Monday, July 09, 2007

True lefties do not exceed walking pace

I quite enjoyed the story last week about French President Nicolas Sarkozy being criticised in sections of the French media for his 'right wing jogging'. He's supposedly the first ever French head of state to exercise publicly, with previous incumbents having generally only indulged in a dignified pavement shuffle. If we think of jogging as right wing and the speed of our movements as a theoretical sliding scale of socio-political standpoints, just imagine the amount of ground to be covered in a twenty minute bleep test. You start with a kind of libertarian, intellectual stroll that combines elegance but also a little bit of swagger in the hips. Then you break into a slightly faster walk that suggests you have something to do and you'll be damned if anyone's going to stop you (sign of a determined leader). As the beeps gradually speed up you break into the aforementioned 'right wing jog'. Then things really get urgent and you progress through 'authoritarian running' and then onto 'outright fascist sprinting'. Fascist sprinters are nothing new mind you. So now you know the real reason for the acrimonious denouement to Linford Christie's athletics career. And of course it's no surprise to see Kriss Akabusi making a living on the 'motivational speaking' (read: neo-fascist monologues) circuit these days.

News of some French people saying jogging is right-wing has inevitably attracted scorn and giggles from around the world, but I can see where they're coming from. I've always been deeply suspicious of individuals who deem it sensible to parade themselves up and down our fine streets in their despotic fluorescent thigh-flaunting shorts, theocratic headbands and dictatorial headphones. We should introduce some kind of Jogging Police to stop these bad bastards in their tracks and take them off our streets. That'll show them who's right wing.

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