“He ain’t so much of a good guy as a bad-assed motherfucker, he gets paid to fuck people up.”
The day before the race.
RvV, Flanders, Belgium, 2007
North of the river, you idiots. But never the North of the country.
The danger of nationalism is that it inevitably begins by disparaging everyone else in the world.
— Rogelio Villarreal, essay in Martin Parr’s book ‘Mexico’.
So imagine, you’re a born fighter and something in your childhood makes you angry, so you feel the need to beat the hell out of everything. You square up to a foreign world owned by people you don’t understand or care for, and you batter it into submission, enemy after enemy, you make that foreign world yours. You fight a thrilling fight and eventually you own it. It is yours but you still get up everyday and think about how to beat a little more out of it. Longer, faster, and harder. It keeps you alive.
And then you stop. Over your shoulder you think you see that world smirking so you go back again and give it a little going over to show it who is boss. But then the War really is over, and there is nothing left to fight.
Only it’s not yet 1972 and Shoichi Yokoi is still appearing out of the bushes, and across the electronic seas of the internet, and he really believes he has to take you down, and everything is ok because you know the battle is still raging, but suddenly no one wants to fight you anymore. Now what do you do?
What you can become is the miracle you were born to be, through the work that you do.
— Kurt Vonnegut ‘A Man Without A Country’ 2005