Recreating (and advancing) pk’s censored domains:
Knatz.com / Teaching / Society / Civilization /
|The results are now official.
heard throughout the NYRA day in the early 1960s
Civilization cannot function without authority.
Half the crowd sees a homer, half a foul ball. The “truth” is determined by the umpires.
In a kleptocracy, dependent on “facts” by the minute, the umpires’ decision must be final. The league, can fire the umpire later, the bookies can murder the umpire later, the fans can tar and feather the umpire later, but first, the fact must be established. Was it a homer? or a foul?
My college hot dog partner Dave and I, spent the season between college and military service testing a business at the track. George had thought that race fans might buy a reproduction of the photo finish of the race they’d won big on, Perry decided to gamble the capital to find out, Perry and George hired Paul and Dave to actually develop the business: make the reproductions, stick ’em in a cardboard frame and deliver the merchandise to the Stephens cigar stands located throughout the track, from club house to grandstands. Dave and I got them there within five minutes of the end of each race, nice races a day: at Belmont, at Aquaduct, at Saratoga: flat tracks, Cappy, Capicelli, the track announcer.
Let me establish the epistemology of the situation as I knew it in 1961. The crowd sees the horses race around the track. The club house has the privileged view of the finish line, some more in line with the finish, some closer, than others. Let’s say a guy on the rail fairly close to the finish line sees #7, Blue Nitro, finish ahead of #5, Whale Bone. Let’s say everybody agrees that Blue Nitro won the race, Whale Bone ran second. The guy at the tote board puts up #7 as the winner, but that result is tentative: two more things have to happen before you can take your ticket betting #7 to win that race to the pay off window and expect cash coming back at you in exchange.
a descendant Blue Nitro
grandsire of the horse who chewed my fingers
No. 1: The photo finish must confirm everyone’s impression. And
No. 2: Race NYRA judges must review the legality of the results.
No. 1: The ideal view is given to the photo finish equipment. The photo finish is not a snapshot, it’s not a portrait. It’s not a capture of what the guy on the rail saw as Blue Nitro’s nose crossed the finish line. The photo finish camera’s aperture is tall and skinny. It’s aimed at the photo finish line, precisely 90o perpendicular. Only what’s actually on the finish line is exposed. Film is drawn past the aperture at a velocity calculated to be compatible with the velocity of the racing horses.
Imagine Man of War leading by ten lengths down the entire stretch. Imagine Man of War getting to within 1 inch of the line. Imagine Man of War getting lassoed by aliens and spirited away in a flying saucer. May of War will not appear anywhere in the photo finish: only what crossed the line appears, and only in the order in which it crossed.
So: the officials look at the photo finish. They see there what they saw with their own eyes: Blue Nitro crosses the line first, ahead of Whale Bone, second.
No. 2: The jockeys dismount, pet their mount, head for the locker room, or the winners circle, or whatever. En route is a station for officials, judges. Let’s say that Blue Nitro was risen by Eddie Arcaro, let’s say that Whale Bone was ridden by Willie Shoemaker. Willie Shoemaker can report to the officials that halfway down the stretch Eddie Arcaro whipped Willie Shoemaker across the eye with his whip. Shoemaker is accusing Arcaro of a foul.
Sour grapes, say the officials. No foul.
Only now does Cappy announce to the whole track, “The results are now official.” Only now, three requirements having been met, does the payoff window start exchanging cash for tickets.
|1) Everyone saw Blue Nitro win.
2) The photo finish showed Blue Nitro winning.
3) All foul claims made in those first several minutes following the race were disallowed.
Eddie Arcaro in winners circle
The next day Willie Shoemaker can make any accusations he wants against Eddie Arcaro, it won’t change how much cash was handed to those with tickets on #7.
Once the supreme court has declared Bush the winner of the election, it won’t matter how many more votes get counted for the opponent. God himself couldn’t change the result, couldn’t correct the truth, not without wholly dismantling the civilization with fire and brimstone.
more, more implications, in a sec
I use a real horse, Blue Nitro, in an entirely fictitious setting. I don’t know if Arcaro ever rode Blue Nitro, I don’t know if there was a horse named Whale Bone. There’s certainly were jockeys named Arcaro and Shoemaker, and there certainly was, and is, an NYRA.
I just told Jan (Boo hoo, she’s going away for Thankesgiving, leaving me alone for several days) Mario Puzo’s example of a degenerate gambler:
The degenerate gambler loses his bet at the OTB. The degenerate gambler buys the paper, sees that he lost in print. The degenerate gambler waits till the next edition of the paper comes out, buys it, checks the race results: maybe there had been a misprint. Maybe there was an act of Congress, maybe God poured the brimstone.
Notice, pk urges you: Notice that the civilized ideas of god are all appeals to an ultimate authority. No science involved: theology is pure politics, pure coercion: an attempt to get the shacked to hold still for the shackles: to agree with their being shackled. That’s what Original Sin really is.
Horace, the Roman poet and critic, said that a poet could make Achilles flirt with Hector, could show Achilles with his hand on Brises’ hip; what the poet must not do is show Troy winning the war over the Greeks. Official results must not be changed. No, no: the Nazis were the bad guys, the US were the good guys. Lincoln freed the slaves, anyone with a confusing fact will get cut off at the knees: by all the secular priests, enforcing the current secular religions, the one true universal religion.
The courts are there to ratify all the fixed results shoved up everybody’s nose. In my religion, God has one major function: to be truthful: and let the chips fall where they may.