The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter


Friday, January 11, 2008

Back on the Horse

On the question of Do Blacks Have It Worse Than Women…no one on this board has done anything other than muse and offer some perspectives. Anyone who tried to say it’s A or it’s B is automatically stacking a deck by deciding which standards are applicable, and I promise that they’re forgetting or deleting other data. We get down to that lack of objective ultimate standards for truth. For instance, what should we make of the level of repression that makes millions of black voters reluctant to vote because they can’t believe he wouldn’t be assassinated? Can anyone quantify such fear, or truly grasp how deep that goes? Remember what I said about my mother telling me that if I let White people know how smart I am, they’d kill me? What’s the equivilent to that for women? “If you let boys know how smart you are, they won’t like you.” Wow! That’s awful, truly. And unfair. And hurtful. But not quite the same, is it?

On the other hand, women are the object of serious violence perpetrated by men. No, I don’t think it’s “society” except in the sense that society mirrors the human beings within it. I think it arises from men’s desperate, fearful need to control the mechanism of reproduction and to justify the dangerous shit men do by believing women are weak and dependant. Societies arise in response to such needs…and reinforce both the positive and negative aspects. It must change. There is absolutely no question about that. I am completely comfortable with my own efforts for change in that department: I’m down twenty thousand dollars supporting the Women’s Self-Defense workshops created by Dawn Callan back in the 80’s. It was worth every penny.

Gloria Steinem is welcome to take any position she wants—she perceives the world through her filter, and I know many people who feel she’s been a tiger for her cause. As I’ve said: be a good person, love yourself and others, and believe in a cause larger than yourself. Do I think she and Clinton are dividing people to conquer? Sure, that’s politics. One of the reasons I couldn’t be involved.
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Yesterday, I finished the current draft of SHADOW VALLEY. Thank God. For the first time in almost a year and a half, I can start normalizing my life again. More on this later…
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So what exercises have made it with me into the new year?
1) Scott Sonnon’s Warrior Wellness. Superb, short time investment for major return. I can FEEL the difference within a week if I don’t do it. Yuck.
2) Silat. The djurus are core movement, and insanely sophisticated: moving one base at a time translates beautifully when you’re practicing other martial forms.
3) Core Ab exercise. Roller wheel, Get-ups, sit-ups. Whatever. But burning out the core just a bit gives the rest of the body more time to warm-up. Combine with Be Breathed to link into the Perpetual Exercise system.
4) Kettlebell C & J. Terrific.
5) Clubbell Gama Cast. Frankly, I have to be very careful with these, or I strain tendons in my elbow. I don’t like that, so I’m backing off and trying to approach them more gradually.
6) Jump-rope. Experimenting with jump rope has been great, a big return for a small investment. Two different chunks of time: 5 minutes “anystyle” just seeing how many reps I can get in 5 minutes, cruising. Most days, it isn’t pretty. And the other, which is more important:
7) Jump rope sprints (30 sec/100 reps) followed by one rep of FlowFit2. I’m going to start integrating a “recovery” drill (RESET) created by Coach Sonnon. The sprints need to be at the rate of 200/minute to cross a very specific time-slicing threshold, and affect the brain. Now, under ideal circumstances, I would do five reps of this in about 7.5 minutes. It takes me about 13 minutes, and I feel lucky to finish. Trust me: this works everything. EVERYTHING. Now, if I could only integrate the Be Breathes more fully…

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Today is Jason’s 4th birthday. For the first time, he’s aware enough to grasp its meaning, and that’s just great. We’ll have a party for him over at his preschool. As for me, I have a crapload of projects about to fall on my neck, but for the first time since I took the ASSASSIN’S CREED project on, I’m feeling the pressure roll off. And I needed that like roses need rain. I’ve been running on reserve tanks for MONTHS, and it feels like shit. Back on the horse…

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

On the other hand, women are the object of serious violence perpetrated by men. No, I don’t think it’s “society” except in the sense that society mirrors the human beings within it. I think it arises from men’s desperate, fearful need to control the mechanism of reproduction and to justify the dangerous shit men do by believing women are weak and dependant

I disagree with this, Steve
violence against women
physically abusing husbands
and rape
is all about POWER over
which is a bigger more complex
issue than "reproductive control"

way bigger

suzanne

Dan Moran said...

For the longest time I couldn't get past 50 jumps on the jump rope -- to the point I really started to think it was some weird mental thing. 49, trip. 50, trip. 49, 50, 50, 49 ... and one day I got up to about 70 without tripping.

Now I can't get past 100 -- 98, 96, 99, 99 ... if it's mental, it's weird, and if it's not, it's weird.

But it's a great exercise.

~~~~~

If I've seemed disrespectful to the experiences you or others have had struggling with racism, please accept my apology. I don't mean to.

Lynn said...

As a woman I feel more repressed by feminists and their expectations of what women should be and achieve than I have ever felt repressed by men.

Steven Barnes said...

Suzanne--power issues are definitely destructive. People love to push themselves up by pushing others down.And men have a ton of inclination towards the heirarchal.
#
Dan--no apology necessary. Love your passion.

Lynn said...

I probably should have said "oppressed not repressed. Anyway, I think it's all a matter of individual perspective. Everyone who feels oppressed thinks they're more oppressed than everybody else. It's a silly argument anyway - not much different from "mine's bigger than yours."

Gerard said...

"For instance, what should we make of the level of repression that makes millions of black voters reluctant to vote because they can’t believe he wouldn’t be assassinated? Can anyone quantify such fear, or truly grasp how deep that goes?"

Well, you just did. Where in the universe do you get the "millions of black voters" scared to death to vote?

Doesn't map to any studies or polls I've seen. In fact, I haven't seen any.

Anonymous said...

http://sethabramson.blogspot.com/2008/01/strangest-story-you-may-read-all-year.html

from a law/poet blogger I respect
previously from New HAmpshire
some interesting things
about those &*&*%^& Diebold machines . . .
and the New HAmpshire results

suzanne

Steven Barnes said...

the talk among black people since his speech at the 2004 Democratic convention has featured the question of his potential assassination quite prominently. The only larger question is: would White voters vote for him? I don't have hard numbers, but that discussion has been deadly serious, believe me.

Dan Moran said...

Those &*&*%^& Diebold machines are optical scanners -- much harder to fool with than the no-paper-trail machines people are worried about elsewhere.

That said, sure, given this country's history since 2000, a hand recount should be the default answer whenever there's any doubt ...

AF1 said...

Steve, could you talk a little about the difference between doing Prasara Yoga and doing Flowfit 2?

Any particular reasons why you would choose one over the other?