August 23, 2007
Open Hand, Closed Hand Drill, Tony Blauer - video [wmv] [mov]
"The Literary Tenor of the Times" by Mark Halprin, The Claremont Institute
Post thoughts to comments.
Posted by lauren at August 23, 2007 8:10 PM
Rest Day!? Jeez this has been the easiest week ever! I'll have to run a 5k or something.
"Easy" now means harder soon. Rest up, you'll be glad you did.
Good lord, if this week was easy than you didn't push hard enough. All I do is ache on my rest days...
time to try the 'tabata this' Cindy style
Excellent article by Halprin. He echoes my sentiments exactly.
Is this workout program by itself enough to get in shape? I'm trying it out after a bodybuilding type workout plan, but I don't feel like this is enough volume to be truly effective. I've been doing crossfit for about 5-6 workouts now.
Modern Times by Paul Johnson is the intellectual history of modernism in all fields of endeavor, art, architecture, music, movies, drama, literature, politics, etc. Helprin's essay relates to the literary aspect of this intellectual history. Tom Wolfe wrote a great essay called The Painted Word which discusses the excesses of modernism in visual arts. He has also written on modern architecture in From Bauhaus to Our House, and modern sculpture in various essays. On sculpture, he compares the modern works in the plazas of commercial office buildings, "the turd in the plaza" with the monumental and heroic style of classical sculpture and the great 20th century American classical sculptor, Frederick Hart. Hart was ostracized by The Disciples of Art (another Tom Wolfe essay on the subject) but in 500 years they will be talking about Hart and not Calder. Hart created "Ex Nihilo", on the western facade of the National Cathedral in Washington, DC, a magnificent work. He also created the bronze sculpture of the 3 soldiers at the Vietnam Veterans memorial - the contrast between Maya Lin's design and his, and the controversy that led to the installation of his addition, being a perfect illustration of the fault line between classical and modernist aesthetic sensibilities.
Helprin is right - nobody likes the modernist relativistic nihilistic stuff - it's total dreck written by conformists to intellectual fashion who fancy themselves to be iconoclastic rebels. A tightly packed herd of independent thinkers. The same story can be found in art and architecture, among other fields. Modern Times ties them all together as part of a single tide in intellectual history. An absolutely fascinating read.
#6 Jonah, just wait. It seems a lot of those just starting believe CF is not enough. I once thought that. However I no longer do. I approach rest days like long overdue vacations, even though they are only preceeded by 3 days of work. I love rest days now as much as I love the WOD. But yeah, CF is enough, just wait. Kyle
i've been doing this for about 6 weeks now after several years of the bodybuilding-style of exercise, an average of 10-15 miles run per week, and a lifetime of organized athletics. initially, i was concerned about the volume issue as well. however, you should consider a few things:
1. you should be doing a few rounds of the CF warm-up to begin each WOD, which generally adds 5 - 10 minutes to my routine.
2. the workouts cycle - as poster #2, russ greene, noted above, an "easy" week generally means we're about to get slammed. the WODs preceding this week were fairly intense and lengthy. what i'm saying is that though it might seem easy now, it may not in two weeks, or even tomorrow.
3. some of the WODs are easy - if you make them easy. this is all about intensity, and pushing your limits. depending on your conditioning, 5-5-5-5-5 of shoulder presses may not be too demanding, i'll grant you that. but performing a "linda" or a "murph" will inherently be difficult, especially when you're racing against the clock trying to make a personal best. if you're not at full intensity, sure, you may not feel too exhausted.
4. supplement the WODs with whatever sports you are into, and if you aren't currently into sports, pick one up, learn a new physical skill, take yoga classes, etc.
5. finally, i am not alone in adding extra work onto the WOD. usually i will work on weak areas in the CF exercises; right now, that means i am practicing handstands, handstand pushups, double-under jump rope, and snatch form. this can easily add volume to your routine if that is what you are really going for.
i hope these comments help you out a bit. again, i was thinking along similar lines for a few days when starting CF, then i got my ass kicked by linda. it will inevitably happen to you, too. i can note significant strength gains in just under two months, and i was in what i thought was excellent shape to begin. stick with it...
oh, and i still hate rest days. so i usually do something anyway, from tennis to basketball to disc golf to swimming, at least every other scheduled rest day...
Back in December 2006, we were asked to fill out a survey regarding our fitness level, times on certain WOD's and some max lifts. I'm just curious where that ended up, and what was discovered from that data. Maybe, something was already posted and I missed it which, is very possible as my mind has been in 10 million different places as of late! Anyway, just curious, I enjoyed taking that survey and reading everyones responses. thanks!
how high do i need to have something to hang my rings from? just started and i don't have anywhere to hang them. i may build a stand to hang them but i need to know how high. if constructing something doesn't work, where else could i look to attach the rings?
re: comment #11
well said esteban.
#12 chuck-- I have mine hanging from the rafters in my open-beam garage. The top of the rafters are 9'6". This allows me to do PU, MU, dips and ring pushups. However, I'm getting ready to move and my plan is to weld/build a 15' metal A-frame "swing set". This way I can do 15' rope climbs as well. I will have PU bars between the legs at both ends. One end at my preferred height and the other end for my wife. I've been researching ideas for several months. Check the equipment section of the message board for more ideas.
Ah, yes, an article from one of America's Christian wishful-thinking societies that manages to say "we don't like X, but X will change eventually" in enough words to make even the most disconnected Ivory Tower liberal sigh and give it a B-.
It is obvious, trite, and smarmy. I give it a D. The most useless grade for a most useless bit of writing.
So, Chris H (#14). It's clear you don't agree with the piece or the writer. But, not to condescend, what specifically don't you agree with? And what precisely does it mean to be “from one of America's Christian wishful-thinking societies,” anyway? Whatever it means, you make it sound pretty bad to be both Christian and wishful-thinking all at the same time. Gosh, I hope nobody thinks of me like that! I'd rather they see me as an atheistic pessimist. Or, perhaps, a Judaic cynic. Maybe even an agnostic flautist. But never a Christian wishful-thinker!
I'm just joshing a bit, Chris, but really: Assuming you would like to have your opinion considered seriously by the rest of us, don’t you think you should explain your comment a bit more? In other words, is it enough to say that the piece is "obvious, trite, and smarmy," or that you would give it a D, a "useless grade for a most useless bit of writing” without telling us why? I mean, that’s analogous to stating, "I strongly disagree; however, I'm not going to explain,” right? If so, just how much weight should anybody, regardless of their position, give to your post?
By the way, if you ever catch-up with any of those wishful-thinking religious types, let me know. I'd really like an opportunity to convince them that they should not be so darn ... wishful. Or thinking. Or either. Neither? Both? Whatever.
Would it be possible to change the scrollbar-tag from "no" to "yes" on the "Enlarge image"-link? Or am I the only one finding images larger than my desktop without the possibility of scrolling irritating?
Hey guys...new to CF. Been doing it for about 2 weeks. Love it. Question though: how long (while watching my nutrition) will it take to really start seeing a difference? Roughly.
My butt's still aching from the tabata squats! I must say I am usually feeling DOMs of some sort.
Having said that, I didn't work out Monday (I was visiting a theme park) so I will do something tonight. Probably involving deadlifts, which I've not done for a while.
Thank god for rest day :)
Yesterday I had a morning jog (fast walking for 30min.), WOD and tennis for 1.5hours. When I got home I ate and fell asleep. Slept for 11hours straight! :)
Rest days are essential, without them you´re overconditioned in no time...
Let´s see what´s the WOD tomorrow!
Jonah - You will be eaten by the crossfit whale.
After reading the article, I came away with the thoughts about the literature that I know of that has been written in the past 25 years compared to what was written before and how does it compare.
But when I went back to reread some points in the article, I thought that maybe I had gleaned the wrong interpretation and it was really a political piece and the impact that it has or has not on literature.
Then I came to the comment section and read the comment by Chris #16 and went back and reread it again to see how I could have missed the religious context to the same article.
#17 Randy- I liked your rebuttal to Chris.
I believe that I will stick with my original interpretation of the article and agree with the author when he says-
"...neither I nor just about anyone else has a sufficiently wide or deep knowledge of all that has been written in the period, and that even if we had, such a determination is impossible, especially at the hands of literary people who have intellectual debtors and creditors, protégés, and favorites (including, not least, themselves)."
The New York Times seemed to border on condescension, but then again they always do seem to.
#8 Harry MacD-
Thank you for the book recomendation in your post.
Eric: You should already be noticing progression after 2 weeks of WOD's and good nutrition. If you want to accelerate weight loss try walking for 30 minutes everyday or doing some light cardio after your WOD.
Today did a light workout as I took yesterday off
4 rounds of:
35lbs DB thrusters (max reps came to about 5-7)
30kg Barbell Bicep curl (Max Reps came to about 5-7)
Followed by 20 mins of light cardio with some stretching and mobility.
Absolutely! Also for me, when the rest day comes around, it is always like a mini vacation. WooHoo!
If anyone is at Camp Eggers & could use a workout partner, drop me a line:
Harry, How do you have time to read, write and do CrossFit this early in the morning? Regardless I enjoyed your posts and as Kate said, thanks for the recommendation!
"Nobody has the depth of knowledge to judge the last 25 years of literature...now let me tell you why it all sucks" seems an almost purposefully ironic construction. Not providing a link to the list itself seems a little bitter and ungenerous, especially since Helprin is on it!
Sure, there are the ice cold guys like the Delillos and Roths on there, but they share space with Raymond Carver, who I always found more sad than cynical, and "A Confederacy of Dunces" by
John Kennedy Toole, which is "nihilistic" in the same fashion as the The Marx Brothers. Harpo, not Karl.
I actually feel bad for Helprin. Cutting references to Norman Mailer and Maimie Eisenhower? Who's his target audience, Larry King's dad? If he could get one of the staff to turn on the radio in the rec room maybe, over the din of sliding checkers, he would hear the worm has turned. The modernist fiction he despises was indeed pushed off the top of the mountain.
A while ago...
He's worried about who he sees out on the field. He thinks its the World Series, somebody should tell him its Old Timer's Day.
The only part I do not find hilarious is seeing how this "pick a side" culture war has seeped all the way down into what fiction people read. With less and less people reading fiction every year, the last thing any piece of fiction needs is a bias against it from either of The Wings.
I must be a "knuckle dragger", read the article but could not get it.
This morning was a light workout in leiu of the rest day.
5 rounds x 3 min heavy bag / 3 min jump rope ( no rest in between) 1 min rest between rounds.
@ John #18
I hear you. My workaround is to use FireFox's "view image" option. Load the overlarge image and then right-click on it and choose view image. It will then scale to fit your window.
As for the article. Literature cycles. It's done it before and it will do it again. Mark Helprin's _A Winter's Tale_ is a favorite of mine but like Don (#28) I also quite like some of the more modern stuff. As for the beleaguered rebel syndrome, "both" sides seem to feel that they own that title in all arenas.
"Modern Times by Paul Johnson is the intellectual history of modernism in all fields of endeavor, art, architecture, music, movies, drama, literature, politics, etc"
Are you thinking of his book "Birth of the Modern?" Modern Times is a history of the 20th century. He ties the intellectual developments into the historical developments but it's not the intellectual history of modernism. That would be Birth of the Modern which I think is out of print.
Thank you for putting this vid up. I remember somebody thought Tony wasn't good at arm locks when the picture came up before.
Now, how do we apply this to presses?
In the samd spirit as my fellow Cfitters, just wait for it. I am a 6 months cfitter myself with a 12 yr background of bodybuilding workouts. Initially, I thought that yes, I could do CF and keep doing my other workouts. Oh but how wrong was I. my 1st WOD ended up being Tabata Fight Gone Bad, then squats and Fran if I remember right. Anyway, the volume is just too much when you add the bodybuilding style exercises. However, just like it was mentioned, I usually add a few things at the end of a less taxing WOD. I normally work on the exercises where I tend to be weaker or if I want to improve faster on some other ones. For example, I like to do some overhead squats lately, because I believe that this is a step forward to becoming better at the snatch. But without a doubt, my favorite has got to be my box jumps scales where I have 12",18",24" and 30" boxes. I do 3 sets of 15 reps. Ever since I started doing this, my squats and running have improved dramatically along with my conditioning.
As for rest day, well you should consider them as "active" rest days. I play a lot of sports from soccer to hockey and everything in between, so really between the wod and my sports and little extras, there is really not time for bodybuilding routines anymore, and quite frankly, there is no need for that anymore, as my conditioning is better than it's ever been before. I hope that this is of any use to you. Happy CrossFitting!
Hello everyone, I'm a first time poster on this site. I'm a 30 yr old male, member of the military, and consider myself very fit. For the past 3 yrs, I've been dedicated to a very strict running/weightlifting routine (there's that bad word).
While I saw great results in the first year and a half (went from 205 lbs to a lean 165 at 6'0"), I've recently plateau'd and can't seem to lift any more weight, or run any faster.
Enter Crossfit. I was skeptical at first, especially given the relatively short workouts compared to my 1 - 1.5 hrs at the gym I'm used to. But let me tell you, the first time I did a Tabata "something else" circuit, I was feeling it for the next 2 days. I'm absolutely hooked and look forward everyday to checking out the website to see what the WOD is.
Now I'm trying to get my wife to try it.
Actually, I was thinking of Modern Times. I've not read the Birth of the Modern.
I guess it will be OHS pracitce today with my usual box jump scales, dips and rows. I may throw some handstands in there as well, I never pracitce enough of them.
I am a HS athletic trainer and have had a core group of CF's during the summer. Today was our last day before school, so we wanted to finish strong. Last week we did the "Murph", tough, so we wanted to challenge that WOD. So here is today's WO.
95# Hang Clean x 15
Burpee - Pull Up x 15
95# Deadlift x 15
Box Hops x 15
95# Push Press x 15
Walking Lunges x 15
95#Deadlifts x 15
Burpee - Pull Up x 15
95# Hang Cleans x 15
Top Time: 22min
Great site and keep up the great work everyone
"an article from one of America's Christian wishful-thinking societies"
Mark Helprin is Jewish. He served in the Israeli Army and Air Force.
Better make that the Christian-Jewish cabal of wishful thinkers.
Helprin's point of view is not original, but compared to that of the New York Times it fairly crackles with iconoclastic originality.
Finally some real 'ground truth'
New York Times op/ed
VIEWED from Iraq at the tail end of a 15-month deployment, the political debate in Washington is indeed surreal. Counterinsurgency is, by definition, a competition between insurgents and counterinsurgents for the control and support of a population. To believe that Americans, with an occupying force that long ago outlived its reluctant welcome, can win over a recalcitrant local population and win this counterinsurgency is far-fetched. As responsible infantrymen and noncommissioned officers with the 82nd Airborne Division soon heading back home, we are skeptical of recent press coverage portraying the conflict as increasingly manageable and feel it has neglected the mounting civil, political and social unrest we see every day. (Obviously, these are our personal views and should not be seen as official within our chain of command.)
The claim that we are increasingly in control of the battlefields in Iraq is an assessment arrived at through a flawed, American-centered framework. Yes, we are militarily superior, but our successes are offset by failures elsewhere. What soldiers call the “battle space” remains the same, with changes only at the margins. It is crowded with actors who do not fit neatly into boxes: Sunni extremists, Al Qaeda terrorists, Shiite militiamen, criminals and armed tribes. This situation is made more complex by the questionable loyalties and Janus-faced role of the Iraqi police and Iraqi Army, which have been trained and armed at United States taxpayers’ expense.
A few nights ago, for example, we witnessed the death of one American soldier and the critical wounding of two others when a lethal armor-piercing explosive was detonated between an Iraqi Army checkpoint and a police one. Local Iraqis readily testified to American investigators that Iraqi police and Army officers escorted the triggermen and helped plant the bomb. These civilians highlighted their own predicament: had they informed the Americans of the bomb before the incident, the Iraqi Army, the police or the local Shiite militia would have killed their families.
As many grunts will tell you, this is a near-routine event. Reports that a majority of Iraqi Army commanders are now reliable partners can be considered only misleading rhetoric. The truth is that battalion commanders, even if well meaning, have little to no influence over the thousands of obstinate men under them, in an incoherent chain of command, who are really loyal only to their militias.
Similarly, Sunnis, who have been underrepresented in the new Iraqi armed forces, now find themselves forming militias, sometimes with our tacit support. Sunnis recognize that the best guarantee they may have against Shiite militias and the Shiite-dominated government is to form their own armed bands. We arm them to aid in our fight against Al Qaeda.
However, while creating proxies is essential in winning a counterinsurgency, it requires that the proxies are loyal to the center that we claim to support. Armed Sunni tribes have indeed become effective surrogates, but the enduring question is where their loyalties would lie in our absence. The Iraqi government finds itself working at cross purposes with us on this issue because it is justifiably fearful that Sunni militias will turn on it should the Americans leave.
In short, we operate in a bewildering context of determined enemies and questionable allies, one where the balance of forces on the ground remains entirely unclear. (In the course of writing this article, this fact became all too clear: one of us, Staff Sergeant Murphy, an Army Ranger and reconnaissance team leader, was shot in the head during a “time-sensitive target acquisition mission” on Aug. 12; he is expected to survive and is being flown to a military hospital in the United States.) While we have the will and the resources to fight in this context, we are effectively hamstrung because realities on the ground require measures we will always refuse — namely, the widespread use of lethal and brutal force.
Given the situation, it is important not to assess security from an American-centered perspective. The ability of, say, American observers to safely walk down the streets of formerly violent towns is not a resounding indicator of security. What matters is the experience of the local citizenry and the future of our counterinsurgency. When we take this view, we see that a vast majority of Iraqis feel increasingly insecure and view us as an occupation force that has failed to produce normalcy after four years and is increasingly unlikely to do so as we continue to arm each warring side.
Coupling our military strategy to an insistence that the Iraqis meet political benchmarks for reconciliation is also unhelpful. The morass in the government has fueled impatience and confusion while providing no semblance of security to average Iraqis. Leaders are far from arriving at a lasting political settlement. This should not be surprising, since a lasting political solution will not be possible while the military situation remains in constant flux.
The Iraqi government is run by the main coalition partners of the Shiite-dominated United Iraqi Alliance, with Kurds as minority members. The Shiite clerical establishment formed the alliance to make sure its people did not succumb to the same mistake as in 1920: rebelling against the occupying Western force (then the British) and losing what they believed was their inherent right to rule Iraq as the majority. The qualified and reluctant welcome we received from the Shiites since the invasion has to be seen in that historical context. They saw in us something useful for the moment.
Now that moment is passing, as the Shiites have achieved what they believe is rightfully theirs. Their next task is to figure out how best to consolidate the gains, because reconciliation without consolidation risks losing it all. Washington’s insistence that the Iraqis correct the three gravest mistakes we made — de-Baathification, the dismantling of the Iraqi Army and the creation of a loose federalist system of government — places us at cross purposes with the government we have committed to support.
Political reconciliation in Iraq will occur, but not at our insistence or in ways that meet our benchmarks. It will happen on Iraqi terms when the reality on the battlefield is congruent with that in the political sphere. There will be no magnanimous solutions that please every party the way we expect, and there will be winners and losers. The choice we have left is to decide which side we will take. Trying to please every party in the conflict — as we do now — will only ensure we are hated by all in the long run.
At the same time, the most important front in the counterinsurgency, improving basic social and economic conditions, is the one on which we have failed most miserably. Two million Iraqis are in refugee camps in bordering countries. Close to two million more are internally displaced and now fill many urban slums. Cities lack regular electricity, telephone services and sanitation. “Lucky” Iraqis live in gated communities barricaded with concrete blast walls that provide them with a sense of communal claustrophobia rather than any sense of security we would consider normal.
In a lawless environment where men with guns rule the streets, engaging in the banalities of life has become a death-defying act. Four years into our occupation, we have failed on every promise, while we have substituted Baath Party tyranny with a tyranny of Islamist, militia and criminal violence. When the primary preoccupation of average Iraqis is when and how they are likely to be killed, we can hardly feel smug as we hand out care packages. As an Iraqi man told us a few days ago with deep resignation, “We need security, not free food.”
In the end, we need to recognize that our presence may have released Iraqis from the grip of a tyrant, but that it has also robbed them of their self-respect. They will soon realize that the best way to regain dignity is to call us what we are — an army of occupation — and force our withdrawal.
Until that happens, it would be prudent for us to increasingly let Iraqis take center stage in all matters, to come up with a nuanced policy in which we assist them from the margins but let them resolve their differences as they see fit. This suggestion is not meant to be defeatist, but rather to highlight our pursuit of incompatible policies to absurd ends without recognizing the incongruities.
We need not talk about our morale. As committed soldiers, we will see this mission through.
Buddhika Jayamaha is an Army specialist. Wesley D. Smith is a sergeant. Jeremy Roebuck is a sergeant. Omar Mora is a sergeant. Edward Sandmeier is a sergeant. Yance T. Gray is a staff sergeant. Jeremy A. Murphy is a staff sergeant.
Kate - I'd like to steal your post; it captures my thoughts almost to a T. Harry MacD, thanks for the recommendations.
I will, however, add that Don W. has at least made me reconsider... but I haven't read enough "modern" fiction to judge. I got my BA in English in '91 at Boston U., but all I can remember reading are "the classics", and I still have huge gaps in my knowledge and miss many literary allusions because of it. Can't help, 'cuz my first 2 years were as an engineering student.
So I can't really say if most modern stuff suffers from the same nihilism that I do believe inhabits academia - and I probably never will. If I start reading such things, I inevitably put it down and go, "bleh". And I wonder if this hasn't always been the case - academics and intellectuals are almost always engaged in throwing rocks at the orthodoxy. Nihilism and deconstructionism began back in th '30s (at least) with real vigor, and much of what's out there today is merely rehashing what's already been said and proved wrong, but here we are again.
"As for the article. Literature cycles. It's done it before and it will do it again. Mark Helprin's _A Winter's Tale_ is a favorite of mine..."
And apparently a favorite of the NYT, too, as it was on their list, as was John Updike. I agree about literature cycling. The modernist tenor (if such a monolith exists) is less a function of orthodoxy than it is of fashion and the predilection for members of a society (writers in this instance) to follow it. Writers of a generation will often share common inspiration and will thus have similarities of style or tone, but that doesn't imply some grand conspiracy or indoctrination. One can hardly claim that Toni Morrison, Cormac McCarthy and Don DeLillo conform with one another, even if some of their works betray a sense of the world-at-large imposing itself on the individual. The fact that many of the best English-language writers who came of age during the Cold War and air-raid-type drills display a certain cynicism and sense of inevitability of events is unsuprising. Those who come of age in the age of globalization may also share a tone, or perhaps a worldview colored with a variety of tones, some classical, some modernist, some post-modern or entirely new.
The list does present some excellent literature from the latter part of the 20th century. I happen to find DeLillo ponderous, but find McCarthy and Morrison intriguing and colorful. They are all excellent writers in their own way. It is one thing to decry the absurdity of creating a list of the best from such a broad set as modern literature (and it is done throughout modern media, whether in the high-falutin NYT Review of Books or on the tongue-in-cheek VH1), but it is another to cast aspersions on the worth of the novels themselves by their inclusion on such a list or association with the literary fashion of the times. I, for one, expect to pick up a Phillip Roth book before long to see what the fuss is about.
I think C.S. Lewis had a good point when he said that every third book you read should be a "classic". His point was that the oldies have stood the test of time and have proven themselves in a sense. Much of what is considered "new" literature is really good (and some of it is nuttier than squirrel turds), but it's always smart to go back to the Old School to stay grounded.
If you want to read it the essay is called "On the Reading Of Old Books" from God in the Dock.
I hate rest days too. I love waking up in the morning and seeing what type of pain I will be in that day. With rest days that surprise is gone. I know exactly what I will be doing.
Thanks to Coach and Lauren for posting the Halprin essay. While I'm sympathetic to his theme, I'd prefer if he'd given us to examples of nilistic works. We pesky lawyers always want evidence. But don't despair, there's good literature out there, you just have to hunt for it with the same perspicacity that we used to find CF. I've just finished "The Bestiary" by Nicolas Christopher and "The Fall of the Sparrow" by Robert Hellenga, two books that will uplift your soul and give you renewed hope for the literary tenor of our times. All is not lost.
Thanks for the encouragement yesterday, Kate.
I'm working my way through level 3 of Dave Werner's exercise performance standards, and yesterday after the WOD I went to the track and ran a 400m in 1:05! Then after a few minutes rest I got a 2:47 800m! That's two more items checked off the list.
I don't mean to brag or anything, I'm just so excited. I still can't believe how well Crossfit works. I've been working out for about 10 years, and I studied exercise science and nutrition in college, and this is by far the best program I've ever seen.
#8, Harry: Great post. "Modern Times" has always intimidated me. I probably need to get up a half hour earlier and plow through it early in the am. #42, ProPain: Anything by C.S. Lewis is worth reading and taking seriously. My reading group tried his approach and read "Absalom, Absalom" which I could barely get through; we had better results with Lawrence Durrell's "The Alexandria Quartet."
I've been plagued for the last hour over the Tony Blauer video, specifically to the comment about the "mystification" of Aikido.
I would agree with TB, there is no mystical aspect of how using your arm with splayed fingers will allow you to keep it straight under constant (keep that in mind constant) pressure due to extensors being the dominant power.
But Tony himself used "Ki" without knowing it seems. He directs the participant to "shoot them in the head" with their fingers!!!! Hello? This is exactly what Ki is, the mind-body connection! He has used this connection while at the same time saying not to mystify it. Ki is not something only on the physical realm, it very much is on the connection of the mental and physical realms with the human body being where it resides and flows to and from.
Now, that he has "stopped" the minds of his students (they are focused on keeping their arm straight) he should sweep their legs and watch them hit the ground and wonder why the hell he just did that. Now you have a lesson in why it is important to not stop your mind on one action or one part of the body. (I realize I'm getting into well beyond the physical here).
The "unbendable arm" in Aikido is about 5-minute lesson on the first day to show how a flowing mind (not arm) is more powerful then a stopped mind. It doesn't just keep the student in one place, it teaches them to move around and understand just because someone is touching your arm, it does not mean you have lost control of the rest of your body or your mind.
Another Aikido display is to use the same mind-body connection and place thumb to index finger and have someone apply pressure to pull them apart. These are flexors, not extensors and yet you cannot pull them apart. Yes I realize the anatomy of the hand is different then the arm, but he blankets a statement for one part of the body that doesn't apply to all of it.
Huh? Can Helprin use some plain English to tell us what he thinks? I had to "deconstruct" that passage just to begin to understand it. Menawhile, back at the reading room, the groups are gathering. Most of them don't care what Helprin thinks. The academics and the critics in the far corner care, but nobody cares what they think (except, of course, other academics and critics and aspiring intellectuals). The group who buys the most books are sitting in another corner. They laugh, they sigh, they squirm from their unrequited passion. The romance novels pile up beside them, hot flames shooting from the heaving breasts on the covers. The businessmen are in another corner, reading the words of David Baldacci, John Lescroart, and other action/adventure/conspiracy imaginistas. Corner number four contains the book clubs, all trying to find the perfect "true novel" so that they can continue to consider themselves the top of the literary food chain. The sci-fi/fantasy aficionados are in yet another corner, the dotcom/technology millionaires reading alongside the pimply faced kids and, I suspect, a few CrossFitters. Every once in a while someone will wander away from their corner and over to a another corner just to see if there is anything interesting to read in a different corner. This keeps the room in a constant state of flux. But wait, there is one corner that seems to have an invisible barrier that prevents anyone from entering or leaving that corner. It is the critics/academics corner and the barrier is the flow of jargon and obfuscation that seems to flow endlessly from the mouths and pens of those who occupy the corner. A lone figure stands outside the barrier. The figure gives forth a plaintive cry: "We might care what you have to say if only we could understand it."
Okay, now I've written this but I seem to have written myself into a corner. All the erudite, intelligent, well-reasoned arguments that were floating around in my brain when I began this rant seem to have floated off into the ether. Which makes me think of a new question - Has anyone else run into this problem before? If so, what do you do? Do you just erase your writings without posting them or, in the interest of trying to feel that you have not just wasted the last fifteen minutes, do you go ahead and add some more words to it and try to save it? Also, when you read one of these posts, do you think, "Quit wasting my time, you idiot."
#43 John Wopat - If you liked Robert Hellenga's book try reading his "Philosophy Made Simple". It's a great book - much underappreciated, I think. I'll make it a point to read "The Fall Of The Sparrow".
Forgot to post yesterdays workout
100 (only did 4 died at 5 and replaced 5th rep with 95)
100 same thing
i probably would have done more if i hadn't done Muscle ups,snatch and cleans as a warm up. Muscle ups are a work in progress
Ah well, rest day turned into 90 mins of MT and JJ. Feel great after though!
(unable to wrap head around wordy article and even wordy-er responses on this rest day)
So, anyone wanna see how many pusuhps you can do? no? nobody? Ok, Ill just be over here, working my snatch form then.
Helprin is one of my favorite writers. Incredibly deep and beautiful fiction writer. Whether anyone is aware of the stance of the Claremont Institute (generally conservative and for limited government) or agrees with that stance, I encourage anyone to read his other articles on the Claremont site. I have found his writing to be deeply insightful and excellent in both its content and style. Just a thought for anyone whose work is looking less than appealing today.
here's a wod i threw together for the CF'ers in the utah valley area last night... it was loved/hated by all
30 thrusters-95 lbs
400 m run
30 box jumps-30" box
400 m run
400 m run
30 wall ball-20 lb ball
400 m run
times ranged from 13.52 to 26.06
"Louder than 10 (w/ variation)"
5 Ball Slams
10 Ring Push-ups
15 KB Swing
27:30ish (Forgot to stop my timer)
Practiced muscle ups today--attempted about 10 and then around the 11th or 12th attempt I finally got one. This is a great day.
Things have been out of control for three months now. Doing what I can when I can.
W/U: 100 sit-ups, 100 back extensions, light Front Squats.
Front Squats: 225, 225, 225, 225, 245, 245 (form break), 225.
"J.T." with pull-ups added as well: 12:40.
50, 40, 30, 20, 10, 50 reps of Double-unders and Sit-ups all for time: 14:10.
Shoulder Press: 115, 115, 125, 135, 135 (slight push-press on last two reps).
Way too busy to post lately, but have been managing to get at least the essence of the WOD's when I can't get to the gym. Back in groove, hopefully, in a week.
Caught up with "Tabata Something Else" last night.
This was my first time doing one of the "Tabata" WOD's. I'm not particularly happy with my score, but six WOD's in three days takes it's toll I suppose. I'm finally caught up now. Today is going to the greatest rest day ever.
There is a reason they are called the classics, they have stood the test of time. Right now Willa Cather is my favorite author.
You have no idea how many times I have something to post only to have either Joey, Barry, or you put it in much better terms than I could have! :)
About your thoughts slipping off into the jet stream, that happens to me a lot (underlined, italics), especially when the kids come into the room and start asking a zillion questions when I am halfway through a thought process. I'm not talking about the easy questions either like, "Can I go for a walk with my friends?" they're more like, "What would happen if a Nuclear bomb exploded in the air instead of on the ground?" or "Which form of government do think is the best?" or "I've been thinking, what if most people on earth were gone and you were asked to be the ruler of about 1,000 people that had banded together, how would you lead them?"
I usually erase my disjointed thoughts and try and start over, but then of course, it's to late, I'm no longer in the flow. Perhaps if my timing were better...
However, I don't ever feel that I have wasted my time reading the posts here.
Congrats on the muscle up!
TSE after work.
Hmmm, probably a good time to plug the book: "On Bullsh!t." 60 pages on brilliance by a philosophy prof on same...
Practicing my weaknesses for upcoming fitness test...
1.5 mile run: 9:30. (beats last week, 9:46)
2:00 situps: 79 (Up from 77...still a long ways from 96)
Tuesdays work out was my first expirience with cross fit and i almost died. Ive never felt that beat down after sixteen minutes!!! I must say, I think im hooked on it now.
Right Mouse click on the "Enlarge Image" literal and select either "Open in New Window" or if you have the newest version of IE select "Open in new Tab" and scroll to your hearts content.
MikeC; Thanks for the tip. Don't you love this site?
Post #29: You're not a knuckle dragger. Helprin's article was so verbose and obscure, not to mention grammatically entangled, that I could hardly decipher a thesis.
For the more enlightened here: what, pray tell, is Helprin arguing for, or against? I suspect he condemns "modernism" (though his better target is likely now postmodernism, or post-structuralism, or constructivist post-structuralism, etc.) because it is inherently nihilistic, a term which he wields with considerable flourish. But what is nihilism? Who are these hoary nihilists? Each term demands elucidation.
I can understand one wanting to reject both the popularish trend of "making lists" (if only because it objectivizes an inherently subjective phenomenon) as well as the cliquish character of contemporary literary and academic circles, but Helprin's analysis is diluted by his circuitous political references and his otiose cultural critiques. Couldn't he, master of the english language and transcendant of the fray, have simply formulated the following: that the NY Times embraces a form of literature which is both existentially dark and culturally bankrupt? Of course, then he would have opened himself to the numerous counter-examples that he shields himself from through obscure formulations. Take, for example, the work of Gabriel Garcia Marquez and other magical realists: is that "nihilistic"? Overtly politically correct? What of the work of Italo Calvino? The poet laureate Robert Pinsky? How is their work with myth, love, and an assessment of some form of humanity, however perspectival, in any way a collapse into the collective, the nihilistic, or the liberal?
What Helprin's article actually obscures is the very phenomenon he wishes in some sense to protect: the richness of many forms of literature which living writers are currently in the process of producing. Sure, there are examples that fit his description. Yet there are also innumerable examples that are clearly "anomalies" in his sense, or simply "great literature" to the rest of us.
One thing to add that I haven't seen already is that especially coming from a bodybuilding background it's a good idea to define what your goals are. As stated (though briefly) in the "What is Crossfit" link, Crossfit is about broad, FUNCTIONAL fitness. Crossfit is unparalleled in producing functional performance, if your goal is sculpted biceps you might achieve those as a by-product, but that's not Crossfit's purpose by design. Stick to it though, I am positive you'll love the results!
Most newbies I've seen have started seeing dramatic results in 3-5 weeks, and the performance curve is usually pretty steep. Keep going, you're right around the corner.
I read some posts today abour results, and I thought I would contribute. Within the first 5 weeks of joining CrossFit Ohio (Dayton), I lost 15 pounds without actively altering my diet. I talked to Coach Tony and he recommended that I switch to the Zone system not necessarily as a diet to lose weight, but a way to gauge my nutrition to meet training needs. Since then, I gained 5 pounds of muscle mass and this is my 3rd month, or week 10.
Also, as far as milestones go, I recently went from a 1:51 full Murph time at three weeks into CF down to 1:28 time last Thursday. Both were without a weight vest, but hey, that'll come in time. Also, the time still isn't stellar, but I'm not a superhero yet, and I can see a time eventually when I'll be in under an hour.
The best thing though is the mental development. Aside from becoming more fit and trim, which I agree with the philosophy that looking fit is a consequence and not a goal of fitness, I feel well. Not part of the time either, but all of the time, and to me, that's what counts the most along the path to fitness. Feeling fit is only around the corner.
A small crawling mammal unique the plains of Mongolia and upper Tibet. Burrows beneath rocks and sometimes into rocky soils along riparian habitat; feeds primarily on insects, although can also be an oppportunistic scavenger. Coat is composed of coarse hair to protect from severe winter conditions. Generally in a bad mood.
Obviously any person or literature that is post-modern (not modernist), "nihilistic," or cold and stand-offish just for its own sake is dumb. The person/book is a poser. Usually though, there's some understanding of ideas or contemporary conditions that drives such a viewpoint.
I don't know much, but I would guess that post-modernism was brought about in response to "the suicidal slide of culture" and the state of the world, not to produce it. The existentialist starts out with the belief that "life is absurd." Arguably, this can promote life, love, justice, etc. because if life is absurd (finite, random, subject to atrocities I think), and it's all we've got, we've better make the best of it. Sartre was not a stand-offish guy.
[if anyone has the slightest inkling of philosophical knowledge, you can probably correct/improve what I wrote.]
To further make guesses about philosophy, I think post-modernism views the grandiose as "old-hat." There is no meta-narrative to explain everything, it's impossible. As such, insight can probably only be gained through the small-scale, and perhaps comparative study.
Unfortunately, this does have the prospect of getting ridiculous with statements like "Bush = Hitler," moral relativism I think (Barry Cooper). If there is no overarching ethics, what happens?
[If anyone knows about post-modern ethics, I'd be interested. Maybe it's an oxymoron, I dunno.]
Does nihilism/post-modernism = contemporary liberalism? No.
hey #39 SMASH
Your blog is VERY informative of past operations concerning other soldiers and you need to curb your passions for appropriate audiences. Remember you are a representative of the U.S. Military by law and contract on and off duty. I am not trying to censor you...I am just letting you know that I think this blog is concerning for security reasons.
Frankly, I don't have a clue what Helprin's gobblydegook is about. He seems upset and mentions Norman Mailer, often a stomach-turning subject.
As for the state of publishing, last night I was talking with a NY literary agent. She said, despairingly, that book publishing is controlled by the buyers--the person at Borders or Barne's & Noble who decides what to order for the chains.
Magazine publishing is controlled by the advertisers.
Given this dreary state of affairs, one might in a moment of weakness flirt with nihilism.
Oh thank god I'm not the only person that read that passage and didn't understand it. I studied engineering so words aren't my thing. However, I can read the classics and understand nearly every word (or at least enough to get the meaning). Same with most of the modern books he's slamming on. I am used to seeing words I don't know, but most good writing uses obscure words only when the ordinary ones don't quite convey the correct meaning (like many of the better writers who post here). When I find things like today's passage, I conclude that he's hiding a weak argument by using fancy words. If they don't understand it, they can't argue against it.
#45 - word!
yoga 1.25 hour class
enjoyin' the rest day
This rest day was ever-so appreciated tabata and front squats have my legs screamin, but does any one have a good method or website to go to for
help with calorie counting.
Not my article or my blog. I simply posted the op/ed from today's N.Y. Times for people to consider.
#67 Dave Y -- try www.fitday.com
Today was bad. Tried to do 3 bars of Death and was thoroughly disappointed. My work outs have been going great, always progressing. Today was the first time that I regressed since starting crossfit ~5 months ago. I am quite disappointed.
I work out 5 on 2 off. Now that I am able to do the wod with much more intensity and little scaling if any is the 5 days in a row too much or was it just one of those days. I was somewhat thrashed when I started but that is nothing out of the ordinary.
Weight loss: I have been doing crossfit for 5 months and have not lost any weight (210 lb). I am definitely stronger and more fit but my waistline is still the same with the same ol' gut.
I have not altered my diet since I started. Not looking for advice just stating the facts. I don’t eat fast food or drink soda but I do eat my share of pizza and pasta. I know that I need to cut back on the carbs.
On a positive note I finished up today with double unders and got a P.R. of 54.
Tomorrow is a new day.
No restday for me - I missed Monday due to being out so decided to do some deadlifting as I'd not done any for ages.
40yof, 5'7, 150lbs
1 mile run, treadmill, 1% incline, 8:54
10 x 70kg (154lbs)
5 x 80kg (176lbs)
2 x 90kg (198lbs)
1 x 100kg (220lbs)
1 x 105kg (231lbs) (Failed first try – hand gave out. Got on second attempt)
Pretty happy with that. Equalled my PB which I'd got before I became ill in June. Will try 110kg next time I do this.
As DaveC said: It is the critics/academics corner and the barrier is the flow of jargon and obfuscation that seems to flow endlessly from the mouths and pens of those who occupy the corner. A lone figure stands outside the barrier. . . .
The lone figure is the consumer, aka the reader.
Some nice points throughout the posts but the publishing industry itself has some inherent problems. Tom Wolfe laid out some of the issues in his book 'Hooking Up' (read the chapter 'My Three Stooges', in particular). A published novelist (apologies for lack of citation, I can't remember who) said, "Book editors are curious people, they love books, barely tolerate writers, and despise the reading public. Wolfe identified the penchant of critics and editors to assign negative trends in book buying as 'Reader Failure'. Stephen King wrote a column for a March edition of Entertainment magazine entitled "How to Bury a Good Book".
There are some negative trends in book sales in US and western Europe but the industry seems more content to blame MTV, Xbox, digital generation for book reading stat woes. The 2006 study by the Natl Endowment for the Arts report 'Reading at Risk' (http://www.nea.gov/research/ResearchReports_chrono.html) is instructive in so far as it makes no reference to the industry's attempts to retain and increase book readership in the US. It makes no reference because the industry thinks promoting a particular book or author is cutting edge marketing.
Agreement on what is great literature or not is irrelevant. Ignoring the consumer, in that not doing everything in your power as a producer (premise here is books are PRODUCTS - book publication is not an eleemossynary endeavor)to engender interest in your product constitutes ignoring.
Okay, sorry for the skeed. Cheers, Tabata wishes and burpee dreams for all.
My apologies I am an idiot, however, someone should crush their nuts for that article.
There's not much to fear from fiction scribbling nihilists these days - I think Helprin is getting a little overwrought. Few read and a tiny fraction of readers read what literary types call "literature". I would guess that the Crossfit fora and this message board get more eyeballs then Delillo, Ford or Franzen. Good thing to - I used to read those guys and I just got fat and depressed.
"Soldier of the Great War" FTW!
I don't see the problem with making lists. The question isn't "What really is the best book of the past 25 years?" It's "What do literary movers-and-shakers read?" And an answer to that second question gives you a nice snapshot of literary trends and tastes. That's it. It's the people who expect lists to be akin to scientific experiments that give lists bad names.
Mike (#84), good point. I tend to read those lists, like the Top 10 War Movies that was in Navy/Army/Marine Corps Times recently, just so I can say "What the he11 are those idiots thinking? Saving Private Ryan isn't in there but Apocalypse Now is? Aaaaargh." Or something like that.
I tried 5 on 2 off for a while. I loved 2 rest days in a row, which made the early part of my week vigorous and effective. But days 4 and 5 became hellish, and even counterproductive eventually.
I have a suggestion for crossfit to make posters like you see at gym's that have maybe a picture of sum1 doing something crossfit and then underneath it says "3..2..1..GO!" or "NO excuses" or "forging elite fitness" i would definatly buy those and frame them and put them in my crossfit gym. Also i suggest crossfit calanders to keep track of the workout you did and what weight you used or how long it took you.
Wait, are you saying that you think Saving Private Ryan is a better movie than Apocalypse Now? You're loco, bro...
Heart of Darkness!
Oh I guess I misinterpreted the article slightly. Yeah, if there's been a turn towards book editors snubbing writers, and snubbing readers even more so, then that's bad.
Elitism is bad in almost all forms. Except for elite fitness! But still, it's not like the monsters of XF walk around and are like "Your Fran time is slow. You suck. I can deadlift more than you, punk." Quite the opposite really, and I'm glad for it.
#89 - Ben. Yes I have noticed from my brief encounter with CF SoCal that other CrossFitters are some of the most encouraging and informative people.
Recently subscribed to CF Journal and am exploring 100% WODs adapted to my local YMCA. I have been exposed to traditional "what's your bench" gym culture and completely missed out on olympic style lifts, functional strength and gymnastics. I love the intent and intensity I've found here and am looking to educate myself more. What would be a 'top 10' books to add to my library (already have a Zone collection).
Oh, no, Bret, you've fallen for it! "Heart of Darkness" by Conrad is a great book, and not that long, I note. Not nearly as long as that bloviating movie with that interminable scene up the river. Yes, parts are funny and very good - but it is just soooooo looooooong. It's pop culture status seems to stem more from its "hipness" with actors like brando, hopper, sheen, a 15 year-old larry fishburne (driving one of the boats), than from the sheer brilliance of it. SPR says it so, so much better in less time with better characters, writing, and action. (Here come the wolves, but before you pounce, I challenge you to go watch Apocalypse Now first, right now. go ahead! When you wake up, come back and talk to me.) ;-)
Caught up with "Tabata Something Else". 390. Can't for the life of me figure out where I'm going to get that next 10 to get to 400, I just know I'm going to try...
Ben #89 "Elitism is bad in almost all forms." In the context of today's article and the ensuing discussion I think we can define "elitism" today as the movement to exclude the hoi poloi, those not among the cognisendi among whom the literary critics roam. Using that definition I believe that I agree that "elitism" is bad because the criteria to be "elite" is arbitrary, meant to exclude based on arbitrary metrics. I got what Helpern was saying, but his manner of speaking seems to me to really be saying that his group of "elites", or his version of "elitism" is superior. While I agree with his literary criticism I reject that entire form of "elitism".
And yet, you introduce a wholly different variety of "elitism" when you talk about elite fitness: the "elitism" inherent in a meritocracy in which something "elite" is measureable and therefore able to be compared to something else. This form of "elitism" can be viewed as virtuous since the simple pursuit of an "elite" level (of nearly anything) confers a kind of grace on the pursuer. Similar to a work of literature created around, toward, or for its inherent beauty and meant to provoke at some level the same in the reader.
Speaking of literature, what happened to Crossfit t-shirt that had the tagline 'Smoke you like cheap crack'
I don't see them in the CF shop
Session w Kempie today.
We took on "Ethan" WOD designed by the guys at crossfit Manchester UK.
Knees to Elbow 3-6-9-12-15-18-21
As a couplet:
Ben 9:07 KTE broken sets from the 12
Kempie 17:30 WHILST WEARING 25LB VEST!
Max Respect to be given.
Hope our efforts did you guys in Manchester proud. I look forward to meeting and training with you soon.
'Pain is temporary'
Dale, it is too long. Especially the Redux. But I like it for reasons aside from the hip factor. But don't forget Robert Duvall while you're at it ("smells like...victory).
And of course, the Conrad short story is far superior. I think its around 80 pages, at least in the volume I own (which is with two other stories, Nostromo and something which eludes me). Could be a little longer.
My bigger problem is with Saving Private Ryan. The opening scene was fantastic, but after that its just stock 50's war film cliche. I was waiting for John Wayne to appear. Don't get me wrong, enjoyed the movie, and love John Wayne, but IMO there is nothing about it which would warrant inclusion on any 'best' list. Whereas Apocalypse Now took a lot of creative chances and made many of them work...
I like "From the Ground Up" by Dan John - www.danjohn.org/coach (w/f/s)
The best part is it's free.
Yeah, I haven't read those 'prose' books or 'the style of writing,' although they apparently are a must read according to my HS English teacher. I think the best advice I ever got was to write as short and simple as possible. Generally, the longer the sentence, the lower the quality. This is particularly true of using big words for their own sake.
I totally agree. I believe Barry Cooper was writing on the message board (thread about steroids) that the pursuit of personal excellence, er, process outcomes, are noble, honorable, and mix well with happiness. Comparative excellence or external outcomes, like saying "I'm going to be the best baseball player in the world" or "I'm going to be the smartest, fanciest book-reader ever" largely depend on things outside one's control. Focusing on those external outcomes breeds hypercompetitiveness and the "bad elitism" you eloquently illustrate, and doesn't mix well with happiness.
been a ghost on the site as of last week since I've joined up with Crossfit Fairfax - great group of guys and gals. I'm going to be following the programming there so I won't be posting near as much, but will continue to follow the day to happenings.
SPR and Apocolypse Now are pretty different films. SPR is pretty "hoorah!" and tugs on the ol' heart strings. It's about transcending through personal sacrifice and manly values. AN, on the other hand, points out the unreality and absurdity of that. It is far more depressing and cynical (and realistic?) Robert Duvall destroying a village so he can surf? Killing the villagers in the boat because they were protecting a puppy? That's far more harsh than anything SPR has to offer. I love that scene in AN where they come across the Playboy Bunnnies, and Sheen goes "Charlie's idea of a little R n' R is huddling in the rain eating cold rat meat."
Are there any crossfitters out there in the Chicago south suburbs? Starting to think pretty seriously about starting our own affiliate in the Joliet/Plainfield area and wanted to gauge possible interest. If your interested at all, please shoot me an e-mail, let me know what you think. Thanks in advance.
For calorie counting, you need measuring tools (cups, spoons) or even better, a scale which weighs in metric and can zero-balance. That allows you to weigh something, then zero the scale without removing it and add something else and get the net weight addition. I use a Salter; they have them at Amazon.
For nutritional data (not just calories, but the complete set of data), try the USDA Nutrient Lab database - http://www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/foodcomp/search/
On occasion I have to be creative about how a classify things, but I have been able to find everything I need there.
And it works - I've lost 37# and my husband has lost 50+. PORTION CONTROL is hugely important, and shocking at first.
Now to build upper body strength ....
I thought that article suffered a bit from a lack of specific examples, and it was really a bit more of rant than a carefully argued analysis. Within his own mind, he was clear which authors he was referring to, but myself being almost entirely ignorant of contemporary literature, I really just have to take his word for it.
More generally, though, I do agree with his basic assessment. The story with which we've been saddled by our thought leaders--journalists, academics, authors of various sorts--is that no story is possible. Because all claims of, say, morality are not firmly anchored into us like the laws of physics, because bad things happen to good people, and because good and bad are defined differently by different nations and cultures, we are told that whatever fixed, unchanging principle we may embrace is intrinsically wrong, because fixity is intolerance, and intolerace is the source of all evil.
When Helprin refers to nihilism in culture, I think it is this basic rejection of belief in favor of endless contingency that ultimately melts down into Nothing. A morality that has the mutability of the wind cannot hold the center.
The principle sign of hope I see are just the basic decency of most people. I think most people, in freedom, tend to understand basic ethics, and act on them. It is not a good sign, though, that there is profound disconnect between ordinary citizens and our thought leaders. One can count on a certain amount of moral equivalence indoctrination going on in any liberal arts curriculum in any university.
I have long been pushing hard on this site to see if there are people out there who are products of this sort of indoctrination that can defend it. I've done so here and a couple other places, and if it can be done, I have yet to see it. Like the wind, the resistance goes in circles, but it cannot hold a line, and that is what is needed for cultural stability. It is not a doctine which works, or which can be successfully justified intellectually.
At the risk of sounding a tad whiny, I am tired of looking for this person who I don't think exists, and so continuing to push is really unintelligent, since it's not something I really enjoy. I don't like it.
I would love nothing more than to believe that everything is on the right track, and these problems are being solved, and that I can rest and stop worrying about them. But I don't and I can't.
I have recently rearranged my work life to free up time for writing, and I should have something together within a couple months. In the meantime, I am going to do my level best to stop participating in these discussion. I am a bit of a monomaniac and once I start I can't stop.
The overall quality of posts today was in any event quite high. There were a lot of articulate and thoughtful posts, which if you all really think about it, is pretty amazing for a fitness site.
We're just cool all around.
In no particular order:
Casualties of War
The Killing Fields
Saving Private Ryan
The Longest Day
A Bridge Too Far
The Dirty Dozen
The Great Escape
All of these entertain me for differen reasons, however ApocNow has more thought provoking themes than most. If anyone has not read "Heart of Darkness" by Joseph Conrad, I suggest you do prior to viewing ApocNow again. It will provide a fresh perspective and context to the viewer.
As Kurtz' logic ruled in the jungle and the society he created, mine shall rule in my environment. It's all relative to your own application.
One could argue that CF has elevated Coach Glassman to a Kurtz level of mystique and power. However I cannot foresee any of the Globo Gym shareholders assigning anyone to "terminate with extreme prejudice"
Apologies if this post appears to trivialise some of your heartfelt film critique/debate, but I feel the mood needed lightening somewhat yet retaining an element of tongue in cheek relevance.
Breakfast hearty Spartans!
Spartans also like to watch:
Sin City, and
The Magnificent Seven
Each is, in its own way, a war movie.
Or, how about HBO's "Band of Brothers"... or Gregory Peck's "Twelve O'Clock High"?
No time to work. Must crossfit and watch war movies.
Ok, I know that it was a TV series, now out on DVD, but definetly 'Band of Brothers' gets my vote for inclusion on the list too.
I am gratifed to see that the number of people posting comments on exercises days has steadily increased and the number postings on rest days addressing a nonexercise-related article has decreased.
I offer the following measure to decide the merits of articles offered: Is the information "Hard-nosed, Literal, Precise and accurate." If not, if is not fact but supposition.
For example, what does this quote from today's article mean? "pace the febrile tracts of tenured lunatics"
What does the author include as a tract? A pamphlet, books, newspaper article? He doesn't say and leaves the reader to decide.
Febrile is a temeparature > 100 F. How is it possible for a tract to be febrile? Is it on fire?
How does one "pace" an inanimate object?
What is a lunatic? Someone on Prozac, in an asylum, someone who disagrees with the author?
When one applies the standard of "hard-nosed, literal, precise and accurate" to information, one discovers very little is actually known, and adjectives, e.g "febrile," "tenured" are meant to evoke an emotional response and not to encourage reflection.
I would like to think that the followers of CrossFit are so impressed with the quality of information on the web site and workout days, they opt to ignore articles similar to the one posted today.
I wonder how many push-ups Helprin can churn out in 4 minutes of Tabata? Any guesses?
Should have rested,but on shift today and had to do something.
52 pullups (30L, and 22 reg.) 15:38
15Hindu pushups (Left shoulder still sore).
1/2 mile J-O-G.
betraying my age:
Guns of Navarone
best war movie - 300. If this movie doen't make you want to head to the gym and punish yourself then nothing will
I liked the article because I had to look up three words in the dictionary.
no real work done this week as I am learning to become airborne in the nasty GA heat.
Front squats: as rx'd
based on the last few weeks of programming, I'm betting Deadlifts are part of tomorrow's WOD.
Who's with me?
run-deadlift x 3 for time
deadlift-ring dips x 3 for time
...or maybe a lower back-focused chipper!
yeh I'm with you. I was thinking the same thing. My money is actually on the 4 bars of death. But deadlifts are sure to be there somewhere.
Lets hope so.
good catch. I like your criteria for quality.
Also the author wrote that 'no politically-motivated fictional book can ever have an impact or be good.'
what about "Uncle Tom's Cabin"?
wow...'nother rest day...now watch all next week will be killer >< Might have to run 8 miles...
As per the article:
Although we are all inclined to our own personal opinion (what is wonderful about the US, we're free to have it and disagree), it seems that the liberal (and, amazingly, mostly extremist liberal) writers have taken over (for the most part) newspapers, movies, television, radio (except AM stations which are full of the exact opposite...so maybe there's a balance there...), magazines, and even books.
Now again, I don't mind that they have their own opinion, even if it has been proven wrong over and over...and over again (see socialism/communism). But it seems that they want to beat it into our heads that that's the way things are or should be. Rather hipocritical when they are normally the same people who whine about more conservative elements doing the same.
Then again one can look through history and see that those who work in the media tend to be more liberal. Even in the American Revolution people like Thomas Paine were considered liberal (and Thomas Paine is definately one of my favorite writers of the time).
But I digress...Nihilism (and Anarchy, for that matter) cannot work. "Why?" One would ask. Simple: there is always someone looking for power. Always. So you have your happy little colony, or whatever, where there is no government or order to things and people are "free" in the most extreme sense. You will always have someone (or, in some cases, several people) who have a rather high level of charisma and atleast a few brain cells and figure out how to use it to their advantage. They build a power base and soon have sway over the population. Soon they want to rule the colony, and the happy, hippie nihilists won't/can't do anything about it because it's too late.
Seem extreme? Look at every empire, dictatorship, kingdom, principality, republic, confederation, democracy, communist government, and tribal collection in the history of our world.
In the end, though, we're really just repeating history because our collective media, along with our country, refuses to learn from it. Look at the fall of Rome. A strong empire made up of many peoples that fell into decadence and more corruption than you could shake a gladius at (in all parts of government and in all political factions). Trends in our media, as noted in the article and seen every day, along with continually irresponsible social norms, is taking our country down the way Rome went (even an invading culture). The question is: can we learn from it and fix it? Or will we fall into the pages of hitory too?
was up most of the night with some sort of stomach bug, 4.5 hours of sleep and a full day of work. still had to get into the gym though!
clean & push press: 65x5, 65x5, 70x5, 75x5, 75x5
BOR: 65x5, 65x10, 70x10, 75x5, 75x10
deadlift: 135x5, 145x5, 155x5, 165x5, 165x5
I've been negliecting my additional strength work, and picked up running instead while the weather is nice. It definitely shows, in that I used to be able to do 185x5. On the bright side I don't have to do stretches everyday when I put my freckin jeans on!
'febrile' as in marked by a fever . . . ex. "John's personal best time for completing 'Nancy' was certainly due to his febrile intensity." or "Pictures of Eva T. doing a handstand put me in febrile state."
Hope that helps.
Fantastic list. It made me think of 'Bridge over the River Kwai'.
Farther from the beaten track, check out "Soldier of Orange" with an ohhh, 12 year old Rutger Hauer, and the classic, classic "Paths of Glory", possibly Kirk Douglas' best movie and I believe Stanley Kubrik's first.
@#104: The Magnificent Seven really takes a back seat to The Seven Samurai, just as Star Wars, though great, is a poor reflection of "The Hidden Fortress".
How the h-e-double toothpicks did a conversation this geeky end up on this site...
Had some catching up to do today.
Front squats as rx'd
(185 is a PR for 1 RM)
Shoulder press as rx'd
Maybe I didn't do it right, but yesterday's WOD seemed a bit light, so I ran 5k afterwards. Is anyone supplementing with a bit more endurance work?
Sam Peckinpah's "Cross Of Iron" ranks near the top with me. And then there's always the Superbit version of "Das Boot". Aural excellence.
First shot at "Josh" today...
11:15 with 45# OHS.
Too quick on the OHS
and too slow on the pullups
warmup row 1.25k, snatch practice
5 rounds for time:
5 shoulder press 95#
5 sumo DLHP 95#
C&J 135# (PR) 1-1-1-1-1
shoulder press 135# (PR, twice)
push press 135# 5x
I like "We Were Soldiers" and "Band of Brothers". Many of the others are great too- just my personal favorites.
you forgot "Blackhawk Down"!! Go punish yourselves
Full Metal Jacket
We Were Soldiers
What was the point of that article? Critics are negative because they feel it gives them legitimacy? No, duh. My favorite quote: "They fear that if they commit to and uphold something outside the puppet channels of orthodoxy they will be mocked..." What the heck are "puppet channels"? I want one...if it is one.
Forgot "Dogs of War" and "March or Die"
When considered in its entirety, the statement you seem to be stuck on -- “(pace the febrile tracts of tenured lunatics: Disguised Vaginal Narratives of the French & Indian War: The Hidden Meanings of Bernard de Con's Account of the Assault on Fort Ticonderoga--A Novel)”-- is really not all that inaccessible. Indeed, I think the writer is trying to be a bit ironic.
In context, the writer’s use of “pace” here should be construed as “deference to” or “polite disagreement with.” “Febrile” should be understood to mean “passionate” or “feverish.” And by “tenured lunatics,” it seems pretty clear that the writer is referring to the ivory-tower-residing poseur responsible for what I imagine to be an utterly ridiculous and hopelessly self-important “tract” entitled, “Disguised Vaginal Narratives of the French & Indian War: The Hidden Meanings of Bernard de Con's Account of the Assault on Fort Ticonderoga--A Novel.” In other words, the writer is saying, “for an example of how literature that is political discourse destroys itself, look no further than the feverish efforts of some foppish and laughably insane academic, Disguised Vaginal Narratives of the French & Indian War: The Hidden Meanings of Bernard de Con's Account of the Assault on Fort Ticonderoga--A Novel.”
So, I guess I just disagree with you, Ken. While you might be correct that the piece is not “hard-nosed, literal, precise, and accurate” (I really don’t know, largely because I don’t even know what that means!), the very fact that you had to ponder the true meaning of what the author was trying to say suggests that, contrary to your criticism, the piece very much encourages reflection. This is to say that you, Ken, are the very argument against your own position. Now that, mon frere, is irony!
Ben Moskowitz (#114):
You state, “Also the author wrote that 'no politically-motivated fictional book can ever have an impact or be good.’ [W]hat about Uncle Tom's Cabin?”
No, the writer didn’t say that; rather, he said:
“Whereas great political writing, always primarily literary, is equipped to transcend the causes and contentions of the day, a literary work that rests upon a political cause will follow it into oblivion. Lincoln and Churchill infused politics with the higher truths to which literature is the handmaiden, but the modern convention excludes these truths by subordinating literature to politics.”
And by the way, I doubt seriously Harriet Beecher Stowe had politics on her mind when writing Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Rather, I think that she too was writing about “higher truths to which literature is the handmaiden.” Just ask yourself: When Lincoln read Uncle Tom’s Cabin, do you think he believed he was reading about politics or universal human rights?
Bret - I have to disagree completely about "Ryan" being a John Wayne type movie (not that "Flying Leathernecks" or "Sands of Iwo Jima" are bad) after the landings. Look at when they're going through the boxes of dog tags while guys watch them, or when they lose one guy to the semi-pointless Machine Gun nest, or Upham's cowardice. It is anything but a prototypical John Wayne movie, with the only exception being the "good guys" win in the end - but that's the way that one turned out, historically. Unfortunately, for many weaned on Vietnam era movies that portray "us" as, at best, anti-heroes or ambivalent warriors in a strange land, anything that actually smacks of heroism or a victory for "our side" is "propaganda". (Hmmm, maybe this is coming around to Halprin's point after all).
The reality is that no matter how difficult the circumstances, how morally confused the situation, American warriors, from the Doughboys in WWI to GIs in WWII, to Korea, Vietnam, and Fallujah, have little of which to be ashamed besides the isolated incidents that wind up being portrayed as the rule rather than the exception that they are. Our guys do it right largely because they are "good". Read the book "Stolen Valor" to see how a whole generation of books and films portray the Vietnam Vet as some confused uncomprehending victim of American imperalism (like his brother VC). It's a stereotype that persists to this day and it's utterly false. Read anything James Webb (D-Va) has to say on the subject, as well.
Formerly posting as "Chris (4-23 IN)"
"Louder than 10 (w/ variation)"
5 Ball Slams
10 Ring Push-ups
15 KB Swing
More muscle-up attempts/failures.
Congrats Mark - great explosion!
I will start by saying that neither Coach Blauer, myself, nor any of our senior training staff have anything against martial arts in general or Aikido in specific. Tony, myself and the majority of our instructors are lifelong martial artists.
I want to try to explain our statements with a brief explanation of the cultural differences that may help better understand the "ki" phenomenon. I believe the main contrast presented is caused by the "high context / low context" culture outlook.
As a general rule, most western (European,American) societies are low context. This is easily recognizable by the amount of words in a dictionary or in their spoken language. Westerners have a word for everything. We also tend to adhere to the scientific process. We have researched the human body to the point that we are able to explain, to a cellular level, all but very few of the processes involved in moving our bodies. Using experimentation and observation, we have also been able to label and name these processes.
Older eastern cultures are more high context. They employ less words and their inflection and the mental pictures they create within the context of the conversation or interaction are more important than the words themselves. Most eastern martial arts were developed in this "high context" environment and at a time when the sciences had not quite reached their area of the world. Because of this high context environment it was easier for the teacher to create a mental picture for his student by saying something like "dragon whips his tail" instead of spinning heel kick.
Now to the issue of the unbendable arm. Uyeshiba, an amazing martial artist, was raised in a high context culture. He discovered that if he focused his attention properly he could keep the arm from bending. The only way available for him to explain this phenomenon in his culture, at that time, was "ki". This was also the most effective method of conveying the information to his students. It worked well as he developed some very adept students that carry on his tradition to this day. Some westerners, that are dedicated, traditional martial artists have even found that this high context method makes sense to them.
In the S.P.E.A.R. System most of our students are cops and soldiers from the western world; generally a low context culture. When we teach our classes our objective is to convey the information as efficiently as possible. We have found that explaining the extensor vs flexor relationship in the scientific, low context method is the most effective way to get our students to learn the superiority of keeping the hands open, fingers splayed, and having the arm at an angle greater than ninety degrees. It is not a technique, it is only a method we use to develop "faith in physiology". We let the student empirically experience which position of the arm is stronger and then directly connect that, through other drills, with the body's natural responses to danger.
Other concepts such as mushin (no mind) and zanshin (continuing mind) are covered in the SPEAR System's three dimensional training as well; but again in a low context, scientific format that our students can understand, relate to, and apply very quickly to their daily endeavors, if not immediately.
We call the process de-mystification, not as an insult, but because today's western culture is still amazed and impressed by the somewhat "magical" powers displayed by some eastern martial arts masters. This has a tendency to make the student believe that it requires years upon years of training in order to be able to replicate the feat. We simply give them a way in which they can do it today.
As to your last point, I haven't personally experimented with the "keeping the fingers together" method; but there is probably a scientific, low context way to explain that as well.
BTS Lead Combatives Specialist
Sierra Vista, AZ
Counter piece offered to rebutt The NYT OP-ED piece posted by SMASH #39-
(note- The NYT would not publish this rebuttle)
ON SUNDAY, seven soldiers from the 2nd Brigade of the 82nd Airborne Division stationed in Iraq penned a passionate opinion piece in the New York Times that further illustrates the complexity of what is "really" happening in Iraq. Of the almost 3,000 soldiers from the Army's storied 82nd Airborne Division currently serving in the hottest of Iraqi neighborhoods, seven felt confident enough in their misgivings to sign an opinion piece. They should not be surprised that many of their comrades--including the seven undersigned here--find their work to be misguided.
The 2nd Brigade is responsible for two dangerous areas of Baghdad: Adihamiyah and Sadr City. Airborne troopers there have seen the worst al Qaeda and the Mahdi Army can throw at them and the Iraqi people. But the whole story is that the Iraqis and soldiers in their sector have not yet been fully affected by the surge of troops and operations, which have barely been in place two months.
Currently, American and Iraqi Forces are clearing sections of southern Baghdad before turning north to the 82nd Airborne's neighborhoods. As such, the portrait these soldiers painted, while surely accurate and honest, is more representative of pre-surge Baghdad: sectarian strife, lawlessness, and indiscriminate slaughter.
This is not, however, the picture elsewhere in Iraq, or even most of Baghdad. Additional American combat brigades first surged to the outlying areas around the capital, disrupting the flow of suicide bombers and car bombs and denying haven
to al Qaeda.
The result? Attacks against civilians are at a six-month low and large al Qaeda-style truck and suicide bombings have dropped 50 percent in Baghdad. With additional troops and a sound strategy, the same results can occur in even the worst areas of Baghdad, including the 82nd Airborne's sector.
Take Anbar Province. In 2006, al Qaeda controlled the capital of Ramadi and Marine intelligence officers declared the province effectively lost. A leaked Marine Corps report concluded, "the prospects for securing western Anbar province are dim and there is almost nothing the U.S. military can do to improve the political and social situation there."
Today Ramadi is peaceful and Anbar no longer a haven for al Qaeda. The tribal awakening that brought about political reconciliation and stability in Ramadi and Anbar primarily resulted from an improved security environment provided by American forces. Americans not only cleared Ramadi, they also held it by occupying over 65 outposts.
This security environment allowed local tribal leaders to stand up to their former al Qaeda occupiers, and now American and Iraqi forces are improving security beyond Anbar in places like Diyala and Babil Provinces.
The 82nd Airborne soldiers quoted an Iraqi saying, "We need security, not free food." We could not agree more, and what American and Iraqi forces are doing now--for the first time in this war--is providing lasting security at the neighborhood level after driving insurgents out.
It's true that political reconciliation has not suited so-called "benchmarks," but political progress will only happen when the battlefield and political realities are congruent. We know that street level security is a necessary precondition for real political progress, and as such, the preconditions are finally being fulfilled. And as we've seen, Iraqi leaders--whether Sunni or Shia--will stand up for moderation and stability only when provided with a secure environment in which to do so.
We understand the frustration our fellow soldiers feel. All of us were in Iraq before the "surge" and lament never seeing a coherent, security-based counterinsurgency strategy. In truth, we were only clearing--not holding.
But we also know what's possible when even small portions of counterinsurgency strategy are applied. Insurgents are exposed, leaders stand up, and stability occurs. General David Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker understand the principles of counterinsurgency and are applying them up and down the chain of command. It's unfortunate that soldiers in the 82nd Airborne have not yet benefited from the new strategy, but it will ensure that their actions, and those of their fallen brethren, will not have been in vain.
Meanwhile, we applaud our brothers in the 82nd Airborne for their courage under fire, thank them for their commitment to our nation, and pray for the recovery of their injured co-author.
David Bellavia, Pete Hegseth, Michael Baumann, Carl Hartmann, David Thul, Knox Nunnally, and Joe Dan Worley all served with either the Army or Marine Corps in Iraq, and are all members of Vets for Freedom. This Op-Ed was originally submitted to the New York Times, which declined to publish it.
Banzai!!! That is what this work out was...NEAGS...get ready for this one! I substituted the HSPU (elbow issues) with standard pushups, feet about 4ft elevated on a smith machine.
What is the point of posting links to the political propaganda? I came here for a workout. Articles that promote a political position by attacking vague targets such as all modern literature are nothing more than an invitation to endless pointless squabling. What purpose could there be to such a straw man attack than to pump up the smugness of those who think they agree? If you are going to post something political, at least post something with references, facts, data, and a clearly defined position that can be specifically addressed. Without that it's nothing but ranting.
I was sitting down to write and came across this poem that I wrote a couple weeks ago that seems appropo. Per Wilde's Dictum (we may call it) it is both sincere, and no doubt as a result, entirely mediocre. Still, it speaks to the point.
We see those who want us to hardnosed, literal, and precise. That no doubt has a time and place.
As does poetry, a fact often forgotten in our scientistic, unsentimental, and frankly unhappy age.
I would encourage those of you with the need or desire to express emotions to put pen to paper, and see what comes out. There is no need to share it with anyone, and it doesn't even have to impress you. The point is this gives you access to things that are otherwise hidden. If you want to find them, this is in my experience a good tool.
I share this mainly to offer an example, as well as a commentary in a format different than my usual.
In this late hour,
One feels the need to apologize for poetry,
As if the dust that has settled on the bookshelves in our souls
Has emerged to torment us,
Forming beehives of angry motes,
Lashing out because of what once could have been.
One prefers the inside, to the insipid sun and sky.
One looks to others for confirmation, that all is indeed lost
And hope futile.
What emerges in the water is murky and unimportant, and light but
The shadow of shadow, which alone is real.
We crawl along, supported by the mud of congealed and abandoned effort,
Looking neither forward nor back.
Our ephemeral sybaritics shield from us the onslaught of the new, lying to us:
It’s all you my friend, it’s all you.
Yet, is there not a still jet rising from within ? Not a light that inspires through
The dark? Is there not yet blood in the veins of tomorrow?
The bones of our order endure, and it’s sinews yet lift the weight of the day. Endless tomorrows do not yet forgive us, and endless yesterdays lament being left to wither.
Ran RR trail(6.4km) today. Rest day will be tomorrow.
btw, the run on post #137 was done on 070823(I was late posting).
On vacation, so we did one minute progressions of burpees...
56/M/189 11 rounds plus 5 burpees, 71 total
46/F/125 10 rounds , rounds 11 & 12 pushups