In Search of A/The Point of Life

As we stuff our faces with stuffed birds/puds/sprouts/mulling about, shall we have a DISCOURSE? (RUNNING TO & FRO, from the Latin ‘discursus’)?

Hard at work (as if): reading, or rather, posing with books that we have ordered for the library. If we hold the books close enough, hopefully our skin will be able to absorb all the contents, swiftly. And paraphrase them enough to regurgitate in our writing, too, hopefully.

Before you complain that we have been less-than-diligent in our postings in the past couple of months, we must tell you that it is because we have been extremely hard at work writing something else, namely our grand 80,000-word fabulousness and sweetness of our thesis, which theorises our critical strategy of trans-dimensional running for our 21st century technologically-enabled multiverse.

To write, we have to read too, of course. Here are some pictorial evidence of us (LOOKING AS IF WE ARE VERY) hard at work, reading some of the books that we have ordered. We particularly enjoy running with Dr Bernd Heinrich in his Why We Run: A Natural History. Himself is a TOP marathon and ultramarathon runner (coming in as champion, at the age of 41, a race of 100km in 6 hours 30 minutes in 1981 in Chicago!!), award-winning biologist Dr Heinrich presents a dazzling story of why human beings, compared to our relatives in the animal kingdom, run. One of our favourite quotes is found on page 103. It is a conversation between the author and his friend, when the former ran 5-minutes faster than what the friend predicted.

As is usually the case in science, you make a prediction, and if it comes out close, you are happy because you’re potentially right with one idea, and if it comes out different, you’re closer to some other idea that you didn’t even think of before. That’s even better.

What a beautiful, powerful thought. And this comes from the perfectionist and overachiever of the writer-scientist-ultrarunner. To stray from an expectation is not a sign of defeat, but instead, a potentially exciting route of discovery into something that one didn’t expect, perhaps leading one to something else that is even more interesting than where one could have ventured.

Dr Heinrich’s writing is simple and clear, while also loaded with first-hand anecdotes (so this is not some armchair critic/theoryhead who only sits on their fatarses in their ivory towers and conceptualise about the world and the moons and the stars till the  cows come home, or as one of our favourite artists ever, the brilliant Groucho Marx, says in the 1933 cccclassssssiccccc Duck Soup, ‘I could dance with you till the cows come home. On second thoughts, I’d rather dance with the cows till you came home.‘) We are, frankly speaking, dogtired of all those highfalutin empty gibberish expounded by the socalled pureminds of the socalled academia, some of whom really are only capable of blowing pungent wind through their holycracks.

We are however disappointed with Christopher McDougall’s Born To Run, albeit its extremely exciting premise of learning to run ultra-distances from the humble and hidden tribe of the amazing Tarahumara Indians of Mexico, who have run all their lives, since they first ran away from the invading Spanish (what a poetic and empowering imagery!!).  What we find disagreeable however is ultrarunner-and-journalist McDougall’s writing style which has the irritating trying-hard-to-be-cute-and-oh-so-personal-first-person-narrative-smug-frockingfullofselfbelief-noironywhatsoever-chest-beating-we-are-the-world-we-rule-the-world-yayyayay-watch-us-we-feel-ohsofrockinggood-about-ourselves approach also neatly encapsulated in the American talk show which we quite absolutely cannot stand (unless, of course, if it is so very bad that it is very good, out & out excessively trashy The Jerry Springer ShowJerry!  Jerry! we chant, fists in the air and on other guests’ holy bodies).

Philosopher and runner Michael Austin was the one who drew our attention to, in his good (although could-be-better, if each essay by the different philosopher-runners wasn’t so short but was more developed) Running and Philosophy, the etymology of the word  ‘discourse’, which comes from the Latin discursus, and which refers to a running to-&-fro! What a poetic image. We have said this before, but we will say this again (because we keep getting asked!), but to all the snobs who still insist that walking is the only valid psychogeographical strategy, we say that you are too closed-minded, and that you really should try running (YES WE CHALLENGE YOU TO SWEAT IT OUT AND GET YOUR ‘PUREMINDS’ AND FATARSES MOVIN’!) to see how it works. Alan Turing would go for a 2-3hour run midday, to run away problems from that he faced at work; yet, it was in the middle of such a run that he conceptualised the beginnings of the modern computer.

Now, what better synthesis of the mind-body-technology-imagination could you get??

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  1. Hapless

    Just in time! I was indeed about to complain about Kaidie’s lack of diligence in her postings. Where is she, I wondered out loud? Entertain us! Have a very Berry Xmas and a Nappy New Year!

    Dec 21, 2010 @ 18:29


  2. 3rdlifekaidie

    Dear Hapless-
    Thank you for your lovely words. We hope that you have had Berry Xmas too! We are looking forward to a Nappy New Year indeed – all the best for yours too!
    Kaidie x

    Dec 27, 2010 @ 05:04

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