When reports of Roger Clemens using performance-enhancing drugs surfaced in early January, I can’t say I was surprised in the least bit. Not to say that I expected one of baseball’s most revered pitchers of all time to be a juicer, but it seems that these days not doing steroids makes you some sort of a pansy. The fact that your balls shrink from excessive use has no bearing on this classification, but we’ll discuss that later.

The fact that I’m not surprised says something. I’ve become so used to athletes admitting steroid use of late that it’s no longer a big deal to me, as if it has become commonplace in American society for our best athletes to inject needles into their asses to play better.

And that’s what’s messed up about this whole situation. When did it become accepted for our national heroes to habitually use hard drugs?

Should we acknowledge this practice as the status quo all for the sake of witnessing gravity-defying feats of artificial strength followed by the inevitable public downfall (see: Jos Canseco)?

How long before this sort of behavior leaks into other, less obvious walks of life? Will it be too long before our politicians develop PCP habits or the medical establishment starts smoking crack to deal with stresses of the job? We’ve turned our heads from the use of drugs in sports? why not let it fly elsewhere?

I guess it’s been there all along. From the time we were kids, our culture has told us that if you’re not jacked up, you’re a scrub and you don’t deserve to live. The messages are subliminal, but plentiful.

Take, for instance, the Incredible Hulk. This man is so hopped up on the magic muscle milk that a simple insult will cause him to singlehandedly knock down buildings and throw tanks.

His bouts of ‘roid rage are excessive and frequent to the point that they make him turn green.

What about Mr. Clean? You’re telling me that this exceedingly feminine janitor got that big from working out?

Something tells me this dude would rather be cleaning floors than lifting dumbbells.

The Kool-Aid Man is definitely a juicehead, as well. After all, he is made of juice, and his spontaneous wall-bustng, enormous dome piece and primal screams of “Oooooooh yeeeeeah!” are highly indicative of regular use. Worse yet, he’s a drug peddler, encouraging the youth of America to fill up a glass of his sugary, artificial goodness (or “drank,” if you will).

Aside from cartoon mascots and comic book superheroes, an abundance of real-life humans have paved the way for steroid use in America, including Hulk Hogan, 50 Cent, Sylvester Stallone and Barry Bonds.

And let’s not forget about Governator Ah-nuld Schwarzenegger: the prototype of American fitness and the man responsible for bringing the juice into the mainstream.

In my opinion, Schwarzenegger is to blame for making steroids such an acceptable form of self-betterment. Before Arnold, bodybuilders were merely little guys with bad cases of Napoleon complex.

Then, all of a sudden, Arnold comes out with “Pumping Iron” and effectively changes the whole dynamic of muscle fitness by sharing the various sensations he experiences in a given workout. At 6 feet 2 inches, 250-some pounds, the seven-time Mr. Olympia and star of “Twins” made it OK for big dudes to hit the weights, and he became the crowning achievement of brainless musclemen everywhere. When they found out he was getting big through artificial means, they aptly followed suit, and now we’re stuck with the likes of Vin Diesel.

Thanks to Schwarzenegger, Vin freaking Diesel has become one of the most clear-cut examples of a modern “man” in America: monstrously huge and plainly simple.

What’s funny is that in attempting to become more “masculine,” these “men” are actually developing bodily qualities that are wholly feminine, including genital atrophy and, for lack of a better term, boobies.

And just when you thought they couldn’t be any less of men, steroids also result in sexual dysfunction, sterility and impotence. I think I’ll pass on those things. I happen to like my balls as they are.

In fact, I love my balls. They’re awesome and there is no way I would ever knowingly harm them. I also like being a man on my own terms and not according to society’s definition of masculinity.

Finally, I like knowing that I got where I am without the aid of any shameful substances other than booze and caffeine (my definition of “shameful substances” is very, very specific).

With all this in mind, I would like to say that, if you take steroids, you’re a cheater, a follower and anything but a man, and chances are you have terrible backne. Grow some balls, you pansy.

Milbrand is a member of the class of 2008.



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