Let's Have a Drug Race!
It really pains me to draw caricatures and portraits of people who have become pariahs because
of their wrong doings. A few died with a heavy conscience. Sad really, they were shining models to the community, now it's hard to explain to young people why adults behave like that.
Take the case of Australian businessman Christopher Skase who duped a lot of people through his invalid corporate moves. I did a caricature of him back in '88 which was published in The Financial Times. A few days later his secretary was on the phone wanting to buy the original drawing. Great! Money's handy and so I obliged (ssh, it was only a 3-figure sum). Sadly, I didn't have a copy to show you.
Then in 1989 Skase turned fugitive. He owed his shareholders more than $700 million! His company Qintex collapsed. He was later discovered in exile by a Herald journalist in..donde? Majorca, Spain (1991) where he spent his last breath, the Australian government unable to claw el ladron back.
Back in the headlines today is Rodney Adler, now a free man with a nice mansion, who was jailed for the collapse of HIH thus brought tears to hundreds of shareholders whose lifesavings was embezzled. It was a $5-billion tragedy (yes, we had our little ENRON here, too!). He's smiling now but what about his victims who think 2 years of jail term for Mr. Adler was a mere slap on the hand. Think again, victims were Australian senior citizens whose life savings were lost. They haven't got a chance to earn that money again. Go on, blame them playing the pokies. Stay home, ol' dudes...your financial rapist is back on the streets! Watch out, Fincorp just collapsed!
And who can forget Canadian sprinter Ben Johnson (drawing above I did for The Australian) who was stripped of his gold medal and world record in 1988. He protested but after extensive investigations he finally admitted to Dubin Inquiry that he was on steroids since 1981! World's jaw dropped! The medals hit the floor with a sickening clunk. How could he?
Yet again in the world news today is the downfall of Marion Jones, that beautifully-muscled woman sprinter (above drawing I did for Sydney Morning Herald last week). She was in tears after telling the world she cheated and lied. How the world adored her until her revelations.
Pity she initially denied allegations..many, many times and with a straight face, mind you. How could she? She seemed such a nice person, and also artistic! She loved art and even posed nude (above image) for a painter based in London
There's a Filipino saying: "Kung ano'ng taas ng lipad, siya ring lakas ng lagapak." (The higher the climb, the harder the fall). But this saying did not dissuade people who wanted to be champions like Muhammad Ali. He lost bouts but never cheated nor fell from grace and proved himself a real champion. The trick then to avoid downfall is never to trick people.
Now how sure are we that the 2008 Olympics will be totally drug-free while the previous Games had lots of drug controversy? Sportsmen are human beings, too after all. The temptation of lucrative endorsements alone is just too much. Don't you think getting a million dollar just for wearing a Nike headband is way too much?
In America alone how many were caught with "horseshoes in their gloves"?
Oh, and don't forget. Not only humans are being doped, horses, too! (above image was cover art I did for a Murdoch magazine in 1987). Don't you think it's unethical? Life forms shouldn't be forced to overperform by using drugs (concocted by man). Well they can pimp my ride and use more ethanol and rocket fuel for a speedier performance but not living things, ever!
I pass no judgment. To cheat is human nature by all depth and scale. People cheat and then regret it later. Why? Sleepless nights? Conscience? Well it depends on gravity of crime, some will say, but isn't it the principle that matters?.. howls the opposition.
Esoteric books will tell us: "Hey, no worries, the Natural Law of Retribution is at work and it will catch up on them." Law of Retrib..sorry? Karmagain?:-)
May I suggest.. change the rules! Allow all athletes to take every sort of drug of their choice. Let 'em run and winners get holiday tickets to a drug rehab.;-)
Corporate or sports cheats, same banana. Corporate institutions are lifeblood sponsors of sports; while sports promote corporate logos. We were taken for a ride, cheered for them, swore for them, and then they prick the balloon. "Sorry I cheated! Please forgive me." Ah, err..okay, we say as a public; but how about those who suffered a direct hit from the admission of truth that came like a tornado without a warning from the weather bureau? Communities are damaged, families hurt and generations disparaged. They are the unseen refugees.
But wait, what has Ben Johnson got to say? From The Canadian Press:
Ben Johnson not surprised Marion Jones admitted to using banned substances
LONDON - Disgraced Canadian sprinter Ben Johnson says he isn't surprised by Marion Jones' doping confession, and he's now waiting for more athletes to admit they took performance-enhancing drugs.
Johnson ran a record 9.79 seconds to win the 100-metre gold at the 1988 Seoul Olympics, then tested positive for the steroid stanozolol and was stripped of his medal and time.
"I expected it," the Toronto sprinter said of Jones, who admitted last week that she was using banned substances when she won five Olympic medals at the 2000 Sydney Games.
"But again I believe that everyone on the international level is using performance-enhancing drugs and, you know, it's widespread and it's going to continue on," the Canadian said in a radio interview with Al-Jazeera. "A lot more people (are) going to be also coming forward."
Johnson said current athletes will have a harder time covering up their illegal activities.Enough of apologetic cliches, we're all victims...and this blog entry is definitely steroid-typed;-) Performance-enhancing drugs? Well then, shall we ban Viagra? LOL ..followed by grim realisation: corporate or sports, either way the ol' dudes cop it!
Okay Ben and Marion, if you're all blameless let's all sing along with Billy Joel's "We Didn't Start the Fire". (translation: Don't Blame Us!)
Don't know the lyrics too well?
Easy, sprint on to this link now.
It's a cleverly done video! Really cool! (relayed to me by friend Uko)