My Lovely Lovely Junkie Horse

It’s possible, of course, that gene doping or other techniques could turn out to be much riskier. But is that a reason to ban them? Society has always allowed explorers and adventurers to take risks in exchange for glory. The climbers who died on K2 this month ascended it knowing that one climber dies for every four who scale it.

If elite adult athletes were allowed to push the limits of human performance in return for glory, they might point the way for lesser mortals to coax more out of their bodies. If a 50-year-old sprinter could figure out how to run as fast as her 25-year-old self, that could be useful to aging weekend warriors — or any aging couch potato.

-Some tube in the New York Times.

Just think: it’s forty years since Bob Beamon broke the world long jump record in Mexico, which stood for 23 years. And yet the western world is full of big fat pigs who couldn’t manage to jump out the front door. So the man above is wrong. It might point the way for lesser mortals -but similarly, I might shite a whelk.

But he does have a point with the whole natural vs. unnatural thing:

We all know the body can be improved. We all know Olympic athletes have the highest-functioning bodies in the world. They can call themselves natural, just as they used to call themselves amateurs, but at some point that claim may seem the most unnatural thing of all.

So when everyone else is wearing bolt-on angel wings and flying to work, making lazy circles in the sky as they so do, thinking about what genitalia they’ll be wearing that night, these -there’s no other word for it- freaks will be still trying to see how quickly you can move a distance of 100 metres in a straight line. And they’ll expect us to treat them as heroes! The cheek.

Sauce for the drugs cheat is sauce for the horse, if you ask me. Sure horses are bred especially for showjumping. Imagine if you had aliens from another planet who had abducted a sample of high-performing humans and bred -via a tortuous process that took place over the course of hundred years- a master breed of crack Olympic athletes who could run the hundred metres in 6 seconds. Once the question of their nationality had been resolved, do you reckon the IOC would allow them to participate? Would they in my rear end. In fact, their introduction would mean, among other things, that any preoccupation with drug-testing would be null and void.

So what’s the big deal about your man who rubbed his horse down with Deep Heat For Horses and now he’s a drugs cheat or something. Sure the horse itself isn’t ‘natural’, as I have expertly and uncontroversially demonstrated above. To adapt an argument from opposition to the Catholic Church’s position on birth control, what’s wrong with using a little bit of chemistry to improve performance when it’s ok to use maths, physics and biology?

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2 Responses to “My Lovely Lovely Junkie Horse”


  1. 1 Kevin August 22, 2008 at 1:23 pm

    Imagine if you had aliens from another planet who had abducted a sample of high-performing humans and bred -via a tortuous process that took place over the course of hundred years- a master breed of crack Olympic athletes who could run the hundred metres in 6 seconds.

    I’m basing this on very little more than a Chris Rock joke, but … one of the the reasons New World black athletes perform so disproportionately well is down to something very like your imagined scenario. As slaves, so Chris Rock has told me, the biggest blacks were bread together to create bigger, better slaves.

    Or is that flagrantly untrue?

  2. 2 Hugh Green August 22, 2008 at 1:46 pm

    I have no idea, though I’m sure it occurred to more than a few slave traders that it would be a good idea to buy and sell people based on their physical fitness to function as slaves. I would dispute the idea that New World black athletes perform disproportionately well, however. That is, if they perform better than African athletes in a given event, it’s more because of culture, training techniques, facilities and so on. To ponder the question is a bit like asking why American soccer has never produced a player of the calibre of Samuel Eto’o or Michael Essien.

    But anyway, I came across this corker of a quote, contra reparations, on wikipedia:

    Perhaps the most cogent argument against reparations (though this is not a legal argument) is that few African-Americans are of “pure” African blood since the offspring of the original slaves were occasionally the progeny of Caucasian male masters by means of rape or threat and forcibly slave-breeding of African and Black female slaves.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reparations_for_slavery#Proposals_for_reparations

    The ‘cogency’ of this argument is that you’re less entitled to reparations because your great-great grandmother was raped by a rich white man than ancestors were resilient enough to maintain a “pure” bloodline.


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