Hypergraffiti

Where I spray-paint my thoughts…

Enhanced Performance

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Finally the weather is back to … I’d say normal, but I think last week was closer to “normal” (gray, cool, wet). Today it’s back to what I think it should be. I’m hoping for a couple more weeks of good weather before school starts.

Since it was so beautiful this morning and I had lots of time, I took Max for an extra-long walk: around Quidi Vidi and then some. By my rough estimate it was about 8 km and it felt great! I think even Max was slightly tired when we got back, and that take some doing, because he is a dog that raises the concept of “energetic” to new levels.

Today we’re going to Jason’s company family BBQ, but at the moment we’re at my office where Jason is beginning a mural for my wall. It is going to look amazingly cool and I will post pictures when it’s done (which won’t be today or anytime too soon, but hopefully before school starts).

I just noticed on someone else’s blog that today is August 6. 61 years since the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. On the downside, in 61 years humanity hasn’t worked out any better way to solve disputes than dropping bombs on each other. On the upside, for 61 years we’ve managed to resist using atomic and nuclear weapons again, which at least shows some sense.

Despite that anniversary, the top news story I heard while driving to the lake today had to do with yet another athlete getting busted for a positive drug test. I will freely confess that, not being a real sports fan, I had never heard the name of Floyd Landis before this particular controversy erupted. If you’d asked me who won the Tour de France I’d’ve said, “Um…Lance Armstrong again?” But as average citizen, non-sports-fan who still has a vivid memory of the Ben Johnson scandal, I have to say I am honestly sick to death of these athletes and their performance-enhancing drugs. If you can’t do it on your own merits, what’s the freaking point of doing it at all? It’s not like athletes are actually accomplishing anything necessary; all they’re doing is testing themselves and proving their physical strength and skill. If it’s not about achieveing your own, unaided personal best, then why do it? Maybe I’m missing something.

But it gave rise to an interesting thought which I pondered as I meandered down the Rennies River Trail. What if there were performance enhancing drugs for writers? (I’m well aware there’s a longstanding tradition of writers who believe alcohol and various hallucinogens enhance their performance, but that’s not what I’m talking about, as it’s not my think and also has been widely demonstrated to be counterproductive). If there was a drug you could take that would actually improve your writing and guarantee better books sales, better publishing contracts, a better chance at winning major literary prizes — and there were no known side effects — would you take it? Writers, what do you think? If a simple pill could combat my cripping case of Lisa-Moore-envy by giving me access to a Lisa-Moore-like level of success, would I take it?

I tend to think not. I’m only interested in succeeding on my own merits. But does that mean that writers are inherently less competitive than athletes, or just that I’m not that ambitious, or what? I’m really curious to know what other writers would say about this so I hope a few of you give it some deep thought and post an answer!

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