Hey…I’m in Zurich! I have spent the entire afternoon in Wash Heaven. Which is a very specialisty way of saying I have been looking at some of my favourite drawings by Johann Heinrich Füssli – subject of my thesis. Wash refers to the use of mainly monochrome watercolour. This is a wash drawing:
J.H. Füssli. Achilles Sacrifices his Hair by the Pyre of Patroklos. From The Iliad. 1800-05. Zürich, Kunsthaus.
I didn’t see this one today, but I will one of the coming days. How great is that?!
And besides – I’m having cake. Of course. In a heavenly place called Cakefriends. I will be their cake friend, no problem – I feel like a part of the family already.
As some of you may know I love watching the Tour de France. I have been doing so in my summer vacations since I was a child. I have pleasant memories of sitting indoors on sunny afternoons with my family yelling at riders trying not only to reach the fourth peak of the day but also to do it faster than their closest enemies.
And then there is the doping.
I was happily unaware of the extensive doping programmes until 1998 when the Festina scandal exploded. I believed in Miguel Indurain, Bjarne Riis and Jan Ullrich when they won the race and I believed in them for quite some time after the Festina scandal. I cheered for Bugno, Chiappucci, Virenque and Zülle and was sorely disappointed when the two latter turned out to have been doped.
My disappointment in doped riders have changed since. If I get disappointed it has more to do with my favourite riders not being allowed to race. It doesn’t relate to the doping itself anymore. What I want is not a clean race…I want drama.
This also means that I find Bjarne Riis’s confessions last week uninteresting. Of course he was doped when he won in 1996. I have known that since he said in an interview: “I have never been tested positive”. That was so pathetic – but the confession? Nah – I don’t care. I have found a short clip of his very long confession (in which he also says that he only admits because he has been forced to by fellow riders’ confessions). And it has subtitles.
Riis was doped as the rest of the riders, and he gave us one of the most interesting Tour de Frances ever with his continuos attacks on the summits of the Alps and the Pyrenees. Doped or not – this was epic.
Of course cycling is an unhealthy sport and of course doping is awful. But the fact is that I love the race because these men have sacrificed their health for my entertainment. It looks grim on paper (screen…), but there you have it. And now all there’s left for me is to dream about the happy years when the riders were doped and we didn’t know! I will never enjoy the race as much again since the clean race leaves us with two options:
1. A truly clean race with one slow, boring stage after the other
2. A fake clean race with drama and speed but with our knowledge that they are doped.
My weakness is that I prefer the latter.
And since I am already surfing immoral waters of double standards I have to admit that seeing Lance Armstrong admit an extensive use of drugs would be a great pleasure. What makes the Tour de France interesting is also to see the kings dethroned. Armstrong never allowed to be dethroned and his arrogance left me completely cold.
Just to close with a smile here is part one of a press conference of the Danish Team Easy On. For non-Danish speakers I can recommend to go to 4:45 to hear the list of drugs read out loud in English.