The Agent’s Thought Dump

I have too many thinks! Emergency trepanning, STAT!
Source: Know Your Meme

So, after last week’s barrage of righteous vitriol and the pain of the blooming trees surrounding my apartment assaulting my sinuses, I just need something simple and calm to work on in order to decompress as the seasonal allergies pass. As such, I’m going to take a page out of “MovieBob” Chipman’s playbook and do some spring cleaning with my idea files.

Like Bob, I often run into the problem of having tons of ideas and not being able to get them on digital paper. Sometimes they get lost in the shuffle of other more relevant/prominent thoughts. Sometimes I don’t feel I have enough info to work of off. And sometimes I just need a few days of mental prep before I can work up the nerve to tear something apart.

It’s like George Carlin once said, “I got a lot of good ideas. Trouble is, most of them suck.” So today, I’m going to share all of those sucky ideas with you in the hope that they may prove interesting and that some day they’ll be more organized and less sucky.

Let us waste no more time as we delve into the recesses of my mind and ponder the mysteries that only I care about like…

“Whitewashing” in films is becoming a problem again, isn’t it?

Between the upcoming Ghost in the Shell and Doctor Strange movies quickly approaching, there’s been a lot of complaints about Asian characters being portrayed by caucasian actresses.

The problem I’m having is that I’m seeing both sides of the issue and can’t make a definite stance either way. On one hand, as a stage performer myself, I know how much of a pain it can be to find the right person for the role and you have to make due with what you have (we never went as far as race swapping, but we did have to have performers cross-dress in order to fill roles).

On the other, there’s no denying that this is a missed opportunity for a few minority actors and actresses to break out and find an audience. And as someone who like to see fresh talent at work, that’s kind of sad.

Overall, at least for now until new information surfaces, I’m more forgiving towards Doctor Strange since their whitewashing is in service to removing the Asian mysticism stereotype and feels like it wasn’t intentionally racist. Ghost in the Shell; not so much. I love Scarlett Johansson, but she should have known better than agree to play a Japanese woman in a Japanese setting in a movie about Japan.

I’m losing weight… and I don’t know how to feel about it…

This one comes from the personal thoughts and quandaries file, but it’s one of those thoughts I feel needs to be broadcasted on the off chance that someone else feels the same and needs some comforting.

So, ever since I moved out roughly eight or nine months ago, I’ve been steadily dropping pounds like a clumsy British banker. I’ve lost at least six inches off my waist since this started.

And while I’ve been getting my fair share of compliments on the subject, I can’t help but be spooked by it. It’s happening very quickly, my clothes are hanging off of me, and – while I feel healthy – I think that I look drawn and exhausted. Add to that the fact I rarely get breaks on the job and am in constant motion (New Hampshire labor laws suck, remember?), and I worry that I’m headed for a bad time.

It may just be over-thinking on my part, but it is a concern and I hope that others in the same boat might be able to identify with the feeling.

Meghan Trainor betrayed me… AGAIN.

What is this, Meg – the third time you stabbed me in the back after I stood up for you?

Many of you may recall my regrets at calling Meghan Trainor a feminist icon in music while still defending her as an artist. Well, she went and diddled me again!

Between the successes of Dear Future Husband and NO, it’s pretty obvious that I was completely wrong about Trainor. She’s more than just not pro-woman; she’s anti-man.

I know that sounds like I’m being a Men’s Right Activist, but if you listen to her long enough (as the radio at work has forced me to do), you start to notice repeating themes of taunting and self-interest in her lyrics that are inimical to feminist theory and assert her false sense of authority over men and women alike; with men seeming to be her preferred target.

I’ll probably do a lyrical breakdown of NO at some point to prove my stance, but it’s like I said in the beginning. Last week just sucked all the joy from me and I don’t have the strength to deal with Meg’s B.S. at this point. Just know that her day of reckoning is coming.

Breaking Your Beautiful Body: Diets and Supplements That Do More Harm Than Good

Source: The Eye of Abyss (http://beachhutting.wordpress.com/)

If I can open a beer bottle on your rib cage, YOU’RE DOING IT WRONG.
Source: The Eye of Abyss (http://beachhutting.wordpress.com/)

One of the many admirable people I follow on the Internet had her Twitter account hacked recently – on her birthday no less. And to what ends you may ask? Nothing more than to flog their bogus weight loss crap by PMing all of her followers.

This got me to considering how far we go to obtain that “perfect body” or become the “model of health” without thinking about the inherent dangers on the path. So let’s take a look at some of the finest in modern day Snake Oil.

The “Cabbage Soup” Diet

According to its supporters, The Cabbage Soup Diet is a seven-day dietary plan that claims that you will lose 10 pound by it’s end provided you stay on its feeding schedule with as many snacks of cabbage soup as you want. And while cabbage is certainly preferable to a bag of chips, there is a reason why we eat a wide variety of foods and not just bland cabbage broth.

The weight loss you’ll see is from water, not fat. This means that the weight will be back as soon as you go off the diet. Also, the lack of nutritional value in cabbage, which is low in protein and high in salt, can rob you of healthy fatty acids (yes, there are healthy fats) and complex carbohydrates leading to fatigue, urinary problems, light-headedness, and uncontrollable gas (ever hear of “Cabbage Farts?”).

The Low Carb/“Atkins” Diet

Most people know about how stupid this diet is by now, but that hasn’t stopped some people from attempting this overly-complex starvation process on themselves.

As mentioned above Carbohydrates are essential. They are the primary fuel source for the body. Without them, the body starts to consume your muscle mass – not your body fat – for energy which can further hinder your fat burning ability. Add to that the fact that low carb “meal replacements” often contain unhealthy additives and that these diets usually result in an increased risk for digestive and cardiovascular disorders resulting from low fiber intake and it’s a wonder anyone still swears by these monstrosities.

Appetite Suppressants

Here’s the great whopping hot mess that got this little conversion we’re having now started in the first place. The theory is that, “I must be fat because I eat to much. Lets trick my body into thinking it’s full.”

Most suppressants are chemically similar to most amphetamine drugs and carry the same dangers; nervousness, heart palpitations, high blood pressure and more. Plus, as I’m sure those who can follow a logical progression have already learned, not eating when you need to means you’re STARVING. And that means you suffer all the ill effects of that without knowing that all you need to stop the pain is a burger.

Diet Soda

Oh, wow! A delicious and sweet-tasting soft drink with no calories? That sounds great!… Or it would be if you weren’t lying to my face.

The fact is that the artificial sweeteners used in diet sodas, namely aspartame and saccharin, actually INCREASE weight gain rather than halt it. It seams that nature and physiology have trained us to expect a lot of nutrition to accompany sweet-tasting food. However, since diet soda has no caloric value, our bodies instinctively start on a feeding frenzy to compensate for the confusion and get something worthwhile in our stomachs. Also, there’s reason to believe that aspartame is a known carcinogen just in case you needed another reason to avoid it.

The Final Point

Most of the commercial success of these fad diets and supplements comes from marketers and corporations feeding off of the most basic primal emotion of its consumer base: fear. We’re all afraid that if we don’t match some physical ideal, we will somehow become worthless to society.

What this fails to consider is that a) the physical ideal is a function of biology and environment rather than fashion, b) which fashions are physically appealing is a function of individual personality and psychology rather than group focus meetings, and c) even when the body is spent, the mind can still be useful and desirable.

Sooner or later, everyone will learn as I had to that the body can and will lose its luster over time and only personality and intellect will remain behind. However, they must be cultivated, trained, and routinely maintained. Stay healthy in body, but don’t do so at the expense of mind and soul. Also, make sure you’re actually being healthy.