May 25, 2008

Bars, horse manure, and sexual restraint.

Former bartender Paul Broomfield explains the problem of bars:
"When you work at a bar, you get to see the best and worst of a person in one night. They come in wearing a mask, looking like they've got it all together. As they get drunk, you see the decline, all the demons they're battling will emerge on a magnified scale"...

"It's all about self-affirmation, getting the attention you crave. Someone wants me, so that makes me feel good. The funny thing with the bar is that seldom are people there to help you. They want to take as much energy from you as they can"....
His new job is the shoveling of horse shit (literally):
"It's grounding, and helps me figure out where I am on my path. Do I do my work with love, unbegrudgingly, as best I can, even though the second I leave, the stalls will fill up with poop again?"
He's a yogi, and he practices brahmacharya — sexual restraint:
Yoga tames the ego, softens attachment to cravings, and helps Broomfield strive to live in ways which honour his path.

"My yoga practice is masturbation. It's stepping into that pool of self-hatred or sorrow, or whatever you're dealing with on that day, and finding love for yourself over and over again."

38 comments:

Finn Kristiansen said...

And to think that all this time I've been sitting in front of my computer in front of the downloaded images day after day doing yoga. Awesome.

Richard Fagin said...

I have often used the example of shoveling horseshit as an answer to people who say they wouldn't do a particular job no mattter what it paid. For the right price I would be happy to shovel horseshit. People who believe otherwise need to do some serious self-examination.

bearbee said...

Gandhi's approach to discipline, detachment and celibacy was through Brahmacharya.

It seems like shoveling manure is something I engage on a daily basis, and only increases with all the 'news' coming at me.

rhhardin said...

Tending bar was one of the twelve labors of Hercules.

amba said...

What a punch line. Masturbation as "sexual restraint"?!

amba said...

In the original article: "carnal reenunciates." Say again?

Bissage said...

Our young Mr. Broomfield will not reach enlightenment until he admits to himself he’s an ordinary, everyday alcoholic who has a way with the ladies and not much of a career path.

He's given up masturbating into women so he must have some sort of conscience, however rudimentary.

So there's hope.

The Drill SGT said...

there are much worse jobs than shoveling horseshit

trust me

Ann Althouse said...

I Googled around about Brahmacharya before posting, because I was really suspicious about the masturbation part.

Ann Althouse said...

I'm still suspicious, of course.

dr kill said...

I'd rather eat horse shit than smell dog shit.

Pogo said...

When he used to be funny, Woody Allen once joked in his stand-up routine that "masturbation is sex with someone you love".

He was joking and it got a big laugh.
Who knew he was a yogi?

This also reminds me of My Dinner With Andre (again), in re: "Why do I have to shovel horseshit do my work with love, unbegrudgingly, as best I can, even though the second I leave, the work will be there again tomorrow?

somefeller said...

I read his comment as saying that he performs yoga as a substitute for masturbation, namely that yoga provides a kind of sexual release and control that others get through masturbation, not that he masturbates and considers that to be a sort of yoga. My yoga is masturbation, as opposed to my masturbation is yoga, in other words.

Maybe I'm overthinking his comment, but I wonder if maybe he said something inartfully, which is leading to an interpretation he didn't intend.

P. Rich said...

"Gandhi's approach to discipline, detachment and celibacy was through Brahmacharya."

Which apparently included enimas regularly administered by attractive young women. Is there a common theme here? Hands raised for unresolved infantile anal fixation.

bearbee said...

Which apparently included enimas regularly administered by attractive young women.

Read his bio many years ago and recall author Louis Fischer, I think, writing of how Gandhi would sleep next to young women relatives to test his attainment of detachment/celibacy in thought and deed.

Zeb Quinn said...

I'm still suspicious, of course

He's not just your everyday yogi. He's a yoga instructor. You, a law professor. He's practically a colleague.

EDH said...

A shit-shoveling masterbator.

How's that different from blogging?

Meade said...

"Since most people have sex for five to seven minutes..."

Goodness! Where does the time go?

Former said...

As long as we're on the subject of masturbation, much of what passes for "art" these days is exactly that.

Leonard Bernstein, before his death, was interviewed by a (gonzo) journalist for the Belgian equivalent of Rolling Stone. At one point he started talking about beat-boxes and their use, in certain genres, as a musical crutch by people without any talent to play a real instrument: "You know, it's like masturbation. Baaaaby (rude hand gesture), I neeeed you (same "five-knuckle shuffle" hand gesture)."

As for Gandhi: quite interesting, how my two favorite Englishmen, George Orwell on the left and Winston Churchill on the right, had similar (very low) opinions of Gandhi.

SteveR said...

Heck, you don't need to become a yogi to practice sexual restraint, just go to college where I got my B.S.

Joe said...

This guy seems to shovel more than one kind of horse manure.

In any case, I think this comment:

"My yoga practice is masturbation. It's stepping into that pool of self-hatred or sorrow, or whatever you're dealing with on that day, and finding love for yourself over and over again"

Is just using masturbation as "self-love." Yoga takes the place of sex--it is his form of "masturbation."

Ann Althouse said...

somefeller said..."I read his comment as saying that he performs yoga as a substitute for masturbation, namely that yoga provides a kind of sexual release and control that others get through masturbation, not that he masturbates and considers that to be a sort of yoga. My yoga is masturbation, as opposed to my masturbation is yoga, in other words."

That makes sense to me now, but it never crossed my mind as I read his comment, so it was a strange way to put it. The notion of masturbation as a yogic practice isn't so absurd. I've heard about tantric sex and according to Wikipedia tantric sex includes "solo" rituals.

None of it made much sense though. Is Hinduism/Buddhism about self-love? I think not.

And who says "X is my masturbation" as a way of expressing the importance of X? It's not the norm. I still think it makes more sense to picture some yoga approach to masturbation... not that I am eager to picture that. It's purely an abstract concept for me.

John Stodder said...

Perfect Sunday story on Althouse. A little spirituality, a little horseshit, a little sex.

Let's make it a tradition.

rhhardin said...

What are all those hands for, or is that some other religion.

Christy said...

How is keeping a house for one's family any different from his concept of shoveling horse manure? Turn around and the poop has piled up again. I speak as someone who has shoveled, not horse, but mule manure.

At 15, in the 60s before there were yoga studios everywhere, I decided to try yoga. But the book I found was all about sublimating the sexual urges to reach enlightenment. Book went back to the library forthwith and yoga never tempted me again.

Chuck Pelto said...

TO Ann Althouse, et al.
RE: It's Really Rather Sad

He's pointing out how people consume each other in this 'sexually-free'—what a misnomer—environment that the BlogVader was touting just the other day.

We're talking long-term unintended consequences.

And with his yoga, all he is doing is trying to find a discipline in there that does not, repeat NOT, allow him the freedom that he would like to possess. He rejects the one course of discipline and total freedom because it is too 'mundane'. Too 'ordinary'. Too vilified and demonized by the 'christians' of the BlogVader's ilk.

If they only knew. If they only realized.....

Regards,

Chuck(le)
[Jesus astonishes and overpowers sensual people. They cannot unite him to history, or reconcile him with themselves. -- Ralph Waldo Emerson]

Chuck Pelto said...

TO: Christy
RE: House/Horse Shit

"How is keeping a house for one's family any different from his concept of shoveling horse manure? Turn around and the poop has piled up again. I speak as someone who has shoveled, not horse, but mule manure." -- Christy

I've shoveled all kinds of s---; from my days of summer work at University of Nebraska's Animal Pathology Lab to dealing with an impromptu Panamanian Jungle diarrhea ward for a battalion of infantry with amoebic dysentery.

All the houses I've ever lived in, married or single—now married—have never been as bad as any of that.

What's your point here?

Life is too hard? Try living in the wild for a month or three.

Regards,

Chuck(le)
[Life in the state of nature is solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short. -- Thomas Hobbes]

P.S. It is my considered opinion that American women don't realize just how good they have it. And I think you're a prime example of support for that premise.

Chuck Pelto said...

P.P.S. Last week I DID have to snake out a gray-water sewer drain from the kitchen sink to the main.

Some stinkie, ugly black stuff came out as I 'cranked and yanked' the device out of the system.

But in THIS house, as opposed to anything I could build in the wild, I had a hot shower with lots of soap and a bourbon waiting for me after the distaff hosed me off in the back yard.

Don't you have such in the house where you live?

William said...

Unenlightened ones: The point of a Zen story is the empty feeling it leaves. What is the sound of one hand clapping? The question cannot be answered by appeal to the senses, the emotions, or to logic. The answer is found in another consciousness. A job such as bartender has its perks and distractions and the random noise it generates destroys all other sounds. A job such as shovelling horseshit offers few distractions or rewards beyond the Sisyphean satisfaction of doing a mean job well. In such an environment one can visualize the One Truth Path to a career. Likewise with sex: masturbation or a quickie with the local Paris Hilton offers release and/or distraction but clouds the mind with lust. Practicing yoga to the exclusion of even masturbation frees the mind from static and allows the mind to recognize True Love when she arrives. Only in such an environment of squalor and peace can the Pilgrim find the requisite strength to enter an MBA program and marry a fellow student. Daily masturbation while watching The View is also a way to rise above lust.

Chuck Pelto said...

TO: William
RE: The Point 'IS'!

"The point of a Zen story is the empty feeling it leaves." -- William

Personally?

I'd rather have fulfillment than 'emptiness'.

If you find fulfillment in emptiness....have at. As for me and my house....

....we will follow the Lord.

RE: One Hand Clapping

"What is the sound of one hand clapping?" -- William\

I'd say a somewhat confused Methodist minister who was, at one time, a cannon-cocker who did time in the Puzzle Palace doing the job of a PR staff puke.

But that's just my observation of a fellow officer in the US Army.

Regards,

Chuck(le)

blake said...

I read it as somefeller did. I was sort of shocked to read the other interpretation.

Chuck, I think your philosophy was wanting an example, and you over-reached with christy.

Housework, like stable mucking, involves work that is only ever done temporarily.

Chuck Pelto said...

TO: blake
RE: Housework vs. Horse S---

"Housework, like stable mucking, involves work that is only ever done temporarily." -- blake

Any form of 'work' is essential the same. But not much of housework resembles mucking out a pig-stall.

At least the pigs do it in one place. As opposed to sheep which do with everywhere.

But again, nobody I know of s---s all over their own home.

Christy's example/complaint is 'overreaching'. Not my reply. But maybe Christy has a serious personal problem....

Regards,

Chuck(le)

Jason said...

He said, "lie with"

Christ on a crotchrocket, who the hell says "lie with?"

blake said...

Chuck,

No, not all work is alike at all. If you build a bridge, the bridge is built, you don't need to build it again tomorrow. There's maintenance but it's not all the same.

If you destroy--work a wrecking ball or a bulldozer--you don't tear down a building one day and find you have to tear it down again tomorrow.

If you're a soldier, you don't march into Berlin one day and have to march in again the next (World Wars I and II being an exception, I suppose).

Running a household is an ongoing process, not a single target to be acquired once and left.

Chuck Pelto said...

TO: Blake
RE: Reality Check, Here

“No, not all work is alike at all. If you build a bridge, the bridge is built, you don't need to build it again tomorrow. There's maintenance but it's not all the same.” -- Blake

Actually...you are VERY wrong. We’re in the process of spending $11M to rebuild a bridge in this town. Right beside the bridge that has stood for 50 years. Why? Call it entropy. Things fall apart. The center will not ‘hold’, forever.

“If you destroy--work a wrecking ball or a bulldozer--you don't tear down a building one day and find you have to tear it down again tomorrow.” -- Blake

We’re not talking about bridges or wrecking-balls or bulldozers, here. We’re talking about daily maintenance in a household.

“If you're a soldier, you don't march into Berlin one day and have to march in again the next (World Wars I and II being an exception, I suppose).” -- Blake

Actually....I AM a ‘soldier’. And you even pointed out how thinks don’t work out quite as expected when politics gets involved.

“Running a household is an ongoing process, not a single target to be acquired once and left.” -- Blake

So is maintaining a roadway infra-structure or electrical power grids or other such stuff.

Too bad you can’t quite grasp the complexity of these thinks.

Regards,

Chuck(le)
P.S. That includes mucking out pig/sheep/horse/mule styes.

Which is much more messy than maintaining a household in this day and age.

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