Snowmobiles Rule – Only in Canada. Pity.

Snowmobilers are often presented as enjoying the natural beauty of the North.  Oh please.  Not at the speeds they drive.  Not while their exhaust pipes spew fumes into our air.  And their engines roar at a volume that must be endured by everyone within five miles.  And their tossed beer cans litter the forest until someone comes by and picks up after them.

What snowmobiling is all about adolescent males going VROOM VROOM.

Which means that our government has handed over thousands of miles of crown land to a bunch of young men to use as their personal racetrack.  How fair is that?  And did they ask us first?

When a friend of mine contacted the MNR to ask about putting up signs at each end of a short trail through crown land that snowmobilers are using as a short cut to get to their trail and, in the process, making it dangerous (not to mention extremely unpleasant because of the fumes and the noise) for the rest of us to use (for walking and cross-country skiing), she was told No, they can’t put up signs prohibiting snowmobilers from using it because everyone has access to crown land.  Right.  Then why do the signs on the snowmobile club trails say ‘No Trespassing – You must have a permit to use this trail’?

Why has the government done this?  Because they’re adolescent males themselves.  Who still want to go VROOM VROOM.

And because local businesses asked them to, because they want to make money from the snowmobilers.

Snowmobilers are a minority.  Local business owners are a minority.  Why do they get to determine policy and practice?  Policy and practice that affects other people?

When snowmobilers (and ATVers and dirtbikers – essentially, all motorized ‘recreational’ vehicles) use crown land the way they want, no one else can use it the way they want.  Consider the trails, mentioned above, unsafe and unpleasant now for hikers and skiers.  Consider the lake we all live on.  In winter (and in summer too – jetskis, another motorized recreational vehicle), our properties may as well be backing on, well, a racetrack.  (So much for sitting outside and – well, so much for sitting outside.  Not to mention canoeing or kayaking.)  Consider all the backroads we live on, the ones without sidewalks.  It’s nice that we can hear a snowmobile coming from miles away so we have time to get off the road, but it’s not enough to get off to the side (assuming that’s not where we already are), because that’s where the snowmobiles drive.  It’s not even enough to get off the road and up onto the snowbank, because they like to ride the banks.  You have to climb up and over the snowbanks to be safe.  In some countries, pedestrians have the right of way.  In Canada, gas-guzzling, fume-spewing, noise-farting, male-driven snowmobiles do.

Basketball, Gymnastics, Hopscotch, and Double Dutch

The neat thing about television coverage of the Olympics is that women’s events are shown a lot. Often within close temporal proximity to men’s events. Comparison is inevitable. And interesting.

Consider basketball. Men’s basketball isn’t even a sport anymore. The guys are simply too big. Give me a ball small enough to hold upside-down with one hand, and I’ll be doing some pretty fancy dribbling too. Give me a net so low to the ground I can just reach up and touch it, and I’ll slam dunk every time. And give me a court I can cover in five strides, hell, I’ll play a whole game without even breaking into a sweat.

And yet Read the rest of this entry »

A Fun Run

I happened to experience once upon a time to a provocative juxtaposition: I watched the IAAF World Cross Country Championships, with Kenyans in the lead of course, just after I saw the news about a famine in east Africa, in particular, in Kenya.

So it occurred to me that Read the rest of this entry »

The Soaps vs. The Game

While both ‘the soaps’ and ‘the game’ have been criticized as poor viewing choices, only the soaps have been dismissed as fluff. However, a close examination reveals that, in fact, the soaps have more heft than the game.

In both cases, Read the rest of this entry »

The Superbowl: knock yourself out

So does anyone think someone’s going to get knocked out during this year’s Superbowl? It’s happened before. And frankly, I’m surprised it doesn’t happen more often. Just like that latest disgrace with our prisoners of war.

I mean, consider the similarities: Read the rest of this entry »

King of the Castle

Octavia Butler got it right in Xenogenesis when the aliens identified one of our fatal flaws as that of being hierarchy-driven (they fixed us with a bit of genetic engineering) – but she failed to associate the flaw predominantly with males.

And Steven Goldberg got it right in Why Men Rule when he explained that men are genetically predisposed to hierarchy (fetal masculinization of the central nervous system renders males more sensitive to the dominance-related properties of testosterone) – but he presented that as an explanation for why men rule and not also for why men kill.

And Arthur Koestler got it right in The Call Girls when, recognizing that the survival of the human species is unlikely, a select group of geniuses meet at a special ‘Approaches to Survival’ symposium (and fail to agree on a survival plan) – but I’m not sure he realized (oh of course he did) that one of his character’s early reference to a previous symposium on ‘Hierarchic Order in Primate Societies’ was foreshadowing.

The reason the human species will not survive is simple: Read the rest of this entry »

“Daddy, daddy, the house is on fire!” “Not now, sweetie, the game’s on.”

So about this guy in Taiwan who drops his child in order to catch a foul ball at a baseball game…

I don’t know whether to be more appalled at the man’s action or at the media’s framing of it.

Am I appalled that we condition our males to value sports over parenting? That they’d rather catch a ball than take care of a child?  No. I myself would rather catch a ball than look after a kid.  Which is why I didn’t make or adopt any. The appalling thing is that a father would rather catch a ball than take care of his child. Read the rest of this entry »

Some sports are just too dangerous

‘Some sports are just too dangerous for women. They might get hurt.’

Oh please. This from the sex that makes beating someone senseless part of the game.

And has its reproductive vitals hanging by a thread at bull’s-eye of the body with nary a half-inch layer of fat for protection. (What’s next in the evolution of the male, a brain growing outside the skull?) (Oops, been there – )

The sex that got the girls’ and boys’ bicycle designs backwards.

And competes on the pommel horse. Voluntarily.

Do I need to point out that women’s musculature is generally more elastic, rendering it less prone to injury? And that women seem to have a better developed survival instinct? We duck. We run the fuck the other way. And we don’t make insupportable claims about our opponent’s sexual preferences or those of her parents.

Drugs and Sports – What’s the Problem?

Here we go again – drugs and sports. What’s the problem? No really, what exactly is the problem?

Some say those who’ve used cocaine should be banned from the Olympics because it’s illegal. Well, there are many things that are illegal – shouldn’t we therefore ban every athlete who’s ever done something illegal?

But why? Haven’t they already paid the penalty determined by whatever country they live in? The IOC is not a criminal justice system.

Then some call upon the moral character point: athletes are expected to be of high moral character – or at least of higher moral character than the rest of us. Why? Read the rest of this entry »

Hunting

Well, it’s autumn. That time of year when the breeze gets brisk, the leaves start to fall, and good men from all walks of life wear something besides blue, brown, grey, and black: they wear orange. Hunter orange. Yes this is the time of year when good men from all walks of life go into the forest to perform that masculine bloodwinner ritual involving beer, bullets, and Bubba. I don’t understand hunting. I don’t understand the desire to kill.

‘Oh no,’ the hunters say, ‘it’s not that, it’s the excitement, it’s the thrill of stalking an animal that’s big and wild, and can tear you apart!’ Yeah right. Like Bambi’s cousin is going to tear you apart.

‘And it’s the challenge! Deer are smart, you know!’ I’d say the average deer has an IQ of what, four? So I have to ask, smart compared to who? Read the rest of this entry »