The Coolest Thing to Happen so Far on this Blog

20Jun08

Cheers all,

I must admit that, as I said in my first ever post for Poliology, I did have some selfish reasons for starting this blog. Perhaps my Emerson education has brought out my need to communicate, perhaps its only brought out or developed my arrogance, but regardless of my motivation, I was extremely curious to see if my blog would have any impact on the world. You never know what viral video is going to go around, what photograph, and maybe even what opinion will go on to catch on in the mainstream media. For the most part, I haven’t really seen too much evidence of my posts reflected in the mainstream media, but yesterday, something happened that was probably even more satisfying.

As many of you know, Laura Crawford had a guest post earlier this week on Poliology. Deciding to write it upon seeing the most recent episode of Intervention, Laura thought she could take a comical look at the life of a cancer survivor, or rather the cancer survivor, Lance Armstrong. That is because in this most recent episode featured Chad, who at one point competed with United States Postal Service Cycling team, and at the time of the episode was addicted to crack. During the course of the episode, it is explained that Chad has a confrontation with Armstrong, in which it is implied that the fight led to Chad’s downfall from the US Team. Laura also mentioned Owen Wilson and cancer survivors, but considering the post was triggered by seeing Chad’s episode, it is only appropriate what happened next.

I rarely get comments on this blog, although I have been getting a good number of hits; this is fine with me, personally, I’m just happy people are reading. However, I noticed I had received a comment on Laura’s post around 4pm yesterday. First impression: Oh God, it’s long. Laura pissed off cancer survivors, or worse the cancer survivor, and I was going to be taken out by a bunch of cyclists on the sidewalks of Cambridge. Then, I realized that his happens nearly every day, and I became less worried, and looked more carefully at the comment.

Paul Gunther shared some further insight on Chad, and it proved why this whole internet thing may just be better than television. During the episode, we are given an image of Chad as a rebellious, obnoxious vagrant who seems to ramble about his past glory, which the rest of the world never got to see. The editors and writers at Intervention seemed to cast him almost as a stereotype; a young runaway living in the land of redwoods, where needle exchange programs, homeless shelters, and free public transportation provide the perfect place for a young white kid to be homeless.

What is disappointing, although understandably contrived about Intervention, is that the show really only concentrates on the darkest periods of a person’s life. Crack and self-pity had clearly consumed Chad, but hearing his story, it seemed like his downfall from cycling was really the result of an act of self-destruction. Gunther explained that Chad that his personality may not have been fit for the support, but he certainly had the talent and drive to succeed. What is even more interesting is that, in the world of cycling where it seems as if doping has become almost necessary, Gunther said Chad never doped, and still managed to achieve success in the sport over those who were. When one thinks about the Tour de France in the Lance Armstrong era, it is apparent that Armstrong, Jan Ulrich, and Floyd Landis have at least brought much controversy to the sport–and when those people are respectfully a cancer survivor desperate for success, a man who was up against someone who was the unbeatable and unquestionable icon of the sport, and the man who was destined to take the American hero’s place, the accusations and failed doping tests begin to make sense. But that is a post for a different time, and if it is a truth about Armstrong, then it is one that simply will never be accepted by the American public. And if you don’t believe that, then the CIA has never tortured anyone or sold drugs in this country.

Regardless, Gunther’s comment allowed us to see Chad in a more complete light–he was unrestricted by the average television watcher’s schema, or by an editor’s desire to create a narrative. This comment is, most importantly, a greater view of the truth than, god help us, than what we see on TV.

It is a comment like this which makes it painfully obvious that if one comment by one person knowledgeable on a topic can change the paradigm of which we view the topic, then God only knows what is really going on Iraq or Afghanistan or anywhere else in the world. Perhaps one day people will greater realize the capacity for truth we have in ourselves. Until then, we’ll keep watching television.

Thanks to Paul Gunther for his enlightening comment, and I hope I will see more in the future–remember, if you comment, I may just write a long post about you here.

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3 Responses to “The Coolest Thing to Happen so Far on this Blog”

  1. 1 Mia

    Hey, I actually know of Chad off the show when he was on crack. That guy was a complete ass-hole. He begged for change and when he didn’t get it he would insult you. My boyfriend works at a safeway he would panhandle at (everyone who worked there hated him because he was such a pain in the ass), he used to hit on me every time I walked in the store and was such a jerk to everyone. We had not seen Chad in a while…We thought that dude was either dead or in jail until we heard he was on intervention.

  2. My point exactly! nice post Mia!

  3. 3 AaronK

    I think a lot of people are assholes when they under the influence of anything. The last person you want to confront is a homeless person on crack…they have nothing to live for and don’t care about anything.

    I personally hope he makes it. I’ve been there and its amazing how deep in the hole you become. When you can’t see any light the is no point to living. He was very fortunate that his family helped him.

    I hope he makes it as a cyclist.

    “Crack is a hellofa drug”


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