Monday, May 4, 2020

Pussies React to the Covid19 Epidemic

It’s true that we don’t know what we don’t know until we know it. That’s why I can, in a manner of speaking, “see” how people who have never been through an epidemic before might hold certain ignorant views. But rejecting wholesale the experience of others who’ve been through epidemics previously is just downright stupid. 

Those pathetic man-children at Michigan’s Capitol Building recently showing up with AK47s? What the fuck? What do guns have to do with Covid19? Nothing.

And unhinged maskless crowds taking to the streets demanding that the economy “open back up”? What these protesting fools are in reality demanding is that the owners of places of recreation they themselves patronize—namely gyms, stores, restaurants and sports venues— compel their vulnerable employees to return to work at an unlivable wage and put themselves and their families at risk so as to service the profoundly selfish, bored and restless sadlings who after 6 weeks of staying inside are so abjectly lacking in any genuine life purpose that they are losing their tiny minds. “The Greatest Generation” they are not, and never will be.

For 15 FUCKING YEARS gay men hunkered down, social distanced, lost their businesses, STOPPED HAVING SEX, and buried in many cases HUNDREDS of their best friends, customers, doctors, nurses, EMTs, neighbors, service people and beloved life partners while the government LITERALLY LAUGHED at the AIDS EPIDEMIC. (watch the video below  for the Reagan Administration’s jaw-dropping hilarious “response”) 

When it was made clear by our own US Government that they had no intention of providing any emergent response to the AIDS epidemic, even after thousands had already died—in direct contradiction to that same government’s LUNATIC frantic emergency response to fighting Legionaire’s Disease after only 12 people had died—gay doctors, gay scientists, gay politicians, and gay and gay-friendly celebrities rallied and stepped up to do it all themselves.  

As of 2020 there is no cure for AIDS, but gay men still must do what needs to be done EVERY SINGLE DAY. Gays who are HIV-negative take a prescription drug DAILY called PREP to prevent acquiring AIDS. Those who are HIV-positive take a prescription drug DAILY called TRUVADA to manage the disease and keep from spreading it to others, but most significantly, to keep themselves from getting sick and dying. Blood must be drawn and tested every few months. Habits or activities that compromise the immune system are voluntarily curtailed. 

Gays know what transmits AIDS and how to prevent its spreading—and adhere to the guidelines, just like everyone today knows what transmits Covid19 and how to prevent its spreading, but instead rebel against the guidelines.

Our leading political crybabies who have proven to possess no understanding at all regarding contagion, are proposing that the lives of people (other than themselves), especially older people, are expendable. And if they themselves happen to infect others because of their refusal to wear a mask or gloves because such preventive measures impinge on their “personal freedom,” then that’s just how the cookie crumbles, right? And just like “straight” people once believed that they wouldn’t get AIDS because they weren’t gay, and then were proven literally dead wrong about that, younger people today absurdly believe they won’t get Covid19—or spread it to others—because they’re “healthy” and because, you know, only old people get it, bro’.

President Reagan and his White House gang thought the AIDS epidemic was hilarious: just listen.

Sunday, May 3, 2020

Only When We Get Better Do We Realize How Sick We Used To Be

We hear it from the formerly obese, from ex-smokers, recovering alcoholics and drug addicts. We hear it from people describing their past romantic liaisons or relationships with toxic relatives or friends, now blessedly left behind.

When we stop doing the things that are hurting us, our lives only get better.

Only when we’re out of a bad situation—the one we elected to stay in for reasons that make no sense anymore—will we be ready to admit how bad things were, how poorly we felt, how compromised our situation and safety were. When we were in the middle of it, we were in denial of just how bad things were.

Non-smokers like me who literally gag on the stinking secondhand fumes that those who arrogantly claim they have the right to expel their poison excrement into my and everyone else’s breathing air, cannot comprehend how anyone would intentionally choose to continuously suck in acrid toxins and searing heat, tar and smoke hour after hour, day after day. Even long after they quit, many ex-smokers whose lives, relationships and health they admit have greatly improved due to their stopping, contrarily speak of their past grotesque habit in ecstatic tones. Such is the stuff of addiction.

My mother broke her leg when she was in her 70s. She had made excuses all her life for never exercising but when faced with either going through rehab or being confined to a wheelchair for the rest of her life, she chose rehab. And she loved it. She talked of all the benefits this new pastime was bestowing upon her, the new friends, how great she felt, how much weight she lost, how much more physically strong she was, how her stamina and breathing had improved. Then, once her rehab was completed, she stopped, dropped the gym like a bad habit, despite my reminding her of all her stated benefits. She slipped back into all the old deficits she claimed to have left behind.

Well, at least she didn’t start smoking again.

Saturday, April 18, 2020

Zac Efron Thinks We’re Stupid

His entire career is based on little more than his physical attractiveness. He garnered enormous publicity in recent years over his enviable level of fitness. These factors have earned him millions and millions of dollars. Now he wants us to believe that remaining in the top shape that got him all this is stupid.

Zac Efron is as tone deaf as they come, and that’s saying a lot, considering he lives the Hollywood Life. There are literally millions of men around the world who have achieved and manage to maintain an extraordinary level of physical strength and beauty each and every day who are NOT movie stars raking in the millions. They do it because its admirable, because reaching a certain level of excellence is what they believe they deserve and are willing to put in the work despite having little or no money, fame, visibility, or legions of swooning fans.

Looking quite bloated these days and obviously wanting to justify his falling off the wagon, Efron has taken the low road. Rather than confessing he’s hit a rough patch and is experiencing personal problems, he dismisses the obvious rewards, of which there are many in his case, of maintaining the machine that earns him his millions, and in the process puts down everyone else who despite their anonymity, financial struggles, and the many obstacles in their personal lives continue to maintain, by claiming that it’s “stupid.”

We see right through you, Little Buddy. But before you go shooting your mouth off next time you find yourself in crisis mode, dial up an appointment with your shrink first. Because none of us non-multi-millionaires are getting paid to stay in shape. We simply do it out of self respect.

Thursday, April 9, 2020

Lower Your Living Costs By Negotiating Lower Rates

We all subscribe to various services that many will now find it difficult to continue with, such a health club, cable, extra data, monthly box deliveries of things like steaks or seafood, children’s or pets’ toys or clothing, and much more. 

I subscribe to Adobe Creative Cloud which provides Photoshop, Adobe Acrobat Pro and more, but in a bind, because there are free alternatives — perhaps not as good but that can get the job done — I decided to check Adobe off my list. But I thought beforehand to contact them first as I continually receive “special offers” from Adobe that only apply to their NEW subscribers, leaving loyal years-long subscribers like me with no special pricing or rewards. Surprise: Adobe gave me the next 3 months for free, a savings of US$165.

Contact customer service on their website, or over the phone. Following are my suggestions for dealing with such companies and providers:

— Be polite. Stay calm. Choose your words carefully. Don’t criticize the company, but rather stress your financial situation.

— If you’ve always or “mostly” paid your bill on time in the past, stress this crucial point. If not, don’t mention it.

— Stress the loyalty angle - especially if there are competing companies offering the same or similar services. “I’ve been a loyal customer of yours for XX years…”

— Be forthright about your current economic situation, stressing that you can no longer afford the current price of the service.

— If you know this service offers a reduced rate for new subscribers, as Spectrum, Adobe and many others do, ask for that same introductory rate, or other accommodation. “If you can afford to give a reduced rate to new customers for an entire year, I’d like you to consider accommodating your loyal customers in the same way who now find themselves in a real financial bind.”

Good luck!

Monday, April 6, 2020

You Can’t Control THAT, But You Can Control THIS.

Even back when things were more or less normal, we all had our own negative issues that we couldn’t control, such as a thankless job, relationship problems, money problems, etc. The list is long for most of us because in truth we can’t control people, and people, directly or indirectly, are at the heart of all our issues.

That’s where fitness and bodybuilding come to the rescue. We get to control if and when we work out. We control the exercises we choose to perform to attain the goal we alone have set. Nobody else has any say or control over our workout or the goals that we set for ourselves, or our diet choices, or how many times a day or week we work out. And most people can immediately see results via a pump, as well and feel results the next day.

Now more than ever it’s vital for both physical and emotional reasons that we seize control wherever we can. YouTube is full of effective home workouts using minimal equipment such as the above video from AthleneX.

Sunday, April 5, 2020

Why I Don’t Count Reps

Bob Paris

We’ve all heard the wise men lecture us that we need to do a specific number of reps in order for the exercise to be productive.

Except for a handful of fitness trainers who I follow on YouTube, nobody seems to understand that FEELING each rep completely overrides any arbitrary number of reps, be it 8, 10 or more.

Focusing complete attention on the muscle being worked, called the target muscle, is what builds and strengthens that muscle, not pumping out a preordained number at the cost of proper form.

Long ago I was impressed by something the great Bob Paris said about someone criticizing him (who in their right mind would criticize Bob Paris?) because, at his Mr. Olympia size, he was doing barbell curls with a “measly” 60 lb. weight. His reply, which I paraphrase here, was “If I can make a 60 lb. barbell feel like 120, who’s going to break the news to my biceps?”

I’m sure the critic didn’t have a clue about what he meant. Paris was performing deliberate, slow reps without any cheat—no rocking back and forth, no using momentum, fully extending the target muscle and flexing/squeezing fully at the top of each rep.

Next workout, try to slow down and totally concentrate, making the target muscle do 100% of the work with no cheating, no momentum, no rocking back and forth, or using other tricks to convince yourself into thinking you’re accomplishing a productive workout.

After all, there’s nobody around anymore to try and impress these days. Make the most of that.

Saturday, April 4, 2020

Working Out At Home Benefits Us Mentally As Much As Physically.

For decades I’ve stated that working out keeps me sane. That’s not entirely an exaggeration.

Like most creatives —I’m a writer, a photographer, a fine artist as well as graphic artist— I freelance in most cases, and at various times in my experience work opportunities have more or less dried up, leaving me worried. I might have been worrying when I walked into the gym back then, but soon after, and for hours following my leaving the gym, much if not most worry evaporated because, “workout.”

Working out clears your mind. Working out is a great way to get out of your own head, but even more immediately rewarding is seeing the pump you get, the sweat glistening, and meeting the challenge of completing the workout.

I moved to a rural area in 2005 where the closest gym was an hour’s drive away. That’s when I resigned myself to working out at home 2 or 3 times a week as I could not hack every day spending 2 hours driving so as to complete a 90 minute workout. I bought a doorway chin-up bar, a pair of 20-lb. dumbbells and a $25 set of fitness bands. I scoured YouTube for videos to get ideas of how to adapt to the new (for me) dynamic of working out at home.

Because I had that skill set based on actively researching, then building a routine, I am not complaining as many gym addicts are during this crisis. I have the wherewithal to get in a good workout that approaches 90% of what I do in the gym.

I have long recommended YouTube for this but people in the past excused themselves for not having the time to wade through a lot of videos. The majority now do indeed have the time. If you don’t know where to start, go to Google and search “best home workout videos Youtube” “best fitness band workout videos Youtube” and similar such phrases to get a running start.

Friday, March 27, 2020

Are Chameleons More Woke Than People?

One aspect of human behavior that has been brought to light by the lockdown is ignorance concerning how exactly contagion works. Another is people complaining about empty gyms being closed down while crowded supermarkets are not. Hey, people—We need to shop for food, but we don’t need to go to the gym.

Because they have not to date developed symptoms, some sanctimonious people I know are now expressing vindication over their friends’ and families’ previously warning them or lecturing them for going out to bars, parties and such even as headlines screamed that public gathering places were being ordered to shut down.

To hear these people—weeks after many of us changed our behaviors due to being inundated with the undeniable realities of the pandemic—as seen on TV, online, in the newspapers, on the street—now try and claim they had “no idea” or “if we realized what was going on we would have taken precautions sooner,” as many at this very late date are attempting to rationalize, reveals everything we need to know about them. 

Acquiring the virus on our hands, then touching other people or door handles or shopping carts would have caused us to transfer the virus. If we soon after washed our hands or refrained from touching our food or putting our fingers in our mouths, we might not have ingested the virus and therefore not gotten sick. But that doesn’t mean those people or items we went on to touch were not infected by us, that we did not sicken others.

I continue to see and read about the irresponsible and simple-minded rejecting facts as delivered by medical professionals and scientists in favor of the ludicrous rantings of political figures. I’ll be kind here and assume they are so terrified of the reality of what is happening that they find solace in denial, in the the stupid and the irresponsible.

More Gerald Maragos