Thursday, October 14, 2004

Fit

The previous rant about Fat got me thinking about Fit. What is fitness anyway ? Fit means suitable - as in, fit for the role. Why do people spend such a lot of time and energy on their bodies and ignore mental and emotional and social and ecological health ?

Our culture has denied the body for so long, we have become polarised. In the Yewnaated Stayuts, this is most evident. More than any other nation, they have swamped the world (particularly the internet) with pornography; but Janet Jackson's nipple at the Superbowl is classed obscene.They enjoy, in some States at least, legalised brothels, and a girl can go and work in one of these the day she turns 18. But the previous day, a loving shag with her boyfriend, and he's up for statutory rape.

Sex is a good example to use, but this extremism extends to all aspects of physicality, including health, medicine, working conditions, domestic life, clothing, eating...

I was once offered a fabulously well-paid job in the States, which would have put me heading a European division in a hugely funded new cultural corporation; I turned it down on the basis that because there was such strict censorship, grey (that's right, GREY not gray) areas which are necessary parts of any vibrant culture did not exist, and that one "f" word or one nipple straight away removed really excellent content from the "decent" mainstream - so-called wholesome, inoffensive, safe, utterly boring content - what Frank Zappa called Cheeze - and this deprives perfectly rational adults of the opportunity of experiencing, maybe even learning, anything worthwhile.

So our enjoyment of our bodies and the enshrining of that is a reaction against 2,000 years of THE SINS OF THE FLESH and it's mortification, and that in turn has created a bizarre culture where the body fit and beautiful is the most high attainment possible, and physical pleasure is the raison d'être of our short span. And this is turn, creates a reaction where, since physical pleasure is necessarily limited, we are in despair, and throw aside all care and consideration for our general well-being.

Is it just me who believes that you don't have to be a devout church-going believer to enjoy the movement of spirit within us and without us, nor a buddhist to see that we change ourselves in order to change the world, nor a new-age destiny freak to see that there is more to life than just plodding along on this tiny planet until we drop off ?

Now I think I'll have a whiskey for breakfast.

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