Sunday, August 06, 2006

Mennonite Dopers And Other Discontents

Be careful of the headline boys and girls.

That's always sound advice these days. I'm beginning to think the "news story" that follows the headline is a form of packing material --like the foam nuggets that spill out when you open your packages- only tangentially related the headline, if not reality itself.

Floyd Landis won the Tour de France. Or he didn't. Because he cheated. Or he didn't. Just like everybody else. Or no one. Or most. Or some. Or something.

It seems that the smoking gun in the evidence is that very elaborate parsing of Mr. Landis'... hmm; how do we put this genteelly? Um... output! shows that he is... excessively masculine. More male than an extra in Gladiator.

Me, I have no opinion. Floyd is sponsored in the event by The United States Postal Service, and I am simply gratified to learn that he didn't pull out a gat at the 20th mile marker and start greasing his competition. Although perhaps the tour could stand a bit of ...defense.

The headline is not interesting, or is the only thing interesting about the story -- you tell me. But it occurs to me that when Mennonite bike racers are accused of being dopers, it shows the world has changed in profound ways, very quickly, and we don't know how to deal with it just yet. Since the world in the past has not always been a tea party for four fifths of the population, I'm all right by the change part, generally. I usually just scan the newspapers for the folks that want to change things back, and then fashion dolls that look like them and grab the knitting needles.

The Tour de France is that most interesting of things: an up-to-date anachronism. Like wooden bats on a jumbotron, and eye black on a three hundred pound defensive lineman faster than your average sprinter, and soccer hooliganism coordinated by text messaging, it's a throwback and cutting edge at the same time. So's Landis, apparently.

Come to think of it, most of Europe is an up-to-date anachronism. Let's watch the Tour de France and listen to Kraftwerk, and watch the Mennonite American doper (do I have to put "alleged" in there, or can he get a Wiccan lawyer and sue me?)beat all the smelly european guys with the shaved legs and the chafed testicles.

No comments: