Monday, July 9, 2012

How To Be Strong And Good

Sam Childers was a drug-shooting, head-bashing Pennsylvania hillbilly criminal. That is until he found God or God found him. Now, he prefers bashing and shooting Sudanese warlords who kill, rape and enslave children. (Everyone needs a hobby.)

Machine Gun Preacher is the film version of Childers' life portrayed by Gerard Butler. The movie is touching. Sam tries as hard as he can to love his family and do the right thing. I mean as hard as he can without controlling his homicidal rages or letting his wife (Michelle Monaghan) quit her lucrative stripping gig. Sam is an unstable, irresponsible, somewhat-pathetic loser. So, watching him go for the most-improved award offers hope to the rest of us. Plus, the film makes two profound points.

Profound truth #1: evil prevails when good men do nothing. People who constantly engage in violence are usually venting an inner rage, no matter what justification they offer for individual acts. People who say they're nonviolent (meaning never violent) are usually indulging an inner selfishness and/or cowardliness. Feeling self-righteous and/or avoiding conflict is more important to them than answering morality's occasional call to defend the innocent. If religious folks think they're better than Jesus (who got violent in a public place much like the religious bookstore in your local mall), maybe they should start their own religion with themselves at the center. Oh wait, they already have. When forced to attend a boring effeminate church as a child, I flipped thru a Bible and discovered two astonishing things: there are no pictures and cowards are lumped with murderers in the list of deadly sins. Much religion is just a sad substitute for morality.

I know some male readers want to forsake the lame-ass metrosexual ways many of us absorbed from recent cultural norms. We want to man-up and try to do some good in the world, even if this means making some mistakes or making some wounded women nervous. I want to help. Likewise, many female readers ask themselves: "How does Lyn Fuchs maintain such raw animal magnetism and scary physical fitness?" (Some don't ask this, but they're mostly lesbians.) So, I've decided to reveal a lifetime-sustainable, globally-transferable exercise routine that keeps me fit and energized thru years spent on the road, in the jungle and at the airport. Don't say I never gave you nothin'.

Step one is to walk regularly. This is the lower body workout that nature intended for all of us and that can be continued till you're 100 years old. I walk to work every day. I hike on most vacations. I lift my chest, pull in my abs and adopt the basic "racewalking" form. I ignore how gay it makes me look, because it also makes me capable of doubling back to open a can of whup-ass on any street-side mocker. This keeps my butt and waist tight, though not rock hard as that would require giving up beer, wine, chai, cappuccinos and chocolate, then what would I be extending my life for?

You say you're an important modern professional who doesn't have time for walking like some Indian peasant trekking to the river to wash clothes? Well then, you'll have to rely on dangerous deforming surgery, black or vertically-striped outfits and sad excuses like most important modern professionals do. Nature still knows best. We should listen.

Step two is use water bottles. Not just to constantly hydrate: those 2-liter bottles of water make perfect gripable dumbells. Lifting stuff is the upper body workout nature intended. Meatheads may protest that the bottles don't weigh enough. Yet, experienced lifters know that proper form and intensity can make light weights nearly as effective as heavier ones. Plus, you can pump water bottles until you're 100. (Just don't throw them into pristine wilderness like many eco-criminals do.) You can also use a wooden or steel Japanese sword for a more elegant meditative workout.

This two-part regimen, done consistently with proper form, will keep you fit and energized to travel and do some good out there. In LA Story, Steve Martin gazed longingly at a sculpted couple then said, "I'd do anything to look like that ... I mean except eat right and exercise." Such honest self-deprecation is comedy. The more common self-deception is tragedy.

Profound truth #2: evil prevails when good men attempt everything. Like many do-gooders, Sam Childers often neglected his personal responsibilities while trying to save the world. If you have the heart to care about the evil that often prevails, you must also have the brain to recognize that all doesn't rest on your shoulders. If everyone tended their own gardens, there would be little need for a Sam Childers or a Mother Theresa. Since we're not all powerful, the plan must be for other people to make some decisions in this world, though these sometimes have painful consequences.

Even if we were correct in our arrogance that the world would be better with us in charge, we're not - correct or in charge. Accept it. If you've got a beef with the universe's policies and procedures, take it up with management, but don't pretend you are management. Spiritual and physical exercise can help you be stronger in doing good plus calmer in accepting the good you can't do but someone else may not do. I hope this wisdom, stolen from better people than I, helps you to be happy and healthy while hungry for a better world.


  1. Lyn always brings his guns to a swordfight.

  2. Though it's extremely large, I only have one gun. I wouldn't even carry that one, if it weren't permanently attached. The only fight happening on this site is a war of ideas. If you feel I've shown up for the battle of wits with excessive weaponry, that is a nice complement. I, however, wouldn't show up for a discussion of cowardice as anonymous. But that's just me.

  3. Strangely thoughtful and funny too, Lyn!

  4. William, the rant is from the heart, so thank you for finding the heart in the rant.