“Documentarian” Morgan Spurlock scored some coveted media attention this weekend by giving a profanity-laden speech to Pennsylvania high school students on Friday, during which he also found some time to make fun of the “retarded kids in the back wearing helmets.” The student body gave him a standing ovation, minus the special education students (sitting in the back) who were led out by teachers during the speech. Local newspaper The Morning Call reported one teacher “was concerned students might have focused on Spurlock’s profanity and insensitive remarks and missed the message, which was the importance of healthy eating.”
If the school wanted to educate its students about healthy eating, it could have picked a better messenger than Spurlock. In his own words, his documentary Super Size Me was designed “[t]o get people thinking about what they put in their mouths.” But before his cinematic success, Spurlock — not exactly a modern-day Upton Sinclair — paid people to chew dog feces (beware: this link includes some salty language and a rather large man in a thong). His documentary purports to examine the impact of fast food on the American diet, but one fact the film fails to document is that Spurlock consumed 5,000 calories a day. It’s usually not a good idea to generalize about nutrition, but we’re pretty confident that “Don’t eat 5,000 calories in one day” is a good rule to follow.