Bode-Spoiler Alert

This is a giant middle finger to the jingoistic Americans who believe you must play by the rules to triumph, who excommunicate those who don’t agree, who believe in mind control.

That’s the America we’ve now got.  You’re either with us or against us.  Look no further than Washington, D.C. for evidence.  Republicans won’t play with the Democrats, they offer no solutions, but they can’t be seen as weak, they’re fearful of Rush, Sarah and Fox News, they’re members of a horde as opposed to individual thinkers.

What kind of crazy fucked up world do we now live in where heroes are homogenous, pureed for consumption, sans any rough edges for us to hold on to.  Go back to the Super Bowl…  One of the reasons we’ve got codgers performing is because Justin Timberlake played along, sold out Janet Jackson, apologized instead of admitting his complicity, absolving himself of responsibility in order to salvage his career.

No wonder Paris Hilton and the Kardashians are stars today.  Because the real stars have abdicated their role.  They’ve shorn off their rough edges or become cartoons in order to avoid scrutiny, in order to avoid blowback.

Bode Miller is the most talented and most decorated ski racer in American history.  But his predecessor atop the throne, Phil Mahre, couldn’t congratulate him, only criticize him, as a skier and a person.  Huh?  If it’s all about winning, isn’t that enough?

No, we’ve got to win for our country.  We’ve got to spout platitudes.  As if athletes are not jocks doing it for personal glory.  And cash.  That’s the real story.  But we don’t want to admit it to ourselves.

Bode Miller celebrated winning the World Cup by drinking champagne, to the point he skied the following morning’s now irrelevant race hung over.  Let me ask you, you didn’t get drunk after passing the bar exam, you didn’t celebrate your wedding with a little drink?  How come you’re so hypocritical?  How come the media twists the truth to make a sexy story?

Bode didn’t win in Torino.  You’d think he’d let down the whole damn country.  But where was the country when he was winning the World Cup before?  Completely tuned out, people didn’t give a shit, they were watching the NFL and the NBA.  But now, Bode has to ski for them!

Individuality has gotten a bad name.  The goal is to be just like everybody else.  Check in with the younger generation, first and foremost you’ve got to be a member of the group.  The oldsters used to revel in their uniqueness, letting their freak flags fly, but now they’re calcified, sitting in judgment, demanding conformity.

The new American sport is apologizing.  You barely have to offend before some nitwit demands you whip out a confession admitting your crime and expressing regret.  Huh?  Maybe the person meant to do it.  Maybe they’re just not like you.

Barring a back of the field miracle, Bode Miller will get a silver medal in today’s Super G.  Which makes him two for two.  Maybe not gold, but pretty damn good nonetheless.  What is America gonna say now?  About an athlete who did it his way and triumphed?

This was the essence of rock and roll.  The stars of yore didn’t play by the rules, didn’t kiss corporate butt, and fans LOVED them for it.  Rained down cash.  To the point where old bands still generate the most live revenue.  Who wants the young ‘uns, working with the usual suspect producers in it for the fame as opposed to the music.  You might not like Lil’ Wayne, but at least he’s not complaining about piracy, he’s putting out mix tapes for free, he’s about the MUSIC!

We’ve got to terminate this conformity hogwash in these United States.  We must realize we welcomed immigrants with open arms, and the diversity of our populace is what truly made us great.  Hell, if you’re not willing to listen to a contrary opinion, you’re only going to hear back what you already know, avoiding growth, like a major label CEO.

Look back.  Our heroes were always the outsiders.  From James Dean to Steve McQueen, from John Lennon to Grace Slick.  Unafraid of speaking their truth, we gravitated towards them.

Bode Miller is a modern day hero.  Someone who took the slings and arrows and still excelled, still triumphed.  We labeled him a loser because he disappointed us four years ago, what are we gonna call him now?  Are we gonna realize we were wrong, or make like he just doesn’t exist?

Just like the oldster beautiful music people of the sixties made like the Beatles, the British Invasion and the San Francisco Sound didn’t exist.

Led Zeppelin was excoriated in their heyday.  For their heavy music and offstage antics.  But decades later, the music remains.  We want new Zeppelins, but they’re nowhere to be seen.  Because we no longer nurture this kind of talent.

Bode’s medals are now in the history book.  Hell, he might even earn more.

He’s just a constant warning to take the other direction.

He was the first skier to use shaped skis.  Revolutionizing the sport.

He’s got more natural talent than seemingly anyone out there.

But he isn’t a me-too sheep beholden to a false game.

I’d say that’s a plus.  I’d rather have a kid who’s a Bode than a Lindsey any day of the week.  I want someone who can think for himself, make independent decisions, question authority.  That’s what drew me to the rockers of yore…  Rules were irrelevant if they were thoughtless.  If you can’t think for yourself, you’re no friend of mine.

We make it tough to be an independent thinker.

But they are our biggest winners.  Our beacons.  From Steve Jobs to Bob Dylan to Bode Miller.

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