Which is harder, to run 3.1 miles or 26.2? They are equally hard for the runner who runs right. The agony and the ecstasy at the end of a race run right is the same whether induced by 42.2 km of LSD or 5 km of POT. Above, I am approaching the final stretch of a 5 K trail race (2nd annual CAAFA 5K Race Against Violence, Prospector Park, Apache Junction, Arizona). The date is wrong: should be 3/21/2010. I finished in 45th place in a mixed field of 113, and 28th among 44 men. Time: 33:38.8 for a pace of 10:49.8. That's nothing to crow about, but then I'm 60 as is the gal right behind me. Twenty years ago I could cover this distance at a 7:45 min/mile pace. There were five 60+ males and I finished first among them. Not a strong field! But a beautiful cool crisp morning and a great course and a great run. I could have pushed harder! Could have and should have.
LSD: long slow distance. POT: plenty of tempo. Both terms borrowed from Joe Henderson.
Theodor W. Adorno, "Education After Auschwitz" in Critical Models: Interventions and Catchwords (Columbia UP, 1998, tr. Pickford, pp. 196-197):
Sport is ambiguous. On the one hand, it can have an anti-barbaric and anti-sadistic effect by means of fair play [Adorno employs the English phrase], a spirit of chivalry, and consideration for the weak. On the other hand, in many of its varieties and practices it can promote aggression, brutality, and sadism, above all in people who do not expose themselves to the exertion and discipline required by sports but instead merely watch: that is, those who regularly shout from the sidelines.
An excellent observation, first published in 1967. As valuable as participation in sports is, spectatorship often demeans, brutalizes, levels, reduces individuals to members of a mob, while elevating worthless thugs to the level of heroes. What would Adorno have to say about the situation now, over forty years later? In particular, what would he have to say about cage fighting? I don't watch this trash, but a chess partner told me about a match (if that is what they call it) he had seen on TV recently.
An Hispanic and a white guy were in the cage, and the Hispanic's trainer was egging him on with cries of por la raza, for the race. Now what would liberals and leftists say about this? Would they celebrate the 'diversity' of it? And if the white man's trainer had urged the honkie to stand up for the white race, what would they say? They would scream 'racism' of course. But it is not racism when an Hispanic does it. This is one of the standard double standards of the Left. Jesse Jackson spouted similar nonsense a while back. According to Brother Jesse, it is not racism if a black does it. Is rational debate possible with people as benighted as this? (By the way, that is what we call a rhetorical question. I am clothing a statement in the grammatical garb of a question. Rational debate is not possible with people as benighted as this.)
I am not saying that Adorno would apply such a crude double standard. He is a thinker of power and subtlety. But I could be wrong. After all, he is a leftist.