What a world we live in. There are more people on the earth than ever, and technology is accelerating so fast that the boundaries of what human beings are capable of are constantly being redefined. Things are changing faster then I can remember, and there is constantly more and more details to pay attention to. Perhaps that’s just what it means to get older, but as I approach 30 years young I’m noticing I’m not the only one who feels this way. It might sound like I’m about to start complaining about life, the universe, and everything, but I’m not. I actually enjoy the grind of keeping up with Twitter and Facebook, making sure I’ve got the latest articles from the Times and Journal, and trying to remember all those coupon codes in my email. I’m not here to complain about all that wonderful stuff. Rather, I’m writing to complain about a few notable doofuses and their followers who are trying to stifle all that.
By now we’ve all heard of Todd Akin. Great another name to remember! Don’t worry though, I’m hoping we can all soon forget this man. Need a refresher? He’s the dude who clumsily stated that women have a way of “shutting that down” in cases in which they are raped. The “that” he is referring to is commonly known as Meiosis, but maybe he doesn’t believe that that’s how babies are made. Maybe some bird comes flying in high from the mountains, and if he sees a woman getting raped, the bird won’t deliver her a baby in nine months. Before I go overboard here’s the full quote so you can judge for yourself:
“It seems to me, from what I understand from doctors, that’s really rare. If it’s a legitimate rape, the femalebody has ways to try to shut that whole thing down. But let’s assume that maybe that didn’t work or something: I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be of the rapist, and not attacking the child.”
And here’s a link to a video clip, so you can read this idiot’s eyes as he reaches into his shallow mind for those mind boggling remarks. The best part is that Charles Jaco (the interviewer who I will refrain from commenting on) doesn’t even react. Its as if what Akin has just said is something he’s heard before and is totally normal.
My point is that we all know how fast the world is turning these days, and we can’t let numbskulls like Akin and the media outlets that sponsor him slow it down with their pie in the sky agendas. Akin later apologized and said he misspoke. Who really gives a shit? What I find more alarming than the comments themselves is the public outcry that this has created (yes, I know I’m contributing to it). If you didn’t know people like Akin say even stupider things all the time then you probably haven’t ventured far from your major metropolitan locale. The fact is that all this outrage is because of the country’s divide on the abortion issue. In my mind it should’t be an issue. There are more important things to worry about then arguing whether an unborn baby is alive or not. I mean, that is what the argument is all about right? Or is it even deeper than that? Is there some larger fundamental divide between the two trains of political thought in this country? Is the conservative doctrine using abortion as a weapon to paint the other side as murderers or villains who have no care for human rights? Or does the American media use abortion to get our minds off of the real issues? Like how gas prices keeping rising and nobody seems to ask why, or how 2/3 of Americans are overweight and we’re all wondering why health care is such a big deal?
(I won't even broach the whole religion issue, but we know there is a small but extremely loud minority in this country that forgets about the separation of church and state. Supporters of the Pro-Life movement typically allow religion to be a major influence in their thinking. Now that is perfectly fine. The problem is that when this country was founded one of the basic principals it was based on was that religion had no place in policy making, and that everyone has the right to practice whatever religion they choose. The word “God” is never mentioned in the constitution, but yet many of the religious fanatics who oppose abortion also call themselves constitutionalists. I smell a wicked case of the blind leading the blind. In order to call yourself a constitutionalist you have to have actually read the Constitution. Then again you think most of the people I’m referring to have read their own religion’s Bible.)
It would be perfect if everyone who got pregnant was happy and ready to plan for their newborn, but this is reality: People get drunk and make mistakes, children are told that condoms are a one way ticket to Hell, and yes, women get raped. When pregnant a woman must eliminate all risk from her life. She has no choice but to give up many basic activities like driving a car, physically demanding exercise, drinking alcohol and caffeine, even going to work. By forcing a woman to deliver a baby we are denying her the pursuit of happiness, and thats more fucked up then aborting a 3 month fetus. Can we all agree that it is a woman’s right to use the technology available to her to remove that baby before it has a chance to breathe on its own, and start focussing our energy on some real issues? I mean we make it seem like being alive on this planet is such a great reward....
Props for a major asshole...
Let’s move on from the whole rape/abortion debate. Its a dicey one and if I’m not careful I’m gonna get myself all cut up. If you’re like me you love sports. I know most are probably not as inspired by physical competition between two men or women, but for me it gets to the essence of being human. If you go back and read my opening paragraph (or title) you’ll probably see where this is heading. Technology effects everything. If there is such thing as God he has taken form in the way of microprocessors, flash memory, motion sensors, and brilliant LED displays. Technology doesn’t just affect our everyday mundane lives, but it affects how we act, think, and prepare ourselves for our daily routines because of some givens it lays out. For example medicine has advanced to the point where is man with no legs has proved he is in fact one of the fastest men on the Earth. A microscopic clump of cancer can be observed, isolated, and destroyed. Human beings have even cloned a sheep proving that what we view as reproduction is eventually going to change dramatically. It all gets back to the underlying theme of why stifle progress? Why should we be concerned with damming up a river if we don’t know where it flows? I welcome those sort of unknown journeys. If you are confident with yourself, and have an understanding of the world then you should not fear change. So why do we not allow the use and regulation of steroids, testosterone boosters and other performance enhancing drugs in sports? And did a third grader come up with the term performance enhancing drugs, because its about as descriptive as an instruction manual from IKEA.
I have never been a Lance Armstrong fan. I’ve never liked anything he’s had to say in an interview, because he comes off smug. His attitude always seems like he wants to yell, “I’m better than all of you! Now every down and kiss my one nut!” Now he’s able to restrain himself if he indeed does want to demand some weird derivative of felacio, but perception is that Lance is an asshole. So you can imagine that his detractors were caught with Joker-esque grins when they heard the news that the US. Anti-Doping Agency had accused Armstrong of taking performance enhancing drugs. They’re grins turned to devilish laughter when Lance announced he would not fight the charges and relinquish his seven Tour de France titles. I have to admit that at first I was grinning too because I felt the man had gotten what he deserved. Taking steroids wasn’t why he was at fault though. In my mind the vast majority of professional athletes takes drugs to help them out. If millions of dollars were waving in front of me in the form of a new contract or endorsement deal, trust me, I would juice up and you probably would too. He was at fault because, off the top of my head, I can’t think of a public figure who I think is a bigger asshole than Armstrong (ok, maybe Rush Limbaugh and Paul Ryan have him beat). Is even that really a reason to be happy that man’s career and hard work is being shot down by a bunch of bureaucrats? I’m an asshole just like Lance, but enjoying watching a man crash and burn is downright childish.
The point I'm trying to get to here is who gives half a shit what Lance or any other athlete puts in their body? If it helps them perform and recover faster, then more power to them. I'm not saying every baseball player should look like Barry Bonds in 2004, but we know for sure these supplements and testosterone producing agents can be regulated and taken as part of a healthy workout regimen. I’m all about getting to the most basic question of any issue. For steroids in sports the question we have to ask is why do we even care about sports and what inspires us to follow and watch our favorite athletes? In a word the answer is entertainment. In two words its entertainment and idolization. We idolize our guys like Lebron, Bonds, Lance, and Brady because of everything they bring to the table. For the most part our athletes are good looking physical specimens and polarizing personalities. We can live vicariously through our athletes and feel like we’re part of the competition. We can boast to our coworkers, friends, and family. Its like we’re part of the team, and they inspire us to keep our dreams alive. To us our athletes are not real people, but rather, caricatures of what we wished we could be. Even though most athletes don’t seem to get this concept, as viewers and fans, we definitely should. Even more important is the governing bodies of our sports should understand this better than anyone, but too often they don’t. They are too concerned with manipulating the viewers perception of the sport in order to seem pure and fair.
The problem with trying to make sports fair is that nothing in this world is fair. We shouldn't be preoccupied with buying into the illusion that somehow we should be trying to make it fair. Is it fair that Lebron James was born to be six foot eight, 235 pounds, and possess the hand-eye coordination Derek Jeter? Is it fair that the Yankees are able to spend twice as much as any team in baseball and every year field what is pretty much an all star team? Is it fair that I was born a white man in America enabling me to have the education, free will, and technological means with which to share my opinions with you? No, it isn't fair, but what the hell is fair anyways? Have any of us actually experienced the "fairness" that we idealize? If we forget about being fair and remember why we love sports in the first place we will finally realize that the performing enhance drugs we speak of can be viewed as remedies, supplements, and technological advancements to the human physique instead of illicit drugs.
You may ask why even have rules if our games aren't fair? The rules set a basis for the competition. They do not make the game fair, but they make the game more entertaining because they gives us a way to determine the winner and loser. Drugs will always be available and it is the job of the NFL, MLB, and other sports organizations to educate their athletes as opposed to punish them. You'll never get drugs out of sports or society for that matter. So why fight it? Ever hear the expression "don't start something you can't finish?" Yeah well there's a reason our parents, teachers, and coaches preach that philosophy to us throughout our childhood. We have to change our game plan for dealing with drugs and supplements in sports. If we educate our athletes and research the best combinations of testosterone boosters, muscle regenerators, and mind focussing supplements we will have better conditioned athletes making our sports more entertaining and they're stars more inspiring. If you cant see he value that has for society then sorry, but you're a moron.
Till next time...