the socially acceptable killing mode
[No, I don't watch Maury. It just happened to be on in the break room at work and was so loud that one couldn't help but hear it. And ... it was interesting in a way not appreciated by his audience.]
Here a mother was crying for her fat baby who didn't have anyone to play with, couldn't enjoy playthings because of his size and other mothers were giving him the "look", etc.
As with all other shows about extremely fat people, no one asked any pointed questions. Rather, the host and audience did that macabre dance around the essentials so that no one would "name" the real issue. In America, circa 2004, extreme obesity is an illness deserving of pity and sighs of genuine (fake) empathy.
Munchausen by Proxy
This is an unfortunate name for a syndrome but in this case it fits perfectly. The mother was feeding her son into obesity in order to elicit sympathy from others ... and ... she got it ... on nationally syndicated TV.
But wait ...
Munchausen by proxy may have been a premature diagnosis. For, in the "postcard" segment (where you are updated on the progress of the individuals showcased) we see the mother narrating a quick bit of tape to the effect that her son now had his unfortunate situation in hand and had lost ten pounds and grown a few inches since the original show was aired.
"Aaaahhhh ... siggghhhh" says the audience in knee-jerk fashion.
The trouble with this scenario is that the child did not appear to have lost weight. Rather, he appeared to be at least 10-20 pounds heavier. The audience was quite willing to accept an obvious lie in response to "prompting" in classic Emperor's New Clothes fashion.
Being fat is a disease in America ... deserving of sympathy ... not condemnation. Hence, anything rather than the awful truth. Which is, in my view, in this case ...
First degree murder
This mutha' (not mispelled) is undoubtedly killing her own son for insurance money. Munchausen is too benign for such definite machinations. She has properly diagnosed her culture's depraved state in this matter of obesity and understands exactly what she can get away with ... anything.
She will continue to feed her child until such time that complications destroy him physically ... or ... he chokes to death on food she has given him. (Perhaps she will assist in the choking part.) And ... she will get away with it ... and ... will receive (along with her patiently awaited loot) a tidal wave of sympathy from that same audience and those like them ... who can never, ever ... acknowledge the fact that obesity is the product of ...
And the antidote is ... as it was in the beginning, is now and ever will be ...
But this can't be acknowledged. The "paradigm" has shifted. The individual is not responsible ... it's ... a disease. And a disease is that over which one has no control.
I'm quite certain this is not the first case of murder by food.
After all ... it's legal ... and profitable.