Penn Jillette

I’ve liked Penn Jillette for a while. He expresses the libertarian viewpoint better than anyone else. (I’m not a libertarian as currently conceived, but have been seduced by its philosophy in the past.) He is also an atheist and a freethinker, and his and Teller’s former show, Bullshit, was excellent at debunking pseudoscience in its many forms. While that show is now over, he currently does a weekly podcast, Penn’s Sunday School, which I listen to regularly and which covers some of the same topics (skepticism, atheism, and libertarianism).

A few years ago, Bullshit did a show on fatness (described here), saying that you could be fat and healthy, and showing Paul Campos and Glenn Gaesser promoting fat acceptance.

Unfortunately, I think, Penn has evolved on this issue. From last year to early this year, Penn lost a lot of weight. I can understand why: he was maxed out on his medication doses, and his doctor advised him that he wouldn’t need the meds if he lost weight. So he’s lost weight, and I understand that he’s off the meds. I’m not going to try to present his point of view; if you want that, look here. He has talked about this several times on Sunday School, but I skip over those parts because I don’t want to hear about anyone’s GODDAMN weight loss. Not just Penn’s, anyone’s.

I did just now look at the article linked in the last paragraph. Briefly, he’s on a diet, and diets don’t work over the long term (5 years and out) for the great majority of people. So he may learn something the hard way. Or not.

In any case, I’m glad he’s doing well, but disappointed to see him fall for a diet, especially given his skeptical background.

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4 thoughts on “Penn Jillette

  1. I was curious about the media’s response to this because in the “alt” blogs I follow, the response so far has been negative/critical. But obviously, that’s not true of the mainstream media. I already saw one that said he lost 105 pounds on a “healthy” diet. The guy is 6’7″ and was eating 1000 calories a day!! In what world is that healthy?!

    I know I’m preaching to the choir here, but had to get it out of my system. 🙂

    • Thanks for your comment. Yeah, the very low calorie diet was foolish. I don’t want to talk about the details of his dieting here, but if you’re interested, his most recent podcast (recorded yesterday, 4/12/2015) covers his current eating habits. Do a search for Penn Sunday School and you’ll get it.

  2. I received an anonymous comment today that I’m not going to approve, but I will respond to some of the points in the comment. The comment that I’m paraphrasing is pro-diet so keep that in mind before you read on; my responses are in parentheses. The commenter (a) stated that low calorie diets can be healthy given the right food (debatable, but in any case this isn’t a diet blog), (b) asked why I couldn’t be happy for Penn (I stated explicitly that I WAS glad for him), (c) stated that being fat and on meds isn’t normal (seems like an argument from popularity), (d) stated that he lost weight and kept it off (OK, but even so, the data show that most people don’t), and (e) stated that doing so was not difficult (again, it is difficult for most people as shown by the data). This is my way of responding without really responding, which I’m doing because the comment annoyed me and this helps me feel better.

  3. Pingback: Penn, part 2 | Fatties United!

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