BHD Riding Easy

BHD Riding Easy

I seem to have bumped into several articles recently about the evils of doping in sport…. which leads me to think. As someone with more than a passing interest in writing, a nodding acquaintance with the odd musician (aren’t they all?) and the occasional glimpse of a painting here and there, I wonder if we aren’t showing our double standards here.

Nobody, I think, was ever stripped of a platinum disc, or music award, or bumped off the top million best sellers list, or chucked out of the National Galley, for having performed, written, conceived, painted (or spilled) their particular masterpieces under the influence of drugs or (perhaps more usually) alcohol.

We might point out that they’ve damaged their health, shortened their lives and made themselves generally obnoxious, but we haven’t accused them of being cheats. Nobody thinks that a singer songwriter, for example, would have cheated his or her way to the top of the top ten for being out of the head on something or other when  writing it. Nobody thinks an inspired painting is any less of a painting for having been painted in an alcoholic haze. In fact, sometimes one gets the feeling that we’re applauding them for going that extra mile for our entertainment. As to contemporaries that couldn’t match their originality, brilliance, vision, etc,etc,etc, even they don’t seem to mind being outperformed (in what are, let’s face it, extremely competitive activities populated by monster egos) by those who have injected themselves, or swallowed a toxic little helper. Maybe if we just let sports people get on with taking whatever they wanted to, to increase their this rate or that rate, or the size of whatever whatnot they’re intent on pumping up (or reducing) we’d all develop a much more realistic attitude to just what it is and isn’t worth  risking or sacrificing for the sake of their or our Art!

Anyway, I’m going off to have another cup of tea, and perhaps self administer a bacon butty, before trying to write another inspired short story. (I’ve given up temporarily on the poetry-it needs too many fatty acids).