Perigo - To Coutts & Buterworth, the Freerad Award
PI Show May 23, 2000 (First broadcast on Radio Pacific's Politically Incorrect Show, noon Tues May 23)
Predictably, the inhabitants of the Democratic Sheeple's Republic of Aotearoa, land of the tall poppy-cutters, have been baaaing loudly over the defection of Russell Coutts & Brad Butterworth from Team New Zealand to a Swiss syndicate for the next America's Cup contest. The sheeple remind me of Nietzsche's description of Christianity: "a rebellion of everything that crawls on the ground against that which has height." The baaaing of the sheeple, whether or not Christianity has anything to do with it - & ultimately it does - is precisely such a rebellion: slimy ground-crawlers protesting against the spectacle & prerogatives of greatness, claiming ownership of those who exhibit it.
Of what greatness do I speak? In the words of Larry Sechrest, American economist & yachting buff, writing in my magazine, The Free Radical:
"Yachting is the premier team sport because, at its best, it reflects and requires some of the highest qualities to be found in human beings. First of all, almost all other sports emphasise largely physical skills and involve very simple implements. Consider soccer, rugby, American football, basketball, cricket, baseball, and their like. A ball, a field or arena, some protective gear, perhaps a bat for striking the ball and you are ready to play. Moreover, the requisite skills are primarily the fundamental motor skills of running, jumping, and throwing ... while yachting is a sport for thinking adults.
"One of the key reasons is that yachting involves the use of machinery - the boat itself. Therefore, some of the most important persons in yachting are the designers, the builders, and the sailmakers. These are the men, part engineer and part artist, who must succeed at a conceptual level if the boat is to be a winner. Reflect on their self-appointed task. They seek to create a machine that will move swiftly through one fluid while being propelled by another fluid. In short, they use their ingenuity and knowledge to conquer nature. Theirs is a microcosm of the glorious phenomenon that lies at the heart of all meaningful human endeavor: the triumph of man¹s mind over the limitations of nature. They are the creators.
"The artisans who sail these lovely machines deserve to be praised enthusiastically as well. The crews, and most especially the helmsman and the tactician, must thoroughly understand their boat¹s aerodynamic and hydrodynamic characteristics. And these they must translate into concrete decisions, such as how much tension to put on a backstay or which weight of spinnaker to set. Moreover, such decisions often must be made quickly and under great stress. There are few humans who are equal to this task. It demands that one possess complex knowledge, a cool head, and no small amount of physical endurance."
Among the "few human beings who are equal to this task," Coutts & Butterworth are the best. As such, they deserve the best. If Team New Zealand can't offer them the best, it is perfectly proper for them to look elsewhere. They have no contractual obligations to Team New Zealand, & no moral ones either. The fact that they were pivotal in bringing the America's Cup to New Zealand imposes no obligation on them to strive to keep it here. They are free agents. If Ernesto Bertarelli is prepared to offer them millions, I applaud him, & I applaud them for accepting. They know they are going to have to work for those millions, & they relish the challenge. They most certainly owe nothing to the loathesome, bludging mediocrities who expect Other People's Money ... for doing precisely nothing!
The high point for me in this sorry display of egalitarian presumption was seeing Russell Coutts on television say, "If people are going to throw rotten tomatoes at us as we head out, so be it." In other words, "They can get stuffed" - a sentiment I gleefully direct at all the slimy ground-crawlers out there right now who think they own these magnificent men in their sailing machines.
To Russell Coutts & Brad Butterworth, for thumbing their noses at the sheeple whose pitiful mentalities pervade this pathetic backwater, the Free Radical Award.