Saturday, September 05, 2009

"Fell down on my knees... YOU CAN RUN, YOU CAN RUN..."

Cross Road Blues. [God. Damn.]

Probably my favorite Robert Johnson song...

This remains, the JAM.

My own personal High School/College Soundtrack... [okay, this could be my favorite RJ song...]

If Robert Johnson sold his soul at the Crossroads, Big Bill Broonzy was right behind...

YouTube - Big Bill Broonzy-Baby Please Don't Go

"I'm completely irrational, I'm unrealistic... - I'm an American."

Name is kinda dumb, I'll admit, but the music is old school gritty brilliant. Lethal produces the hell outta the tracks... Everlast brings it...

La Coka Nostra - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
"La Coka Nostra (short LCN) is an American Hip Hop supergroup, comprised of Everlast, DJ Lethal, Danny Boy, Ill Bill and Slaine.

Founded in late 2005 with no intention to record an album, La Coka Nostra was more a loose collective of artists connected through Danny Boy than a group. Having taken time off from rap after the break-up of House of Pain, Danny Boy took to working in video production and fashion as well as mentoring other artists... "

Friday, September 04, 2009

Like looking into a mirror...

Interview with author of Introvert Power - Boing Boing:
"Helgoe says while 57% of Americans identify themselves as introverts, most of them pretend to be extroverts because the culture in the United States frowns on introverts...'
I am very troubled by the tendency to define introverts by what they lack. Introversion is a preference, not a fallback plan. Introverts like being introverts. We are drawn to ideas, we are passionate observers, and for us, solitude is rich and generative.'"

Police shoot unarmed man, in the back, in court.

Seriously. Via The Agitator.

Fire chief shot by cop in Ark. court over tickets - Yahoo! News:
"It was just too much, having to return to court twice on the same day to contest yet another traffic ticket, and Fire Chief Don Payne didn't hesitate to tell the judge what he thought of the police and their speed traps.

The response from cops? They shot him. Right there in court.

Payne ended up in the hospital, but his shooting last week brought to a boil simmering tensions between residents of this te iny former cotton city and their police force. Drivers quickly learn to slow to a crawl along the gravel roads and the two-lane highway that run through Jericho, but they say sometimes that isn't enough to fend off the city ticketing machine.

"You can't even get them to answer a call because normally they're writing tickets," said Thomas Martin, chief investigator for the Crittenden County Sheriff's Department. "They're not providing a service to the citizens."

Now the police chief has disbanded his force "until things calm down," a judge has voided all outstanding police-issued citations and sheriff's deputies are asking where all the money from the tickets went. With 174 residents, the city can keep seven police officers on its rolls but missed payments on police and fire department vehicles and saw its last business close its doors a few weeks ago.

"You can't even buy a loaf of bread, but we've got seven police officers," said former resident Larry Harris, who left town because he said the police harassment became unbearable..."

Hip Hop Fix.

Kanye rips the guest spot.

All Star Collabo. [Em brings it.]


Thursday, September 03, 2009

Imposition of Order = Escalation of Chaos.

Well played.

texts from last night:
"(214): Friends are holding an intervention and have no idea this gatorade is half vodka. This is gonna be the best intervention ever."

The hate is good and pure.

Facebook updates too.

Short ‘n Curlies #9 by Si Spurrier | Bleeding Cool Comic News & Rumors:

Vaccum Twittering.

We all know someone who does it. You’ve got 140 characters to express yourself in an interesting, friendly, conversational or at the very least Spleen-Venting way, and what do these Swampfuckers do? They say “So Annoyed About This.” They say “Yay! So Happy about Something!” They say “Oh Wow! Didn’t Expect That!”

By running this bumsoup through a CUNT TRANSLATOR I have scientifically established that the intended message, in every case, looks like this: “OH GOD PLEASE VALIDATE ME, ASK ME TO ELABORATE, GIVE ME LICENSE TO SELF-OBSESS!”

These empty-souled Insecurity Traps can at least be ignored, and if you’re stupid enough to indulge one with a reply there’s nobody to blame but yourself."

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Hitler/Downfall/Marvel/Disney = Genius.

YouTube - Hitler is Pissed about Disney Buying Marvel

George Carlin shows you How To Handle A Heckler.

YouTube - George Carlin - How To Handle A Heckler


YouTube - Bill Hicks: "I'M SO GLAD WE ARE FREE"

"Why is marijuana against the law? It grows naturally upon our planet... How do you make nature against the law?"

"Now I have to create Republicans."
YouTube - Drugs - Bill Hicks, Revelations

Pretty much the definition of awesome.

One year walk/beard grow time lapse video - Boing Boing:
"Christoph Rehage spent a year walking across China. On his way, he took photos of his face every day and made this time-lapse video.

The Longest Way 1.0 - one year walk/beard grow time lapse from Christoph Rehage on Vimeo.

These kind of videos have been around for a long time, but Rehage's is the best I've seen, because of the interesting backgrounds and the way he integrates bits of moving video with the still images."

There's some truth here...

texts from last night:
"(706): well, atleast the road to alcoholism is fun."

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

And now I agree with George Will.

It's the end times, I swear to god.

Hit & Run > Obama's Afghanistan Problem - Reason Magazine:
"In his latest Washington Post column, George Will says it's time to reassess America's war in Afghanistan, arguing that "forces should be substantially reduced to serve a comprehensively revised policy: America should do only what can be done from offshore, using intelligence, drones, cruise missiles, airstrikes and small, potent Special Forces units, concentrating on the porous 1,500-mile border with Pakistan, a nation that actually matters.""

I can feel my rationalizing muscles firing up as we speak.

Hit & Run; Drink Yourself Fit - Reason Magazine:
"...a new study, based on data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, finds that drinkers are more likely to exercise than teetotalers are. And the more they drink, the more exercise they get..."

I'm on the side of the tobacco companies?

I'd say it comes from being raised in NC, but it really doesn't... it comes down, I think, to two things...

One - Nobody makes you smoke. Just like nobody forces you to drink or shoves crappy food down your throat. You do those things. Making someone else abridge their right to speech - yes, even, gag, corporate speech - because you can't be bothered to be accountable for your own choices equals fail #1.

Two - All these rules and regs postulate the fact that people are too stupid to make good decisions for themselves and need government to protect them from evil corporations. While that appeals to my inner elitist [who is much, much smarter than the average person, btw] it's a false dichotomy. A flawed dualism of good guys and bad guys that ultimately is psychologically crippling and gets people in a helpless mindset where they need to be protected.

I think I'm pretty much going to be against any effort to NERF the harsh edges of the world in order to protect people from themselves. Let it all fly and let the chips fall where they may.

Hit & Run; New Tobacco Advertising Limits Challenged in Federal Court - Reason Magazine:
"In June I predicted that the advertising restrictions imposed by the law that authorizes the FDA to regulate tobacco products will be overturned on First Amendment grounds. Yesterday R.J. Reynolds and several other tobacco companies filed a federal lawsuit that challenges the new rules, which include bans on tobacco-brand sponsorship of sporting or entertainment events, on outdoor advertising within 1,000 feet of a school or playground, and on the use of color or pictures in outdoor ads, indoor ads (except those in adult-only businesses), and print ads carried by publications with significant underage readerships. The suit also challenges the new, larger warning labels (which will cover the top half of the front and back on each package), arguing that they will leave too little space for manufacturers' speech, and the prohibition against discussing the relative risks of different tobacco products without the FDA's permission."
I leave you with the master, Bill Hicks -
They proved that if you quit smoking, it will prolong your life. What they haven't proved is that a prolonged life is a good thing. I haven't seen the stats on that yet.

How much do you smoke, sir? Two packs a day, is that right? Pussy. I go through two lighters a day. That's right, two lighters! You're a health nut compared to me. You're like the Jack LaLanne of smokers compared to me.

See, I know you entertain some kind of eternal life fantasy because you've chosen not to smoke; let me be the first to pop that fucking bubble and send you hurtling back to reality – because you're dead too. And you know what doctors say: "Shit, if only you'd smoked, we'd have the technology to help you. It's you people dying from nothing who are screwed."

Understanding the "Big 3" religions.

"Why We Love MMA" - Outstanding HL.

Via Fightlinker - MMA, UFC, and other funny fight crap


Via Balloon Juice » Blog Archive » Damned Busybodies

Monday, August 31, 2009

Decisions, sacrifice and conversation winners.

texts from last night:
"(612): Just sold all of my pants in order to buy tonight's whiskey. Goodbye, high functioning alcoholism. Hello, Dad."
Overheard in New York | ...So Go Ahead and Make Your "Hardwood" Jokes:
"Slick guy: So, do the curtains match the carpet?
Hot bleached blonde: There is no carpet.
Slick guy: Oh.

--Starbucks, Times Square"

Watched - 8/13 to 31st.

You know who knows how to party? Amish teenagers, apparently. This documentary was a trip. Devil's Playground (film) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
"Devil's Playground is a 2002 documentary film by Stick Figure Productions, directed by Lucy Walker about the alleged Amish rite of passage called Rumspringa. The film follows Amish teenagers in LaGrange County, Indiana who enter the 'English World' and experiment with illegal drugs, drinking, partying, and pre-marital sex. After a certain amount of time, the teenagers are expected to either become baptised as adults in the Amish community, or permanently leave the church and be forever shunned by their families and friends."
Also, religion is fucking poison.

Regularly watched stuff - UFC 101, True Blood, Colbert Report, Robot Chicken, Eureka [great series, but a clip show? Really? Sigh...]

Crazy Rulers of the World - Jon Ronson/BBC documentary series based on his book. Inspiration for the forthcoming George Clooney flick. Hard to believe in conspiracy theories when folks are clearly batshit insane.

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. A lot of folks talked bad about the flick... I enjoyed it. At least up there with Temple of Doom. Fun movie.

Fat Head - genius documentary. Effective rebuttal to Super Size Me, the lipid hypothesis, modern diet and general governmental and people stupidities...

Barbarians at the Gate - 80s documentary on big business and leveraged buyouts. Duplicities in the finance industry seems timely. And James Garner rocks.

First season of Leverage on DVD - man this is good TV. Witty, well written, funny, expertly acted, nice plotting. I love a good con/caper show. Kind of like a dysfunctional 20th century A-Team. The DVD commentaries are pretty damn fun as well.

Leverage, season 2, is kicking so much ass as well. The Two Live Crew Job, in particular, last week, was really, really good.

This song, "Not Sure Yet" by Andy Lange was in the season premiere. Great song. I picked up mine on eMusic.

WEC - but only the Torres/Bowles fight. Bowles is damned impressive.

Chris Rock - Never Scared and Big Ass Jokes. Picked up the DVD for cheap on vacation. Chris Rock is one of the funniest comedians working - period.
Chris Rock: White people sell guns, that's all right. Black rapper *says*, "Guns," congressional hearing!

Chris Rock
: You know what's fucked up? Every year Tupac comes back from the dead, records a new album with clues in it - every record got a clue, if you listen real hard.
Chris Rock: 'A brother in red shot me dead - ' 'Right there! Track four! 'Pac is tryin' to tell us something! Listen again!'
Chris Rock: 'There was a nigga named Kevin with a Mac-eleven - ' 'Right there! 'Pac is reachin' out to us! *Listen!*'

Chris Rock: You know 'the stripper myth.' The stripper myth is: 'I'm stripping to pay my tuition.' No you're not! There's no strippers in college! There's no clear heels in biology! Shit, I didn't know they had a college that only took one-dollar bills. If they've got so many strippers in college, how come I never got a smart lap dance? I never got a girl that sat on my lap and said 'if I was you, I would diversify my portfolio. You know, ever since the end of the Cold War, I find NATO obsolete.' I haven't met her yet. If I do, she's gonna get a big tip.
Better Off Ted - an entertainingly funny, quirky show. Glad it got picked up for another season.

I Want to Look Like That Guy - documentary on one man's quest to look like the bodybuilders/fitness models in the magazines. I find that kind of thing kind of fascinating. Well done and executed piece of filmmaking.

Tiki Bar TV, Seasons 3&4 DVDs. Funny stuff.

Spring Breakdown - wow, did I really dislike this movie. Thought I'd dig it, Parker Posey, SNL alum, Amy Poehler. All signs pointed to entertaining. But no, nonsense. See, the lesson learned from this movie is that if you're attractive, or popular, or like to drink, or enjoy sex, that means you're really shallow and self serving. And if you're a social dweeb, who has no people skills and heaven forfend you take a sip of the devil's brew or like sex, then you're really a salt of the earth person who's so much better than everyone else. Boo. Bah. Crap.

Strikeforce - The Carano/Cyborg fight was entertaining.

The Closer - I have to tell you, Brenda Leigh Johnson is about the most unlikable character on TV for me. It says something that she performs the role so well, but she's dishonest, lying, manipulative, self involved, obtuse and tunnel visioned at the same time. And it's all excused because supposedly it's done for the "greater good." Nonsense. I swear, the show is really well crafted, but I hate that character. Abuse of authority written as the hero. Boo.

Daily Show - best part of the week - FOX becomes the new liberals
The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Fox News: The New Liberals
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorHealthcare Protests

Dr Who Seasons 1 &2. Never watched Dr Who, despite my years of geekdom, but given I really enjoyed Torchwood: Children of the Earth I thought I'd check them out. They really are some enjoyable TV. Not that I want to go back and watch 30 years of it, but the first two seasons of the new stuff is really quite good. Both Chris Eccleston and David Tennant give really enjoyable performances.

Legion of Superheroes, Season 1. For cheap on vacation I picked these up. Good DC Universe animation. Really annoying they haven't done full season DVDs or set up the DVDs for season 2. Boo on that.

As smart and concise a plan as you can find...

More at the link. His series on Paleo Diet mistakes is excellent as well.

Primal Wisdom: Hard Losers: Ten reasons you can’t lose fat:
"Ten reasons you “hard losers” can’t lose weight:

1. Cutting calories: Cutting calories slows your metabolism.
2. Doing lots of “aerobic” activity: Endurance activity reduces muscle mass, slowing metabolism, and makes you hungry, so you eat more.
3. Cutting fat: Cutting fat means eating more carbohydrate; more carbohydrate increases insulin, the hormone that stores fat and stops fat burning.
4. Eating low fat foods: Low fat foods are high in carbohydrates; high carbohydrate foods raise insulin levels, which stores fat and stops fat burning.
5. No strength training: Your muscles are your metabolism; if you don’t train for strength you lose muscle, your metabolism slows down, and you look like a jellyfish.
6. Eat too often (more than 3 times a day): The more often you eat, the more often you secret insulin.
7. Ineffective strength training: Using single joint exercises instead of multi-joint exercises squats, pulldowns, chin ups, dips, chest presses, etc.
8. Inconsistency: not sticking to a plan for more than a few days.
9. Limiting beliefs: You belief you have “fat genes” and will always be fat because it runs in your family.
10. No confidence: You don’t believe, you don’t achieve.

How to lose fat for hard losers

1. Set a goal weight and body fat percentage: About 10% body fat for men, about 20% for women.
2. Cut carbohydrates: Grains, potatoes, dried fruits, sugar, honey, sweets, pasta, bread, etc. – these all stimulate insulin release. Get rid of them.
3. Eat no more than 75g carbohydrate daily: Use only non-starchy vegetables and 1-2 servings of low sugar fruits daily.
4. Eat meat: Especially red meat; eat fattiest portion first, leanest last, eat until satisfied, 12-24 ounce daily for women, 16-32 ounces daily for men.
5. Eat saturated fats: Any natural animal fat or coconut oil. Butter, cream, and coconut oil all contain short chain fats that can increase metabolic rate.
6. No vegetable oils: Except coconut or olive oil. Vegetable oils suppress thyroid and promote heart disease and cancer.
7. Stop aerobics: Walk for recreation, but don’t slave at boring activities hoping to burn calories – it doesn’t work.
8. Strength training: Get stronger on multi-joint exercises like squats, leg presses, deadlifts, bench press, chin ups or pulldowns by training each exercise only once or twice weekly with proper form and appropriate resistance.
9. East less often: 2-3 meals daily.
10. Fast: 16-20 hours daily and/or 24 hours twice weekly.
11. Be consistent: Stick to the plan 95% of the time. If you fall down, get up again. Once slip won’t destroy your progress.
12. Conceive: Create an image of yourself at the body composition you desire; burn this image in your consciousness.
13. Believe: You can do it.

Best foods to lose fat:

1. Red meat with natural fat: Beef, buffalo/bison, lamb
2. Fish, poultry, eggs: Salmon, trout, etc.; chicken, turkey, duck, etc.
3. Butter, cream, coconut oil, coconut milk: Make food delicious and satisfying, don’t stimulate insulin, may raise metabolic rate.
4. Non-starchy vegetables: Greens, onions, roots, etc., low in carbohydrate.
5. Low sugar fruits and berries: Blueberries, strawberries, cherries, etc. in moderation..."

Sugar/Fructose/HFCS is Poison.

At nearly 90m, I figured I'd load this up and listen as I do a million and one other things, as I usually do with 'net video. Had to stop after about 5m, enlarge and then PAY ATTENTION. The presenter isn't the most dynamic person in the history of the world, and the biochem about an hour in is a little dense for a liberal arts major like myself, but this was a brilliant presentation, showing the hows and whys, both scientific and political [we can blame Nixon a LOT, apparently] of why the obesity epidemic and metabolic syndrome are rampant. If you've any interest at all in health, fitness, diet, or why we have 6 month old children labeled as obese, then watch this. At the very least, the first 45m are highly illuminating. [But the whole thing is fairly genius.]

Fat Head » Weekend Bonus: Sugar Is Poison:
"...In a nutshell, the doctor making the presentation explains how consuming fructose — which makes up about half of both sugar and HFCS – produces most of the same biochemical effects as drinking alcohol, minus the buzz. The takeaway: if you wouldn’t serve your kid a beer, don’t serve him a soda either.

He also gives a nice wrap-up of what’s wrong with the Lipid Hypothesis and the current advice to eat high-carb and low-fat. Enjoy."
The summary, if you can read my crappy screen cap.

One bit that was interesting to hear, thought I'd heard similar before, as it relates to cholesterol, HDL and LDL. The ratios are far more important than the numbers. And since I just had a bunch of blood work done when I was home on summer vacation, I rain my #s through the formulas. Total Cholesterol 207, HDL 70 and Triglycerides 60.

Better Know Your Triglyceride/HDL Ratio if You Want to Prevent a Heart Attack:
"...Therefore, in adults, the HDL-'good' cholesterol/total cholesterol ratio should be higher than 0.24 (just divide your HDL level by your cholesterol).

Or more precisely, the HDL/total cholesterol ratio:

# 0.24 or higher is considered ideal
# under 0.24 - low
# less than 0.10 - very dangerous.

Generally speaking, the higher the ratio, the better (the lower your risk of a heart attack)..."
Mine is .338, so I rock, apparently.
" adults, the triglyceride/HDL-'good' cholesterol ratio should be below 2 (just divide your triglycerides level by your HDL).

Or more precisely, the triglyceride/HDL ratio:

# 2 or less is considered ideal
# 4 - high
# 6 - much too high

And, since HDL (high density lipoprotein) is protective against heart disease, the lower the ratio, the better.

...The ratio of triglycerides to HDL was the strongest predictor of a heart attack, even more accurate than the LDL/HDL ratio...""

Mine is .857, so I continue my rocking-ness.

You know, the only thing I worry about a little bit is my glucose/sugar at 99, which is at the very high end of normal, and in the age of Type II Diabetes, I'd like that to be lower...

Classic, indeed.

Our Favorite Montages: Rocky IV - Cinematical:
"Naturally, when asked to pick a favorite montage I had to be painfully obvious and choose Rocky IV... in Hollywood's version of the Cold War, where it was better to be dead than red, and nuclear war was just five minutes away unless Stallone or Schwarzenegger stepped in.

...That's why I dig the Rocky IV montage. It's steeped in images of what America firmly believed the Soviet Union to be -- a country of superior technology and gigantic athletes that could totally crush us. This is the stuff of my Reagan era childhood, when my teachers told us we would inevitably fall to the hammer and sickle because the Soviets were just so relentlessly ruthless and badass. No one captures this better than Ivan Drago. To gaze on him is to look into Reagan's fear of the Evil Empire..."


Way cooler than I'd thought.


Slide Dog!

Japan wins the cuteness wars. Always.

Slide Dog | Japan Probe:
"Meet Meru, a French bulldog in Hiroshima that loves slides"

It's important to have philosophies and priorities.

What I've Read - comics, the JET Journal, adventures in martial arts.

This year's 2009 JET Journal - like any anthology, hit and miss. Some well written essays in this volume though. I particularly liked "Unexpected Encounters" by Kelly Franquemont and “A Bridge and a Window” by Hiten Vaghmaria. [The texts of which you can dl/read at the link. Or search Google and a cached Google Docs version pops right up...]

Valediction and A Catskill Eagle, the next two Robert B. Parker novels in the Spenser series I'm now hopelessly addicted to. Entertaining. Catskill Eagle reads like the end of an arc, character development and story wise. And of the two I probably enjoyed that one a little more. But both were bang on good reads. Great characters and character beats, wry humor, tight plotting. Be interesting to see where it goes from here.

Valediction - "So when a religious sect kidnaps a pretty young dancer, no death threat can make Spenser cut and run. Now a hit man's bullet is wearing Spenser's name. But Boston's big boys don't know Spenser's ready and willing to meet death more than halfway."

A Catskill Eagle - "Spenser's girlfriend Susan goes away with another man, Jerry Costigan, the son of a very rich and dangerous criminal. Spenser and his friend, Hawk, go to find Susan. Soon they are in the world of the CIA, guns and murder."

Comics wise I picked up a couple GN/TPBs - Villains United and Birds of Prey Vol 7: Dead of Winter. Both written by the talented Gail Simone and with art by Dale Eaglesham and Nicola Scott, respectively - who are both really gifted as well. Ostensibly Villains United was a Countdown to Infinite Crisis tie-in and Birds of Prey was the Oracle, Black Canary, Huntress [+ many, many others] team book, but the thing that sells both of these is, really, The Secret Six.

Years and years ago The Secret Six was a group of operatives blackmailed into service by a mystery character - Mockingbird. This latest version, the team is comprised of supervillains of the DC Universe, first blackmailed into service, but later sticking together [with various roster changes] on their own. Simone writes them all as clever, witty, dysfunctional bad guys and anti-heroes. All with their own senses of dubious morality and codes of honor, trying to find a place in the world and kind of with each other, where the standard definitions of good guys and bad guys doesn't quite apply. The current title is easily one of my favorite. Like a comic book Dirty Dozen, except you know, half that. And in spandex. But anyways, these two books kick all kinds of ass. As does Secret Six: Six Degrees of Devastation, a collection of the follow up miniseries and the upcoming Secret Six: Unhinged, the first collection of the ongoing book.

Me, Chi and Bruce Lee: Adventures in Martial Arts from the Shaolin Temple to the Ultimate Fighting Championship, by Brian Preston. I sooooo wanted to like this book. I love these first person accounts of wandering through the martial arts - American Shaolin and A Fighter's Heart are two of the more recent, really enjoyable and well written examples that come to mind. And Preston's writing style is witty, self-deprecating and crafted pretty well. I mean, he does tell a good story. So what didn't I like about it?

First, and this is the same problem I had with Angry White Pyjamas years ago - is that he gets stuff WRONG. Not in the "his opinion is different than mine" way [but more on that later] but just flat out, factually wrong. Which in the age of Internet, means you're either sloppy, lazy or lying. None of which bode well for anything at all you have to say. Some of the obvious ones I happened to dog ear - he talks about "Victor Balfour" fighting Tito Ortiz in the UFC. No, that's Vitor Belfort. "The Japanese martial artist Kimo and Royce [Gracie] fought a legendary bout... ended when Royce suffered a broken foot." Kimo is Hawaiian. The bout ended when Royce submitted Kimo by armbar. Even in little things, like the plane ride to China and the in-flight movie [Mr & Mrs Smith] he gets the details wrong. And he repeats without question, pretty much as truth, a bunch of the standard historical martial arts myths... about the founding of BJJ by the Gracies, about Jigoro Kano's development of Judo, a wealth of Kung Fu mythology... all without subjecting any of it to any kind of critical analysis.

I'd be hard pressed to say he's gullible, but he certainly lacks a certain awareness. And the people who he seeks advice and opinion from... some of these folks are just idiots. Here's a hint, if you ask somebody the question "How do you think your Master Don would fare against someone like Royce Gracie?" and the response is "There are nine levels to martial arts knowledge... World champion kickboxers get stuck at three..." Yeah, that person has issues.

Imaginary classification systems, talking about needing "a black belt to enter Shaolin" [black belts are Japanese, first used in Judo...] all this theorizing about martial arts - "Well, see here you do a percussive chest strike to defeat the mount..." instead of DOING martial arts.


It's one of the things that you'd have figured the UFC and MMA would have put an end to. All these armchair martial artists talking about HOW they'd defeat attacks or fighters without ever sparring and DOING it. Everyone who talked about how they'd never get taken down because of how they'd stop a wrestler with their powerful whipping crane technique or they'd "simply" side kick and take out a knee before they ever got into range. Royce Gracie put an end to that nonsense on the world stage in UFC 1 in 1993. Judoka and wrestlers were doing the same to boxers and other traditional martial artists before that - Judo Gene Lebell, the Gracies in Brazil, the old time wrestlers.... That people still maintain and sustain these self delusions is just sad, and does a huge disservice to actual combat sports.

And that's the other thing, despite spending a good amount of time with Jeff Monson, and giving him more than a fair shake and decent write up, the vast majority of his talking about the UFC and MMA in the book is of the typically uneducated "bloodsport" variety, denigrating the fans as well by painting them all as gel haired guidos on steroids. He gives more page space and commentary to a first time visitor to an event with a free-comped ticket, hitting all the same tired "brutality" arguments and basically calling the fighters stupid - the "sharp minded," "disdainful" "cynic" - [on the fighters] - "No loss. Not exactly a Mensa meeting going on down there."

Really? Out of all the people you could talk to, you give page space to this knucklehead?

The other thing that bugs me about the book is just the general path the author follows. From Kung Fu in the States to China, back to the US and dipping his toes into more internal styles.

Here's the thing. Internal styles of martial arts are good. They have their place, to be sure. And I've seen a couple internal folks do things that didn't make a whole lot of physical sense. Generate power and force that you wouldn't expect. And whether that's "chi" or incredibly effective biomechanics, who knows?

But. There's this variety of martial practitioner who ends up doing the internal stuff because in an external style or a combat sport, it's like, golly... really hard! And there's punches and discomfort and effort and stuff! And these are the same windbags who'll go on and on about how, in theory, their floating lotus palm death strike would stop all that wrestling and kickboxing stuff.

These people are what we call ASSHOLES.

And whether they are perpetuating this nonsense to salve their own ego or they really believe it, it's still nonsense. There's a bit in the book where one guy is going on about how if they could get a hold of an 18 year old interested in the UFC and then train them internal style for 5-10 years, they'd mop up the floor with all the other UFC fighters... Really? I mean, REALLLLLLY? Take Randy Couture, he's almost mid-40s, and while certainly the exception rather than the rule, you're going to tell me there's not ONE internal martial artist in his late 20s or early 30s who's ready to go clean house? I call BULLSHIT.

Internal martial arts are fascinating - in fact the Baguazhang circle walking described in the book sounds really, really awesome and intriguing... and maybe, at the higher levels or after years of practice of one of these internal styles you can actually fight with it.

But it's called MARTIAL arts. It's right there. It's the first word! If you can't use it in fighting, then what you're doing isn't martial arts. It's maybe a moving meditation, or dance, or yoga or exercise. But the art part of martial arts is the ability to fight with it. The art of executing a good punch or kick is the effectiveness of that punch or kick. A good punch, an artistic punch, is one that works! Effectiveness is the measure of artistry and success. The art part of it isn't quoting pithy Eastern sounding aphorisms while waving your arms and legs around.

Anyways, I can't really recommend the book, as I spent more time frustrated with it than enjoying it. But it is skillfully written and funny. Just kind of sloppy, lazy, and, well... wrong.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Though in hindsight...

...having blown the last hour of my day [yay, last day of summer vacation! Kids back tomorrow...] over on FML, if you want to feel better about your OWN life, or just need a pick me up, you can get on board with that by reading and realizing just how screwed up other people are. Dysfunctional, yet helpful.
"Today, I went to the movies with the girl I liked. She kept on eating my popcorn so I whispered in her ear "Pretty soon your going to have to repay me with kisses." Then she looked at me and walked out the theatre. She came back with a bucket of popcorn and said "Here, you're repaid." FML

Today, I had my sweet sixteen party. All my best friends came to the microphone to make a little speech. When my boyfriend came to do his, he broke up with me. FML

Today, my 14 year old daughter told me she's pregnant. I work as a public speaker for promoting celibacy and safe sex. FML

Today, I saw my ex-boyfriend at the mall, kissing another man. His partner got up and went to the bathroom, so I went up to my ex. I told him I didn't know he was gay, and he just smiled politely. Then his partner came out and I recognized him as my current boyfriend. FML

Today, my husband and I were having sex, and just as I was about to finish he screamed, "Oh shit! It's 4:15, my strawberries are gonna whither!!!!" and then jumped off me and went to check on his farm on FarmVille. An imaginary farm, on Facebook. FML

Today, I needed new business cards so I went to design and print some. After I designed, I was happy with them and printed off 100 copies. I live at a place called Canal Rocks. I forgot the 'C'. I now have 76 business cards which say 'anal rocks.' I already distributed 24. FML

"texts from last night" = Internets Comedy Gold.

Updated more often than Fail Blog, more succinct than Overheard in the Office, and never devolves into the whiny self pitying of FML or PostSecret.

texts from last night:
"(410): I'm not ok right now. I just walked in on a 600lb woman passed out on the toilet and she walked out and tried to eat her cell phone. I'm on acid I think."

texts from last night:
"(847): So they call this 'a walk of shame' but fuck that...this walk is fantastic. What kind of debbie downer came up with that name?"

texts from last night:
"(662): Buying beer for freshmen. No matter what they ask for, I'm getting them Colt 45."

I've done this, or close enough, leastways - texts from last night:
"(337): I found my laptop, credit card, and a bottle of Morgan all on the counter this morning. I'm scared to see what gets delivered to my house this week."

texts from last night:
"(214): Some 6 yr old girl just got on my plane in St. Louis. She was wearing an I Love Canada shirt. She eyed the seat next to me and I stared her straight in the eyes and shook my head. Fuck her. Fuck canada."

Interesting from a foreign policy perspective...

YouTube - Travel as a Political Act #8: How Others See Us

Look at me, all cultural and whatnot.

About 10 of my Jr High/Elementary school kids were in a ballet recital today so I went and checked it out. Didn't take a whole lot of pics, my seat was a bit back, but it was quite cool.
From 2009-08-30

From 2009-08-30

Ballet is interesting... I really don't have much affinity for the costumes or the kind of crazy stage make up, but the athleticism and aesthetics of it, the body control and conditioning, it's really pretty impressive. Very cool to watch.
From 2009-08-30

The littlelest ones... too adorable.
From 2009-08-30

From 2009-08-30

From 2009-08-30

From 2009-08-30