To paraphrase singer Lesley Gore, “It’s my blog, and I’ll bag on people if I want to.”
It is pretty much universally agreed there are five traditional human senses: Sight, hearing, taste, smell and touch. Unfortunately, it looks like we can add a new one - Hypocrisy. Well, maybe that is being a bit dramatic in the literary sense, so let me just put forth it must be part of the Human Condition.
It does not take a PhD in Literature to smell which way a particular media outlet leans editorially these days. To put it even simpler terms – It does not take much effort to sniff out partisan hacks, anymore. Harsh words you may think? Well, not so fast. Allow me to expound on the morass which passes for Cycling and Media these days.
So, just what has brought forth from my psyche the following tale of bizarre behavior? Well, I just got finished with the January 2013 issue of Velo Magazine, and the bullshit has become so thick over there you couldn’t cut it even with a brand new, extra-sharp 53-chain ring. Cancel my subscription, please!
And for the record, this article is not a hit piece on Velo Magazine. They don’t need me for that, anyway. The madness runs deep and wide across the entire cycling media spectrum, and there is indeed an answer to the odd, macabre mystery of what cycling currently is and where it may be headed.
For openers, the so-called “Anti-Doping” crowd has finally found something they hate worse than doping itself - Lance Armstrong. The battle lines have been drawn between the Armstrong supporters and his detractors, I mean, enemies. The drama, and the humor within, is observing the “Anti-Doping” crowd fully embrace, dare I say it, A DOPER, to support their own case for the elimination of performance enhancing drugs. I am not making this stuff up, folks! See, they hate doping (so they claim), but, they just didn’t like THAT doper. THEIR doper is OK, though.
And just who is THEIR doper? Well, Tyler Hamilton, of course. The (now formally) disgraced, hated, ignored racer, who just recently, could not even catch a break from his own shadow, is now the poster boy for “Clean” cycling. Wow, now that was a switch!
Ponder the following, Grasshopper. How is it possible Tyler Hamilton (the new “King of Truth,” and busted, admitted doping cheat) went from the proverbial Pit to the Palace without so much as smelling like the very manure he shovels? Well, the “Cycling Community” won’t tell you how, and this includes Velo Magazine, and pretty much all of the cycling media. See, when a person could not even get someone to piss on their gums, even if their teeth were on fire, how is it they are now the anointed “King of Truth” when it comes to justice regarding doping and cycling?
It is quite simple, really. To first have a scapegoat, you must first have a hero.
For the “Anti-Doping” faction there are only two sides in this argument, and for them it is clear-cut - Armstrong versus Hamilton. However, in reality, there are three sides in this power struggle for cycling’s future (and yes, it is a power struggle). They are Armstrong, versus Hamilton, versus all the rest of us who don’t really give a shit, because we knew the game was rigged in the first place. Therefore, all of the cries for reform are nothing but smoke and mirrors at best.
What we are witnessing is like that old Who song which wisely proclaimed: “Meet the new boss. Same as the old boss.” We are simply viewing a changing of the guard, not a grass-roots, benevolent movement for the greater good of cycling. It is nothing but a power grab by the New Boss seeking to oust the Old Boss, and that “Greater Good” will be defined as is seen fit for all to live under once the New Boss is in power.
All of this nonsense is out there for anybody with a molecule of reasoning to comprehend, if you try. You just have to dig a little. Peruse any media source regarding bicycle racing, Lance Armstrong, or Tyler Hamilton, and the scenario just lays itself bare for public viewing. And, it does not stop with Lance or Tyler - People, and their reputations are falling all around us, and the death toll will be high in this conflict.
Additionally, consider this scenario. Following the illogical rants of the “Guilty because I said-so,” sanctimonious, anti-doping police, how long will it be before we discover Bradley Wiggins, Mark Cavendish and Marianne Vos are found to be juiced to the Moon? Really, this is not a stretch of the imagination or innuendo for that matter. Remember, the burden of proof to this point has been if you are an icon of the sport, you got there by doping. And, the “King of Truth” has pointed out doping was present and deeply systemic in the sport. How else do you explain a multi-time winner/champion, or so the anti-doping police crowd claims? However, as for the currently agreed upon innocence of the above mentioned riders, well, doping was only a constant of the Armstrong culture we are told, and there is absolutely no way Dopers are dominating the sport today. Oh, really? Well, time will bare this one out, I am sure.
In summation, I must state the obvious again, being it seems to be forgotten so often by our species – Anywhere there is money, fame, prestige and eventually power to wielded, you will find the cheaters, the liars, the thieves, the cut-throats, the desperate and the clinically narcissistic. Call it cause and effect, as this description would be completely apropos. To put it even more succinctly – One has to have had their head fully implanted up their anus to NOT know performance enhancing drugs drove the sport.
In humanity, there never has, nor will there ever be, a completely level playing field. It is just a fact of human nature that rules will always be broken by the unscrupulous seeking a quick way to the top.
So, as I had mentioned previously, Hypocrisy must be part of the Human Condition.
And if it isn’t, it ought to at least be one of the Original Sins.