State of the Slobocracy

by Brad Nelson   9/12/14

I thought it was time to make an official address on the #2 menace to society. (We all know who and what the #1 menace is.) I mean, of course, the Slobocracy.

I remain hovering around 193-195 pounds. It seems no matter how little I eat, I’m frozen in at that weight. And you know what? It’s all George Bush’s fault.

Well, being a conservative, I have to admit it’s all my fault. What I’ve discovered in this engagement with beating back the Slobocratic horde is that (wait for it)…as human beings, we do not have to eat all that darn much in order to survive and thrive.

I can eat three fairly modest meals a day with no snacks and still I stay where I am, losing not an ounce of weight. And I guess that is a type of success. We must take the good with the bad. It beats gaining weight. But I’d really like to slip down to 185, just as a goal. I don’t need to stay there (190 would be just fine). But just as a goal. But that goal is becoming difficult.

And you know why? It’s all the fault of my metabolism. (Which was probably engineered by Dick Cheney at Haliburton). My metabolism is so dumb (How dumb is it?) . . . my metabolism it so dumb that it can’t turn a jelly donut into a stalk of celery. Whatever the case may be, the important thing to know is that it’s not my fault.

Actually, a jelly donut, candy bar, or anything like that hasn’t passed my lips in a good long time (fig bars being my sin of choice). I have at least one crutch I can use, and it may be a mere rationalization, but it does contain an ounce or two of non-fat truth: Having hiked and pedaled like mad throughout the summer over hill and dale, I’ve probably put on a couple pounds at least in muscle, particular around the legs. And as they say, muscle is much denser and heaver than fat.

But that can’t explain everything. There’s still a notch on the belt I could tighten if push came to shove. The Slobocracy had been in retreat for a consistent month or two in early to mid summer. But like Napoleon approaching Moscow, the chill set in. The sheer size of the landscape can overcome you. It will be a tough battle,  but we shall fight on the beaches, in the bar and grills, and in the fields of sweets. We shall never surrender.

Brad is editor and chief disorganizer of StubbornThings.
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Brad Nelson

About Brad Nelson

I like books, nature, politics, old movies, Ronald Reagan (you get sort of a three-fer with that one), and the founding ideals of this country. We are the Shining City on the Hill — or ought to be. However, our land has been poisoned by Utopian aspirations and feel-good bromides. Both have replaced wisdom and facts.
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31 Responses to State of the Slobocracy

  1. Misanthropette says:

    “…as human beings, we do not have to eat all that darn much in order to survive and thrive.”

    That depends on a number of variables including how much strenuous physical activity one gets (or wants). It is possible, sometimes advisable to consume 4,000+ calories daily (yummy, yummy calories) and lose weight during bike season. The problem is curtailing the calories during the winter.

    Perhaps you could invest in an indoor bike trainer to use during the winter? I notice many bike shops offer indoor trainer sessions when November rolls around. I prefer rollers since they do help smooth out the pedal stroke, but it takes time (bruises, cuts, contusions) to master the rollers. Yes, I know, I have a problem: I am a bike junkie and I make no apologies. My sponsors, Ben & Jerry’s, Utz’s Potato Chips and Johnsonville Brats are counting on me. ;0

    One last piece of advice: hit the gym and lift weights during the winter. Many species of endurance athletes spend the off-season lifting very heavy weights. It helps build stamina and power during the season. A further benefit since cycling is a non-impact sport, is that weight-lifting improves bone density lost through high-mileage biking.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      With the caveat the lumberjacks can eat an enormous amount of calories, I did extensive exercise last year and was actually gaining weight. It was then that a light bulb went on and I reasoned out that it wasn’t exercise that was the driving influence in regards to weight (unless one runs oneself to death as some joggers do). It was what you eat.

      I continue biking and hiking throughout the winter, weather permitting. But I also think its good to give the body a little break. And I appreciate the advice, but I’m not an exercise for exercise’s sake sort of guy. I can’t do the gym. It just seems like a waste of motion unless you’re going somewhere.

      • Misanthropette says:

        I’m curious, what is extensive? I find 300-500 weekly mileage necessitates massive calorie (protein) consumption otherwise it’s the ER. I am, like you, not, definitely not (!) an exercise for exercise’s sake type of person. I don’t love the gym, I go to the gym because I strive to be a stronger, better cyclist. I bike because I love it with a passion put to use in my old griefs, as EBB wrote. But that’s another story.

        I couldn’t agree with you more about taking a break, if only to catch up on my Netflix queue. I wish you all the best in your quest, Sir Brad, and may your trusty steed be at the ready for your next ride.

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          I have no idea how many calories I am burning via exercise. My current regimen (weather permitting) is a quite vigorous one-hour hike on Wednesday then doing a fairly vigorous 20 to 30 miles on my mountain bike. I have no idea what the blacktop road miles equivalent of that would be. I would say at least a factor of 4.

          The odometer thingie on my bike says that I typically burn about 1300 calories or so, but who knows?

      • Rosalys says:

        Lifting weights is good for you and your bones, but you don’t have to go to the gym and you don’t have to become a fanatic. You can make a one time investment and do it at home – while you’re watching an old movie on Netflix.

        I hate gyms. I hate the music they play (constantly!) I don’t like crowds, and I don’t like the contrast between the svelte, 25 year olds and myself!

        • Timothy Lane says:

          Elizabeth long ago got a few small barbells, and I do a small amount of weight-lifting exercise each day with a ten-pound barbell (she also has a pair of smaller ones, four pounds I think, which she occasionally uses). My main goal is simply to prevent atrophy in the arm muscles (just lifting my body around is quite ample for my leg muscles).

  2. Misanthropette says:

    Brad, I think you should start a section titled “Biking, miscellaneous”. I would like to write that section!

    I have finally realized my dream of owning a genuine Brooks of England saddle. For those unfamiliar with that name, Brooks has been manufacturing high quality, handmade leather goods since 1866. To ride a bike with a Brooks saddle isn’t simply a statement, it’s a passion as well as a commitment. It takes time to break in the saddle. Once achieved, one can never sell or discard it since it conforms to only one body – it is useless to anyone else. A Brooks saddle is a classic, time-honored tradition for a certain type of cyclist. It appeals to those who are as much enamored with the bike itself as the beneficial effects of biking on a body or a soul.

    Let others chase after aluminum alloys, titanium, or carbon fiber monstrosities outfitted with ever lighter and disposable components or gizmos. Stalwart Brooks is made to last, just like my Masi Italian steel road bike. It might even stimulate me to put in an extra 50-100 miles a week.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      Didn’t someone once write that the hobgoblin of little minds is too much order? Well, if they didn’t, they should have.

      Like God in Heaven bestowing form upon the formless, I’ve created several what I call “sub-blogs” on the right side of the site. And I’ve tried to name them so as to include most topics (the “Stubborn-Blog” being a catch-all for everything else). But neither am I an absolute neat-freak. An article need not exactly fit a particular blog. About the only thing I exclude now are mindless libertarian rants and those who are stuck in the 1990’s blaming George Bush for their crabgrass.

      A well-written article on a particular bicycle, which I would welcome, could go under the “Health and Fitness” blog category or the “Tech Blog.” Suffice it to say, if someone says something heartfelt and of general interest, I’ll find a place for it, including thoughts about bicycles.

      I had always intended this site to nurture articles that ranged below the grandiose. It seems to be in human nature that upon taking the stage we put on a certain demeanor of pomposity or grandiosity. We can’t simply talk about small things that interest us. We must solve the world’s problems or take on great subjects.

      And it all can quickly become a bore when there is too much of that. Some of that is good, especially as taken up by Glenn (the obscure) Fairman. His is a mixture of humility (rare in any kind of writing) and grand eloquent pomposity (said with all endearing affection).

      So by all means, Misanthropette, do pen an interesting article about your experiences with your unique and wonderful bicycle. If it’s even halfway decent, which I’m sure it will be, I’ll find a place for it.

      • Timothy Lane says:

        Emerson’s famous quote (from “Self Reliance”, which we read in 11th grade English) was “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.” To be precise, he was referring to refusing to change one’s minds in response to changing facts. Modern liberals are certainly an excellent example.

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          It’s a good thought by Emerson. And on my fairly long internet history, I’ve often felt the totalitarian-like repression of the human spirit that crops up on internet forums where too much order is attempted. Most of the truly interesting human conservations are spontaneous and of the water-cooler type. Although some amount of organization makes sense, I’ve never been under the grandiose delusion that anything we say today is going to matter to those who come after. In theory, one would like to think one could search back for relevant information. And, indeed, it’s better to accommodate that from the get-go than to lose all hope of coherence, meaning, and utility.

          But from what I understand, Jesus didn’t walk around with an official press agent and biographer. It might have been more convenient if he had. But it’s a lesson in ashes to ashes, dust to dust. The world is full of harmful people who take themselves way too seriously.

          • Timothy Lane says:

            This is just another example of lack of order, but your last paragraph reminds me of an interesting little conundrum. The title Ashes to Ashes seems to be moderately popular for mysteries (I have 3 books with that title, by Emma Lathen, Lillian Stewart Carl, and Mary Monica Pulver), but how about Dust to Dust?

            • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

              In fact, Timothy, I just changed the “TechBlog” name to “Science and Technology.” I really should have had it that way at the start. I don’t know what I was thinking. I suppose it could say “Science, Tech, and Electronic Gadgets” but there is only so much room. Suffice it to say, if someone wants to do a review of their phone, that’s where it would go. We’ll have to wait to see how much interest there is for a “Dust to Dust” blog.

      • Misanthropette says:

        Thank you, Brad. I confess to delusions of pomposity and grandiosity, but I’ll try to temper those for the sake of, well, the bikes.

        Who is like unto Fairman? I aspire to the smaller topics, but not thoughts!

  3. Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

    Last weekend, my family and I visited a “Christkindl Markt” in Arlington, Texas. I came away from that experience pretty depressed. If I said 40% of the people there were morbidly obese, I would be stretching the truth. The actual % was higher.

    Now these were not a bunch of old folks who tend to gain weight as they age. These were mainly people in their twenties, thirties and forties.

    Perhaps more depressing was their slovenly appearance. I cannot ever recall seeing a bigger group of slobs. From their clothes to their tattoos to their piercings all displayed a lack of self respect which was astonishing. Their manners were on the level of hogs. Their taste was lower than that of a camel’s. Their modesty lower than that of monkeys in a zoo. And their self awareness was about the equal of a rock’s. As my mother used to ask, “don’t they have a mirror?”

    Let’s face it, Obama and the rest of the criminals in office are merely a symptom of the disease which is manifest in the complete indifference to the pursuit of excellence of any kind, i.e the decline of the West. I guess the idiot Libertarians have no problem with this. We should not try to influence anybody to do anything, even things which would be beneficial to themselves and society as a whole.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      Despite now making four kinds of cookies, I’m holding steady more or less around 196.

      And, yes, what a depressing experience to see how beastly fat and slobbish so much of America has become. They literally need wider aisles at the supermarkets.

      But the monkeys in a zoo who have their eyes glued to their phones with piercings and tattoos to mark their break with Western Civilization are destined to become the modern Elois of the Ruling Political Class. There is no other end for them. And as long as libertarians get their abortions, open borders, and free drugs, they won’t squawk. And as long as the “enlightened” Progressives can rut as they with with no consequences, any cage — gilded or otherwise — that is built for them by The Ruling Class will be accepted.

      I agree completely that Obama and his ilk are the symptom of a disease.

      It’s probably true that mankind has always divided itself into classes. What made America different was the the “common man” had aspirations of bettering himself. That seems to be no longer true.

      • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

        And, yes, what a depressing experience to see how beastly fat and slobbish so much of America has become. They literally need wider aisles at the supermarkets.

        I will never forget a scene I witnessed in Disneyland while waiting in the line for some ride.

        At the front of this line was a woman (and her family) who was, literally, too fat to get through the turnstile. The gatekeepers then took her to a separate lane which was wider than the turnstile. She still couldn’t get through. While complaining rather vociferously about the lanes being too small, etc. she munched on an ice cream bar. A more complete lack of self-awareness would be hard to find.

        • Rosalys says:

          I remember seeing more than one TV program with a man or a woman who was literally too fat to walk and could not get up off the couch or bed. They certainly couldn’t make it into the kitchen! So who do they have feeding them all this crap? If I were in charge they’d be getting a nice tuna sandwich with a pickle and maybe a few chips, a glass of milk to wash it down with and, “Sorry, Honey! Nothin’ more until supper time!”

      • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

        What made America different was the the “common man” had aspirations of bettering himself. That seems to be no longer true.

        And that these aspirations were to a very large degree within the reach of the “common man” and, in fact, achieved to a large degree.

      • Timothy Lane says:

        A lot of people still seek to better themselves, or at least their circumstances. Why else did Natalie DuBose put her savings into her bakery shop, Natalie’s Cakes and More — which a bunch of obamathugs plundered in the name of racial justice? There may be too few these days, but they haven’t disappeared — yet.

  4. Rosalys says:

    Obesity today is the result of the “problem” of an abundance of readily available and inexpensive food. The human body is designed to store up during times of plenty so that the lean times can be survived.

  5. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    Down to 190 lbs. buck naked. Eating salads regularly has been the main reductive influence.

    Why does this matter to you? It really doesn’t. Few people are more annoying than a reformed smoker…or dieter who has lost weight. I swear to no remarkable change of life suitable for a TV commercial.

    But several influences do converge to make this relevant to me: Age, Obamacare, and the Temple of Trashiness.

    The first is obvious. You can get away with a lot when you are younger. But older models require more care and maintenance. Second, eating well and doing a little exercise is in lieu of the $800/mo I don’t have for a health care plan. Third, unless you haven’t noticed, we’ve become a sloven, marked, degenerate-looking culture — the exact opposite of the ideal of “the body is my temple”. You’d think we’d lost a war with a Pygmy tribe with all the tattoos, pierced noses, and ear lobe inserts that are now ubiquitous. To my mind, you can’t be a conservative and have the moral high ground if you’re gut is nearly touching your toes and you look like a walking poster child for the Slobocracy.

    Plus, if Popeye likes spinach, it’s good enough for me.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      Ah, but spinach is an extremely high source of vitamin K along with other dark green vegetables. And those of us on Warfarin have to be careful how much vitamin K we consume. My clinician wants me to have them about once a week (depending on serving size).

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        Interesting. By the way, the spinach is growing very well. Perhaps the best of the crops so far that I’ve got going. (More on that in a future blog post.)

        I also have some kale and Swiss chard. I’m not sure about the vitamin K content of those, but they ain’t no iceberg lettuce!

        • Timothy Lane says:

          I don’t know about chard either, but kale has even more than spinach.

          • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

            Have some tomatoes, squash, legumes, root plants such as carrots,turnips and an occasional potato (not as chips or fries) as well as peppers and cucumbers. These should keep you full and healthy.

            • Timothy Lane says:

              I have a psychological aversion to most legumes and legume products. In essence, anything that reminds me of lima and pinto beans is something I avoid (this includes sweet corn when not on the cob, no doubt because corn is mixed with lima beans in succotash). The others we make good use of.

              • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

                I’m with you on sweet corn, especially creamed corn. I hated it as a kid.

                I love pinto beans, but being from Texas, that is just about a given.

    • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

      I starting to gain some weight again, so will have to start paying attention to my diet.

      Home grown vegetables taste much better than those bought in the store, so you will soon enjoy wonderful food.

      To my mind, you can’t be a conservative and have the moral high ground if you’re gut is nearly touching your toes and you look like a walking poster child for the Slobocracy.

      I think the seven (+2) deadly sins are a good negative list for conservatives.

      1. Gluttony
      2. Lust
      3. Greed
      4. Pride
      5. Despair
      6. Wrath
      7. Vanity
      8. Sloth
      9. Envy

      And unlike a leftist, I will not hold anyone a complete hypocrite if he is not 100% successful in avoiding the above sins. The mere attempt to achieve excellence will make one a better person than one would otherwise have been.

      • Timothy Lane says:

        I’m curious why you include both pride and vanity. How do you differentiate them?

        • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

          In my mind, vanity has more to do with the physical and attributes for which one has done nothing. It is more a sin of weakness/silliness. Pride is more assertive and has to do with position and accomplishment. It is also more dangerous to others.

          She was a vain woman.
          She was a proud woman.

          These sentences have very different meanings and moods.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        Good points, Mr. Kung. And, of course, all of those sins are erased and considered good if you just re-label them as “social justice.”

        No kidding. Even death panels are being re-labeled as such.

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