The Weekday Ramble is a daily dose of sports, music, culture, and more from Rambling On founder Erik Ritland. For more information check us out on Reddit, Twitter, Facebook, or at our website.
Wednesday January 28, 2015
Really controversial today. The sad new tactics of protestors, the sad rationalization of Lance Armstrong.
The art of only hurting your cause
Black Lives Matters protestors have gotten plenty of media attention – and criticism. They’ve been going beyond what most protestors do. First they laid in busy freeways, shutting them down and causing delays. Now, evidently, they’re interrupting people who are eating brunch in public establishments. And if you're not on their side, you're racist. Good grief.
The first and most important point: the media concentrates on stuff like this to foster division. My talking about it, in its own sad way, is giving in to this. And I hate that.
That being said, this is not the way for anybody to get their point across. The people who support the movement say they need to get the message out to people even if it inconveniences them. What kind of precedence does this set, though? To a fundamentalist Christian, for example, the fate of each person’s soul is of life and death importance. Would these Black Lives Matters protestors be okay with manic street preachers blocking their way to work or interfering with their down time? People’s time is theirs, it is the most precious commodity we have, and anybody who thinks they have the right to interfere with it to promote their personal agenda is not only setting a bad precedence but is also being incredibly selfish.
People’s personal space – and what they choose to believe and think about – are their own business. The arrogance and self-righteousness of these people, thinking they have the right to tell people what it’s important to think about even to the point of unnecessarily interfering with their lives, is appalling. I hope these sort of tactics don’t catch on to a broader audience, because I’ll be carrying around a bag of rotten fruit with me everywhere I go if it does.
Everybody else is doing it so why can't we?
In an interview for an upcoming BBC documentary Lance Armstrong, former cycling champion who was stripped of several of his titles because he was caught using performance enhancing drugs, said he’d do it all over again if he had the chance. "If I was racing in 2015? No, I wouldn't do it again…if you take me back to 1995, when it was completely and totally pervasive? [I'd] probably do it again."
So go along with the group even if you know what they’re doing is wrong? First he cheats, then he rationalizes it by saying that everyone was doing it. What a great role model.
I’m not one of those self-righteous people who piles on those who have already been condemned. I even understand the idea in its place: if I was around a bunch of people doing something, and I knew it’d give me a competitive edge, even if it was wrong there’s a good chance that I’d be weak and give in as well. But to lie about it like Armstrong did for years and then to not really take any personal responsibility, instead blaming “being put in the place” to cheat, is pathetic.
Erik Ritland is a writer and musician from St. Paul, Minnesota. His blog and podcast Rambling On features commentary on music, sports, culture, and more. He is also a contributor for Minnesota culture blog Curious North. Support Erik's music via his Patreon account, reach him via email, or find him on Facebook and Twitter.