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I wrote this after I re-watched the documentary American Hardcore and thought (as I often do) about the correlation of underground music and physical sub-culture. Enjoy (or don''t).
Time is oppressively cyclical. The mistakes of our forebearers inevitabley become ours. They may take on a different face, but the same strife, the same confusion, misdirection and ignorance are all but unavoidable. The same voices seem to shout from the ages, shrieking ideas and messages that we once took for our own brand new creations, but they continue to go unheard by the vast majority of people. How can we break the cycle?
In the same way that American was in a musical/moral/fashionable state of facism in the late 1970s and early 80s, we are again caught in the vortex of white man’s rule, corporate vacuousness and manufactured cool. Except now music and fashion have become benign, and youthful rebellion has be relegated to a tool of clothing manufacturers, cell phone companies and social networking websites. Our counterculture image has been co-opted by pornographic websites and our self-expression through hair, clothes and nihilistic attitude are rendered similarly ineffectual by the marketing juggernaut.
Fitness is no better: just as we were promised success, happiness and the American Dream in the 80s, we are now promised ripped abs, endless life and physical perfection if we buy into the newest scam. It’s not school, work or polo shirts now, but instead crunches, diet drinks and Under Armor. Just as disco and area rock recycled, exploited and twisted valid culture, fitness now promises new results from old ideas re-packaged.
We are at an impasse and rebellion is the only escape. Fitness has commodified revolution, removed its teeth and erased its own history. We need to jump down the rabbit hole, take the red pill, step through the looking glass. It is time to turn away from the self-destructive funhouse mirror of mainstream fitness, escape the mundanity of the manufactured life and embrace the truth that’s been there all along.
*Photo credit goes to Bodytribe, as I just straight up stole it from their website. I''m in it, so it must make it OK on some level.
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