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Friday, October 5, 2007

My Pets

Someone asked me today if I felt pain. “I’ve never seen you show pain.”

How I pity you, with your puny human lives.

I guess I, like everyone else, don't seem to be what I am. That appears to be my most recent theme. Those seeking screeds against ragheads, race-mongers and pinkos must look elsewhere temporarily, or through the archives here. I'm quite brilliant, you know, and what I have written in the past is just as superb as that which I produce currently. Excellence, like infinity, has degrees, each perfectly suited to its sublime purpose. And speaking of sublime, it is true that I must present the appearance of some great blond beast, a lean grey steppenwolf circling the cowering cave-dwellers huddled about their flickering campfire. It is not the shark that is the perfect killing machine. It is, as it were, myself, Jack H. As it were. I'm wonderful.

Of course I feel pain. Almost always. This fella must never have been around while I warm up. It’s like the mummy of Amon-Ra coming to life. Creeeeeak. If I didn't roll everyday, I'd feel like a teenager. But I roll everyday. A compulsion, it seems. I do have some insight into it. It has to do with my son. I haven't been to a movie in years now. Four, I think. Not since I went with my son. Now that I've drawn it up from the pit, I realize that I'm not going to see another one until he comes back. I have no idea why -- hardly any.

He'll be out of Iraq and in Germany in a few weeks, then a couple of months decompression, then he's done. When that happens, and I'm alone, I think I will sob until I can't breathe. Maybe not. But it is a lot of pressure. I'd like some sort of catharsis, though. They're great.

As I type this, there is a cat sitting on the monitor, its tail hanging down the middle of the screen. I'm not at my computer. I'm relocated.

So here's the point. Where do I get the energy to fight, a lot, every day? Why would some people think I don't feel pain -- the implication being that I'm not quite human? Well, I've never been quite human. When I was a teenager I went back to the Midwest to visit some cousins and my grandmother. After a while she said, "You seem more human this time." It had been a couple of years, from mid to late teens. I didn't take it as an insult. An insight, more likely. But that's a different kind of human.

This is the physical stuff. And I get the energy, and the strength, and whatever other salient mutable traits, from my lifestyle. I'll tell anyone who asks. I've told you. (Move your damn tail.) But I don't preach. Some fellas want to attribute it to genetics. I've pointed out on several occasions that I have brothers who are pretty average, who have a different lifestyle. Yours. Whereas I've spent thirty years of dedicated but non-fanatical commitment to fitness and health, focusing primarily around a sane human diet. I believe being vegetarian is a huge part of that, but for most people that's just not going to happen.

It shouldn't really be a puzzlement. Same general genetic material as my brothers, with the only and major difference being a radically different lifestyle. Hm. But it still must be genetics. Because if I'm right -- and it is after all an anecdotal account, rather than a double-blind study -- then all the other suggestions are just excuses to continue eating meat and the concomitant crap that accompanies it. Tell me, what disease is prevented by supplementing a diet with meat? What's that? Anemia? Well, yes, I suppose ... although spinach really is a better source of iron. But you make an excellent point, I guess. Your fatburger does indeed prevent starvation, a very pernicious disease. You do however see my point. I hope to God you do.

Diet is emotional. All of your arguments for meat amount to this: you want to eat it.

Did I mention that I living with animals not my own?

Health is a choice. Almost always. Before it's too late, that is. After that, the choice is taken away, replaced by chronic illness. I don't mean to blame. If you have disease, you have my sympathy. But if you don't, do you suppose that the nutrients, or non-nutrients, that you put into your body might have something to do with the amount of energy you have? And the level of health? And the capacity for self-healing?

Yes, I'm living in place where someone I care about is just waiting to die. It's a very slow process, and may take several more years, or longer. But he walks at a ninety-degree angle to himself, all hunched over his walker, which he shortly will not be able to use any longer. And sometimes he is utterly incoherent. In the hospital last week he was supposed to have an X-ray, but he went paranoid and accused the staff of certain crimes, and bit a nurse. He's diabetic, and just ate a can of frozen juice concentrate with a spoon. Again.

Why has this happened? Decades and decades of eating without nourishing. Food is not about calories. I could see it coming, literally, for thirty years. But appetite is emotional, and I don't nag.

So I'm living around six cats and two absolutely tiny little dogs. And a man whom I love, ruined, demented, in pain, and old before his time. Normally I'd say something sarcastic here, like about hoping you enjoy your next meal. Maybe I'd point out that the word sarcasm comes from the Greek, sarkazein, meaning to tear flesh. Like a dog, an unthinking, undisciplined dumb domesticated appetite-driven pet. But somehow it doesn't seem appropriate. And you already know how clever I am. I'm brilliant. A brilliant blond beast, prowling outside the circle of your dim firelight.


J

19 comments:

G.W.C. said...

Oooohhhh, yummy, bacon cheese burger, extra cheese, extra bacon, oh, sorry.
You've got a point on eating healthy. Since I changed my diet I have much more energy. I mostly quit eating red meat (excepting the once every payday, mandatory bacon cheeseburger), now it's mostly just poultry, green eggs, tofu, fruit and veggies. Most of my protein these days comes from plant sources. I was expecting an improvement, but was happily suprised by the extent of the changes. Now, if I could only quit smoking without killing anyone. This morning I ran my first 7 minute mile since high school, WooHoo. Trying to get my "Weapons Platform" back into fighting condition.

Jack H said...

Why!?! WHY must you cru-el people constantly torment me? Will the world ever hold a place for Jack H? Is there never to be any peace? How can I, such a noble soul, continue in this desert of despair? I spelled desert right, right? It's not dessert? I get them mixed up. Ironic, isn't it. And "Despair" -- it's so much like "dis pair" ... like dis pair of aces takes de pot!

Word to the wise, though. Don't let all yer macho buds know. They wouldn't understand.

I, of course, at the age of 46 (yes, a couple of years ago, I admit), would run a five minute mile. Did I mention that I'm wonderful?

J

G.W.C. said...

I know what you mean about seeing it coming for years, my grandfather died three years ago Febuary. I've never figured out if it was the lung cancer, diabetes, or quintuple bypass five years earlier that actually killed him. Two packs a day and bacon (or sausage, or salt pork) and eggs for lunch every day for 40 years will do that to you.
Five minutes? Prick.;P

Jack H said...

Don't worry, Pokey. The community bus will be along shortly. The race doesn't always go to the swift.

J

G.W.C. said...

Don't make me take my shell off and beat you about the head and shoulders there rabbit. Is it the short bus? I only ride the short bus.

Jack H said...

Yeah, I'd wait for you to catch up and then summon the energy to do all that, but, well, you know ... there's an election next year, and I just can't be sitting around until then.

The shop kids stole the wheels.

G.W.C. said...

Uh huh. We both know you're far to self-involved to notice me sneaking up on you.

Stole the wheels? I bet it was the rich white kid.

Jack H said...

Oh, did you speak? I'm sorry ... I was preoccupied. Thinking profound thoughts, about my beauty. You know, the usual.

They run in possies. That's how it's spelled, right? As in, "I'm gunna kick yer ass, and my possy will help!" Sumtimes I git 'u' and 'o' mixed up.

G.W.C. said...

I beleive it's spelled "possies", but I usually pronounce it "pussies". Where I come from a man can stand on his own. And to think, those little bitches are technically part of my generation. Further evidence of the degeneration of my beloved America. I keep asking the Sheriff's Dept. to issue me a "Gangbanger Hunting License". They always seem to think I'm joking.

Jack H said...

Imagine the pride I feel, to be a boomer! Such glory! The Ages will rise up and praise this glorious cowhoret! Never has the world SEEN such a degeneration! This is the mid-morning, about, oh, say, 9:43, of the Age of Aquarius! All of a sudden I feel like letting my hair grow and burning a flag. You know, true patriot stuff, like Obama said. I feel so YOUNG! So Free! Thank you, Dr. Leary, for giving us our FREEDOM! Thank you, Abbie, for making us SAFE! I feel like MARCHING! And those heady days are here again! Down with Hellaburning and its corporate spokesape, Butch! Dude. Did you know that Chaney shot a guy? And then ate him? It's true! Al Franken says so! Open your EYES, man.

G.W.C. said...

Leary? Do you think they might add "Hippies" to that "Gangbanger License"? My grandpa had an answer for hippies, it involved shotgun shells packed with rock salt. I miss those simple days on the farm. Now, I'm surrounded by neo-hippies, pinko commies, and progressives. There was a day when, "the kid who swallowed to many marbles didn't grow up to have kids of his own", but, thanks to modern medicine, we now refer to those kids as "Democrats". And who says natural selection was a bad thing for humanity.

Jack H said...

My, what IS this strange obsession you have with firearms? The pinkressives may have a clue, and I don't mean in the South Park sense. Can't we all just learn to love the Obamba?

http://forgottenprophets.blogspot.com/2007/05/padlocks.html

G.W.C. said...

I wouldn't say I'm obsessed with guns, but, as I am a gunsmith (in training), they most certainly are one subject in which I'm interested. Okay, maybe I am obsessed, though mostly I'm obsessed with violence itself, methods of application and prevention of. I also study hand-to-hand combat (not martial arts, though I do understand their attraction, sports don't really interest me), knife combat, fieldcraft, etc. I wouldn't say I'm "good", but I am getting better, on the other hand, I'm one hell of a good shot. And, as we all know, "Sam Colt made them equal".

Jack H said...

In can't be genetic. I have no or little real interest in firearms, save in a practical sense. My son is a sniper. Go figure. On the other hand, let me recommend Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. It's the only sport I've ever cared about. Nothing like it. As I've said, little girls pull their chairs together and talk; little boys find some grass and wrestle. We may be bigger now, but we're the same. The most direct form of competition possible. Satisfying in a visceral level beyond anything imaginable. You may be caught without a gun, but you have a body until you lose it.

J

G.W.C. said...

There is a pretty good BJJ school here. Their moto is, "If you want art, buy a brush". I've been considering joining, but, I'm worried that my hand-to-hand training will over ride my brain and I'll hurt someone. A great deal of what I'm learning is presented in a way that it takes the "safties" off of the human brain making even it's most deadly techniques almost automatic very soon after learning them. I'm hoping I'll develope the control over the next year or so to prevent "accidents". However, where I sit now, I don't have that control. A lesson painfully learned by a gangbanger in August when he pulled a knife on me. His jaw and elbow were broken before I made a conscious decision to do it, so, I'm a bit wary of sparring.
I believe BJJ is what the US Army is currently teaching soldiers, right? I'm not really sure I'm happy about that, but, then again, I'm somewhat biased toward Fairbairn Sykes CQC/H2H, beacuse it's a combat system instead of a sport, albiet one based on Judo. I just feel soldiers should be taught to kill, not wrestle. The Combat BJJ tendency of teaching a soldier to think, "pull me into your guard so I can stab you to death", worries me a bit. The Middle East has a lot of very skilled wrestlers, village champions to national champs, and national competitions. FS CQC does borrow heavily from Ju-jitsu and Judo for it's ground work, but it's mostly a standup system for, literally, destroying your opponent. Some of it even dates back to the legionnaires of Rome.
If I had my way, the US national pastime would be MMA instead of baseball. Then, when they join the military, they should teach them CQC. But, that's just my opinion, and nobody really cares about that.

Anonymous said...

you boys.....pulling your chairs together and talking about wrestling in the grass.

JACK! I bought that book you recommended and am hoping to feel better soon. It will replace my "MEXICO, The Beautiful Cookbook" and "TUSCANY" The Beautiful Cookbook. Beautiful books, about relishing fabulous foods, eating, drinking and merrimaking. That's my heritage, but it has made me a little soft in the middle.

Enjoy your new pets, they are more than unthinking, undisciplined dumb creatures. You'll see. And as a caretaker of aging parents, I want to remind you to look for respite and take care of yourself along the way. It gets wearying.
Okay, back to boy code talk. :---) That's my Italian snout.

Jack H said...

G -- Oh, did you speak? I wasn't listening. ... HAW HAW!

We say, "This ain't dance class." I have exceedingly limited knowledge re the general state of martial arts. I'm not a badass, for all my occasional levity. I'm in it purely for the sport. But I did see a Human Weapon episode on the Marine MMA. A mix, but they use BJJ. No problems regarding kill-switch failure.

The beauty of this sport is that you can go full blast. Nothing wrong with engaging the brain in these moves. I'm there three-four hours a day, five six days a week, and I've never seen anyone out of control -- enough injuries, but no Rambos. This is just my thing -- plenty of guys join and never come back. Guess they find some chick to gab with.

All the FS CQC doesn't mean anything to me. Oh. OK. Now it does. My son taught close quarters combat to his battalion. We haven't talked about it, but he still values bjj most highly. My feeling is that any of these eclectic systems should be pretty much equivalent. None of these guys are idiots. They use what works. Natural selection is, after all, unforgiving.


A -- Hey babe, you know it's true, that chairs thing. I know I never recommended a cookbook, so it must be a nutrition book. Just doing my part to push back the darkness.

I'm just backup, re the old folks. Oh bother.

J

G.W.C. said...

I don't have a problem with BJJ itself. As far as sport combat goes it's at or near the top of the ladder. From what I've seen the military has done a good job converting it to a combat system, but I think it's to complex for real combat. I live in a military town, and quite a few of the Special Forces guys here are studying the same things I am because they say it takes to long to put someone down with the stuff the military taught them. In their words, "Rollin around on the ground with an insurgent is a good way to get both of you shot by his friends".

Jack H said...

As a pure martial art it is demonstrably the best, as proved by the early MMA of the 90s. Now people mix it up and it's all more complex. But every serious MMA fighter knows to train some BJJ.

It evolved as a street fighting system, in the sense of macho challenges, not brawls -- so in that context ... that is, as a real set of skills, it dominates. But that's really as a sport. Any other application doesn't really interest me at this point. I'm a runner not a fighter. At least, I used to be.