Sensory offensive

Kennemer dunes, today. Jumping out of the office.

The benefit of bare -- unprotected running¹ -- comes from digesting reality as it makes contact. It is a way of perceiving information. Just as driving, after a certain amount of experience allows for relaxed conversation with other people in the car -- as it is so well expressed in these Volvo films. So does barefoot running, regardless of underground surface, such as sand, stones and shells, flat, up, down and trough the water, trough snow, over ice and trough mud and over asphalt. After a certain amount of training it is all OK. As said before: the foot is a miraculous piece of biomechanics. When people sometimes ask: how do you do it, doesn't it hurt, don't you get injured? Lawrence of Arabia would have said: "The trick is not minding if it hurts." My reply is: my feet only get hurt at home. Never out in the open. At home, nasty pieces of glass prove to be leading to bloody injuries. Always unexpected. While running, apart from the experience of stimulating the flow of blood during running  -- in the feet and trough the legs -- rough surfaces such as small stones, shells and all that create what I call the experience of sensory offensive training. A mental experience. Flow on demand. After the path doesn't scare anymore, the way of information digestion becomes -- however pretentious that may sound -- 'bread and butter' and you start to apply that attitude upon digesting information 'in general'. Stuff starts to make sense within a broader perspective. You open up to a more free perspective upon things. The muscles move, the mind is at ease. Barefoot running burns fear.

Such as this experience. Today it struck me, after having seen television for the first time in maybe 10 years, last Saturday evening, how annoying TV and commercials are².  Around 8'O clock in the PM we watched some TV in a hotel room. On channel one of the Dutch public television there was a nature documentary broadcasted by the Evangelical Broadcast organisation. ZAP. On channel two of the Dutch public TV there was a church service with purple light effects upon the wall and flashy crane shots and people singing, broadcasted by the Evangelical Broadcast organisation. ZAP. On channel three there was the news for children. "Please leave it on", Melle said. Shortly followed by at least 12 minutes of annoying commercials aimed at children. For Lego, and sugarcoated cereals. And they repeated it over and over and over. Just like the Teletubies do: repetition must lead to deeper recognition. Someone must have found that out. Public television. It struck me: TV creates anxiety. Unfulfilled wishes. And you can't start providing that experience too early it seems. This was not commercial television, this was STER, responsible for selling advertising time on radio and TV on Dutch public television (with a section on their website: "how to trigger the lust to buy?"). If politics is the part of the iceberg under water, media is terrorism for the mind, the visible part of the iceberg. In neo-liberal Holland everything looks very decent from the outside (people who drive like assholes do so in respectable cars). The real wars are fought in the living rooms. If you go by houses, regardless of size and neighborhood. Big villas, small workershouses, appartmentsbuildings, poor, rich, old, new, rented, bought: inside it seems that everybody is watching television. Terrorising the mind! The good news is: something can be done about it. Switch it off. Find and read books. Go out. Talk together. Have fun out in the open.


¹ Currently approx. 80 - 100 kilometres (49 - 62 miles) per week, the whole year round

² Regardless of the label of programming: progressive, alternative, truly alternative, even more truly alternative, most alternative, for the youth, governmental, liberal, adventurous, sportian, kathological, protestantical, muslimian, buddhistical, evangelical, intellectual, social, musical, regional, local, technological, folkloristical, political, historical, commercial, educational, dramatical; it rarely ceases to amaze in any other way than by its sheer, overdressed, cold, single-minded, power hungry unscrupulous stupidity! A primary coloured, brightly lit electric poultry house: talk-talk-talk-tok-tok-tok. And that is odd. It is a great invention, given center stage -- as a shrine -- in just about every home on the planet.