If you are drunk more days than you are sober, in 10 days you will
feel (and probably look) 10 years older, although while actually
drunk you might not care so much. At present I am not having bulimic
episodes, but I have been binge drinking a lot.
I have decided to try to learn something about wines, and how to
match food and wine. I will also try to learn to cook a few new
I ordered a kind of introductory wine and cheese tasting course
online, and had it sent to GK because I didn't want to have to go to
the door to sign for it. I have read the material and found a lot of
it interesting, and I can see how it is possible to demystify the
process of analyzing wine, or at least become a bit more aware. GK
and I did the actual taste testing last night, and that was pretty
My approach to wine so far has been haphazard. I tend to drink
inexpensive wine, and often it is about a label I find interesting or
a name I like. Sometimes I will try a wine I have heard something
about, but usually I go back to inexpensive wines that are as mild as
possible. I think a more methodical approach is necessary, and
probably a fair bit of practice. When I have had wines matched for me
with degustation dinners, I have found it utterly fantastic. I don't
know what my capacity for learning in this area is, but for now at
least it seems like something to explore, rather than just continue
to drink to get drunk.
I am trying my best to have fun.
Earlier this year I spoke about an upcoming project that I thought I
would complete within several months. There is going to be something
of a delay, but I am at least taking small steps in that direction.
I have watched a lot of movies in the last while, some I'd never seen
before, and some I remember that had an impact in the past. With the
latter, I wanted to go back and see how I saw them now. I can in
most cases see or recognize the original influence or what struck or
intrigued me, sometimes with the result that I went out and explored
certain tangents. In many cases, this might have helped me to
eventually either become more consciously aware or more articulate.
Oddly enough, some movies might have even provided a kind of
foreshadowing regarding where I would go in my life.
I will not comment on these movies individually for now, except for
the Louis Malle film The Fire Within (Le Feu Follet)
What particularly struck me was that the main character lived with a
kind of constant burning anxiety. A doctor told him that the longer
he went without alcohol, eventually this feeling would pass... but it
is fairly obvious that the character doesn't believe him, or that his
experience has been that no amount of time alleviates this feeling,
that nothing in life does, and that alcohol has been what has come
closest to doing so. He knows that it is just a matter of time, he
will always go back to it.
He goes around to visit all his old friends once he has completed his
detoxification and 'rest cure'. He finds he just can't connect with
any of his friends, and it is possible to observe that he is
beginning to falter. He used to drink socially with all of these
people, he used to be entertaining company, but at a certain point he
crossed over to a place where he always overdid it and the others had
no need or wish to follow. They developed differently, and found
paths in life, while he kept going around and around, unable to find
a way to attach himself to the framework of life, or ground himself
To me, it doesn't really seem that alcohol is the (primary) problem,
and giving it up indefinitely will not change that he does not know
how to live or connect.
While I am here I will rant a bit about a particular TV show that
seems to irritate me, perhaps inordinately. I will try to sort this
out and come to some kind of conclusion I can live with, or make my
peace with it.
The idea of transformation/metamorphosis has always been compelling
to me. I know I am not alone in that. I think most people want to
believe that professionals will really see
them, and help them
to express outwardly all the potential that remains hidden from the
world. These professionals will use their skills for good, helping
each person to be the best he or she can be.
One of the problems is that most people don't really know who they
are, or don't know what it would take to hack through the years and
layers of conditioning they have unknowingly consented to to get to
the person they think they'd like to be, and in most cases, the
vision of the person they think they'd like to be has been formed by
the same influences which have conditioned them for all these years.
The TV show 10 Years Younger in 10 Days
has an agenda
which I find disturbing. I don't think I have a problem with the
normalization of cosmetic procedures, but I don't like that it's done
through subtle or not-so-subtle shaming techniques or psychological
abuse/torture/warfare aimed at the general population. I think it is
worth trying to pinpoint why this show angers me.
To watch makes me feel a bit like I am bursting out of a white sequin
jumpsuit. I always feel uncool and out of fashion, but it is like
this show really emphasizes that feeling. It may be that I actually
fear that every time I leave the house I am being judged the way the
people on the show are, and that I look much older than I am. I also
find that I want to stand up for those getting makeovers. The result
is that I feel like shooting the television.
In other parts of this website, I have gone on about why I think it's
a positive thing to wear makeup and to in an overall sense try to
express personality in part through physical creativity. However,
there is a difference between trying to express individuality and
feeling pressure to conform to a limited idea of what is currently
First of all, 10 Years Younger in 10 Days
scientific. It tries to demonstrate that there are surefire ways to
reduce a person's age according to public perception, while not being
very specific about how results of polls are reached, or if some
'negative' results have been omitted. It also shows me that there may
be no way to stop this process of making everyone super-conscious of
every little aspect of their appearance and ageing. Yes, this kind of
self-consciousness has been part of my daily 'life' for a long time,
but I don't wish that on everyone else.
I do think that cosmetic procedures will become the norm rather than
the exception, but this may create a new kind of 'class system' -
people who can afford to get different levels of help so as not to
appear 'sad', 'tired', 'disgruntled', like they've 'given up', etc -
whether that's full on cosmetic procedures, regular botox injections,
or just making sure they have the latest fashion and hair trends
down, may be judged as more 'positive' than those who either choose
not to or who can't afford to choose any of these options. People
will not only be judged for all the 'lifestyle choices' they've made
since birth (over time, these are bound to show up on one's face and
body), but they will be judged according to their genes and how the
type they have has affected the ageing process, or maybe even their
ability to earn enough money to afford cosmetic procedures. They
will also be judged according to the effects personal tragedies and
hardships have left on their physical appearance.
If Beauty itself is forever out of my reach, why should I break my
back trying to achieve an 'acceptable' compromise which will never
make me either Beautiful or even desirable? Is it that I resent
being told that in order to appear less 'unsightly', I have to go
regularly for botox injections to 'prop my face up', I have to get my
hair regularly cut and coloured by professionals to make sure I don't
look like a bogan, I have to make sure my makeup isn't garish and
that it is always age-appropriate ('Women over 35 should never
wear red lipstick; it's so ageing' - never mind what you enjoy,
or that as you get older and older, with technological and medical
advances ensuring longer and longer lives, that it might be
impossible to avoid all
makeup that makes you look old - I
mean, once the aged population is greatly increased, are they
supposed to hide away for the rest of their lives?), make sure you
give up all activities which might make you look older: smoking,
drinking, eating 'bad' foods, sunbathing, make sure your clothes are
age-appropriate (there is nothing more pathetic than 'mutton dressed
as lamb'!), make sure you aren't stuck in another decade - consult a
stylist, buy new clothes often, and if you have an appearance that is
at all 'eccentric', you must tone that down as you get older, because
it is so ageing! If you don't follow these rules, you have been
warned, and shown multitudes of examples of how people on the street
are judging you and laughing at you or are turned off by you. Your
only solution is to be a good sport, accept the criticism as
constructive, and most of all conform
. The show instructs not
only you, but everyone else watching that ridicule is what those who
do not conform deserve
I have no doubt that some of the professionals on 10 Years
have entered their professions because they would
honestly like to help people feel better about themselves, but I also
get the idea most of them were chosen for the TV show with the
stipulation that they be 'harsh' for the sake of
In one episode, they tried to get a 58-year-old man to wear a
hairpiece, and shamed him about it, making him seem close-minded,
stubborn, unwilling to be adventurous or try something new and modern
and yet I thought his own opinion was more accurate than that of the
'experts', I thought he looked better without the hairpiece.
I was a bit shocked at how harsh these people are - stylists telling
a man who is 58 that at least he isn't overweight... it was the tone,
more than anything else, which implied 'you're old, you're not really
attractive, but at least you're not fat', and at the same time
letting those who are overweight know they are committing a sin, and
they disgust him as a stylist. Who wants to style a fat person?
They're so inconvenient, as well as disgusting. It seems to me that I
might have a need to address some of these public attitudes, for the
sake of my own mental health/personal development. I don't like the
idea of living in a world with people who view others the way these
'experts' do, and who influence others to see the same
I will admit that one week, I watched the team transform a lesbian
couple, and I actually liked both final results. An exception - but
that doesn't mean that the attitudes about ageing and fashion-
consciousness portrayed aren't offensive.
It is interesting to think about various uses for plastic surgery, to
get an idea of what is possible, and to think about the unusual
situations people all over the world live in, and what can
potentially be done regarding these. It might be helpful for more
people to be aware of the social implications that people face
regarding unusual features or appearances, and to raise awareness of
some of the appearance implications related to various medical
conditions. It really may improve quality of life for some people,
and this may include improving quality of life for those who were
born with features that aren't attractive. There is an incredible
amount of science and skill behind this work, and it shouldn't be
dismissed as fluffy.
I think what 10 Years Younger in 10 Days
points out best
is that dental work should be more affordable and accessible for all
people. It should not be seen as an 'extra' thing or a
cosmetic issue. It is a health issue.
It is only natural that watching this show would make people curious
about what certain services and products could do for them. This is a
natural part of human experience - to strive to be better, to be
interested in trying out new tools available in the environment, to
do whatever it takes to gain competitive advantage, to more fully
explore and live life.
With 10 Years
, though, we see regular people on the
street judging regular people, so it hits close to home. Natural
ageing, or natural ageing considering the climate in this part of the
world, comes across to others as 'giving up', looking 'washed out',
sad, tired, grumpy, unsexy, unfuckable. People are in a sense
ridiculed for contributing to the ugliness of the environment. There
are certain 'looks' that are singled out. People who are caught in a
'timp warp', and who never changed their personal style from a couple
of decades ago are singled out as particularly sinning. But it
doesn't stop there - a lot of the things people choose as extensions
of individuality seem to be unacceptable, and at all costs they must
be made to conform, they must be made to 'fit in'. Even when it seems
the experts are trying to bring out individuality, in reality they
are trying to squish it into acceptable boxes and categories. To not
accept criticism is to be a bad sport.
How do I find people who don't look at people the way the (majority
of the) people on the street and the 'experts' on this show do? When
I watch this show, I feel depressed that this is the reality of the
world I live in. I know I do not have to watch this show, but at
times it is like a scab I can't help picking. At times I want to
make sure that I am not mistaken in my impressions, I want to be
fair, and I need to watch enough episodes in order to feel I have a
right to complain or draw attention to it. I think also there is a
sense of anticipation, curiosity or even hopefulness related to the
actual transformation. What will they come up with? If you like the
results, does it make you feel more hopeful in a way about your own
possibilities and potential? The thing is that I usually don't like
the final results on the show. Usually I don't actually think the
person looks younger, and usually I think that all that was needed
was to make a few changes that could have been made on the spot, not
in ten days, with expensive procedures - and that one major factor
is the way people are photographed. For the 'before', the lighting,
angle and facial expressions, as well as posture, are usually
excessively unflattering, whereas for the 'after', it's unbalanced in
the other direction. What if right from the start these issues were
eliminated? There wouldn't be a television program.
Just as the physical environment at present is under threat and
changes need to be made, I think the psychological environment
encouraged by shows and attitudes like this can only become more
unhealthy. I think the attitudes expressed are noxious, while seeming
to be positive or 'helpful', but it's difficult for me to 'prove'
Do I need to get a grip, or lighten up?
Is it that I think I could do a better job than the people on that
program in preserving or encouraging individuality while also
recommending what is possible procedure-wise? Would I force my view
of what is 'attractive' or interesting on the world? I guess I have
the very subjective impression that I am seeing something in the
people that the experts are not seeing. I usually find that my
reaction is a wish to offer a less superficial, prejudiced and
limited kind of 'support' and encouragement, and maybe that is what
this entry is mainly about.
Should I just accept that people will adjust to the idea of getting
regular botox injections, and think of it like going to the dentist,
just part of 'upkeep'/personal maintenance/grooming in a modern
world? For me, it is not possible to do anything regularly, although
I do not really object to regular botox in principle.
I think it's probably easy to hold on to ideals or values related to
this until you experience the realities of life. What I mean is that
people learn to value a certain approach to life, love and
relationships, and then when they find the 'truth' of how the world
works, their competitive instinct or survival instinct kicks in, and
they decide to change with the changing times, rather than get left
Not all people can afford to 'keep up'. This becomes another area in
which there is an increasing discrepancy between the haves and have
nots. People now fantasize about 'extreme makeovers' as they have
fantasized about winning lotteries.
On the other hand, maybe there is backlash against plastic surgery.
Maybe related to the economy, but coming across as a rejection of the
superficial. I think this sort of thing can only be temporary, a
temporary 'setback' of the inevitable. Maybe also a lot of people are
disheartened by the lack of miraculous change. It may seem futile to
spend a fortune to try to change something that will not propel you
into a category you want to be in. And there can be a kind of
strength in joining the majority who also recognize this futility.
But it's not really a moral or lasting victory.
There is also the issue of misinformation when it comes to fitness.
Most people watching are not fitness experts, and many people who
have been out of shape for a long time might try on their own to do
way too much exercise too soon, thinking only that more is better,
and ending up with injuries. It's partly the shame issue: when you
see personal trainers, 'experts', berating a person who is not trying
hard enough, you might be tempted to do too much, to prove that you
are not lazy or wimpish. Or, you might not understand that your body
cannot handle the abuse it did a couple of decades ago.
When it comes to the body, a person in their 40s or thereabouts is
not going to get fit in 10 days. It doesn't make sense to push hard
for 10 days, or to abuse a person who doesn't push hard enough for
this limited period of time. In fact, 10 days is not enough time to
make lasting change in any area. The novelty of the experience may
give some people a bit of energy or the incentive to change a few
things they are already motivated to change, but can 'success' be
measured by results that are filmed in one big 'reveal' session
which many experts in the areas of clothing, hair, makeup,
cosmetic procedures, dentistry, etc, have all contributed to? Is it
at all realistic that a long-term change has been achieved?
The show is fixed. It's formula television. They are not giving
scientific results. It's a little suspect that they always
manage to decrease the public's perception of a person's age by a
similar amount. I have not seen any episodes in which 'after' the
public still guess a person as being older than they are - whereas it
seems to me likely that this would occur at least occasionally.
Another issue I have not addressed is an environmental one: if people
are constantly buying new fashions, what do they do with all their
old clothes? I guess they can donate them (and those who receive the
'benefit' of 'charity' will be the ones who are noticeably
unfashionable), but in choosing new clothes, do they really need to
be replaced so often just so a person won't look tired or like
they've given up, and so that teenagers (who don't yet have a lot of
life experience and who may not know who they are and what they want
out of life for many years to come) won't find them uncool?
I guess what irritates me is that the message is so much about
fitting in, becoming acceptable, rather than exploring diversity or
the unknown. What I think this means is that people focus on fitting
in and may never find out what they really think or want in life.
Even when it comes to fitting in for a purpose, a higher purpose,
such that everyone believes in some defining principles of the group -
how can people know for sure that they accept these principles if
they have been governed by a kind of fear of being unacceptable and
unloved? I would say that the majority of people do not know what
they are endorsing, or haven't thought about it.
OK, it is silly to get all riled up about a television show like
this, but I think the underlying issue is that it might represent a
lot of the attitudes I have been struggling with myself all my life,
and that I need to identify them and fight back. I need to be able to
identify or clarify public perception such that I can take a stand of
my own in relation to it. I need to understand how I still may be
unconsciously affected by public perception, and I need to become
better at seeing my own judgments, separating them. Is the problem
that I judge myself in the ways the public do?
If I were to live, I would have to concede that I believe plastic
surgery is a valid solution, especially if I have to live in an age
of video phones and constant, unrelenting public surveillance.
Another idea entails the idea of consciously choosing to abandon a
life and a set of variables that are not acceptable. To choose to
begin the process of allowing my body and energy to break down and be
redistributed, all the molecules, particles, whatever.
'Reincarnation', but without my particular consciousness. My
consciousness was formed through the combination? But it is not so
different or unusual that anything of value is lost through my death.
The 'good' parts are things that can be found elsewhere, as part of
more harmonious or simply 'better' combinations.
Eventually I think competition is expressed differently and that
when a certain quality of life has been attained people probably
move on to developing neuroses. People struggling to survive don't
have the luxury of wallowing in neurosis, but once survival isn't
as urgent a concern and a person has more freedom of choice there is
always the possibility that it's difficult to maintain a state of
contentment or thankfulness for what one has.
I do wish it was possible to have fun rather than always feel it is
necessary to slog through one more time and put something out there,
to keep trying to explain, in case it makes a difference. Am I just
circulating negativity in the world, or am I learning how to form an
opinion? Is it necessary to go through this stage in order to find a
When I reread something like this article, it's disheartening. I am
again all over the place, and while I can see what I am trying to
say, I don't think I've written things well enough. And maybe it
seems pointless when making the effort doesn't seem to ever attract
discussion, something that would help me get to new levels or layers
of thought and communication.
Bad Attitude, of course. I see all the time on 'reality TV' what the
world expects. They expect enthusiasm and passion, described
succinctly, on the spot, at a moment's notice. They expect Good
Sports, those who are optimistic, Glass Half-Full types and proud of
it. They want yes-men and asslickers, and in a way, I feel like
Cordelia, with no one understanding that 'postivity' might be more
complex. It is no wonder that there is so much stigma against
depression, and very little chance of that changing any time soon.
But of course, this is just part of the cycle. And maybe I am not
ready to put up anything new yet, or comment publicly, but the same
thoughts and reactions, or similar ones, will circle back, be
triggered by movies or books or influences of whatever kind, and
again I will struggle with all the conflicting thoughts and emotions
and try my best to express what I think, the best I can do
considering where I've come from and what I've tried throughout my
past that has had effects, that has changed how I express as time
goes on, while maybe some essence remains discernible.
Since the beginning of 2011, I have logged over 200 hours of
exercise. I currently feel 'fat' and unhealthy. I do know that it is
possible for two years to go by, with me trying and failing to 'get
myself together, and try again to either die or at least leave this
Ungrateful. I suppose I am ungrateful. The longer I stay 'alive', the
more ungrateful I feel. But I am less likely to think it is me who is
empty. I have in the past put myself down in large part through
internalizing the judgments of others who seriously misunderstood. I
have bestowed them with 'authority' they didn't deserve. Anyway, I
am 'full' of thoughts.
I will continue to try to stop binge drinking.
I don't want to be bitter, I don't want to rave incoherently, I don't
want to keep going on about the same old things. I am struggling to
be positive, to give others the benefit of the doubt, and to not
contribute to an unhealthy psychological environment, but sometimes
the reality of where I am at is not pretty. I want to transcend it,
but at present I can't authentically do so. I do feel despair, I do
feel tired, I do feel scared.
For now, I am trying to go with things, but I suppose I will
inevitably eventually struggle again to try to find or create
something more or 'other'.