Thursday, December 1, 2011

The wussification of America continues...

What do you get when you raise a generation of kids in playgrounds covered with foam rubber?  Cowboys wearing helmets and body armor, that's what...

The National Finals Rodeo is in town and the Las Vegas Sun, which normally alternates between acting like the UNLV student newspaper and the Nevada Democratic Party newsletter, is all rodeo, all the time.  Today's edition even includes a column by a stripper - I could not make this shit up - who admits that cowboys are actually very nice in spite of the fact that they are all - gasp! - Republicans.

I digress...

Bull riders wearing helmets and body armor...W.T.F??  Sure...riding bare-back on an evil-tempered, 2000 pound animal, who by the way, has strap cinched around his gut to make him even more grumpy, is a dangerous gig.  But isn't that the point?  Don't get me wrong here.  I am not the sort that goes to rodeos and roots for the bulls (Bullfights, yes, but not rodeos).  It seems to me that part of the challenge of bull riding is overcoming a perfectly rational, perfectly understandable fear and engaging in something that "normal" humans can't even conceive of doing.  Part of the reason we watch bull riding is, not so much to observe the skills involved, but to sit there and marvel that there are people who even do things like that.  When you remove the risk and, consequently, remove some of the "fear factor," you somehow diminish the sport.

Mountaineering has gotten to a point where essentially anyone with enough money and free time can get to the top of Mount Everest.  That being the case, where is the challenge and the subsequent sense of accomplishment?  It would seem that bull-riding is heading to where anyone with enough body armor will be able to hop on a bull.  Hell, as soon as my Master Chief Spartan body suit, complete with regenerating electromagnetic armor and shield lock feature, shows up, I'll probably give it a shot.

But maybe that's just me...


  1. 1. I agree with everything you've said.
    2. I love rodeos.
    3. I was elbowed out of my place in the beer line by a bullrider once, very rudely, so yeah, that time I absolutely rooted for the bull.

  2. Based on the two available data points, LeeAnn, it would seem that bull riders are only nice to strippers...

  3. Please post pics when you finally get your Master Chief Spartan body suit. I can't wait!

  4. I've checked with the R&D department here at the Fortress of Solitude, Falahime, and I'm told I can get a prototype in 150 years as long as I remove the shield lock requirement.