Back after a long hiatus in which I have been a) attempting to write a novel and b) generally pissing away my life…and what, you ask, brings me back?
Grossness, in a word. Don’t ask me how I found out about this or, ok, ask me how I found it, but don’t ask why I know more about it than I would with just a cursory glance.
I’ve long been fascinated with the very strange communities you find in out-of-the-way corners of the web – the Furries, for example. About a month ago, I discovered a new one, when the YouTube threw up (literally) a link to the following, extremely gross video:
If you don’t want to watch it, believe me, I’ll understand. Me, I couldn’t help myself. And then I found there are literally THOUSANDS of videos like this on YouTube.
So I watched some more of them. There are several things I found just absolutely fascinating about these: first, someone decided to take video and put it up on YouTube. But even more interesting is the fact that in most of them (that I’ve seen, anyway), there’s a big crowd of onlookers when the home surgery takes place. Participants regularly make comments like “this is the best day of my life!” as they push and prod on their friends and loved ones to remove the pestilence from their bodies. In the video above, there’s a group of KIDS watching all the fun and providing commentary from the peanut gallery. It’s like these folks are calling up their friends and neighbors to come over and watch them cut open Bob’s cyst. In some of them, the amateur doctors reference other “famous” YouTube cyst removal videos, referring to “Marco” (the patient in the video above) or with jokes about “make a bigger hole” referring to an unfortunate named Lou, who throughout his surgery exhorts his wife to, you guessed it, “make a bigger hole” so she can “clean out ALL that crap.”
Then there are the comments. We all know that YouTube comments represent the worst the web has to offer…except, surprisingly, in the case of these home surgery videos. Comments for these are usually hysterical. Two that show up on a lot of the videos are “I came” and “how did I end up here?” and “I wish I was the one doing the squeezing.” Even funnier are the ones where the commenters are upset by poor video quality, or a video not matching or living up to the promise of its title. Imprecations about the hygiene and skills of the amateur doctors abound. Marco came in for quite a bit of abuse for being a “nasty redneck” and a lot of folks wanted to kill Lou for his repeated admonishment to “make a bigger hole.”
And it’s not just amateurs getting in on the act: there’s an Indian doctor, Yadav Vikram, who has apparently become somewhat of a celebrity in this very strange subculture. Viky does a lot of blackhead squeezing accompanied by commentary like “and now you can see like little worms coming out of the pores” (imagine in Indian-accented English for full effect). Other videos were taken by friends or family members in a clinic or hospital, as real doctors do the honors. In most of the ones I’ve seen, the intention to “put it up on YouTube” is openly expressed by either the practitioner or one of the onlookers, and they’ll often reference having already watched a lot of the videos already posted.
I started wondering, WTF? Am I the only one who hasn’t been watching these things already? And then came the crushing shame and embarrassment of admitting that yes, I am one of the sick fucks who are watching these things NOW.
Some of these things, I shit you not, feature a 70’s porno soundtrack.
Let that sink in for a moment.
So why write about it? For a start, to expose my shame. Shame’s one thing; hidden shame is a much worse one. In my defense, watching these things is far from the worst or sickest thing I could have done, though granted I’m not setting the bar real high.
Why did I watch any of these in the first place? First there’s the freakshow aspect. You can see how Marco sucked me in to begin with – just the still frame for the video shows a man with a TIT on his BACK. I’m powerless to resist something like that, which is why I watched – and made it all the way through – the TV presentation of The Man with the 132-lb Scrotum. How are you NOT going to check into that? And then, I have to admit that there’s something I find oddly satisfying about seeing a big ugly excrescence meet its end and purging a body of an imperfection – though it makes me feel a little dirty to admit it.
I’m certainly not recommending you watch any of these videos, even (or perhaps especially) the one posted above – but you might enjoy clicking through them to the comments.
Who knew that zit, cyst, and boil-popping enthusiasts were the funniest and most literate YouTube commenters?
While Sarah Palin and the brethren at Fox News valiantly carry on The War Against The War On Christmas, they somehow missed the death of Thanksgiving, which was itself – ironically – murdered by Christmas. Perhaps that’s unfair since it’s not “Christmas” per se that killed Thanksgiving, but rather the corporate blindness to everything but profit and the perception that crashing the holiday would somehow give an edge to businesses that open on Thanksgiving. One wonders how anyone gains an edge when everyone follows the herd to open on Thanksgiving, and I’m pretty sure that if all the stores remained closed on the holiday, their bottom lines for the season wouldn’t be any different. People would just wait for the stupid “Black Friday” crush instead of foregoing turkey and dressing for the joys of camping in a cold Wal-Mart parking lot.
One thing is for sure, though: the mindless consumers who packed the parking lots I passed yesterday have achieved on behalf of chain store owners something they would have never dreamed of achieving on their own. They’ve managed to make shitty, low-wage jobs with unpredictable schedules even shittier, by taking away one of the only TWO days out of the 365 in the year that employees could predict with any certainty was a guaranteed day off. Really, Staples? An office supply store needs to be open on Thanksgiving?
Next up: Wal-Mart seeks to cash in on after-holiday sales by opening at midnight on Christmas Day, and within 20 years Christmas is just another day where people fortunate enough to have fairly decent jobs go shopping, while for the poor schlubs who work at these places it’s just another work day.
This year, I am thankful that I do not work for rapacious fucks who can’t stand the thought of two whole days per year when they aren’t raking in money and lording their power over their wage slaves. And, as always, I’m thankful for family and friends, among them Eartha Kitty, seen in the photos below trying to indulge her fetish for celery. If I had gotten a shot off just a few seconds earlier, it would show her trying to climb into the bag of whole celery. Instead she decided to vulture over the celery I was working on chopping for the dressing and bless it with a few cat hairs. Thanks a lot, kitty. Though to be fair, I should have taken precautions before I started chopping – the thing with the celery is nothing new. The first time I brought some home after Eartha moved in, she tried to climb in the grocery bag to get at it. There’s something about the smell that has a semi-catnip effect for her.
Hope you had a nice holiday too.
Our Lady of Perpetual Butthurt, Sarah Palin, resurfaced the other day shooting word salad all over the airwaves via Fox News, ostensibly because she has a timely new ghost-written book out about how all the nasty liberals killed Christmas by impaling the baby Jesus on a Christmas tree.
Or something. Frankly, it’s hard to interpret what she says any time words fall out of her mouth, even if you care. And of course, not only do I not care, I wasn’t even paying attention, because I was too focused in on “what the fuck has Sarah Palin done to her face?”
For several years now, I have wished aloud that Sarah Palin would stay in the public eye just long enough to be tempted into unfortunate plastic surgery. I had faith that the day would arrive sooner rather than later after her Big Gulp performance last year, in which she was unable to move her upper lip thanks to overdoing the botox; in the photos from that event the paralysis makes her look positively deranged. Stupid, at the very least. Take a look at where she is now:
Oh, goody! I never thought she would go immediately to the drag queen brow lift, but she has! And she’s paired it with a 70s style wig.
Now, I’ve taken a little heat for pointing out that she’s starting to look really bad thanks to all this ill-advised “work,” particularly from the more sensitive souls who frequent the Balloon Juice blog. In principle, I agree that commenting on a person’s looks is non productive and unfair. But that’s because most people haven’t, for the most part, chosen what they look like. What about someone who looks ridiculous because they chose to have surgery, or because of what they’ve chosen to wear? Not the same thing, say I. The entire genesis of my wish regarding Palin was in fact the idea that it would be nice if the outside better reflected what’s on the inside. She’s accomplished that with this brow lift – it gives her a harsh, mean look. You can easily picture her as a Disney villainess. Caribou Cruella, if you will.
But quicker minds than my own have been on the case. Bob Cesca thought the new and improved face of Sarah Palin looked an awful lot like someone else, and I have to agree:
The difference is, Rob Lowe’s look was achieved with prosthetics and makeup; he’s not stuck with that face.
If she keeps going at the current rate, Sarah Palin will be the next Michael Jackson or Joan Rivers 5 years from now; if she wants to continue grifting gullible middle-aged-to-old white men, she doesn’t have much choice other than to continue to try to look several decades younger than she is. Because once they stop looking at the packaging, there will be no escaping that there’s nothing of value in the package.
Much like the ancient Chinese curse, “may you live in interesting times,” it’s hard to imagine a more karmic, fitting fate for Sarah Palin than the one dictated by the path she chose.
My grandmother grew them in her garden, and as a child, I scarfed down a lot of pickled beets. But they never became a part of my typical menu rotation as an adult. Usually I have them only a couple of times a year at most. Kyle fixes beets for the New Year dinner and they’re always lovely, but I guess due to my own unfamiliarity with how to prepare them, I’ve never cooked beets at home.
Now they’ve become a part of my daily routine.
Like everyone else, I’m daily learning the many joys of aging. Most of the little aches and pains are nothing more than a nuisance, just a constant reminder that things ain’t what they used to be and they aren’t going to get better. But I had become concerned about my rising blood pressure, measured several times in the past year in the low 140s. That’s not what would be considered dangerously high – but it’s also not optimal, and if it follows the trajectory of the other physiological changes I’ve experienced, it will get worse. Aches and pains are one thing – strokes are entirely another. So this is something I decided I needed to be worried about, even though those low 140s readings were outliers. More typically, I was seeing readings in the mid 130s and wanted to get them back to 120 or below.
Medical experts have concluded that blood pressure meds for slightly elevated pressure don’t show much appreciable effect over the long term, and I really would like to avoid having to take any kind of daily prescription medication, so I had tried CoQ10 supplements a while back after reading that they could bring blood pressure down around 10 points. Unfortunately, I didn’t notice any improvement after several months of taking the supplement, so I continued to look for other things that might help.
Then a few weeks ago, I heard something about beet root juice helping to bring down blood pressure. I looked into it, and determined that while it would be worth trying, it would be too expensive for me as a long term solution. Beet root juice isn’t all that common so you’re looking at either ordering online or buying from a place like Whole Foods, at a cost of $15 or so for a 5 day supply. Then there’s the whole thing of drinking beet juice – the recommended dosage is 1 cup per day, and I imagine that it may not be the most delicious beverage around. $90 a month is a lot to spend on something that you don’t really like.
So I thought, why not try beet powder? It’s just dehydrated beets, so it’s got all the stuff that would be in the juice or the beets themselves. I found some beet powder capsules on amazon and they were cheap, so I ordered them. I took a blood pressure reading 3 or 4 days before I started taking the capsules and I was at 138/84. Two weeks later, after taking the capsules for about 10 days, I took another reading…and was down to 107/74.
This was with a daily dosage of 6 capsules – approximately 1-1/2 teaspoons of beet powder, equivalent to eating 1-1/2 medium sized beets. If you have any concerns about your blood pressure being too high, you need to give this a try. It’s not a quack remedy; it’s actually scientifical. Apparently there’s a compound in beets (nitrites or nitrates – like I said, this is scientifical, not scientific) that boost the levels of nitric oxide in the blood, and nitric oxide has the happy effect of relaxing blood vessel walls. Bottom line – even if my before and after readings were outliers – that is, the before was higher than average and the after lower than average, I figure I still got at least a 20-point drop in my blood pressure within 10 days. Compare that to the 10-point drop – or less – doctors hope to achieve with many of the prescription meds for reducing pressure, and it’s even more remarkable.
Of course, the first thing I did was email Dr. Lyta to tell her to add beet root powder to her Vitamin Manifesto. Then I did what I always hoped I would never do – I sat down to write an Old Fart blog post. Sorry about that, but I thought this was something that should be shared with friends, so hopefully it will help at least one person out of the five who read this blog.
My grandniece is now 13 months old and has been walking since 9 months (and running since 10 months).
You can’t see it so well in this photo thanks to the mustache, but this child looks exactly like a Kewpie doll, even down to the hair on top of the head (about all she’s got so far) and the little Kewpie doll smile.
See if you can’t see the resemblance:
I can remember thinking this was really funny 15 years ago, when I was 35.
Now, maybe not so much, because I can relate to the sentiment. Even though I don’t like to kick, stretch, and kick.
When I posted about the Google doodle controversy yesterday, I missed what was the funniest point: the rightwingtards were all up in arms in part because many of them thought the doodle was in honor of Hugo Chavez, not Cesar Chavez. Oh well, what’s the difference? They’re both brown. And so Republican Latino outreach continues apace.
I got to wondering though, what with the portability of Easter, has it ever fallen on April 1? What if the original Easter was just an April Fool’s joke? If the post from yesterday doesn’t send me to hell, surely this latest musing will.
In the spirit of the day, I offer you this, which has been hanging around in My Pictures for quite some time now:
Happy April Fool’s Day!