Saturday, March 08, 2008

Community organization, rescindance, and other goings-on

I checked my e-mail on this fine, late-winter morning to find this comment had been left regarding my post, Bread, Circuses, and My Hometown:
I realize this is a pretty old post, but I stumbled upon it in some google search. I just want to let you know that you are not alone in wanting to see Yreka and all of Siskiyou county develop into its full potential. Please visit siskiyoutopia.com. We can make a difference! It's just going to be an uphill battle and the older generation will only go along kicking and screaming! Yea for Siskiyou county! ...stop kicking back there and shut up!....

Soooo... I checked out Siskiyoutopia, and I have to say that I'm quite pleased. Looks like a Southern Oregon transplant to Siskiyou County has taken it upon themselves to try to mobilize some cultural revitalization there, and that the Siskiyoutopia blog is a primary engine of that movement. So far it looks like the primary content of the site is reports on local events, local shopping, local enterprise, etc. In general, things people can do in Siskiyou County that will establish and build some cultural momentum and economic revitalization. If I could make a suggestion to the voice of Siskiyoutopia, I'd say check out what the heck is going on with local agriculture: is there a farmer's market; who besides Hunter Orchards is producing some scrumptious, local eats; who can you go to to get some locally-raised, grass-fed beef? (I'm splitting a side of Townley beef with my brother and my folks)

Anyway, I'm glad to see there are like-minded folks living up yonder. Makes me think my eventual return will go much smoother...

BUT, the above comment prompted me to re-read my post, Bread, Circuses, and My Hometown. In that post, I said, "[mixed martial arts] is for troglodytes." Immediately after that, I said, "And I'm not going to back down from that statement." Well folks, I feel I do indeed have to back down from that statement, and here's why...

At the time I wrote that post, MMA was just beginning it's national resurgance. I wasn't quite aware of the scale to which it would permeate ALL of American society. It wasn't just Siskiyou County that saw MMA grow, it was the entire country. Now we see MMA on cable TV every night, and specials on the "fight science" of MMA on the "educational" cable channels. It's everywhere. And the fact that it's everywhere, and not just in Siskiyou County, makes me less scared.

Beyond that, honestly, my involvement in strength athletics (which began when I decided I didn't want to die a corpulent beast about a month after I wrote the post in question) has done a lot to make my more "okay" with MMA. You see, the MMA circle mixes with the powerlifting, olympic lifting, strongman, and bodybuilding circles. There's a lot of cross-pollination. When I look for articles on Russian conjugate training, I inevitably end up at the same sites that publish articles on things like "lactic acid tolerance training for MMA." By spending enough time in these overlapping circles, I've come to better understand MMA as a sport, and to have a better appreciation for the rigors involved.

Indeed, as I've trained for my own athletic feats (first an attempt on climbing Mt. Shasta, currently a powerlifting meet, and up next, another attempt on Mt. Shasta), I've come to appreciate sport in general to a degree which I never achieved before (that's what happens, I suppose, when you aren't athletic as a kid). At this point, I have a hard time believing that I dismissed physical activity and accomplishments as much as I once did. I now thrive on the zen of physical rigor. In all honesty, little in my personal experience has carried the same potential for self actualization that devotion to sport does. And if some folks find this same experience through the brutal regimen of MMA, good for them. That said, a sport which almost inevitably involves facial disfigurement and brain damage is most definitely not my cup of tea, but to each his own, I suppose.

Beyond all this, I've encountered some more mundane reasons to be "okay" with MMA. My activities in strength athletics have brought me Sacramento's coolest gym (with the best music selection ever heard in a gym), Bodytribe. At Bodytribe, I've met folks involved in MMA and Muay Thai, and you know what? They aren't creepy. They aren't skeezy. They aren't really weird. They're actually really nice people.

But with all that said (and heading back towards the original topic of this post), should small-time MMA fights held on the Karuk grounds be the biggest and bestest thing to happen in Siskiyou County? Definately not. Siskiyou County can do more and should do more.

I'd love to say more, but it seems that duty calls right now...

2 Comments:

At 9:06 PM, Blogger happyapplehead said...

Hey Zac! Happyapplehead of Siskiyoutopia here. Too funny that you request Ag info! Just spent the day at East Fork Growers in Callahan and Siskiyou Hydroponics in Montague. Ag IS Siskiyou County!!! Check back~blogger!

 
At 10:14 AM, Blogger Em said...

For Eastern Washington people looking for local grass fed beef - Eaton Ranch is the place. My company, marxfoods.com will be selling whole, half, quarter (and less) beef online from the Eaton family, but for people who are looking to buy it locally, they sell at the local food co-ops and farmer's markets.

 

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