Friday, October 5, 2007


As a determined optimist, can I just rant a minute against all the people in the world who seem to be conspiring to make me a cynical pessimist?

The reason I love sports, and the Olympics, and the Tour de France, is that it is awesome to see people push their bodies beyond what I am willing to spend the time and effort it would take to do it myself. Exceptional atheletes are inspiring, to see people push through pain and fatigue to acheive physically amazing things. So guess what? I think steroids SUCK. I am SO of hearing about sports stars using steroids. Barry Bonds, Mark McGuire, Jason Giambi: boring. I had a great time at some Yankees games when I lived in NY, and the year we had the subway series was ridiculous fun. But my interest has waned considerably with each new revelation of how many of them cheat. Then it was Floyd Landis being stripped of his medal for "winning" the Tour. I think he is still contesting that, and I'd love to give him the benefit of the doubt, but boy is it tough. Now today I hear that Marion Jones, my super-hero of the Sydney Olympics, has admitted that she was using steroids too, and this pisses me off more than I can say. I was invested in her and this is a betrayal of my trust and admiration. I watched the Sydney Olympics from start to finish, I knew all the atheletes, I watched all the events, and I loved her. And now I find out she was cheating the whole time.

Let me be clear, if someone wants to take steroids, I could care less. But don't try and pass yourself off as someone who doesn't. If there was a steroid league and a non-steroid league, I'd be totally fine with that. I'm sure I could get some momentary fascination from steroid users seeing just how far they could push themselves. But for me, I'm more interested in the personal story, and I'd still look to the non-steroid users for the bulk of my attention. I want to admire people who are otherwise just like me but that can still do these amazing things because they work hard at it. That is impressive.

I'll never forget the South Park episode about steroids. Athletes doing steroids are just like Cartman pretending he is retarded to compete and win in the Special Olympics. I'm mad at you Marion, you suckered me, you suckered your fellow atheletes, and in the end you suckered yourself.

I suppose the same thing has happened with politics. In 2000 I followed all the primaries closely, trying to make an educated decision about who I really thought was going to be the best president, not based on party affiliation but who I really thought would do the right thing. (My choice then was for McCain.) This time around I just can't get into it. I hate how politically cynical I've gotten, but I can't seem to help it. People who hated Kerry because he was a Massachusetts flip-flopper now love Romney, which rather baffles me. Guiliani was a decent mayor for NYC, but he is a bully, and while perhaps that can at times be an advantage in NYC, my feeling is it would be a disaster for our country, especially following the current administration. I like Hillary more than I don't, but I know she will only heighten this period of ultra-partisanship we are in that I hate hate hate. To me Obama is the only one who really seems to have the potential to have a healing effect on our country, but so far he has been far too subtle to get me all that interested. Also, since I don't live in Iowa or New Hampshire I realize it is moot what I think at this point anyway, other people get to make the decision who the nominee will be. All I do is get to vote on the bottom line next November.

I wasn't around then, but you always hear stories about how inspiring John Kennedy was, how he got people excited. I want to be a proud American, I want to have a President the entire country can rally behind and be proud to have as the face of our nation. Bill Clinton was inspriring for me, but not for everyone. Will we ever get a President again that everyone can love, or are we just going to bounce back and forth between partisan labels every few years for ever and ever? With all the Sean Hannities and Ann Coulters and Michael Moores out there who make their living off of partisanship, is there any way to turn down the rhetoric, or are we just bound to get more and more divided? This just sucks!

The end.


  1. It's hard not to cynical in this world at times. My recent Rants & Complaints have largely centered around healthcare-for-profit. There was an article in The Times a few weeks back about nursing homes and their profit margins and how quality care is am impossibility. I was visit with a nurse at one of these homes recently and she asked me, "How many people do you take care of at the hospital?" "Six," was my answer to which she responded, "Try sixty-one." Now granted, her patients are not acutely ill, but STILL. This is why dressing changes don't get done, people sit in their own filth for hours, don't get assistance for meals and develop bedsores.... Granted there are a couple of CNAs floating around, but the amount of work they have to do is impossible to accomplish. Meanwhile, the owner of the facility is a millionaire (or a big fat corporation that runs hundreds of these sorts of facilities in the country). Ick ick ICK.

  2. The problem is that we are all human and humans falter. I'm with you in that I always admire the person who is honest and follows the rules. The person who has success and greatness because of who they are and how hard they work. But at the same time, I've never been in a position where my fame determined my success. I think of those athletes and how much pressure they are under. For many of them, so much is riding on them being the best. Money, endorsements, the cover of a Wheaties box. And unfortunately, a lot of these athletes are not equipped with the skills to handle this pressure. I'm not saying it's fair, I'm just saying I think I sympathize with why it happens. And politics? Grrrr.... The thing that makes me sad is that I really believe that deep down these people (a lot of them) have what they think are the best intentions for the country. Whether I agree with their methods or not is a different issue. But, to win the race? I think people compromise and waffle in attempts to win the most possible votes. It must be a nightmare. And JFK was no saint. I know this may sound awful, but if he had been around longer, people would have probably become just as disenchanted as they have with political leaders after him. Just my two cents.

  3. Robb, I feel your pain. I guess mostly, I appreciate your candid way of expressing many of my own thoughts. When I want to rant, somehow it comes out so silly and inane that I feel like no one ever really can understand what I mean (like now - heh). I want people to be honest. I wish for genuine-ness. I long for heros. You know how hard I cheer during sports (even though I can "flip flop" on who I'm cheering for)and how I always cry during the National Anthem.
    Thanks for your RANT. I actually enjoyed it. You have a way with words, a sincere heart, and are the only in our entire family that can get a bunch of Mormons to applaud your life choices. What's up with that? Perhaps you should run for office, eh?

  4. I guess I just needed to get it out, but of course I am completely unable to hold a grudge, and yes Miss Chevious you make a good point. This is obviously a terribly difficult time for Marion Jones, and I do hope she is able to pull her life back together. What temptation it must be. We all make mistakes, but when you are famous your mistakes hurt people you don't even know. That is part of the reason I would never want to be famous myself. And thanks for the compliment Mom, but I certainly can't see a day when I'd want to be a politician! lol I'd get into trouble all the time for saying stupid things.

    As for health care Radha, well, that deserves an entire post all to itself. I'm sure I will have more and more to say on the subject as time goes on.

  5. The whole steroid thing baffles me. I guess it really comes down to the choices that we make in our lives. She made a choice, although one I don't agree with it was her choice. She is now paying the price for that choice. I only hope that she can take this lesson and help others make different choices when presented with the "easy way out."

    Politics is my passion. I am obsessed with everything that is going on in the world and read the news online constantly. I am also learning more and more about the candidates and have to agree with everything you said. I just don't know who to support. There are so many issues that impact my life, and I just don't know what's the most important. What is it that will provide me with the right choice. More and more I have seen Hillary in the press. She was on the cover of the Advocate last month. I watched her interact with Ellen on the Ellen Degeneres show. I liked what I read and what I saw. But, to your point I don't know if she will bring bipartisianship back to the office of the president. I think that I need to take your nudge and come to Washington. Maybe I can learn something there that I miss in Los Angeles.

    Thanks for your rantings. They always make me think and question... (well, sometimes they are just entertaining)

  6. Dude, you should TOTALLY come to Washington. Especially since you totally dissed us in Albuquerque. ::grin:: And hey, challenge me on the politics. That is the only way I'm forced to deal with it. I had someone to debate with in 2000, so I had to learn a lot to keep up with him. Now all I have is a certain family member who loves to tell me what some blowhard on Fox News said the night before just so he can annoy me. And it works every time, so he gets to laugh while I roll my eyes. heh