowed weights or shaped. She would have been an idol for longer and would have sung into a ripe and happy old age.

As it is, there is an auditorium named for her in FatLand - Cass Auditorium, on Chastain Boulevard. At the foot of the steps, on the right column, there is a plaque.

Ellen Naomi Cohen/Mama Cass/Cass Eliot 
 September 19, 1941 – July 29, 1974

The best singer of them all.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Gay and transgender people in FatLand

I have not spoken much about gay people in FatLand.

There were certainly a fair number of gay people who came to FatLand in its earliest days. As a matter of fact, there were four gay people in the house in which the participants in the TV show "Living Fat and Happy" lived, the original FatLand House - two women, two men.

FatLanders of course in the early years had many other battles to fight than that of gender orientation and identity, so they may not have cared much about it when they were  trying to get FatLand built and negotiating so that it would maintain its status as a sovereign territory. But somehow it didn't really come up that much later, either. FatLanders seem(ed) to be a pretty tolerant bunch, which is just as well. I did not deal with, say, public displays of affection or gay gatherings or bars. I think that will belong to FatLand 3.

And transgender people weren't mentioned at all in the first two volumes of FatLand. They will play a larger role in FatLand 3, as well.