Monday, December 10, 2007

i should be at the gym


instead of being accountable to my fitness regimen, and my cardiovascular health and the like, i have instead opted to sit on my couch and write on my blog (please refer to post image for my current philosophy on life). instead of being a conscientious body technologist, i am thinking about going to cincinnati in march to a fat studies conference. as i previously mentioned, i am thinking a lot these days about fat, its meanings, narratives, and morality tales. in a recent discussion with friends about the conference resulted in a conversation about the meaning of "fat" and if it can truly be subverted with the rearticulation of "fat" as a subversive term. using fat in common parlance seemed to cause unease, dis-ease, with any notion of empowerment bandied about at the table.

i balked at the idea that we cannot get out from inside the hate that breeds hurtful slurs, pejorative parlance, unhappy embodiment. but it provoked thought about the power of words, the making and unmaking of our collective realities. the connection i make here to my own state of laziness has nothing to do with any equation between laziness, the gym, and fat but rather about the morality tales we tell ourselves about our own relationship to proper embodiment, desirability, and the amount of "like"ness we can have in relationship to our corporeal forms.

everyone has the voice that encourages them against or toward their desired bodily forms. don't eat that. eat that quickly so it doesn't have time to stick to your hips. thighs. ass. going for a walk/gym/run feels good. getting up off the couch is for losers. etc. the same voice that tells us were not worthy. too simple. not sufficiently complicated to keep the interest, get the job, make it work...

i guess i want to relate to fat through my own body. position myself up against its problematic, pregnantly possible, potentially persistent edges and embrace it. as it affects my thoughts. dreams. will to exercise. everyone has a tale to tell. an "i beat fat" or "fat beat me" story of failure or adventure. of daring to dream something other. or live in a state of heavy flesh. i think fat provides us a window onto our tiny voice. our unarticulated anxieties. our unpronounced denouncement of our fleshy cages. fat signifies a freedom of will. and a failure of control for those who subscribe to a moral discourse. but can fat be other? why can't fat be more? can fat be more?

i think those at the conference in march will teach me so.

3 comments:

Shells said...

The will to know is the will to question. I am sure you will have much to teach as well.

t_moore8 said...

You are going to a conference in Cincinatti on fat? That sounds fun. Maybe I am mistaken, but I thought I remember reading or hearing that there was a time when overweight women were "the hotties in society", compared to now where being skinny is what is considered "hot". Its just a good example of how people think what they are told instead of thinking for themselves...have you ever read Albert Schweitzer's book The Philosophy of Civilization? In it he talks about how at the turn of the century men and women had jobs where they had to think instead of being in an assembly line situation where they had no opportunity to be creative. He also talks about how the way newspapers were written changed dramatically in his opinion, and I can't quote it, but it gave me the impression that he felt that information was given to people in a much more controlled way...with respect to what information we are given. Anyway, it just makes me sound like a conspiracy theorist, but it does make you wonder how much we are told and how much is hidden from us, and how much we are told just to manipulate us...
I try to go to Noam Chomsky's web site every so often to see if he has anything new on it, and he seems to be able to find out information that you never read in the paper or see in the news...that really changes the way you look at certain events...
Anyway, as far as fat goes...I think its a small piece of the overall problem that as members of north american society we are basically manipulated to keep the corporate machine running...I still stick with my previous statement that people should try to maintain healthy body fat indexes that their doctor gives them so that they can live a healthy long life...

jacks said...

thanks shells for your encouragement. you are nothing less than lovely at all times.

as for you tom - aren't you unruly in the comments section. :P I tend to shy away from explanations that point to one-way relationships of power or articulations of our own disempowerment by the capitalist machine, but i do think you and i share a similar mind when it comes to the idea that are thoughts, motivations, and understandings are shaped by what exists around us. i think that your comment about chompsky particularly deals with this - that there are alternative discourses that emerge on a particular topic, news event, state of being. i think it is important to investigate all such discourses, consider how they are in dialogue with one another and how they have different relationships to axes of power. i think "proper BMIs" is one such discourse, a medico-scientific one, that disciplines people in the pursuit of the care of their bodies. but that is just my opinion and i know what you think of my opinions... ;)