Discover more from Poor Billy's Almanac
Monday Morning quarterback
Marathons: Cringe or Wholesome?
Welcome to Monday Morning Quarterback (another Tuesday afternoon QB edition)
Here’s the best stuff I saw this week (TikToks, tweets, quotes, books, essays, etc.) and a real-life experience.
The NYC marathon was this past Sunday. Call me a hater, call me miserable, call me whatever you like, but I hate marathons.
Don’t get me wrong, I love how New York comes together on race day. The signs. The cheering. The people who go to the race and support random strangers. I also respect people for pushing themselves to their physical and mental limits.
Yet, there are a lot of things I don’t understand about the marathon.
Why do so many marathon runners act like they’re overcoming oppression? Did someone force them to run 26.2 miles? Are they running away from a goblin-like Rudy Giuliani creature under the Brooklyn Bridge? Why do we have to donate money, because you, yes YOU, choose to run 26.2 miles? What kind of system relies on people to donate money towards cancer research in support of people running 1/4th of 100 miles?
I guess it’s healthy to run. You shed some calories, sweat out toxins, and get those endorphins moving to make you feel like Superman. You can also make running social and use it as a way to make new friends and develop commerdarie.
But I feel like a lot of people run marathons for external validation. Because they’ve lost their sense of identity and try to reclaim it through running.
“My life lacks direction, my job is cushy and boring, and I don’t have any purpose. You know what I should do, become an insufferable runner who posts how hard my voluntary hobby is to get attention and respect from my fellow bourgeois.”
To rediscover themselves, marathon runners turn to something difficult (running) to find it again. It’s a bourgeois event for the bourgeois to feel good about being the bourgeois.
Distance running beats alchoholism and sports fandom. It beats becoming a 300 lb. body builder like my one of my high school friends who just had a mini stroke.
So, maybe I’m just being a hater.
I even asked my Instagram followers if they thought marathons were cringe or wholesome and most of them disagreed with me:
Over the past year, I’ve realized if I had any chance at going professional at this point in my life, I’d go pro in hating. I am a professional hater. A professional, “I could do this better than you,” or “I don’t do this because I am better than you,” human being.
The question I should be asking, isn’t whether marathon runners are assholes or not (I’m sure they aren’t any more or less asshole-y than your average person); the question I should be asking, is why don’t we have more wholesome moments? Why does our kindess and wholesomeness depend on an annual race?
Maybe it’s because it’s one of the only events the whole city can participate in. Maybe it’s because it’s a genuine event not based around superficial identity markers like Patriotism or religion. Maybe it’s because they basically shut down the city for the day. Maybe it’s because I have this all wrong and marathon runners are actually the heart of the city (I believe delivery drivers are, but that’s a different story for a different time).
The main question we need answered, and won’t have answered, is why we need a 26.2-mile race to pretend like we care about each other, our bodies, and our city?
Bombing Civilians doesn't get rid of terrorists
US congressman and veteran, Jason Crow, talks about his experience in Afghanistan and Iraq and why bombing civilians creates more terrorists, not less.
There are two New Yorks
The New York you see on TikTok and the New York 90% of us experience. It’s not all romantic. Though, my experience is more romantic than the average New Yorker’s, a lot of us work to survive and are barely doing that.
Roman Senate after killing Julius Ceasar
Someone used AI to put Roman busts on Bobby Shmurda’s Hot N***** music video. Someone in the comments said “Too soon” 💀, as if Caesar wasn’t murdered 2,000+ years ago.
The Square is a documentary about the 2011 Egyptian Revolution. Somehow the documentary crew found a way to film most of the footage inside the protests. The film follows multiple revolutionary figures including a famous actor and singer. A wild, sad, and inspiring representation of the human spirit and the nwever-ending fight for justice.
Listen to your life. See it for the fathomless mystery it is. In the boredom and pain of it, no less than in the excitement and gladness: touch, taste, smell your way to the holy and hidden heart of it, because in the last analysis all moments are key moments, and life itself is grace.
Random Life Update
5 weeks into working at the restaurant. Like most workplaces, the experience is highly dependent on who you are working with and for. I need to get better at explaining the taste of food and wines. Telling someone a wine is fruity or a dish is citrusy isn’t going to increase check sizes. I’m also learning how to host.
One of my childhood best friends is coming into town this week.
I lost a writing notebook. The lost writing is tearing me apart. More motivation to write more! (Ugghhh I lose everything)
I went on a date with a childhood acquaintance. It’s always interesting re-meeting someone you knew as a child. I had a good time.
Just went to the thrift store. I realized I hate shopping.
Funny, but also cute as hell.
Guy freaks on karaoke singers because they yell into his mic. A blowup for the ages.
Thanks for reading Poor Billy's Almanac! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.