By: Danny Manslaughter
Without a doubt, possibly the greatest triumph in the history of television—was the ‘The Outer Limits’, specifically the ‘new series’ that premiered in the mid 90’s. Like all good sci-fi, and drawing from its previous incarnation from the 1960’s and the Twilight Zone, there are strong allegories present and metaphors present in each episode pertaining to some of the most ‘troubling issues’ of our times, and like all writing of course, it is propaganda. Recently, scouring through old episodes on the internet I uncovered a classic piece of anti-steroid propaganda in the episode ‘The Lion’s Den’ featured in Season 7, Episode 18.
The plot is relatively unoriginal in this episode (compared to others) and attempts to sway the viewer into questioning the moral viability of using performance enhancing drugs. In short sypnosis, a struggling High School wrestling coach reunites with his long-time friend, former teammate, and Olympic superstar… The two enjoy a few drinks when his friend informs him that he ‘had a little help along the way’, a super-nutritional supplement of vitamins and minerals in the format of an inhaler, completely natural, and ‘NOT STEROIDS’. The coach, pressured by his frustrated son (who’s on the team), and surefire termination from his job for the losing streak, agrees to start administering the new ‘experimental’ inhalers to the team-mates.
Most of us are perceptive enough to assume what happens next. The wrestling team reaches new soaring highs of victory and recognition. Of course the euphoria is short-lived.. As the supplement which is spliced with DNA causes a host of bad side effects, and eventually for some reason a dog is killed by juiced up team members. At the end, the coach learns the errors of his ways, returns to get back to appreciable level of morality and puts an end to the inhaler madness.
There’s a few things that bother me about this type of shit… One is the basic premise that is outlined here is that drugs turn normal people into super-human athletes. We all know this is obviously bullshit, and you can’t give the local Naruto fan-club high doses of anabolics, ‘inhalers’, and HGH and turn them into professional athletes. Of course, most of us know that PED’s will help an already stellar athlete recover, get stronger and push himself onto new planes of success. The second thing that bothers me is this… What the fuck would anyone be doing giving something to kids? OK, I understand it if you are a collegiate, professional, Olympic or otherwise ADULT athlete but on my ever-eroding moral compass I still hold pretty firm that is incredibly fucked up to give drugs to children… Whether the drugs be SSRI’S (so they can later perform a mass shooting), or anabolic steroids, It simply makes my skin crawl. To put the episodes context in the format where the antagonists are children automatically makes most people already soured on the coach’s decision. Like most pieces of anti-steroid propaganda it’s bullshit, and people are pretty keen to it these days. Like the failed DARE Programs indoctrinated to us in Middle School, the topic in question is presented in such dramatic and ridiculous fashion that any free-thinker would automatically think ‘Ummm… Bullshit’.
This is the norm however… It’s not just the incessant stream of news stories and periodicals lamenting on the atrocity of steroids, or even an oppressive government intent on constantly wasting tax money on completely useless legislation on banning pro-hormones. The Anti-Steroid propaganda machine is pervasive in our fiction, short stories and television shows. I can vividly recall an episode of my favorite Muppet show as a young miscreant, ‘Dinasours’ where the topic is covered in ‘Steroids to Heaven’ (Actually pretty clever play on Led Zeppelin I will admit..) In that episode Robbie gourmandizes creatures named ‘Thornoids’ to bulk up and impress the ladies.. Unfortunately Robbie was informed that in the real-world he’d mainly impress adoring male muscle worshippers who could shriek, jizz in their pants and pass out in stimulation from rippling biceps and gladiator pectorals… Of course Thornoids almost end Robbie’s life and there are incidents of ‘Thornoid Rage’ in the episode… The shit is so dumb, it’s almost unfathomable, really… The only appropriate comparison would be the anti-marijuana ‘shock’ films from decades ago like ‘Reefer Madness’. To young, impressionable minds however it obviously leaves an impression that these ‘Thornoids’, or steroids are very dangerous things to meddle with. Perhaps we don’t need such weak-minded people even meddling in anabolic in the first place however is the flip-side of the coin.
I passed by a ‘Harmful Effects of Drugs on the Body’ poster the other day on Campus. To my delight I noticed that steroids were present on the diagram, along with crystal meth, LSD, and crack-cocaine. It’s interesting that anabolics were listed on the ancient poster, as it seems quite a jump of logic to equate the use of equipoise with that of crack-cocaine; I’ve certainly never heard of anyone ‘ghost-busting’ for Anadrol crumbs, or sucking someone’s dick for their next bottle of Test Enanthate. Then I step back and I ask myself ‘What is so dangerous about steroids to the ruling class to make them demonized to such a level?’ The reason is—They fucking work. For this reason alone, the issue of drugs, many of us find ourselves ‘against the grain’ as bodybuilders. We are in possession of ‘illegal muscles’ and while an ever-rising military industrial complex drains the public of their money, civil liberties are eroded at an alarming rate and armies of winged-robot assassins (drones) murder people who are unfortunate to live in other countries, the proletariat struggle to work 2 jobs to support themselves and let alone a family, it’s also important to pass new legislation on ‘Pro-Hormones’. Welcome to America, and yes it’s pretty fucking stupid the way things work. Thank you to the media for once again playing the role of ‘cog in the machine’.
For More On This Subject – ‘Good Intentions, Bad Consequences: The Hooton Conundrum’