Hello, readers of The Babarazzi! And, welcome to our first ever goodbye post!!!!
Whether it be Beyonce to Destiny’s Child, Justin Timberlake to N’Sync, or Nick Jonas to The Jonas Brothers every super group has an angel whose creative wingspan exceeds that of the collective. For The Babarazzi that being has always been Aghori Babarazzi. Thank you, B, for time and time again pulling yourself out of your self-imposed hole in order to whip us (and you!) into shape. The Babarazzi was an ecstatic ride you so very skillfully set into motion day-in/day-out.
We highly recommend that our readers begin migrating over to Simply Aghorable! as it will pick up where The Babarazzi left off, taking you places The Babarazzi couldn’t. We’re already giddy to see you all in the comments!
And, now our goodbye!
☠ ☠ ☠ ☠ ☠ ☠ ☠ ☠ ☠ ☠ ☠ ☠ ☠ ☠ ☠ ☠ ☠ ☠
FARE THEE WELL, LOVERS OF LOVE, READERS AND DETRACTORS OF THE BABARAZZI
The Babarazzi was never intended to last very long. In the beginning we imagined the site would remain online for roughly a month. If people didn’t sue us (which some did threaten to do), maybe three months. Then again, six months always felt like a good number, as it invoked the first of Crowley’s “666,” the number of the beast, the devil, the inversion of cultural norms. In the end, we remained live for two years, and, while the delicious blood of yogilebrities has kept us fit and able, the time has come for us to move on to other delicacies.
Why Are You Stopping, Babs?
There has already been some speculation as to why we are shutting down the site, most of it missing the mark. Let us say that we are not stopping the site due to “burnout,” “external pressure,” or “stress.” We haven’t “had it” with Commercial Yoga Culture, nor have we been convinced by outside forces that what we have been doing is wrong. We love and stand behind everything we’ve done. The truth is, we feel we have completed our task. As Aghori said in a recent interview with It’s All Yoga, Baby, “Now, when you google “YAMA Talent,” our articles verbally spanking that entity come up on the very first page. I think we can call it a day.” And, so, that is what we are doing. Calling it a day.
The Website Known as The Babarazzi
Over the course of two years we published two-hundred-seventy articles on the ins and outs of Commercial Yoga Culture. At its most intense writing pieces could take upwards of six to eight hours a day, which does not include the days where we were generating and crafting new ideas and pieces that didn’t go anywhere. To give you an idea of what we’re talking about, here is a list of pieces that did not make it onto the site because they were either unfinished or underwhelming when completed:
- Free Giveaway from The Babarazzi!!! /// This 6-Pack of Budweiser
- Shamu vs The Lotus
- Yoga + Voguing = Progress
- WERKSHOP Yoga Pants /// Why not TWERKSHOP
- Kelly Morris’ Day
- Spiritual Bypassing
- YogaGlo Patent Thing /// Are We Supposed to Have an Opinion on This?
- 10 reason I dont care what science says about yoga
- Stupid Righteous People
- Interview: Yoga for Bad People
- Pampering in Commercial Yoga Culture /// “But what can yoga do for me?”
- What is a Yoga Body? /// It’s Really Very Simple and It’s Really Very Hot!
- Another Travis Eliot Piece
- 10 Ways Tara Stiles Sounds Like a Tool Shed
- Discussing Commercial Yoga Culture
- Yogilebrities are Memes
- NIYAMA YAMA #: Baby’s and Yoga
- Key Distinctions of “Commercial Yoga Culture”
- The Diversity Games /// Who’s Got Those Talkin’ Diversity Blues Chops?
- Thoughts on the Body Toxic
- BEST WEEK EVER: Sadie Nardini Gives Us Poor Fucks Some Success Tips and Then Shows Us How to Become a Geisha
- Yoga Has Opened Me Up to Satan /// And Now I Am Happily Carrying Satan’s Spawn
- Yoga is More than Spirituality /// When a UFO Lands, Greet it With a Handshake
- 10 Reasons Why Yogilebrities are Really Just Celebrities in Training
- NIYAMA YAMA # Crumple That Shit Up
- This Week on The Babarazzi I Learned That….
- Yoga in Public is for Begging
- An Uber-Subjective Review of “21st Century Yoga”
- Our Interview with “Fifty Shades of Yoga”
- The Problems With Kelly Morris’ “Masculine/Feminine” Binary /// An Aghori Babarazzi Talky Talk
- Facts are or Will Eventually Be BS /// So, Try Not to Be a Total Cock Knocker About What You Think You Know
- [THE FRIDAY GOOD] Greatest Youtube Tribue to an Artist? /// Obvies….
- Yoga Personalities as Garbage Pail Kids
- Just Because You’re a Hot Mess Doesn’t Make You a “Shaman”
- People aren’t Props /// Unless They Wanna Be /// In Which Case Be Quiet Whitey
- Ignoring “Power-Over” Does Not Make it Go Away
- Boycotting John Friend is Hilarious
- Maybe Yoga Journal is a False Idol Sent Down to Lead the Stupid Astray
- Why “Kindness” is Great, But Only One Aspect of Life
- Feminism is an Evolving Process ///
- Please Keep Yr Yoga “On the Mat” So I Can Hang With a Non-Lame Person Once in a While
- [THE FRIDAY GOOD] I AM RICH App
- Yoga Entrepeneurs Say the Darndest Things ///
- From “Corporation as Person” to “The Situationists” to “Yoga” /// Say, what?
- Think Positive and You Will Eventually, Well, Think Positive About Stuff
- Is Imagination Necessary to Teach Yoga
- Are Women and Men Opposites?
- [SHORT SHORT POST] The “I” as a Plurality of Becoming /// Quick Baba Mash-up
- Facebook Yoga School Shooting
- [THE FRIDAY GOOD] Presidents With Boobs On Their Faces
- [ANNIVERSARY WEEK 2013] Comment Awards!
- Zombie Boy
- [RESPONSE] What Would a Perfect Yoga Teaching World Look Like?
- [ANNIVERSARY WEEK 2013] (Real Paparazzi)
- Politcal Yoga
- So You Wanna Do More Than Just Asana Yoga /// The Babarazzi Guide to “Other Yogas”
- Hasid Yoga
- [THE FRIDAY (PRETTY) GOOD]
- Being Anti-Sanskrit in Yoga is Probably Racist, Right?
- Positive Thinking Doesn’t “Work” /// Neither Do Protests /// Check Yrself and the Height of Ye Horse
- Titans of Yoga Movie
- Yogi iPad Thing
- [THE FRIDAY GOOD] Balancing Rocks
- The Importance of Creating a Language to Speak About Yoga Commodity Culture
- Who Wants to Make a Wikipedia Page for “Yoga Bleaching?”
- More Things You Do Not Need To Practice Yoga
- Words “Yogis” Should Stop Using
- Yoginis Frickin’ LOVE Flip Flops
- Interview With a Corporate Yoga Teacher /// Shelley Adelle on Money, Meaning, and Getting Defensive
- Focusing on the Money is a Waste of Time! /// GLBL YOGA and Money
- 100,000 Dollars!
- Would You Eat a Man’s Face if it Meant More People Would Do Yoga?
- Om Mani Padme Hum Necklace
- So You Wanna Be a Critic? /// Advice for the Disenchanted
- Simple Alternatives to Celebriyogi Culture are Boring /// New Paradigms Need More Passion
- Yoga Apps
- What Else Besides Drunken Blackouts and Orgies Happened This Weekend?
- The Summer of Thousand Petals
- Some Stuff We Came Across
- A Note About Tradition
- The Marriage of Fashion and Yoga /// A Lie Fit to Buy
- Strike a Spiritual Pose
- Dana Flynn /// Did Say Coulda Said
- New Banana Axis Mundi “YOGI” Wallpaper /// Peel It
- Yoga Studio Names /// Have We Run Out Of Sanskrit Words Yet?
- Yoga Does Not Need The Babarazzi
- Let’s Talk About Love
- Reading “Gurus” From A Hyper-Capitalist Vantage Point Is A Bummer
Each one of these pieces had a potential future that never was. To this day they remain sitting in the Green Room waiting for the big call.
While there is quite a range of themes that can be pulled from the above list, the tie that binds them all is the culture of the yogilebrity.
The intention of The Babarazzi was to critique that culture, out, proud, loud, and with a great sense of style. Our agenda was quite simple: isolate yogilebrity culture to such a degree that it would be forced to respond as a unique entity within the greater culture of yoga, officially outing itself as a separate thing among many things.
Up until now Yogilebrity culture had woven itself into the greater fabric of contemporary yoga culture to render itself almost invisible, making it difficult to engage any aspect of the culture surrounding the yoga tradition without finding oneself mired in a sea of sensationalist advertising and bound-for-the-trash-heap (or the ever-mystical “recycling bin”) merchandise. It has been pervasive to the point of being absent, so much so that even people with independent yoga practices unknowingly define yoga in the terms given to them by yoga commerce. People find “their” Truth. They “rock their asanas.” They “get fit” for summer. This, however, is a language passed down. Where, we wondered, was a language that spoke back up?
A Language of Our Own Making
Once a community has a language that can describe, pick out, and discuss a phenomenon (i.e Commercial Yoga Culture), then that community can use it to facilitate discourse and a greater understanding and appreciation of the world around them. Basically, in a society prioritizing language, if you can’t speak about something, you will have a hard time identifying that something.
1. Yoga Bleaching
Yoga bleaching was our first attempt to provide new words and concepts that could be used to spotlight aspects of Commercial Yoga Culture. As we defined it in our piece, “What is ‘Yoga Bleaching?’”
“yoga bleaching: 1. a form of marketing in which yoga or an image of yogic lifestyle is used to make an otherwise unrelated product appear to be in line with yogic principles. 2. the act of using yoga or an image of yogic lifestyle to sell an unrelated product. 3. a form of spin or marketing intended to deceive consumers into believing that a product is related to yogic practice or theory when in fact it is not.”
2. Commercial Yoga Culture
The other term we came up with was “Commercial Yoga Culture” (CYC), which we define as an environment in which the signs and symbols of yoga practice are used primarily as a way to maintain the relevancy of the market of Commercial Yoga Culture (working definition). In effect, CYC is a tautology. It is a commercial enterprise developed solely to reinforce itself. CYC is the buying and selling of CYC.
3. The “Yogilebrity”
While we’re fairly certain we did not coin this term, we definitely pulled a lil’ Japanese engineering on it, and made it into something grand. We (loosely) define the “yogilebrity” as a yoga instructor who consistently, while resting on a business-centered platform, places in the foreground his/her own personality. Yogilebrities sell as their primary product themselves. Something called “yoga” is merely the context within which this exchange occurs.
4. Entertainment Yoga
Entertainment Yoga is the yoga most often identified within the culture of yoga commerce. It is a branch of yoga that prioritizes the making happy of its students and the avoidance of boredom. It may look like any number of “styles” of yoga, but will always have at its core an interest in making sure yoga students “like” yoga. The customer is always right in Entertainment Yoga.
Yoga Does Not Need Saving
Some of our readers and detractors misconstrued The Babarazz as a site that was out to “protect” yoga from the evils of commerce. This could not be further from the truth. We, The Babarazzi, are vehemently anti-purist.
Many would like to believe that we as a collective are unanimously against consumption, or somehow anti-commerce. The truth is, some of us are, and some of us ain’t. Our attack was based primarily on what we believe to be Commerical Yoga Culture’s hypocrisy, the perception that it existed as both a facilitator of commerce, as well as a commercial entity beyond critique. Founder of YAMA Talent, Ava Taylor’s article “It’s not a revolution unless everyone is part of it” is an explicit example of this hypocrisy.
It is our belief, however, that Commercial Yoga Culture is no different than any other aspect of commerce. It probably won’t “shift the consciousness” of the world toward something more “elevated,” “mindful,” or “aware.” It probably won’t make life on planet Earth less hard for people. Why? Because, the ill conditions of the (not really post-) colonial world have more to do with access and the way in which access is made impossible by the very “lifestyle of abundance” Commercial Yoga Culture so vehemently proselytizes.
This does not mean that we ever felt yoga to be “threatened.” We believe the culture of actual yoga practice, that wily and diverse psycho-somatic cacophony of intentional self-knowledge, to be far too vast and integrated into world cultures to be harmed by weekend workshops on “How to Become a Shaman.” In fact, we find it entirely arrogant to assume that thousand-year-old traditions need protecting from the Great White Hope that was John Friend. Douglas Brooks’ hissy fit over the John Friend scandal is a prime example of such silliness:
So, as far as we’re concerned…
Yoga does not need saving.
Yoga does not need protecting.
Yoga does not need police.
Yoga does not need a codified system of “standards.”
Yoga does not need an insurance plan.
Yoga does not need a better yoga mat.
Yoga does not need better marketing.
Yoga does not need more blogs.
Yoga does not need The Babarazzi.
The evolution of humanity through body-centered practices is not one. Yoga is not the “answer.” Yoga is a method. One of many. And, there are many. What yoga needs is you and your enthusiasm to practice and practice often, your humility to learn from those more practiced than you, and some basic understanding on how to teach others who seek to be taught.
It doesn’t take much more than that.
Thank You Thank You Thank You
In closing we would like to speak to a few people. But, first, we would like to speak directly to our commenters. Are you paying attention? Are you reading this? Are we looking into each other’s eyes? Good. Now listen up. YOU made The Babarazzi what it is. So often we would talk amongst ourselves about how hilarious and insightful our commenters were. In a way writing articles was more about getting you bunch of psychopaths to say crazy shit than anything else. Really. I mean, who actually gives a fuck what Sadie Nardini is up to, or what stupid uninformed BS Kelly Morris is spewing from her frozen mouth? We were always more interested in what you, our daily commenters had to say, and, most importantly, HOW you said it. That’s right. We’re speaking to you, amphibi1yogini, the moment already came, Greenpoint, jorge, Chai Fan, alex auder, knittinginnc, novecho, The P, Garuda, Linda-Sama, Earth Energy Reader, Yoga_Dude, Lalalala, greatnorthsky, kashi kid, silki, Kit Kat, gross, DimensionYoga, PeggyB, stacy, Luber, Narayan Chaitanya, Zodiyack, Thaddeus, Think Again, itstrue, Wondering, ckling, giggity, LilaBlog, Lola/Dakini, Emily, Helga, 2littlewings, Bryan, Tulasi-Priya, et al. The comments that were shared on The Babarazzi were by far some of the most funny and witty blurbs we have read online. So, we say with extreme honesty, THANK YOU. Thank you for being awesome, and thank you for being there bright and early.
As for those of you who read the site, but did not comment, we know you are out there, and we love you all the same! We saw the numbers rise throughout the day. We know you were checking in. Thank you for consistently visiting our site. Your interest in our work and what we had to say was a daily reminder that people were reading, and it’s because of you that we kept the site live as long as we did. So long as we could tell people were paying attention, we felt it right to keep entertaining you.
As for the yogilebrities whose egos we damaged day in and day out…. Ah well. It’s probably for your own good. We’re certain at least some of you aren’t awful. Unfortunately, it’s more or less impossible to tell, as that silly yoga personae you keep dragging around like a water-logged corpse dangling from your yoni makes you look and sound like a colossal fucktard. Aside from that, and, in all honesty, we hope all goes well for you. Like you’ve always said, you deserve to be a success! Don’t let anyone tell you any different. You DESEEEEEERVE it.
As for the few yogalebrity business folk who felt so burnt by our razor sharp, though very much within our legal right, verbiage so as to threaten legal action against us, we’d like to extend a warm Yogi Tea “fuck you” to you and your absurd sense of self-importance. You are devastatingly lame, and wonderfully ineffectual in your threats.
Finally, we’d like to thank Waylon Lewis at Elephant Journal for posting and then un-posting our first “big piece.” What better way to make a distinction between Commercial Yoga Culture and any critique of that culture that contains actual teeth! Thank you for taking the advice of one particular yoga instructor who who liked to get angry at us, and who soon after the Elephant take-down emailed us to inform us of his influence in your decision. Without this minor controversy, who knows if we would ever have stayed around!
To all those beyond and in between—friends, foes, and the disinterested—we wish you a life of health and happiness, and that you will know true love in all its terrifyingly unpredictable forms.
And now, we, The Babarazzi, go back to the cave. Good luck out there.
With great big love,