Sunday, January 20, 2013

PES Chilblain

In wake of Oprah's interrogation of Lance, gums are flapping over insignificance of professional cycling. Tour de France doesn't match NASCAR or NFL, although it does equally share characteristics of both. Car racing is sponsored by manufacturers as a way to test new technologies under grueling conditions. Long bike races have lightened bikes with advanced geometries and materials, which likewise expanded choices and sales. NFL is allegedly promoting fitness, where rampant doping spills into every other sport. Maybe a better analogy would be runway models, who strut latest fashions costing thousands, which filter down to what everyone eventually wears off racks. Comedians joke about baseball home run leaders having only 11 midseason, when that was a typical weekend for steroid shooter Sammy. But do you have to bear indignation of sports writers who condemn Performance Enhancing Substances from contemporary medicine? Good diet helps, too, so why isn't food banned? Athletes today wear technical materials that keep body and extremities dry and warm; in original Olympics, they wrestled naked. Abusing substances is so much a typical behavior that you wouldn't recognize life without it. Beloved Hall of Fame honoree "The Mick" was an admitted drunkard off and on field. Perhaps fans pay to see the pumped and stoned soaring and stumbling.

After cyclists endure bonking exhaustion, pavement rash, pes chilblains (painful bumps on a frozen foot), saddle sores, and suffering for spectacle's sake in contests contrived to challenge and threaten, public seems to prefer the psychological tortures of witch hunts. Little wonder why identified dopers deny it. Who'd obediently relinquish titles hard fought over an equally doped field? Such are the consequences of cycling. You will never win at anything without undergoing a microscopic examination of your character, finances, or health. Consider yourself fortunate if this inquisition against you is so limited. Pleading ignorance can be a useful dodge. Peddling lies is what leaders do. Signing no contracts might get you cut, but, then again, who cares when you don't officially win? Only you. You can go forth faster than a famous Texan when nobody notices.

The same holds true with self published literature. With a publisher's imprimatur, contents are supposedly vetted, and readers assured of accuracy and honesty, neither of which are usually true, conversely sanctioned opinions serving agendas. Unpublished books can be full of real angst and unrequited longing worthy of your time. These days "independently produced" often becomes a prerequisite for attention by discriminating audiences. You'd think obtuse obscurity would be a turnoff, yet masses seem content with navigating cell phone plans designed to extract ever more fees from nuance and splinters that ought to be rolled into overall monthly charge.

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