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 k / o
                                       politics + culture

Saturday, April 08, 2006

ah, life! pt. ii

Okay, it's a fair bet that you are wondering where the hell I've been...and why I seem so sour when I do show up.

Here's the scoop.

#1: I really needed a blog hiatus to take care of some personal and financial issues. It's an ongoing process...but I AM doing much better on all fronts. Hooray.

#2: Part of the changes I've made are seemingly minor things like...uh...completely changing my diet and lifestyle and hence, losing...rrr...27lbs and counting. What that means basically is...sitting with my third cup of coffee and grinding out a blog post while eating a doughnut...is a thing 'o the past. Drinking a couple (lite) beers with a bag of chips in front of the computer while that frozen pizza cooks? Ancient history. Staying up till 3AM reading blogs? UN-healthy, at least for me.

I'm not going to lie. Drinking green tea, eating right and spending more time out of doors, while good for me, has pretty much disturbed my "blog-writing and researching ecosystem". Did I fuel much of the stuff I've written in the last year with sugar, caffeine, and junk food? Was the "news junkie" roller coaster linked to the "junk food" roller coaster?

In a word, yes. For me, that was true. And to make a long story short. I know, personally, that's gotta end.

The good news is that I know in my bones that writing has a place in my life. I'm just figuring out how to make the off-line part of that life work for me for the LONG HAUL so as to allow some good ole on-line work. Short term thinking got me where I was...so now I'm "going long" and enjoying, mostly, every day of the process.

And, yes, in the meantime, while I've made big changes for myself...I HAVE gotten less patient with the BULLSHIT of our society. It's hard not to be cynical when you realize that that big chain grocery store you've been going to has basically been poisoning you (with a huge helping hand from yours truly, of course.)

That's not just true for me, it's true for millions of Americans. Like credit card debt, it's our "dirty little secret."

And yeah, it does connect to politics because the exact same big lies and hype...the marketing that leads us to unquestioningly allow our food to be poisoned with hydrogenated oils, excess sugars, jumbo portions, and high fructose corn syrup...is what allows so many docile Americans to vote for the GOP, a party of liars and criminals, because GOP marketing somehow reflects our "American way of life."

The GOP is no different from that canister of potato chips claiming to be good for you due to "0 Trans Fats" per serving.

That's bullshit.

You can wrap the flag around yourself, but that doesn't mean that you haven't dragged that flag through the mud with outright lies and lawbreaking. That's what the GOP has done...in the name of righteousness and the American way of life.

If there's a kernal of hope in all this...it's this. I think all of us in this country...at least those who aren't in that hard-core brainwashed minority...have a HUGE amount of common ground in understanding that we are on the WRONG PATH. (70% of the country thinks we are on the wrong path according to the latest AP/Ipsos poll.)

There is more than one way to fix things once we get on the right track. I'll admit that. That's why we have debate and democracy.

But the point is, if there ever was a time to reach out and tell your neighbor that it's time for a change. In my humble opinion, this is it. This is a time to face facts and change course personally and politically.

For myself, in my tiny world, that much is crystal clear.


  • Welcome back to blogs--and life!
    (h/t Scooter Libby)

    Seriously, though, glad to hear you're feeling better and doing better on all fronts. I need to stop drinking so much coffee--I'm sure I'd sleep and feel better if I did.

    Quibble: You didn't seem all that sour to me--just incredibly wordy. That post about DeLay? So damn long and tedious, I assure you nobody read it through to the end.

    Note: The previous paragraph is meant to be humorous--a "sourness detector," if you will.

    By Blogger &y, at 5:18 PM  

  • i missed the sour part, but i can relate to the rest: i've quit smoking, quit coffee, curbed alcohol, started exercising and seem to have lost my train of thought for the last several months.

    but it'll come back and i'll at least be healthy and able to communicate. good on ya too.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:02 PM  

  • You haven't seemed sour to me.

    If you ever decide to launch a National Boycott of High Fructose Corn Syrup, let me know -- I'll join you.

    By Blogger katiebird, at 6:28 PM  

  • Change is never easy - personal or political. Glad you're still in the game. Blogging is unforgiving if the hit count drives your posts (I know how that works), but it is useful and therapeutic when you are the one driving the process. I look forward to reading and linking to your post, no matter what the frequency.

    By Blogger RJB, at 7:32 PM  

  • Glad to read you again.

    Congratulations on the 27 pounds. I know too much about weight gain during periods of appropriate depression about the state of the world and inactivity. The past winter has been such a time for me, complicated by illness.

    But the sun finally is peaking out some days and I've been able to get outside, so maybe I can stop morphing into a beach ball. I've decided to post regularly about the hills and valleys I love, as well as about the antics of our rulers. These things too are true.

    Be well; get healthy!

    By Blogger janinsanfran, at 8:08 AM  

  • Thanks for this post KO. And for these comments, &y, Katiebird, and JaninSanFran. The weather *is* finally breaking in the bay area, and I think you're spot on about those hills and valleys.

    By Blogger awol, at 11:13 AM  

  • "but it'll come back and i'll at least be healthy and able to communicate. good on ya too."

    It is a lot easier to communicate when you feel healthy. It's an important thing for all of us to work on.

    (and I'm only 4 pound overweight now!)

    By Blogger katiebird, at 7:43 PM  

  • A view from the hills. Sun about to break through...

    By Blogger wg, at 8:31 PM  

  • If there's anyone out there interested in another blog from Oakland but only on local politics, may I humbly offer mine: Common Sense Oakland.

    You undoubtably may not share my local politics (basically, pro Jerry Brown and pro development as the only way out of Oakland's entrenched problems), but I'm as much a Bush hater as there comes, if that counts. Also, I rather prefer a good argument, so I'd actually like it more if you wanted to mix it up about local development issues: maybe you can teach me something.

    By Blogger deckin, at 2:28 PM  

  • I love you, Paul. I also would like to caution you on making statements that are on the verge of judging people by their size. I am progressive. I am also fat. I move my body as much as I can. I also don't eat junk food--never have--no smoking, no alcohol, no caffeine, no refined sugar, but even if I did, that doesn't make me a Republican! This is a trend I've seen since Supersize me came out, and I don't want to let the left, my side after all, slip into full-on size bigotry.

    By Anonymous blissing, at 9:31 PM  

  • blissing,

    Please forgive me for jumping in, but conversations about food and eating and the state of the world are my obession (see eat4today.com and I can't hold myself back.

    I've struggled with my weight for all of my adult life -- I'm very sensitive to the need to find the personal strength to improve my health while not expanding that expectation or even an implication of it to others.

    There are too many reasons for weight gain and even more reasons why we live with it. And while it's appropriate for us to push ourselves when the time is right, it's never appropriate to push someone else.

    Although I've lost a fair amount of weight, I've come to acknowledge that obesity will always dog me. That having reached the point of extreme obesity 3 separate times in my life, I can never consider myself cured or over it.

    And I'm always going to be sensitive to how the issue is handled by health professionals, family, friends and bloggers.

    But, I didn't see anything insensitive about the way it was addressed in this post. I didn't notice (and I just went back and reread the entire thing to be sure) anything condescending or accusitory in manner or tone.

    I read his post as an indictment of the food industry and the dangerous ingredients (like high fructose corn syrup) that are triggering illnesses like diabetes in alarming numbers.

    The side effects of these policies (and the mind-controlling advertising) have impacts way beyond our weight. We're dealing with cancers and diabetes and high cholesterol & migraine headaches and who knows what else -- and the number of people struggling with these illnesses is approaching epidemic proportions.

    Fighting these illnesses distracts us from fighting the current political disasters. It weakens us and sets us against each other (as you note, some people consider themselves superior to those who don't have to struggle with these issues directly).

    And if we can't talk about it publicly, it will only get worse. So we've got to talk about it -- we just have to be gentle in our language. And open to the messages from all sides.

    By Blogger katiebird, at 11:21 AM  

  • Always welcome to join me on the freeways... the adreneline helps burn fat and keeps the cholesterol down too. Ultimately not sure if it's lengthening or shortening my life, but it's a hell of a lot of fun...

    By Blogger Freewayblogger, at 8:42 AM  

  • congrats on the eating/outdoors/health changes. Need to get some of that going myself. cheers!

    By Blogger Kathleen, at 12:47 PM  

  • katiebird, I didn't say Paul was being condescending, I just wanted to put my viewpoint out there as a fat liberal. It's a slippery slope. We're at the top right now, and I don't want us sliding any further.

    We are living longer than ever in this country, in spite of the so-called "obesity epidemic". Here's a link to a good overview of the issue:

    By Anonymous blissing, at 1:53 PM  

  • Many times I post about the national items but it's the local stuff that gets me out the door and down to City Council hearings.

    That's where I feel I make an impact...

    By Blogger Scaramouche, at 10:01 PM  

  • Good on you, KO.

    I look forward to reading avidly.



    By Blogger RedDan, at 8:37 PM  

  • dude! 27 pounds is a frickin' miracle!! i am constantly losing and gaining the same 10 pounds over and over, so more power to you!!

    so glad you are back amongst the blogging.

    By Blogger skippy, at 9:24 PM  

  • hey! welcome back! and so sorry for delay. been on vacation. :)

    By Blogger Angie, at 10:05 PM  

  • You go, man. I recently went back on the 'health' wagon. I tend to fall off in december and come back around April. I wish I could maintain it
    All the time. Is that unrealistic? Maybe.
    I'm glad I found you post - there is not lot of support forbeing serious about eating right, unless it's just about losing weight. There are many compelling reasons to avoid sugar,caffeine, refined flours, etc.

    I dream of the day when it's the norm.
    Good luck to you!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:18 PM  

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