Morgan Spurlock is the documentary filmmaker most known for his 2004 hit Supersize Me, in which he comes to the shocking conclusion that shoving McDonald’s down your throat for thee meals a day for 30 days can be detrimental to your health. Many of the changes McDonalds made to its menu, and the legislative reactions by individual states (think of New York’s “trans fat” and “sodium” police) over the years can be traced to the film; the words “Supersize it” are no longer uttered at counters across America. Sure, obesity in American is arguably worse now than it was in 2004…but fans of the Nanny State still have those “victories” under their belt. Spurlock’s Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan’s Hope looks to be an overall winner, but I can’t help smelling some hypocrisy.

Featuring cameos by comics legend Stan Lee, Kevin Smith, and Seth Rogen, the film appears to be a celebration of the annual event, four days of the most awesome nerdery you can imagine, accompanied by a media blitz. Cos-play, panels of writers and directors and artists, exhibitions, and attendees who love pop culture are what makes Comic Con one of those pilgrimages all nerds must make at least once in their life. (Similar insanity can probably be found at Atlanta’s Dragon Con, which this author has attended twice).

The trailer for Comic-Con Episode IV features three people, “The Collector”, “The Geek”, and “The Designer”. Their personal stories will undoubtedly convey to viewers why the event is so special. The thousands of fans who dedicate time, money and resources to everything Comic Con embraces are also ubiquitous. Perhaps the snippets from “The Collector” and Red State director Kevin Smith give the best glimpse of Spurlockian hypocrisy:

The Collector: “My wife is not to ecstatic about this whole toy collecting thing, but I will not leave that Con until I have those figures.”

Kevin Smith: “If I can go back in time and tell the 11 year old me, ‘one day not only do you go to comic con, you go to Comic Con every year, so much so that you get greeted by Stan Lee when you show up.’ And the 11 year old me would be like, “How did we get so fat?”

If Morgan Spurlock thought for a moment before making Supersize Me, he would have realized that there’s a difference between correlation and causation. Just because some people enjoy spending their cash on fast food—sometimes to the detriment to their health and interpersonal relationships—it doesn’t mean that businesses are at fault. It also doesn’t mean that federal and state laws should be changed so that Morgan Spurlock’s definition of “The Good Life” can be realized. In Spurlock’s world you get fat from McDonalds, but he could have just as easily come to the conclusion that perhaps Kevin Smith has an “unhealthy” obsession with comic books. His 2004 documentary could have been Don’t Make Mine Marvel. Since the liberal mind only seeks ways to control people in order to build a better world, it’s really a crap shoot as to what industry or behavior they target next. When a group of liberals come to a consensus that something is “bad” for you, it will be targeted.

Why is Kevin Smith fat? I don’t know. I don’t care, because I’m a conservative. It’s his life, and as long as he doesn’t infringe on my life and my personal liberties I’m not particularly interested. The liberal does “care,” which is why they need to find ways to “help.”

Why does “The Collector” have an obsession that compels him to fill his house with a bunch of action figures? I don’t know. I don’t care. It’s his money, and if his wife leaves him because he spends too much money on Marvel Secret Wars action figures from the 1980’s…that’s his business. I won’t be making a documentary about the marketing of Marvel executives, and how it brain washes little kids, who then become nerdy and obese adults.

I was a nerd before being a nerd was cool. I have a collection of comics and I eat a lot of food that would “concern” Morgan Spurlock and liberal do-gooders in New York. I plan on seeing Spurlock’s new movie, but it’s sad that in the back of mind I’ll always be thinking of the statist claptrap he preaches, and how it just as easily can be applied to the people who frequent comic conventions…

I eat large quantities of hamburgers. I go to comics conventions. And yet, I’m not fat, like the objects of a Morgan Spurlock hit job on McDonalds or liberals like Kevin Smith. So why do they feel the need to advocate for legislation that seeks to impose their version of the good life on me? Someone tell Morgan there’s a difference between causation and correlation.

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About the Author Douglas Ernst

I'm a former Army guy who believes success comes through hard work, honesty, optimism, and perseverance. I believe seeing yourself as a victim creates a self-fulfilling prophecy. I believe in God. I'm a USC Trojan with an MA in Political Science from American University.

9 comments

  1. Hooah, Mr. Ernst.

    Excellent post.

    Still looking for Superman #1.

    And copies of the Constitution hiding behind picture frames at garage sales.

    Knerds (note the Knerdish spelling) ROCK!

    1. Ha! I’ll have to tell my wife that. My brother used to read Spider-Man and Iron Man comics to me when I was a kid, and that’s how I learned to read…so I’ve always had a soft spot for Marvel Comics. However, I’ve always tried not to cross over from being a fan to becoming a “fanatic.”

  2. For your correlation doesn’t necessarily imply causation argument, the line you drew connecting Supersize Me and liberal states legislating nanny food laws blew my mind.

  3. That’s all you have? Really? I didn’t mean traced as in that was sole inspiration, and I think most people can discern that. The awareness that movie created was huge. Statists love it, and it made Spurlock a celeb in their circles.

  4. C’mon. How many statist do you know personally to make that statement? You tuned in to statists talk radio? Subscribe to Statists Weekly? Get the statists podcast?

    Seriously, I don’t like statists or their warped doctrine either. Adults are free to screw up their life, but we can at least make kids’ lunches healthier at school and give them a chance at avoiding Type II diabetes and their very own personal mobility device in the future?

    In my town, they’re considering allowing fast food chains to sponsor school cafeterias. No, you heard me right. My district needs money so badly, that they seriously considering whoring out school cafeteria to A FAST FOOD JOINT. Doomed we are. Doomed.

  5. Hmmm. Let’s see. I lived in Los Angeles for a number of years. I got to meet some mighty interesting people out there. I’ve lived in Washington, DC for a long time, working at a conservative think tank and now at a newspaper. My job at Heritage involved travel at college campuses all across the country. I’d say that I’m pretty familiar with liberals from both the political realm and academia.

    When I was in high school we had Pizza Hut every day. We had Taco Bell and McDonalds a few times a week. There was a snack bar and soda machines. Should I go on? Take a look at my picture above. Do I look fat or unhealthy? Nope. It’s amazing what a little self control could do for the BMI.

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