Saturday, February 28, 2009

Girls Riding Mechanical Bulls are Hot

I’ve been in Memphis all of 12 hours and I’ve already fallen in love with this place. This city is teeming with history, fantastic music and just enough Jack Daniel's to make you forget your troubles. And boy are the memories kicking in. Anyone remember this song?:

“Put on my blue suede shoes
And I boarded the plane
Touched down in the land of the Delta Blues
In the middle of the pouring rain
W.C. Handy -- won't you look down over me
Yeah I got a first class ticket
But I'm as blue as a boy can be

Then I'm walking in Memphis
Walking with my feet ten feet off of Beale
Walking in Memphis
But do I really feel the way I feel”

So, of course, the first thing we did last night was head down Main Street toward Beale. Along the way I noticed how welcoming Memphis was to out-of-towners:

After gorging ourselves on ribs and fries we met up with Elvis at a joint on Beale. And what do you know…the dude was more than happy to sing a couple of tunes before leaving the building:

To cap off the evening, we headed down to Double Deuce to watch drunk girls ride a mechanical bull at a slow rhythmic pace. Hands were touching boobs, unmentionables were shown, several wardrobe malfunctions were instigated, and liquor was everywhere:

Seriously, my dear reader, can life get any simpler?

-------------------

Next up, the requisite pilgrimage to Graceland, a dip into the history of Sun Records (any Johnny Cash fans out there??) and, of course, a drive over to the Lorraine Motel.

30 comments:

Anonymous said...

Three letters, dude: BBQ

I recommend Central at 2249 Central Ave. Also, Jim Neely's at 2265 S. Third Street.

Christian said...

Yes, life can be so much more simple.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/thai/chah/heartfood.html#flood

Kymber said...

it might just be me...but you still seem pretty attached to the "material things" (especially scantily-clad women in bars) - and something about it all just doesn't seem very "simple" to me...just saying...

Anonymous said...

One fan here, Johnny Cash was fantastic. Enjoy your travels.

Jack said...

@Anonymous,

Did Pig on Beale on Friday but didn't get a chance to do anything else before getting your message. Thanks for the recommendation though.

@Christian,

Thanks for the link. Had to add an HTML to the end because it was cut off but found it ok.

@Kymber,

Would love for you to clarify because I think you are getting to an important point. Is the presence of scantily-clad women antithetical to simplicity? The morality of whether we should be enjoying the view on that mechanical bull notwithstanding, for me, relaxing with friends at a cheap bar while traveling is the height of simplicity.

Jerry Critter said...

I agree Jack. Scantily clad women in a cheap bar seems pretty simple to me and very easy to understand.

Dorothy said...

I'm with Kymber on this one. I guess I misunderstood your mission until I saw this post.

When I read, ". . . embraces the beauty and freedom of simple happiness.", silly me, I imagined something more exhalted than you hanging around in bars with your friends and leering at women. Is your aim to be a seeker, or to be a bum?

I suppose, upon reflection, that the two are not wholly exclusive but I, like Kymber apparently, feel just a little disillusionment.

SteveG said...

I am with Kymber as well. My least favorite post for sure.

Not to lecture, just to expand a bit...

Pope John Paul II once explained that the opposite of love (to love the other for their own sake) is not hate, but rather to turn the 'other' into an object. To not see another's personhood but to see them as an it..an object.

I think part of the excess of our culture is tied up in our increasing ability to turn each other into objects instead of persons. Once done, then we can use each other up like a commodities for our own pleasure and leisure.

What grates on me about the post is that it seems to very much to allow for that objectification of those women in the photos.

I know it might all seem heavy handed and preachy from where you stand right now at the beginning of your journey. But to me, part of simplicity is to realize that fundamentally our happiness resides in deep relationships, and in first and foremost recognizing the personhood of every other person we encounter.

This post seems to me to miss that in relation to those women in the pictures.

I hope that makes some sense.

Kymber said...

Dorothy...thanks for the back-up...I really feel like I was out there on my own on this...so thanks friend for adding your insightful two cents!

Jack - I guess if you had posted pics of your long-time friend "Jenna" finally shaking off her fear of being in the limelight and riding a mechanical bull on a "simple" night out with your good friends...I guess I would consider the post differently.

As it stands (and no harm intended - you know how I feel about your growth and how proud I am of what you have achieved so far!) - this post still reeks of an elitist lawyer hangin' out with the boys at a low-brow all-you-can-eat-lunch-buffet strip club!

i am disappointed to say the least!
(but keep my fingers crossed because you show so much potential!)

Debbi said...

Staring at scantily-clad women on mechanical bulls is simple, sure. I think what Kymber and Dorothy were talking about was getting past this whole "women as objects" thing you got going.

There's nothing wrong with a man admiring a woman's body. Sounds like normal hetero male behavior, actually. But I think some of your previous posts suggested that you have trouble dealing with women as people, as opposed to "fuck buddies" or one-night-stands. Getting drunk and leering at them on mechanical bulls wouldn't seem to be the best way to address those issues. In any case, it doesn't seem to qualify as being part of a spiritual quest.

Just saying . . .

I see that while I've written this, someone else has posted a longer response than mine. But I think we're pretty much on the same page.

Kady said...

LOL at the M/F comments here.

Does this mean you've officially "escaped"?

If I was a lesbian, I'm sure I would be enjoying the same. As I am not, I wonder why hunky southern men never give us a taste of the same.

Kymber said...

Sorry to take over the comments section Jack - but I have to stand up and applaud Steve G...and not to any other person's detriment...I just really feel that Steve G's point needs to be recognized for what it is...a strong man's excellent point of view!

Thanks Steve G!

Jill M. said...

I agree with Kymber, et. al., it reeks of elitist lawyer leering at the silly women who are objects for him to acquire. I also agree that you seem to be developing beyond this viewpoint. I might have given you the benefit of the doubt had you merely described said women on bulls; but the photos almost seem like you are bragging about how cool you are because you saw those women.

In any case, hope the quest continues. I'm enjoying tagging along!

Matthew said...

Some of the condescension in these comments is very hypocritical.

Those who so completely scorn the superficial are no different than those who worship it.

The word "simple" in "simple living" means nothing more than what you'll find in the dictionary, and the goal is to find personal happiness.

Those of you who are claiming that what you personally find fulfilling is the only true path to "simple living" are way out of line.

Matthew said...

Some of the condescension in these comments is very hypocritical.

Those who so completely scorn the superficial are no different than those who worship it.

The word "simple" in "simple living" means nothing more than what you'll find in the dictionary, and the goal is to find personal happiness.

Those of you who are claiming that what you personally find fulfilling is the only true path to "simple living" are way out of line.

SteveG said...

Some of the condescension in these comments is very hypocritical.

I am not sure I see either the condescension or hypocrisy you refer to.

Folks are just offering up their thoughts and reactions to a post on a blog that allows commenting. The post strikes at least a few (wrongly or rightly) as being in conflict with what we’ve seen thus far in other areas of Jack’s life that he's discussed.

That could be so for many reasons. It could be that we have totally misunderstood what we were seeing in this journey. It could also be because the journey has barely begun in reality and this is one area of his life he’s not dealt with yet (that’s my bet). Those are just two possibilities.

Those who so completely scorn the superficial are no different than those who worship it.

I didn’t see anyone ‘scorn’ the superficial at all, let alone completely.

None of the comments I read said that the beauty of these women was bad, let alone to be scorned. Nor that a good beer and a good time are beneath a simple, moral person.

What people are reacting to is a seeming (I say seeming because we obviously only know about Jack what he reveals in his blog posts, which is woefully incomplete) conflict with what’s been said earlier in this journey.

Particularly, as Kymber points out, so far we’ve seen what seems to be a desire to be liberated from the excess and materialism of our culture at least to some degree.

That’s where the issue of objectification comes in. It’s just another way of saying that there is a danger in turning people into ‘material’ (read objects) and still being fully immersed in that materialism even if you give up the high paying job and the oversized house.

Cheaper does not equal simpler.

Cheaper can be simpler, but it can also be so because it's garbage.

You can by a cheap house in a slum, but that doesn’t mean your life will be simple.

You can buy a less expensive house in the same neighborhood you previously lived because it’s more modest, smaller and it’s more in line with your actual needs. That's both cheaper and simpler, at least I think it's more in the spirit of what Jack’s been discussing thus far.

Those of you who are claiming that what you personally find fulfilling is the only true path to "simple living" are way out of line.

I’d be interested if you could show me where anyone is saying such a thing?

SteveG said...

Jack,
I am sorry too for clogging up the comments and taking them over, but I reread all the comments and something in your own first comment made me want to add one more thing.

The morality of whether we should be enjoying the view on that mechanical bull notwithstanding, for me, relaxing with friends at a cheap bar while traveling is the height of simplicity

So I am clear. At least from my perspective, the hanging out with the friends at a cheap bar is absolutely fine and in keeping with simplicity. But at least as the post was presented, I (and I think others who are responding) couldn't put aside the 'morality of whether we should be enjoying the view on that mechanical bull' issue.

I think that is what is driving the critique, not the having some beers in a cheap bar with friends. It's all about the seeming objectification.

I think I was pretty clear on all that, but I wanted to make sure.

That's my take at least.

Jack said...

@Anonymous,

Johnny Cash all the way!

@Jerry,

Yes, and to clarify, scantily-clad women on mechanical bulls are definitely not the norm for me. We don’t really have that stuff where I’m from. But it’s definitely an experience not to be missed.

@Dorothy, Everyoneelse posting

First, let me say to you and to everyone else that has commented on this post: thank you! Seriously. I am very happy that you guys can share your perspective with such conviction. For you regular readers out there, don’t EVER apologize for expressing your views on this blog. EVER. Positive or negative, the free flow of ideas are good for dicussion and they are certainly helping me on this journey I have freely taken. They have kept me on my toes more than once. Keep them coming.

Also, given the logistics of responding fully to each and every post, I think it’s probably best if I just drafted a separate post on this topic and go from there. That way, the issue can be explored more fully and you guys can focus the discussion as needed.

Eva said...

I'm with SteveG, Dorothy & Kymber. Disappointed.

Jack said...

@Dorothy,

First off, I do think you are overgeneralizing a bit. Maybe you have no choice but to overgeneralize because of the way the post is written, or maybe the photos are overwhelming the overall message of the post. If it’s either, it’s clearly my fault so, apologies.

However, I think most people would agree that there is absolutely nothing wrong with hanging out in a bar in an unfamiliar city with friends to talk, laugh and generally get a sense of the local scene. And if the local scene includes scandily-clad women on a mechanical bull who am I to object?

I’m not quite sure what you would have me do. (Sorry for the multiple questions): Should I have turned away? Should I have felt BAD for enjoying it? And if so, are you suggesting that I deny my sexuality? Or are you objecting to the post because it references something you find objectionable? If I had neglected to write about these women would I not have been censoring myself in some way?

Does the fact that I enjoyed my time in that bar detract from the other things that are bringing me happiness as a result of this journey (meditation, yoga, biking, traveling, volunteering, etc…)? Do I really need to asked whether I am seeker or a bum meerly because you don’t seem to approve of how I spent 2 hours in bar somewhere in Memphis?

Let me put it this way: If you had a post on your own blog about how much you hated people who meditate, would it make sense for me to consider you any less committed to voluntary simplicity/simple living because I, myself, value meditation? I propose that your objection has nothing to do with one’s commitment to voluntary simplicity . Your objection is only viable on morality grounds; that this particular post containts sexist material.

Feel free to respond here, though it might be better to wait until a separate post on just this topic. Again, thanks for your input. Keep it coming. It keeps me on my toes.

@Steve

Just read your last comment, so definitely understand where you ultimately came out on this issue. But let me respond to each individual comment nonetheless. And remember that there will be another post where all this issues can be explored.

I agree with you. I really do. And yes, it all makes sense. (and you are NOT being preachy!) The objectification of a person is what has led to Rwanda, the Final Solution, sexism, etc…No need to convince me of that.

But I do think you have to distinguish objectification from normal sexuality. Do read my comment to Dorothy above. To be a feminist (as I genuinely think myself) does not mean you have to deny your own sexual desires or needs. It is NOT wrong to enjoy a person’s body. It is NOT wrong to view a person as a sexual being. Maybe any disagreement we have has to do with the definition of the term “objectification,” something we can explore in that later post.

@Kymber,

See my comments to Dorothy and Steve above. Sorry if I disappointed you. Maybe it’s because I was there, but the scene was different from what you are imagining. Picture Northern, out of towners, getting an inside peak at how some people in Memphis spent their time. Definitely enjoyed it, but clearly out of my element.

Jack said...

@Debbie,

I feel like I’m going to be saying this way too much, but do check out responses to Dorothy, Steve and others above.

LOVE your comment. This, I think, gets at the heart of this issue. I would encourage you to comment tons when I draft that post on this very issue later this week.

@Kady,

I have, indeed, offically “escaped”:) that post is coming soon.

But they sort of did! You should have seen the dudes who got on that bull. The guy working the bull made them work for it and some were experts on that thing.

@Kymber,

I’ll say this for the last time: Don’t ever apologize for commenting on this blog. So long as your view is constructive feel free to express yourself in any way you feel makes sense. And yes, Steve definitely put it out there, though, at least for me, Debbie got closer to the real issues.

Jack said...

@Jill M.

Umm…I think there is a valid point in this comment to a certain extent. Maybe less pictures of the women? Maybe less florid language? On the other hand, that’s exactly how I felt. I’m not going to deny that I enjoyed the so-called “show,” and or censor my feelings on this blog. While I don’t think there is anything wrong with how I felt that night the way the post was presented may have created the false impression that I was embracing something I have worked hard to get beyond.

@Matthew,

I also found your comment refreshing, and not because it is supportive of the post. I think it’s helpful to remind everyone that embracing simple living is a subjective process. Adherents of the movement are conservative, liberal, Christian, aitheists, etc…What works for some will not work for others.

@Steve,

While I would not go so far as Mattew in characterizing some of the comments as condescending, I think what he is referring to is that there is an implied hierchy of values being presented here. The merits of our discussion over objectification aside, some of the commenters are assuming that whatever transpired in that bar is objectionable and/or antithetical to simple living. I don’t this it’s clear whether that assumption is justified.

BTW, I am in no way set against your analysis: “It could also be because the journey has barely begun in reality and this is one area of his life he’s not dealt with yet (that’s my bet).” Definitely a possibility. Also, digging the dichotomy of cheaper v. simpler.

Kymber said...

Jack -
I think that this post will turn out to be another of your "infamous and controversial" posts!
But - wow - I really love the way everyone is jumping in with their opinions - it really makes for an interesting conversation!

To further clarify my position - I guess I wasn't expecting a post from you about strange girls riding a bull or whatever! But it IS what you experienced and enjoyed with your friends and in hindsight - we might have jumped a little too hard on you!

I appreciate your comments back to everyone and am looking forward to the next post that you mentioned!

And again, not trying to hog the comment section - but thanks to everyone who has taken the time to comment. I, for one, really enjoy other people's opinions - it helps you keep a healthy perspective on your own ideas and opinions.

and lastly - thanks Jack - for always encouraging free discussion on your journey. You are really doing a great job and it is nice to be here with you on your ride.

Christian said...

I think most people commenting here sense something is wrong but do not understand what it is. So they bring in words like "sexism" and "objectification". Which are close, but so far off.

What they are sensing is that none of your experiences are permanent, and since they are not permanent, they cannot lead to permanent happiness. How long could you sit there looking at women riding a bull and drinking beer with your friends? Two hours? 48 hours? I assure you you would get bored or tired after a while.

Anything you objectify will lead to your unhappiness. Be it god or some drunk chick on a mechanical bull.

It is great that you are doing these things. I heard a monk say to a man who could not seem to get sex out of his head to; "go make love with as many woman as possible!" in the hopes he would see the inherent unsatisfactoriness of it all. But experiencing life without awareness is what keeps people unhappy.

You sound like you have just switched your lifestyle to the lower income bracket. And you sound like you are still searching for happiness outside of yourself.

If you can look at your father lying in a casket with the same feeling as looking at women riding on a mechanical bull I would say you understand simplicity.

Anonymous said...

Jack:
This seems to have touched a nerve.

You write:
Let me put it this way: If you had a post on your own blog about how much you hated people who meditate...

While Dorothy writes:
I...feel just a little disillusionment.

A little disillusionment vs hate? Aren't you overreacting?

Eva

Jack said...

@Steve,

I think you put it as succinctly as possible. Yes, that sounds about right. The presentation of the post is probably at fault here, but, as stated above, it's how I was feeling that night. Again, let's see where this issue goes when I do that future post. I have 2 or 3 already in line but it should be coming up ASAP.

@Eva,

Not sure what to say. I'm sorry you are disappointed. I hope the discussion above is helpful in dissection this whole issue.

@Kymber,

Thanks for the follow up. I hope some of the discussion above is good enough to tie us over till a follow up post on this issue.

Kymber said...

Jack - I am certain that we all wait with baited breathe for the follow-up post on this issue!

Jack said...

@Christian,

Every time you comment I feel as if I am listening to a possible version of me somewhere out in the future.

Here is the bottom line: I don't know where this journey will lead me. I am not going to deny that I might eventually embrace a similar world view. And yes, embracing one's appetites is not conducive to true happiness. I get that.

But, right now, sexuality is one aspect of my life I am not going to deny to myself. So long as it is healthy and constructive to my continued development as a person.

@Eve,

"Jack:
This seems to have touched a nerve.

You write:
Let me put it this way: If you had a post on your own blog about how much you hated people who meditate...

While Dorothy writes:
I...feel just a little disillusionment.

A little disillusionment vs hate? Aren't you overreacting?"

----
I'm not sure I was overreacting. I don't know how you would respond to someone who wonders whether you want to be a "seeker or a bum." If it makes you feel any better here's a little editing:

"Let me put it this way: If you had a post on your own blog about how people who meditate are REALLY BUMS would it make sense for me to consider you any less committed to voluntary simplicity/simple living because I, myself, value meditation?"

@Kymber,

No problem. Already cooking it up. But first, a very important one must preceded it.

Homeless said...

Its all in the delivery.

I think that if you had focused on the simplicity and enjoyment of sitting around and kicking back a few with your buds, you wouldn't have received the response that you did.

Maybe that is what you are going for. Shock value.

Look at the title of the post and the pictures included. While I do not call them elicit nor are the women scantily clad, I can see where some ladies might be disgusted by your perceptions. It does scream: Women are objects.

However, this is a pretty normal response. Its about as natural and simple as you can get.

In addition, three ladies in your house would not be simple. Very far from it, as we are complex creatures and we do more than sit around looking sexy.

~jenn
http://hitekhomeless.net
http://freecampsites.net

a brown-eyed grrl said...

I get the points made here, but because I don't want to be objectified, I don't wear provocative clothing and ride mechanical bulls in bars.

Most women I know who do these things are looking for male attention...that's their whole objective.

A man might want a deep relationship, but most men will still do a double-take on a scantily-clad girl riding a bull. It's just human nature. Hell, I'd probably stare, too.