Stressed Out

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By Susan Callaway, RNstress pic

Toby heard a bell ringing, but could not determine the direction the sound was coming from. Then he saw a light above him, which demonstrated the absolute dark he’d been in before. Reaching up to the light, he was horrified to find he could not move a muscle. Suddenly he couldn’t even breathe and his panic built until his eyes opened and he realized it had all been a dream.

Sitting up, he waited for the adrenalin rush to recede, and then stumbled toward the bathroom. Stubbing his toe on the leg of the bed sent waves of pain up his leg, and he limped the rest of the way, once again awash in adrenalin.

He could see by the bathroom clock that he was already late, and knew he didn’t have time to sit on the commode to wait for nature to take its course. Maybe he could relax a little at lunch time?

Showered, shaved – with only one small nick – he dressed rapidly, stewing with regret at having to wear the three piece suit and remembering how good life had been when all he needed to wear were jeans and sports shirts. The fancy dress shoes were an irritation and he was sorry that he could not possibly dare to wear his soft boots.

Downstairs, he looked into the kitchen and saw the mess he’d left the night before – well, actually, several nights in a row now. The half-eaten fast food, overflowing ashtray and empty whiskey bottle demonstrated a lifestyle light years away from everything he’d known before he came to this cursed city. He realized simultaneously that his gut was too knotted to eat anything and that if he didn’t leave immediately he’d be late for an important meeting with the partners.

Toby drove away from the miniature kennel he now called his dwelling – the word or concept of “home” had not been a part of his vocabulary since Alice had taken their son to live with her parents in Idaho after the divorce. His stomach churned because he was going to be late to work with all this traffic, but he didn’t dare hurry. Watching carefully in every direction, and obsessively obeying every traffic rule, he nonetheless felt another spike of panic as a police car cruised past him and he clenched his teeth as the gumball lights began to flash, pulling over someone in front of him. He absolutely could not afford another ticket, even if they let him keep his license.

Then, since he was late, he had an awful time finding a parking spot and had to settle for a public lot two blocks from the office building. Sprinting that far was out of the question with his aching gut and the pinching shoes; the effort left him breathless and shaking after only a hundred yards. He’d just have to be late, and endure the looks of his employers while groveling and apologizing again. He would have given anything to be able to say, “I quit,” but he could not afford the spousal and child support without this job. The sheer unfairness and pain of it all nearly overwhelmed him as he climbed into the elevator.

Deep in the darkness of his consciousness, however, was a growing rebellion. Something had to give and he had no intention of living this way forever. It was a thought that had attempted to rise many times and he pushed it down ruthlessly again in his haste.

 ******

What hope does Toby have for health, wellness, peace or joy as long as he is continually bathed in the toxic adrenalin rushes, fear, frustration, anger, disappointment and hopelessness?

What would it take to spark that rebellion; for him to get out of the toxic environment and relationships he endures every day? What does health mean for people like Toby?

Not everyone is this bad off, of course. And many who have worse situations don’t live in them constantly or for long, but every one of those negative emotions and dilemmas tear down one’s physical and mental health, destroying the joy and good in life and may even bring about killers such as cancer, heart attack and suicide.

So, as important as diet and exercise truly is . . . I think it is probably secondary to facing the stress we live with; finding ways to reduce it and deal productively with what we can’t avoid.

Then, by all means, let’s eat to live -  but not live to eat.

Throw it in the Woods?

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  37 comments for “Stressed Out

  1. Tor Minotaur
    January 18, 2014 at 10:48 am

    Yeehaw Toby! Go full primal and don’t be Alice’s slave no more! Good stuff, love it.

    Red Solo Cup – by Toby K.

    10 Amazingly Easy Ways to Stop Overeating

    American Gut – Who Are Our Microbial Masters Anyway?
    http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/american-gut-what-s-in-your-gut–7

  2. MamaLiberty
    January 18, 2014 at 11:00 am

    Tor, you seem to be missing the whole point. His “diet” is not his only problem, by far. His STRESS level comes from every direction in his present environment, and changing his diet would not change any of that. He has to find a way to change his environment and/or find better ways to deal with the stress he can’t avoid.

    I frequently have clients who come for therapy and spend many sessions describing their sad lives, all the stress they live with. Often, when I make suggestions for stress reduction, and choices they might make to increase their ability to cope with things they can’t change… the response is that they just CAN’T do anything about it.

    It’s a matter of attitude, conditioning, even indoctrination for many of them. They want someone to “fix” it for them. They expect a “pill” or something to make it all better, go away… anything except taking personal responsibility for it and doing the hard work of changing how they deal with life and the crap life so often dishes out. But that’s the next article… I get ahead of myself. :)

  3. Tor Minotaur
    January 18, 2014 at 6:54 pm

    I’m so ripped, lean, and primal, ist hart to relate to Toby. I’ll try härter, I promise; Bursche Claricen, können Sie hören Das Schweigen der Lämmer?

    Do You Even Lift?

    Top 9 Six Pack Shortcuts Workouts – Mike Chang

    Gestresst: von MamaLiberty Von Susan Callaway

    Toby hörte eine Glocke läuten, konnte aber die Richtung der Ton kommt nicht ermitteln. Dann sah er ein Licht über ihm, was die absolute Dunkelheit hatte er in zuvor demonstriert. Erreichen sie gegen das Licht, er war entsetzt zu finden, er könne nicht einen Muskel zu bewegen. Plötzlich konnte er sich nicht einmal zu atmen und seine Panik gebaut, bis ihm die Augen geöffnet, und er erkannte es war alles ein Traum.

    Sie setzte sich, wartete er auf die Adrenalinstoß zurücktreten, und dann stolperte Richtung Badezimmer. Stubbing seine Zehe auf dem Bein des Bettes schickte Wellen von Schmerz sein Bein, und er hinkte den Rest des Weges noch einmal Adrenalin überflutet.

    Er konnte durch die Bad Uhr sehen, dass er war schon spät, und wusste, dass er nicht die Zeit, auf der Kommode sitzen zu warten, bis die Natur ihren Lauf nehmen. Vielleicht konnte er in der Mittagszeit ein wenig zu entspannen?

    Geduscht, rasiert – mit nur einem kleinen Nick – er kleidete sich rasch, Dünsten mit Bedauern mit, um die dreiteilige Anzug tragen und daran erinnerte, wie gutes Leben gewesen war, als alles, was er benötigt, um zu tragen waren Jeans und Sporthemden. Die fancy dress Schuhe waren eine Reizung und es ihm leid, dass er nicht vielleicht wagen, seinen weichen Stiefel zu tragen war.

    Unten sah er in die Küche und sah das Chaos er in der Nacht zuvor verlassen hatte – na ja, eigentlich mehrere Nächte in Folge jetzt. Die Halb Fast-Food gegessen, überfüllt Aschenbecher und leere Whisky-Flasche demonstriert ein Lebensstil Lichtjahre entfernt von allem, was er gewusst hätte, bevor er zu dieser verfluchten Stadt kam. Er erkannte gleichzeitig, dass sein Bauch war zu verknotet, etwas zu essen, und dass, wenn er nicht sofort verlassen er zu spät zu einer wichtigen Sitzung mit den Partnern sein würde.

    Toby fuhr von der Miniatur weg Zwinger er jetzt seine Wohnung genannt – das Wort oder der Begriff der “Heimat” war nicht Teil seines Vokabulars seit Alice hatte ihr Sohn mit ihren Eltern in Idaho nach der Scheidung leben genommen. Sein Magen drehte sich, weil er zu spät, um mit all diesen Verkehr arbeiten zu können, aber er wagte es nicht eilig. Sorgfältig beobachten in jeder Richtung, und zwanghaft jede Verkehrsregel gehorchen, dennoch fühlte er eine andere Spitze von Panik, als ein Polizeiwagen kreuzte an ihm vorbei und er biss die Zähne zusammen, wie die Kaugummi Lichter zu blinken begann, zog über jemand vor ihm. Er konnte absolut nicht leisten, ein neues Ticket, auch wenn sie ihn halten seine Lizenz.

    Dann wird, da er zu spät war, hatte er eine schreckliche Zeit einen Parkplatz finden und musste sich mit einem öffentlichen Parkplatz zwei Blocks von der Bürogebäude zu begleichen. So weit Sprinten war aus der Frage mit seinen schmerzenden Bauch und die Klemmschuhe, der Aufwand ließen ihn atemlos und nach nur hundert Meter schüttelnd. Er würde nur noch zu spät sein, und ertragen die Blicke seiner Arbeitgeber während kriechen und wieder entschuldigen.

    Er würde alles tun, um in der Lage sein zu sagen gegeben haben “Ich höre auf,” aber er könnte die Gewalt in der Ehe und Kind Unterstützung, ohne diese Arbeit nicht leisten. Die schiere Ungerechtigkeit und Schmerzen von allem fast überwältigt ihn, als er stieg in den Aufzug.
    Tief in der Dunkelheit seines Bewusstseins, war jedoch eine wachsende Rebellion. Es musste etwas geben, und er nicht die Absicht, auf diese Weise leben immer gehabt habe. Es war ein Gedanke, der versucht hatte, oft steigen und er schob es unten wieder rücksichtslos in seiner Eile.

    ..Denken Sie daran, Hannibal Lecter Reaktion auf TV….

  4. Tor Minotaur
    January 19, 2014 at 11:11 am

    Sorry, my house is filled with my sister’s kids, and I am even less focused than usual. I hope someone comments in a more forthright manner.

    I am completely mystified by the mathematics of divorce, I must say.

    Year 1 Toby loves Alice. She is his everything. He never thought something so wonderful could happen to him.
    Year 3 Toby has complaints about Alice, but is muddling through.
    Year 5 Alice left Toby. She’ll be back, he tells everyone.
    Year 7 Alice is still gone. Now Toby spends much of his free time thinking of ways to sabotage Alice’s life. She is the worse person he has ever known. He completely ruins his life to mildly inconvenience her.

    Why do so many encourage the unhealthy cognitive dissonance associated with completely blocking out Year 1? Perhaps for Toby, it is hard to avoid. But why does everyone who knows him accept it. Why does Alice sink to his level, when in most cases, women can usually be counted on to run the numbers and to remain realistic when people reveal their true inner selves?

    • MamaLiberty
      January 19, 2014 at 11:39 am

      Oh me… you are reading far, far too much into a simple allegory. I have no idea if any of that is going on in the life of Toby or his ex-wife. Nobody does, since he’s a construct of my imagination, and I’ve not explored any of that. LOL

      Once I finish the book I’m writing now, and am happy with the four others I’m editing, maybe I will look at this more deeply. Or not… I have too many projects going already. :)

      • PanarchistamericanHelot
        January 31, 2014 at 5:18 am

        Oh yeah, I briefly forgot about Toby.

        When i read about Toby and the comments I remember thinking how MamaLiberty said Tor was very wrong about how he read far, far too much into a simple allegory.

        No, from this viewpoint, I don’t think so. Toby is a common theme.

        Toby isn’t just a construct of MamaLiberty’s imagination, we’re not in a vacuum here. This was a description of a man on earth. …Even the same, a man on Mars.

  5. Tor Libertarian
    January 31, 2014 at 4:21 am

    Last night, I was pursued by a giant red beetle in my dreams, and I couldn’t escape. It was very vivid and pulse pounding. Good cardio actually.

    Could that be an indication of “Midlife Crisis Syndrome – male menopause. The end of my beginning, and beginning of my end. Much like adolescence revisiting me once again, but with a different agenda”, or is this article about Gender Stress a bunch of hooey?

    • PanarchistamericanHelot
      January 31, 2014 at 5:01 am

      Tor, when you wrote about a giant red beetle, I thought you meant those bastard Asian lady Beatles that are everywhere in flyover country.

      The one you linked to was more ugly and sinister

      You wrote, “an indication of “Midlife Crisis Syndrome – male menopause. The end of my beginning, and beginning of my end. Much like adolescence revisiting me once again, but with a different agenda”, or is this article about Gender Stress a bunch of hooey?”

      Oh, that sounds like the Hell of it all as I see it from this side of the divide.

      I wish I could yell out, “Run!”

      You describe it all too well. Can’t I shoot the fucker!?

      At the same time, I’m pissed at society in general for not telling the younger generations to Run Like The Wind while they can. Instead they all say throttle back,… as if you’ll live forever. The fucktards! They need to STFU!

      • eric
        January 31, 2014 at 7:02 am

        Hi Panarch,

        Dead Poets Society (Robin Williams) covered this most poignantly.

        • Tor Minotaur
          January 31, 2014 at 10:00 am

          That was one of the all time greats. The nihilistic ending was greatly troubling at first. Tavistock & Monarch Mind Control & Poetry & Existential Fatalism.

          But after viewing it some more, it seemed clear to me that all the monarch programmed kids in the movie had to do was run away from home.

          No need to kill themselves. Or wimper in angst. Unless of course, that’s entirely the point. To create an irresistible marketing campaign package to sell the alpha, beta, gamma, and delta monarch youth on their upcoming suicide missions.

          Are Eric and Dom are our captains?
          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6RbY2iTOUQA

          We’re surrounded by the Nearly Dead. But we can still outrun them and never look back.
          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yVXoC-95zDk

          Dead Poets Society: Right after Neil’s suicide
          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3_TNfuuotZE

          “Distraught by his father’s inability to see his dreams, the passion in his eyes and nerving up his adolescent strength and idealism Neil turns to what he thinks is Vindication: Killing himself.”

          - Libertarians, freedomistas, ancaps, maybe need their own editing studio to create movies that strengthen, not weaken.

    • Bevin
      January 31, 2014 at 5:22 am

      Dear Tor,

      I immediately thought of this:

      How To Take Down A Tanker Bug – Starship Troopers (1997)
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ndt5MLQtLuY

      0:48 Look out!

      • PanarchistamericanHelot
        January 31, 2014 at 5:44 am

        Yeah, Bevin, exactly like that!

      • eric
        January 31, 2014 at 6:56 am

        Hi Bevin!

        The book by Heinlein on which the movie is based is much more seriously themed, complex – but the movie is great entertainment.

        I recommend both, but for those who haven’t read the book or seen the movie, read the book first.

        Heinlein is, along with Phillip Dick, among my favorite writers.

        • Bevin
          January 31, 2014 at 1:45 pm

          Dear Eric,

          Yes! I believe we touched on the difference between Heinlein’s novel and Veerhoven’s film adaptation.

          I think the screenwriter Ed Neumeier had a lot to do with the alternated tone of the film. He authored “Robocop,” a well-written but very leftist screenplay.

          • Jean
            January 31, 2014 at 2:25 pm

            Bevin,
            I’d appreciate any more info on how you see Robocop (80′s film) as “leftist”. I’m not ARGUING (yet), but I don’t see it as a “leftist screed” (my words, of course).
            Key things I noted (going on old memory here)
            - Corporation (OCC) is the one to make the “law enforcer of the future.”
            - Crime is almost up to Judge Dredd levels.
            - Robocop recalls who he is and reverts to being a cop (instead of the apparrent Uber-LEO they wanted). [Also please bear in mind that "cop" here is different from "cop" in the 20XX years.]

            The sequels are worthless WRT any sort of allegory, I think. Just cashing in.

            But I don’t see it so much as “Leftist” as … Set in a time, using dystopian predictions.
            Now, if you want to go back yet one mroe level, talk about how Murphy was “perfected” (Well, “improved”) by OCC on gubbermint dime, I follow that, makes sense. But then there’s still a certain “return to humanity”, Robocop goes back to being “Murphy” as far as he can.

            I THINK the new Robocop will be far MORE leftist, WRT political tones.
            But the old one seemed to be set against a “Uber-Government” screen. IE, it was the backdrop, more than a propaganda piece.

            I’d like to understand your reasoning, if you’d explain.

          • Bevin
            January 31, 2014 at 7:30 pm

            Dear Jean,

            I absolutely know where you’re coming from. I hope that’s not too presumptuous.

            What I mean to say is that I think both “Starship Troopers the Movie” and “Robocop” are like the optical illusion of “two faces in profile or a single vase.” The viewer can rightly see them either way. But in the case of these two particular films, it comes down to “What did the screenwriter himself actually INTEND?”

            Champions of the free market, as we libertarians know only too well, have long been forced to distinguish between “capitalism” and “corporatism.”

            Leftist critics of the free market, as we libertarians also know too well, never bother to. To them, capitalism IS corporatism. To them capitalism is the corporatist “Omnicorp.” Try to tell them otherwise, and they won’t listen.

            As it turns out Edward Neumeier INTENDED Robocop as leftist political satire of free market capitalism. Consider some of his own remarks.

            I’m not “laying down the law.” I’m merely giving you my reading on his mindset. It’s a judgement call.

            EDWARD NEUMEIER TALKS ABOUT ‘ROBOCOP’
            http://www.money-into-light.com/2013/07/edward-neumeier-talks-about-robocop.html

            What did you want to achieve with ROBOCOP?

            ” … I had this idea that an action movie could also be a political satire of sorts. The ironies of politics and violence have always interested me. I was also interested in the guile of capitalism. In the film, it’s mostly peppered in through the ‘media breaks’. The most absurd commercial is the one for the ‘Nuke ‘Em!’ board game. It’s absolutely hilarious.”

            How about the level of violence?

            “… The scene where ED-209 goes haywire in the boardroom was completely my violence aesthetic. The scene is completely over the top, yet it underlines how cheap life is in the corporate world… Can I just add that I find it funny that no-one has ever asked or written about why there is a gun in the boardroom?

            When you look back at the film now do you see it as something that sums up a particular era?

            “It would be very presumptive of me to say that, but it certainly sums up how I was feeling at the time. This notion of businessmen as feral predators who liked to be seen as ‘killers’ was really funny to me and I wanted to write about it. People can decide for themselves whether I was prophetic or not.”

          • Jean
            February 1, 2014 at 2:04 am

            Bevin,
            Thanks for the explanation. Makes sense now, seeing it as a parody (satire, really, I guess.)
            It was definitely a product of its time, the hysteria made sense to my juvenile mind (Meaning, I didn’t know it was hysteria then…)
            I’m realizing that’s a real problem, too – the young are more vulnerable than most people realize. And we have propaganda everywhere, streamed to our living rooms – and bedrooms, and dens, and in public, 24/7… And it goes in without filters.

            Shows like Knight Rider, Airwolf, A-Team – the concept of one making a difference, even in the Man with No Name westerns (Eastwood)… We got nothing these days, not even the movies hold out hope. It’s like the original Rollerball – collectivist to the core.
            And even the adults are tuned in! (Bronies, for example.)

            No hope, really….

          • eric
            February 1, 2014 at 7:26 am

            Hi Jean,

            I’d not thought about that – you’re right. Very few TV shows/movies premised on the “one man making a difference” theme.

            The only recent one I could come up with is The Punisher (movie and “short”).

            But when I was in college back in the ’80s, there were numerous ones – among them the ones you mentioned, plus (one of my favorites) The Equalizer. Remember that one?

          • Bevin
            February 1, 2014 at 2:18 am

            Dear Jean,

            I like “Robocop” despite all that!

            If someone cites the film in order to condemn capitalism, I’ll simply say,

            “Even though the screenwriter meant to condemn capitalism, he was really condemning corporatism, not capitalism. His ignorance of economics and failure to fully understand the NAP left him confused and as as result he failed to see the difference.”

          • eric
            February 1, 2014 at 7:22 am

            The original Robocop was superb!

            Weller was (is) a great actor. He brought pathos (and humanity) to the character. And the film portrayed the PTB as corrupt, deliberately malicious.

            It holds up well, even today.

            I predict the re-make sucks.

            They all have so far.

          • Bevin
            February 1, 2014 at 7:38 am

            Dear Jean,

            Speaking of singers, I’m watching “Starship Troopers 3: Marauder” again to refresh my memory.

            There s a character in the movie, Sky Marshal Omar Anoke, who I swear to god, has to be a send up of former AG John Ashcroft! The actor Stephen Hogan even looks and sounds like Ashcroft.

            Omar Anoke – It’s a Good Day to Die
            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1VWsRWxcnws

            John Ashcroft = Let the Eagle Soar
            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=woLQI8X2R6Y

            Hilarious!

            All three of films in the Starship Troopers trilogy were written by Ed Neumeier.

          • Bevin
            February 1, 2014 at 8:04 am

            Dear Jean, Eric,

            “one man making a difference”

            One movie about “one man making a difference” that made a real difference for me, was “Death Wish” starring Charles Bronson.

            Death Wish is a 1974 vigilante action film loosely based on the novel Death Wish by Brian Garfield. The film was directed by Michael Winner and stars Charles Bronson as Paul Kersey, a man who becomes a vigilante after his wife is murdered and his daughter is sexually assaulted by muggers.

            The film was a commercial success, and generated a movie franchise with four sequels over the next twenty years. The film was disliked by many critics due to it advocating vigilantism and unlimited punishment to criminals.[3] The novel denounced vigilantism, whereas the film embraced the notion. However, it was seen as echoing a growing mood in the United States as crime rose during the 1970s.[4]

          • Jean
            February 3, 2014 at 1:05 pm

            Hi, Bevin,
            Starship Troopers got really bad after the first one; the blatant manipulation was too difficult for me to watch. There were four, IIRC – the fourth one hammered the anti-war / anti-government themes home so badly, it was almost unwatchable. (Maybe if I’d been drunk, it would’ve hurt my cerebellum less.)

            The first three showed the discussion on several of our fronts, though – the corrupted nature of politics, the blatant propaganda used to manipulate the masses, and the masses’ sheep-like obeisance to a government that ANYONE (By Marauder) HAD to see was blatantly corrupt/insolvent. I mean, they HANG a person publically so he can go on a “classified” mission, then resurrect him as a hero? (And note that he’s a hero because of how he’s killed bugs – simply BECAUSE he’s killed bugs. Attempted genocide – which we, as watchers, can guess is wholly manufactured. IE, the bugs aren’t attacking – they’re DEFENDING. Like space-ants, if you will. Fire Ants repond the same way to invasions of their territory.)

            Juan “Johnnie” Rico – the main character – goes through one HELL of a metamophosis, from grunt, to leader, to “government shill.” And eventually becomes the Posterboy for recruitment not once – but TWICE. (The end scenes in 1 & the end of Marauders are both recruitment videos… I expect everyeon who’s seen the films knows that, but not everyone would watch ST by choice. ;-) )

            The fourth one was earth-based, and had a woman’s view…. The Endless War for Peace was brought into stark focus. Final scenes were her, walking by the recruitment center, and the officer telling her child (male) to grow up fast, because they always needed meat for the grinder…

            Now, I’m not much on “liking” women [because I feel the male side is denigrated too much, while females are elevated to goddesshood at the same time - and their "evil" and nastiness passes under the radar, while ALL males are villified for the major transgressions of a select few men.]
            But we can’t see everything if we ahve only one point of view, and that shift in perspective – IE, it wasn’t a normal “Action” film – and especially that final “blow-off” in performance terms – brought the focus to the human cost.
            The war’s purpose was to colonize foreign planets. The were sent to kill of the indigs. And most of them came home in pieces, if at all. (Note even in the first film, the recruiter is wheelchair-bound, with only one arm left – and I think that he had a replacement on that arm, but can’t recall for certain. But Mobile Infantry made him “the Man I Am Today…”

            Even in that first film, DISCIPLINE – defined as obeying orders, ANY orders – was all that mattered (hence, corporal punishment – whipping – and the “compassion” demonstrated by the CO there, who gave johnnie somethign to bite down on – because he’d “been there.” Like a cop saying you were going 75 on the open road, but we’ll write it up as 70 so you get fewer points. Johnnie had been ready to quit… But was persuaded to be whipped into shape, literally, to ONLY follow orders – IE, if there’s a problem with the helmet, find an expert to take care of it. Don’t think, don’t improvise, don’t be noticed… And in dating Game – he’s successfull not BECAUSE of the indoctrination – but IN SPITE OF the mental blinders enforced by his “school.” And yes, Basic there counts as school… Which he’d already completed, as he was just out of High School. … … … VICIOUS satire wrapped in a gung-ho pro-war movie. Wonder how it got through the censors? It’s all but the Land of the Houyhnhnms, a la Gulliver.)

            BTW, for sake of keeping terms clear: Where is Corporatism vis-a-vis Cartel? Are they the same, or are there differences?
            I’m going on gut guess here, but I believe Corporatism would be where Corporations own the government; the opposite pole of that would be (indistinguishable funcationally) Socialism, where the Government owns the Corporations (and thus the means of production.) And both are essentially fascist. Cartel might be a minor refinement, if it’s specific corporations getting a “free pass” in a sort of quid-pro-quo, further blurring lines of who owns whom.

          • Jean
            February 3, 2014 at 2:15 pm

            Eric,
            I have some hope for the new Robocop, actually, after seeing one of the trailers during the Super Flush. (It started with a little brown turd circling the drain, right into the endzone… Couldn’t have gone better for the seahawks if the Broncos threw the game… And somehow, STILL not as bad as the Patriots’ dismal game two weeks prior. Patriots played against some other team, not even who was on the field… Mismanagement of plays, maybe. Broncos… Well, Defense didn’t play Defense, offense was almost NEVER on the field, and played like a HS JV team for the brief times they were there…. The game was over before the Broncos even stepped on to the field. And we won’t even get into talking out the “New Jersey” location…. But SOMEONE made money off that deal.)
            ANYWAY…

            I don’t even watch football, The Woman is becoming a fan… CRAZY.
            What I was going to poke at was, Punisher isn’t really in the same genre of “one man making a difference.” He’s one man, yes – but he’s operating completely off the grid. And off the reservation. I think the order of accuracy would best be the 80s one with Dolph Lundgren, then “warzone”, and LAST would be the recent Thomas Jane official Marvel film. Thomas Jane was still coherent; still showed organized psychopathology. But reality is, lundgren got down to the emotionally blank level – not caring if he lived or died. TJ version kept Punisher alive; In the same situation, Lundgren might well have killed himself. And Frank Castle in Warzone looked the part, did the crazy, suicidal assaults – bridging the gap, if you will. Jane’s version was hardly the BIRTH of the Punisher, too – you need to go reading for that. He was unhinged early on.
            His goal is not to better anything – not to “make a difference” in the upbeat, pleasant sense. His goal and driving obsession is to HURT others – to PUNISH them for any wrongs they’ve comitted. He’s no different from the psychopaths he hunts.

            Batman would be closer, but we run into the “single man” issue in the latest set, and previous set, of films. Alfred is a major player – a support team of one. But then there’s Wayne Enterprises (team #2), and other independent actors (Robin, Catwoman, Bat girl, Gordon, Harvey Dent, Wayne’s friends – the few he has, anyway.) And it’s worse in the comics, where they did an entire multi-year arc – Knightfall and the suqsequent recovery stories, including the AzBat & spin-off series, Azrael. The TEAM is Batman, as much as Bruce Wayne. In effect, the FICTION is Bruce Wayne, millionaire Playboy. HE is the mask. Batman is the person, supported by the cast already mentioned – including the common enemies he faces – they give his life MEANING, a reason to not END his career. Very good breakdown in the Kilmer film, Batman Forever –

            ———————————————————-
            Bruce Wayne: So, you’re willing to take a life.
            [...]
            Bruce Wayne: Then it will happen this way: You make the kill, but your pain doesn’t die with Harvey, it grows. So you run out into the night to find another face, and another, and another, until one terrible morning you wake up and realize that revenge has become your whole life. And you won’t know why.
            ———————————————————-

            Punisher is more of the Revenge motif, but I’m uncertain if he’s acurately “punishing”, or just out for revenge. Either way, he’s not interested in making the world better – that’s a side effect. Like losing weight due to cancer…

            Death Wish was good for the whole “one man making a difference” bit, though there may be some Vengeance in there, too. Kiersey was at least looking to clean up the streets – a bit of the “batman” concept, IE: Vigilante Justice. But it’s also out of frame for the current generation. Even Dirty Harry is outside their frame of reference. And looking at the few cartoons i’ve seen – mostly they’re about teams, and individual actions aren’t really helpful. Same in the films: GI Joe or Transformers, or Batman – the TEAM achieves, more than the individual.

            We’ve looped back to the original “Rollerball” film, where the individual is nothing: The TEAM is all that matters. (and the company gets richer.)
            I see that coming in the 2014 Robocop. But I believe the concept has remained, that there’s a “bug” in the system (which, BTW, Judge Dredd doesn’t have). From the SB clip, “He’s overriding the program!”
            It appears it’s specifically making the story revolve on man’s immutability, the unchangeable nature of man, that some things are “just wrong.” Legal or illegal, there are things not permitted by those with good conscience. Now, some of this is a tired trope, the “uncorruptable” cop – IE, Comissioner Gordon – but that doesn’t mean it’s going away. Many people will still do the right thing, even if it’s illegal. Would Snowden have turned on the surveillance program if focused outwards? Doubt it. Is he moral? Unlikely. But is what he did wrong? I doubt that.

            I am optimistic that the new Robocop will have the tropes of uncorruptable cop becoming law-enforcement machine, where the Man overrides the programming – and ultimately goes after the corrupt corporation that created him. Glitches like not KILLING a suspect who can be brought in alive. Murphy will injure him but not kill him, when the program will say to terminate.
            Eventually, the ED-209 will come in, to make the counter-point: “the COMPANY makes the LAWS, dammit! ”
            And likely, Robocop will win. (Better than the Gundam series, where giant robots piloted by mercenary idealists are brought down by unarmed populations. Makes Tianaman Square, man vs. tanks, believable.) Why do I say “likely”? Could be that while there’s a victory, Robocop dies, and “the people” (Occupy Lake Street? It’s Chicago, that’s the name of the highway, right?) force the ED-209 to shut down, or at least, not be mass produced.

            I’d like to see more anti-government in there. Perhaps the film will tie the anti-gov’t and anti-corporation meme together? But I doubt it.

            BTW, Judge Dredd is the meat-computer they really WANT in Robocop. Law is the Law; he will execute the law (and the offenders.) ED-209 has even less compunction than Dredd, but only slightly. Dredd has no problem shooting the innocent to get the guilty. ED-209 only sees an obstacle, and prioritizes killing the perp above saving the life. (“Famous” scene where Robocop shoots the thug in the balls, rather than shoot through the woman he’s using as a shield. RC scans, checks the legs, checks the heights, draws a bead, and fires. Matter of maybe half a second. Shoots through her skirt, hits the thug, thug goes down, forgets to even pull the trigger… Worried about his other gun.)
            ED-209: Kills them both in hail of gunfire.
            Dredd: Ensures thug is dead. If she’s shot, Oh well.
            Punisher: charges in, guns blazing, kills thug. Mourns if woman dies.
            Batman: Has some gimmick that stops the gun (including a batarang blocking the hammer). Proceeds to beat up (or kill, pre-1970s or so) the thug.
            Kiersey: leaves, finds thug later, executes thug. Kiersey is never seen by the thug well enough to be identified, and while Kiersey retreats, he’s still able to see, to make sure the girl isn’t being harmed. If she IS, he’ll be back in the middle of it – he doesn’t care much if he lives or dies, either.
            And since we’ve mentioned Dirty Harry: Either out-machos the thug, pointing out there’s no escape, and that he (Harry) is willing to kill thug – and WILL kill thug, if the girl is harmed – he probably talks him down most of the way, then takes a shot once the woman’s in a safe condition. IE, gun isn’t pointed at her.

            Funny that Robocop is the most humane, save perhaps batman, who is immensely beyond human in ALL the stories. After all, even expert marksmen miss sometimes… Batman’s more accurate than Bullseye….
            :-P

          • Bevin
            February 3, 2014 at 7:03 pm

            Dear Jean,

            “Hi, Bevin,
            Starship Troopers got really bad after the first one; the blatant manipulation was too difficult for me to watch. ”

            No argument from me. I watched them all again anyway just this week, purely for reference.

            I have long believed that popular entertainment is the best, most revealing indicator of the collective public consciousness. It tells you everything you want to know about how a society thinks and feels.

            “BTW, for sake of keeping terms clear: Where is Corporatism vis-a-vis Cartel? Are they the same, or are there differences? I’m going on gut guess here… both are essentially fascist. ”

            Yes. I agree. As far as those who oppose collectivism and coercion are concerned, the differences are trivial. The point is that they, whoever “they” might be, are ripping us off.

      • Tor Libertarian
        January 31, 2014 at 2:58 pm

        A glorious battle. So. Beautiful. Reminds me of my all time hero, Adizzle!

        Starships of the Will

        I’m doing my part – Starship Troopers

        Jesse Owens strikes deadly blow to Aryan Science – thanks a lot douchebag ScienceFags

    • MamaLiberty
      January 31, 2014 at 8:02 am

      LOL!! From reading your posts generally, I suspect that actual stress runs from you in gibbering terror.

      Anything that stimulates the body to release adrenalin, raise blood pressure, etc. is stress… and can be caused by just about anything. Real danger and nightmares, or a bug landing on your hand. It’s as much a matter of perception as anything else… which is why the response can be managed and, in many cases, controlled. Stress is damaging to us when it is not managed or controlled, but clung to and nurtured.

      I’d say that “gender stress” would occur mostly if your wife were bearing down on you with a rolling pin… :) Much of that sort of thing is contrived, utter nonsense.

      • PanarchistamericanHelot
        January 31, 2014 at 8:22 am

        Dang, I’m doing some overtime.

        MamaLiberty wrote, “Anything that stimulates the body to release adrenalin, raise blood pressure, etc. is stress”

        Well. first of all, who you were addressing this to isn’t clear.

        Second of all, what you just described could just as easily be described as excitement, not stress.
        Then I wonder, were you describing the very healthful act of sex?

        To the best of my knowledge, excitement can be the opposite of stress. But I only know some things.

        MamaLiberty erroneously wrote, “Anything that stimulates the body to release adrenalin, raise blood pressure, etc. is stress…I say that because for some reason I can’t see riding a motorcycle at top speed around a curve as being stressful. …You might. But I don’t.

        • MamaLiberty
          January 31, 2014 at 9:31 am

          I was responding to Tor, actually.

          But don’t you see… ANYTHING “can” be stressful, but not all stress is harmful. As I said, it is the perception of it that differentiates it. Sex, motorcycle riding, all those things are exciting and yes, they are stressful because they raise blood pressure and adrenalin, etc. But they are HARMFUL only if the stress is perceived as bad, frightening, unwanted… and not released or dealt with.

          Excitement can be very healthful… but that’s a matter of perspective and perception. Some people find sex or motorcycles to be terrifying, even life threatening. The activity isn’t the problem there, it is the person’s perception of it.

          Think of someone who develops a life long phobia from an experience that you find merely stimulating and healthy. You both experience actual stress, the physiological response to stimulation, but the phobic has perceived it much differently and is unable or unwilling to deal with and release the stressful response as you obviously do. For you, the spike in physical response ends when the stimulation ends. For the phobic, it continues whenever he is confronted with the negative memory or visual reminder. Some people can handle snakes with no problems. Others will faint just seeing one in a cage… Same snake.

          • Tor Minotaur
            January 31, 2014 at 10:42 am

            We are limited of course by our mutilated form of the King’s English of course, but we still must all do what we can with what we have.

            stress (verb)
            circa 1300, “to subject (someone) to force or compulsion,” from Middle French estrecier, from Vulgar Latin *strictiare, from Latin stringere “draw tight,” which also is the source of stress

            (noun). The figurative meaning “put emphasis on” is first recorded 1896, from notion of laying pressure on something by relying on it. Related: Stressed; stressing.

            Perhaps Yodan english improvement it is over english that taught were we?

            Yoda: Stopped (from being sovereign over you) they must be; on this all depends. Only a fully trained Jedi Knight, with the Force as his ally, will conquer transcend Vader and his Emperor. If you end your training now – if you choose the quick and easy path as Vader did – you will become an agent of evil.
            Obi-Wan: Patience.
            Luke: And sacrifice Han and Leia?
            Yoda: If you honor what they fight for? Yes.
            Obi-Wan: If you choose to face Vader, you will do it alone. I cannot interfere.
            Luke: I understand. R2? Fire up the converters.
            Obi-Wan: Luke! Don’t give in to hate. That leads to the Dark Side.
            Yoda: Strong is Vader. Mind what you have learned. Save you it can.

      • Jean
        January 31, 2014 at 10:50 am

        Mama Lib,
        I think that stress foudn Tor a LONG time ago… And we see what is left after the conflagration. ;-)
        (Just ribbing, Tor. Malkavian, etc. ;-) )

        “If you find you are falling into madness – DIVE.”

        Or, forgive me for derailing things – from the Book of Nod. (Bear in mind, there are 130 years or so between Cain & Abel, and Seth – and Cain went among man, after being cast out… We ignore Lillith, the first woman, too. The men that Cain went among, they came from somewhere… And Lillith supposedly was a consort even of Lucifer…. Rejected by Adam because she was too “uppity”,. if you will – supposedly she wanted to be on top during sex. I’m old, but not like THAT… ;-) )
        Malkav’s Words:
        In the singing, Shattered midnight,
        By the coral sands of time;
        Through the bloody gates of heaven,
        Past the Sentries in my mind:

        Bring about the change so quickly,
        Bring about the Terror’s Night;
        Bring about the blood of lovers,
        Bring about the smell of fright.

        I see you watching where I walk,
        Through Moonlit Jasmie fields.
        Listen softly, As I talk,
        of stars and their lovers past.

        As I suck your lifeblood sweetly,
        As you sigh into my warm hands;
        As I sip your madness neatly,
        Stringing down like Crimson strands.

        I dance the dance of the fool –
        And pray you find me mad.
        For if you lay hold
        Upon the root,
        You will see me,
        Without Illusion,
        And find me Guilty
        Of the Truth.

        (Look also to ee cummings’, “Much Madness is Diviniest Sense.” It is not far different from Marilyn Monroe’s statement, “I don’t care if it’s a man’s world, as long as I can eb a woman in it.” think it through carefully; how many men have been toppled by woman? How many men see woman as a threat? How many women can be violent, or murderous? Bear in mind, poisoning is a common FEMALE mode of killing… Being sane is overrated, as long as one is somewhat functional. Most of us – across humanity – are actually more-or-less crazy, and functional. Those who are most sane, therefore, REEK of “INsanity” – they’re not “normal”…)

        http://everything2.com/title/stark+raving+sane
        Just something to pass the time with.

        http://everything2.com/title/Malkavian

        • Tor Libertarian
          February 16, 2014 at 11:13 am

          Dear Jean,

          It appears you are attempting to infuse some aspect of fantasy into this thread. Fantasy is nearly extinct I would say. In my house any attempt to indulge in fantasy gets “the look” and an eyeroll.

          Illegal in China. Non-existent in lands of Islam. Required to be Christian sanctioned in the West. Too primitive to relate to in Africa.

          Many decades ago, in the case of my little sisters, their capacity for fantasy died within them by age 6 or so. I haven’t met many American women that have much vestige of fantasy at all.

          Hispanic women are full of superstition, which isn’t quite the same thing, but is better than the dead fish pious and proper Stepford thing going on in the states.

          It’s truly sad, the way natural fantasy is expunged from the American mind at such a young age. Like Bevin said, “You don’t have to be made of metal to be a robot.” Kinda makes a fitting tombstone inscription for Them, doesn’t it?
          - – - – -

          “The Malkavian Antediluvian is known only through myth and impressions left upon his mad clan. Some say that he wasn’t even human, instead claiming he was an Angel or a descendant of Lilith. The only thing the stories share is that one way or another he was touched by an incurable madness, but that his dementia allowed him to look past the veil of reality and perceive truths hidden to the eyes of others.”

          http://whitewolf.wikia.com/wiki/Malkavian_Antediluvian

      • Tor Libertarian
        January 31, 2014 at 12:10 pm

        Re: clinging to and nurturing stress.

        I would say I’ve gone one better. I sow the stress and raise it as my own. I help it grow and develop to see what life it can unfurl. I reap the fruits of a secret stress orchard in unshared dreams with the blunting scythe of my dulling will.

        Sunny – Bobby Hebb

        Sunny, thank you for the truth you let me see. Sunny, thank you for the facts from A to C. My life was torn like a wind-blown sand, And the rock was formed when you held my hand.

        Sunny, yesterday my life was filled with rain. Sunny, you smiled at me and really eased the pain. The dark days are gone, and the bright days are here, My Sunny one shines so sincere.

        Sunny, thank you for the sunshine bouquet. Sunny, thank you for the love you brought my way. You gave to me your all and all. Now I feel ten feet tall.

        Sunny, thank you for the smile upon your face. Sunny, thank you for the gleam that shows its grace. You’re my spark of nature’s fire, You’re my sweet complete desire. Sunny one so true, I love you.

        Sunny, yesterday my life was filled with rain…

        Los románticos alemanes
        http://www.con-versiones.com/nota0312.htm

        Alternate conflicting realities often live and exist concurrently in my mind, rather than I ever yield to stress and admit defeat. Victory? Sickness? Perhaps a bit of both. One nation, inner individia, with sovereignty and hubris for all.

        Inception – Ending Scene = Time – Hans Zimmer

  6. PanarchistamericanHelot
    January 31, 2014 at 5:59 am

    “Midlife Crisis Syndrome – male menopause. The end of my beginning, and beginning of my end. Much like adolescence revisiting me once again, but with a different agenda”

    Damn. The more I think about that, the more perfect that is.

    Que, Bevin’s video!

    Chicks prolly don’t ‘get it’ though because they, at that same age, are becoming what we wished they were when we were 20. … Or so I’ve been told by quite a few older guys. It’s a long standing rumor, so perhaps there’s some truth to it?

    I sooo don’t want to continue down this thought process. Who does? Unless they’re on Team Viagra and Team ‘Fountain of Youth’… who wants to hear it?

    Mang! …What a drag it is getting old. …

    They just don’t play that song on the radio here anymore. It’s a double plus-minus sign.

    • Tor Minotaur
      January 31, 2014 at 10:21 am

      Love the Strolling Bones. They look so lifelike!

      Strolling Bones – 100 years on the Road
      http://25.media.tumblr.com/d658e05113a16812966ff5deba94333e/tumblr_mk802fDgaH1rdeo1uo1_1280.jpg

      Strolling Bones

      - I’m a huge connoisseur of cover groups. I much prefer seeing them in a small venue than being one of the scalped sardines at a concert where you enjoy live lip syncing by the “real thing.”

      I’ll probably never go to another concert, since it seems it’s become standard malpractice for hordes of security to stand facing the crowd with scowling swiveling heads, and then to muck about nagging 1000s of people not to video the performance on their cellphones and such.

      The creative world very much needs a Council of Trent in music, writing, and all manner of media, wherein some sane method is reestablished for artists to be properly compensated and for fans to once again fully enjoy the performances they pay for.

  7. Tor Libertarian
    February 2, 2014 at 10:43 am

    Toby, or not Toby.

    For me, it’s not even a question.

    Toby. Not even once. Same goes for meth. And dividing by zero.

    Not even once
    http://i2.kym-cdn.com/photos/images/original/000/061/177/zero-1.jpg

    • MamaLiberty
      February 2, 2014 at 10:48 am

      Wish I could figure out just what in the world you are talking about. :)

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