Thursday, April 27, 2006

There's No News Like Barry News

There was quite a bit of media in front of the Federal Building today...

...but they certainly weren't there to cover the noon peace vigil that has met weekly since October 2001.

There were a few Hells Angels in front of the building, presumably for a federal trial, so we wondered if that might be the reason for all the media, or perhaps they were there for the pedophile trial of a local who had been arrested for engaging in sex tourism with little girls in Cambodia.

Foolish us. There is no other news in the Bay Area, if one is to believe the execrable "San Francisco Chronicle," but Barry Bonds news.

Did or he did he not take steroids? Did he commit perjury in federal court? Should the sanctity of baseball statistics be defended in their utter purity? Should the impossibly haughty and unfriendly negro be put in his place? (The racist underbelly of the Barry hounding can be heard in all kinds of comments from white San Francisco "fans" that sound uncomfortably like Boston or Chicago fans at their least racially enlightened.)

The powers that be in San Francisco and in the larger world are cooking the financial books in every unethical way that exists, and the United States is turning into some demented mixture of Imperial Britain, Nazi Germany and the bloated, corrupt Soviet Union, but what we are supposed to concentrate on as citizens is that dirty cheater, Barry Bonds.

The best inside professional sports book ever written is still "Ball Four" by the pitcher Jim Bouton from the 1960s, where everyone was fueling themselves on a mixture of booze and benzedrine ("greenies"). Bouton has a wonderful website (click here) where somebody asks him if there's any difference between the 1960s drug abuse and the later steroid abuse, and he does draw a distinction, saying that bennies were performance enablers ("usually taken because we were so hungover") while steroids are performance enhancers and actually un-level the playing field. Still, at a certain level of the game, for at least the last twenty-five years, most of the top performers were juiced.

So can we move on, professional journalists, to subjects just slightly more important? This overkill is only waning your already shaky credibility.


Anonymous said...

hi! remember me?! how are you??!!
topically (of the day, that is, not method of application): bike folk report that as long as performance enhancements have been known, performance enhancements have been used. a really quirky and wonderful book: One More Kilometre and We're in the Showers by Tim Hilton. Includes the sad tale of Tom Simpson, whose amphetamine use factored in to a dramatic and sad death on Mount Ventoux during the 1967 Tour de France, sigh. anyway -- not limited to one sport much less one easy-to-pick-on individual. (how about chewing up Mark McGuire for a while?)

one of the sad aspects of all these current steroid consumers is how unpleasantly swollen they look. ugh. one of the formerly lovable aspects of b-ball is how the players had this normal-size human-scale body. not freekishly tall giants like basketball or muscle bound like um governors. even all those track and field olympians are all swollen looking now. and if former romantic partners are to be believed, doesn't do a lot for the disposition either.

we yogis are guilty of excessive organic cotton consumption. laced with lycra. know to drink the occasional bottle of wine.


p said...

dear sf mikem
what's wrong with you? who cares about national wire tapping? neo-fascistic pride? war disaters? multi-billion dollar corruption scandals? or rigged elections when you got barry on the news all the time? it's either him or brokeback montain (i like the xxx title better bareback mountain) that didn't win the oscar for best movie ( who saw cras anyway?)....oh it's a worderfull life

Anonymous said...

Frankly, I don't think The Chronicle cares about much of anything EXCEPT that Barry Bonds lands in jail - for something. That seems to be their goal. It's a very sad state when the world is crumbling around us and the only thing The Chronicle can repeatedly put on the front page is the latest Grand Jury leaks about Barry Bonds. Boycott The Chronicle and tune in to Civic Center, Raw, Huffinton Post, Crroks and Liars, etc. You'll have a better idea of what is going on than reading the local fish wrap.

BTW, I love your blog. I've been reading it for many months now. Keep up the good work. I always enjoy my visitis here.