Saturday, August 31, 2013


What do Shia Islam and Shia Lebeouf have in common?  . . . A thirst for strength and a love of muscle?


They share the same name.  That's the answer.

Shia L is hot and all but he's hardly a muscle queen.  That hasn't stopped generations of Shia Muslims from training their bodies (and minds) to defend the Hidden Imam (and now the Islamic Republic of Iran) thru the ancient art of body building.  If you thought Christians were the only ones to stumble on the eccentric curiousity of holy hammer curls, you'd be wrong.

I was sitting in bed watching Netflix, like I do most Friday nights, this time "Pilgrimage to Karbala", a documentary profiling several bus-loads of Iranian pilgrims on a deadly journey across the Iraqi border to the holy shrine of Karbala, the site of Imam Hussein's brutal murder at the hands of the Evil Caliph Yazid, and up pops the Zoorkhaneh, or "House of Strength"--a type of gym really-- but also the site of a specific form of masculine, fraternal bonding that deploys giant wooden clubs, synchronized dancing and a fervent belief in building better bodies to combat spiritual warfare.  Right up my alley. . . My falafel alley.  You know, right near my hummus hole?  It's the alley that takes you straight to my brain.


If you like nearly-unintelligible robotic translation-narration as much as I do, today's your lucky day: 


  1. Fascinating, like ballet, and some of those men had to be at least 60 years old. They've obviously perfected this training thing in the last 2000 years. : )

  2. I want a pair of those pants; you think they have them at Lululemon?

    And the two hotties with the gigantic wooden buttplugs, wawa wee wa! Now that's my kinda shawarma sangwich!