Sunday, November 13, 2011

horses, horses.......

The boy looked at Johnny, Johnny wanted to run,
but the movie kept moving as planned
The boy took Johnny, he pushed him against the locker,
He drove it in, he drove it home, he drove it deep in Johnny
The boy disappeared, Johnny fell on his knees,
started crashing his head against the locker,
started crashing his head against the locker,
started laughing hysterically

When suddenly Johnny gets the feeling he's being surrounded by
horses, horses, horses, horses
coming in all directions
white shining silver studs with their nose in flames,
He saw horses, horses, horses, horses, horses, horses, horses, horses.
                                                                                                -Patti Smith

I see horses every other day.  Real ones.  My daughter rides them and they are majestic creatures.  But the ones I see have a certain sadness in their eyes.  Some have strange behaviors. Most of their peculiarities are from their time on the track.  One horse is spooked by plastic flowers.  The other is easily scared of bells and must wear earplugs.  Another cannot have a regular saddle because of cruelty. Most are former racehorses that have been retired and retrained to become school horses for equestrian events.  They are docile now, trained to walk, trot and canter.  If you are lucky some days, you do get to see them in the field in full gallop playing with their buddies. It is rare but grand to see. They seem finally free.

These are the lucky ones.  Their friends may not have been.  Just think dog food and glue factories.  Once bet on, tampered with and shown with pride, they are victims sacrificed for man for a game with high stakes. The industry is fraught with cheating.  The inbreeding to win, drugs, etc are to produce the fastest animal yet. Everything is on the line to win, place or show.  When they don’t, they are discarded. One can  hope to a school riding program to be fussed over by high school girls.

I think about the Penn State case.  A parent's worst nightmare.  Society's worst nightmare. Pure evil incarnate and complacent people  who ignored the many warnings as to not ruin their own reputations, money and football.  Cowardly Nittany Lions. They rode on high horses that team.  When any institution sacrifices children we are all losers.   You have victims now that are docile, damaged, never to really gallop again. I never really paid attention to college football, now I most certainly will not.

I wonder what Mr. Sandusky’s victims thought of when being molested and raped.  Those children are  the horses, abused and now broken.  They will never be free of the horribleness inflicted on them.  Ask them if they gave one “for the Gipper”. They most certainly did but probably without cute cheerleaders, generous scholarships, special dormitories, special dining halls and every other luxury afforded to a winning college team. Maybe they thought of horses. Beautiful concept sometimes, but better when they are truly wild and galloping.

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