Running's grievance-grifters unwittingly admit to their own scamming when their insatiable egos are fluffed
Anyone identifying as a runner "exhausted" by nothing more than nonstop race-baiting might try running more than a few blocks at a time at least once a month
“Storyteller” is one of many words and terms the people writing for contemporary fitness publications have tried to claim and redefine for their own warped and sheltered needs.
Traditionally, storytellers are people who are especially adroit at assembling and flavoring the words they use in relating their own real experiences to small or mass audiences. “Good storyteller” can also mean “skilled novelist,” but it’s always been clear what “storyteller” means in context.
In faux-social-justice circles, a storyteller is a long-form whiner—anyone trying to leverage for gain their “discriminated against” skin tone, sexual appetites, gender (recognized or ad hoc), or body type. They do this by appealing to the squalling, never-satisfied infant they wrongly believe has earned a committee seat with outsized influence in every chronologically adult mind.
Ironically, most “storytellers” are just unusually verbose complainers whose “stories” always end where they start, and their supposedly true stories are often fabrications.
Blunt-force race-scammers like Alison Desir, in addition to being championed by other narcissistic gadabouts like Lauren Fleshman, are frequently celebrated as being storytellers. This gives their egos such jolts of pleasure that they briefly forget to be oppressed in every way possible.
Desir’s entire platform is that running is a racist, anti-black institution plagued by “whiteness” and “white supremacy.” The original title of her recently released book Running While Black was The Unbearable Whiteness of Running; she claims her editor suggested the change to emphasize that the book, like everything else on planet Earth, revolves around Alison Desir’s feelings. This is akin to suggesting that The Walking Dead should have been more up front about the whole “zombie apocalypse” theme.
This claim of pervasive, endemic racism has always been based on nothing but Desir’s own blaring, and Desir even admits it here: She’s often celebrated specifically because she’s black. And there’s ample evidence of this in virtually every significant publication, pundit, and podcaster uplifting this woman’s gruesome—and if you’re paying any damn attention at all, clearly never-ending—mission at least once over the past few years, ever since her shameless exploitation and wrongful framing of Ahmaud Arbery’s 2020 murder cast her into the wan spotlight of distance running. (It’s actually a credit to the inherent kindness of people that so many of them bought into this at the time.)
Then there’s Desir’s demand to be celebrated, or at least remembered, “as a woman.” Remembered in this way by whom, and why should this happen? Desir doesn’t merely support the participation of males in female sports; she’s expressed support for the idea of eliminating girls’ and women’s sports altogether. (Remember, she is a disruptor and proudly so.) That is, when she’s not pretending to be an active supporter of girls’ and women’s athletic opportunities.
So women have no logical reason to celebrate her as a woman; she’s an overt traitor. Should men celebrate her? Including those of us she considers indelibly stained by “whiteness”? She’d have to be a lot more sexually attractive than she is to even approach getting away with this among the straights, and were that outcome manifest, she would have self-selected out of the pool of ersatz social-justice warriors anyway, her dim and clunky way of perceiving the world notwithstanding.
It’s useful to point out how much of the race-baiting afoot in the U.S. is perpetrated by white narcissists with low cognitive wattage and enormous platforms, an incredibly potent combination.
Scott Adams is a bug in the form of a human cartoonist and a moron who remains in the spotlight thanks to a dismal combination of putting his foot in his mouth, apologizing that his generally flawless brain was tricked into the wrong conclusion by inescapable forces, pruning out and belittling his critics, and—having again learned nothing—endlessly repeating the cycle for the benefit of thousands of borderline 4CHAN types.
Robin DiAngelo, the author of White Fragility, is the patron saint of mega-revenue anti-racism. She charges enormous amounts of money to tell other white people how racist they are, and suburban white housewives are happy to pay her fees; all involved seem to not believe that black people immediately see and understand what they’re doing and that the process does absolutely nothing good for black people.
Desir—comically labeled an elite runner by The Cut, a vertical of the Vox Media-owned New York Magazine—has realistically ceded the right to call herself a runner anyway. When someone who says running saved her life seems to have quit doing it altogether in favor of talking about how “whiteness” exhausts her, maybe she’s just not someone who has earned a bullhorn in the sport. Openly divisive, ignorant figures generally don’t add good things to any institutions or ventures of which they become a part.
This woman was educated at an elite New Jersey prep school and given two degrees from Columbia, and had she borne the same academic prowess in a different body, this never would have happened. Everything Alison Desir has gotten in her life has been a gift and an open acknowledgment of her “race.” Yet this groaning by and always about Alison Desir continues as if anyone or anything has ever seriously gotten in the way of her ugly and inexcusable disruptiveness.
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Grifters always reveal that their love of money and exposure trumps any of their “oppression” theses. This event will surely produce a veritable explosion of helpful proposals.
Malcolm Gladwell is a longtime corporate whore and pseudo-intellectual whose standing among the autofellating New Yorker set is sufficiently secure to keep his present-day expulsion of hideously stupid ideas from eroding his speaking fee, let alone marking him as a risible fraud.
In 2021, Gladwell defended Shelby Houlihan after the disclosure of the Nike Bowerman Track Club superstar’s four-year doping ban, with his thesis being—I'm serious—"She wouldn't have taken such a dumb risk," as if no smart people have ever been caught lying or cheating (U.S. Congress, anyone?).
Not to be denied further midwit-momentum, Gladwell then came up with some of the most breathtakingly unworkable ideas for modifying youth cross-country I've ever seen. And more recently, he went out and had his clock cleaned by Matt Taibbi and Douglas Murray at the Munk debates, lying like a child but knowing it wouldn't slow his money-train in this feckless media climate. Gladwell, a justice-for-all type, was shilling for Bank of America during the original “Occupy” movements in New York.
And there are always ironic yuks to be found in these partnerships between fiendishly insincere media-sluts. Lauren Fleshman, you may recall, famously hates systems built by men for women. Yet here she is agreeing to be a part of a production by a man notorious for mansplaining, and for botching it at that. All of these clowns should tattoo "HO$ 4 HIRE" on their beaming faces (or, in Gladwell's case, on his movie-theater forehead).
To repeat myself, not one of the people who has platformed a clearly racist “anti-racist” like Desir would be able to morally defend her stances, and would therefore be unable to morally defend their own hosting of such a person. They would point to others who had already done the same, like Nazis, and would even admit under some duress that they did it for clicks and hence income of their own. These people are profiting from racism and the fomenting of a perpetual and needless schism within the running community.
And for Christ’s sake, enough of the couch potatoes. Anyone who doesn’t deal with stress by running is a poser to her avaricious bottom.
Fleshman, meanwhile, can do her thing. And what kind of surprise might she have in store for her fans, whoever they are, in 2024? In 2022, she came out of the closet and attended her first LGBTQ-themed event, and because this was so rewarding, she came out of the closet for a second time this month and again attended her first-ever Pride-themed event.
Fleshman is a foul person who disregards not just people who know more than she does—eating disorders is but one of a growing number of examples—but the idea that such a thing is even possible. They way she blew off what a friend of mine tried to tell her in a podcast in 2010, only to delete the evidence and later claim Lize Brittin’s and many other people’s wisdom as her own courageous discoveries, was sickening.
But all of these characters might as well be wind-up toys or literal drones. They are ideal examples of the Law of Inertia. They will stop either when it is no longer financially rewarding to be a public menace—intellectual, social, political—or when some sort of awakening jolts them into the realization that they are perceived as clowns, evil ones to varying degrees, by the many people who know better and don’t aspire to be seen hanging online with running’s flustered and flummoxed version of a hoi polloi. And it’s not hard to figure out which path this will take in every case.
Did you see Gladwell getting embarrassed by Matt Taibbi. Any respect I had for Gladwell vanished after seeing that…