July 6, 2007

Running is right wing.

The President should walk -- "like Socrates, Arthur Rimbaud, the poet, and other great men..."
Western civilisation, in its best sense, was born with the promenade. Walking is a sensitive, spiritual act. Jogging is management of the body. The jogger says I am in control. It has nothing to do with meditation.

MORE: From the WaPo:
The British press is having a wonderful time with all this.

"The Sarkozy jog, say his critics, is a sad imitation of the habits of American presidents, and a capitulation to 'le défi Américain' (a phrase that was the title of a book published here as 'The American Challenge') as bad as the influx of Hollywood movies," writes Boris Johnson, a British member of Parliament and confirmed jogger, in the Telegraph.

"I am not deterred . . . by the accusation that jogging is right-wing," he says. "Of course it is right-wing, in the sense that the facts of life are generally right-wing. The very act of forcing yourself to go for a run, every morning, is a highly conservative business. There is the mental effort needed to overcome your laziness.

"Charles de Gaulle . . . moved with the stately undulation of a giraffe, and never broke into so much as a trot."

33 comments:

B said...

So, can there be no philosophers in wheelchairs?

Does the gym treadmill count?

Eli Blake said...

How is running 'right wing?'

As I recall, Clinton was into jogging, while Bush prefers bicycling.

Anthony said...

How is running 'right wing?'

These are "intellectuals" we're talking about. Logic, reason, or even facts are all moot.

Roger said...

Worse yet, Anthony: they are French intellectuals.

mcg said...

Onward, Pheidippides!

Ron said...

Joggers must be libertarians; quicker than those Republican Walkers who think that routine activity is the same as healthy activity, and slower than those Liberal Runners who just like motion for its own sake...

Theo Boehm said...

Of course sitting around a café, smoking all day in the French manner serves one's intellectual capacity so well. C'est logique, non?

Seven Machos said...

I guess showering is utterly reactionary.

Anthony said...

Right-wing fascist middle-distance pig-dogs. . . .

dbp said...

I have always thought of running as sort of left-wing. I run in spite of this, since it is the most rapid method for getting in a good workout and I don't have a lot of spare time.

Of course, my reason for wanting a good workout is pure right-wing: I want to eat excessivly without getting fat!

dbp

Adrian said...

jogging is for people who aren't intelligent enough to watch television - Victoria Wood.

Ann Althouse said...

I think it's conservative to conserve your energy. If you don't want to be fat, consume less. By today's political standards, though, that sounds left-wing.

Ann Althouse said...

I can remember when "jogging" -- i.e., running -- was considered ridiculous. An adult outdoors, running around, pursuing health, had to feel a little embarrassed about it. The pursuit of health, in fact, was considered too square to confess to.

Freeman Hunt said...

It has nothing to do with meditation.

I think that my father, an avid runner and sometime marathoner, would strongly disagree with that. He's commented more than once on the calming and de-stressing effects of running as well as the time running provides for uninterrupted contemplation.

What better activity is there for obliterating tension? When I still worked in an office, I came home on more than one high pressure day to immediately don running shorts and sprint out of the house. And I don't even particularly enjoy running.

Ann Althouse said...

(You can tell I don't run. I don't think it's embarrassing anymore, but the truth is, I've never been able to breathe while running. I've been told it's a type of asthma and that I could solve the problem with drugs, but it's so much easier not to run.)

Adrian said...

it also depends how you jog. if you run the same lap around your house 200 times while wearing a wrigley's t-shirt, that's definitely conservative.

David53 said...

I miss running. I can't do it like I once did for health reasons. Man, those endorphins would start popping after about 2 or 3 miles and you would just feel really good.

Sometimes though I would think of it like hitting yourself in the head with a hammer. It feels good when you stop.

dbp said...

I know that I could stay thin by eating less. It is much more enjoyable though to stay thin while eating a lot! Running makes this possible.

In addition, my work requires me to be on the phone and when I am at home, my three daughters don't allow much "quiet time". Now that I have an iPod Shuffle, my long Saturday or Sunday run is the only time in the week where I can listen to a whole symphony with no interuptions.

dbp

Lars said...

You'll know when Sarko has totally surrendered to the dark side when he starts pumping iron.

George said...

In one of his essays on the '70s, Tom Wolfe wrote bemusedly that jogging was considered a "Nancy" activity when he was in college.

It always astonishes me to see anyone over the age of 25 or 30 "jogging," particularly when it's drop-dead hot in the summer. It's like bottled water—both are bizarre affectations of the Me Decade.

blake said...

What about running from rabid raccoons?

blake said...

Freeman points out the observable fallacy in the intellectual analysis: Runners often speak of a state very meditative in character.

Some eastern philosophers would nod intently: You can achieve transcendence many ways. Through fasting, as Buddha did, but also through eating. Through celibacy and through sex. Essentially, through non-activity and through activity.

Luckyoldson said...

the runner's high is a result of those wonderful endorphins kicking in.

hey, and just think of how much more calm and relaxed americans would be...if bush knew how to run the country.

Tim said...

"...He's commented more than once on the calming and de-stressing effects of running as well as the time running provides for uninterrupted contemplation."

Absolutely. Long runs, especially when training for a marathon, are absolutely wonderful for thinking things through. If you can walk, you should try running.

Modern Otter said...

I seem to remember the British press in the '80s seriously chiding the American press for giving so much positive ink to Bush 41's jogging habit--in their view, much too risky a passtime for an elderly leader of the free world.

Luckyoldson said...

geeeeeezzzzz, i can't understand why this is important.

i mean...this is NEW information??

Kev said...

"It always astonishes me to see anyone over the age of 25 or 30 "jogging," particularly when it's drop-dead hot in the summer. It's like bottled water—both are bizarre affectations of the Me Decade."

George, I can't say that agree with you about bottled water, but there's a good discussion of the subject (and some local governments' efforts to ban it in the name of environmentalism) over at James Lileks' buzz.mn site.

From Inwood said...

Ah, let us gaze, at the Victoria and Albert Museum, on the revolting apparition in "A Voluptuary under the horrors of Digestion", one of those spot-on cartoons of the dissolute life of the sclerotic Prince of Wales before he became George IV. He didn't improve with age. Then let us enjoy our leaders who care for their health. Mens sana in corpore sano.

Of course, intellectualoids will never concede that anyone to the Right of Center is of sound mind. I understand that there are many “surveys” which they feel “prove” their point, though I must confess that I haven't read them.

Luckyoldson said...

Speaking of the mighty right wing, all-American defenders of the world...here's something you won't be hearing from fen, sloan seven, pogo or cedar:

U.S. Aborted Raid on Qaeda Chiefs in Pakistan in ’05 - Published: July 8, 2007

WASHINGTON, July 7 — A secret military operation in early 2005 to capture senior members of Al Qaeda in Pakistan’s tribal areas was aborted at the last minute after top Bush administration officials decided it was too risky and could jeopardize relations with Pakistan, according to intelligence and military officials.

The target was a meeting of Qaeda leaders that intelligence officials thought included Ayman al-Zawahri, Osama bin Laden’s top deputy and the man believed to run the terrorist group’s operations.

But the mission was called off after Donald H. Rumsfeld, then the defense secretary, rejected an 11th-hour appeal by Porter J. Goss, then the director of the Central Intelligence Agency, officials said. Members of a Navy Seals unit in parachute gear had already boarded C-130 cargo planes in Afghanistan when the mission was canceled, said a former senior intelligence official involved in the planning.

Sloanasaurus said...

A secret military operation in early 2005 to capture senior members of Al Qaeda in Pakistan’s tribal areas was aborted at the last minute after top Bush administration officials decided it was too risky and could jeopardize relations with Pakistan,

I am not surprised.

Napoleon had a maxim to always leave an avenue open for retreat in case fortune turns against you. The problem with our situation in Afghanistan is that we are totally dependent on going through Pakistan to provide for our troops in Afghanistan. If we lose the support of Pakistan, we have to withdraw our troops from Afganistan. There is no way China/Russia/Iran would let us supply through them. If you take a risk to capture Bin Ladin, and the risk is losing Pakistan (i.e. you cut off your retreat). It's not worth the risk.

Capturing Bin Ladin is way down on the list to maintaining a military presence in Afghanistan.

Those on the left need to be thougtful about grand strategy before they start spouting off BS about "lets send 100,000 guys to find Bin Ladin." It's all just poltiical rhetoric and not reality.

Luckyoldson said...

sloan,
what a crock of right wing bullshit.

"Capturing Bin Ladin is way down on the list to maintaining a military presence in Afghanistan."

suddenly...NOT doing anything...is the new and improved...STRATEGY...because..."It's not worth the risk."

this, thoroughly disgusting argument put forth...after we've 3,605 dead and 26,558 wounded american soldiers.

you should be ashamed.

Sloanasaurus said...

Why does anyone bother even debating you. You are such a major prick. Your moronic response is not even worth responding to.

Luckyoldson said...

sloan,
blow me.