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21 June 2012

I Like To Break A Mental Sweat, Too: Documentaries You Need To See

In previous entries in this series, I've recommended training and nutrition non-fiction, fiction, and short stories I think are noteworthy.  In this installment, I'm tipping you fuckers off to some documentaries that are definitely well-worth checking out, ranging in topics from global political economics to armwrestling.  Training's as much mental as it is physical, and if you're going to be superhuman, you might as well be hyperintelligent and well-informed to boot.  Thus, documentaries you need to see.
But first, tits.  Doing it right, guys.  Doing it right.  Violet Erotica is her name.

Now, the documentaries:

Pulling John-  This is a documentary you HAVE to see.  Let me start by enjoining all of you not to armwrestle if you can possibly help it if you don't train to armwrestle.  Naught but evil will arise out of armwrestling for the layperson, no matter how well-conditioned you think you might be.  I recently armwrestled a couple of people who interrupted my wing-eating session because I was covered in veins, reading a book, and rocking an Emmure jersey, a combination that is apparently is catnip for drunk hipsters.  First, two broads (one hot, the other not so much) insisted they use both hands simultaneously against my one, which I won easily.  Then, a hipster librarian challenged me with the same arm for no reason whatsoever, and butts were hurt when he (unsurprisingly) lost.  In spite of the fact that I armwrestled three fairly weak people for a total of perhaps 30 seconds, my right arm has hurt pretty much constantly since.  It's kept me up for two nights and prevented me from doing anything from behind the neck push presses to playing with my nipples while jerking off.  My arm's pretty well fucked to pieces.  The issue seems to lie with the fact that it is now absolutely riddled with knots, large and small, which start in my armpit and extend to my wrist.  Everyone I've discussed this with had similar tales, some ending in torn labrums and others ending in broken arms, but none ending in happiness, rainbows, or unicorn farts that smell like cinnamon.  


Putting the real world aside, however, this documentary is fucking amazing for several reasons.  One, it features Olympic bobsledder, Olympic judoka, and world champion armwrestler Alexey Voevoda training and competing, which by itself worth the price of admission.  Voevoda is a fucking freak- great at everything, insanely strong, and unconditionally Russian.  He looks like a man born out of time who should be wearing a suit of black armor and commanding a legion of orcs against some hapless elves rather than smiling and eating ice cream on the shore of the Black Sea.  The dude's so Russian that he and his friends play a game with the dog where they throw it by it's collar onto the roof, like the dog is a fuzzy brown frisbee.  The dog, in a move even more Russian than the one that got it onto the roof, then jumps down and climbs all over the assembled Russian behemoths until they throw it back onto the roof.  Did I mention they're all (dog probably included) hammered to bits?  In any event, Voevoda's pitted against former armwrestling lightweight phenom John Brzenk, who was one of the dudes who armwrestled Stallone in Over the Top, and American goofball and pro-shittalker Travis Bagent at the end.  There's some awesome training footage and a hell of a lot of manliness to be found within the confines of this dvd.


Fathead-  Fathead's the brainchild of alleged comedian Tom Naughton as a rebuttal to Morgan Spurlock's ridiculous and wildly popular Supersize Me.  Though it drags in spots and is less funny than Naughton seems to think it is, Fathead's a great synopsis of Gary Taubes' arguments regarding heart disease and diet.  The documentary also exposes the links between the radical, wild-eyed, freedom-hating, logic-hating, erection-hating, anti-science, patchouli-stinking, pro-feelings, yoga-doing, fat and useless vegan/vegetarian movement and the anti-dietary fat campaigns throughout the last 30 years of American political history.  Frankly, I'd never considered the possibility of a vast conspiracy behind the dietary recommendations of the health community, naively believing them to be the legitimate produce of well-intentioned but ultimately idiotic doctors.  Instead, they appear to be the results of a tremendous amount of lobbying by people with a political agenda and absolutely no regard for human health.  Beyond that, Naughton draws some really interesting parallels I won't spoil for you, and successfully loses 12 lbs over 30 days eating nothing but fast food by simply keeping his carb intake to 100g a day or less.  While it might not be eye-opening to any of us, it's worth watching simply so you recommend it to other people thereafter.


Zeitgeist: The Movie-  Occasionally, I'll get a recommendation for a "truly eye-opening movie" that I "have to see" and will "change my life".  Those recommendations are invariably full of shit.  As such, when I was recommended this film, I was beyond skeptical, and thought perhaps the person doing the recommending had spent a bit too much time in their basement wearing a tinfoil hat and reading David Icke books.  That was unquestionably true.  This movie has got to be the darling of the tinfoil hat crowd, for the simple fact that it makes a hell of a lot of interesting points and actually contains facts.  For a conspiracist's film, that makes this the Holy fucking Grail.

Zeitgeist is split into three parts, all of which are loosely drawn together at the end.  The first third covers the Christ myth, essentially stating that Jesus is no different than any other prophet in any other epoch.  Though I was aware of a lot of the factoids presented in this section, there were enough new tidbits that I found myself rewatching parts to commit them to memory.The second's a Truther bit on 9-11, which was amusing if nothing else.  The third was a thought-provoking segment on the American Federal banking system, some of which was nonsense and other parts were pretty poignant.  Though I wouldn't recommend this as a source of a lot of new information, Zeitgeist is if nothing else thought provoking, and could spark some interesting and heady conversations should you find yourself in useful company.  As I rarely do, I simply enjoyed it as an inflammatory piece that drew together a lot of disparate elements to form a fairly cohesive thesis, which (if you hadn't already noticed) I love more than Germans love David Hasselhoff.  Worth a watch simply to argue against, should you want to be thoughtful for a bit.


Knuckle-  Ever felt like you're not terribly manly, no matter how hard you try?  You think that because you're not.  You know who is?  Irish Travellers.  Though you might only know them from Snatch (the "fucking Pikies/Gyppos"), Irish Travellers are a group of people in the UK and US (there are a bunch of them in North Savannah, Georgia) who combine all of the worst traits of American white trash with that of Roma Gypsies, and then throw in a love of fustigation that would make James L. Sullivan look like a fucking pacifist.  By all accounts, they're shiftless, dirty, thieving hobos, but these motherfuckers love to brawl and they love to carry grudges, leading to bareknuckles matches to resolve 20 year old feuds and fought by people who weren't alive when the instigating factor occurred.  Additionally, they're all closely related, so it's akin to your family devolving to the point where they live in trailers, cannot read, steal everything that's not nailed down, and everyone is filled with a burning, violent hatred for all of your cousins on one side.  Then, you get together once a week for an entire Saturday and stage dozens of bare knuckle fistfights and create more new problems than old ones are resolved.  It's utter insanity, but it's thoroughly entertaining.  While nothing in this movie will cause you to think on any deeper levels than "I resolve never to set foot in a national park in England", it's a highly entertaining look into what your life would be like if you gave into every base desire you had and avoided usefulness like Gyppos avoid sobriety.


Bigger, Stronger, Faster-  Quite frankly, I would be surprised if any of you had not seen what amounts to a masterpiece of storytelling in Bigger, Stronger, Faster.  The film chronicles the lives and dreams of three brothers, two of whom use gear and one who does not.  The youngest brother, "Stinky", is none other than Mark Bell, owner of the renowned gym Supertraining in Cali.  Another brother is a WWE jobber who allegedly offed himself shortly after the film's release, and the third is a non-steroid user who is the commentator and protagonist in the film.  The latter gives a spectacularly even-handed look at the politics behind steroid bans and use, and sheds a lot of light on a subject most people know little about.  If you've not seen it, you must, no matter your stance on steroid use.


Metal: A Headbanger's Journey-  If you don't like metal, you should not be reading this blog.  For the rest of you, this is required viewing.  Metal: A Headbanger's Journey is a comprehensive anthropological and historical study of metal, from its roots to current day.  The documentarian is himself a metalhead and bass player for a number of non-headlining metal bands.  He covers a number of subgenres in metal, including a short expose on black metal that he continued in his badass follow-up, Global Metal.  If nothing else, get it on Netflix and watch the interviews in the Extras- they're cool as shit and cover everyone from Dee Snyder to the hot chick with shit vocals in Arch Enemy, who's cool as hell in spite of using effects on her vocals.

That concludes my list of eye-opening documentaries.  This weekend will feature a massively long CnB and possibly a new Baddest Motherfuckers entry, if I can fit it in.  Until then, more viorotica.

25 comments :

  1. Just some editing issues. You have the text background set as white on most of the Bigger Stronger Faster* section, and Mark Bell's nickname is "Smelly".

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    1. Bloggers been doing that. I fixed it right after it went up.

      Delete
  2. Hey Jamie,

    I agree with "Pulling John" as being a must see documentary. Never knew about the rich history of arm wrestling.

    I'd also add a couple other documentaries to the mix:

    Vice City Guide: North Korea

    and

    Vice City Guide: Liberia

    Both of those are well worth anyone's time.

    ReplyDelete
  3. and I think it's actually "Vice Guide" and not "Vice City Guide"

    whatever, I'm sure you fuckers can figure it out

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  4. If I may suggest another excellent documentary, Takedowns & Falls: http://movies.netflix.com/WiMovie/Takedowns_Falls/70215220?trkid=2361637

    "This documentary follows the relationships of a group of teen wrestlers in Pennsylvania. Inspired by their love of the sport and their cancer-stricken coach, they grow up before our eyes in an attempt to do the impossible ... win a state title."

    Pretty inspiring. Helps you appreciate how grueling wrestling is. It also made me wish I hadn't been too homophobic to wrestle in high school.

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    1. Fuck, one more! Jens Pulver: Driven - http://movies.netflix.com/WiMovie/Jens_Pulver_Driven/70224980?trkid=2361637

      Slightly dated now, as it follows Jens when he was in the WEC, but goddamn if it didn't make me respect Jens even more. And realize how fucked MMA is despite being incredibly awesome at the same time.

      The Tyson documentary is good too.

      Delete
  5. damn dude did you stop watching TV in 2009?

    time to fire up dat pirate bay

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    1. Decent documentaries don't come out every week, The Tyson documentary was included in the original list, but I got sick of typing, haha.

      Delete
  6. Haha that Paddy Doherty character is hilarious. He's somewhat of a minor celebrity here in the UK after being on Big Brother or some equally terrible reality shitshow.

    But I have to say that Gyppo's are some scary motherfuckers. Whilst working as a prison officer we had to escort one to a travellers funeral which resulted in a guy threatening to hack my arm off, as i was cuffed to the prisoner. We were then chased down the motorway whilst having bricks and bottles hurled at the van and some dude trying to barge us into the barrier.

    Nice bunch of people.

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    1. They seem to be, to a person, completely insane.

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  7. Have you seen Zeitgeist: Moving Forward? It's much more grounded in reality, has interviews with some intellectual giants, and doesn't looked like it was produced using a Commodore Amiga.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Z9WVZddH9w

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    1. Nah- it's not available on Netflix yet.

      The sequel to Metal: A Headbanger's Journey was cool as shit, though.

      Delete
  8. The majority of gypsey fighters wear mma gloves and hop about like Floyd Mayweather but in slow motion rather than being whatever the fuck worthwhile thing they think they are. I read Bartley Gorman's autobiography, though, and whther or not it's true it was an enjoyable read.

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    1. Though obviously I'd prefer if it was true.

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  9. I don`t know if you like this kid of documentary, but one of these days I watched Apocalypse: The Second World War. It`s divide in 6 parts and all of them are made with original footage from the war. It`s pretty awesome. And I think it`s available on youtube.

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  10. You like reading, so here's some reading on Zeitgeist. At best gross oversimplifications and out of date info,and at times just plain old bullshit. Never trust anyone who pretends it all makes sense. http://conspiracies.skepticproject.com/articles/zeitgeist/

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  11. Have you seen Power Unlimited? I'm pretty sure it's the only true powerlifting documentary and it covers a very long span. If you want to watch it, here it is on Youtube:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kdjLRt79zB8&feature=player_embedded

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  12. Anyone else want the Russian to win in Pulling John right from the start?

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    1. yeah totally
      i hated the attitude of Travis
      Alexey was cool calm and a sportsman

      Delete
  13. the REAL question is - who is that chick? Name please!

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  14. Jamie, you (and every American) need to watch this one: 9/11 Missing Links. It's not a typical 9/11 conspiracy documentary, such as Loose Change or Zeitgeist. It basically makes the case that 9/11 wasn't an "inside job" as 99% of conspiracy theorists allege, but rather an Israeli/Mossad operation, in conjunction with certain "chosen people" in the U.S. government/military. It also has info pertaining to the 1967 attack on the USS Liberty, in international waters, committed by our "ally" in the Middle East, resulting in the death of 34 Americans and plenty more wounded.

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  15. What are your thoughts on "Pumping Iron"? Whould you recommend it?

    Very good list. Gonna see them all.

    On a side note, what do you think about Calisthenics?

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