Monday, 27 September 2010

Paleo in a Nutshell Video Spoof

Someone has created a spoof (or as they more grandly put it, satire) of Paleo in a Nutshell Part 1. Here it is:

It's actually quite witty in places - exactly the sort of thing I would do myself about something I consider misguided. Indeed, the video maker actually makes one or two good points.

For example, I agree that the Paleo movement is at times cultish; and I concede that the use of a supermarket photo to illustrate our ready access to food is not ideal, as it might imply an endorsement.

Does it matter if the Paleo movement is sometimes a little cultish? I'm not sure that it does. It has no bearing on whether its premises are valid. If ideas that are garbage can attract a following, then it would be odd if those with genuine validity did not.

In any case, I think it lacks some important elements of a cult. At one point the video used the (rather amusing) "kneel before Zod" reference; but who is Zod in the Paleo movement? A few people writing books and running seminars on the subject isn't really enough, however charismatic they may be.

Likewise, it doesn't necessarily matter that people are making money out of it and some of its books say 'as seen on TV' on the front. It would also be strange if no one tried to make money from spreading a message that turned out to be correct. Or does the spoofer think that when something is genuinely true, the human desires to spread the word and make money suddenly melt away?

I also think the video maker has missed the point (deliberately or otherwise) that the original consciously simplifies a complex area in order to deliver an easily understood message. Yes, "Genetically the same" is not strictly true, but the long version (that the number of generations since we have started farming is roughly 300, which is not long enough to effect the necessary changes to digestive mechanisms etc etc) really can't be explored with the 'Nutshell' approach.

To some extent the spoof video sabotages its own effectiveness by trying to satire or rebut absolutely everything in the original, creating a peculiar mix of crude, childish humour and attempts at reasoned, factual argument. Say what you like about the original, it does at least know what it's trying to achieve, and does so relatively elegantly. The spoof is twice as long, wordy and fails to strike a consistent tone.

I am not in the business of making line-by-line rebuttals, and even if I were, I am not sure this piece of work, funny though it was, justifies the effort.

So I'm not going to accept it as a video response on You Tube because I am not prepared to counter the points with a more detailed video. I didn't make the original so that I could bicker with those who disagree, but to spread a message I believe to be worthy.
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