December 22, 2005
December 21, 2005
Last neovox article
Sorry for the lateness of this. I was waiting to get the paper back from a professor. But anyway.. here it is.
Once in a long while a television show comes along that redefines the genre. In the early 1990’s Seinfeld redefined the half-hour sitcom. It tagline, “the show about nothing” mean that the plot revolved around the seemingly mundane acts of the cast of characters in everyday life. What made it so interesting were the personalities of the characters. A whole generation of sitcoms followed this same formula. These have had varying degrees of success.
Reality television was a short-lived fad. Don’t get me wrong, it is still everywhere, but the novelty has worn off. They have succumbed to the same problem that faces sitcoms: lack of innovation. Both have contrived plots, obvious endings, and not so surprising twists. Reality TV continues to flood the airwaves. Sadly, I think it’s because they really don’t know what else to put on the air. It’s cheap to produce, they don’t have to pay actors, and the production values are far less.
Great television is layered. It has a surface humor that is pretty obvious (a laugh track often helps) and below that ever more complex humor, satire, and pop-references that all may or may not get. Family Guy abounds with spoofs on all sorts of shows from the past three decades. The Simpsons is full of references to film, literature, and pop culture that can require more than a rudimentary knowledge to fully get. The beauty of these two shows is that you don’t have to have a degree in philosophy to find them funny.
In 2003 Fox launched a new sitcom airing on Sunday night: Arrested Development. As far as this writer is concerned, the Seinfeld of the new millennium. Unfortunately after two and a half years, it’s been put on the chopping block. Perhaps the public en masse is not ready for such a fresh and original show.
Produced by everyone’s favorite red head, Ron Howard, who also narrates the show, Arrested follows the trials and tribulations of the Bluth family. The show pokes fun at politics, the media, the military, and every part of the spectrum of American life. In one memorable scene Lindsey, a typical wealthy ditz, akin to a Paris Hilton maybe, decides to protest the war in Iraq. They are allowed to do this only in a “freedom zone” a six by six cage outside an army base. When some locals come by and begin spraying the protesters with water, they all leave, but Lindsey remains and does some cage dancing.
The cast is full of seasoned actors and actresses; Jason Bateman, Jeffrey Tambor, and Portia de Rossi are probably the most recognizable. Each character is unique, and probably the first shows to have a main character lose a hand.
Arrested moves very fast. There is no time to sit back and think if something was a joke or not. There’s no laugh track so you can’t depend on them to tell you what’s funny. Either you find something humorous or you don’t. Then it’s on to the next one. The writing is extraordinary. Often times it seems like the actors are ad-libbing but the writing is just that good. But regardless of all of its stellar qualities it will be gone before you know it.
Sadly by the time people catch on to Arrested it will be gone. Then who knows how long it will be before the next sitcom comes along that is in the same vein as Arrested. When it does come, I hope we’re ready for it. It’s a shame to see great television come and go while such garbage as King of Queens, Joey, and every other half-hour crapshoot continues unabated.
By now it’s too late to save Arrested Development. So all I have left to say is enjoy the three or four new episodes still coming. Go out and pick up the first two seasons on DVD. You will not be disappointed. And in the future maybe, just maybe, you’ll flip onto a show that seems weird and quirky you’ll give it a chance. You might even save its development from being arrested. (I apologize for the lame joke.)
December 20, 2005
December 19, 2005
I kept posting my portfolio sites on here, but they would never show up. Finally, I realized that I was posting them to the Neovox blog. Sorry
Click here to view my professional portfolio. There you will find a link to my personal blog.
December 18, 2005
Not so bad
So I've spent much of the semester, and my life for that matter, in complaint of technology.
A startling thought occured to me late Friday night. I was lying in bed having an asthma attack, my phone was dying, and my ipod battery had run out. I got up, grabbed an ipod charger and plugged it in next to my bed so I could lay in bed and listen to my music while it was charging. Then, I put my phone in the charger and laid it across my bed so that I could stlil keep in contact with my friends even though I am too sick to go out. And lastly, I pulled my laptop over and laid it next to me on my bed, so that while my tv flashed in the background, I could try to do a little bit of work and talk on AIM since I was alone, sick, and too tired to sit up even on a Friday night.
And my revelation came to me. Maybe, after all my whining of technology, there realyl are times that I enjoy it--or maybe even depend on it.
December 16, 2005
Final Entry-neovox article
...here then is my fInal post and my final neovox article...I wrote the angry first half in a mad rush a couple months ago...the second and more optimistic half just right now...enjoy...I have appreciated this class and specifically our dialogues very much...peace...
Neovox Article #2
I hate liberals. I hate conservatives. I hate anyone that can generalize him or herself into a category that ends with 'ist'. I hate the politics and political policies of our nation over the past five years. I hate the bush administration and slander that they have added to the name of our nation. I hated the sad attempts of that spineless fool John Kerry as he attempted to play the middle ground of every issue and carefully come across as a good guy and therefore lose himself the election at a time when we needed a strong democratic leader to step up and play ball with the sick and disgusting right side and the bullshit rhetoric that they spun (and spin). I hate the right side and their policies of greed and death that they have spread across the world. I hate they have made the world hate us. I hate the ignorant fools that voted for bush while only considering a single issue or 'hotbutton' ideal. And I hate the liberal left that foolishly voted for Kerry because there was no better alternative (and I hate myself because I was also fooled into this method of thinking).
I love Amerika. Let me say this again-I love Amerika. I love the concepts and ideals that it stands for. Freedom!
Beautiful and wonderful freedom.
A land of opportunity for one and all.
A place where the lowest man can rise and make worth of himself! These were the ideals that our nation was founded on. The way I live my life and choose to act could not be without the help of this place and the men and woman that founded it. What has happened?
We are on the verge of becoming a police state. Speaking out heavily against the government can get you on a terrorist watch list. What has happened to the great questioners of the state of things? Where are the Abbie Hoffmans? Where are the people that have the balls to stand up and speak out against the goings-on of our governmental system? There is a dynasty in charge now. A dynasty. Like father-Like son. They are hijacking the highest ranks of our court system for years to come. They are setting up themselves into positions of immense power. And they are doing it right before our eyes.
This sounds like a call to activism. It is not. This is a call to inform yourselves. I was an activist once. I quit right around the time that Bush was reelected. I watched the best minds of my generation fall into the trappings of apathy and stupidity and argument. I sat with leftist liberal thinkers and watched them fail miserably to come to agreement on anything. The right had organization and strength in belief. We had a bunch of loudmouth fools who could not find a common ground and work together on even the simplest of issues. Our only heroes were hypocritical radicals like Michael Moore. This was a man who would be just as horrible as bush if he was in charge.
Bush did not steal the election this time. This was a victory because over half of our nation voted for him. Why? It seems so obvious if you are a liberal that he is evil. But look at the other side for once. Have a conversation with a conservative. They don't bite. Conservatives need to have a conversation with Liberals. We need dialogue; we need progress. I have never seen a liberal and a conservative on this campus sit and have a quiet conversation about ideals. It usually turns into a shouting match of nonsense rhetoric. Both sides are foolish and both sides are right and wrong simultaneously.
Not all conservatives love Bush and not all liberals loved Kerry. The only reason why Bush won the last election was the amazing ability of his administration to cover up the lies. They kept the lies under wraps long enough…or at least to get people to look the other way by slandering the left and appealing to the beliefs of their target voters.
Inform yourselves. Ours is a generation that could change things. Ours has a chance to be intelligent about the issues and prevent needless wars and potentially save our dying nation. Become informed. Look beneath the surface of things and away from the trivial trappings of your own lives. We are nearing a scary time in our history and we must avoid the potential horrors of the future. We live in a global world in which nations can communicate and have dialogues with each other. We are angering friends and allies alike. This must be stopped and we have the power to due so. Help yourselves become informed. Fuck ignorance. Fuck Apathy.
So here we are. It is almost 2006. Things seem to be slowing down at least a bit. The right seems to be failing at least slightly. Several of the proposed bills that they have presented have been shot down, including the reentry of the patriot act. It’s not finalized yet but it seems as though several parts of it will not be allowed to continue.
I have a friend whom said something to me the other day.
She said that Art doesn’t matter.
This is a person of twenty-something years of age who actually believes what she was saying. This both enraged and saddened me. Could this be a sentiment of our generation? Do we have the great artists who will help usher us into the future. Is there a young Dylan living in our ranks somewhere? I like to hope so. I live for my art (any by art I mean anything of artistic creation…music, literature, brush to canvas, etc…) and I will die for it. When she said this sad statement to me I contemplated my answer in wondering what the function of art is, and why my generation seems (for the most part) so devoid of it.
It helps us find a unity and a voice…doesn’t it? A good song helps us stand together in unity and compassionate understanding of each other. A good novel can point out the need for social reform. A good painting can make us wish for a better world. We need to find our artistic souls, our unified voice as a generation…
There is hope. In ourselves…in our art…if only we can begin taking ourselves seriously… We are all of us part of this nation, this world. Let us start acting like it.
just in case we need to post our personal blog too, which I shockingly enough, really grew to enjoy!
Here it is!!
I was in Borders the other day and I saw a book that had compiled all the best/most popular blog entries of the year... I actually felt really compelled to look at all the entries and see what everyone else was writing about, and more importantly, what blogs were really so amazing to be put in a book. Who knew blogs would become such a craze in American society?
Just thought this was really interesting and wondered if anyone else had seen it.
December 15, 2005
Here's a link to my professional site. I don't know, on my computer it looks good. There is a navigation bar on the left and what not. But on my friends, it looks really crappy. Could anyone be so kind as to tell let me know what it looks like on their computer?
December 13, 2005
Here's my professional portfolio
here is my portfolio... have a spectacular break everyone, can you believe we're done for the semester??
White and sterile. Enjoy.
Have a nice break everyone. Good luck with finals! :)
About your revised NeoVox articles
If you haven't already, please post them here. Next semester NeoVox will be moving to publishing in a blogging format, so it will be easy for the designers to shift your articles over. Look for them to start showing up in Feb.
Kevin's not-particularly-trite website
Go there, laugh, never return. It's done and I couldn't be happier.
Steve Lennon website
The actual address
Fuck...here it is...
Tedd's final Website
Here it is folks...my final webpage...take a gander and let the hilarity ensue...
Here's the portfolio site
This is the portfolio site. Not much, I know. Nonetheless, here it is.
I looked at this weird video the other day, and I guess it is the rage in England. It brings up an interesting point though. Since the internet is unregulated, how do we know what is truthful? I mean we can assume certain websites are for fun (like this one) and some are "reputed" to be true, but where is the line in the sand? It would be easy for someone that believes in aliens to think that this video is real (if it were missing the credits, anyway). I did find this to be disturbing and funny and thought I'd share it with the class.
Online support groups
There was an article to the left of our blog advertising online support groups. I've seen so many of these groups, yet I've never thought about their effect on technology etc. Do online support groups give added support or do they take away from the familiarity of faces and comforting touch of someone close by? Perhaps if a person is too afraid to make an official step into public stating that he or she needes help or support, an online support group might give him/her the support needed. Maybe it's just that when we write by ourselves we are able to become a little more naked, a little more open and vulnerable, and a little more ready for help. Maybe writing about things to strangers allows us that open clarity and time for thought. Maybe hiding behind a computer is what ultimately allows us to look at ourselves a little more closely.
Did anyone else see that Harper Collins has turned over much of their work to be published online? It's this big issue between them and google, and apparently now instead of google retreiving the articles, Harper COllins will be publishing it online through themselves. I guess I didn't really understand what the big deal was or why it was such an issue. But it did make me think back to a long time ago when I was reading a science fiction book and I found an article that said that one day all books would be on little computers that we would read instead of the actual book. I remember this feeling of huge disappointment, because one of my favorite things about a book is the way it smells when you open it. Years later, as I find myself reading online, I find I still have a little of that disappointment. I miss the smell of a good book and the creases in the pages. I hope all publishers don't eventually publish their work online. If books become obsolete.... I give up writing.
December 12, 2005
the eulogy of my computer
So I thought I'd post an essay I wrote on my computer because I thought it related a lot to our discussions on technology and writing...
"the eulogy of my computer"
For a writer, a lack of media in which to write is devastating. There's this freeing of mind that I find comes as I write and when I cannot write I find it is blocked like the internet sites on my computer.
I'm not sure if it's some sort of ironic masochism, but it seems most writers hate computers. We are artistic, we are creative, we are left brained, and we are most certainly not technologically savvy. We hate technology. We hate machines. And yet we are bound to them like the pages of the book we hope to someday write.
I've not yet found peace with my little piece of technology called a dell, yet I am completely and utterly confined to it. I cannot write without it; I've found my typing skills keep up with my thoughts more quickly than a pen, and I can always read the print on the computer as opposed to the chickenscratch I find on paper.
In theory, computers are therefore a good thing. Until they flash a warning sign with codes I cannot understand that don't go away when I click my standard "yes." And then after a few hundred warning signs or so, the computer will inevitably crash, and most often when I am in the middle of a mind blowing conclusion that I have just reached and whether or not I've saved it, I always lose what I've written.
And then come the clenching of the stomach, teeth gritting and eventual hating of the world.
I hate the world when I can't write. I get tense and every piece of lint that lands on the floor is magnified until it reaches thunderous levels that shake my room. The humming of the refrigerator grates in my ears and every person that calls my name becomes the root to all the evil in the world. My cravings for sugar control me so that I cannot see past the donuts or ice cream that I know lie within my reach and my nausea that reaches past my throat can't sway me from being sure that chubby hubby ice cream will dissuade at least a morsel of my anger.
And then come the opinions. Every person in the tri-state area has a sure-fix for my computer. They'll each point to various programs on my computer, tell me that a different one is the root cause, argue with whatever the last has said, and when the last of the computer geniouses has left, I find myself with a computer I can hardly recognize as my own. My programs in reverse order or half have been deleted, and in their place are new, more complicated editions that end in 2005 or 2006 or letters and numbers that form unrecognizable "words." Inevitably, nothing will work.
I can only last a few days or so without the writing outlet. It lasts until I find myself awake all night writing into the dark air around me, brainstorming, concluding, and eventually getting increasingly angry that I cannot put them down on printed paper until I find myself full of fear and realization that I will forget every idea—which I do—and in the meantime I've become a sleepless, paranoid, impatient, and coldhearted lunatic.
It's only to be expected. Writing is how I understand life. It's my release and freedom in which I have learned to become the person I am. Not only am I extremely left brained and creative, but I also find it absolutely necessary to have the opportunity to write. I find myself lost in technology yet confined without it. I've become accustomed or maybe addicted to computers and cannot write without the ability to type, save, print, email, send, and a few hundred saves in between each for the learned obsessive compulsive paranoia that I have gained from losing hundreds, thousands, probably billions of words.
I'm not sure what it is that causes me to try the same computer maneuvers repeatedly, and though I find that each time they either don't work or make my computer work, I always have this dogged hope that it will work. And each time, I get a little more distraught, depressed, and suicidal when I find that I cannot fix my computer.
Inevitably, I take my precious work to a real computer guy. I'm his worst patient when I beg him to keep everything I've written and call him for the full two weeks he has it to make sure it's ok and see if just maybe he got it done early. I pay up the three hundred and forty-two dollars and try not to ever look at my cash checking balance thingy (have I mentioned writers suck at money issues too?) that will remind me, and take my computer plus several hundred new programs and editions back to my home. And I'll check through every document before glancing in the mirror and noticing that it's been four and a half weeks since I've showered or slept (the first two weeks and three days that I tried my and everyone else's home fix-its, and the last two weeks and one day that I waited by the phone and doorstep of my computer guy). I'll spend another day by my computer, just watching it, then writing, then watching again, before I can shower and sleep. And then in a few days I'll forget my problems, get used to all my new programs, and eventually turn back into myself with a few additional ulcers, a little less hair, and no writers' block. The thing with writers, is writing becomes sort of a safety, a release, a comfort like nothing else. There can be no replacement.
December 7, 2005
The Future of English
An interesting article on the future of English majors. What do you think? What role do you imagine technology plays in the future of English and other liberal arts majors?
The SouthLand: a concert review/interview
The Southland Breaks North to Ithaca
By Aaron Fallon
Walking into the front door at The Haunt in Ithaca, I'm greeted by thunderous drums from Soundgarden playing on the speakers. Walking over to the bar there are various people in there: tattoos, multiple facial piercings, unusual clothing and college frat guys. Not an audience you would expect to intermingle on a Wednesday night, which is either a recipe for disaster or a very good time. They have something in common: they want to see a good show, hear great music and have a good time. I think The Southland delivered, and exceeded all expectations.
The Southland originates from Los Angeles C.A., and it is the brainchild of lead singer Jed Tucker Whedon and Guitarist Nick Gusikoff. The two started collaborating on music together as Christmas gifts for friends. Fast forward to a few years later and adding keyboardist Danny Chaimson, Ethan Phillips on bass and Andrew Crosby on drums. Each member contributes their own piece to make The Southland a whole entity, which I discovered by seeing them live.
As the band took to the stage, I heard people in the crowd say: “who are these guys?” It seems I was one of the few who had actually listened to their CD before coming to this show. They strummed a few chords, banged a drum or two and touched a few keys. “This is called shadow,” said Whedon. Shadow is the first song on their CD, and is a good one to open with. Extremely melodic and just as riveting live; the combination of bass and percussion is reminiscent of The Cure. As The Southland get louder and louder, more and more of the audience pay attention.
Continuing on the momentum they've gained, The Southland slowed their tempo a bit and went into the song “Miles”. The stalker themed anthem drew people closer to the stage. The band added rifts that were absent on the album, but they did so without taking away from the song, they only enhanced it. By the end of this jam, all eyes were on The Southland. After the song was over, Whedon injected some humor into the show. “He used to rob banks, now he plays music,” he said, referring to lead guitarist Gusikoff. It was his way of showing that although this band is serious about their songs; they still have a sense of humor.
Perhaps the highlight of The Southland's performance was their rendition of “I only have eyes for you” by the flamingoes. Whedon's haunting vocals over Chaimson's keys made it exceptionally memorable. The crowd watched as they started off slow, and the deeper they got into the song the heavier it became. It transformed midpoint from a simple love song into a Whedon's screeching plea “maybe millions of people go by, but they all disappear from view, I only have eyes for you.” The crowd roared with excitement after The Southland wrapped up their set.
The show was a success. What was initially an empty floor in front of the stage, transformed into a group of people cheering and screaming. This is what any band should desire: even though they came in relatively unknown they will be leaving with fans. They had great music, stage presence and charisma that held the audience throughout the show. They really primed the crowd up for the next band, Virginia Coalition, who showed their gratitude by inviting them onstage. The two bands combined together to do the best cover of “Africa” by Toto that I have ever heard. At this point I had tucked my notebook in my pocket, raised up my pint of beer and sang along; and so did everyone else in The Haunt that night.
The band is touring to heavily promote “Geography of Influence”; their debut album released this past June. The title was taken from a book the band was thumbing through at the time when they were in need of one.
“ It was extremely appropriate, places and time in your life.” Said drummer Crosby.
“The beginning of a long trek with this album. Almost maddening” said keyboardist Chaimson.
They have been on the road a while with The Virginia Coalition, but in the past has toured with The Samples and Gavin DeGraw.
Although The Southland tries taking the praise, or negative reviews by critics, in stride; they do enjoy it when fans voice their opinions.
“ It's cool to hear people say things.” Said singer Whedon.
As easy as it is to be a listener of The Southland, imagine how hard it is to pick a favorite as one of the band mates.
“ Radio. I had such a connection to the lyrics,” said Chaimson.
“ I only have eyes for you,” said Bassist Phillips. “The experience of it, recording it in a separate space.”
“Anything at all,” said Crosby. “A lot of feelings and a lot of work, but it took a while to get it.”
The band plans to keep on touring to maintain the buzz that “Influence” is generating. They say it may be a while before they return to the studio to record again. “The process is a slow build,” said Crosby.
After the interview The Southland joined in with the crowd in support of their tour mates The Virginia Coalition. Perhaps this is why these guys can maintain the ability to create great lyrics and songs: They are not so far removed from their audience. They are still “fans”, just like everyone else. This makes it easy for them to write things that are easily relatable.
Just before I packed up to leave, I ran into Crosby again.
“Where do you see the band going, in the future?” I asked.
He says nothing, he just slowly raises his finger up, pointing to the sky.
December 1, 2005
Real life "Star Trek" Replicators
Looking at the future of the net and the next ten years...how about "Desktop Manufacturing"? Check out this article in Salon.
Ok, how's this?
Ok, I edited this a few more times. Better? Good? A+?
Any constructive criticism would be adored and rewarded with virtual hugs, as always.
Dr. Reid, are you going to want us to e-mail these articles to you soon? What's going on?
When I first moved into my suite and I met the five girls I would be sharing the bathroom and living room with this semester I got a little nervous. They are all very sweet girls; our personalities don’t match enough for us to become OMGAWD BEST FRIENDS 4EVA!!, but they never gave me any reason to hate their guts. What made me so nervous was that they were all very attractive and, most importantly, skinny. My girls are a little ditzy, so of course the “Oh my god! I’m so fat!” line would be thrown around once in a while, but not quite as much as I expected. So, here I am, about done with the semester and cringing over the seven-millionth OMG! FAT!!! banshee screech. These girls can’t be more than a size five jean size, a size I, most certainly, can only dream of being. Now, dear readers, just so you know this is not an article on my weight or learning to deal with living in Barbie’s Dream house from Hell, but I thought I should mention how I came to venture towards this dark-side of the internet. We are all aware of what the cruder aspects the internet has in store for us: pedophilia sites, bestiality, scat, snuff, not to mention identity theft. However, I was surprised to find some other sites that I was not expecting. They’re not nearly as bad as child pornography or raping women in comas, but still, these certain sites are in no way positive for people.
My first venture towards the dark-side began with a Livejournal.com community hunt for support with dieting (yes, the girls made me feel fat. I’ll get over it). What did I find? Pro-anorexic and bulimic communities. All I did was type “dieting” into the search engine and suddenly hundreds of young women are supporting each other, and potentially me, to starve, or as they like to phrase it, “fast”, to lose weight. My immediate shock came when I was browsing through some of the sites and found that some girls weighed less than 100 pounds (one girl claimed she weighed 85) and were trying to lose ten to twenty more. What makes this worse is the other girls were supporting them! I even managed to stumble across a porn site (I think that’s what it is) featuring anorexic women. Not only are women being encouraged by one another to choose an unhealthy weight lose plan, but they’re being told that the skinnier they are the more sexually attractive they become (I don’t think it’s sexy when thongs are so large on these tiny girls that they look like big granny panties, personally).
I decided to expand on the subject and see what other people besides those on Livejournal.com had to say. I typed in their key word “fasting” into google.com to see what I would get. The first pages of results almost all say the same thing: Pro-fasting is not pro-anorexia. Now I’m confused. The only difference I see between fasting to lose weight and anorexia is a medically diagnosable disorder. So, what’s the difference between fasting and anorexia? According to raderprograms.com, a website to address eating disorders, “Once the disorder of Anorexia Nervosa takes hold, the individual usually ends up with an extremely restrictive diet that is sometimes limited to only a small number of foods.” Anorexics also abuse laxitives, vomit, or chew their food and spit it out instead of swallowing, but primarily restrict their food intake to incredibly small portions. What do people who are fasting do? Well, they mostly try to stick to a water diet, which includes diet soda, low fat juices, soups and ice.
However, fasting and anorexia is not necessarily the same thing, as a further look into the subject proved. Fasting is not eating for various reasons: religion, protesting, and in livejournal.com’s case it’s for weight lose. Fasting is usually supposed to be short term and to help reach the goal of a healthy body weight. Anorexia is having such a distorted view of the body that the sufferer will struggle to maintain an unhealthy diet and weight out of fear or being overweight. However, a problem occurs when anorexics are encouraging dieters to take on anorexic behaviors, as some of these sites and communities are doing. Most of these sites don’t distinguish fasting from eating disorders, and I feel that the results will cause some young dieters to take on unhealthy eating disorders that were encouraged from anorexics.
While scanning through some of these fasting livejournal.com communities I also noticed that a lot of girls were or had previously been cutting themselves. This was never addressed as a concern from any of the other girls as well. Searching back on livejournal.com’s community, I found over three hundred self-injury communities, many of them also related to anorexia communities and in favor (they show off pictures of their cuts) of self-injury. There are self-injury sites all over the internet, as a further search on google.com revealed, with about 1/3 to a ½ of them in favor or in defense of self-injury.
What does self-injury have to do with anorexia/fasting? A large amount of research suggests that it has a lot in common with coping with overwhelming psycho physiological arousal, such as punishing one’s self or to stop self-hatred feelings, or to handle a sudden explosion of uncontrollable emotions. That would make sense if anorexics are already having overwhelming emotions about their self-image, particularly their weight. For cutters, self-injury is a way to calm themselves down. For anorexics, self-injury maybe a way to punish themselves for giving into the desire to eat food, particularly very fattening foods. Both anorexics and self-injurers are thought to take part in these actions to have some sense of control over a part of their lives.
Reading a support group for cutters, I found the same theme over and over again. These people feel as if they have no control over their lives. They cut because it gives them control over something; in this case their bodies. Today people can feel as if they have no control over their lives. Go to work/school, come home, do some chores, maybe socialize with people, go to bed, repeat. Going through life like that can become very monotonous and could cause one to feel as if he or she has no control over their life. Cutting and anorexia at least gives people some control over something.
However, it should be mentioned that self-injurers and anorexics are not always necessarily the same. Statistically mostly young women and a few men suffer from anorexia due to peer pressure and susceptibility from the media or other influences. Generally, self-injurers could be anyone. They could be your best friend, your boss, or even your grandmother. While most anorexics don’t recognize right away that they’re doing their body a great harm, most self-injurers know what they’re doing to themselves, but their goal isn’t to harm themselves on purpose, but rather to relieve whatever emotion is causing them mental pain through physical, more distracting pain.
I feel that the reason for the growing support for eating disorders and self-injury is because there is little intentional marketing for young people that dissuades them from physical harm. Most sites that I find in opposition to EDs and SIs are stuffy and dry. There is no inspiration to become healthy like there is to become thin. No one is supporting skin clean of injury or saying “hey, it’s cool to be scar-less”. In addition, people have little idea how to help those that obviously need help. What the girls, and some boys, in these online communities need is positive reinforcement about their weight or self-image, regardless of what it is. No one is telling a 130 pound girl that she’s lovely for being a healthy, nationally under-average weight (nationally it’s about 140ish).
What needs to happen is that there should be more sites and communities on blogging servers and message boards that dissuade people from partaking in these behaviors. We can’t censor these sites and communities because it would be a violation of the First Amendment and the rights of free speech. However, I believe that these sites are going to become a bigger problem as more confused adolescents and teens stumble across them looking for outlets. Without people using the internet as a tool to support one another in these unhealthy forms of control there might be fewer cases of dangerously underweight teens and cutters. It frightens me that people get together to create a community to support one another on such dangerous behaviors instead of confronting the real issues that are bothering them, such as life.
Rader Programs: ED information
SI support & information
Livejournal listing of communities that came up under the search word "dieting". I would take a look at 0nlythreeweeks and __perfect body. Ana is another word for anorexic.
Livejournal listing of communites that came up under the search word "cutting". I would take a look at 21_gashes
Only 18 listed communities under the search word "anti-anorexia"
Useless "how to stop self-injury" transcript
treating an eating disorder in 4 vague steps?