Thursday, June 5, 2008


It was probably 1990 or ’91 when the Countess (my then-girlfriend) and I found ourselves snaking up a steep and excessively winding road carved into the side of a craggy Utah mountain. It was just two skinny lanes, one for each direction, and I was at the wheel, stuck behind some old goat in a truck pulling his horse in a trailer behind him. We probably hadn’t topped 10 miles an hour over the last two trillion kilometers, but attempting to pass the truck and horse trailer on that grade would have been like playing Russian roulette against your overly polite Russian captor in a gulag using a fully loaded revolver: “After you, my American comrade. I insist!”

After several dangerous and ultimately aborted attempts to pass the trailer on that mountanside, my patience finally wore down and my frustration bubbled up as I blurted out, “Damn! I gotta get around this horse’s ass!”

I only told you that little story because it is in keeping with the equine theme of this Blog Bit and because it’s probably one of the funnier impromptu lines I ever came up with.

The Blog Bit I originally intended to post here was going to begin with what you read above. (Well, come to think of it, THIS Blog Bit begins with it also!) I had already composed all but the final few paragraphs of my intended Blog installment about the race horse BIG BROWN and his quest (now only a couple of days away from fulfillment) of being the first thoroughbred in 30 years to win horse racing’s nearly impossible Triple Crown. My Blog Bit was going to be titled “THE WORLD’S GREATEST ATHLETE IS A HORSE” and it was meant to be this heartwarming tale of how my Pa and I bonded at the horse races from the time I was just an 11 year old boy, and from there it segued into my enthusiasm over the exploits of this remarkable superhorse, Big Brown, and the incredible achievement that he is about to realize: Triple Crown victory. My Blog installment included a reference to this tearjerking story about Big Brown’s jockey, Kent Desormeaux, and Desormeaux’s young son who is quickly going blind but will fortunately see his Dad win the first Triple Crown in three decades.
And the Blog Bit was also loaded with (hopefully humorous) reminiscences like this:

After quitting my commercial sign designing job in 1984, and mentally armed with all my Pa had taught me about the horses, I attempted to make my living at “The Sport Of Kings.” Each night, I would handicap the next day’s races at Hollywood Park, and in the morning, I’d drive to the race track and place that day’s bets. Then my friend Pooh (who worked afternoons and evenings) and I would go to Azteca restaurant for lunch and to take advantage of their 10 A.M. to 1 P.M. One Dollar Margarita special. Well, by 1 P.M., when the Margarita Dollar Deal was done, Pooh would invariably be too drunk to go to work… so I’d have to drive him there.

My horse racing career lasted about 3 weeks before I traded my Daily Racing Form for the Classified Ads section and found myself scouring it for a job offer: “Needed – penniless, former margarita-guzzling horseplayer/chauffeur to flip burgers at The Minimum Wage Burger Palace.”

For sentimental reasons, this nearly completed Blog Bit I’d composed was already one of my own favorite pieces of writing I’ve ever done. I even had a bunch of superstar athletes lined up to make guest appearances, including Tiger Woods, Roger Federer, Kobe Bryant, and the entire defensive line of the New York Giants! Unfortunately, I had to scrap the whole thing when, in the process of researching a few facts with which to close the piece, I discovered to my great disappointment that the superhorse Big Brown is regularly administered steroids – a practice that is legal in 28 of the 38 states where horse racing occurs. The steroid of choice for Big Brown’s trainer, Rick Dutrow Jr., is Winstrol, also known as Stanozolol. This is the same performance-enhancing steroid that runner Ben Johnson and baseball player Rafael Palmeiro got caught using, and which the meat-faced, buttheaded pitcher, Roger Clemens, is accused of taking in the butt.

If Winstrol enhances a human being’s athletic performances but at the cost of unhealthy side effects, I can’t imagine that it’s any different for a thoroughbred horse.
No doubt, Big Brown is a tremendously gifted athlete, and without question, this chemical asssistance is also being supplied to many of the horses he lines up against, but regardless, learning of his performance-enhanced condition immediately killed the thrill I had been experiencing in watching Big Brown blow the tails off of his competition and it instantaneously threw me into a deep funk! (I swear, I felt like listening to Pink Floyd’s “The Wall” through headphones while smoking a fifth of Jim Beam and drinking a kilo of weed. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but yeah, it was bad! Faster than I could say “Oh, sh#t!” my mood ring had turned an excrement brown.) Quite simply, we will never really know how Big Brown stacks up against the great thoroughbreds of the pre-steroid past; it would be like trying to compare apples and orangutans.

Before reading any further, be forewarned that a plate of Brussels sprouts, spinach and liver would go down easier than the rest of what I’m going to write here. Hang on to yer sense of humor - you’ll need it later. Despite all of the jocularity, I’m probably the most sadistic person— uhm, I meant PESSIMISTIC person – you’d never want to meet. Heck, I’m enough to drive the ever-optimistic Richard Simmons into a Haagen-Dazs binge and a lesbian love affair! If you think you like me, then you just don’t know me, do you? Well, do ya, punk?

Anyway, this sudden funk that I fell into was about much more than the disappointment of learning that my new Big Brown hero was a fraud; it brought back to mind all of the frauds of recent times: how one of my boyhood heroes, Pete Rose, had broken one of baseball’s cardinal rules by betting on the game – and worse yet, lied about it for years and years; how The Asterisk* (The Asterisk* is Barry Bonds) broke baseball’s greatest record (lifetime home runs) while utilizing performance-enhancing chemicals; how the entire world of professional sports is filthy with chemical cheats, from Jason Giambi and Mark McGwire to Marion Jones and damn near every other athlete you could name. Until a reliable test is developed to sniff out hGH, every single athlete in every single sport is suspect. I’ve got “big” news for ya: a woman cannot acquire a man’s physique and a man cannot acquire The Incredible Hulk’s physique without chemical assistance. (If you believe that Serena Williams comes by that Cassius Clay body naturally, I’ve got the Brooklyn Bridge, the Golden Gate Bridge, and a musical bridge that I can let you have for a song! Anyone wanna place any bets on whether or not that rumor about Lance Armstrong and “artificial assistance” might have a chemically-enhanced leg to stand on?)

But my “performance-enhanced funk” quickly spiraled into depression about the condition of “this world” altogether, which The Holy Bible clearly states is ruled by the devil himself: “The ruler of this world is coming, and he has nothing in Me. … My Kingdom is not of this world.” --Jesus; from John 14:30 & 18:36. [Also see Luke 4:5,6 and 1st John 5:19] It was brought back to my mind for the umpteenth time how even the simplest pleasures in life can be stolen by the wicked hand operating in this fraudulant world. “This world” is just a sad, distorted and inauthentic mocking of God’s spiritual Kingdom. I got to dwelling on how this country has fallen from Grace, and yet being on the cusp of a genuine economic depression, the politically retarded American People are about to elect yet another Socialist/Corporatist to lead the Executive Branch of our once-proud Republic. Hell, the American People wouldn’t recognize a Constitutional Principle if it got naked and sang “Yankee Doodle Dandy” on American Idol with a lit sparkler in its heinie. Oh, but Statism is “The Survivor” they vote to keep on the island.

Once again, I found myself focusing on the appalling intellectual dishonesty found in every politically correct Liberal, all of whom protect the new postmodern Socialism which has ruined our way of life and reduced us to a wholly immoral and unethical existence. With the inescapable MTV (mind control television) blaring 24/7, most Americans can’t begin to discern the difference between American and Un-American concepts. Republicans mistakenly believe that they are conservatives and Democrats mistakenly think that they are something else entirely (I’ll trade you one Neocon for a Liberal and we’ll call it “even”).

But I find it particularly distressing when even some of the people close to me seem to be utterly clueless: When one of my own former Reagan-voting relatives told me two years ago that she could envision herself voting for Hellary Clinton, I insinuated that perhaps she should consider herself politically conflicted. But truthfully, it was more severe than that: she was simply dangerously ignorant about Truth, Justice and The “American” Way (although a regular church-going Catholic she was).

I was recently contacted by a woman whom I had a rather debilitating case of “the hots” for 23 years ago, only to find now in 2008 that she is a self-proclaimed “feminist” “Democrat” who says, “I would never ever have an abortion although I am conflicted about telling other women what to do with their bodies.” (Gee, like I’ve never encountered THAT weak-kneed backdoor excuse for supporting abortion before!) She’s also a big Bruce Springsteen fan. In other words, she’s checked every item on the “Socialist’s Laundry List.” (Now, I’ll admit to having been a Springsteen fan myself in the early ‘80s, but hell, at least I got better; at least I came to recognize that a numbskull with a guitar is still just a numbskull.) Whaddaya wanna bet that this old friend of mine still believes in that CONVENIENT UNTRUTH about man-made global warming? That’s my guess, seeing as how independent research and objective analysis just doesn’t appear to be her cup of pinkie-raising rose hips and Swedish salt-glow aromatherapy double latte. Considering that this Ms.Lib is the same person who long ago introduced me to Ayn Rand’s ideas, it’s a mystery to me how she can now fall for every bit of the Socialistic “propagandogma.” I’m left scratching my head and wondering: Wha’ Hoppened? (Actually, I think WHA’ HOPPENED?” is commonly referred to as A COLLEGE EDUCATION.)

Of course, by stressing the faults of my fellow Americans, I’m certainly not implying that I myself am perfect… but only relatively so. ;o) Well, at any rate, I was at Trader Vic’s last night and MY HAIR was perfect.

The sports world is an artificial scam, but so is nearly everything else. There is no integrity to be found in our culture any longer: the men just want more, and higher, bigger, faster and flashier; bling, baby, bling! And the women, well, they just want to be men. (I find a John Deere tractor to be more feminine than most late Twentieth Century/early Twenty-First Century women.) We live in a world that is sexually perverted and obsessed with violence. Channel surf the TV for one hour and see if We The People (both men AND women) aren’t lusting for and entertained by casual sex, ultraviolent gore in the form of slasher movies, and extreme violence, with America’s bizarre and depraved cravings being satisfied by reality cage fights and martial arts productions up the yinyang. (American movies and television: if it ain’t about screwing brains out, it’s about knocking teeth out. But why settle for just one when we can have it all? Give The People what they want: a channel with nonstop programming of “The Ultimate Fighting And F###ing Championship.”) And while the American zombie sits transfixed by his/her boob tube, our Liberal social engineers have deliberately manipulated minds and disfigured God’s natural order, twisting it beyond all recognition in an attempt to remake “this world” in satan’s sick likeness.

Forget learning the truth about Santa Claus, I was once fond of saying that childhood came to an abrupt end for a California kid on the day he or she first noticed the strings attached to the “swimming” fish on Disneyland’s submarine ride. Innocence made those blatant strings invisible to children, but one day, innocence disappears and the strings take its place. Similarly, I recognized the very moment that America’s collective innocence had totally disappeared: it was when mannequin manufacturers began forming nipples on the breasts of female mannequins so that women could get an idea of what their busts would look like if they chose to go braless underneath that silk blouse with the plunging neckline. (Oh, but heaven help the poor male chauvinist pig who gets caught looking and mistakenly thinking of that “natural woman” as a sex object. Women! Sheesh! They’re phonier than McGwire, Clemens, Palmeiro, The Asterisk*, Jose Canseco, Ms. Jones and Big Brown all put together!)

Yes, the first time I noticed nipples on a mannequin, I intuitively knew that America was surely going down that long and winding road to an immoral, soul-sickening cesspool of satanic sensuality. And that was my “the glass is half full” assessment. The years have only proven that my sixth sense is number one.

There is virtually no place to go for extended relief: the pollution is thrust upon us at every turn by entertainers, by athletes, by artists, by musicians, by writers. Nothing can be trusted nor relied upon. We can believe no one of “this world”, not politicians, not college professors, not journalists, not policemen, not priests and ministers. Hell, the corruption is rampant and the dishonesty even extends to a couple of lawyers and judges!

As the years go by, I find myself increasingly able to relate to Saint Paul’s psychically painful predicament: “For Christ is my life, and to die is gain. Even if in this life of the flesh my labors bear fruits, I do not know what to choose. For I am torn between two desires, the one to depart, that I may be with Christ, which is far better; nevertheless, for me to remain in the flesh is more needful for you.”

One reason that Saint Paul’s quandary strikes me in such a profound manner is the fact that I generally feel that I have only one foot in “this world” and the other in “the other” - that is, Christ’s Kingdom, which is not of “this world.”

I realize that this rant is beginning to sound more like a suicide note than a Blog Bit, but if it were so, rather than titling this “Thrown By A Big Brown Horse”, I would have called it “Goodbye, Cruel World.” And as much as I would like to climb into my truck with a bottle of good Cabernet Sauvignon, crank the engine over and let it run in my enclosed garage until I’ve asphyxiated myself to death, I simply can’t afford enough gasoline to get the job done.

Oh, I’ll be the first person to proclaim that God has blessed me beyond exceedingly and Christ has protected me: Jesus has interacted with me in ways that, if I were to elaborate on them, it would “knock yer head clean off” (as Br’er Bear would say) and leave you incredulous. But that doesn’t change the fact that the Bible tells me that our social engineers working for satan will cause conditions to become worse still, and there is no guarantee that the promised joyful Curtain Call of Christ will occur in my own lifetime.

In “this world” of false idols, it’s all about fame, sex, brutality, and “Show me the money”, when it should be about Love, Truth, forgiveness and “The peace of God, which passeth all understanding.”

Speaking of the persecution that will follow for those who attempt to represent Him and His Principles on Earth, Jesus Christ promised: “And you will be hated by all on account of My name, but it is the one who has endured to the end who will be saved.” [Matt.10:23]

Certainly I want to endure to the end and be saved, and yet surely, I can’t be the only person who finds “this world” to be almost as unbearable as Big Brown is unbeatable. Well, I’ll conclude this rant with this Biblical question which I send straight to my Savior from the core of my heart and the heart of my soul:

“Return, O Lord! How long?”

“This world” is a sick ‘n’ sad fraud, it is a disappointment, a Love killer. “This world” is a called third strike on the outside corner with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning of game seven. Well, that’s it for the home team, sports fans. WAIT ‘TIL NEXT YEAR . . . . . in Jerusalem.
~ Stephen T. McCarthy