Wednesday, April 27, 2011

What is Tough, What is Strong?

Resting on bare cement next to a canal, guarding against predators, propagating the genome: tough and strong

There's a current television commercial that would have us believe that it is tough, or strong, or macho, to kill a cricket with a bow and arrow if the cricket's chirping happens to be disturbing your sleep in the woods next to your prized truck. I'm not suggesting I've never killed an insect that was bothering me, just objecting to the portrayal of such a senseless act on television as the epitome of "tough" or "strong". A couple of alternatives I would offer for better examples of toughness and strength follow.

1) Mama duck taking care of about 14 ducklings on the canal bank. Damn, I would be resting, too.

2) Lynda Wallenfels becoming the first woman to complete the Arizona Trail 300 mile self-supported mountain bike race, and winning it at the same time, being only one of four to finish it, out of 22 starters. It's a great story of strength, and toughness, check out the version on The Outside Blog, as well as on Lynda's blog, 2 Epic. She is 5'2" tall, weighs 104 pounds, and rode the 300 miles of wicked trails in three days, four hours, and five minutes. With two possibly broken fingers. Incredible, awe-inspiring, ass-kicking. Her personal setup for the race is listed here, with more photos.

Those are examples of tough. Those are examples of strong. Pickup driving woodsmen killing crickets with arrows for their chirping got nothing. Get up. Go ride.



  1. Automobile ads are getting even more disgusting and juvenile at an exponential rate. It appears to be a frantic attempt to sell cars that are less and less relevant to uninformed and ignorant juvenile American males that need them to establish their identity.
    I love the "pile of ducklings" photo.

  2. That's a lot of little duckys.

  3. I don't watch television, not in its usual broadcast form, so I miss out on things like ads. Any time I *do* watch broadcast TV for some reason, I'm always struck by how stupid the commercials are.

    I have to agree with your assessment about tough. And the duck photo is fantastic! I see ducks all the time when riding but rarely stop to get a closer look. Your photo makes me think I should stop more often.

  4. I'm not thinking real good thoughts about birds just now. The two that pooped on my bike were hanging around again today. Luckily for them, they were just slinking around the front wheel. OTOH, crickets are on the good list!

  5. Hey, John! Good to hear from you (and you are right about the wind resistance!).

    Your comment about the duck was very insightful. Made me smile and think of the mother duck in a new way.

  6. Oldfool and limom, I will meet you down on the beach for further discussions on this matter. Who's bringing what? I'm thinking: OF brings the salad, limom the beverages, I'll pick up some huge variety of grilled items.

    Apertome, no Television? But how do you validate a male self-image without constant bombardment of ads for deodorant, pickups, and sports? Thanks for the photo compliments, too.

    Steve, I am no fan of bird poop. Pigeons in particular seem to have some sort of Norden bomb site with my coordinates pre-programmed.

    Big Clyde, hola amigo! I am going to make it a "think like a mother duck Friday!"


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