Sunday 3 April 2016

Down with the hood

Down with Pat the Salt, my esteemed father-in-law, this w/e.  As all my descendants are still in the country after Easter, we have filled his home on the Waterford Coast with 4 generations. Himself; The Beloved; The Boy, Dau.I, Dau.II; Gdau.I and Gdau.II and a clatter of collateral rellies, partners and the like.  Covering the bases there for questions of popular culture.  If it's my cousin Spongebob Squarepants, I can ask 4 y.o. Gdau.I . . . for dance-bands of the 1950s, Pat is the GoTo.  The Picture of the Day POTD on Wikipedia was an interesting portrait by Joseph Ducreux.  Despite my very expensive education I had never heard of this chap so, as you do, I Googled him up and found another portrait by/of him [L Portrait de l'artiste sous les traits d'un moqueur, with annotation].  WTF?!  I asked The Boy to explain, because he was nearest, but he's too old and Dau.I had to get patient with me and explain that "it's a meme".  Ducreux was famous in his day for breaking out of the stolid formal conventions of 18thC portraiture revealing himself in a massive yawn or, as here, engaging directly with the viewer. It seems that this portrait was put up on Pinterest as while back with some witty comment in the supposed language of the 18thC [not in 18thC French, mind you: the would be a step too far for the kind of person who tunes into Pinterest].  The puzzle is to work out what current catch-phrase or concept is represented by the archaic language. Fetch your own 20 y.o. if you haven't a clue here.

Apparently it means "Bro, do you even lift?" aka DYEL which has some deep inclusive meaning among boys who go to the gym and lift weights. I see people in the gym almost every day on my way into work because, like far too many gyms, there are floor-to-ceiling plate-glass windows. Walking is a good, even necessary, form of exercise.  That is [power-]walking folks, not ambling, strolling or loafing.  You have to raise the heart-beat to achieve any benefit.  You can do this without any technology but gym-people prefer to pay for the privilege of walking on a treadmill; an absurd over-technical solution to an exercise problem and you have to do it in a aerosol of other folks' sweat.  One of my colleagues comes to walk early and sets off on a 1km circuit round The Institute at a pacing 6-7 km/h - fresh air and you can wave at your pals as they come into work.  And lifting weights? what a useless endeavour when you could work for 3 hours on Saturdays heaving 25kg feedsacks into the back of some farmer's jeep  . . . get paid for it and develop your pectorals at the same time.  I did the heavy lifting in the retail outlet for a mill one Summer in my teenage years; I was never so fit as at the end of it; and flush with money too.

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