I've blogged at some great length in the past about my opinion of vegetarian and veganism, here, here, here, here,and here. In case you missed the series on the Skinny Bitches, I can give you the Cliff's Notes- I think veganism and vegetarianism is an unhealthy practice and a primary indicator of a mental health disorder. Much like some people like watching reality television to observe the activities of people that would have been liquidated in any other period of human history, I enjoy watching the shenanigans and tomfoolery of vegetarians and vegans, if for no other reason than their illogic amuses me. Vegucated, however, was a bit more logical than anything I've witnessed before, as the intellectual basis for the diet isn't based on it's alleged healthiness, but rather on the fact that factory farming is pretty fucking awful.
Shit's not cool.
Like any person who knows anything about factory farming, I'm inclined to agree that something should be done to reduce the abuse of the animals we eat. A couple of years ago, I read a fascinating novel called Animals, by Don LePan. It was, without question, the most depressing book I've read since reading Johnny Got His Gun in high school, but it definitely raised some interesting questions about the practice of factory farming and what I'd do in the event of a reduction or elimination of meat animals. Animals, in case you're curious, is set in a near future in which a disease killed all of the non-human animals we could farm for meat. Humans then started breeding and eating low-functioning humans- basically, they started eating the retards. The focus of the book was about a kid who appeared to be retarded, and was treated as a pet by a family who bought him for their child. He was, in essence, their dog. Late in the novel, it's discovered that he isn't actually retarded, but it's too late to save him from the butcher. To say that the novel was sad would be like saying that getting a blowjob is nice- it was downright .44 Magnum-style depressing. Nevertheless, it's worth a read.
She really wants to eat that goat.
Back to Vegucated, the movie centers around a fairly hot broad who convinces six people (the three they really profile are a chubby Mexican, a woman so ugly a paper bag over her head probably wouldn't help, and an effeminate guy), who eat the typical, shitty American diet that they'll lose weight and feel better if they adopt her vegetarian diet. As the film progresses, she fills them in on the evils of factory farming and basically guilts them into sticking to the diet. A couple of the people in the film take to the low-testosterone/low protein diet like models to a bowl of coke, while others, like the chubby Mexican, have a hell of a time shrugging off the shackles of hundreds of thousands of years of evolution that have made humans into meat-eating creatures. Perhaps the most amusing bit of the film is an interview of a vegan "bodybuilder" who appears to have done a few pushups in his quest to get jacked, but little else. To wit:
No animals were killed, and apparently no weights were lifted, in the building of this body.
The film is nothing ground breaking, but it's interesting enough to keep your attention for a couple of hours, and will inspire at least the occasional splurge on some free range meat because you'll feel fucking horrible about the manner in which factory farmed animals are treated.
Kai Greene: A Day In The Life
For those of you who have been living under a rock and are blind to the wild and wooly world of professional bodybuilding, Kai Greene is the 2012 runner-up to Phil Heath in the Mr. Olympia. Greene's a bit of an enigma, and prior to the series I knew little about him other than a vague recollection that he used to compete for Team Universe (as a natural bodybuilder), that he put on 60 lbs of muscle in one year, and that he is apparently a great poser. In retrospect, I suppose that's a considerable amount to know about a guy who competes in a sport about which I could give two shits, but I had a subscription to Ironman in college and used to read that shit religiously- at the same time Greene competed for Team Universe. At that point I think Greene was around 190 lbs, so I thought it was cool that he had a physique I could possibly attain. He was never featured in the magazine, however, so I never really knew how he lived or how he trained. that sucks, because the dude is fascinating.
Greene at 200 lbs.
Mike Pulcinella, internet phenomenon and meme Steve Pulcinella's cousin, filmed a three part documentary on Greene that's on Youtube, and in it you learn exactly how introspective, intellectual, and respectable Greene is. Greene trains fanatically, twice a day, and shows everything from his food prep to the interminable boredom of himself trudging away slowly on a stair climber. Throughout the series, he fills you in on his rathr philosophical take on the sport of bodybuilding, and you come to really why he's as successful as he is- he fucking lives and breathes the sport. Additionally, you have to respect the guy for being phenomenally strong in spite of the fact that he really doesn't train for strength- he inclines 495 for 3, within two weeks of a show.
280 lbs and hanging out with hotter-than-hot Dana Lynn Bailey.
From the fact that he always trains in a hoodie with the hood up (a practice I've since adopted and think is fucking awesome), to the fact that he stresses the fact that victory in competition comes from the prep more than the competition itself, to the fact that he keeps his shitty apartment in the ghetto to remind him of his roots, Kai Greene's the fucking man. If his take on the sport of bodybuilding and on training in general isn't motivational or fascinating to you, you should probably just quit going to the gym and take up knitting
Girl Power: Going For Gold
Girl Power is a BBC documentary detailing the preparation and training for a couple of chicks who are trying to qualify for the 2012 Olympics. If you're anything like me, you'll be jealous as shit of Zoe Smith, Hannah Powell and Helen Jewell, as they get to train full time with the sponsorship of their nations. As such, they're in the gym constantly, and it's interesting to see how the training for the same competition differs from gym to gym. All three have similar issues with their diet, which is part and parcel of being a chick, I suppose. Though not nearly as philosophical as the Kai Greene series, this documentary is worth checking out just to see the mindlessness of their training and dieting (which they don't appear to understand at all but just robotically do), the drive that these chicks have to push through injuries, the fact that they have to balance their media commitments with training (which is something I doubt any of us would have ever considered to be an issue), and the fact that these chicks have the weight and aspirations of an entire nation on their shoulders as they try to qualify for an Olympic event at which the dentally-challenged Brits have perenially sucked.
This broad is unfortunately not in the film.
Strong! is a hilarious insight into the cellulite-ridden mind of one of our famously obese female Olympic lifters, Cheryl Haworth. Haworth is renown for eating a sheet cake every single day to maintain a horrifying physique and compete in an non-competitive weight class comprised of broads who will have diabetes before they're 40. Haworth grabbed a bronze in the 2004 Olympics and attempted to qualify for the Olympics again in 2008, which is the subject of this documentary. Her training is somewhat interesting, but the real reason to watch this thing is to see a fat broad whine about the trials and tribulations of her life and the horror of having to walk around a bit in her part-time job at Home Depot. If you want to laugh at a fat chick who thinks she's an athlete, check this out.
For the chick who wrongly accused me of being a tit man. Behold the power of the whooty.
This concludes my review of documentaries I've watched recently... all of which were in a fever-induced delirium in December but remained memorable in spite of the fact that I generally couldn't remember my name. As such, they're absolutely worth checking out if you've got the time. If you hadn't noticed, the titles are all hyperlinks to the vids.