Note to Eddy-

I just got a semi-nasty comment on the last post, but I took it seriously, and spent as much time writing a reply comment as I do writing some posts.

So it’s worth republishing, and the discussion that might spin off from this could be interesting-

anyway, here is what Eddy “the cannibal” wrote:

Andrew why do you say “just for giggles” you decided to come out to the sprints on sunday??? We are glad you came because you rocked…and you help set the bar for people to ride faster

I mean you won, and it wasn’t by any short length, no one will contest that. However, we cheered you on to victory just like anyone else if they had won. You obviously have an aura of perfection about you by the way you glance and glare at certain “neo-beatniks” as you say while at an event. I think you are also numb to any kind of praise….

Is it possible you might be taking yourself a little too seriously here?? I detect some elitist bones in your body….There were two riders who usually come to the sprints but didn’t show up who are excpetionally fast, much like yourself.

i’m sure it would have been closer if they were there. It might have been a more enjoyable race for you to have some actual competition….and you wouldn’t feel like you were a god amongst men

I took this seriously, because his note got me thinking…. So here is my reply-

hey Eddy,

hmmmm, how to respond…. ok…

“for giggles” - well… I am really serious a lot of the time, speedskating can be an absolutely brutal sport, and it demands a lot of perfectionism & a competitive nature to do it well…

and yes, it can be a cesspool of Elitism at its worst (merely hierarchical at its best)….

You have no idea about this weird little subculture out at the Utah Olympic oval that I’ve been marinating in….

If it’s seeped into my bones, deepest apologies, and I need to have those bones removed with no anesthesia.

Believe me, I’m pretty chill compared to many… Part of me mentioning the “$30 and free beer” is that in 99% of events, Speedskaters race our hearts out for NOTHING. So any kind of prize is a shockingly wonderful thing.

This event was WONDERFULLY relaxed & fun, it was not about “winners & losers” in the stark terms that skating sometimes can be… it was about having a good time with some chill folks… My soul needs this sometimes…

I am glad to have done well at the sprints, but if those 2 riders come on out & mop the floor with me, I will still be having just as much fun… really…. my ego is not on the line during an alleycat.

It is worth noting I was the lamest of anyone at the trackstand comp.. and cheered on everyone else, as well as admiring the handling skills & guts of the folks who brave the “full contact” nature of the foot down…

“neo-beatniks” -no group of people exists in a vacuum, and I see a lot of commonalities between some things about the late 1950’s “Beats” & the current urban rider culture.. Much more than the 60’s counterculture….

Should I have used another term? yeah, all labels are limiting.. But how would you describe this loose-knit collection of folks? Like all groups, there absolutely are social norms & patterns of behavior/dress.

And I never would have written about myself the way Blaue Reiter did. I would have been an arrogant bastard if I had…. I am no “god among men”, I get my ass kicked all the time in races, and even if Olympians & national team skaters who are the ones administering said ass-kicking, they aren’t gods either…

They are just really talented folks who train frighteningly hard… That does not make them any better or worse human beings than anyone else….

All this said, I had an absolute blast at the event, and I look forward to talking to you when I am back…

13 Responses to “Note to Eddy-”

  1. It’s funny. My response would be to post one of those goofy high school pictures of you. I think the cannibal would see that you’re in a position to evaluate “Neo-Beatniks!”

    Eddy, after reading your comment, i re-read Andrew’s post, and I really think you were looking for something that’s not there.

    For starters, maybe he wrote “Just for giggles” because his is a blog about a completely different sport, and he’s spent the last few years being out of cycling. So to show up at a bike race is something to do for fun!

    I thought his post really conveyed how cool an event it was. I think you missed the point.

  2. Eddy, didn’t you realize that “neo-Beatnik” is a COMPLIMENT?

  3. I second that, I think that Andrew’s “just for giggles” was meant more like “as a change of pace”, not “I’m going to kick some butt and show people how fast/cool I am”. Eddy- speedskating is such a technical and demanding sport, sometimes skaters( and other people) need to go do something else just for the fun of it, and enjoy being social. This looked like a great time!

  4. Hey Andrew - I wouldn’t stress about it too much. I found your post light-hearted and non-judgemental - and, a fun read. I think someone was just being unnecessarily defensive and doesn’t know the definition of “Beatnik.”

  5. there must be away to get out of this - said the juggler to the thief — how fast history jumps.
    beatnik : wasn’t that something of the very old 20century-days… too long ago for 21t century.?

    Well, i remember quite a few very longhaired soccer4players and cyclists of these old times — yeah and poets too

  6. […] 25, 2008 by peterdoucet Andrew Love had an interesting exchange with Eddy “the cannibal”- see Note to Eddy- and also the comments from $30 + free […]

  7. Same thoughts as everybody else…. “Beatnik” is a funny sound for a good word, and you say it about the most wonderful, respected people in your life. You always say good things about people in your posts and in person. And “for giggles”, for fun…that’s not a problem. You train hard for skating, so why not enjoy another event where you can show up, see cool people, and enjoy the whole thing…and do well besides?

    Actually, the first time I raced at the Pettit, I chatted with two women who were there for giggles (they included the first half of that expression and then tried three revisions on the words to make it more and more polite). I had been concerned that my 500 would be too slow, and it was nice to talk to someone who really was there having a good time.

    It’s interesting that on a blog (as opposed to in a college classroom) a whole bunch of comments are driven by two words.

    And you are definitely not elitist.

  8. That was actually a funny blog and I apologize I don’t get to read this excellent blog as ofdten as I like…

    Eddy, “Giggles” is another way to say for fun. Actually the expression is “shits and giggles” or “fun and and a good time”. Those guys are far from your normal fare and are probably some of the funnest guys to hang around…check out the urbandictionary.com

    Beatnik is just a less formal word than bohemian that the bike messenger culture reflects. From my short career as a messenger, I understand these guys have their own race championships and competitions.There they enjoy the comraderie in the way fans flock to lollapalooza and to connect and enjoy other people who live like them and may also have better similar skills. They have their own subculture and the question of elite sport, probably never entered their thoughts…

    Anyway, this is just a misunderstanding. This is not about pro athletes and recreational sport enthusiasts. Its just something fun Andrew did one day that he wanted to tell us about.

  9. I think we just got an insight into Andrew’s mental preperation for competition. By focusing on FUN he is looking past his many years of lifting, dryland and cross training, and the disipline required to be internationally competitive at a horribly unforgiving sport.

    This soul bearing blogging thing is almost too much information for most who casually show up.

    It reminds me of Karl Malone’s years of struggle with free throws and his mental prep before shooting. We saw him move his lips in what must have been a mantra to empty his mind focus on the mechanics of shooting and NOT the outcome. I don’t thing Karl ever explained what he did and he was asked countless times.

    Andrew means no disrespect for your competition by letting us know what he is thinking he is doing us posers a favor.

  10. Aw, hell, Andrew… this was just because the guy doesn’t know you and was maybe a little chapped that you showed up and won. You say, “Just for giggles” a lot. I think maybe we used to know someone who said, “Fer shits n giggles.” That must’ve been one of our redneck friends, because none of us has ever been anywhere elitist. *tee hee* Don’t take it too seriously or have any painful procedures without anesthesia.

    Can we have an update on last year’s training goal please?

    Ciao bello!
    Your defensive friend in Switzerland

  11. Ha ha Becky - I can give a quick little update. No news is good news. I’ve got four months under my belt (literally) on Thursday. Just trucking along. Next ultrasound in about 1 month, then I get the tour! Tour de baby!

    About this whole topic - Andrew gets really really psyched at a win. I don’t think he or anyone should apologize for that unless he belittles others, which he doesn’t. He works his ass off.

    Unlike me, and unlike many, he’s a gracious loser. This is just as important. And the “just for giggles” comment would have been part of his post even if he came in dead last. But Eddy would have interpreted it differently, yes? Or been just as insulted???

  12. sweetie,

    if I “work my ass off” then wouldn’t my ass be smaller???

    I think it would be more accurate to say “I work my ass on..”

  13. I have really enjoyed this whole discussion.
    I might use it with my students as a look at how language and communication continue to be important as we grow up.
    I am always on their cases (in a nice way) to say things in a nice way and even then sometimes things get misconstrued or misinterpreted. And the best thing to do is ask and explain and listen.
    This was a great example of that whole process in blog time.
    Thanks!
    ps. I can’t wait to read blog about the street hockey game you muscle in on.
    (see, that was humor!)

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