Nelson Mandela and Satire

It seems to me that in today’s world,  people who understand satire are an endangered species.

The late President Nelson Mandela of South Africa understood the value of satire, even when he was the target of it.

Here is the definition of satire.

“Satire is a genre of literature, and sometimes graphic and performing arts, in which vices, follies, abuses, and shortcomings are held up to ridicule, ideally with the intent of shaming individuals, corporations, government or society itself, into improvement. Although satire is usually meant to be humorous, its greater purpose is often constructive social criticism, using wit as a weapon and as a tool to draw attention to both particular and wider issues in society.”

Certainly, satire can be misused, but it is more often misunderstood. I generally preface the fact that I am being sarcastic or using satire in order to avoid having my head bitten off.

~Helena~

 

Competition Class Shape vs. Everyday Fitness

Here is the amazing Marianne Vos, who is in the kind of shape that most of us will never be in.
The pursuit of this kind of conditioning is impossible for the average person. People like Marianne devote large portions of their lives to their sport. The kind of training they do is above and beyond. They do not train to this level when they are not competing. Most people stop competing in most sports by the time they are forty.
There seems to be a push for everyone to be constantly toned and athletic to the degree of people who are in competitive sports–or at least we should all appear this way. This obsession is unrealistic and unhealthy.
The average person should not expect themselves to be in the kind of shape that a competition class athlete is.
While pursuing optimal health is an excellent goal, no-one should be shamed for not doing so. We all have different strengths and weaknesses and different interests.
Some people love to run. I’ll push myself to go a mile around the track three times a week in good weather. I kind of like it. Maybe some people stare at the fat man running. I don’t know, nor do I particularly care. Most of the other runners pass me. I’ve never had any of them say anything to me, which may be because they don’t want to challenge someone of my size. I’m six foot three and weigh somewhere around 330 pounds.
I run three times a week, possibly because I’ve been doing so since I was a kid. At this point in my life, I prefer hiking. When the weather’s good, I like to get out for a hike every weekend. I do go to the gym and do some strength training a couple of times a week, and I love working out in the pool. I love it more and more the older I get! I don’t mean to imply that water workouts are only for the elderly; they are for whoever enjoys them. But as we age, wear and tear on the joints tends to make a workout in water more appealing because it is a very low to non-impact exercise, depending on whether you are doing shallow water aerobics, swimming, or deep water aerobics.
Perhaps the point that I’m trying to make is this: I’m a reasonably active guy, who is reasonably good health. I do have GERD, which I have under control thanks to my good friend Prilosec and steering away from very spicy foods. These days I take my green chili mild.
Nevertheless, I’m still big. Granted, I do not diet obsessively–in fact, I don’t diet at all. Like everyone else here, I was a longtime yo-yo dieter. I now try to choose foods that are less processed and have a good nutrient profile, but I’m nowhere near obsessive about it. I admit to enjoying an organic cheeseburger for lunch once or twice a week. I’m fortunate that I live in an area where organic food is easy to obtain. Not everyone has this luxury.
We have the right to shame absolutely no-one for not being in competition-class athletic shape. We do not even have the right to shame the “stereotypical fatty” who sits in front of the TV chowing down on an entire bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken all by zirself and chasing it with a 2 liter Coke and a dozen Moon Pies for dessert. Shame does not work to make people skinny, it only works to make them miserable.
Exercise should be pleasant, not punitive. Life should be pleasant, not punitive. The one thing we all need to reduce is instances where we have been unkind to others. Some of us need a little sanctimoniousness reduction, some need a lot. Let’s all get started today!
Peace,
Adam
 
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Unpretty

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Probably the only photo I will ever post of myself. Obviously, I don’t have the art of “selfies” down to a science, because I don’t tend to take a lot of them. For those of you that want to comment that I’m fat and old as a potential insult, let me save you the taxation of your tiny little brain. I’m fat and old. So what? If you have a problem with this, you need to think about why you’re so hell-bent on trying to make others feel bad just because they don’t fulfill your idea of beauty.

For those who would try to placate me by saying “oh, you’re not fat and old,” you need to think about why you find either of those descriptors to be problematic. They’re actually neutral.

Technically, I’m not old-old, I’m middle aged. I’ll be 49 in February.

But I am fat. There’s no denying that one. Even the skinny fun house mirror makes me look fat because I am fat!

So what?

This post is a response to a post on the GuySpeak blog.

There’s a song by TLC which speaks to how I feel about the whole beauty judgment. Who is anyone else to make me feel unpretty, which I have my whole life.
Facially speaking, if I were to be completely academic about it, I’m not hideous. I have a reasonably symmetrical face that’s pleasant enough in a non-descript sort of way. My teeth are capped because what’s underneath is a horrible mess, so I have a pleasant enough smile. I had liposuction to remove a hereditary double chin, because, heaven forbid anyone should have a double chin. That’s, like, worse than committing genocide in our thin-centric society.
Even with my tendency to body dysmorphic disorder, I stopped there. I realized that I was never going to be the kind of perfect, airbrushed beauty that everyone thinks women are supposed to be.
The point is, in a world where Number Twelve Looks Just Like You, I always thought of myself as hideously ugly, and really, I’m not. I’m just plain, and at this point I’m pissed at those who pushed me into wasting so many years thinking of myself as unpretty.

I wish I could tie you up in my shoes make you feel unpretty too
I was told I was beautiful but what does that mean to you?
Look into the mirror who’s inside there the one with the long hair
Same old me again today, yeah

My outsides are cool, my insides are blue
Every time I think I’m through it’s because of you
I’ve tried different ways but it’s all the same
At the end of the day I have myself to blame
I’m just trippin’

You can buy your hair if it won’t grow
You can fix your nose if he says so
You can buy all the make up that M.A.C. can make
But if you can look inside you, find out who am I too
Be in a position to make me feel so damn unpretty
Yeah, I feel pretty, oh so pretty. I feel pretty and witty and bright.

Never insecure until I met you, now I’m bein’ stupid
I used to be so cute to me, just a little bit skinny
Why do I look to all these things? To keep you happy
Maybe get rid of you and then I’ll get back to me, hey

My outsides are cool, my insides are blue
Every time I think I’m through it’s because of you
I’ve tried different ways but it’s all the same
At the end of the day I have myself to blame
People trippin’

You can buy your hair if it won’t grow
You can fix your nose if you say so
You can buy all the make up that M.A.C. can make
But if you can look inside you, find out who am I too
Be in a position to make me feel so damn unpretty

You can buy your hair if it won’t grow
You can fix your nose if he says so
You can buy all the make up that M.A.C. can make
But if you can look inside you, find out who am I too
Be in a position to make me feel so damn unpretty
I feel pretty, oh so pretty. I feel pretty and witty and bight, and I pity any girl who isn’t me tonight.
tonight ( oh ah oh, oh oh ah oh oh.)
tonight ( oh ah oh, oh oh ah oh oh.)
to-night!

You can buy your hair if it won’t grow
You can fix your nose if he says so
You can buy all the make up that M.A.C. can make
But if you can look inside you find out who am I too
Be in a position to make me feel so damn unpretty

I feel pretty and unpretty

SONGWRITERS
AUSTIN, DALLAS L / WATKINS, TIONNE TENESE

History in the Making: Bill Gates and Steve Jobs Over the Years

Corporate psychology is not my specialty. However, it is fascinating to study and try to discern what made Apple and Microsoft the giants of the industry, basically shutting out all other operating systems.
I am also not a computer expert. I am Joe End-User. I need something that works easily and quickly for me. Apple and Microsoft both targeted Jane and Joe End-User as opposed to focusing their software on corporate applications. I wouldn’t know what to do with a Linux if it came up and bit me.
It is also fascinating to study the history of the computer. For the greater part of the twentieth century, computers were relegated to use in the military and certain industries. They were great behemoths that took up entire rooms. The smaller computers envisioned on the original Star Trek came close to showing what was to come for computers.
As for Jobs and Gates, their success comes not only from their innovation, but also from their refusal to allow others to discourage them from their goals. Their success did not happen overnight. If you listen to them, they also acknowledge that they had other people assisting them to achieve their ambitions.
In order to succeed, one must be flexible enough to allow their vision to evolve and morph, but never give up on the goal.
Believe in yourself and your vision.
Adam
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