Monthly Archives: September 2003

15 minutes in the UK

I've been asked to forward this:

Hi there,

My name is Ben Whitford; I'm a journalist with the Observer in London.

We're planning a series of pieces on people's relationships with their body as part of a major new supplement. One aspect of this that we're keen to cover is body art and body modification. If you're from the UK and have any extreme body art or body modifications from tattoos to tongue-splitting - or are a body artist, I'd like to hear from you.

We're hoping to run a series of portraits by our professional photographers, along with brief interviews; if you'd be willing to participate in that, or to have a chat with me in confidence about your experiences with body modification and body art then please drop me a line with your contact details at b.whitford@fastmail.fm.

Regards,
Ben

WTF is wrong with Britney?

Yeah, here's some good advice for young people — “stop thinking”:


Honestly, I think we should just trust our President in every decision that he makes and we should just support that.

What are her initials again?

I can see clearly now…

Let's play conspiratorial for a moment — and given that we've all just watched a war be launched using the most obvious of lies, that doesn't seem like an unreasonable thing to do. I've been pointing out, as has the mainstream press, that the US simply doesn't have the troops to continue on this path. The walking corpses just aren't there to fill the body bags. Now, I've suggested that it may result in the return of the draft, but there might be another answer.

Let us suppose that the neo-con forces in the United States had this all planned from day one. They'd know that troop levels would soon become a major issue. If you know the draft isn't going to fly politically, and you don't want to create another 9/11 to “inspire” people, there is actually one other way to get people lining up to join a “volunteer” army:

TANK THE ECONOMY.

It's no secret that the US economy has fallen through the floor. Businesses are failing left and right, and more and more people are unemployed or shifted to part-time. Overtime and other worker's benefits are being eliminated to further damage the economic stability of the middle and lower classes, while at the same time instituting policies to strengthen the financial power of the upper classes.

The changes the neo-cons have made to the economy had obvious and predictable effects from day one — everyone knew that they'd cause these problems. Are you willing to believe that the people in power are really that stupid, or is there something larger afoot? Anyway, think about it… I want to remind you of the Sherlock Holmes quote,

"Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth."

Let's turn that around a little bit:

"Once you eliminate all the jobs, whatever remains, no matter how distasteful, must be the job taken."

If you needed to have a giant willing army, the best way to do so, especially when you have a culture that's increasingly anti-war and distrustful of the government is to shatter the economy and leave people no options but to sign up as walking targets — ever wonder why there are twice as many African Americans in the military as in the general population?

Pumping Iron


The big image update is in place, swelled to 2,512 images (thanks in part to a few people's very large updates; the leaderboard is fully up to date). Thank you to everyone who made it possible. Next update will probably be an experience update on Tuesday, although there will be a new column from Dustin posted tomorrow around noon with any luck.

…and then I'm off to a wedding where I'll be giving a tri-lingual speech (Gaelic, Hindi, and English) and be dressed up in a very cool wizard-like outfit (well, just Indian clothes; downplay it and it's a toga, upplay it and it's a wizard outfit… and I'm more of an “upplay” kind of guy) anyway, so keep your fingers crossed that I don't butcher it too badly and no calamities bar it.


So The Smoking Gun is running what I assume is an “Anti-Arnold” posting; basically an incredibly old interview with him from the early 1970s where he talks about to put it simply sex, drugs, and rock'n'roll. I guess some people figure this will tarnish him, but I think not honestly, reading this makes me like him more, or to put it another way, remember why I liked him in the first place (not that he's who I'd cast my vote for, but I think he's a lot more refreshing than he's being given credit for).

The article talks to a young Arnold, and more than the debaucherous lifestyle that everyone hip was living in those times, what really shines through to me is a kid that that's honest, in love with life, and more importantly in love with and in touch with The American Dream… To say they were friends would probably be an exaggeration, but my father was a body builder as well, and spent time working out with Arnold and always spoke incredibly highly of him it wasn't unusual to have “celebrities” friends about, but most were more along the lines of Ken Thompson, so for various obvious reasons Schwarzeneggar made a big impression on me. I think that, along with watching Easy Rider with my father went a long way to defining my romantic vision of America I know some ignorant people think I “hate America”, but the reason I get so upset about what's happing in the States is because I really believe in the things America should be.

In any case, there were some interesting quotes in the article that I hope someone reads and reminds Arnold of, lest he become “the Man” on the slim chance he's elected (which I doubt will happen).

OUI: Do you get freaked out by being in such close contact with men in the gym?

SCHWARZENEGGER: Not at all ... Men shouldn't feel like fags just because they want to have nice-looking bodies. Recently I posed for a gay magazine, which caused much comment. But it doesn't bother me. Gay people are fighting the same kind of stereotyping that bodybuilders are: People have certain misconceptions about them just as they do about us. I have absolutely no hang-ups about the fag business; though it may bother some bodybuilders, it doesn't affect me at all.

Minus the mangled slang making it sound a little off, I thought that was a pretty cool response… In a lot of interviews he's spoken out against stereotyping, and for individual expression. I wonder if he still does…? Anyway, he comments on drugs and alcohol as well:

Ninety-five percent of the people train [for] this health thing, and it's a different mentality entirely. As far as I'm concerned, it's bullshit; otherwise I wouldn't drink. I make my protein drink with whiskey. People think I'm crazy, but that's the way I am. I get stoned, I do my own thing. Grass and hash -- no hard drugs. But the point is I do what I feel like doing.

Of course, he's said he won't legalize pot (although he will support medical, which I guess in the US is still an edgy thing to say unfortunately). Some of his comments on the mind-body connection I thought were interesting in regards to suspension and ritual as well:

The mind-body connection is the same in sex as it is in training. If I tell myself to train the thighs, then the calves, it's boom, boom, mind-thighs, mind-calves, mind-this, mind-that. And it's the same with fucking -- mind-cock. You're in touch. You realize that you have a body. Ninety percent of the people, though, don't realize that there is anything below the head. They think the head is carried around by something very mysterious, and they're not aware that it's the body, something they should be in tune with.

There's one part of the interview that's very sad though; the very end… This was before he'd become an actor, and he says here that he understands that the worst thing that could happen to him is to be typecast as the “tough guy”. That he wanted to do sensitive roles, to break outside those boundaries. After this interview, he taught himself to play violin and so on, but was just never able to be taken seriously as who he really wanted to be…

Which is sad, because given how much he spoke about stereotyping, I'm sure it must have broken his heart, and I'm sure it still does.

all i wanna do is develop my herb in a real lab, and get some head while I'm doing it

Pictures from my life. Mouth of madness.

I was talking to a friend a night or two ago about money. I've had years where I've blown a quarter million dollars on nothing, and I've had years where I've been lucky to be able to afford food — thank god for having friends to crash with — I think now I have a happy medium… and you know what? Money means nothing. Don't fight for it; don't fight over it — it's just not worth it. Sure, it's nice and all, but it won't bring you anything of real value.

Happiness comes from your senses, not your wallet.