Sunday, August 30, 2015

Crossing the Finish Line

Last week, I managed to finally reach the end of an interminably long cutting phase. I had been struggling with the last 10-15 lbs for a very long time, which was doubly frustrating since I had previously managed to lose a total of 86 lbs (from 255 to 169 lbs) between 2008 and 2010 (give or take a few months).

What finally managed to drive me to cutting through all the bullshit and losing the weight was the blinding, white-hot rage that resulted from the combination of severe body-shaming and heart-rending feminist hypocrisies surrounding the release of Magic Mike XXL (a movie I may have previously mentioned once or twice).

Some of the biggest supporters of that movie, of the people I know personally, are the kinds of feminists who would have gone on rant after rant after rant (and rightly so) about the outrageousness of sexual objectification, the dangers of body-shaming, and the need for body positivity IF it had been their boyfriends who had gone to see "Magic Michelle" instead. But because it's men and not women who are the targets of this body-shaming, the movie gets not just a free pass, but exuberant praise both from every feminist under the sun AND from society as a whole. God forbid we should actually acknowledge that body image issues affect men too.

The problem is that I didn't just hate Magic Mike XXL, and Channing Tatum, and the staggering hypocrisy surrounding it all. I hated myself as much as anything else. Probably more. It didn't matter that I had previously lost 86 lbs, or what other people thought I looked like. For weeks on end, every time I looked in the mirror, all I could see was the same pathetic 255-lb slob from 2007.

But, if nothing else, at least no one gets to tell me I don't know how to channel pain into fuel.

Believe me, I fucked up plenty of times along the way (and I'm supremely grateful for how supportive Steph was the entire time). And I still may not have abs, and my body-fat percentage may still be too high, and I may have crawled across the finish line with bloody fingernails rather than a triumphant touchdown dance. But goddamn it, I exerted control. I reminded myself of the kind of willpower I'm capable of when the shit really hits the fan. And no movie full of rich little pretty boys can take that away from me, regardless of how ugly they, and the people who incessantly fawn over them, think I should feel.

When I finally managed to get the scale to read 185, it felt like I had just beaten Channing Tatum to death in a cage fight and pried my self-esteem back out of his cold, dead hands.

My ultimate goals are to actually end up around 200 lbs, with about 10% body fat. But I'll enjoy this milestone for awhile first.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

"Bullshit. Is. Everywhere."

"There is very little that you will encounter in life that has not been, in some ways, infused with bullshit. Not all of it is bad. Your general, day-to-day, organic free-range bullshit is often necessary. Or at the very least, innocuous. "Ohh, what a beautiful baby. I'm sure it'll grow into that head!" That kind of bullshit in many ways provides important social-contract fertilizer. It keeps people from making each other cry all day. But then there's the more pernicious bullshit. Your premeditated, institutional bullshit, designed to obscure and distract. Designed by whom? The bullshitocracy.

It comes in three basic flavors. One, making bad things sound like good things. "Organic, all-natural cupcakes." Because "factory-made sugar oatmeal balls" doesn't sell. "Patriot Act." Because "Are-You-Scared-Enough-To-Let-Me-Look-At-All-Your-Phone-Records Act" doesn't sell. So whenever something's been titled "Freedom-Family-Fairness-Health-America...", take a good long sniff. Chances are it's been manufactured in a facility, and may contain traces of bullshit.

Number two. The second way. Hiding the bad things under mountains of bullshit. Complexity. You know, I would love to download Drizzy's latest Meek Mill diss (everyone promised me that made sense). But I'm not really interested right now in reading Tolstoy's iTunes agreement. So I'll just click agree, even if it grants Apple prima nocte with my spouse. Here's another one: simply put, banks shouldn't be able to bet your pension money on red. Bullshitly put, it's this. Dodd Frank. Hey, a handful of billionaires can't buy our elections, right? Of course not. They can only pour unlimited, anonymous cash into a 501(c)4 if 50% is devoted to issue education, otherwise they'd have to 501(c)6 it, or funnel it openly through a non-campaign-coordinating Super PAC....'I think they're asleep now, we can sneak out!'

And finally, it's the bullshit of infinite possibility. These bullshitters cover their unwillingness to act under the guise of unending inquiry. We can't do anything because we don't yet know everything! We cannot take action on climate change, until everyone in the world agrees gay-marriage vaccinations won't cause our children to marry goats, who are going to come for our guns. Until then, I say teach the controversy.

Now, the good news is this. Bullshitters have gotten pretty lazy. And their work is easily detected. And looking for it is kind of a pleasant way to pass the time. Like an "I Spy" of bullshit. So I say to you tonight, friends: the best defense against bullshit is vigilance. So if you smell something, say something."

-Jon Stewart's final rant

Watch the full episode here.

(I may have seen it 23 days late, myself, but it's totally worth it.)

Sunday, August 23, 2015

R.I.P. Lamborghini Batman :'(

Lenny B. Robinson, also known as "Lamborghini Batman" because he would dress like Batman and drive his black Lambo around to children's hospitals to cheer up sick kids, was killed in a car crash last week.

This tribute from a Redditor was among the many things from this story that went viral:

Found some #MotivHATEion at the gym the other day.

You'd be surprised how intense a workout can get when you have the smug, self-satisfied grin of the personification of society's hypocritical endorsement of male body-shaming staring you right in the fucking face the entire time.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Holy shit, this new rule needs a name ASAP

A friend sent me this:

A more refined version of this rule might be something along the lines of "Replace the word 'men' with 'Jews', 'sexism' with 'racism', and 'sex/gender' with 'race'."

An example:

It goes without saying that Sarkeesian, vile as she often is, doesn't deserve any of the death threats and doxxing that she has received. But it's also true that calling people like her and Jessica Valenti and Lindy West the feminist equivalents of Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity and Bill O'Reilly is not completely out of line.