Mostly non-cycling related diatribe

I hope most of you 6 or so folks have read Jill in Alaska’s blog. If not, do so know (see links, that way>>).

Good. Today Jill posted a picture of herself. She often does this , but this time made a point to put up a non-cycling photo. Why?

I try to put up shots of myself as often as possible, because this blog is a fundamentally narcissistic endeavor and I don’t have a digital camera.

The point here is I think a double standard; increased public attention (which Jill’s writing richly deserves) combined with puerile groupthink seems to mandate a “real” picture of this person in order to commence evaluation. Or shall we say, judgment. I think that I, who labors in a tiny land of obscurity and is thus not a good example, would not be subject to such demands.

So to go the comments received therein in reaction to Jill’s musing about weight. A coincidence that these two subjects come up in close proximity, I think not. And said comments include condolences about said weight. Not good.

The differences in the demands placed on individual women versus those of men is my paradigmatic example of how culture is internalized. Their are standards into which we are all born, and our influence on them and control over them is very limited. Because these rules are constantly enforced by others, be they friends parents or television; because they are reinforced by us ourselves. To “fit in” or even be recognized (in both the pedestrian and Hegelian sense) by the people in your life you have to conform.

Inexorable fact that this is, I don’t like seeing egregious examples. Society would not be possible without it, yet it’s far easier (especially at my work) for me to dwell on the nasty sides. What I’m doing now.

It seems to me that a great virtue of the net is shaking up normal standards, being exposed to those pieces of intellect and creativity an individual chooses to air, which may or may not be any variation of physical looks and presentation. I like it this way. In the same vein, “sports” are for me a way for a person’s innards to manifest themselves in actions. Similarly, it seems unfortunate when the less dedicated but more photogenic rise up in the public eye. Amelie Marismo vs Anna Kornikova?

I’d like the microcosm of internet biking to stay away from “the outside”.

Not well formed, yes. This is my template, and sometimes things are gonna be ugly.

Jill: my apologies for any inconvenience. I presume you don’t know and don’t care, and thought to keep it that way.


  1. Wow … nice post, Dave.You expound on the issue nicely; I hadn’t put nearly that much thought into my post. To be honest, I have been reading Fat Cyclist daily as of late, and I was a bit bored and curious as the what kind of reaction I might receive to bring the ever-present weight issue into my blog. Your thoughts are by far my favorite. Thank you. :-)

  2. I am humbly grateful. And to you, keep up the good work. Good luck at the Susitna, very much looking forward to reading about everyone’s adventures on the 17th.

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