Oh, my, god. Becky, look at her butt. It is so big.
'baby got back' passes the bechdel test (via battlestardidactica)
Oh, my, god. Becky, look at her butt. It is so big.
'baby got back' passes the bechdel test (via battlestardidactica)
This post is also less than central to the Inland Empire project (obviously) but I keep hitting this when I try to figure out how to start the Rabbits post, so super deep cut tangent alert. Again.
This is about David Milch. Frat brother of George W, multiple Humanitas prize winner, addict, protegee of Robert Penn Warren, alter ego of Denis Franz, L’Enfant terrible. When I talked of a “transcendence axis” in the last post, I was talking about him as much as anyone else outside of Lynch and Kubrick. Deadwood is a show that manages to be incredible meaningful while not really doing much that the dramatic checklist demands. It is (other than maybe John from Cincinnati) the most subliminally active show I’ve ever seen, at least since Lynch’s TV projects (TP represent! Those Hotel Room episodes!).
But I don’t want to talk about that stuff. I want to talk about David Milch, amateur philosopher.
One thing I can wholeheartedly endorse is listening to Milch go on and on about writing in the lectures associated with the Idea of the Writer, a chunk’o’video performed over a week during the writers strike of 2008. Note: all the Milch lectures at the site are nice, but I’ll be referring to the lower down strike associated lectures. If you don’t have the time, I’ll try to hit the highlights pursuant to the project at hand. I don’t know that there is an order to this – in fact the imposition of such an order is probably anti-Milch. So, the big points, paraphrased heavily:
1. Push through fanciful association to imaginative association, via Coleridge – we associate memories/ideas/symbols/whatever in an arbitrary way. But if the association feels as though it has power, and you dig, you can find what elements convert the capricious (the fanciful) to the universal (imaginative). There is nothing about a specific pop song’s reminding you of a specific moment that needs to have meaning for anyone but you but if you interrogate the components and the memory (he dwells on the subconscious choices we make presenting such an association) you can find the universal meaning.
2. Our separateness is an illusion, via Paul, I Corinthians 12 – Finding connection is the reason for art. Writers are wrenched creatures, trying to build a bridge back to god/community/others.
3. Learn to rest transparently in the spirit that gave us rise, via Kierkegaard – the cause of despair is applying reason and control to wrestle our world into the sense of our ego. This cases separation of the self (or the parts of the self) and results in solipsism/alienation. The cure is to write/live like a prayer.
4. Work in faith – acting not in faith is despair. Using a writing outline is a form of despair. Trying to write to what you think the audience wants is a form of despair. Give yourself over to the spirit of writing. The way to reach everyone is to find your understanding of the universal through having faith in your mind’s associations, not applying controlling principles.
5. Don’t trust what you think about writing when you aren’t writing and learn how to get yourself writing in the right spirit by doing exercises – suggested: every day for 20-50 minutes write what two voices say to each other. Don’t name the voices. Do not allow yourself to think about it before or after. Seal the results. This cuts the act of writing off from all of your attempts to control it with your ego.
6. Moby Dick is my favorite book, and Milch makes an interesting assertion – The long, methodical parts of the book are an attempt to exhaust the conscious mind’s control, so that you can achieve the transparency of ego at the end to connect to the meaning. This is similar to his discussion of how unreadable Kierkegaard is when he’s thinking (“Spirit is to be a self. But what is the self? In short, the self is a synthesis… The self is the conscious unity of these factors, which relates to itself, whose task is to become itself. ”) but this frees him to reach sermonlike, beautiful passages that abandon logical forms.
I mention this stuff as it informs thinking about the central core of Inland Empire, but it is also congruous with Lynch’s transcendental mediation musings – the meditation clears out all the control elements that have built up during the day and expands the container to receive ideas, which are come to fresh. I think this is a form of (or technique for) reaching Milch’s transparent state where the creation of imaginative art takes place. More importantly, it describes the proper frame for watching Lynch. The imaginative associations in Inland Empire are not buried. We’re just not used to being dropped in them raw. You can argue the way most movies work is from the specific (a set-up we can relate to in its distinctness) progressing to a more general truth. IE plunges you into the naked relationships between images and ideas. You have to approach the movie with faith in the movie’s having meaning and let the movie work. I think approached this way the movie has meaning even if the conscious mind cannot quite grip it.
anyway, listen to the Milch stuff. It is discursive as hell, and infuriating at times, but worth it.
First of all, I apologize for taking so long to answer your post. When I received it I was still out of town. Second, I wanted to write something thoughtful and I needed time to not write something out of anger. Anger that you would accuse me of doing harm by not mindlessly insisting on weight loss as the ultimate solution to a fat person’s health problems.
To start with I would like to state that I do not refuse to advocate weight loss, where it is appropriate to do so. I assume that you are operating on the false assumption that being fat automatically makes a person unhealthy. I can assure you that it does not.
"But, what about the obesity epidemic? What about the diabetes epidemic? But what about…?" I hear you ask.
There are lots of illnesses that have been statistically correlated with being fat. But the thing to understand is that correlation does not equal causation.
Lets use Type 2 diabetes and fatness as an example. Diabetes type 2 is an illness of insulin resistance. That means the body requires more insulin to produce the same sugar lowering effect than a nondiabetic body would need. Insulin is produced by cells in the pancreas called beta cells.
Contrary to popular belief, people don’t just go from being nondiabetic to diabetic overnight. Rather there is a process that occurs. We have found that there are differences in a person’s beta cells that happen long before a person even begins to show signs of insulin resistance. Many people who go on to become type 2 diabetics will have higher levels of insulin circulating in their bodies for years before they even become prediabetic. One of the other functions of insulin in the body is to promote the storage of excess energy as fat. So, insulin makes people fat, and keeps people fat (makes it harder to lose weight).
Can you see where I’m going with this? The question now becomes, are people diabetic because they are fat? Or are they fat because they are diabetic? This is an extremely important distinction to make.
When I see a diabetic person, fat or not, I tell them to make sure they get plenty of exercise and to watch what they eat to control their carbohydrate intake. What does this sound like? “Diet and exercise.” The difference is that I don’t tell people to lose weight. Many of my patients who follow this advice do in fact lose weight, and that is fine. Many of my patients do not. That is also fine. They all have better control of their sugars, and in most cases, to similar degrees. I fail to see how not insisting on losing weight is “doing harm.”
There are times when a person’s weight turns out to be a factor in their illness and where weight loss may help in treating it. In those cases, I do suggest some weight loss. But in NO case is it ever necessary for someone to get to their “ideal body weight” to help their condition.
Finally, let’s look at the idea of “doing harm.” Did you know that studies (link and link) have shown that the medical profession as a whole is biased against fat people? That there are countless stories about people having serious illnesses going undiagnosed because they are fat and doctors refuse to look beyond that? That fat patients stop going to their doctors after being repeatedly made to feel ashamed for being fat by their doctors? For trying so hard to lose weight but not being “successful?” That, to me is the real harm that is done. The psychological harm. The physical harm that results from not going to the doctor for a serious problem because the doctor will either ignore it or just embarrass them again.
Are you aware that the vast majority of people who lose weight are not able to maintain that weight loss over the long term? And that people can end up far fatter than they would have become otherwise due to the lose-gain cycle. That that cycle can also cause serious harm to a person?
I care about each and every one of my patients whether they are fat or not. Whether they are healthy or not. Fat patients get the same consideration given to their concerns as thin people. I don’t simply dismiss things because a person is fat or tell them that losing weight is the ultimate answer. If my medical work up indicates that losing a small amount of weight may help, then I suggest it. Otherwise, it is not necessary.
Finally, before you try to tell me about all the research that shows being fat is unhealthy, I have a few of links to lots of evidence-based medical research that shows that being fat does not necessarily make one unhealthy.
Serious question? Serious answer.
The doctor is fucking IN
Wow this is amazing.
Well, look. There are a few good points here. Saying “you’re fat, that’s your problem, fix it” is not as good an approach as “here’s how you eat healthy and you need to get more exercise.” And being fat is stigmatized in a way that doesn’t acknowledge cultural factors people have no control over (bonus: like all other categories of person, every overweight person pays the price of esteem for the overweight assholes, that all seem to shop at my Sam’s).
But it is incorrect that being fat doesn’t have a direct effect on causing diabetes. The above is written with a strange disregard for physiology. The crux of the problem is here: “Contrary to popular belief, people don’t just go from being nondiabetic to diabetic overnight. Rather there is a process that occurs. We have found that there are differences in a person’s beta cells that happen long before a person even begins to show signs of insulin resistance. Many people who go on to become type 2 diabetics will have higher levels of insulin circulating in their bodies for years before they even become prediabetic. One of the other functions of insulin in the body is to promote the storage of excess energy as fat. So, insulin makes people fat, and keeps people fat (makes it harder to lose weight).
"Can you see where I’m going with this? The question now becomes, are people diabetic because they are fat? Or are they fat because they are diabetic? This is an extremely important distinction to make."
This is either pervasive misunderstanding or reality sculpting, but it fails to ask the question of why the insulin levels are up in these people. “The question now becomes, are people diabetic because they are fat? Or are they fat because they are diabetic?” No it doesn’t. They are fat first, then the insulin goes up, then they get diabetic. Not mentioning the relationship between the getting fat and the insulin increase is very misleading.
It does not say that being fat and having poor lifestyles precedes (or accompanies) the insulin increase, which it does. Fat soaks up insulin. If a person is fat, insulin production increases because they need more insulin. If they have a high carb (especially fast carb) diet, that increases insulin. Not getting exercise does too. Bad diet and lack of exercise also cause the fatness, so these factors are working in the same direction.
The diabetic sequence happens because the need for insulin (increased by carbs and fat amount) outstrips the supply, which undergoes gradual decline as the beta cells burn out like pixels on a plasma TV that is kept on all the time on a high brightness setting. If you do the diet and exercise, but your weight somehow stays the same, that will help, and may take you down to a normal level. But that is different than saying weight is not an independent factor, which is untrue.
The real problem for both of our arguments is that weight is not an independent factor. Heavy people are heavy almost always because of unhealthy lifestyles, so that makes the idea of controlling for diet and exercise novel, and likely to provoke emotional response. The point is weight is less important to health than you think if you control for other factors, but it still is an independent causative factor when it comes to wear and tear (e.g. osteoarthritis), internal pressure related stuff (e.g. hernias) and insulin resistance.
Find a guy dressed as Bill Finger and steal his clothes.
You also need to find a guy dressed as Jerry Robinson and steal his shoes, socks, and watch.