5/29/2022

With my ongoing aches and pains in my feet, ankles, and knees I am embracing the idea that losing weight will mitigate most of the discomfort. The other day I had dinner with my soon-to-be-ex mother-in-law and she gently nagged me about losing weght.

Understood.

I've been thinking a lot about Disco Elysium since I finished playing the game. Disco Elysium is the story of an amnesiac detective who wakes up and realizes he has to solve a case. Over the course of the game, with the assistance of his partner, the protagonist learns more about himself. This mechanic boils down to the player choosing what kind of cop they want the protagonist to become by putting skill points in twenty-four separate skills and selecting dialogue options in-game to define the protagonist's personality. Among the other avenues of growth in Disco Elysium is the Thought Cabinet which is full of thoughts gained in-character and ruminated upon to define the protagonist's personality.
The protagonist is a drug-addled alcoholic and for good reason. Over the course of the game he has an opportunity to overcome his substance abuse by internalizing the thought "Waste Land Of Reality"

Problem: It has been brought to your attention that you're an alcoholic. And that it's a sickness. And it's killing you. You're crawling on your knees through life, your booze-filled belly dragging on the ground, your brain now fuzzy, now in overdrive, your hair sticking together with today's cold sweat and yesterday's vomit. Perhaps they’re right. Anything is better than this. Even bone-dry reality itself. Maybe you can quit?

Spoilers ahead, but they're relevant to today's post and this really doesn't spoil much for the game.

Solution: Congrats — you're sober. It will take a while for your body to remember how to metabolize anything that isn't sugar from alcohol, so you're going to be pretty ravenous soon. Eat plenty. You can expect your coordination and balance to improve in a couple of weeks. In two months, you might start sleeping like a normal person. Full recovery will take years, though. It'll be depressing. And it'll be boring. Don't expect any further rewards or handclaps. This is how normal people are all the time.

Emphasis mine in the solution.

Eating crap, eating like crap, and becoming fatter is an addiction to free and easy sugar. The sugar elicits serotonin making the brain happy, draws an association much like Pavlov's dogs, and a cycle begins. The cycle can be broken with effort. On the one hand before Leah got her baryatric surgery, she would say cutting up her stomach would be a short-term solution and doctors would have to tinker with her brain to stop her bad eating habits. Then again Leah got the baryatric surgery, lost weight, and has mostly kept it off but remains diligent about the process. Sadly she drinks a lot of alcohol but I don't believe she's an alcoholic. Alcohol is just free and easy sugar tricking the brain to be happy from the sweet serotonin rush which cloaks the deleterious effects of booze's depressant qualities. Rather than gorging on a party sized bag of chips, she's having wine and whatnot.
It's probably just as bad as soda, or worse.

From 2019 until 2021 I began limiting what I ate, did my best to avoid bread and soda, and lost about fifty pounds. I felt better about myself and I felt better physically, but once I found myself in Neptune, NJ I crawled into my marijuana pipe and lived to gorge myself on chocolate and other good-but-bad foods. Eighty percent has come back and I earnestly believe it's compounding my physical health and mobility due to injuries since last Thanksgiving. The parallel here being recovering alcoholics often develop a sweet tooth and pack on the pounds in lieu of guzzling booze. Hence the solution to "Waste Land Of Reality".

As for me, I try to eat reasonably but in stressful situations (like going to the other county) I go off the fucking rails for a shot of sugar. Rolls with butter. Two Cokes with no ice at Sweet Lew's to accompany my usual lunch. I know there have been more than several times where I was coming back from the other county, hit Shop-Rite and bought chocolate-frosted donettes then fucking ate them on my way home. All of them.
Then I'd talk with my friends and make references to having 'medicated' after work. Adding insult to injury I'd spark a bowl or two and inhale chocolate. Good chocolate from Cadbury, not vomit-tasting crap from Hershey. Or M&Ms. Food makes me happy, food keeps me happy, and slicing out a portion of my gut can affect my microbiome, for better or worse, in addition to reducing my intake of calories but my brain is going to want chemical pleasure elsewhere. Not to mention being put at risk for bowel obstruction or getting other funkiness with my esophagus. For example Leah told me that the surgery left her with a cup in her esophagus, contributing to acid reflux, and she's going to have to go under the knife again in order to rectify the situation.

Self-control is much safer, albeit more difficult, than surgery.

But as I told my soon-to-be-ex mother-in-law, "Everything in moderation, including moderation." I allow myself cheat-days or cheat-circumstances like if I'm eating out, I'll have soda. Or if it's a holiday weekend who gives a flying fuck what I eat, even if I get whiplash like someone in New Orleans who celebrated Mardi Gras then observed Ash Wednesday. I'll be happy with 80% adherence than 100% adherence.

I'm only human.

Or at least I have the countenance of one. 👽

fuck red china

Ages ago before COVID was a glimmer in the Google zeitgeist, people noticed something in a trailer for Top Gun: Maverick. Maverick's iconic jacket still had all the patches except they were altered from the 1986 original. In short Paramount Pictures kowtowed to Xi Jinpeng's regime and removed the Taiwanese flag from the jacket so they could have access to the world's biggest box office market. Two days ago Fortune shared the headline, 'Top Gun: Maverick’ has reversed a controversial change that critics say was made to appease China.

I never watched the original Top Gun and don't really care about the sequel, but seeing a corporation in a western capitalist country grabbing their knees for Winnie The Pooh rubbed my rhubarb. I'm happy to discover this change.
But I was aghast when I read this in Eamon Barrett's article:

In January, censors edited the ending of the 1999 classic Fight Club before it aired on streaming service Tencent Video. The climactic end scene, in which the anarchist protagonist succeeds in blowing up a series of bank buildings, was replaced with a title screen informing viewers that “the police rapidly figured out the whole plan and arrested all criminals, successfully preventing the bomb from exploding" instead.

Jesus Christ. Doesn't Red China know that Fight Club is all about the rise of fascism?

Fuck red China.

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