Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Pain Touches Us All…

In last night’s lecture I cannot for a minute pretend I understood all of which was said. I can however state that I found it to be very interesting. Although I do not speak Greek, Italian or otherwise I can connect with what was said on some level. That level is that I could hear through her intonation a level of anguish and pain, as can be detected in virtually any language. Dr. Frank was very intense in her descriptions of the various texts and I often found myself trying to keep up. I simply found myself just closing my eyes as she spoke in the various languages of the texts. It was delightful to listen to, I never really heard someone speak Greek or something like it. The way the words flowed sounded like water flowing over a river or something like it in the sense that it was soothing to listen to. It was quite a different tone than I was expecting but none the less insightful and entertaining. One thing she did say and I quote “when there is force there is pain” I found very interesting. I would generally say that upon reflection of what she said that I would agree with it. In my opinion whenever someone is forced into something they generally fall into a state of stress, which in turn can cause pain on some level. This obviously can manifest itself as both physical and mental anguish for that person. Funny enough we have learned throughout this course that pain can also manifest itself by an unseen force. So it is as though many of us don’t even know when it’s coming. This notion in my opinion is pretty scary, how can we ever learn to deal with pain if we can’t even see it coming, we would never be able to anticipate it. Overall I thought that this lecture was a lot different than our other lectures but at the same time very helpful in further understanding yet another facet of pain. It has been a great run.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Kikes and Coons

So let me just start off by saying I thought this was a highly intelligent film. The reason being is that it was so carefully planned out that while I say there watching I had a difficult time ascertaining what was fictional from reality. That alone made this a powerful film, and I must say scary as well. We live in a nation based on a certain set of beliefs, and this movie in my mind challenged some of those. What honestly struck me most was the racial aspect the film brought to light. Some of the things I just couldn’t believe. The example of some of the commercials that they showed portraying just blatant racism was astounding and just ridiculous. I mean to think we as a nation actually allowed things like that to be aired on television back then. One of my best friends that I have known since the 9th grade is black. I look at him as if he was my brother and in his eyes I am nothing but the same back. The sheer stupidity of racism is appalling. In all Seriousness, just because certain members of a conceived racial profile might not be the smartest or do the right things don’t make an entire race such. There are plenty of bad people of all races. There are not so bright Asians and whites. There are extremely intelligent blacks and Hispanics. To label an entire race based on a few is wrong. I have dated several black women for instance, and I remember what it was like going out or publicly displaying affection with them. It was like there was something everyone around us was transfixed on. Some like unspoken taboo or some crazy thing. Then we have the Jews. I’m Jewish and although for some reason people don’t think I “look Jewish” I don’t think that’s very good at times. When people think that I am not Jewish they often don’t think twice before they make a remark against Jews. I may not be very religious but it’s as if I am classified as a white person and then as a Jew. Not simply a white Jew but those things are separate. Imagine what I use to hear people say when I the Jew was dating a Jamaican. It wasn’t very nice. The Coon Chicken Inn was probably one of the saddest things I have ever seen. It was pitiful just simply pitiful. People should get their heads out of their asses and realize we are all people, who are just like every other living creature, animals. I don’t see a white hamster having a problem with a black hamster…. Does anyone else? We really all need to grow up….

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Pain by the Mile

Now this last lecture was interesting. I have often found myself glued to the television as some seemingly insane person decides to run a marathon of sorts. I can say that I enjoy watching them, their faces, expressing every imaginable facet of pain. How do they do it? Why in the world do they do it? I often wonder how anyone could ever dream of doing such. Now granted, I am a personal trainer and can appreciate wanting to take your body to the next level and to attempt to achieve the impossible with it. However, I hate running, in fact I detest it. That is of course, one person’s opinion. I’m certain that there are plenty of people who just can’t wait to go out and enjoy the weather and run till their hearts are content with it. That just isn’t me. In my opinion just watching them is a painful experience all in itself. I watched last week as the people in the race simply collapsed because their bodies refused to go on. You know, when your body actually has to go into auto shut down I think it’s time for someone to listen to what their body is telling them. Now what I can say is that from a trainer’s perspective that I not healthy. What those people put themselves through isn’t healthy. Every single individual from the video was basically emaciated to the point that physical activity of that caliber was simply not wise. When the body has deteriorated to that level one needs to pick up some calories, in all seriousness they need to stuff themselves. Personally, why anyone would want to subject themselves to such insanity is beyond my comprehension, and I myself would never advise it. To make a joke, even as the people crossed that finish line they certainly didn’t even appear to be happy. In fact they seemed to be downright miserable. After the lecture we had a discussion regarding the lecture and I could tell not many people had much to say, including myself. When I talked to some of my peers they all agreed that there wasn’t much else to discuss in terms of further conversation regarding the matter. Although I found the subject matter of the lecture to be interesting I really didn’t have much to expand upon, and I believe no one else did either. Until next week….

Friday, April 3, 2009

The Pain Show

Could you ever mutilate your body in front of an audience? Could you even conceive of it, Let alone derive some twisted sexual fulfillment from it? I can safely say I cannot. In actuality I’m not very big on pain personally, despite my insane threshold of tolerance for it. In my last lecture I learned that there was a whole big world of pain I have never even heard of, that of performance of pain. Never would I have thought there were actually people who could seriously make a public spectacle out of their own ridiculously excruciating acts of self flagellation. I was shocked to learn that people with that mind set actually are out there. My father always told me and still stands by his original statement, “there are a lot of sick people out there.” As I sat back and processed all the images the good professor shared with us I couldn’t help but hear my father’s voice reverberate back in my head. I did however find one part of it to be humorous even in its level of grotesqueness. That being the clip that was played where Bob Flannagan used almost every conceivable S word in order to convey what he wants out of everyday life. He did a very smart job with it, hell I never actually sat back and pondered just how many torture or pain words start with S. The guy named so many I couldn’t even help but to laugh at the sheer preposterousness of it. I mean sure is it sometimes fun to add some playful smacking or biting into your love life, hey I’m all for it and I’m sure that I’m not the only one, but that guy just made a joke out of it. He was in his own zone if you will, on in which I never even want to step foot in. I believe that that man has got some serious issues, although granted he was very ill. He suffered from CF which I happen to know a lot about because my mother once worked for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and I got the experience of meeting and knowing several CF fighters. I can say that it is terrible to watch and probably unimaginably so for the one experiencing it. I never have seen anyone with such an outlet as Bob however; for in actuality it is astonishing to me that he was physically able to conduct everything he did given the severity of the disease and its debilitating effects upon one’s body. No Pain no gain I guess.