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The great outside world of wanting and achieving

David Foster Wallace, from his 2005 commencement address at Kenyon College, This is Water: Some Thoughts, Delivered on a Significant Occasion, about Living a Compassionate Life.”

If you worship money and things – if they are where you tap real meaning in life – then you will never have enough. Never feel you have enough. It’s the truth. Worship your own body and beauty and sexual allure and you will always feel ugly, and when time and age start showing, you will die a million deaths before they finally plant you. On one level, we all know this stuff already – it’s been codified as myths, proverbs, clichés, bromides, epigrams, parables: the skeleton of every great story. The trick is keeping the truth up-front in daily consciousness. Worship power, you will end up feeling weak and afraid, and you will need ever more power over others to numb you to your own fear. Worship your intellect, being seen as smart, you will end up feeling stupid, a fraud, always on the verge of being found out. But the insidious thing about these forms of worship is not that they’re evil or sinful, it’s that they’re unconscious. They are default settings.

They’re the kind of worship you just gradually slip into, day after day, getting more and more selective about what you see and how you measure value without ever being fully aware that that’s what you’re doing.

And the so-called real world will not discourage you from operating on your default settings, because the so-called real world of men and money and power hums merrily along in a pool of fear and anger and frustration and craving and worship of self. Our own present culture has harnessed these forces in ways that have yielded extraordinary wealth and comfort and personal freedom. The freedom all to be lords of our tiny skull-sized kingdoms, alone at the centre of all creation. This kind of freedom has much to recommend it. But of course there are all different kinds of freedom, and the kind that is most precious you will not hear much talk about in the great outside world of wanting and achieving…The really important kind of freedom involves attention and awareness and discipline, and being able truly to care about other people and to sacrifice for them over and over in myriad petty, unsexy ways every day.

That is real freedom. That is being educated, and understanding how to think. The alternative is unconsciousness, the default setting, the rat race, the constant gnawing sense of having had, and lost, some infinite thing.


Make Your Flaws Famous: Gaga’s Body Image Revolution

So, I guess Lady Gaga gained 25 pounds and everybody is freaking out. Showbiz media outlets have taken full advantage of Gaga’s gain to garner clicks and be assholes. Body image and eating disorders are a real problem in the US. People’s judgy attitudes—and the media’s exploitation of those attitudes—perpetuate this cycle of negativity. The Lady, who battled eating disorders in her youth, isn’t having it.

Turning shit into sunshine, she’s responded to the haterade by starting a “Body Revolution.” On her fan page, if you join, there is a whole section where you can post photos of your unique body. For research purposes I joined the site. It’s so cute! All different sizes and colors of people posting pics of themselves wearing underwears in all of their flawed glory. Read More…

Brad Friedel, old bastard, attributes long excellence to yoga

Excerpted from I Am Iron Man, Sports Illustrated, April 23, 2012

He’s spent 15 years at the top of the game and is set to play in his record 300th straight Premier League match. Yes, Brad Friedel is the Cal Ripken of English football, and he’s 100% American—except for that accent


The English media will hail Friedel’s play as the save of the week—Spurs go on to a 3–1 win—and one of the best of the season. Yet even more remarkable than the save itself is that it was pulled off by such an, um … experienced …

“You can say it,” Friedel interrupts with a laugh. “An old bastard!

Read More…

What Famous People Do: Yoga

Gwyneth Paltrow wakes up at 4:30 every morning to practice. Other famous practitioners  include: Madonna (Ashtanga), Jon Bon Jovi, Lady Gaga, Sting and wife, Gisele Bundchen (Anusara — not sure if she was a blazing solar flame), and Ellen! The list goes on. Reese Witherspoon practices YogaHop — 90 minutes of yoga with some bumping hip hop music. Hm. Where do you think Adam Levine of Maroon 5 gets his “muscular yet catlike physique?” (barf)

Today on Beerasana: pictures of famous people doing their yogas.

Madge on her way into Eka Pada Shirshasana, Ashtanga intermediate series.

Gaga getting her Bikram in NYC.

Gisele Bundchen, Natarajasana

Maybe Jen knows that Baddha Konasana can help ease childbirth.

Sting and wife Trudie Styler welcome you to the party.

Jenny's style icon, Matthew Mcconaughey getting sandy. Bhujangasana and Supta Virasana.

And Marilyn Monroe, natch! Rocking Bow pose.

Fancy in Shoulderstand.

Tripod headstand, movie star-style.

Enough said. See you on the mat, suckas.

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