Monday, March 21, 2005

Culture Wars

The New York Times ran yesterday with the contrarian view on steroids. This view parallels mine: Steroids are no more or less proper than prozac, anti-ADHD drugs and all other "performance enhancers". Money quote:

Lawyers take the anti-sleep drug Provigil to finish that all-night brief, in hopes of concentrating better. Classical musicians take beta blockers, which banish jitters, before a big recital.Is the student who swallows a Ritalin before taking the SAT unethical if the pill gives her an unfair advantage over other students? If a golfer pops a beta blocker before a tournament, is he eliminating a crucial part of competition - battling nerves and a chance of choking?

What steroids is really an offshoot of is the culture of drugs in America.

We are a society of "better living through chemistry." If it's caffeinated beverages to keep you awake, to sudapheds to give you a boost before kickoff, to lasix so you don't have to wear glasses, to creatine for the weight room, to benedryll to get your kids to sleep on an airplane, to steroids in sports. It's all the same thing - improving your life through chemistry.

If we want steroids out of sports, it's not going to happen until we start to get "enhancement" drugs out of all phases of out lives and only start using drugs for recuperative and healing purposes.

That won't happen anytime soon. Excuse me while I go get my morning caffeine fix.

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