25 February 2010

On Keyser Soze and malaise

In 'The Usual Suspects', the entity that is Keyser Söze is truly born when rival smugglers working for the Hungarian mob invade his house while he is away, rape his wife and hold his children hostage. When Söze arrives, they kill one of the children to show him their resolve, then threaten to kill his wife and remaining children if he does not surrender his business to them.

Then he showed those men of will what will really was.

Rather than give in to their demands, and to prevent his family from having to live with the memory of what happened, he murders his loved ones and all but one of the Hungarians, whom he spares, knowing that the survivor would tell the mafia what happened. (Wikipedia)

That describes the mood I find myself in lately, at least as it pertains to horse racing.

A fluke of the calendar shows me with a few minutes to spare away from my homework and I can't shake the feeling of resignation enveloping me.

The promise of this game is beneficent but the squalid morass of intransigence and incompetence it tenants is revolting and a cause for pathos. The only thing recurring is the desire to burn the whole, bloody thing.

I have somehow lost sight of what it means to be a fan, unable to see past the dysfunction and torpor.

I don't believe things will get better. I don't believe the right people are in control, no matter how smart or nice they are. This level of incompetence feeds upon itself and once entrenched, fights tenaciously to maintain its parasitic attachment.

Everybody knows what needs to happen. So why is it not implemented? Because the disparate executives don't have an interest in relinquishing what little control they have.

In September of '08 I wrote this post on the recently concluded NTRA marketing summit. Has anything changed?

I don't understand a lot of things; logarithms for one. I also don't get why the stupid ass compiler I'm using, which as far as I can tell is made entirely of human ass, won't just parse my bloody code instead of kicking it back with 'syntax errors'. Whatever.

But, ultimately, I don't understand how I am supposed to, without abandoning principle, patronize this sport? How can I take issue with the state of the game and continue to vote with my money, implicitly granting it exception?

My dream was to breed and race my own stock. Work on the side with a trainer and then get my own license. Retire to Maryland or Kentucky and just kick around the track with my string of two or three horses. My wife's aunt used to do that.

She bred a few horses and raced them in Maryland during the nineties. She became discouraged by the state of the game back then and got out after circumstances conspired against her. When I talked to her about my goals she hinted at the real nature of the industry but was gracious enough to not bitch slap me back then.

I wish she had. The structure of the game lends itself to the low road and the lowest common denominator.

The nature of the game deserves better than that.


Anonymous said...

I've always loved TB racing. But the more I learn, the more difficult it is to be a fan.

I can sign petitions, write legislators, and cheer when the Dekalb slaughter house finally closes. But many registered TBs are still in the kill pens.

I can stop betting on the BC and sign on to Take Back the Race. But girly Friday and the misnamed Distaff are still unchanged.

And look, the snakeman cometh. How can Biancone still be around?

No reform, no leadership, but I still care.

(And I still say you have more than 3 readers and provide better content than the NTRA.)

Anonymous said...

When do you think Quality Road will run next? He has really energized the older horse division. Great year to be a fan!

Anonymous said...

This is a one-note blog, g, and a boring one to boot. If racing makes you so fucking miserable, why don't you babble about something else?

Anonymous said...

Anon 1 disagrees with Anon 3, and respectfully suggests refraining from wholly negative remarks. Until significant reforms in racing are made, there's a place for sounding many varied notes of discontent.

Anonymous said...

Any attempt to participate in this game has to rely upon two things:
1) Love of the horse;
2) Desire to compete

If it is done for money, don't do it.

If you can't accept the dysfunction of the higher-ups, you are better right where you are - sitting on the sidelines.

The Bid

The Bid
Greatest horse ever to look through a bridle