Running from the Facts: "Can we just fast-forward to the end of the civilization movie?" edition
The only thing that can overcome human nature is less of it
Mondays are routinely my worst mood day. This is not for the typical reason of having to travel to an unsatisfying job to toil in the presence of adversarial people; I shelved the possibility of ever again engaging in that mortifying practice some years ago. Instead, it’s because Mondays are when I receive about 90 percent of my weekly news. Because I choose to receive news not from corporate media outlets but from independent journalists who expose the never-ending avalanche of bullshit from those outlets, I’ve embarked on an endless futile cycle of relief that a few brave souls are getting at the facts and frustration that almost everyone whose job it is to present the same facts is instead showering the addled populace with pro-government, anti-speech propaganda in various forms, along with limitless amounts of pandemic porn.
Were I to subject myself to “regular” (i.e., fake) news every day, the effect would be like an endless unpleasant psychological marathon. I would never desperately be sucking wind or sense that forward-motion failure was imminent within seconds, but would always feel at least somewhat taxed or uncomfortable. My chosen routine, in contrast, is more like the psychological version of sitting on my ass all week and then racing an all-out two-mile on a dirt track on Sunday, hung over and in high winds. I sometimes find myself wondering why the White House hasn’t been turned into a smoking crater, not by foreign aggression but by its most celebrated current occupant starting a kitchen fire trying to prepare SpaghettiOs unsupervised at 3:30 a.m.
For this reason, I try to avoid writing and publishing posts about current events on Mondays. I might compose most or even all of one of these angst-bolts on a Monday, but I’ll wait until late in the day or sometimes on Tuesday before giving it as dispassionate a look as possible and neutralizing any needless poisons in its word-stream prior to its publication.
The main lesson I took from this week, some of it as a result of old news, is that Wokism may experience burps here and there, but will go on gorging its ugly self indefinitely, or at least until people start showing the nerve in significant numbers to call the narcissistic fecklessness what it is instead of caving and bowing awkwardly to its avaricious insanities, because it’s become uncool to criticize anyone in a “marginalized group” for even the most egregious scamming, lying, hate-mongering, or hypocritical social-media trash-posting.
An "influencer" named Martinus Evans has slimed his way onto the cover of Runner’s World, a la Latoya Snell at this same time last year. Evans, in fact, is a frequent collaborator of Snell's, with the two appearing in videos and on various podcasts together, including one hosted by Snell herself in June.
As with Snell, Evans’ shtick is “I’m fat and black, so the world owes me money. Give me some.” Nowadays, that attitude and a sufficient willingness to engage in shameless grifting is all you need to land on the cover of the most popular running-only magazine in the United States, even when all or most of your running is purely imaginary and you’re a wrecking ball of demonstrated immorality and large-scale hucksterism on top of that.
If you think I’m being uncharitable, there is more to Mr. Evans than I assume is presented in any of the above media productions. In 2016, Evans’ wife, Charmane Thurmand, a “graduate diversity officer” at the University of Connecticut, used her position to award her husband a $53,700 fellowship he didn’t even apply for and wasn’t eligible to receive anyway.
Money is always on the minds of UConn students, so when they heard Evans was awarded a $53,700 fellowship auditors say he wasn't eligible for, they took it personally.
"That's like two years of school for an in-state student, so I don’t think that is fair," said UConn sophomore Luke Rossi. "College is expensive now days, so I don’t think that is fair to the students who come here and work hard and deserve that money."
"It is kind of ridiculous," said UConn freshman Timothy Breda. "College is expensive, a lot of people work really hard in high school to get here."
According to his website, Evans is a motivational speaker. He was not available for comment.
U. Conn placed Thurmand on leave in 2017 for allegedly benefiting Evans “improperly,” which is certainly one adverb of many the school could have chosen, and she resigned soon afterward. But in 2018, she sued the school for racial discrimination. That lawsuit is no longer active, though it’s unclear how it settled. Meanwhile, in 2019, the state Citizen Ethics Advisory Board ordered Thurmand to pay $20,000 in fines. Thurmand, despite not appealing the decision, didn’t pay up until this March, after the Office of State Ethics had filed an enforcement action.
Whether the lives of these two should be permanently ruined is a judgment call, though I know how it would go if the couple were white and had defrauded predominantly black kids out of money earmarked for education. But whether Evans is someone any cogent person should believe or funnel money toward is not. The main is a proven scammer, and his relationship to Snell is practically a given.
Runner’s World either learned nothing after putting Snell on its cover a year ago — her response was to pitch a fit and cut ties, evidently because the magazine wouldn’t pay her or censor true but unflattering comments about her on its Facebook site — or simply doesn’t care who or what is on its cover provided the image bears even the most brazenly insincere commitment to “social justice.”
Honestly, this sort of seamless progression in the face of moral leprosy should be unbelievable. But because I have moved from strongly suspecting that most of the world and its people are utter shit to embracing this reality unflinchingly, I no longer blink at such phenomena, I just loathe them. Part of me relishes the gallows humor of a nation full of white imbeciles, many of them undoubtedly with goodness in their hearts, being too petrified to treat “Black Lives Matter” as anything other than “Black people are unconditionally beyond the criticism of white people, even when they lie or commit outright crimes.”
I’ll say this in weak defense of Snell and her stinking ilk, though. While these types are making a little sleazy dough off the back of Wokism, they’re not pulling in nearly as much as white social-disease-vectors like Robin DiAngelo and Tema Okun, who charge other white people gobs of money to tell them what irreversible racists their Whiteness makes them. They’re not benefiting like the young white progressives churning out endless media pieces about what a white-supremacist swamp the entire country is. And they have a long way to go to catch up to America’s historical trove of white psychics, astrologers, homeopaths and other “alties,” megachurch pastors, life coaches, and other enthusiastic pitchers of woo-woo. They’re also well aware that most of the white people “supporting” what they do would chuckle at any misfortune that comes their way; to this worldwide battalion of libtards, fat-positive Instagram accounts run by chronic non-exercisers are one more hilarious electronic spectacle providing a facile means of plausibly feigning concern for others. It’s important to point out that all subpopulations of human beings are loaded with huge numbers of defective shitbirds with no compunction about lying for gain in literally any situation, lest anyone see this screed as racialist rather than the sweeping condemnation of the entire species it so emphatically strives to be.
Speaking of HOKA luminaries, HOKA NAZ Elite coach Ben Rosario announced that the team roster is dropping from 16 to 12 at the end of the year, with four men departing (one for the luxuries of retirement). At the same time, he says the team is preparing to soon expand in a way that will allow it to compete at “the very highest international level.”
There is no telling what HOKA has in mind, but if the expansion of the squad is significant in numbers, talent, or both, perhaps Rosario will be moved into a corporate position as a reward for his efforts so far, and the day-to-day coaching will be delegated to others, perhaps one or more others not yet on the payroll. That’s just a hunch. Actually, maybe Snell can coach the team, and after ten completely horizontal “jumping jacks” and an hour of noisy bluster, everyone can put their weary feet up for the day and grovel for handouts online.
According to reliable leakers, the reason you haven’t seen an article in Women’s Running from the normally prolific Erin Strout since November 8 is that Strout is no longer in the magazine’s employ. She apparently quit after the editor-in-chief, Jen Ator, was sacked.
Ator, to my knowledge, never did a damned thing in her two years at her post. I’ve mentioned her cheerful absence from her own job. She didn’t respond to a query I sent her in late 2019 at Podium Runner editor Jonathan Beverly, and am evidently not alone in having been thusly ignored. Strout, on the other hand, seemed to create and guide at least 80 to 90 percent of whatever new content the magazine put out during that time, and as regular Beck of the Pack readers are aware, I have often been displeased with her efforts.
Elsewhere within the Outside, Inc. publishing colossus, Podium Runner is being folded into a running "channel" within Outside Online, in much the same way Running Times was eaten by Runner's World a dozen or so years ago and turned into Runner's World Advanced before being discontinued outright.
This apparently means that Beverly, who revoked my writing "privileges" last year for blasting people like Erin Strout and Molly Mirhashem on my blog and later zapped ten of my articles from the Podium Runner site, will be reporting to Mirhashem. There is not a single chance in hell that relationship will flourish. Perhaps Jonathan and I did not part professional ways at all cordially, but he knows what he’s doing and should not have to operate under or alongside anyone who routinely demonstrates the basic incompetence and shrewish ethics Mirhashem does, digitally or otherwise.
I’m guessing these moves have nothing to do with the unprecedented stupidity level of the Wokish content Women’s Running and Podium Runner have been cranking out for over a year and a half now. If that were true, the other publications within Outside, Inc. wouldn’t still be publishing the crap they still do. On the other hand, maybe the company’s reorganization is incomplete, and Trail Runner will undergo some masthead changes, too.
No, I think these publications are simply struggling to attract visitors, paying and otherwise. My feelings about the people involved range from neutral to flagrant condescension and distaste, but I would rather this have ended with people keeping their jobs and doing them better. But most of these people wouldn’t be able to do better at anything even if they tried, because they’re garden-variety, squint-eyed boneheads as well as powered by a corrupt belief system.
Actually, fuck them all. None of them will land in the gutter like they ought to anyway. Most of them have lips connected firmly to a cancerous trust-fund tit or its equivalent.
Speaking of Trail Runner, David Roche, who specializes in writing proudly incomprehensible nonsense about dozens if not hundreds of topics for these grisly publications, has outdone himself in the area of self-puffery, waffling, and substituting a farrago of physiobabble for actionable sentences. His latest effort to present himself as a deep and revolutionary thinker is “The Case for Shorter Long Runs (Sometimes).”
The article itself is an amazing mess, a fact reflected by most of these snarky comments.
First, it's not remotely controversial to say that long runs are often overemphasized. Roche is always desperate to compensate for his anhydrous style and spirals of nonsense with clickbait lures and promises of rogue philosophies. Yet in this same piece, he brags that even the vaunted Hanson’s group has been agreeing with him in their 2012 book for almost ten years. There’s also “Take a Shortcut to the Long Run” (Runner’s World, 2009) and “A Short Cut to the Long Run,” (Competitor Running, 2013) both by Matt Fitzgerald and both quoting the author of this post. But hell, what neo-visionary has time for pointless research?
Second, he doesn't even identify either his audience (5K runners? Marathoners? Ultramarathoners?) or what a long run actually is until well into the column, and not really even then. Is it anything over two hours? 20 miles? He says that long runs are especially unhelpful when people aren’t training for longer races. I assume he realizes that most people who run, say, 20-milers on a regular basis are most likely training for an event.
Third, Roche’s disclaimers, vacillating between lawyerly and childlike, over-dilute his already ridiculously porous and back-pedaling arguments anyway. Passages like "that rule is not set in stone, and different things work for every athlete/training approach" and "I imagine there are certain cohorts of athletes that may benefit from year-round longer runs" are, to anyone able to pay close enough attention to this slag to notice, just admissions that Roche is writing whatever he feels like.
Fourth, he admits that it might be better in the end to just not risk breathing too hard and suffer the indignity of not feeling good all the time—a curious stance for someone who brags about his ability to train people for running events that take most people over a full day to complete. This seems a sketchy thesis for a piece in the Outside, Inc. publishing empire's dedicated offering to competitive runners, and maybe an example of one that won’t make the cut once Podium Runner is migrated into Outside Online.
Fifth, when he refers to the Hansons members not exceeding two hours in their long runs, he notes in the same sentence that the team consists of world-class marathoners (not quite true, but close enough). He seems to not understand or care that 6:00 pace, not really taxing for a 2:14 marathoner, gets you to 20 miles in two hours even. Are most Podium Runner readers at or near that level?
Sixth, he says he's coached a bunch of people to "big" 100-mile wins advising people to do the same basic things that other runners do en route to winning 100-milers, though as always, he's so open-ended with his bloviating about his coaching capabilities that he's not saying anything at all. Combining this with the glaring lack of content in the rest of the piece, this is basically Roche admitting he’s been lucky without comprehending the admission.
Roche’s cheeky, self-referential asides are spectacularly stupid and distracting, whether it's trying (and failing) to humblebrag or saying something self-effacing. It's very bloggy—I do the same thing here, but obviously wouldn't if writing a training-driven piece for someone else—as well as grating and distracting amid a barrage of physiology terms he doesn't define or attempt to relate to on-the-ground running.
And on that front, Roche is great at memorizing biochemical and other science-related terms without having any idea, none, how those are integrated into a real understanding of coaching or what they even mean in a single athlete. What there is of his brain seems to be partitioned into a hundred different little mindlets, all of them far too talkative and wisely tuning the other 99 out.
The disconnect between what this man thinks he knows about running and what he has shown he knows is almost surreal (though I could be totally wrong about that!), although a lot of this may lie in a basic inability to communicate whatever is sloshing around in his head (MASSIVE disclaimer: Roche may in fact be the most brilliant man alive!!!).
You can stop right now, and I mean now, if you don’t want to see any of my further complaining: About Black Lives Matter declaring “we can never believe police, especially the Chicago Police Department (CPD) over Jussie Smollett,” apparently unconcerned that black police officers exist, as do black criminals (like Jussie Smollett); about the increasing pressure on doctors to not suggest that obesity is unhealthy, even as death and disease strikes obese people with terrifying precision in an ever-fatter America—where, naturally, a beaming, dog-murdering little prick called Anthony Fauci and his cronies yabber and yack solely about the value of vaccinations rather than risk offending millions of ponderous, slack-jawed television viewers by telling them to drop the Bud Lite and wander outside one time for a constitutional; the ditching of the SAT admission requirement by Harvard University in a laughably avaricious (and blatantly anti-Asian) move; the origins of much of the emo-cult of Wokism in “the Privilege Walk” of the 1980s; or the storm of outright lies about Julian Assange by an assortment of NBC types with madly winking assholes for mouths and cranial mountains of shit behind them for brains. Or you can slap your pointer on as many of those links as you can, one after the other and reading every word at the other end, and wind up in as cheerful a Holiday mood as I find myself in this near-total waste of a year, in this undeniably disposable society we* have managed to erect and have no hope of sanely sustaining.