Archive | January, 2014

What’s your excuse?

9 Jan

Nobody should get to body-shame. Nobody gets to decree what a correct body is. Nobody gets to tell someone that they are abusing or disrespecting themselves just for not obsessing over fitness and being slim. And you know what? I’m not buying “concern” when it’s in the form of hating, bullying, and shaming. After all, they are not shaming and harassing smokers, anorexics, or other people with an unhealthy lifestyle. And even if there are health concerns? NONE OF ANYONE’S BUSINESS.

Certainly no reason to be mean.

And fitness supplements tend to be unhealthy, too. There are healthy obese people; I am one of them. Fit women do not need to glorify themselves by putting down others. If they can’t shine without throwing shade on fat women, that says more about them than it does about us. I sure don’t go around shaming fit or slim women; I intend to live and let live – and demand to BE let live.

There’s something “subtly” hateful about those motivation pictures of “before and after” budybuilding women with captions such as “What’s your excuse?”. The pictures tell you to stop looking one way (fat), and start looking the other (toned), and not to make excuses.

So you need an excuse to feel comfortable in your current body? Who are those “motivation” people to tell you what body to feel good in? I have believed it for so long, I believed they were right and the way I looked was incorrect, and that I “owed” it to myself to feel shitty about being fat. Why does a healthy overweight person need to make excuses or feel compelled to “get toned” in the first place? Even if they’re not healthy, it’s none of anybody’s business – plus, fit people get sick, too. Who’s to say that “firm and toned” is correct, and “fat and soft” isn’t? Doctors? Well, doctors will tell you that health is not just an issue of size and that some fat is actually healthy. Much unlike a lot of fitness supplements that can literally eat holes into your brain. I mean, what makes you think you should, daily, consume something that says “Do not use if you’re pregnant, nursing, old, young, fast heartrate, slow heartrate, epileptic, etc.”? Does that sound better than a burger? Really?
Why am I even made to feel like I need an excuse? Why can’t I just be the way I am without feeling guilty or embarassed or like I’m not treating myself right? And even if I were mistreating myself, how does that entitle others to diss me?

Why are people trying to tell me to feel guilty about not doing much about my weight? It’s not like I’m not trying at all, but I refuse to obsess over it anymore. And my only issue is the cellulite anyway. Otherwise, I’m quite okay being big. Why are women told to obsess about their appearance and feel bad when they don’t fit such and such ideal? Why do we have to feel like we deserve the hate we’re getting? Who are we hurting or offending by being big or soft? Nobody is telling ugly-faced women to get a nose job, nobody is telling small-breasted women to get a boob job, nobody is telling short women to have leg extension surgery and God forbid anyone were to tell a woman with kinky hair to straighten it. I mean, it is all well-marketed industries, but not as aggressive and omnipresent – and hateful – as the weight issue. You don’t see accusing and holier-than-thou pictures with the caption “What is your excuse” depicting a woman before and after facelift. Oh, so working out is more honest/healthy/real than surgery? Sure, especially with all those supplements…. And why do methods matter anyway? I don’t feel guilty about having had multiple procedures done. Why should I? Worked for me, all the belly went POOF in a matter of hours.

I’m fat and I’m healthy, and the only reason I’m not “fat and happy”, is because all the hate I get for being fat while I can’t remember having done anything to deserve it. Fat hate will be justified the day that “receding hairline” hate, “ugly nose” hate, “pudgy fingers” hate, “kinky hair” hate, or “short teeth” hate is justified. But you don’t see anyone hating that to this degree. Oh, so fat isn’t natural but big foreheads are? Well how about this: some are naturally predisposed to be heavier. And supplements are natural? Shaming people on Facebook is natural? Coloring your hair is natural? To hell with the natural argument, it’s invalid, nobody honestly cares about nature or health when dissing the appearance of others. It’s not about that, it’s 95% “look at me being all superior compared to those fatties and uglies” and an attempt to make it sound educated.

So screw this “What is your excuse” BS. Wanna know my excuse? Because eating a bag of chips at the movies is more fun than being a bunch of shallow douchebags’ reason to touch themselves.

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Erin Hunter’s Irresponsibility

9 Jan

The importance of religion and politics in the Warriors universe has always worried me, from the very first book onward. I finally decided not to recommend Warriors to children below or within the target age – 9 to 12 – when it became clear that Hollyleaf was, hair by hair, modeled after an Islamic jihadist. She actually murders in order to protect the Warrior Code or at least whatever she could pretend was left of it as long as certain secrets died with Ashfur. 
And while at some points, Hollyleaf was implicitly depicted as insane, mostly when the absolute simpleton Lionblaze questioned her zeal, her attitude usually seemed to be glorified throughout the narration. Was Ashfur truly so bad for wanting to reveal the truth that the law had been broken? Aren’t those who silence the truth through murder, the bad guys? Oh, but Hollyleaf grew herbs and chased off a fox, that makes it okay.

Now I finished “The forgotten Warrior”, in which Sol turns out to be little more than a butthurt lol-cow out for revenge. He is finally demonized without any room for rationalizing his actions and attitude. He is purely bad, purely out for revenge and wreaking havoc.
However, this seems too easy. Is this really what Erin Hunter had planned for him from the beginning? And if so, what do the writers want to tell their target group, easily brainwashed children, about choice, free will, and democracy? 
I thought that when Sol first made ShadowClan question the Warrior Code and Clan life, this was a good thing. Only when informed about all options, should one pick a certain lifestyle. It was a good thing that ShadowClan – or any Clan cat – was educated on other possibilities and encouraged to question dying for another cat, or for principles that practically make little difference or bear little negative consequence, such as frequenting kittypets or interacting with humans. Shunning and deriding kittypets actually has a lot in common with racism, homophobia and other such concepts of unjustified discrimination. But while no fictional hero would get away with calling a black character “Nigger” or a gay one “Faggot”, or disadvantage a Jew for being a Jew, it is perfectly acceptable for handsome Lionblaze to snarl at a kittypet for being a kittypet, and remain the popular good guy. Clan life may be the way of life of the central characters, but that does not mean that all other ways of life need to be depicted as negative. However, that is exactly what Erin Hunter do (for those not familiar with Erin Hunter: I refer to them in the plural form because Erin Hunter is actually a pen name behind which there are four writers). And just because the heroes are cats, I guess that means that all other creatures are “crazy”, “ugly”, “clumsy”, “smelly” or other bad things. Can one concept not be glorified without vilifying all others? Are Erin Hunter such simpletons that they cannot think in shades of gray, or do they deliberately present the reader with “the only right way”?
Basically, what Sol did, was introduce the concept of independent thinking to a flock of mindless sheep. Nowadays, that is a bad thing only in radical Islam, and certain Asian societies. Right, Kim Jong Un? Oh, and Russia, and… Ah, forget it.

I had already noticed how it was not depicted as merely unusual, but actually bad, when the ancient pre-Tribe cats cast votes rather than yowling agreement like an angry mob at whatever their leader decided. One person “up there” preaching to the applauding crowd, is what Achmadinejad does, what Hitler did, what Jerry Springer does. But is it a good thing? Mindlessly following one person’s orders?  Unless you’re the teacher of a bunch of children or mentally handicapped people, bascially people who cannot be trusted to make their own sound decisions, no, usually it is not. Clan life, like it or not, is a dictatorship. Sol, in the beginning, suggested a shot at democracy. Free will, independence. That such actions would be chosen by Erin Hunter as Sol’s evil scheme of petty revenge over a rejection, what does that say about what the writers want children to think in terms of sociopolitical issues? 

Probably that a fundamentalist, absolutist dictatorship is the desirable way of life. With Islamization growing and smothering more and more of the Western ways, maybe this is a way to gently ease this generation into an oppressive way of life and not become suicidal from it. Maybe Erin Hunter are doing the kids a kindness. Or maybe, children should not be reading such crafty brainwashing bullshit.

I love the Warriors saga, but I am a 30-year-old responsible adult with an IQ that allows me to question shit. 9-year-olds are neither responsible, nor able to make up their own minds. They think they are, but that is not the same. At this point, I don’t even know if I care whether Erin Hunter infused their books with political brain bleach on purpose, or not. The message one can read not just between the lines, is very clear:

“Baaaah! Baaaaah! Let’s graze over thaaaaaaar!”

There is a reason that user-generated content networks like deviantART and Facebook want kids below 13 off their turf. This is not because a 12-year-old is an easier target for pedophiles than a 13-year-old. It is because somewhere, a line has to be drawn and children too young to not be influenced by content only mature persons should see, need to be kept off certain platforms that are likely to provide such content. A versatile art platform like deviantART, or Facebook, where everyone propagates their religious or political radicalism, are such places. Children as young as the Warriors target group, cannot yet question the actions and opinions of their idols. Meaning their idols should, if they have to be political, not represent radicalism or fundamentalism.
I know many Americans try to make democracy look bad because Obama mad a few wrong calls – or maybe because he’s black – but any regime will produce errors along the way. That does not make democracy a bad thing. Take Israel for example; it is the only democracy in the Middle East and also happens to be the only place where women, homosexuals and even animals, have rights. Democracy is not anarchy, as some seem to think and as Erin Hunter seems to depict it.

I am a very political person with a few very extreme views. But Erin Hunter have to be either evil or utterly retarded (or high?) to think such views are appropriate in books written for children.

Lurkers

9 Jan

It’s many a forum’s tragic fate:
You’ll see, that, once it is too late,
There will be groups there crystallizing
Of a handful people socializing
10% is who’ll join in on a debate
To which 90% will quietly masturbate.

When you die…

9 Jan

…and you have time to realize it, there is this short and last moment of clarity. A clarity not of what happens around you, but what is about to come to you, and only you, from inside you, where it seems to always have been lurking. It’s not a thought, because thoughts can be controlled, thoughts have words and images. It’s not quite a feeling either. It’s like a wind that’s standing still, within the core of the core of your being’s being. 
Your body is already past feeling anything. Your mind is past thinking. It’s that moment just before you’re really dead, that last bit of brain activity, that gives you something that isn’t quite a thought, but also not quite a feeling, yet you realize it, but not knowingly, not in a way you could define it; your body is too far gone to even make a facial expression to go with it. 
It’s that final fleeting moment of realization. It’s over. It’s too late, you’re past all hope or help, you are about to be dead, and your being, your joys, your pains, your friends, your family, your world, your projects and dreams, your past and your future, everything will be irrevocably over in an amount of time that knows no name and that has no unit or measure, just like this realization that is nothing and everything.

That sadness, that final surge of struggle in your deepest core that does not want you and your world to end. And the sadness that it will all end regardless. Nothing compares to this. It’s not fear, not resignation, not anger, just the sadness of the profound, final, and pointless realization that the world that you’ve made and that you’ve been – every person creates, is, their own world – is now ending and nothing can save it.

You can only put it into words if you survive to think about it. You can’t relate to or internalize it unless you’ve felt it. If you hold on to it, it instills a fear of, and a rage against death in you, an absolute rejection of your mortality, and a desperation to live and to make your life matter and to not waste a second. This is at the same time motivating, and also paralyzing. This fear that the world, a unique world everybody creates, will end when you stop breathing. You cling to each breath knowing one will eventually be your last and you will encounter that feeling again. You fear and hate the thought of you ending. You’re no longer able to imagine the world without you in it, because the world you know, is the one your eyes have seen, your hands have touched, and your mind has processed. Any other person will not live in the world of your life. They live in their own. You end and your world, a world, ends. Death no longer feels natural or acceptable. Not your own. Because with you, the world ends.