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An apology to all members of TRF concerning NEP.


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#1 Aikenrooster

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Posted 04 April 2015 - 07:47 AM

So, I finally listed to the audio version of Ghost Rider: Travels On The Healing Road by Neal E. Peart, which is a book that I had anticipated reading for a long time.  I thought I would be able to relate, perhaps, suffering the recent loss of a loved one myself.  What a snoozefest!

The first thing that I knew I had to do, one I finally got through all of the redundancy in that book, was to apologize to everyone on this forum.  Every time NEP posts and update, it is posted on here, and many people respond with criticisms of NEP.  I read a lot of those recent blogs and I found those criticisms to be unfounded.  BUT, when I listened to this condescending hatefest in it's entirety I knew that those criticisms were not unfounded, and that many of those criticisms were spot on.  So, I hope everyone will accept my apology.  I have heard that his earlier books are OK, but it will be a long time, if ever, before I find out.  

I am a very empathetic person, and I try to put myself in other people's shoes, in all of my daily interactions with people, but it became increasingly difficult for me to feel sorry for someone who was basically travelling first class, eating the finest of meals every night, drinking the finest of whiskies, and visiting all of the places that the rest of us can only dream of going.  Yeah, I am green with envy, big time, because he was living the life I'd love to live, and maybe that is the real reason that I got pissed off, but I found that a lot of the traits that other members on here accused NEP of having are true.  He IS antisocial, except for HIS family, HIS close friends, and anyone else that he is paying to serve him.  I don't think I heard a single line in the story where he took the time to help someone.  Yes, he gave some $ to some street people, but I'm talking about helping someone with mechanical issues or help someone with some errands, like people were always helping him.  It was/is amazing how everyone seems to be at his beck and call all the time.  I remember a guy that I used to work with often say, arrogantly, "I've got no use for him," and this describes NEP, at least in this book.

He got 3 or 4 speeding tickets in Canada, but he never referred to those cops as Nazis, like he did to the US custom's officer who frisked him.  He constantly complained about all the fat people here in the US, but never mentioned the first overweight person in Canada or Mexico.  Again, I'm empathetic to the fact that the guy suffered tremendous losses in his personal life, but hate equally - I know I do.

I respect Neil's genius, his intellect, his creativity, and the knowledge he has acquired, but he really isn't a good writer.  To those who have said that, and I scoffed at them, I apologize.  I used to think it was admirable that he shared, but now I know that he only did it for himself, not for "us," if I can  use that word.  And, he is redundant as hell, repeating the same old story over and over and over in those letters in the middle of the book.  I also found it interesting what tidbits he shared with whom, depending on who they were.  Also, I think there was only 1 letter to Geddy and 0 to Alex, although I believe he stopped in Santa Fe and met Alex.

Anyway, I hope I haven't been to harsh, but fair, and I'm glad y'all let me get this off my chest.

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#2 Narps

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Posted 04 April 2015 - 07:53 AM

Works for me. I am certainly not an avid reader by any stretch but I attempted to read some of his stuff because of the Rush thing of course. Borefest is an apt desciption. His blog or whatever its called is the same...

#3 laughedatbytime

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Posted 04 April 2015 - 07:57 AM

View PostAikenrooster, on 04 April 2015 - 07:47 AM, said:

I don't think I heard a single line in the story where he took the time to help someone.  Yes, he gave some $ to some street people, but I'm talking about helping someone with mechanical issues or help someone with some errands, like people were always helping him.  It was/is amazing how everyone seems to be at his beck and call all the time.  I remember a guy that I used to work with often say, arrogantly, "I've got no use for him," and this describes NEP, at least in this book.
Is this the man who said "it is impossible to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ and be a Republican.   It's absolutely philosophically opposed...if I'm going to meet Jesus or Allah or Buddha, I'm going to be all right."?

I wonder what TonyR, who said that Rand's hypocritical behavior nullified her philosophy, and has extolled this quote despite the fact that it completely ignores the difference between private charity and public compulsion, has to say about this...

#4 Principled Man

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Posted 04 April 2015 - 07:59 AM

Everyone is a hypocrite in some way.  We criticize some people and ignore the faults of others - especially our own.  We're biased towards the people close to us.  It's standard operating procedure for human beings.

Neil Peart is a normal human being.  I don't have a problem with him.  I'm too busy trying to fix my own hypocricies..... :) :)  


Roll away the stone
Roll away the stone
If you could just move yours
I could get working on my own


#5 Tombstone Mountain

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Posted 04 April 2015 - 08:15 AM

View PostAikenrooster, on 04 April 2015 - 07:47 AM, said:

So, I finally listed to the audio version of Ghost Rider: Travels On The Healing Road by Neal E. Peart, which is a book that I had anticipated reading for a long time.  I thought I would be able to relate, perhaps, suffering the recent loss of a loved one myself.  What a snoozefest!

The first thing that I knew I had to do, one I finally got through all of the redundancy in that book, was to apologize to everyone on this forum.  Every time NEP posts and update, it is posted on here, and many people respond with criticisms of NEP.  I read a lot of those recent blogs and I found those criticisms to be unfounded.  BUT, when I listened to this condescending hatefest in it's entirety I knew that those criticisms were not unfounded, and that many of those criticisms were spot on.  So, I hope everyone will accept my apology.  I have heard that his earlier books are OK, but it will be a long time, if ever, before I find out.  

I am a very empathetic person, and I try to put myself in other people's shoes, in all of my daily interactions with people, but it became increasingly difficult for me to feel sorry for someone who was basically travelling first class, eating the finest of meals every night, drinking the finest of whiskies, and visiting all of the places that the rest of us can only dream of going.  Yeah, I am green with envy, big time, because he was living the life I'd love to live, and maybe that is the real reason that I got pissed off, but I found that a lot of the traits that other members on here accused NEP of having are true.  He IS antisocial, except for HIS family, HIS close friends, and anyone else that he is paying to serve him.  I don't think I heard a single line in the story where he took the time to help someone.  Yes, he gave some $ to some street people, but I'm talking about helping someone with mechanical issues or help someone with some errands, like people were always helping him.  It was/is amazing how everyone seems to be at his beck and call all the time.  I remember a guy that I used to work with often say, arrogantly, "I've got no use for him," and this describes NEP, at least in this book.

He got 3 or 4 speeding tickets in Canada, but he never referred to those cops as Nazis, like he did to the US custom's officer who frisked him.  He constantly complained about all the fat people here in the US, but never mentioned the first overweight person in Canada or Mexico.  Again, I'm empathetic to the fact that the guy suffered tremendous losses in his personal life, but hate equally - I know I do.

I respect Neil's genius, his intellect, his creativity, and the knowledge he has acquired, but he really isn't a good writer.  To those who have said that, and I scoffed at them, I apologize.  I used to think it was admirable that he shared, but now I know that he only did it for himself, not for "us," if I can  use that word.  And, he is redundant as hell, repeating the same old story over and over and over in those letters in the middle of the book.  I also found it interesting what tidbits he shared with whom, depending on who they were.  Also, I think there was only 1 letter to Geddy and 0 to Alex, although I believe he stopped in Santa Fe and met Alex.

Anyway, I hope I haven't been to harsh, but fair, and I'm glad y'all let me get this off my chest.
Did you make sounds like this while listening?



#6 troutman

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Posted 04 April 2015 - 08:17 AM

View PostPrincipled Man, on 04 April 2015 - 07:59 AM, said:

Everyone is a hypocrite in some way.  We criticize some people and ignore the faults of others - especially our own.  We're biased towards the people close to us.  It's standard operating procedure for human beings.

Neil Peart is a normal human being.  I don't have a problem with him.  I'm too busy trying to fix my own hypocricies..... :) :)  


Roll away the stone
Roll away the stone
If you could just move yours
I could get working on my own



:goodone: :cheers:

#7 Tombstone Mountain

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Posted 04 April 2015 - 08:24 AM

For me his books serve as a window into his life, which interests me because of Rush. Here's the review I wrote on amazon:

Ghost Rider: "Travels on the Healing Road" offers multi-faceted insights into the mind of a man who has encountered life-altering tragedy, and responded by doing what most people feel they must in those moments...run. This is not a new concept, and may get tiring for those wanting more than inert, stream of conscious ramblings.

Having said that, isn't that what grieving people do? "Ghost Rider" is an attempt by Mr. Peart to let us into his mind world, which could strike chords of resonance, or send the reader into the depths of estrangement. There seems to be no middle ground...


The revered psychologist Jean Piaget was known for his work in the field of child psychology, but before he ever became "revered", he was actually a recognized scholar for his work with birds--at the age of 15. Mr. Peart, the reigning living god of drummers and all things percussive, seems to have a fancy for flying, feathered, creatures as well. You can read about it on countless pages, but, you kind of wish he would write more in-depth about his encounters with the legendary Freddy Gruber, instead of every bird he sees while he is running around the world like Forrest Gump. Which brings me to fulcrum of this book: Neil Peart wrote this book for himself, not for his fans.

The book, 400 pages of exploration and adventure that in many ways reads like 1000 pages. The price of admission into the mind of Mr.Peart. Many people will buy this book and say it has profound meaning and will help those who suffer through tragic circumstances, but really those are the people who live vicariously through the works of Mr. Peart and his bandmates. There is nothing groundbreaking here, but there were plenty of opportunities to flesh out ideas which could have translated into something special and useful for the reader.

For example, in the opening chapters he finally comes to grips with the revelation that "life sucks, but people are great", a complete reversal of his previous motto for life on earth. Through his tragedy he found that community is necessary to understanding peace, grace, joy, all the things which matter, thus helping many complete their incomplete circuits. Yet he walks away from the "elan vital" (latin for "seeds of life") or the "huerisko" (greek for "I found it") moment which can truly give medicine for souls who seek it.

Mr. Peart would likely respond to that claim with idea that he is not a person who aspires to such noble grounds, yet his writing reminds me of Thomas Merton, a monk who thought outside the box of catholicism, and achieved great popularity as a mainstream writer. The depth and "occasional" clarity of Mr. Peart's writings (thinking) remind me of those special people who have chosen the protective walls of monastaries and cloths of spiritual contemplation. Neil missed his calling. He should have been a monk because he can't emotionally navigate relationships with tact, displaying once again the idiosynchratic nature of brillaint yet introverted souls.

Perhaps the most enjoyable qualitites of this book are found in his letters to "Brutus" (Psuedonym for his weed connection) where we (the reader) get to know Mr. Peart for who he is: a man who must connect somewhere with someone on the testosterone level. His letters to Brutus convey the charming, warm, stinking funny, regular guy which most fans wish they knew. Imagine sitting in prison and getting letters from Peart during that time of his life (That could be depressive as well, but that's what friends are for). In many ways, I, the reader, wanted to be Brutus just because he knows Neil.

His personal connections with family, friends, and business associates are mentioned frequently but always in short bursts. Then it's on to another topic or concept that get's Mr. Peart's mouse moving on the wheel. I found that annoying because I wanted to know how he was healed by those around him (and his relationships) in detail, bringing out the necessary human interface associated with the grieving process. Our lot as the book buyers is sucking up the morsels Neil does decide to toss down to us like dogs waiting by the dinner table.

What I wanted from Neil Ellwood Peart is different than what I recieved in this book. There where moments of encapsualtion but they were always so short, fleeting moments. I suppose that I'll just having to suck it up, be grateful and deal with it. At least we got this. Well, all is not lost...at least I've got "Vapor Trails".

Hmmn, music...perhaps that is the best medium to capture the essence of Mr. Peart's world.

Edited by Tombstone Mountain, 04 April 2015 - 08:26 AM.


#8 GabesCavesOfIce

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Posted 04 April 2015 - 08:34 AM

Aiken, some do not understand the core of anti social behavior. Even the term anti social is inaccurate. I do not recall him ragging on fat folks in the book, for that there is no excuse.

#9 Aikenrooster

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Posted 04 April 2015 - 11:35 AM

View PostTombstone Mountain, on 04 April 2015 - 08:15 AM, said:

View PostAikenrooster, on 04 April 2015 - 07:47 AM, said:

So, I finally listed to the audio version of Ghost Rider: Travels On The Healing Road by Neal E. Peart, which is a book that I had anticipated reading for a long time.  I thought I would be able to relate, perhaps, suffering the recent loss of a loved one myself.  What a snoozefest!

The first thing that I knew I had to do, one I finally got through all of the redundancy in that book, was to apologize to everyone on this forum.  Every time NEP posts and update, it is posted on here, and many people respond with criticisms of NEP.  I read a lot of those recent blogs and I found those criticisms to be unfounded.  BUT, when I listened to this condescending hatefest in it's entirety I knew that those criticisms were not unfounded, and that many of those criticisms were spot on.  So, I hope everyone will accept my apology.  I have heard that his earlier books are OK, but it will be a long time, if ever, before I find out.  

I am a very empathetic person, and I try to put myself in other people's shoes, in all of my daily interactions with people, but it became increasingly difficult for me to feel sorry for someone who was basically travelling first class, eating the finest of meals every night, drinking the finest of whiskies, and visiting all of the places that the rest of us can only dream of going.  Yeah, I am green with envy, big time, because he was living the life I'd love to live, and maybe that is the real reason that I got pissed off, but I found that a lot of the traits that other members on here accused NEP of having are true.  He IS antisocial, except for HIS family, HIS close friends, and anyone else that he is paying to serve him.  I don't think I heard a single line in the story where he took the time to help someone.  Yes, he gave some $ to some street people, but I'm talking about helping someone with mechanical issues or help someone with some errands, like people were always helping him.  It was/is amazing how everyone seems to be at his beck and call all the time.  I remember a guy that I used to work with often say, arrogantly, "I've got no use for him," and this describes NEP, at least in this book.

He got 3 or 4 speeding tickets in Canada, but he never referred to those cops as Nazis, like he did to the US custom's officer who frisked him.  He constantly complained about all the fat people here in the US, but never mentioned the first overweight person in Canada or Mexico.  Again, I'm empathetic to the fact that the guy suffered tremendous losses in his personal life, but hate equally - I know I do.

I respect Neil's genius, his intellect, his creativity, and the knowledge he has acquired, but he really isn't a good writer.  To those who have said that, and I scoffed at them, I apologize.  I used to think it was admirable that he shared, but now I know that he only did it for himself, not for "us," if I can  use that word.  And, he is redundant as hell, repeating the same old story over and over and over in those letters in the middle of the book.  I also found it interesting what tidbits he shared with whom, depending on who they were.  Also, I think there was only 1 letter to Geddy and 0 to Alex, although I believe he stopped in Santa Fe and met Alex.

Anyway, I hope I haven't been to harsh, but fair, and I'm glad y'all let me get this off my chest.
Did you make sounds like this while listening?


No, but I turned very green with envy, to be honest.  You know except for Quebec, Newfoundland, and Mexico, places I haven't traveled, I didn't even have to look up many place names.  I've studied the maps and roads for many years, yearning to go to the places and travel all the roads he ran.

Again, as I said earlier, that's part of my anger, I guess; not having near infinite resources, like he does, to be able to undertake journeys like that.  But, I'm not jealous of his money - he earned that fair and square.

#10 Lucas

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Posted 04 April 2015 - 02:39 PM

Aikenrooster, thank you for your post - I am sorry to hear about the recent loss in your life ...

My dear sister recently passed very sudden and unexpectedly - my best wishes to you and your family

#11 Narps

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Posted 04 April 2015 - 02:45 PM

View PostLucas, on 04 April 2015 - 02:39 PM, said:

Aikenrooster, thank you for your post - I am sorry to hear about the recent loss in your life ...

My dear sister recently passed very sudden and unexpectedly - my best wishes to you and your family
Sorry to hear about your sister Lucas... :( :rose:

#12 Tony R

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Posted 04 April 2015 - 03:05 PM

View Postlaughedatbytime, on 04 April 2015 - 07:57 AM, said:

View PostAikenrooster, on 04 April 2015 - 07:47 AM, said:

I don't think I heard a single line in the story where he took the time to help someone.  Yes, he gave some $ to some street people, but I'm talking about helping someone with mechanical issues or help someone with some errands, like people were always helping him.  It was/is amazing how everyone seems to be at his beck and call all the time.  I remember a guy that I used to work with often say, arrogantly, "I've got no use for him," and this describes NEP, at least in this book.
Is this the man who said "it is impossible to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ and be a Republican.   It's absolutely philosophically opposed...if I'm going to meet Jesus or Allah or Buddha, I'm going to be all right."?

I wonder what TonyR, who said that Rand's hypocritical behavior nullified her philosophy, and has extolled this quote despite the fact that it completely ignores the difference between private charity and public compulsion, has to say about this...
Why are you interested in my opinion? Trust your own.


#13 laughedatbytime

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Posted 04 April 2015 - 03:08 PM

View PostTony R, on 04 April 2015 - 03:05 PM, said:

View Postlaughedatbytime, on 04 April 2015 - 07:57 AM, said:

View PostAikenrooster, on 04 April 2015 - 07:47 AM, said:

I don't think I heard a single line in the story where he took the time to help someone.  Yes, he gave some $ to some street people, but I'm talking about helping someone with mechanical issues or help someone with some errands, like people were always helping him.  It was/is amazing how everyone seems to be at his beck and call all the time.  I remember a guy that I used to work with often say, arrogantly, "I've got no use for him," and this describes NEP, at least in this book.
Is this the man who said "it is impossible to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ and be a Republican.   It's absolutely philosophically opposed...if I'm going to meet Jesus or Allah or Buddha, I'm going to be all right."?

I wonder what TonyR, who said that Rand's hypocritical behavior nullified her philosophy, and has extolled this quote despite the fact that it completely ignores the difference between private charity and public compulsion, has to say about this...
Why are you interested in my opinion? Trust your own.
It's always fascinating to see how interested in intellectual consistency others are.

#14 Aikenrooster

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Posted 04 April 2015 - 03:09 PM

View PostLucas, on 04 April 2015 - 02:39 PM, said:

Aikenrooster, thank you for your post - I am sorry to hear about the recent loss in your life ...

My dear sister recently passed very sudden and unexpectedly - my best wishes to you and your family
That sucks.  I can now honestly say that I know what you're feeling.  I hope better days are ahead for you and your family.  Did you get to see your sister recently before she died?

#15 Lucas

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Posted 04 April 2015 - 03:30 PM

View PostAikenrooster, on 04 April 2015 - 03:09 PM, said:

View PostLucas, on 04 April 2015 - 02:39 PM, said:

Aikenrooster, thank you for your post - I am sorry to hear about the recent loss in your life ...

My dear sister recently passed very sudden and unexpectedly - my best wishes to you and your family
That sucks.  I can now honestly say that I know what you're feeling.  I hope better days are ahead for you and your family.  Did you get to see your sister recently before she died?

Thanks Aiken ... yes, my sis and I were very close .... I am the middle of 3, and the three of us were basically inseparable, and had been since we were kids ....

The loss is really tough, compounded by the suddenness

But we take that and move forward - the inspiration and strength from her will be with me for the rest of my life - you can only try to become a bigger, better person from the experience

Again, my best to you and your family



#16 JohnRogers

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Posted 04 April 2015 - 04:46 PM

Deep thoughts and discussions in this thread, leave it to me to focus on the trivial. The USA is always some where at the top of modern fat people lists. Perhaps the Canadians and Mexicans are NOT the fat bastards the Americans are?

#17 laughedatbytime

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Posted 04 April 2015 - 05:20 PM

View PostJohnRogers, on 04 April 2015 - 04:46 PM, said:

Deep thoughts and discussions in this thread, leave it to me to focus on the trivial. The USA is always some where at the top of modern fat people lists. Perhaps the Canadians and Mexicans are NOT the fat bastards the Americans are?

Nope.

"In 2008, a large proportion of Canadian adults were measured as overweight (37%) or obese (25%), and 36% were of normal weight."

"With a 32.8 percent adult obesity rate, Mexico just inches past the 31.8 percent obesity rate in the United States, according to a study released last month by the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization."

from a Google search

Edited by laughedatbytime, 04 April 2015 - 05:20 PM.


#18 EagleMoon

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Posted 04 April 2015 - 05:28 PM

View Postlaughedatbytime, on 04 April 2015 - 05:20 PM, said:

View PostJohnRogers, on 04 April 2015 - 04:46 PM, said:

Deep thoughts and discussions in this thread, leave it to me to focus on the trivial. The USA is always some where at the top of modern fat people lists. Perhaps the Canadians and Mexicans are NOT the fat bastards the Americans are?

Nope.

"In 2008, a large proportion of Canadian adults were measured as overweight (37%) or obese (25%), and 36% were of normal weight."

"With a 32.8 percent adult obesity rate, Mexico just inches past the 31.8 percent obesity rate in the United States, according to a study released last month by the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization."

from a Google search

Was the quote from the book mentioned? I'd like to know exactly what he said.  I read the book several years ago after my mother passed away and it was helpful to me because I could identify with a lot of what he was feeling. I don't know why people rag on Neil so much. He's just a regular guy. It's like people expect him to be perfect when there is no such thing.

#19 Aikenrooster

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Posted 04 April 2015 - 05:34 PM

View PostEagleMoon, on 04 April 2015 - 05:28 PM, said:

View Postlaughedatbytime, on 04 April 2015 - 05:20 PM, said:

View PostJohnRogers, on 04 April 2015 - 04:46 PM, said:

Deep thoughts and discussions in this thread, leave it to me to focus on the trivial. The USA is always some where at the top of modern fat people lists. Perhaps the Canadians and Mexicans are NOT the fat bastards the Americans are?

Nope.

"In 2008, a large proportion of Canadian adults were measured as overweight (37%) or obese (25%), and 36% were of normal weight."

"With a 32.8 percent adult obesity rate, Mexico just inches past the 31.8 percent obesity rate in the United States, according to a study released last month by the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization."

from a Google search

Was the quote from the book mentioned? I'd like to know exactly what he said.  I read the book several years ago after my mother passed away and it was helpful to me because I could identify with a lot of what he was feeling. I don't know why people rag on Neil so much. He's just a regular guy. It's like people expect him to be perfect when there is no such thing.
He complained about the fat people at the casinos in Nevada, the trailer trash in Idaho, the fat people in RVs at the National Parks, who would just drive to the scenic overlooks, and said the border patrol guy in Idaho was a Nazi.

Listen to what I'm saying:  he had troubles in Canada and Mexico, too, but he never really called the denizens of those countries names.  That's the point I'm trying to make.  I know it's a bit nit picky, but there is a difference.

#20 laughedatbytime

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Posted 04 April 2015 - 05:40 PM

View PostAikenrooster, on 04 April 2015 - 05:34 PM, said:

View PostEagleMoon, on 04 April 2015 - 05:28 PM, said:

View Postlaughedatbytime, on 04 April 2015 - 05:20 PM, said:

View PostJohnRogers, on 04 April 2015 - 04:46 PM, said:

Deep thoughts and discussions in this thread, leave it to me to focus on the trivial. The USA is always some where at the top of modern fat people lists. Perhaps the Canadians and Mexicans are NOT the fat bastards the Americans are?

Nope.

"In 2008, a large proportion of Canadian adults were measured as overweight (37%) or obese (25%), and 36% were of normal weight."

"With a 32.8 percent adult obesity rate, Mexico just inches past the 31.8 percent obesity rate in the United States, according to a study released last month by the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization."

from a Google search

Was the quote from the book mentioned? I'd like to know exactly what he said.  I read the book several years ago after my mother passed away and it was helpful to me because I could identify with a lot of what he was feeling. I don't know why people rag on Neil so much. He's just a regular guy. It's like people expect him to be perfect when there is no such thing.
He complained about the fat people at the casinos in Nevada, the trailer trash in Idaho, the fat people in RVs at the National Parks, who would just drive to the scenic overlooks, and said the border patrol guy in Idaho was a Nazi.

Listen to what I'm saying:  he had troubles in Canada and Mexico, too, but he never really called the denizens of those countries names.  That's the point I'm trying to make.  I know it's a bit nit picky, but there is a difference.
EM is right, there is no one that's perfect.    Maybe there's a lesson Neil could take from the Bible :o though about not judging lest ye be judged; there's no purpose for these kind of comments.   Then again judging from some of his other comments about Christianity, it's pretty clear he doesn't understand other things from there either.




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