Paradise Lost: the failure of the new Alien franchise

•May 27, 2017 • Leave a Comment

*spoiler warnings for Covenant and Prometheus*

Alien is one of all-time favourite movies, a perfect 10/10. It is the standard by which all other sci-fi horrors are judged. And what’s amazing is that Aliens, the sequel, is nearly just as good. It is another genre standard, this type taking a slight lateral step into sci-fi action/adventure. Every military sci-fi flick borrows something from these movies.

Few franchises can boast such a one-two punch for their first two instalments. Like Star Wars and Nolan’s Batman. Unfortunately, from there the Alien franchise hits a neck-breaking drop-off. Alien 3 is a colossal failure. All the more because it squandered the efforts of a young David Fincher (Fight Club) through studio meddling. Interestingly, Alien: Resurrection also had a promising team of Jean-Pierre Jeunet (Amelie) directing and Joss Whedon (literally everything) writing. And while it sorta missed the mark, I actually think it’s criminally underrated. But that’s a whole other post.

Therefore, it was cause for excitement when Ridley Scott, original director of Alien, announced that he was returning to the franchise. Prometheus promised to explore the unanswered question of the mysterious giant “space jockey” from the beginning of Alien. Unfortunately, Prometheus was a deeply flawed film. Others have enumerated the flaws (particularly Red Letter Media), and I wrote a post about the failures of Damon Lindelof, the screenwriter, so I won’t bother to get too much into here.

Promising to address the criticisms, Scott followed up with Alien: Covenant. This time we wouldn’t be subjected to frustrating unanswered questions and we’d see what we all wanted to see: Xenomorphs!

IMG_20170305_141114

Alas, Covenant is actually worse than Prometheus. It tries to mash together Prometheus and earlier Alien movies and ends up doing a poor job of both. The thing is, I actually enjoy the first 2/3 of Prometheus. It’s beautifully directed with a great cast and an excellent score. It does a great job imbuing that sense of wonder in space travel. And if you can achieve that in a film, particularly sci-fi, then you’ve won half the battle. I really feel like I wanted to explore this world with the characters and share their excitement (well, some) to discover some cool shit in outer space. There are some pretty terrifying sequences, too. I loved the Cesarean section scene. But then the ending totally screwed the pooch. My biggest problem is an issue I have with so many films today: the obsession with building a universe. They keep teasing us with a movie that never comes. The great franchises went for broke on each movie. Look at Star Wars and Nolan’s Batman. Each movie is a contained story. They’re not making empty promises that are meant to be cashed out in future movies.

Covenant can’t deliver on any of this. The first half, like I said, is a Prometheus-esque film. But it doesn’t have that same sense of wonder. Again, there is beautiful direction, but it doesn’t have the same energy. It feels too similar. These people are supposed to be colonists on a new planet yet they don’t seem very interested in it. They’re like yuppies looking for exotic real estate. “Can you picture yourself living here? I think I can…” At least Prometheus tantalized audiences with space travel. Covenant just feels tedious.

The film then pretty abruptly shifts into an Alien film. The xenomorphs just sorta show up. And yeah they’re kinda different, but not different enough to be interesting. And what’s up with the xeno-pods? That seems like a much more efficient and effective dispersal method than the face-huggers. So in what way are the eggs an evolution? And how did David manage to create the eggs without a queen? I like the idea of him experimenting on Shaw’s womb to create the egg, but it seems way too far fetched, even for this kinda movie.

The classic xenomorph design makes its appearance and it’s sorta momentous but the action sequences felt very blah to me. Mostly because I didn’t give a shit about these characters the way I did about Ripley or the marines from Alien and Aliens.

game-over-man-game-over

I think what’s even more frustrating about this new Alien franchise is that Scott has managed to sabotage two other promising films. In order to make Prometheus, Scott used his considerable influence to veto Guillermo del Toro’s adaptation of HP Lovecraft’s “At the Mountains of Madness,” because Prometheus essentially rips off the premise of the story. That’s truly a shame because we have never truly seen a great adaptation of Lovecraft’s work and I know del Toro would’ve put a lot of love into that film. Secondly, to make Covenant Scott effectively kiboshed Neill Blomkamp’s Alien sequel. Blomkamp (District 9) seemed to have an interesting new take on the franchise and could’ve pushed it into new territory. Now it’s unlikely we’ll ever get to see it.

This is the sorta shit that keeps me up at night. Real talk. I really don’t understand how Scott still enjoys the level of influence he does given the number of failures he’s had lately, namely Robin Hood and Exodus. I guess studios still salivate at the possibility of him recapturing the glory of Alien and Gladiator. And they probably don’t wanna make the same mistake they did with Blade Runner. I will admit, though, that The Martian was pretty great.

Alien Mural

So, what would I do differently?

First, let’s go back to Prometheus. Yes, there are lots of minor scrupples, but what sorta major changes can I make. Firstly, simplify. Get rid of all the Space Jesus, 2001 rip-off bullshit. Instead of clumsily shoehorning in glib teleology and philosophy, let’s just say that the team are scientists who found this weapons research planet and wanted to go explore. From there the story plays out much like it does in the film. They find this crazy spacecraft with dead Engineers. However, instead of black goo, they find the classic xenomorph eggs. That was the weapon. Somehow they made a mistake and they got lose. That’s what the Engineers were running from. I mean that would explain why we see a fucking xenomorph mural.

Let me digress a bit on this black goo. A lot of people have taken issue with it, but I have to get my two cents in because I think it’s such a lazy, shitty bit of writing. I don’t need my sci-fi concepts over-explained to me, but I require some kinda logic to it. This black goo does a million different things, depending on what the plot needs. They never bother trying to establish what it actually is. That’s just unforgivable.

So the team shows up and find the room full of eggs. But because they’re intelligent scientists, they know not to fuck with the eggs, and manage to isolate the face-hugger without getting exposed. They examine it, speculate, etc. Meanwhile, David is like, “I wanna see what this fucking thing can do for real.” Maybe he takes a sample of its vector and that’s how he infects Holloway. Now we still get to see the Ceasarian section scene.

Meanwhile, the team continue to explore the ship. They find the remaining Engineer, and Weyland shows up, etc. They discover that the Engineers had wanted to take the payload to earth to wipe out the human race. Why? An experiment. To amass an army of xenomorphs. Who knows. The point is that they are indifferent to us. That’s Lovecraftian horror, baby.

So, David is like well fuck you too and unleashes a facehugger on the Engineer. It bursts from the chest like we saw in Alien, thus fulfilling the promise of the whole fucking movie. What results is a Xenomorph *King*. Wouldn’t that be nuts? Like befitting of a modern Alien sequel. It’d be something we’d never seen before. The rest of the movie is them battling the giant Xenomorph, etc. Shaw and David escape to go to the Engineers’ home planet, because they’re like, “these people are fucked and are a threat. We gotta stop them.” That sets up Covenant.

Covenant begins with the colonists going to the Engineers’ home planet, not knowing the events of Prometheus. They just think it’s a suitable planet for terra-forming. They arrive and set up shop. This time, they’ve brought livestolk, pigs, cows, etc. The colonization is going well, but they have questions. Why does it have earth-like vegetation but no other animals? Teams are assembled to explore the planet.

They discover ruins, dead Engineers and indigenous animals. That’s when David shows up. From here the plot plays out like the film. He lies and says he and Shaw crashed there, found all the Engineers dead, etc. However, the truth is that David unleashed the eggs on the Engineers much like they had planned to do to us. Eventually the xenomorphs run out of food and die off, too. David, now becoming consumed with his mad desire to experiment, starts deploying the facehuggers on the animals, too. He splices the genes with insects, etc. to see what he can discover. And, like the film, he turns his psychotic gaze on Shaw as well.

The colonists give David new subjects to study. He exposes the animals to the facehuggers. We see xenomorph boars, bulls, horses, dogs, all kinds of wild shit. Again, new stuff we’ve never seen before that would warrant a sequel. This was actually an abandoned idea from the Alien 3 drafting stage that I think has been lamentably unexplored.

Some of the colonists escape. They kill David and his xenomorphs. They alert the Weyland-Yutani corp about what happened. That’s when the company decides to go to the planet from Prometheus, which sets up Alien.

From here the franchise could do some more sequels, or something.

So, what did you you think? Did you enjoy Prometheus and/or Covenant? Lemme know.

Cheers,

-b

Byline update: Canadian Encyclopedia

•May 23, 2017 • Leave a Comment

I wrote about Bannock for Canadian Encylopedia. I tried to untangle the complex web of its history and role in Canada, from the first European colonialists to modern adaptations in today’s First Nations cultures. Here is the link: http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/bannock/

Byline update: Canadian Encyclopedia

•May 23, 2017 • Leave a Comment

I wrote about butter tarts for Canadian Encyclopedia. I focused on their unique role in helping foster an identity for Canadian cuisine. Here’s the link: http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/butter-tarts/

Byline update: Canadian Encyclopedia

•May 23, 2017 • Leave a Comment

I wrote again about Screech for Canadian Encyclopedia. This is a bit more expository in nature than my work for Maisonneuve. It gets a little bit more into the history of it, if the first article piqued your interest. Here is the link: http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/screech/

Byline update: Maisonneuve

•May 23, 2017 • Leave a Comment

I wrote about the Screech-in for Maisonneuve. For those of you who don’t know, it is a kind of initiation ritual we do here in Newfoundland for visitors and newcomers. I explore its history, controversy, and role in Newfoundland identity politics. Here is a sample:

IT’S A FRIDAY NIGHT at Christian’s Pub in downtown St. John’s, Newfoundland. The bar is packed for a February. As 11 pm approaches, the crowd is eagerly waiting for Keith Vokey to arrive and perform his famous Screech-In ceremony. The tiny top floor—reserved for Screechers and their guests—fills quickly. The space heats up as everyone orders their pints, still bundled up in their winter coats because there are no more hooks left to hang them on. Rihanna’s “Work” plays on a jukebox in the corner. The tables and chairs have been pushed against the walls to create space in the middle of the room, where about a dozen tourists wait attentively in groups of threes and fours, their friends watching from the sidelines.

Fifteen minutes later, Vokey, dressed in green oilskins, bursts out from a door at the back of the bar, clapping his hand against a wooden oar. His long, curly hair has been tied into a ponytail and tucked into a green fisherman’s hat called a sou’wester, which is proportioned like a mullet—short in the front, long in the back. Small droplets of sweat are already beading in his salt-and-pepper beard. After the jukebox has been turned off, Vokey opens the night with the first verse of the “The Islander” by local favourites Shanneyganock. “I’m a Newfoundlander born and bred and I’ll be one ’til I die,” he sings. “I’m proud to be an islander and here’s the reason why; I’m free as the winds and the waves that wash the sand; there’s no place I’d rather be than here in Newfoundland.” Vokey is a capable singer in his own right—he’s played in a few groups, including a tribute band called The Beach B’ys—but his performance tonight is mostly about volume and theatrics.

Check out the full article here: https://maisonneuve.org/article/2017/01/17/hook-line-and-screecher/

American Psycho: A Survivalist Reading Guide for the Trump Era

•January 15, 2017 • Leave a Comment

2016 was the year people started using the word “narrative” to critique certain trains of the thought in the discourse, but yet seemed totally incapable of realizing they were perpetuating it. My favourite couple narratives now are are all the shitty liberals racing to use their personal hobby horses to explain why Donald Trump won.

Obsessing over gender nonsense is why Trump won!

Black Lives Matter! People are sick of being called racist!

Safe spaces! Snowflakes! Political correctness!

Apparently, the “left” forgot about the concerns of the working man, and in their “economic anxiety” America turned to the demagogue. Yeah, man, the GOP really got their fingers on the pulse of the blue collar community. That’s why they’re busy busting unions, dismantling health care, and stripping overtime regulation, while making laws entrenching gendered bathrooms. Let me fill you in on a little secret, the right are just as obsessed, probably more so, with identity politics, they’ve just won the war over semantics.

Yet, Clinton won the popular vote by a huge margin. One of the biggest in history. She got the second amount of votes for any candidate ever, aside from Obama in 2008. Trump won because of a shitty electoral collage, demographics, and James Comey. So, all these #hottakes on why Clinton lost are pretty much bullshit.

And here’s a thought, perhaps Trump’s victory isn’t a failure of the left, but a failure of the right. They’re the ones who put forward this sociopath and got him into office. Suddenly, it’s the other side’s fault for not stopping a huge portion of the population hell bent on driving America into fascism? “Oh, well sure I covered myself in shit, but you should’ve stopped me! It’s your fault!”

Ugh. Then there’s the “both candidates are awful” crowd. You’re all so edgy and individualistic, guys. No way the lamestream media is ever gonna get one over on y’all. Hope you enjoy masturbating in front of a mirror for the next couple years as we get to find out what happens to the world when America is turned into Zimbabwe.

As Trump and his ship of fools continue to demonize the press, I can only wonder when the public book burnings will start. Until then, help yourself to some of these.

George RR Martin – A Song of Ice and Fire

a_song_of_ice_and_fire_book_collection_box_set_cover

Everyone’s favourite literary reference for politics these days.

So many people were hoping that Clinton would be Daenerys. Instead, she was more like Little Finger, a conniving technocrat. Which, IMO, isn’t that bad. Instead, we get Joffrey.

Jonathan Franzen – Purity

y450-293

I was a little underwhelmed when I first finished Purity, but it’s really stayed with me the past year and I was reminded of it many times during the election. Throughout the novel Franzen considers the concept of purity from a number of angles. Characters become fixated with a particular ideology and become fanatically rigid.

There is one character that was especially pertinent, a hacker named Andreas Wolf. Wolf fervently believes that government secrets must be exposed, but guards many of his own personal secrets. Sound like someone familiar?

While I don’t agree with a lot of what Franzen says, I agree that purity has become a destructive force in our current political discourse. Bernie Bros and Trumpists were obsessed with the untainted quality of their candidates, whereas Clinton was tarnished by her time in office. The notion of being pragmatic and taking the lesser of several evils isn’t doesn’t seem to hold much water anymore. Drain the swamp! Revolution! Blow it up!

Edmund Burke – Reflections on the Revolution in France

511wvorzdfl-_sx328_bo1204203200_

Speaking of revolution, Burke’s treatise on the French revolution is a classic in conservative literature (or at least when conservatism was sensible). Burke is painfully wordy, but he zeros in on a number of important points. He deconstructs the sexy fervour around revolution and emphasises its violent and destructive reality. It is better, he reasons, to pursue slow change, gradual so that the people can adapt and digest these changes. Slavoj Zizek makes a somewhat similar point when he talks about a culture’s failure to imagine an alternate reality after a revolution, in order to avoid the old “meet the new boss, same as the old boss.”

Frankly, the celebration of revolution smacks of privilege. A lot of leftists have gleefully embraced Trump as a potential to burn everything to the ground and start over with a glorious socialist ascension. Maybe that’s true? But it seems to be that a lot of people are gonna get trampled underfoot while we wait for that to play out.

Margaret Atwood – The Handmaid’s Tale

handmaids-tale-cover

And who are these people that are about to be trampled? Well, women are an immediate target. The GOP have already set their sights on defunding Planet Parenthood. Mike Pence has been particularly zealous in oppressing women, including pursuing a bill that would force would-be mothers to hold funerals for their miscarried children. Yeah. Seriously. Fun fact: the war on abortion is actually a war on affordable abortions for poor women. Rich women have always had access to safe abortions, and conservatives are all too content to let poor women kill themselves with grotesque solutions.

The Handmaid’s Tale is one of the most fucked up books I’ve ever read. I felt tense the entire time while reading it. It’s a dystopian future where Christian extremists have taken over the United States. Fertility rates are perilous, so fertile women are selected to be “handmaids” to powerful families. Basically, a heifer. Atwood’s description of this perverse threesome is one of the most harrowing things I’ve ever read.

Albert Speer – Inside the Third Reich

41-qv9-onwl-_sx308_bo1204203200_

Trump’s campaign sure had an overt stench of antisemitism. He certainly didn’t go to any lengths to downplay it with the hiring of Bannon. Trump’s embrace of the “alt-right” has catapulted neo-Nazis into the mainstream. Except, shhh. We’re not supposed to call them that. It’s totally just liberal hyperbole to call a group of people who openly flaunt Nazi iconography and xenophobia “Nazis.” Let’s call a spade a spade, shall we?

Speer, the Third Reich’s official architect and later minister of munitions, details his rise through Hitler’s regime. It’s also a rare document that gives a first-person POV of the social milieu of Germany that lead to the rise of the Third Reich. Most notably for me, is his focus on how Germany disregarded its history and importance of self-reflection. Everything was reduced to utilitarianism, which makes me think our current state.

Ta-Nehisi Coates – “The Case for Reparations”

quote-two-hundred-fifty-years-of-slavery-ninety-years-of-jim-crow-sixty-years-of-separate-ta-nehisi-coates-67-25-56

Coates has had the Midas touch the last couple years. I love his work in the Atlantic and for Black Panther. Unfortunately, I still haven’t gotten to Between the World and Me, but its reputation is impressive.

“The Case for Reparations” is one of the best essays I’ve ever read. Coates breaks down the historical circumstances of how White America has been able to build its wealth by plundering Black communities, from Jim Crow laws in the South, to housing schemes in Chicago.

If you’re genuinely curious about the BLM movement, then this is a great place to start.

Thomas Piketty – Capital in the 21st Century

pikettye280ac-capitale280ac-in-the-21st-century

In case you were wondering how a shithead like Trump managed to make a fortune (the size of which is still very much debatable) then this is an excellent book. Piketty explores the way capital is allowed to flow freely by the wealthy, who in turn drive up the margin of inequality. His main thesis is that that when the rate of return on capital is greater than the rate of economic growth over the long term, the result is concentration of wealth, which causes social and economic instability. Moreover, this trend towards concentration of wealth is an inherent feature of capitalism (hello there again, Marx), and the only solution is state intervention and progressive taxation.

This obviously a great read after going through the 2008 recession, and with Trump loading up his cabinet with Wall Streeters (so much for draining the swamp) it looks like we’re careening back towards something far worse. It’s fascinating/terrifying to see how Putin is successfully spreading his kleptocracy across the globe.

Naomi Klein – This Changes Everything

article20lead20-20narrow6298869211i1f1image-related-articleleadnarrow-353x0-11i2dw-png1415567794333-300x0

Klein is a tricky figure for me. I think she’s an excellent writer and I agree with much of what she says (however, her praise of Ontario’s green energy plans in this book are cringe-worthy), I’m not such a fan of her activism. She’s very intractable and non-compromising. I mean, she’s probably right. It certainly seems like climate action needs immediate, far-reaching intervention, but unfortunately, for many complex reasons, we’re not there as a population. The best we can muster right now is a modest carbon tax.

But hey, you’re allowed to like a writer without agreeing with %100 of their views, something we’ve seemed to have chosen to jettison.

Aside from being a great primer for climate issues, I think Klein’s best moments are when she delineates how a green energy revolution will fundamentally change capitalism. Green technology has the potential to disrupt the control big energy companies have over the means of production. Yes, this is all very Marxist, which is why it’s awesome. That’s a revolution I can get behind.

A green tech revolution is also likely the best chance we have of underminingthe power a petro state like Russia has.

Edward Said – Orientalism

said-orientalism

I think it’s fair to say Trump comes from the “now is not the time for sociology” school of foreign affairs. If you only read the intro to Orientalism you’ll be all the richer for it. Said delineates the way will to knowledge went hand in hand with colonialism in the “East.” Basically, western powers wanted to plunder eastern wealth so they dispatch scholars to represent these places back to us in ways that subtly justified foreign intervention. Thus we begin to see how the Orient was envisioned as this mysterious, wild frontier, crying out to be brought to bear by western hegemony. They didn’t even understand the wealth they were sitting on!

In a word, be mindful of the gaze in which subjects are rendered.

Fyodor Dostoevsky – Crime and Punishment

crimeandpunishmentcover

Had to sneak this one in. A classic from the Russian master about a character who self-righteously commits murder, insisting the end justifies the means.

Likewise, I have a feeling the whole thing about Russian hacking is gonna go from “this is bullshit!” to “Russia was right to infiltrate the election.” Recently, Marine Le Pen visited Trump Tower (which is ominously accruing Sauron vibes), which can only be interpreted as Putin pushing plotting his next move to subvert democracy in Europe. As this plays out, expect a lot of rationalization about how the means of fascism justify the ends.

 

Anyways, I think that should be enough. Enjoy your Three Doors Down concert, losers.

Cheers,

-b

Sing the Body Electric: Lifting Our Feels

•December 8, 2016 • 1 Comment

A while back,  a playboy bunny got in trouble for posting an unsolicited picture of a fat woman showering naked at the gym. I was surprised and disappointed by this, because my experience at the gym has always been generally supportive. Obviously, there’s assholes in all walks of live. Unfortunately, this will only help to foster the stereotype that gyms are full of judgemental snobs shaming people for their bodies; that unfit people are unwelcome.

Personally, I can say that when I see a beginner at the gym, I feel very motivated. It’s great to see people trying to improve their bodies. And I think most of my fellow lifters feel the same. I’ve had lots of friends who were intimidated by the gym because of the stereotypical meatheads that supposedly inhabit it; a gay friend who was wary of homophobic bros, or women afraid of–well all the shit women have to deal with. But, generally, they’ve all been pleasantly surprised by how chill and welcoming the environment is.

As such, I’ve never felt self-conscious working out at the gym. For example, whenever I put on weight, I refuse to buy new workout clothes. I’m taking a page outta Arnold’s book here. Early in his career, Arnold had great gains in his upper-body, but had small legs and calves. To push himself, he’d wear bulky long sleeve shirts and shorts to hide his strengths and expose his weaknesses. Likewise, whenever I see fat spilling out of my shirt on an overhead lift, it motivates me to work harder.

That being said, even though I’m confident when it comes to my appearance, that doesn’t mean I don’t deal with my share of mental hangups when it comes to exercising. As one anon once famously said, “perhaps the heaviest things that we lift are not our weights but our feels.” Here is a list of cognitive distortions that I find myself dealing with regularly.

feelsaprokaryoteisasinglecelledorganismthatlacksa_88c9f0_5409272

1) All-or-nothing thinking: Seeing things as black or white, perfection or failure

Fitness goals are achieved by building on small successes one at a time. The ultimate goal is to have a consistent routine complimented by a clean diet. I struggle with the latter. Unfortunately, I love junk food. So whenever I cheat too much on my nutrition I really beat myself up over it. Or I’ll design a regimen and whenever I fall short of expectation, I get down on myself. I’m always having to remind myself that it’s all just a work in progress, and to learn from my mistakes. Also, like Salvatore Dali said, “Have no fear of perfection. You’ll never reach it.”

2) Filtering: Dwelling on a negative so much that other successes somehow don’t count

I’ve written before about my admiration of my father’s running career and my own weaknesses as a runner. While I’m not a great endurance athlete, I’ve always been explosively strong. However, because I’ll probably never run a marathon, my strengths are diminished by this one deficiency. In addition, in terms of bodybuilding, I get really fast gains in my legs, triceps and shoulders. However, my chest and my biceps are slow gainers. This is frustrating because these are traditionally the glamour muscles; they give you that “wow” factor. To combat these thoughts I remind myself of what I should be grateful for. For example, I have really big calves, which don’t require much work to maintain. This is something even professional competitors lack. A lot of people struggle with chicken legs but I have natural tree trunks. Dad used to say I have cows not calves. Gratefulness is definitely a powerful force that I’ve learned to embrace as I get older.

3) Overgeneralization: Seeing one bad experience as a never-ending pattern of defeat

Returning to my weak points, sometimes I get discouraged and think that I’ll never get them up to par. In these moments, I remind myself that everyone has weak points and it just means having to adopt different strategies. Lately, to bring my biceps up, I emphasize the negative phase of a lift, or use half-reps to go beyond failure. For chest, I start with a lower-pec movement, because prioritizing a weak area is a great way to sustain stress on it throughout the workout. In a word, when you have a weakness, strategize.

4) Personalization: When you think everything people do or think is a reaction to you

Like I said, I’m not really self-conscious at the gym these days, but I get why some people are. You think everyone around you is judging you. I think most serious lifters/athletes are more focused on their own workout to worry about other people. I think people have to remember that while you may be looking at someone thinking, “Oh, if I only could look like that,” someone is looking at you and thinking the same thing. Ultimately, you have no idea what people are thinking so don’t sweat it.

5) Control fallacy: That you have supreme control over everything and thus all shortcomings are your fault

Again, coming back to my weaknesses, some things are genetically beyond my control. No one is the perfect all around athlete. You can’t look like Dorian Yates and perform like Lance Armstrong at the same time. Recognize your natural strengths and weaknesses and work with them.

6) Fallacy of fairness: Being resentful because things don’t play out according to your pre-conceived notions of fairness

One of my favourite movie quotes is from Unforgiven. Clint Eastwood is about to shoot the sheriff, who says “I don’t deserve to die like this!” To which Clint responds, “‘Should’ ain’t got nothin’ to do with it.” A lot of people have preconceived ideas of how their fitness goals should play out and when things don’t go according to plan, they piss and moan about how it isn’t fair, etc. Abandon whatever notions you have of “fairness.” Maybe you’re following a plan that doesn’t suit your morphology. Get over it, re-group, strategize.

 

I’m sure there’s more I could think out but these give a pretty good overview of the mental hangups I, and probably a lot of people, deal with at the gym. One concept that kept coming up, I noticed, was strategizing. Overwhelming challenges always seem to disintegrate when you break them apart with potential solutions. Whenever I feel I’ve hit a plateau at the gym, I look up videos on YouTube. It’s insane how much material is out there. When I started working out in the early 00s as a teenager, all we really had were magazines and whatever bro science was being disseminated at the local gym. And don’t get me started on all the “motivational gurus” out there, but that’s for another post. Anyways, get out there and get after it!

Cheers,

-b