Friday, November 23, 2007

Billy Blanks: Thighs of Modernism

"Melanctha, I certainly do think I could make you feel it right to tell me. I certainly do think all I did wrong was to let Jane Harden tell me. I certainly do know I never did wrong to learn what she told me. I certainly know very well, Melanctha, if I had come here to you, you would have told it all to me, Melanctha."-Gertrude Stein, Three Lives, pg 115.

"When the identical fact recurs, we must think of it in a fresh manner, see it under a somewhat different angle, apprehend it in different relations from those in which it last appeared."--William James, The Stream of Thought.

"In both cases, modern art serves to remind its audience that what the eye or ear beholds as a natural and given reality is itself the product of much active construction on the part of the beholder."-Jonathan Levin, Introduction to Three Lives.

I've been doing my old Tae-Bo video workouts every day since I've come home. I still have the entire tape memorized, even Billy's instructional dialogue. Though what I hadn't realized during my after-school workouts in high school is that Billy Blanks is a brilliant deconstructivist:

During squat kicks: "Every one talking about how they want to work their butt, it's not firm enough or tight enough. You know that black bikini. If you do what I tell you right now you'll get into that black bikini. Push yourself! Think about that bikini. Think about that bikini! Think about you in that bikini! This isn't about a swimsuit! This isn't about a bikini. Reach inside and PUSH yourself. Do you want to fit in that swimsuit?"

During jab-cross sequence: "Michael back there is talking about how he's locked up. He's a top basketball player, but you know what he's doing today? Pushing himself. Reach up. Reach up and grab onto your higher power. Whatever it is-- God, that glass of water Reach up and ask your higher power to help. Ask your higher power to give you something. C'mon Michael. C'mon get through this set. No one can help you. No one can help you. You got to find it in yourself. This is about you. You got to reach inside and help yourself.

I swear these are verbatim.

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