Thursday, 30 December 2010

Anorexia in an insane culture

(This was on another blog some years ago and has been requested so many times I decided to put it back up on this blog.)
How can I thread my way through all these ideas, these thoughts and concepts.  This world of constructs and understanding in my head.  I roam around driven by anger and fear and conformity.  Am I falling apart in this oppressive cauldron of my mind.  Is it a disease or is it life itself.

I start by wondering if the Formula One race today will be available on the internet and I find a YouTube video of Mark Blundell doing a simulator drive and then one of Martin Brundle doing something else.  I always struggle to keep those two names separate in my brain.  Then I find a video of ridiculous hill climbing and from there find a video under the heading of 'suicide'.  It is video by this ex Paris model who's name I cannot find who has this blog called mamaVision.  She seems to be a kind of centre for support for Anorexics.  Well this is another subject that is very important to me because I see anorexia as another piece of the jigsaw of the results of the oppression in our society.  So I watch this video and go browsing round the mamaVision site.  I find a quote which is by Jack Kerouac and went like this 'The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn, like fabulous yellow Roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars, and in the middle, you see the blue center-light pop, and everybody goes ahh...'.  So I'm thinking this is good stuff and wonder who the hell Jack Kerouac is.  So I look him up and end up on Wikipedia reading his biography.

It's winding me up in both the good and the bad sense.  I'm getting frustrated by all this attempt at authentic human experience and expression.  I'm wondering why it is so popular.  What is so popular?  People telling it how it is.  We sit here rating the likes of Vincent Van Gough to the point of selling his paintings for millions of dollars but the very society that contains the people that rate the expression are in the very act of the oppression that gave rise to his depression and eventual suicide.  Does no one see that anorexia, mass killing of Jews in the Second World War, the billions of people starving on this planet is all part of the same rubbish.  Crap.  Shit.  Excrement.  Yes I want to be radical.  I want to be out spoken. I want to say it like it is.  But I am stuck in this cruel world that says it believes in free speech but simply can't handle it.  If I want to run an affiliate web site which is all about the problems and the solutions to the destabilising environment in which we live I have a problem in that I have to be palatable to the vendors.  Well perhaps my approach has to change.  Perhaps if I use the word 'fuck' on my web site and they don't want me to sell their sausages then perhaps that is defining enough for me.  Perhaps, just perhaps, this could be a self censorship of the pretentious, unauthentic, unethical, patterned junk stuff in our society.  Benetton got very controversial in their advertising (and with good motive) and it worked for them.  Perhaps I should just unleash my shackles and tell it how it is.  I am very angry with the world at the moment.  I have (amongst other attributes) a trait that is sometimes referred to as a 'people pleaser'.  And yet I hate it with a vengeance.  I'm sure there can be 'people pleasers' who are just fine but for me it all started with my attempts to conform in order to be safe in a divisive, oppressive, manipulative, hysterical, contradictory, moralistic judgemental 'Christian' upbringing.  The self doubt, self blame, self criticism is a wonder to behold.  It is amazing what destruction can be wrought in such a complex and ingenious creature as a human being.  It is like crap software that leaks and clogs up the works and keeps struggling on, slowing down, becoming less reliable, interfering with other software, stealing memory, falsifying addresses and data,  and eventually spewing out false results and finally crashing under it's own burden of random chaos and often taking other software down with it.

Do you think terrorists are stupid?  That really is stupid.  They are perfectly functioning human beings.  They have all the potential and creativity to do wonderful things and to be benign and productive but they have been fucked in the head.  They are people too.  Personally I find it tragic to the point of almost unbearable that people destroy other people.  I tend to be more in favour of the Buddhist monks' response to the Vietnam war of self immolation but that's my choice and an aside since I don't want to do that either.  But then this mamaVision woman has a video which effectively accuses anorexics of being stupid.  What?  They are extremely clever.  They are finding a creative way to comply with a contradictory world.  They are being 'good' according to those ridiculous paradoxical values instilled in them by their parents and backed up by the teachers and supported wholeheartedly by the saturated society in which they have grown and developed.  We are all choking in this polluted and disgusting sea of crap.  Let them die.  It is their right.  It is their self expression.  It is their van Gogh.  Their genius.  Oops.  Maybe I am getting a little out of hand here.  Hang on a minute.  Er um..  Sorry can I just run back in history for a moment and have a word with that kingpin of our Christian culture?  Er Jesus, excuse me but I'm not sure how to say this, you are stupid.  You simply have a disease called a martyr complex.  Don't worry about it just go away and see a therapist.  Just invalidate the reality of your existence and become a nobody.  It really is the best thing.  It really is in your interest.  And anyway the rest of us don't like to see all this suffering and we don't like to see you hurting so fuck off and leave us to amuse ourselves to death without actually waking up to the reality of life.

Excuse me for being so controversial but they (anorexics) are not sick it is the rest of society.  How come one and a half billion people are starving to death on this planet whilst there is enough food to go around?  Eh!?  How come?

Here comes a calmer bit.  There I was dishing up dinner to a group of children.  A normal sort of motherly thing to be doing.  One of the children (but this is more the norm than not) finished their plateful and looked at me with a smile which said 'Aren't I a good child?'.  There is the oppression.  In order to be good, in order to be acceptable, in order to be safe the child has learnt to put that food inside their gullet.  It is a condition.  The mechanisms in the brain, the biochemistry, the pathways, the reality of the comprehension of that child is perverted to believing they feel good if they eat all the food.  Not just believing, they actually feel good.  We have a cultural eating disorder.  'We' being the 'civilised world' as we like to call ourselves.

Primo Levi (an Italian Jew who remarkably survived World War II imprisoned by the Nazis) made it so clear in his book 'If This Is a Man / The Truce' that the oppression is a continuum.  It goes from the top to the bottom with everybody joining in and complying for their own little bit of security.  This included the Germans and the Jews.  And before we forget, that included all the cultures that allowed it to happen.  They were all looking after their own bit of security.  But it won't work.  We are heading to do it again unless people get it into their heads to stop the oppression.  It's not about going to war to stop the damage it's about stopping it.  It is about stopping it at home.  About not tolerating it wherever we see it.  It is about people power.  Not going along with governments and their attempts to gain votes by finding something else to blame.

So what exactly is this wonderful world that we want the anorexics to survive to live in?  They have already grown up in it.  It has done it's damage to their self esteem, their self confidence, their belief in themselves and their own inherent beauty.  It has destroyed (or at least severely damaged) their innate knowledge that they have a right to exist and that they are perfectly alright.  Our society has crushed their flame of life, their vigour, their self expression.  Is this the society that they should want to be part of?  And, if you think that they can be alive and do something to improve it then get on your bloody bicycle and go and improve it yourself before you go round inadvertently adding to the oppression by being judgemental about them.

This anger is not aimed at mamaVision but it is aimed at that statement 'Don't be stupid' in the video.  Anorexics are not stupid.  Society is!

Don't try to make your life better by self congratulatory concern for their well being.  Don't try to save your self from pain by trying to stop them dying.  If they want to let them.  Then cry an ocean full of tears for their tragedy.  Feel the pain.  It's the only way you will wake up.  Care about THEM.  Care about their perception, their pain, their trauma, their rights.  Love them.  Don't try to change them.  Well blow me if this might not change the number of anorexics on the books.


  1. I once had a girlfriend called Annie....I have no idea who Rexia was but I was pissed at the time and, if memory serves...there was a bit of groupie going on I believe...Annie lived near West Ham's ground.

    Why oh why was I pissed at the time???

    The only time in my life I had two birds and I can't quite remember!!!!

    ...well actually it was the second time...I remember the first better but that's for me to wank too....;-)

    I do not...I hasten to add...find sexual gratification here.

    The wife knows about John Wayne Bobbit.

    ...nuff said...;-)

  2. Is this a blog or an occasional ramble?

    ...not that I'm averse to an occasional ramble of course....;-)

  3. I think it is an occasional ramble. Not that I know the difference.

  4. Rarely have I found a body of writing that cogently forces one to (I hate the overused term but) think outside the box. All the while society keeps trying to cram us inside the box and within the black lines you bring a fresh perspective. The news media has been reduced to what their handlers dictate. Media opinion pieces are nothing more than the latest spin doctor talking points. They keep telling us what we think but they'd be wrong.

    Carry on then (as Dinners might say) you have a captive audience.