Wednesday, July 23, 2014

"And without understanding you cannot proceed."

You Can't Blame Americans for Not Feeling Exceptional - "There's something sweaty and desperate about a patriotism that cannot tolerate the diplomatic acknowledgment, on foreign soil, that other countries might have their own reasons for national pride. You'd think a great-souled nation could afford a little magnanimity — but too many conservatives think it betrays weakness. We're well on our way to becoming the first hyperpower with short-guy syndrome. Worse still, some neoconservative ideologues have turned American Exceptionalism into an ersatz religion, fidelity to which demands reshaping the rest of the world in our Image, by force, if necessary."

How 'Crazy Negroes' With Guns Helped Kill Jim Crow - "Chinn was a black man in Canton, Mississippi, who in the 1960s owned a farm, a rhythm and blues nightclub, a bootlegging operation, and a large collection of pistols, rifles, and shotguns with which he threatened local Klansmen and police when they attempted to encroach on his businesses or intimidate civil rights activists working to desegregate Canton and register black residents to vote. After one confrontation, in which a pistol-packing Chinn forced the notoriously racist and brutal local sheriff to stand down inside the county courthouse during a hearing for a civil rights worker, the lawman admitted, "There are only two bad sons of bitches in this county: me and that nigger C.O. Chinn."

Although the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) were formally committed to nonviolence, when their volunteers showed up in Canton they happily received protection from Chinn and the militia of armed black men he managed. "Every white man in that town knew you didn't fuck with C.O. Chinn," remembered a CORE activist. "He'd kick your natural ass." Consequently, Chinn's Club Desire offered a safe haven for black performers such as B.B. King, James Brown, Hank Ballard and the Midnighters, and the Platters; illegal liquor flowed freely in the county; and, unlike their comrades in much of Mississippi, CORE and SNCC activists in Canton were able to register thousands of black voters with virtual impunity from segregationist violence...

According to Charles E. Cobb's revelatory new history of armed self-defense and the civil rights movement, This Nonviolent Stuff'll Get You Killed, Canton and the rest of the South could not have been desegregated without people like C.O. Chinn, who were willing to take the lives of white people and were thus known as "crazy Negroes" or, less delicately, "bad niggers." Cobb does not discount the importance of nonviolent protest, but he demonstrates with considerable evidence that desegregation and voting rights "could not have been achieved without the complementary and still underappreciated practice of armed self-defense." Noting that textbooks like my son's ignore the many people who physically defended the movement or themselves, Cobb shows that the "willingness to use deadly force ensured the survival not only of countless brave men and women but also of the freedom struggle itself."" 


Training - "Passion wants blood."

7/23 - press, bench, seated laterals/bent over laterals, pulldowns, back xt, seated row - stretch

Fucking Awesome.  Passion wants blood | The Diary of a Girly Powerlifter: "Lifts have always made everything in my world make sense...  And like anything else, when you are passionate, when you really give a shit about something. You will make time for it...

I am dedicated. I am focused. I am passionate. Maybe everyone expects this to be about lifts. It’s not. This is me telling you that you better be passionate about what you choose to do with your life. Because your passion? It will break you, make you broke, threaten every single one of your relationships, it will rob you of your sleep, it will demand that you give it the attention it deserves… Passion wants blood. Passion wants proof that you care.

And once you’ve proved your worth. Passion will fill you with purpose. It will make all the things in your life you’ve always found confusing, not so confusing. Passion will always see you through. So maybe everyone will ask why you train. Everyone might ask why you work so much. Who fucking cares. Maybe it’s because I have something to live for that makes me feel like it’s all worth it. And contrary to popular belief, that’s okay. Most people live an entire lifetime and don’t get to experience such a thing. If you’ve found it, hang onto it. And offer up some blood as tribute. Sacrifice some sleep. Live and breathe for it because it really is a once in a lifetime thing. And if you let it slip by you most certainly will not find another."

Wilson Silva
Bodybuilding- Masters 50+ 2nd place

Ana Acevedo
Bikini- Class A 4th place and Masters 30+ Class A 2nd place

 2014 NPC Miami Classic:

 randy-gets-swole: Sooo this is my latest...:

This guy is awesome/your excuses suck. Blog: "Stuart Jamieson was born with spina bifida, scoliosis, kyphosis, and diastematomyelia. He was not expected to live past his second birthday. Doctors did not even expect him to sit up as a child. The thought of him living an active life as an adult was not even considered. Over twenty years later, Stuart is now a British Classic Powerlifting champion. Highlights from one of his recent meets can be seen below. You will see him pull 225kg while weighing in at just 59kg. If you aren’t quick with math, that’s a few pounds short of 500 at a bodyweight of approximately 130 pounds."
'via Blog this' Blog: "Stuart provides a powerful example of an individual who was determined to write his own destiny. His early doctors were entitled to an opinion, but Stuart and his family did everything they could to prevent that opinion from becoming a reality. To suggest that they defied the odds is an understatement. Fortunately, you do not need to have endured Stuart’s early struggles to learn from his example. At some point, I’m sure we have all been told by an authority figure what we could or could not achieve. Whether it was a doctor, teacher, coach, or family member, there is a good chance that someone could not resist sharing their opinion of your future. Ultimately, it is up to you whether you’ll accept such opinions as fact or instead find out for yourself. " 


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

"I used to think that basically, the whole world, that all humanity were basically bastards."

"I've since found that most people seem to be pretty nice--basically good people doing the best they can."

Great Anthony Bourdain interview.  Excerpts:
Blogs of War - Anthony Bourdain Talks Travel, Food, and War: "...right away--very early on--I came to realize that everything, particularly something as intimate as a meal, is a reflection of both a place's history and its present political and military circumstances. In fact, the meal is where you can least escape the realities of a nation's situation. People tend to be less guarded and more frank (particularly when alcohol is involved). What you are eating is always the end of a very long story--and often an ingenious but delicious answer to some very complicated problems. Within months of leaving the professional kitchen for what turned out to be a non-stop voyage around the world, I found myself in the Mekong delta sitting down and getting hammered with a group of former VC. The senior member of the group was a very old dude, who when I asked if he felt any animosity towards me, towards my country, why he was being so damned nice, laughed in my face and started ticking off all the other countries he'd fought in his time: Chinese, French, Japanese, Cambodians, Chinese again. He basically said, "don't flatter yourself that you were anything special--now drink!". When you travel with no agenda other than asking the simple questions, sharing a moment with people around the table, people tell you extraordinary things...

You have to learn to exercise a certain moral relativity, to be a good guest first--as a guiding principle. Other wise you'd spend the rest of the world lecturing people, pissing people off, confusing them and learning nothing.  Should I inquire of my Masai buddies if they still practice female genital mutilation? Express revulsion in Liberia over tribal practices? Fact is, the guy who's been patting my knee all night, telling jokes, sharing favorite Seinfeld anecdotes, making sure I get the best part of the lamb, being my new bestest buddy in Saudi Arabia will very likely later, on the drive back to the hotel, guilelessly express regret over what "the Jews and the CIA" did to my city on 911. What do you say to that? Or in Anatolia, the Kurdish religious elders there who asked me for reassurance that "Obama is indeed a Muslim, yes?". I hated to disappoint them. So I didn't. My first obligation, I feel, is to be a good guest. I go to great lengths, and have had to choke down some pretty funky meals to do that. Its a strategy I highly recommend if you're looking to make friends and have a good conversation. Sometimes you have to take one for the team but its well worth it...

An interesting thing we noticed a while back was when we were shooting in pre-revolution Egypt. When we expressed a desire to shoot a segment at one of the ubiquitous street stands selling ful, our fixers and translators, who, no doubt also worked for some sinister department of the Interior Ministry, were absolutely adamant that we not do it. What was it about this simple, everyday, working class meal of beans and flatbread that just about everyone in Cairo was eating that was so threatening? Turns out, they knew better than us. The price of bread had been going up. The army controlled most of the bakeries and stocks of flour. There had been riots over bread elsewhere in the country. And the inescapable fact was that ful was ALL that much of the population was eating and the bastards knew it. That was an image they apparently considered sensitive , dangerous: their countrymen eating bread...

Iran was mind-blowing. My crew has NEVER been treated so well--by total strangers everywhere. We had heard that Persians are nice. But nicEST? Didn't see that coming. Its very confusing. Total strangers thrilled to encounter Americans, just underneath the inevitable "Death To America" mural. The gulf between perception and reality, between government policy and what you see on the street and encounter in peoples homes, in restaurants--everywhere--it's just incredible...

The reaction from the Arab and Palestinian community was overwhelmingly positive--which I found both flattering and dismaying. I say dismaying because I did so little. I showed so little.It seems innocuous. But it was apparently a hell of a lot more than what they are used to seeing on Western television. For some, unfortunately, depicting Palestinians as anything other than terrorists is proof positive that you have an agenda, that you have bought in to some sinister propaganda guidelines issuing from some evil central command in charge of interfacing with Western com/symp dupes. A photo of a Palestinian washing their car or playing with their child is, therefore automatically "propaganda."

If I have a side, its against extremism--of any kind: religious, political, other: there's no conversation when everybody is absolutely certain of the righteousness of their argument. That's a platitude. But it's still true."

Training - "how do you feel?"

7/22 - pushups, pike presses, bw rows - stretching

RIP James Garner, Jeet Kune Do Fighter | FIGHTLAND: "Garner was also, somewhat less famously, a Jeet Kune Do practitioner. He took private lessons from some guy named Bruce Lee."

"Nice soul you've got there. Would be a shame if it were tortured forever."

BuzzFeed’s ’22 Messages From Creationists’ gets translated by science lovers and the results are hilarious: "In the wake of Bill Nye the Science Guy’s recent debate with young earth creationist Ken Ham, the online media giant BuzzFeed ran a piece entitled “22 Messages From Creationists To People Who Believe In Evolution.” The premise of the piece was simple: ask 22 creationists to pose whatever question they wanted to evolutionists, write it down and hold their questions up on a piece of paper for the camera. BuzzFeed was admirably quiet on the ideological fodder of the piece, leaving it open to the interpretations of viewers and commenters. But the folks over at The Science of Sarcasm took an opportunity too good to pass up, translating the questions into language they think might reveal a little bit of what could be behind the creationist train of thought."

Dwayne Johnson Confirms Role in Upcoming DC Movie: "In an interview with Total Film to promote his upcoming film Hercules, Johnson confirmed that he will indeed be playing a character from the DC universe in an upcoming movie. While he didn’t give a name, he did offer that “this character has the power of Superman, he can throw down. Just say the word.”"

Dwayne Johnson Confirms Role in Upcoming DC Movie: "Comic book fans will recognize this as Shazam, a character who turns into a hulking, flying, fighting machine simply by saying the word “Shazam” with great gusto. It sure seems like a role Johnson is well-suited for. This casting decision would also align with DC’s upcoming movie schedule; a Shazam movie is scheduled to be their next film released after Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice. Expect an official announcement soon."


This almost exactly mirrors my thought process when I went vegetarian for a couple years.  Hard to imagine now, as carnivorous as I am.  Tovar Cerulli – The hidden costs of vegetarianism: "When I ate meat, that meant animal death. When I ate dairy products, that meant animal confinement. When, inspired by the compassionate teachings of Buddhist teacher Thich Nhat Hanh, I turned to veganism — that meant harm to nothing but plants. My conscience seemed clear. Eight years later, this fairy tale began to unravel. In the garden my wife and I tended, for instance, I began to see that squash and green beans were not just the fruit of plants. They were also the fruit of animals.

Like all living things, our garden plants had to eat. As their hungry roots drew sustenance from the ground, nutrients had to be replaced. So each year I drove our pickup truck a few miles down the road and brought home a cubic yard or two of compost: rich, dark, dense material made from the manure of cows and other animals, and from their bodies as well, as farmers sometimes compost carcasses.

I could have insisted on supplementing our own kitchen-scrap compost with fertilisers made from nothing but plants. Such products were certainly available. Most, though, were imported from out of state in bright plastic bags. Depending on them to feed our soil would, I reflected, be like subsisting on grocery-store tofu made from soybeans grown a thousand miles away, instead of eating chicken from a neighbour’s backyard or venison from nearby woods. These choices would keep animal products away from our garden and plates, but they made no ecological sense.

And even if I found a local source of animal-free fertiliser, would it make a difference? Though crops can be grown without manure, such approaches typically require more acreage than do integrated plant-animal systems. Why till more land, and perhaps displace more wildlife habitat, for the sake of excluding domesticated creatures from the agricultural landscape? Though this might help shore up my own conceptual categories, would it serve any other purpose, any greater good?

When I visit the grocery store these days, I realise we have a choice, but it is not simply the choice I once made between the purity of veganism and its alternatives, based on suffering. Walking down the aisles, we can let the orderly bins and shiny packages cultivate our forgetfulness. We can let ourselves believe in all the tidy separations: plants and animals divided into neatly compartmentalised kingdoms, food severed from earth, our shopping disconnected from others’ farming. We can let ourselves be comforted by our own ignorance, by everything we neither see nor want to see. Or we can remind ourselves of just how intertwined everything really is. Uncomfortable though it might be, we can remind ourselves that lettuce is not as innocent as it appears, that squash and green beans owe their existence to the lives and deaths of animals. We can remind ourselves that pastoral landscapes are not just backdrops for recreational hikes or idyllic rides through the countryside. They are not an ‘environment’ that exists around us. They are the places that feed us, the soil in which we are rooted. They are us."

"Chuck Palahniuk is breaking the first two rules of Fight Club: He's talking about Fight Club. The author's devotees probably won't mind since what's on his mind these days is more of the characters and world he created in his 1996 book, which was adapted three years later into director David Fincher's cult film starring Edward Norton and Brad Pitt. The story of an unnamed insomniac narrator, his violent id come to life in the form of Tyler Durden, and an underground society built on bare-knuckle brawls and anarchic ideas continues in Fight Club 2, a 10-issue Dark Horse Comics maxiseries illustrated by Cameron Stewart, debuting in May 2015...

Fight Club 2 takes place alternately in the future and the past. It picks up a decade after the ending of his original book, where the protagonist is married to equally problematic Marla Singer and has a 9-year-old son named Junior, though the narrator is failing his son in the same way his dad failed him."