Head On Viral Challenge

Ok so I am never fond of viral challenges or viral anything for that matter. Whether it be for charity or not you can keep your ice in your bucket. If you want me to play along put some beers in it. But what to make of the latest round of the latest ‘have you done it yet’ annoying memes on facebook and other social media – the condom challenge.

It consists of filling a condom with water and dropping it on someones head. Some suggest it’s about raising awareness of condom use. I find that a stretch. On a more serious note, how many people will be aware that December 1st is World AIDS Day. Now that should go viral on so many levels. If you are intending to do the condom challenge how about making that statement and making a donation if you want to make a real difference to the awareness around the actual function of condoms. The real challenge is to get people to use condoms. Yes they are supposed to go on someones head but it’s just located a little further south. Time for a bit of anatomical orientation for some I think.

On the upside it’s never been a better time to rock up to a supermarket and casually buy a packet or 4 and simply smile and wink and say hashtag condomchallenge. Great opportunity to stock up without parents suspecting anything, just show them, they might even join in! Bit of family bonding, lubricate the conversations about safe sex?

If you are a sucker for a viral challenge, good on you – go hard, I wouldn’t want to burst your bubble.


Hard to swallow

I often wonder if I met someone from another world or a parallel universe what I would find difficult explaining to them. It’s a nice yardstick for checking myself in relation to life. Competitive eating would rank pretty highly on my list. It might just be the weird head space I’m in currently but after a good night sleep I doubt my feelings will change much. I can only watch for a couple of seconds before I truly just want to scream ‘slow down you’re eating too fast’. Not only is the speed at which these ‘athletes’ eat outrageous the kind of food that is downed isn’t exactly nutritious. It might have a history of some kind heck most weird things can be traced to something if you find the right social anthropologist to share a pie with (or 40), but does that make it worthy of becoming a sport? Maybe the word eating needs to be dropped because it isn’t really consuming food for the purpose of fueling the body. Even the word ‘food’ could be dropped given most of the contents of a hot dog are not grown in any way shape or form.

What would I say if I had to explain it? Maybe I could just shrug my shoulders and say it is simply part of the strange and bizarre relationships human beings have with their bodies and the rituals we have invented to make our lives meaningful. Then I might politely guide my visitor to a local bar for their next lesson. I really need some sleep – now a competitive sleeper might be something I’d sign up for right now.

There’s some food for thought…just give it some time to digest.

Paleo – The new hunger games

O Paleo, Paleo! Wherefore art thou Paleo? I had assumed as I typed Paleo into google that it might be referenced in terms of Paleolithic era but it wasn’t until I got the ‘L’ in there that google got away from diet references into the actual era referred to, in fact I would challenge anyone to define Paleolithic outside of modern diet fashion discourse! I’ve seen a few diet fad’s come and go, of course the trick is for it ‘not to be a diet but a ‘guide’ or a ‘template’ even a ‘lifestyle’. I’d very unscientifically suggest there might be a correlation between ardent cross fit fanatics and paleo…but it’s just a hunch based on the fervent social media activity I see online.

It seems a bit like that curious phenomenon of galvanising, take the hard core steel of obsessive body perfection and dip it in hot new ideas and here is your shiny thing. I’ve found myself on the other side of the fence for once – being the skeptic. So whilst zealous frenzied calls are made that the ‘end is nigh…it’s the diet apocalypse’ I quietly slipped into research mode to check out what I might be missing . But actually when Paleo is stripped back by people who know their stuff, like poor quality galvanising – it all starts to get a bit flaky.

Scientific America have better credentials and pull paleo apart like a half starved carnivore. Some of the most salivant points are:
• It isolates one epoc of human evolution and fails to see adaptations made through the course of the stone age
• The Plaeofantasy is based on an assumption that we were in harmony with nature – only if you consider constantly living hand to mouth and trying not to be another species meal harmony
• The human genome has changed very little therefore only thrives under ‘similar conditions’ – not true
• Every single species of plant and animal alive today is vastly different to those of the paleolithic period
• Lifespans were vastly shorter 40 was it – 15 middle age and a miracle if you got there
• There is no clear information exactly what was consumed and in what amounts
• Just what part of the world are we taking our info from? An Inuit Paleo will have little in common with a ‘Hadza’ or ‘Kung’ (so do we put it all in a blender? Seal and fruit smoothie anyone?)
• People were healthier?…they were not.

It occurred to me that the construction of knowledge or epistemology is a bit of a selective diet itself–– choosing to incorporate some bits – trimming the fa[c]t to get the lean sometimes thin stringy bits of relevant information. Garnish with some decent marketing and presto! A fully digestable meal to satisfy the ego and produce enough flatulence to power a small city. In fact of all the bits that bother me the most it is the snarling, sneering wild judgement of those following any sort of ‘better than others’ practice of life, be it diet or exercise or oral hygiene. Talk about de evolution. But while the construction of knowledge might be in question, equally the process of constructing ignorance or agnotology, should give all of us pause to think about how do we ‘know’ what we do not know. The tobacco industry exploited this for years and I think the diet industry might well be next in line for some careful tooth picking.

Eating chemically laden, processed, sugar loaded food from nutrient depleted soil covered in toxic spray isn’t good for us. Nor is our vastly sedentary lifestyles where we live in a chronic state of stress that is nothing like the stress of our ancestors. Eating food that is as close to it’s natural state as possible is probably better for you than eating poison…do we really need more research on this?

So here is an alternative marketing approach for those wanting to promote their Paleo produce in the wider market say restaurants. If restaurants are themed and have dress codes, why not do the Paleo dress code – fur or animal skin only, with authentic seating – rocks, logs. And of course everthing would be either raw or char grilled…I’m up for that. Then if you wanted to take that al fresco – you could throw in some wild animals just to up the ambiance.

Personally – I am sure I have seen a cave drawing somewhere of an antelope type animal being carved up and put in a pie – so nomnom pie is paleo.