Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Nacho Libre Theory of Amateur Cycling

"Cheat to win." This was the slogan of Eddie Guerrero , a luchador and mainstay of WWF for a decade or so.

The layers of irony in his slogan are rich.

In the first place, wrestling (the kind Guerrero participated in, at least) is fake, a cheat.

But then, as everyone outside of trailer parks and certain rural zones knows, the audience knows it is being cheated, and is totally cool with it.

This makes Eddie's slogan that he cheats to win totally nonsensical, because it is scriptwriters, not ring antics, that wins matches in wrestling.

Lastly, there is the claim that a win attained by cheating is still a win, that a win is just the end effect, divorced from the cause(s). This is more complex.

Point is, Eddie's kind of cheating isn't cheating at all. In fact, the only way to cheat in wrestling is to actually start fighting, for real, outcome unknwon.

We call wrestling's kind of self-aware cheating fiction, and, far from being an immoral behavior, it is how we explain our own morality to others, and how we get them to follow our moral code. We staff our universities and religious institutions with experts in the interpretation and explanation of stories. We try to understand and preach right and wrong with bits of fiction--religious myths, memoirs, and fables.

Eddie Guerrero died of heart failure in 2005, a death probably caused by Guerroro's use of steroids. Guerrero cheated in a very real way, and he won fame and money, but he also died. Not that his cheating took anyone surprise or did anything at all to expose the WWF as a fraud. We already knew it was a fraud! That's what made it fun! To fans of the fictional Guerrero, it was what we expected based upon the story line; in real life, Guerrero was a cheat.

The difference between professional wrestling and professional cycling, let's admit, is that cycling fans are too stupid to know we're being cheated. We have no sense of fiction.

In MABRA, this is the feeling--if we just stopped jawing and rode, we'd be a lot better. I often hear people say "shut up and ride." Stop blogging and ride.

That's idiotic.

Our riding only makes sense in the stories we tell ourselves and others.

It's Nacho with his orphans, his stories and songs, that we love, not Ramses:

Oh, and if that isn't enough motivation to ride clean, consider this: if you dope, Nick Sachanda will "literally rip you in half."

1 comment:

Nick said...

boom shakalakalaka.

sometimes i get tired of being the biggest dude in the peloton, but other times i get characterized as "a wrecking machine" and it's fairly entertaining.