Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Drug testing and Mayberry's Aunt Bea

Most of us at least know somebody that has got into trouble over some form of either alcohol or drugs, which has taken on the rather all-encompassing generic title of "substance abuse".  Certainly, we read and hear about such things in the news all the time. Whether it's a DUI, or perhaps getting caught with some weed or pills of various nature, almost always such people will eventually go through some sort of "probation". During this time, they will have to "blow" and "drop" to prove they are "clean".

Just as certainly, the world of sports has clamped down as well. From the various shenanigans of Tour de France cyclists, to Olympic athletes, to major league baseball's dark ages of the "steroid era" and beyond, the powers that be have decreed they won't tolerate it any more. Currently, random drug testing seems to be the growing order of the day -- even in the "off-season" for many athletes. There's two very different ways of looking at that.

First, if they monitor everybody, then chances are we won't see another freaky fast climb up an Alp somewhere, medals awarded to druggies, or baseball's hallowed records continue to fall, etc.

But there's a flip side. What of the totally clean boys and girls that have risen to a high level by god-given talent, sacrifice, hard work, and sheer perseverance? Why should they be subjected to the terms of probation when they've never done anything wrong? It's like they have to prove themselves innocent to compete, instead of somebody else proving they've "violated" and should be disqualified. Somewhere along the line the benefit of the doubt got tossed out the window like the baby in the bathwater. These days, if Beaver Cleaver and Opie Taylor ran a 100 yard dash at the county fair with a blue ribbon on the line -- they might have to "drop". Off to the lab the specimens would go, to be thoroughly analyzed for any sort of slightly raised level of testosterone, human growth hormone, and who knows what else? Yet somehow that seems to be the direction we're headed in. Everybody's monitored for everything. 

Next thing you know, the mad scientists could start manipulating DNA samples to unleash armies of clones on the world. An Eddie Haskell on every block. A Barney Fife driving every patrol car. This could get out of control.

And, excuse me, but I find something very scary about that. Yet on the other hand, a lot more Aunt Beas in the world couldn't hurt. Turn a few thousand of those loose and all this alcohol and drug nonsense would quickly stop. Forget sports related drug agencies, special panels, and even Senate hearings flapping their gums and churning out mountains of paperwork that get about as much respect as Rodney Dangerfield ever did by the athletes. If they had to answer to an Aunt Bea, they'd sit up and pay attention.

Hmm. It seems I've segued from a valid topic into the world of make believe. Given that, why not one more gigantic leap into the absurd?

Aunt Beas good. Other Beas bad. As in Bea Arthurs. Can you imagine legions of Maudes patrolling the world? Brrr. Substance abuse would be the least of our worries.

1 comment:

  1. It was a good point about the 'benefit of the doubt' getting tossed out the window. It's seems a little frustrating that you have to prove yourself before you're allowed to do the things you have the passion for, like sports. But our world is getting a little darker each time. We need to be careful, even if it violates some principles along the way.