“HANDBAGS AT DAWN”

(Updated [2018.12.06] with Žižekiana.)

  1. This research project took ages, in no small part because respondents took their time getting back to me and often just stopped replying.

  2. My working hypothesis was that the instant mental image of a non-Indic male vegan would be a body type like Moby’s. (I once watched him climb up a drainpipe on the side of a church. He really is that small.) I further hypothesized that male vegans who work out would be vacuum-packed and “fit” rather than flat-out huge. Lo did this come to pass.

    The exemplar of this project, my “Internet friend” Jason Richard (q.v.), is the only subject in this cohort who is truly thick and massive. Jason never managed to answer my questions.

  3. While some respondents denied having a conversion moment, by my reading of their responses they all did. That’s consistent with the research (PDF) I read long ago that got these balls rolling in the first place. (There, in my words, subjects “show[ed] a consistent pattern of reflection and a less consistent pattern of would-be vegans upending their lives so they can live with themselves and their moral code.”)

    Slavoj Žižek (YouTube) explains what freedom really is, at least to an ethical person.

    The tragedy today is that the predominant notion of freedom, which is imposed to us by our ideology, is “freedom of choice.” The model of freedom is… I go to a pâtisserie. There is strawberry cake, chocolate cake, whatever. But I think that freedom at its most radical is something else. It coïncides with its opposite. A true free choice is a choice of something which you choose because in an ethical sense you cannot do it otherwise….

    You do it because – I’m sorry for using this pathetic terminology – you do it because you would be ashamed of yourself if you don’t do it. Like, to put it in pathetic terms, you couldn’t look in the mirror into your face for not doing it. You do it because you feel that you have to do it. And such acts are truly free.

  4. Hugely muscled and hirsute male in swimsuit The grandly named AwakenedGainz lost his shit at one point. I was asking him and two other respondents about the vacuum-packed/thick-and-huge dichotomy when, at that moment, one of the Instagram musclegays I will shortly tell you all about posted a picture (shown here). (This musclegay weighs 251 pounds, and would be an army of one if I weren’t able to point you to a musclegay who, while a bit lighter, is more muscular and more hirsute.)

    “Oddly sexual” and “weird” (twice) were the panicked responses from AwakenedGainz, whose stated weight (233) could not possibly be correct based on his pictures.

  5. Vegan lifters’ near-universal observation that a masculine man is one who, in essence, walks softly and carries a big stick is consistent with fighters’ and martial artists’ imperturbability and constitutional unwillingness to get into a shoving match or worse. Given the capacity to cause harm, our refusal to do so makes us better than you.

  6. Nobody was gay. As I expected they wouldn’t be.

The foregoing posting appeared on Joe Clark’s personal Weblog on 2018.11.29 13:20. This presentation was designed for printing and omits components that make sense only onscreen. (If you are seeing this on a screen, then the page stylesheet was not loaded or not loaded properly.) The permanent link is:
https://blog.fawny.org/2018/11/29/vlp-notes/

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