18/02 – 24/02 incl. Intermittent Fasting, Bret Easton Ellis, The Go-Betweens and Cucumbers

news on the march

Welcome to Monday’s News on the March – The week that was in my digital world.

 Article by Jane E Brody at the New York Times:

I’ve long thought the human body was not meant to run on empty, that fasting was done primarily for religious reasons or political protest. Otherwise we needed a reliably renewed source of fuel to function optimally, mentally and emotionally as well as physically.

Personal experience reinforced that concept; I’m not pleasant to be around when I’m hungry. There’s even an official name for that state of mind, confirmed by research: Hangry!....….… (Read  entire article).

Video podcast at Eric Weinstein:

Eric sits down with Bret Easton Ellis; the two Gen X’ers graduated from rival high schools in a disaffected 1982 Los Angeles that inspired Ellis’ first novel “Less Than Zero”. In this conversation, they reflect on LA, Generation X, and the different notions of childhood held by Gen x and Millennials. They then discuss Bret’s anti-anti-Trump position and Eric’s anti-anti-anti-Trump position having both lost patience with the pro and anti-Trump views found in the Republican and Democratic party positions...….(Watch entire podcast interview)

Short Story by Bruce Goodman at Weave a Web:

Natalia kept her finances well-hidden. In fact, Natalie’s finances were so well-hidden that everyone presumed she was skint.

It wasn’t until she died that rumours started that possibly she had more than she led people to believe. She lived in a small fairly run-down house which she said in her will was to be sold, and what was left after funeral expenses should go to the Prevention of Cruelty to Cats Society. For the rest, it wasn’t much – not that she had much of a family anyway; just four or five grown-up nieces and nephews. Most each got what amounted to little more than an old piece of furniture or a domestic knick-knack….. (Read entire short story)

Music Documentary at Sinisa Lemica:

”The Go-Betweens were arguably Australia’s finest rock/pop band – a band that never really had mainstream success. Their heyday was in the 80’s and, line-up changes included, they have released some 9 albums. This part of the Great Australian Albums series focuses on their 1987 album 16 Lovers Lane. It was an important release for many reasons. It was the album that finally promised to lead them into the big-time with the pop confection that was Streets of Your Town. That never happened and the band toured then crashed and burned soon after, no releasing another record for 12 years….. (Watch Music Documentary)

Article by the Intellectual Shaman:

I was living with my parents and finishing my education. No matter what I did, it always seemed like gravity was pulling me backwards. I needed a better job, I needed to lose weight, I needed my own place, but time, money, and energy got sucked into a black hole I couldn’t understand. Women were running my life and I needed to escape into a den of masculinity, so I looked at the real estate adds. I found a house with some acreage and called on the place...….(Read entire short story)

news on the march the end

“The more I live, the more I learn. The more I learn, the more I realize, the less I know.”- Michel Legrand

Posted in Health, News, politics, Reading
29 comments on “18/02 – 24/02 incl. Intermittent Fasting, Bret Easton Ellis, The Go-Betweens and Cucumbers
  1. Bruce says:

    Thank you! Thank you!

  2. macalder02 says:

    Realmente lo del ayuno, si que tendría que hacerlo una persona con una fuerza de voluntad muy fuerte para resistir las ansias de comer. Por lo menos yo estoy fuera de esa carrera. Es interesante saber la historia de la música australiana.Saludos.

  3. selizabryangmailcom says:

    Okay, so intermittent fasting–sounds good to me!

    When I was younger, I was a tad bit obsessed with anorexia nervosa. I wasn’t anorexic myself, although I tried many times to at least do some fasting and failed miserably. I didn’t realize at the time that being a gymnast and being muscular and fasting did NOT go hand in hand. I was just simply always hungry, lol !!! But I was fascinated by the topic of girls who went on diets and then just basically stopped eating. I wrote a fictional novel about it while I was still in high school and then rewrote it my first two years in college but never did anything with it. Not that anything COULD be done with it, you understand.

    But intermittent fasting sounds like the ticket. Not bad for you–in fact, many benefits. Good to know. I shall start next week!

    Did you listen to the Bret E. Ellis video? It’s so long! I still haven’t gotten back to that other one you posted of the stand-up comedian either. I wonder what old Bret’s got to say. I remember when he was the big thing. I cannot believe that’s him sitting there in that video! He looks SO different.

    • I can see how being a gymnast would make intermittent fasting seem impossible. Your body would be constantly craving energy refueling. But much of that would be because of what you ‘ate’ rather than being a gymnast. I imagine you are aware of some diets which take away the cravings. I tried one called the ‘Ketogenic diet’ a year and a half ago and my cravings before a late lunch all but disappeared and I felt I had more focus and energy than at any other time in my life. I lost too much weight on it and I gradually resumed a normal diet again, but I still try to keep the refined carbs and sugar low. Check this video out about intermittent fasting, if you haven’t already seen it:

      One of the reasons I posted the Brett Ellis interview is because much of what they talk about is right up your alley. The first half is about the idiosyncratic aspects of LA living and in the second half they explore the generational differences between Generation X and Millennials. I found it so engaging and I hadn’t heard of this LA writer until I stumbled upon this.

  4. selizabryangmailcom says:

    Yeah, my problem was I was way bigger than the other girls in the gym. I had muscles where they didn’t have them. I weighed 20 pounds more than them. We got weighed once as a group and I think I was about 12 or 13. They other girls weighed between 95-100. I was at 120. And I recall a few snickers and titters behind my back. So I always felt kind of oafish and big, even though I didn’t have an ounce of fat and was cut like a mofo, but because of the girls tittering at the number of 120 (and I was many inches taller than those little bitches, too, come to think of it! Of course I weighed more than them!) that’s where my anorexia fascination came from.

    So I listened to about 15 minutes of each of these podcasts. Interesting stuff for the fasting ’cause the one guy was saying that intermittent eating didn’t affect his muscle gain at all and he feels better and doesn’t need a nap after lunch and even thinks better. That really WAS fascinating and good news. I think I’m already sort of accidentally doing intermittent fasting anyway. We often eat oatmeal in the morning, exercise, then at work many hours later I have a tiny dinner then don’t eat again until morning. I don’t think I go 16 hours at any given time, though.

    Your ketogenic diet sounds INTENSE. Wow. Probably a good thing you backed off it. I guess you succeeded at your goal, so that’s good!

    As for Bret…I found it annoying the way he was talking about art exhibits or clubs that would appear in “sketchy” neighborhoods and how thrilling it was to go to these places sandwiched in these particular *environments.* Maybe he clarifies himself later or addresses gentrification at some point, but although I understand how a young person would be somewhat titillated to attend an art exhibit in an alleyway in *dangerous* Venice, that’s what’s called the beginning of running working-class people out of an area and renovating and building upscale stores and creating a place where only monied folks can live comfortably. Venice is now just as overpriced as everywhere else in L.A., including the downtown areas where the clubs used to be in bad neighborhoods. But where are all of those people who used to live there? *shrug* I’m sure Bret doesn’t know. Or care. He wrote about rich suburban kids, after all, which is what he was, so why would he care where other people got shoved away to? Ironically, he grew up in Sherman Oaks, which is where I grew up. I may have had a pleasant and somewhat sheltered upbringing like him, but I think the outcomes were very different with, obviously, race playing into that greatly.

    But it was interesting to think, yeah, LA has exported itself out to the rest of the world, especially Hollywood, because, really, who DOESN’T know about Sunset and Hollywood and Vine and even Santa Monica Boulevard and Pacific Coast Highway? Our streets, our neighborhoods, our stores are familiar to all sorts of people in different countries. Interesting thought.

    In the end, I was somewhat into Bret and Jay Macinerny and Tama Janowitz at the time that they were the literary Brat Pack. I liked Tama J. a lot; she was very funny, and I miss her. The last thing she wrote was “A Certain Age” which was a depressing book about a woman who used to be beautiful but as she gets older doesn’t deal with it very well.
    Well, let me stop here. I think I’ve babbled on enough, as usual.
    Matt, wake up! 🙂
    I think I put you to sleep, lol ! ! !

    • Hey, you didn’t make me fall asleep. I’m always enthralled to read your perspectives and opinions about anything. You made me laugh when you wrote ‘I was many inches taller than those little bitches’. I’m still chuckling as I write this. I can see why you had a anorexia fascination when you combine the peer pressure of adolescence and being a tall, solidly built gymnast. I always admired gymnasts for their courage and enormous talent. Like how you described it ‘Day For Night’ if memory serves me correct when Rae was recalling her practice for the beam.

      It sounds like you eat very little, but perhaps that is a good thing since eating is generally overrated especially in the US where 40% of people suffer from obesity. One way to reduce damage is to reduce our metabolic rate is too eat less. That’s of course called caloric restriction. Many experiments have been done on mice in particular; extending their lifespan by feeding them less.

      Unlike you I didn’t really take anything negative away from Brett’s recollections about the development and up-scaling of places. I think it was a realistic representation of how places become more upmarket. I remember there was a frame of thinking in Australia that if you want to invest in property then buy where the homosexual couples start taking up residence, because it was thought that in ensuing years the place would become more cosmopolitan and lavish. I couldn’t argue with that premise at least based on what I observed.

      I would really like to read that Tama J ‘A Certain Age’ book. I didn’t know anything about the brat pack until it was mentioned in the podcast and now by you.

      Ciao amiga

  5. selizabryangmailcom says:

    Yeah, everyone likes a visually pleasing and pleasant locale in which to do shopping or to even live. Who wouldn’t? The problem is, so would the working-class people who lived there to begin with. Just because a segment of the population isn’t overflowing with money doesn’t mean their neighborhoods should be overlooked, which they are, until those with bucks muscle their way in and then muscle them out. It would be nice if locales could be “upgraded” without displacing the occupants, like if holes in streets got fixed and abandoned buildings were either knocked down or made into affordable stores and housing where a variety of people could live, not just yuppies and buppies and the like.

    It always goes the other way, though, and the original people are forced out, further and further into the boonies as the monied people take over locations closer to jobs and all that the city has to offer. A mall I used to visit all the time in the ’80s and ’90s in Santa Monica in the famous Third Street Promenade has been so done over it’s like walking into something you’d only see in Beverly Hills or Bel Air. How much fun is it looking at five sweaters on display in a brightly lit shop that range from $95 at the lowest price? Who shops there, Oprah and Bill Gates? I certainly can’t afford much of anything there, and I have a degree from UCLA and am no slouch, you know what I mean?

    So if I’M feeling excluded from a mall that I used to shop at and I feel this way, I can only imagine how others feel getting priced out of their homes or apartments and having the added financial burden, now, of spending tons more on gas and worrying about car maintenance when they have to drive 50 or 100 extra miles to work. It’s probably naive of me to want renovations in a kind of Goldilocks zone where many different types of people at different economic levels can live and enjoy life instead of only one special segment of the population, but that’s how I feel. But c’est la vie. This is how the world works!

    • $95 for a good sweater isn’t too bad. I’m just kidding. All I know is between the year 2000 and 2012 the level of absolute poverty in the world was cut by 50%. That was the fastest rate of improvement by a large margin in human history, it was 3 years faster than the most optimistic projections had suggested. In the late 19th Century people were earning $1 dollar a day and the majority of people were serfs. Science, Technology and Capitalism are the main reasons for the exponential improvement in health and social wellbeing and lifting people out of poverty. But I agree that on the whole the disparity in recent times between rich and poor have been growing ever wider and is very concerning. For a young person since the late 80’s boom it is has been disproportionately harder (and become increasingly so) to buy an education and get into the housing market than say it was for generation X.

      I also agree that the poorer communities have effectively relocated to make way for the upper end of town. Obviously population growth and urbanisation are major contributors to this phenomenon rather than perhaps some systemic social/economic breakdown or shortfall.

      I can speak from first hand experience about this occurrence because my parents lived close to a Sydney in a relatively affluent suburb, but they were struggling to make ends meet. My father decided he would prefer to buy a nicer, bigger house much further out west and not be burdened by the costs of living in suburbia. The offset would be he would have to drive much further to work amongst other things. Once we moved further out west, they decided after some time to haul out even further. They missed the housing booms each time. My parents always had struggles financially, but at the same time my brother and I were able to enjoy a childhood reveling in the Australian bush without the coddling/overprotection that comes sometimes with urban living.

      These people you mentioned who were forced out (or words to that affect) weren’t actually forced out. They effectively sold up to more affluent buyers. Perhaps their businesses couldn’t compete, because the world we live in for better or worse puts a price on everything. Everything and everyone effectively has a value according to how the market estimates one’s contribution to society. Hierarchies therefore are inevitable in moderate market economies when goods, services, property and people’s competence are assessed according to what they are worth.

      The Utopian Goldilocks zone is unassailable if society deem it necessary to put a value on things. Otherwise you end up with Stalinist Russia, Maoist China or Chavez’s Venezuela. That is not to insinuate that social programs / welfare for the less fortunate and equality of opportunity should not exist, on the contrary, but we should be very careful about throwing out the baby with the bath water. Social revolutionary types and those wanting to tear the system down and start afresh with some Goldilocks ‘equality of outcome’ fettish are much scarier to me than the neo-liberal minded. And I consider myself a moderate-leftist!
      Anyways that’s just my 2 cents.

  6. selizabryangmailcom says:

    I really appreciate the response, Matt. I’m at work right now going pretty much completely insane. It started out as a very nice job about 12 years ago…then slowly began to morph into a torture chamber full of horrors. Because it kinda went from a Mom and Pop place to being taken over by “corporate” forces. It’s a nightmare now. So just wanted to say I read your response yesterday and appreciate it but can’t even form a coherent thought about it yet. I think we’re on the same page. But….anyway….later. If I don’t jump out the window first ! ! !

  7. selizabryangmailcom says:

    Haha. A curfew. That’s true. 🙂

  8. selizabryangmailcom says:

    Hahaha. That’s funny.
    Okay, so I don’t wanna beat a dead horse and mouth vomit again, so let me just say….
    when I say Goldilocks zone, I don’t mean for everyone and everything. I mean just for the necessities of life. We have friends whose rent was raised almost $400 in one sitting. These friends are hard working, professional folk. They have one car because that’s what their budget is comfortable with. But when the greedy bastards raised the rent unnecessarily by hundreds of dollars that THEY don’t need but this couple needs….basically it was like going out and buying a car FOR THEM. We know you’re responsible and won’t buy a second car, but we’ll buy it for you. Now, make the payments, and if you can’t do it, then get out.
    So…basically in daily life, the bare necessities of housing and healthcare and food, there has to be some consideration of people. I’m not talking socialism or communism. I’m talking basic, decent consideration, of which there is none left. And obviously I’m not wrong about this, because California wouldn’t have passed a rent control bill to protect tenants starting this year. Capitalism has WAY surpassed what it was initially intended for and moved into vulture capitalism now. I was thrilled when they sucker punched the greedy housing companies with the rent control bill. It was just wrong, what they were doing!

    • Oh I see what you mean about mandating rent ceilings. I have heard of that happening in the UK where the rent is just astronomically high and not just in well to do suburbs. Here in Colombia rent increases are set to annual limits I think according to inflation. Yes of course there have to be limits why its imperative that Governments in ‘moderate market’ economies sometimes step in.

  9. selizabryangmailcom says:

    Yeah, we live in a working class neighborhood in Burbank, but because Burbank has become so popular over the past 15 years or so, the rents in the surrounding buildings have skyrocketed from, for example, 800 for a one bedroom to 1,700 and up. Two bedrooms, two baths were a steal at 1,200 to 1,300 and I’ve heard a couple people say they’re now starting at $2,200. Many of the original families we knew for years have been forced out. The irony is that people used to joke until just recently that Burbank was “out in the boonies” and a small, unappealing place to live. Like Brooklyn, when I moved in, was still considered unappealing. When I was at the job in Manhattan one day, a coworker came in and saw the cheesecake I had bought from a certain famous restaurant in Brooklyn and said, “Who went out to BROOKLYN?”! and I was like, “What do you mean, who went out there? That’s where I live!” Now, even we couldn’t afford to live there, I don’t think. I hear it’s completely unaffordable, full of uppies and professionals, and all the original people. Are. Just. Gone.
    Anyway, I see that you get me, from your response above. I thought you’d just a little back history on a few famous U.S. locations, lol. BROOKLYN IS NOW UNAFFORDABLE, MATT !!!

    • This was a fascinating read Stacey. I had to laugh at ‘Who went out to Brooklyn’? Woody Allen and Larry David are from Brooklyn. You are with immense creative company. LOL. I now understand what you mean about people being forced out due to exorbitant rent. It is very sad indeed.

      I live in the most affluent sector of Bogota. It’s probably on par with the best in Melbourne in terms of cleanliness, security and modern living, but I’m paying about $400(AU) monthly here for rent as opposed to what I’d be paying in Melbourne which would be well over $1300(AU) for the same standard of living. It’s crazy the cost of living now in Australia’s urban centers, like it is elsewhere in the western world.

  10. selizabryangmailcom says:

    Wow, your place sounds great. I’m super jealous! But I’m glad SOMEBODY’S experiencing a normal standard of living. I’m happy for you. Enjoy, lol !!!

  11. selizabryangmailcom says:

    I would too. I would definitely retire and stay there until I shed the mortal coil.

    • Lol the mortal coil. It’s a good home base to spread one’s wings (travel wise) if the virus’ don’t reek havoc! Also I hope the high altitude doesn’t take its toll on my body 😲

  12. selizabryangmailcom says:

    I never thought about that–the high altitude. Yeah! When we were training to climb Mt. Whitney, we had to acclimate ourselves by hiking on high altitude mountains in town. But if you live there….do you not get used to it eventually? And if it makes havoc on you physically, what does that entail, exactly…….?

    • Training to climb Mt Whitney? Tell me about that. Gymnast now mountain climber, you are full of surprises!

      With respect to aclimatising to living at high altitude, my doctor 😷 in my last appointment explained to me (via a notepad sketch can you believe) how when someone has lived 37 years since they were born at sea level then they begin living their middle age at an altitude for instance Bogotá at 2700 meters the body will naturally adapt after the initial shock as you imply, but there will remain extra stresses on the heart, general circulation (blood pressure etc) and susceptibility to respiratory illnesses at this altitude after a prolonged period. At least that is what I understood from her explanation. So it goes without saying you just have to be more health conscious to offset this physical stress to the body. I have noticed in my time here that even older people who live here and find themselves unwell will venture on occasions to sea level (about 2 hours drive to tierra caliente) in order to recharge the batteries if you will.

      It’s the same with the sun. I have to be vigilant putting sunscreen on here since the sun at the equator is a lot more penetrative on the skin than at a mid hemispheric level in Southern Australia.

      These are of course all things I had not foreseen when I came to Colombia, but they are just the adjustments you are compelled to make. It’s no biggie. Hehe

  13. selizabryangmailcom says:

    Holy crap! No biggie, huh? Stresses on the heart and circulation and respiratory illnesses?! Jeez. Well, it looks like you have a rhythm down, and if you really can recharge just by going down to sea level…that sounds good. All a little scary, though. Wow!

    I also thought the sun factor was SUPER bad in Australia. Never heard about problems in Colombia. Crazy. But it’s simply due to its proximity to the equator, huh, nothing to do with holes in the Ozone?

    To be honest about the hiking, I probably never would have done it if hubby hadn’t been the catalyst. Same for hiking to the bottom of the Grand Canyon. He’s an adventurer that way. 🙂 I got dehydrated in the G.C. and had a terrible time making my way back up. It was like my legs were full of lead. Did better at Whitney ’cause it was nice and cold, so there was no way I was going to overheat.

    • The sun is more concentrated and UV levels are higher at the equator. It’s not just Colombia. The earth is warmer at the equator, and of course people are browner at the equator. Perhaps the hole in the Ozone in Artartica has contributed to Australia having such high skin cancer rates. But even if you look at it evolutionary it makes sense when you suddenly colonize one of the driest countries in the world with white people from a cold, rainy, cloudy climate that being England.

      That’s wonderful how your hubby got you into hiking. I love hiking as well, but haven’t done nearly enough of it recently as I would have hoped. I can see how the stark differences in climate between Whitney and the GC would have made a big diffetence on the water retention levels.

  14. selizabryangmailcom says:

    “… when you suddenly colonize one of the driest countries in the world with white people from a cold, rainy, cloudy climate that being England.”

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