Sunday! A day for having breakfast at 3pm, learning about Flash Video, encoding old cassettes to mp3, and drinking more cups of tea than I can remember.

In the new year of 1998, I joined a gym. I spent six months going 2 or 3 times a week, getting slowly slimmer and more muscular. I also threw away my anti-depressant pills, had a lot of sex with men in the park, and was generally a lot happier.

I then decided to go back to university, resigned my job, went back to live with my parents, gained back all the weight I'd lost, stopped having sex and got depressed again. Huh.

However, In the gym, I came up with a general guide to exercise: If it hurts a little, you're probably doing it right. If it hurts a lot, you're doing it wrong.

Over the years, I've thought it probably applied to other things too. Your chosen religion - provided you're not under much pressure to have any religion at all. Your diet, whether it's designed to be ethical (vegitarianism, veganism), or to make you healthier or more beautiful - if your weight loss diet book make you crave food all the time, the problem is with the book, not you. Your politics, career, study and friends.

If you're reasonably free to make a choice about some aspect of your life (i.e. if you're not surrounded by strong threats and enticements to chose one way and not another), then you'll know the choice is good and appropriate for you, if keeping to your chosen path gives you only mild discomfort.

If you hate it for a fortnight, it won't get better after a month. If it gives you nothing but immobile muscles, boredom or heartache for a month, it'll give you exactly the same thing after a year. So stop doing it, or do it differently. Dull jobs don't get interesting, stupid aquaintences don't get smart, and exercises that immobilise your arm for a week won't start being good for your biceps at some point.

It's all terribly obvious now. But it took me years to realise that turbulent relationships wouldn't become smooth if I was patient enough to wait out trouble, and I couldn't turn pointless tasks into fulfilling ones just by getting used to them.

Right, so what about me and C? Does it hurt when I can't take away his illness and misfortune? Yes. Does it make me sit and obsess over it? No. Does he do anything that I wish he wouldn't? Of course. Is there anything about him that irritates me to distraction that I'm hoping will go away in time? No.

Congratulations, Kapitano. You've finally found a relationship that isn't pathological. Which means if it messes up, it wasn't inevitable, and if it's not his fault, it's yours.

A few weeks ago, I found an ultra patriotic American blog. It's full of stirring battlcries, denunciations of the Muslim antichrist, and peans of praise to all the brave American soldiers who fight for truth, justice and freedom by bombing the axis of evil 'til it wants to be American

It's also full of lovingly photographed American military hardware, images of the glorious American president, and lots and lots of American flags.

Yes that right, it's full of shit. American shit. Most Americans I've met seem decent people - this must be where the other Americans go.

One comment caught my eye, left by the poster "Eight Tons of Geese", who, all appearances to the contrary, isn't me. Really. Honest. It just looks that way. They've since censored my the comment, but it originally read:

All this posturing patriotism, all this macho bonding, all this baying hatred disguised as love. Why don't you just jerk off on the flag and be done with it.

As hoped, there were responses, as follows. Spelling and grammar unmodified.

Obviously someone is jealous. Go ahead an say what you will, your demeaning drogatory statement means nothing to me. Your'e a cowardice imbecile.

Yeah, jealous. Obviously.

8 tons did not leave a link to contact him or to view his website/blog.

That makes him a coward as well as what Sue sez. Not to mention crass, uncouth and not a nice person...

I'm reminded of a Cheech and Chong line where the judge says, "Baliff! Whack his pee pee!"

Um...? Oh nevermind

He's a wimp who likes to whine. Don't worry geese boy, we are true patriots here.

And finally, my particular favourite:

Hey, I'm not doing any macho bonding you creep! If you don't like this site then GO AWAY. You're obviously either muslim or french. So either an extremist bastard or worthless piece of shit. So go and whine somewhere else, but don't ever desecrate our flag agian.

Someone once said you can judge a man by the quality of his enemies.

1 comment:

  1. You did it on purpose, Captain, you know I'm curious... What did you expect? Are you now some kind of a masochist? Ads all over, a pin-up girl who's now an old grandma, etc, etc. I didn't care to read, but do they correct the bullsh... their glorious president is saying all the time?
    Just btw: you must have noticed that you're either a Muslim or a frog... Not a British, no way! Which says a lot about the alliance De Gaulle was so worried about after WW2... Long live Tony! He's done it just marvellously!

    (As you know by now, I really don't like that much commenting on serious business of other's lives. I'm always afraid of saying what I know exactly I shouldn't say...)