As you can probably tell, these weekly-rap pieces come out on any day BUT Friday.
What I’m Reading
There’s a certain irony to life that the better off we have it, the more bitchy and whiny we tend to be. One of the most common traits of first world problems is the righteous feeling of indignation we feel entitled to experience and give voice to via every medium possible.
It doesn’t help when we live in a culture oriented around the encouraged expression and protective-nurturing of people’s “feelings”; often to the exclusion of the growth related benefits of experiencing a little bit of life’s pains could induce.
This book’s big idea encourages the reader to “Fuck Feelings” that cloud our problem solving skills and instead offers a guide for approaching a variety of common situations from a rational and practical perspective devoid of “feelings”.
Let’s face it, our goals and dreams are going to be beset by inevitable challenges, some beyond our control, so we need to know how to reframe problem situations without suppressing our feelings, but not letting them control us either.
If you’ve read Burkeman’s “The Antidote” or Holiday’s “The Obstacle Is The Way”, you’ve probably identified this book’s obvious connections to Stoicism
There’s also a healthy blend of Taoism and CBT thrown in to boot. However, the strength of this book is that the author builds on these concepts offering some amazingly helpful ways to reduce big problems to their essence in a pragmatic, practical and lighthearted way.
Written by a clinical pychiatrist with over 40 years experience, Bennet has done his time in the trenches with plenty of permutations of “crazy”. However, I loved this for it’s largely absent sugar coated advice, cliched platitudes and overall entertaining vibe. The book doesn’t take itself too seriously, and neither should you. We’re all gonna die eventually anyway, so…. fuck serious.
The book is divided into chapters that allow the reader to dive in at any point of relevance, or it reads equally well for those wanting to browse it cover to cover.
I noticed Bennet didn’t have a “Fuck Hunger” chapter though, and as anyone that competes in bodybuilding knows amplifies every negative experience 10 fold – lol.
Buy or read this if you generally dislike self-improvement books for their saccharine sweet sentiments and overall piss-poor advice. This one’s a winner.
Gorilla Mindset – Mike Cernovich
I read this on the endorsement of many good reviews, but after connecting the dots, I noticed that a large number of the positive praise came primarily from fellow bloggers familiar to, or affiliated with the author, along with the repeated inducements (pleas) of the author to his blog followers to submit positive reviews.
Whereas a book like “Fuck Feelings” contains a trove of well written, actionable advice, this is mostly a culmination of recycled ideas and strategies lifted directly from the self-help and pop-psychology archives.
Cernovich tries hard to imitate the pithy sage, when really, this book amounts to little more than an “idea copy and paste” job and is an insult to anyone who’s ever cracked the cover of a Tony Robbins’ book before.
To top it off, it’s really. badly. edited. Laughably so in parts. For a guy that preaches living a life of excellence and healthy living, your credibility is in question buddy.
Browsing his site, I saw plenty of photos of a silly looking, badly dressed, lispy fat dude. Not exactly a paragon of excellence, let alone someone I would be taking life advice or workout tips from.
In short, this book is fucking toilet paper and a wasted two hour read. Avoid at all costs.
Great South Land – Rob Mundle
It’s hard to conceive that little over 200 years ago, the existence of Australia was a mere hypothesis on the world map – a place deemed by explorers as “Terra Australias Incognita” – “The unknown land of the South”.
But did you know that over 200 years before the birth of Christ, the Ancient Egyptians were perhaps the first maritime explorers to come close to discovering mainland Australia and may have made contact with the inhabitants of certain surrounding islands?
I didn’t. And this, and many more amazing tidbits were gleaned reading Mundle’s “Great South Land”.
Mundle, an avid life long mariner and author of 14 naval themed histories, knows his way around a nautical tale. While lacking the narrative punch and detail of equally prolific fellow Aussie hisorian, Peter Fitzsimmons, this is still a satisfying work which adequately covers the centenary of exploration prior to British settlement of the East Coast in 1770.
Mundle primarily focuses on the exploits and misadventures of the Dutch traders who inadvertendly stumbled upon this Southern Land either by accident or naval misfortune.
The West Coast of Australia, Mundle describes, is “a maritime graveyard” and one of the more famous examples is the excellently recounted story of the Batavia – one of histories most terrible and grisly mutinies.
Did you know?? – The Dutch overlords at Batavia were proficient at the execution method of impalement and could keep a victim alive for 6 days with a spear through his anus and mouth?
All of the stories Mundle recounts are fascinating in their own right and give a great overview of this little mentioned period of European exploration. It’s an accessible work which gives the reader a good introductory point to research any of the individual explorers or topics in more detail.
I want to read more of Mundle in the future, and hope he explores some of his material here in greater detail.
What I’m Watching
Stan (stage name “Stanless Steel”) is a health conscious, teetotalling vegan who enjoys sharing a pizza, a smoke and some beers when feeling down.
If Forrest Gump had a son who grew up to be a strongman he would probably resemble Stan. In addition to travelling the country displaying his (often failed) feats of strength, Stan likes to dispense pearls of wisdom to his audience and random strangers.
“The diamond in the rough is the most valuable so that’s what we gotta do….. we gotta shine in life like diamonds”
To make ends meet from the pittance he earns from his strongman acts, Stan works at a scrap metal factory which he says drains him and his motivation to train.
Stan doesn’t train very much…if ever.
Stan’s family resembles extras from the Rocky Horror Picture Show if that movie were cast and directed by David Lynch.
WTF DID I JUST WATCH???
I’m always late to the party when it comes to watching films, but this stylised one-man-assasin flick was a perfectly cast, choreographed, and scripted watch that clearly signalled a return to form for Reeves.
With so many in-jokes and references to other Reeves’ films, it begs for a second watch, and now there’s rumours that a sequel is on the way.
What I’m Listening To
Sigma Nutrition Radio – Interview with Ryan Doris
One of the best podcasts out there related to health and fitness, this week’s interview with De Novo Nutrition’s CEO, Ryan Doris is one of the most motivating and informative things I’ve listened to in a long time. It’s rare I listen to a podcast twice, but this will get repeated play in the future when I need it.
Quote of the Week
In relation to the recent Roelly Winklaar pics circulating:
“Darwin got it wrong. We didn’t evolve from apes, we’re evolving into apes” – Reddit contributor
Pics of the Week
Mentioned him a lot before, but recent IFBB Pro Classic Physique winner, Danny Hester has both a seemingly ageless and timeless physique. Along with Lee Labrada and Frank Zane, Hester has always been the number one physique I’ve tried over the last 20 years to emulate.
These pics below taken 20 years prior to the one above, are testament to the age-defying qualities that bodybuilding can offer when approached in a sensible and healthy manner.