Being Myself, Only Better

Well, my "research" is going to become a little more autoethnographic: I just signed up for a membership at Premier Fitness Clubs, which is just down the street from my place. Their (trademarked!) slogan is "Be yourself only better", which I think is pure tragicomedy. In fact, I think that the whole experience will provide a ton of tragicomic material for the reading pleasure of sportsBabelites.

fitter happier
more productive
comfortable
not drinking too much
regular exercise at the gym (3 days a week)
getting on better with your associate employee contemporaries
at ease
eating well (no more microwave dinners and saturated fats)

. . .

calm
fitter, healthier and more productive
a pig
in a cage
on antibiotics

– Radiohead, Fitter Happier

While I am extremely excited and exhilarated that my rudimentary framework for a tripolarization of the electric body closely parallels the categories of bodily annihilation proposed by a luminary like Jean Baudrillard, I'm not sure that either of us are getting the whole story. And based upon what I can surmise from his pseudonimage, I don't imagine M. Baudrillard (nor Thom Yorke for that matter) has spent much time in a fitness club/image factory such as Premier Fitness for quite some time. My goal is to step in and fill that void.

That said, there are many questions I need to answer for myself: Is this *really* research, or am I just rationalizing my attendance at the image factory? How often will I actually attend? Will frequent exercise in such a disciplined environment change my thought processes, perhaps imprisoning my creativity? Do I really just want to try and change my body so people will love me? Am I sick with fear and loathing that my mirror image less and less resembles the video image of the 99th percentile? Am I hysterical with aging?

Or is there a middle ground somewhere in between that isn't so reprehensible? Is it OK (Computer?) that our bodies desire some physical attention when more and more our minds are being outered into the vast networked global nervous system? Is PAIN a desirable or appropriate aesthetic response to our increasingly cyborgian identities? Can occasionally nihilist tendencies interface with a desire to live a long, healthy life?

Much food for thought (eating well) while I am on the hamster wheel. Wish me luck …

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  1. sportsBabel » Commanding says:

    [...] Bruce Sterling's blog alerted me to the The International Database of Corporate Commands, an initiative of the Institute for Infinitely Small Things, so I had to let people know about Premier Fitness, who wants you to "Be yourself, only better." [...]