Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Obesity Epidemic Cause By Mental Torpor?

In the last few years since I have lost a considerable portion of my capacity to amuse myself by thinking and writing, and having neither sufficient enough other talents or knowledge with which to fill the hours now left idle nor the necessity of the kind of endless grinding manual labor that precludes speculation, I find the long days taking on a pattern wherein my moment to moment thought is increasingly directed towards the nearest hour when it will be acceptable to eat again. This is rather new to me, and I do not like it, so I hope there is a possibility of getting my thought processes reasonably functioning again. Still, I imagine that for people who are no more cognitively adept than I am at this point, not to say worse, this must be what mental life is like a great deal of the time; anticipation of the next sensual pleasure anywhere in view, which, especially now that excessive drinking and smoking are frowned upon in such a wide swathe of society, and nearly the entire quasi-respectable part of it, in most instances will be eating. When lunch and dinner constitute the only mental or emotional highlights most days offer, you are reluctant to risk both their not being pleasurable and not getting enough out of them, and you are inclined both to eat too much and to be inclined to eat without particular regard to health. Because when you do not have a strong and functioning mind, and the real physical pleasures available to youth begin to both grow more infrequent and wane in the potential excitement they offer there is nothing else in your life to look forward to anymore.

My intention is to try to contend with this for the near future by at least getting out and walking for at least an hour every day, if not two, though I don't have a lot of time. I am sure conventional wisdom would say that my chronic melancholia is the result of too much reading and daydreaming and not enough hard discipline and hands on work as a child. They are probably right in that. Hopefully my children will turn out better though I can already tell teaching them to love work as the backbone of one's entire character is going to be a challenge, and I need to try to set some example of this for them myself, uninstinctive as the character is for me.

I am reading a little essay about Derrida. The author of it seems to pretty much assume Derrida's ideas are correct. Personally I don't find them to be presented in a way that is interesting or that actually promises to add anything positive to my understanding or appreciation of literature so I don't care all that much about it. I liked the way Freud and Jung and Joseph Campbell and that school of writer presented things, and thought their viewpoint had a lot of interest and positivity to offer, but their ideas seem to be largely discredited by the serious intellectuals now. Which sort of thing, I have to say, contributes something to my sadness where I have it.

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