Former 2:24 marathoner, now pushing 50 and reduced to a pitiable spastic shuffle • Magazine writer, book editor and author, and commentator on distance running since 1999; mostly a crank since approximately 2016 and possibly long before • Coach and adviser of less pessimistic perambulators • Dobie-mix owner Sentence-fragment impresario

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Instead of tweets, Vol. 2

  • When I hear the word "predator," I think of an animal with a menacing growl.Therefore, he term "sexual predator" provokes images of seedy old guys wandering the streets in trench coats and making "Gr-r-r-r-r" motorboat noises, hoping to ultimately molest or rape someone. Obviously, this is absurd, because no successful predator makes any noises if it can help it. 
  • Having quit the more chatterific forms of social media, I am a little slower to pick up on hot topics, frivolous and otherwise. But when I heard about FaceApp, which was released a couple of years ago but has generated buzz lately for some reason, I had to know what it thought I'd look like as a woman. (Everyone wonders the same thing. Women do too, by imagining themselves as other women.) It turns out I'd be far better looking than I am, because, perhaps with some aggressive yet delicate maintenance, I'd be Peggy Lipton, or at least Peggy Lipton taking an excellent and all-too-brief turn as Norma Jennings on Twin Peaks.


  • Last week, I ordered a new vacuum cleaner online for the first time, and couldn't wait for it to arrive. Not because I was living in filth, because no amount of literal cleansing of my environment could ever address the ghastly rot in the core of my hideous being, but because something is dreadfully fucking wrong with me. People with meaningful recreational lives don't even think about things like vacuum cleaners between the time they submit the order and the moment they see the UPS truck outside.
  • Gaining wisdom in older age is more a matter of accepting aspects of reality one has long been aware of than of learning anything truly new. In running, you almost have to lie to yourself to some extent, or at least allow your own credulity more say in the overall dialogue, in order to stay in the game once you're far past your best days. 
  • The term "dollar store" will lose its meaning within a couple of decades for the same reason no one says "penny candy" or "five and dime" anymore. I wonder what the most valuable sort of item ever offered at a true dollar store is. I'm not talking about thrift stores, I mean new-in-box stuff. For example, you can't get an MRI machine there, although with the state of U.S. health care, it wouldn't make much difference. (Although health spending accounts for a sixth of U.S. GDP -- by far the highest fraction globally -- while giving relatively little in return, making it a bad system run by mostly bad people who deserve to die of bad diseases after getting bad or no treatment for the, the U.S. ranks very high in imaging and diagnostics. This is probably because the associated procedures usually cost an arm and a twat, sometimes more, with the result being a few people making a shitload of money, and few people making a little money, and a few people winding up with a combination of cancer and a six-figure medical bill.)
  • Perhaps I haven't been following the major race-cheating scandals closely enough over the years, but I can't recall a single instance of one of these jokers having, or at least mentioning, a coach. I guess when you're a habitual course-cutter, it's hard to find a coach who is willing to get you to within about 40% of the required fitness level for your goal time and then set you free to close the gap through never-discussed forms of creative skullduggery.

    On a vaguely more serious note, when I finished reading all of the articles and posts I plan to read about the most recent and nuttiest cheating episode, I was struck by a number of granular similarities between this unusually flagrant dishonesty-junkie and an equally flamboyant but far more obscure liar you may have seen me mention here once or twice. Both of them have offered conflicting stories about both their educational history (1, 2) and their participation in NCAA running (1, 2) to actual journalists, thereby knowingly -- or so one expects -- cementing their untrue words for all to easily uncover for the remainder of human history, which will ideally occur no more than 20 or 25 years from now. (No, Kim never qualified for nationals. And as far as "I have never had any connection to Beck," as awesome as it would be if this were true, Kim chose other facts when she was filing false police reports and court documents.)

    But the main issue here for me at this point is the enablers of such people, because people like this never stop lying until they are either dead or they become the beneficiaries of ongoing, intensive interventions. The doc in L.A. obviously had countless enablers, in part because of the standing he achieved in his community but also because he probably wasn't a complete asshole when not lying or carrying out some kind of bullshit scheme, for gain or for fun. I don't know or care what his or my badly damaged associate's official diagnoses were or are or could be, but it's plain that lying itself is both the work and the reward when it comes to people who tell outrageous, literally unbelievable falsehoods when outright delusional states can be ruled out.

    It is natural for Letsrun analysts to ponder the "why" of an outwardly successful person risking his entire reputation with a protracted age-group cheating scheme. In most cases, they answer their own question: "Why would anyone consciously do anything that nuts?" Exactly. It's got to be the thrill of getting away with something. I think most of us have a touch of this tendency in us, the allure of engaging in behavior you know others would disapprove of if they knew. When I was 13 or 14, I was a well-behaved kid, but one of my redneck buddies from Georgia who came up every summer got me started dipping snuff for a while. My mom eventually found out and didn't care, but I admit that part of the thrill of sitting in a makeshift loft in a buddy's garage spitting into an empty jar with a couple of other kids was the notion of secretly breaking the rules. I think that pathological liars get such a charge out of the act of letting fly with fifth-degree horseshit that in that moment, they care not a bit about the consequences they know are coming eventually.

    I have been around a lot of fucked-up people in my life, including myself, and the reality is that a considerable fraction of the population is always going to be fucked up to the point where their existence adds a lot more misery to the societal equation than it adds utility. In fact, pretty much every single person born today is going to prove utterly worthless. When people decide to have kids, a lot of them are unconsciously rolling the dice,reckoning that just because everyone else they know has inbred, stupid, destructive kids, they are somehow going to hit the jackpot and produce the next Nobel Prize-caliber scientist or something. Trust me, your kids are likely to be as moronic, calamitous and unsettled as you and everyone else you know is much or most of the time. People ought to be more cognizant of the fact that when they decide to meld their stinking genitals in a procreative way, they are generating a previously nonexistent conscious mind that will then spend a great deal of time aggregating messages about what it needs to do to merely avoid banality and catastrophe. I know saying this is pointless for a variety of reasons, chief among them being that basic biology is always going to override people's ability to discern how corrupt their DNA is and what horrible parents they're bound to make. Also like I've said before, have kids and you'll certainly never be bored, and often you'll be proud. For me this was never going to be good enough to justify adding products of my own roving, blinkered, polluting meat to the equation, and I believe that the most productive thing I have ever accomplished in life is the passive act of simply not reproducing. I will always be a little pissed at my parents for meeting and fucking without protection, even if they meant well, and I never needed to be the target of some unnecessary younger relative's anger and scorn.
  • The U.S Justice Department is in effect ordering the person who investigated the mentally challenged criminal currently serving as POTUS to keep his mouth shut about details of Trump's malfeasance, the extent of which even his supporters wouldn't deny if forced to be honest. There are some exceptions, since a large fraction of the nation is clogged by people who, while perhaps not meeting all of the proper biochemical checkboxes, are basically retarded. I guess I could offer that it's uncool to be living under de facto totalitarian government, and will also opine that in a just cosmos, the bloated mendacious, beady-eyed cunt presently hijacking the Office of the Attorney General would expire of the most painful form of cancer conceivable, one that eats its way up from his shriveled balls through his ponderous gut and finally starts slashing away at the admittedly adept but extremely cruel mass of shit and neural tissue inside his skull that does his thinking for him. And in an even more comical world than the one we live in, his last foul breath will be accompanied by a wail of agony and an explosive shitting of whatever pointless garment happens to be encasing his fat ass at the time. Then, he should be buried with his head sticking out of the ground in a heavily Latino neighborhood while it rots, so people can playfully swat at it with bats and planks until there's nothing left but a maggoty stump. I say all of this not so much to illustrate my contempt for Bill Barr but to demonstrate where the whole dumb idea of Hell comes from: impotence (in the general sense) combined with hatred or resentment. (As an aside, it's kind of pointless to actually wish for bad things to happen to people. Instead, so what I do and take solace in the fact that everyone alive experiences a massive amount of fear, shame, anxiety, and pain, and that virtually everyone experiences all of these things at once at the end, no matter how formidable he or she may have seemed before that time. What am basically saying here is that a good way to clear your soul of distracting resentments is not to pretend to forgive them, 'cause that almost never happens, but to move one step closer to full-fledged sadism or at least a better appreciation for the cold and dispassionate way nature works.)
  • The power just went out. When this happens nowadays, it triggers an entirely different chain of events than it did 25 years ago, especially during the daytime. The router is now not working, but I can connect to the Internet through tethering and still use my laptop online. But if I shut down now, I can charge my phone instead of draining it in case this shit persists into the wee hours when I will need something, anything, to do on the Internet. Lately, my spare time has been aimed at watching all of 24 for the first time. I am making slow progress on this front.
  • Each time I go back and re-read one of the crude collections of words about the Caster Semenya ruling that were scooped from the discarded diaper piles in various "feminist" minds and splattered into media outlets like the New York Times in early May, what was plain then is even more obvious now: The more time that passes since the publication of those collections of red herrings, misinformation, irrelevant grievances, hubris and nonsense – which some might call "articles," although in some cases they're presented as "editorials" or "opinion columns" and therefore don't have to relate meaningfully  to reality as long as the publisher doesn't give a shit what discerning readers think – the more it becomes clear that its various authors will, or should be, embarrassed beyond all conventional measure by their work in this area. The sheer flood of catecholamines in response to the galactic and well-earned shame might even paralyze their ability to dispatch words into the public sphere, and a cold and shit-streaked cosmos will be incrementally less painful to behold for critics of unrepentant fuckheads masquerading as journalists. This one might be the worst I've seen, and its author almost fittingly refers to the CAS decision as "nonsense."

    It really doesn't take that long to figure out that the reason Semenya has extremely high testosterone "for a woman" is that in accordance with some not-at-all-mysterious criteria used to classify people in the basis of sex, she isn't one. and even if the now-ten-year-old reports that claim a medical examination of Semenya uncovered testes were false, Semenya's supporters would be left trying to explain where all that testosterone in her system has always come from. Hint: It's in the name of the goddamn hormone.For athletic purposes, women cannot have testes. None of this is remotely contestable on evidentiary grounds, which is why every advocate for Semenya's right to compete as a woman is demonstrating a combination of ignorance, dishonesty, and intentionally hostility toward facts that the political left indulgently (and correctly) accuses creationists of doing. More on this soon, but probably not in this medium.

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