Walk Your Life

I’ve been watching a BBC series called Tribal Wives on Youtube lately. The premise is that they have a British woman live with a remote tribe for a month and take on the role of a Tribal Wife. Women have been sent to Thailand, Gabon, Mexico, and Namibia, to name a few locations.

It’s really fascinating to watch someone cope after being forced to cast off all the modern “comforts” of life, such as cell phones and indoor plumbing. It’s interesting to see them struggle with the day in and day out grueling work that comes with living rough. For many women in the world, life is really, really hard.

But what I enjoy most is seeing what inevitably happens. These women generally assume that they will have nothing to learn from these uneducated, poverty-stricken, deprived people. But by the end of their stay, they discover that there’s a certain wisdom that comes from not being distracted by all the extras of modern living. There’s a certain glory to just living. Just getting on with it.

In the episode I watched today, a woman from London was placed with the Raramuri tribe of Northwest Mexico. This is a woman who spends a lot of her time worrying and overthinking things, and not trusting people. She lives with this tribe, learns their customs and traditions, and works side by side with the women. Her nervous nature becomes all too evident by comparison.

Their advice to her is not to think so much. Basically, she needs to get over it. Just relax and do what needs to be done. The Raramuri have a saying, “Walk your life.” Sometimes the most profound insights come in deceptively simple packages.

Just walk your life.

Tribal Wives

[Image credit: bbc.co.uk]

Bad Ads

One of the interesting things about moving to another region of the country is that you get exposed to a whole different buffet of local advertisements. One particular company stands out in my mind, though. The Swedish Cancer Institute is apparently an organization with a fantastic reputation, but their taste in ads is at best questionable.

Check out this one with the Seattle Seahawks quarterback Richard Sherman.

Does that seem a little off to you? I don’t know anything about the man, but in the commercial he’s acting like the stereotypical angry black dude at a time when many footballers are considered to be wife beating, animal abusing thugs. And having him blurting out complex medical terms as if he is talking trash just seems a little peculiar to me.

Then you have this one.

First of all, as one commenter mentioned on the Youtube site, the first baby you see has a full set of teeth, which is creepy as hell. Second, what do a bunch of babies submerged in water have to do with the Swedish Cancer Institute? And then saying, “By the time these babies grow up, someone they know will get cancer” is, at best, a ghoulish proposition, however true it may be.

I dunno. Maybe it’s me, but both these commercials seem weird.

Populating Fields

I think my laptop knows more about me than anyone else does. Disturbing, but true. And your computer does, too. It knows your likes and your interests, it knows who your friends are, it even knows what you look for when you job hunt. If you have some kinky propensity that you haven’t shared with even your best friend, rest assured it knows about that, too.

Think about it. It finishes your sentences for you, as if you’re an old married couple.

When I open my browser and start to type in a web address or something in my Google search field, I often don’t have to type more than one or two letters. What’s interesting is that every single one of us can do this and it will yield completely different results. If that doesn’t equal a digital representation of who we are as individuals, nothing does.

Here are some of my keystrokes and my computer’s helpful suggestions for web addresses. I’ll let you decide what this says about me.

  • t = https://theviewfromadrawbridge.wordpress.com/  (of course!)
  • f = Facebook
  • y = Youtube
  • h = Hulu. (Are you sensing a trend? I don’t really lead an exciting life.)
  • d = dictionary.reference.com (and you thought I was a confident writer.)
  • j gives me my local public library. Yay books!
  • k sends me straight to kayak.com, although I have no idea why. I haven’t been able to travel in years. Wishful thinking on my laptop’s part?
  • m takes me to Mapquest. I may not get to travel, but that doesn’t mean I don’t still get lost.
  • s  = Second Life. Even though I don’t have much of a first life, my second one can be rather exciting.

And here are some of my recent search terms on Google, apparently.

  • A is for Aborigines and Ad blocker.
  • B is for Barack Obama, Bobby McFerrin and Bear Hibernation.
  • C is for Capricorn and Carpe Diem.
  • D is for Dogs for Defense and Daddy Saddle (Only for research purposes, I swear. It’s a long story.)
  • N is for Nelson Mandela and Nutrasystem, which is kind of an ironic juxtaposition.
  • P is for Philip Seymour Hoffman and Pete Seeger, may they both rest in peace.
  • Q yields nothing. Poor neglected Q.
  • T really reveals my eclectic nature. It gives me Trepanning, TED Talks, and The Peeling Garlic Trick.
  • W is for Wizard of Oz and a ton of questions that start with What.

There is really no need for interrogation in the modern world. To find out who someone is, where they’ve been, and what their intentions are, simply look to their laptop and all will be revealed.

computer meme

Valeria Lukyanova: Whacko Poster Child for Breatharianism

For those of you who don’t know Miss Lukyanova, she is a Ukranian model who promotes herself as a human Barbie doll, and she also is, in my humble opinion, the world’s greatest media whore.

If you want true insight into her disturbing self-absorption, I suggest you watch the video on Youtube, made by Vice, called Space Barbie. In it, she discusses her anorexically thin figure. She doesn’t seem to think there’s anything wrong with it.

She believes that looking like a doll is a good thing, because “Dolls are based on the image of refined girls”. Actually, no, Valeria. Dolls, especially Barbie, have shapes that no human being could ever achieve or should ever strive for. She admits she’s had breast augmentation surgery and wears contact lenses to enhance her strange image. She also says, “I don’t think there’s anything wrong with girls who try to look like me.” She says to her sister, who is also abnormally thin, “Don’t smile so much, or you show your double chin.”

According to Wikipedia, she is an educator at the School of Out-of-Body Travel. She also believes she is from another planet and has traveled back in time to teach us. She claims to keep in regular touch with beings from other planets. She has been filmed wearing a beard and speaking in a creepy voice, but her director has also been filmed saying to her, “Okay, this time let’s do it in a normal voice.” That speaks volumes about her sincerity.

In her latest grab at media attention, she has recently announced that she is training herself to be a Breatharian, and plans to live on nothing but air and sunlight. She says she hasn’t felt the need to eat in weeks. Assuming you’re stupid enough to think you can defy the laws of nature and simply stop eating entirely, I feel the need to say, “Don’t try this at home.”

To be clear, food is the only thing that stands between you and death. Not only that, but going without food when it’s available to you is insulting to the millions of people on this planet who are genuinely starving through no fault of their own. According to Poverty.com, 21,000 people die every day of hunger or hunger-related causes. If that doesn’t debunk Breatharianism 21,000 times a day, nothing will.

Now, normally I would just dismiss this woman as being bat sh** crazy, but unfortunately she has more than a million followers on Facebook. I find this extremely disturbing. The last person a young girl needs as a role model is a mentally disturbed woman who advocates self-absorption and eating disorders and is now telling people to stop eating altogether. In the video she also calmly mentions that in a past life she immolated herself in front of her students. Don’t try that at home, either.

I am so angry at this woman I can barely speak. Do the young girls of this world not already receive enough messages that make them critical of their own bodies? The fact that Miss Lukyanova is so desperate to be idolized that she cares not one whit for the well-being of the young girls who look up to her will tell you all you need to know about the true nature of evil.

I can only hope that having this nut as the most visible and outspoken advocate of Breatharianism will help destroy its credibility before it takes too many victims to that great insane asylum in the sky.


[Image credit: Huffington Post]

What do YOU Search For?

After that uncharacteristically upbeat blog entry yesterday, it occurred to me that if I were just randomly searching for stuff to read on the internet, I would never ever find that entry with all its positive tags. Not in a million years. The thing about the internet is that your experience therein is entirely shaped by what you search for.

For example, when I go to Youtube, do I search for love stories and happiness and hearts and flowers? Not really. Sick puppy that I am, I’ll type in stuff like, “Serial Killers”, “Cults”, “True Crime” or things of that nature. Aside from the occasional cute kitten video I see when I click on a Facebook link, Youtube for me is a source of warped and twisted behavior.

On Google, I’ll search for things I’m interested in, of course. But I suppose that means I’m not exposed to things I could very well become interested in, but have yet to hear about. I find that to be kind of sad.

I also notice that I tend to gravitate toward about 10 sites that I’ve come to know and trust over the years. So a lot of my internet experience is shaped by their bias as well as my own. I’ve found a cyber comfort zone. I’ve created my own little cyber reality.

But that makes me wonder . At what point will my creation turn around and start shaping who I am? Maybe it already has. Dun dun dunnnnnn…

Everyone’s internet encounter is completely unique to his or her personality. I don’t know about you, but that makes me wonder what it is that I might be missing.

Like yesterday’s blog entry.


Life without Television

A few years ago I was in a period of nearly constant relocation, and during one of those moves I became heartily sick of the whole process and just never got around to setting up my television. I discovered that I really didn’t miss it, so during the next move I simply donated it to Goodwill along with a mountain of other junk. Now I can easily imagine a future in which I never own a TV again.

Don’t get me wrong. I still watch shows, but I do so on my laptop. When I’m bored I’ll go pull something off Hulu or Youtube. I’m not completely commercial free. But I avoid series. I don’t want that kind of commitment.

I have to say it’s been nice not having a heartless screen staring back at me in the bedroom or living room. It’s liberating to watch shows when I want to, and have no cable bills. It’s nice not planning my life around various series or specials or events. It’s delightful to be more discerning as to my sources of news. And I have one less thing to dust. I feel strangely liberated.

When I tell people I don’t have a TV they look at me as if I have two heads. Some random telemarketer called me up to try and sell me a cable TV package, and when I told him I don’t do television, he didn’t believe me. He couldn’t grasp the concept at all. I strongly suspect no one had ever said that to him before. He probably thought I was lying to get him out of my hair. (Which is not something I’m averse to. Whatever works. It’s just that this time it happened to be the truth.)

Television has become such a big part of our lives that we find it hard to imagine living without one, but it really is a relatively recent phenomenon. There was life before it, and there will be life after it. These “things” that we use to clutter up our lives are highly unnecessary.

Having said that, if you try to get between me and my laptop, you’ll pull back a bloody stump.


“They’re heeeere…”

Baby Yoga

Okay, I just saw the most disturbing video I’ve ever seen in my entire life. I can’t even post a link to it, because Youtube keeps yanking it down. I had to stop watching after two minutes. It’s been viral on Facebook. In it, a Russian woman takes a baby who is too young to even support its own head, and swings it around by its arms, spinning it and twisting it. Then she does the same thing with its legs, often one leg. Then she flips it back and forth, its little head snapping on its tiny little neck. Then she tosses the kid through the air, catching it often at the last minute.

On Facebook it says the FBI is looking for this woman, but other sources say that this is not true. Apparently this is a trend called Baby Yoga, and its “practitioners” (for wont of a term that doesn’t make me sound like a drunken sailor) claim that these torturous acrobatics cause babies to walk and talk and, basically, develop faster than the normal child. Naturally, there’s no scientific evidence of this.

There’s another video going around that’s only slightly less disturbing, and that’s of a woman named Lena Fokina (pictured below) doing her version of this practice. The only reason it’s less disturbing is that she seems to really believe in what she’s doing, and isn’t getting off on the more torturous aspects of it like the other woman is. But just because you give child abuse a fancy name does not mean it stops being child abuse.

Here’s what disturbs me most (and there’s a great deal to be disturbed about) regarding this practice. First of all, there is plenty of scientific evidence for another phenomenon: shaken baby syndrome. And it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that if while flipping a baby through the air it flies out of your hands or you drop it, the potential for injury is huge.

And Ms. Fokina’s practice often causes the children to scream and vomit. Yet she says it’s good for them. Give me strength.

Most of all, I’d like to know this. Even if baby yoga turns out to produce the master race, what parent in their right mind would be willing to take such an unbelievable, irreversible risk with their child?

I’m disgusted and horrified.

baby yoga