Friday, April 17, 2009

8...8 yoga skeletons. Ah, Ah, Ah...

Why celebrate 8 yoga skeletons?.. It's because it's my wife's favorite number. I let her choose the pose. She did cat a lot while she was pregnant.

Marjariasana B (upward cat pose)

previous yoga skeletons:
Padmasana (lotus pose) Virabhadrasana A (warrior pose I)
Vrkasana (tree pose) Halasana (plow pose)
Utthita Parsvakonasana (extended side angle pose)
Navasana (boat pose) Urdhva Dhanurasana (upward bow pose)

Om SHAnti SHAnti SHAnti

Saturday, April 11, 2009


Whiplash is a horrible injury. It can come from vehicular accidents...Riding on a carnival ride...or headbanging. Headbanging and moshing can really mess up your spine. Phil Anselmo claims that one of the reasons that he had such a drug problem with Pantera was the result of flailing his head every night while he sang songs like Shedding Skin and Good Friends and a Bottle of Pills. All I know is that I never felt sore after headbanging or moshing when I was 16-25. Now I am sore for days after headbanging.

I headbanged so hard when I saw QOTSA live a few years ago that sweat was raining from my long curly hair onto the people in front of us, and we were in a theater with a slope...the next day. I had to take nsaids and put a heating pack on my shoulders.

When I saw the Melvins at a small bar gig, I moshed like crazy with these skinhead dudes, keeping them from stepping on people. As one of the larger men, I felt that I had to take care of the smaller men and the women. The next day I had to soak for hours in the bath, so weak and sore.

When I was 18 I used to thrash to local punk bands Persecuted Bisexual Rednecks (PBR) and Skoidats and local metal in the form of Bacchus and Contortion. I would leave totally beat after a night of drinking/drugging/chain smoking. By the time that I'd had dinner at an all night family restaurant, I'd be ready to ride again and rock out with a few other dudes at somebodies house, with a few babes in tow. Often I'd end up going to party with the guys in PBR, one of whom was batshit crazy. He'd go and commit crazy acts of senseless vandalism. Stealing from someone's car so that he could spread their map/registration/snow scraper/gloves/tire gauge throughout the neighborhood walking/drinking/pill popping/killing 18 yr old braincells/toking/huffing/chainsmoking. His name was Jack, his bassist was Derek. I would have stuffed myself with booze/lortab/BraincellDeath/ganja/whipits/camel filters/top anyway, but with Jack there was so much more chaos and destruction to balance his creativity. Such a good guitarist/stage presence, Fall asleep and you'd have a dick drawn on your face/toothpaste in your hair/bottles broken where you sleep. Creation Requires Destruction to Exist/Destruction Requires Creation to Exist. Point is I'd never used to feel a sore neck or back when I used to Headbang hard, but now I am sore if I roll out the bed wrong, or lose my pillow in the night.. Could be just age though. At 31, I started hearing music from when I was in highschool on the classic rock station. Not mainstream music but Megadeth's Countdown to Extinction and Soundgarden's Jesus Christ Pose.

I don't believe that headbanging and moshing are good for you. Many of my creaks and groans are probably from when I was too hard on my body.


Urbanite's Irrational Fears

Ever since humans began living in societies, they have feared the woods. Anything chthonic was dark and unreasoning. It was where the beasts lived. It was a place where you were not safe. The more urban a population, the more it feared what lurked outside the walls of the city. Rural populations were subject to less irrational fears of the woods. For the farmer the fear was that his livestock would be killed and eaten by wolves. The farmer couldn't let his children go outside at night for fear that some beast would kill them. The fears of the urbanite were more irrational. The city dweller created fantastical beasts that were much more horrific than anything that existed. While traveling through the wilderness he feared his imaginary monsters more than the highwaymen who were to rob and kill him.
Perhaps the real fear of the wilderness, was due to the darkness, the fear of the unknown. In the woods you can experience real darkness. Cities have always been lit up with lamps that remove the real darkness. Anyone who has spent a night in the woods on a new moon night knows what real darkness is. When only the stars are visible, and you fear you might not find camp after your 0300 bathroom break. For the urbanite, anything could exist in the darkness. Legends spring up when people, who can't see well in the dark, see shadows moving and tell their companions of the beasts that they have witnessed. Their friends tell others, who tell others, and the image of the beast is soon distorted into something that no longer resembles the animal that it was based on.
For the history of civilization man has feared the things that lurk in the shadows of the wilderness. From the serpent in the Garden of Eden to Jason Voorhees, citizens have mistrusted and feared what they imagine to live in the woods. Since there are so many dangerous animals in the woods, it reasons that anyone who would choose to live in the woods must themselves be dangerous. With all of the dangerous men in the woods, any woman who chose to live in the woods must be truly dangerous. The society comes to think of women that live on the outskirts of towns as witches who are able to control the beasts of the woods. Women who are to be feared and destroyed, just as the animals who live in the woods are. How many wolves were killed, because of the Germanic folk tales that demonized the Big Bad Wolf? How many women that lived outside of town were hunted and killed because of some overgrown fear of the dark? In this blog I will attempt to explore the many facets of the urbanite's fear of the woods, of the fantastical monsters that have sprung up from this fear, and of the things that city dwellers have done because of this fear. Hopefully it's gonna be a good ride.

Om SHAnti SHAnti SHAnti

Friday, April 10, 2009

Yoga Skeleton 7

Hopefully I'm back on track. And I'll be posting a new yoga skeleton every Friday night/Saturday morn.

Urdhva Dhanurasana (upward bow pose)

Previous Yoga Skeletons
Padmasana (lotus pose) Virabhadrasana A (warrior I pose)
Vrkasana (tree pose) Halasana (plow pose)
Utthita Parsvakonasana (extended side angle pose)
Navasana (boat pose)

Also YogaDawg posted a link to my yoga skeletons on his site. This led to me checking out his site and there is some pretty funny stuff on there. You should check out his article on yoga in the great depression.

Depression era yogis performing Savasana (corpse pose)
on their old school yoga mats.

Om SHAnti SHAnti SHAnti

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Eddie Campbell's BACCHUS

The best comic series that I've read recently was Eddie Campbell's Bacchus. I was introduced to Eddie Campbell's work in From Hell. Bacchus is based at the core upon Greek Mythology, Campbell updated the characters with one basic assumption: the gods aren't wholly immortal, they can die, they can age.
The action focuses on the aging god Dionysos going by his Roman name Bacchus. Bacchus has lost what the gods used as a fountain of youth. He has aged poorly because of his debauched life of booze and cigarettes. He looks like a weathered old sea captain, wearing a captain's cap and pea coat. He survives on wine and spirits. He won't touch food or water. He also won't touch ale. He has lost an eye due to a corkscrew accident with the abbot Dom Perignon. He is a drifter, and the series begins and ends with him in a jail cell. He is no longer the fair haired youth of Euripides' Bacchae. He is taunted and seems a weak, pathetic, old man. But as in Bacchae he is a savage force to be reckoned with.
Simpson is his faithful servant. Simpson was a classical literature professor, who met Bacchus years ago as he was leading a group of students on a tour of Greece. Simpson, though physically weak, has a great deal of power as a lawyer to the loud roaring god. Simpson is also the undead. He was taken to Hades due to a clerical error, by Hermes. He managed to escape though and serves as the twice born's only surviving worshiper.
Hermes initially tried to take Simpson back to the land of the dead but eventually made amends with Simpson after the situation was explained by Bacchus.
Hermes is one of the few living gods left. He hasn't aged as poorly as Bacchus, but he is no longer the mercurial messenger of his youth.
It is still his duty to cart away the dead, though Hades himself is dead. Hermes is still strong and virile, but is showing the signs of age. His brow has become gray and he is no longer so swift.

A god who has retained the knowledge of the fountain of youth is Joe Theseus. Though he was only a hero long ago, he has since become a god. He is at odds with Bacchus, not because of his good looks, but because he abandoned Ariadne after she helped him defeat the Minotaur. After leaving her on an island, the god Bacchus took her as his wife, but she eventually died. Joe Theseus is handsome and strong. He has a full head of hair, a beard, and is a financial whiz. He is the enemy of Bacchus. Joe Theseus has a wild card of an ally in the form of the Eyeball Kid.

The Eyeball Kid is one of the funniest characters from the whole series. He is the grandson of Argus Panoptes, the hundred eyed first son that Zeus had with a mortal. The Eyeball Kid has 9 partial pairs of eyes and the power to electrocute with his hands. He stole this power from Zeus and proceeded to kill all residents of Mount Olympus, before going on to kill the majority of the other gods.
There is no reasoning with the Eyeball Kid. Of all the insane characters in the Bacchus universe, he has the least grip on reality. He has gone crazy on power. The power of his immortality and the power of the lightning that he has in his hands. Joe Theseus may only be aligned with him due to the fact that he's afraid of what the Eyeball Kid is capable of.
I think that one of the reasons that I'm such a fan of Bacchus is Eddie Campbell's sense of humor. Though the characters are Greek, the humor is most certainly Scottish. I remember watching Craig Ferguson on Late Night with Conan O'Brien. This was in the years before he had his own show. His sense of humor was so irreverent. Sly but rowdy. His humor was a lot more rowdy on Conan's show. The humor in the world of Bacchus is much the same. You have to pay attention to get the jokes, but when you get them, they are so outrageously funny. I have reread sections and discovered new jokes that would never get past the censors. They are subtle but edgy. Some of the jokes when he was in prison almost made me blush. Though the jokes in Bacchus are profane, they are never obscene. That has a lot to do with the Scottish sense of humor. It is smooth and pleasant, yet coarse and worldly.

Om SHAnti SHAnti SHAnti

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The Dangers of Detox Diets

It seems that every few years, people latch onto fasting as a diet plan. Since fasting has some negative connotations, Diet hucksters have renamed fasts Detoxification Diets. When it is for religious purposes it is considered a form of corporal mortification. Fasting can bring on a number of unwanted side effects.
The Dangers of Fasting:
  • Mild side effects include diarrhea, dehydration, and the flushing out of digestive enzymes that are needed for proper digestion.

  • Without the proper amount of carbohydrates your brain functioning is hindered. That's probably fine if you can sit around all week, but if you are driving a car it can be downright dangerous.
  • If someone goes on several fasts in their lifetime, they increase their risk of insulin resistance, which leads to Type 2 diabetes.
  • Fasts can also lead to a sodium or potassium imbalance, which can lead to loss of muscular control, or complete nervous shut down, which could result in death.
The basic premise of Detox diets is that the digestive system does not completely remove waste from your system. Toxins accumulate in your digestive tract that harm your physical well being. This is absolutely false as well as absurd. A healthy individual's digestive tract is very efficient at eliminating waste and toxins from the body. The best way to make sure that your body is eliminating efficiently is by getting enough soluble and insoluble fiber in your diet regularly with water. See here.
Detox diets are an extreme measure which don't figure into moderation. They lead to very dangerous situations, which should be avoided. As with all extreme diets they should be avoided.


Monday, April 6, 2009


I've made it to my 26th post, in just over 3 months time. This one has been delayed for a while. Hopefully I can get back into the groove soon, with my posts, my skeleton drawings, and my yoga practice.

Navasana (boat pose)

Nav is one of the most universal word roots in the Indo-European family. Through Greek we end up with words like nautical, through Latin words like navy. Could it be something aside from boat pose?..No.

Previous yoga skeletons:
Padmasana (lotus pose)
Virabhadrasana A (warrior I)
Vrkasana (Tree Pose)
Halasana (plow pose)
Utthita Parsvakonasana (extended side angle pose)

Om SHAnti SHAnti SHAnti
Creative Commons License
Heavy Metal Yogi by Nick Matthaes is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.