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Why I Take Ballet Classes, And Why I Like Them

About eight months ago, I had the idea that maybe I should be doing something to work on flexibility and posture, like yoga. I've taken yoga in the past and liked it, but never really loved it enough to stick with it. Maybe I'll try ballet, I thought.

A lot of members of my family and extended family have taken ballet, as have a disproportionately high percentage of girls I've dated. Through them I've been exposed to it in bits and pieces, and I always admired the discipline of it. Ballet is so exacting and precise that even after years of work it's still near impossible, but ballet dancers press on despite that. I always admired the tenacity it seemed to build.

I also like going to ballets, as long as they're not modern ballet. Between seeing all the good things that came out of others doing ballet and thinking it may help me appreciate watching ballet more, I figured I'd take one class and try it out. The fact that it was weird for a straight guy to take ballet probably factored in, as well.

I was pretty much hooked at my first class. In life I like the idea of working as hard as humanly possible but still trying to make it look good on the outside, and ballet was the dance form that reflected that. It felt great to wake up on Sunday morning, ride my motorcycle downtown, and then slip on ballet shoes, stretch out, and learn something difficult and physical.

Who You Are (There's no such thing!)

On The Melodic Baboon

My opinion: There is no such thing as 'who you are'.

It actually annoys me when I hear people say, "blah blah blah blah! That's just not who I am". Bull crap. We are capable of ANYTHING. How could we ever argue that? I actually think there is a mathematical argument that would prove this (maybe I'll pull that out some other time...) but seriously: I challenge you to name ANY act that you wouldn't do. I challenge you to tell me 'who you are'.

For some reason, we seem to need to be identified, especially to ourselves. Now this may be a paternalistic issue, not as prevalent in maternalistic cultures. However, at least for the former, we have a drive to know 'who we are' or 'what we're about'. "I'm all about the blah blah, you know? I'm totally blah blah blah and would never blah blah. That's just not who I am" Bollux, I say.

You would literally do ANYTHING you are physically capable of doing, provided the impetus was correct. So would I, of course. We are only a sum of potentials, constantly making the best decisions we can in the circumstances we are in. Let's not delude ourselves that we are incapable of anything that we are actually capable of doing. Let's not pretend that we exist on some etherial plane, above and beyond a horrible act. You are not a mass murderer simply because you've not done it- not because you wouldn't kill. One is not a thief for the same reason that one is a thief. Stealing, or not. Just because you believe that you wouldn't steal doesn't mean that you won't, or haven't. Just ask a criminal thief is he/she is a thief. They will immediately understand your question to mean 'do you think of yourself as a thief'. And they will, most of the time, answer in the negative. They don't 'feel' like a thief. But ask them if they have ever stolen and you'll get the opposite answer. And because it can never be absolute, the belief can never depict identity. It can only depict what I heard once called a Residual Self Image, a rendering of identity that is borne by your brain for the purpose of being able to picture and/or live with yourself.

I've had the displeasure of knowing some bad people in my time. I suppose I could be one of them. I don't know. I don't believe that i am, but there you go. Ask any one of them: Do you think you're a bad person? 99 out of 100 will say 'no'. And of course they believe that. How could they not? How could we exist with any hope of future if we have come to the conclusion that we are inherently not good. I'm sure there are folks out there reveling in their evilness... but seriously, I've either not met them or they are very well disguised. I mean for real: pick a President that you hate. Can you honestly say that you think even they believe they're a bad person? Even though they totally screwed up the country?

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