Thursday, November 18, 2010

Craig Lord: The J. Jonah Jameson of Swimming

Craig Lord's campaign to eradicate the costumed menace that is the shiny suits has not slowed, even after they were banned so long ago. When I read an article like the one released today, which highlights that no world records have been broken this year since non-permeable fabrics were banned, I chuckle and think of how similar Craig Lord's campaign is to that of J. Jonah Jameson, the editor of the Daily Bugle who has made it his life's mission to crush the costumed menace who plagues him: Spiderman. If Craig had his way, it would be Fred Bousquet being hauled to jail in a Jaked in this picture.

Spiderman was often blasted for interfering with police operations and for destruction of property when he helped put away the bad guys, and was conversely criticized when he wasn't there to get the job done, kind of like the way world record breakers should have been celebrated in 2008 but were instead often scorned because of the suits they wore. Jonah didn't quit pestering poor Peter Parker even when he quit the hero gig (multiple times) and even during the few times that everyone thought Spidey was dead. Superheroes always seem to come back. Maybe Craig still has legitimate fear that the suits will too. Who knows?

There have been a lot of writers who have handled the character of Jolly Jonah since he first appeared in 1963. The reasons for his hatred of the costumed characters has been speculated on for decades and it seems to always boil down to this: How can a normal guy compare in a world of superhumans who don't have to face the consequences that come with owning up to their actions? It is partly a matter of jealousy, and the fear that these men and women have more power than they have moral sense or responsibility, especially considering that many are hiding behind masks. Jonah is really a terrifically complex character who strangely represents our own subconscious resentment of humanity's innate need for leaders, heroes and even celebrities above us in society. While we build them up we feel we need to also tear them down.

The fact is, the Daily Bugle sells papers, partly because Jameson is outspoken and puts a dramatic spin on every editorial. He has become a media personality in the Marvel Universe who could be considered the Glenn Beck of a world where superheroes are a part of daily life, and is similar to Craig Lord in the world of swimming where world rankings, records, swimsuits and sponsorships are the topics we care about and want to read up on daily. Craig's mission against tech, as it has been in the fight against doping in the past and present, are important and still relevant, but I can't help getting a chuckle when I think about the nights that Mr. Lord must stay late at the office to pore over the final draft of his latest rant. I like to picture him typing the final phrases with frenzied adoration for his most inspired works, peeking out into the hallway to make sure no one else is around, putting on a red Jaked01, and doing this:

Of course, Jameson's son was an astronaut who flew to the moon and turned into a werewolf, which is part of a long list of other personal incidents he blames Spidey for... so I guess he has a pretty good excuse.

We love ya Craig. You keep writing it, we'll keep reading it


  1. I love The S-Viking!
    What a great fun blog :)

  2. Love this so much! hysterical

  3. Haven't even looked at that site in a couple years. Just because it's called Swim"news", doesn't mean it's news. A journalist is supposed to have a non-biased view of the news he reports. Craig's problem is that people keep telling him he's a journalist, but he's really just a blogger... which is a person who expresses their personal opinion. Nothing wrong with bloggers, I do it all the time on my site. It's simply not news.

    If he changed the name of the site to SwimBlog, and allow posts from outside people, I'd probably visit. The way it's set up now, it's false advertising in the name, and a cowardly approach to a web presence. It's very very very old school. Not very tech. Of course, for someone who continues to regurgitate the words "shiny suit" in a "news" site as much as he does... I can't imagine he's very tech oriented anyway. I still love the posts when his keyboard wasn't working. Classic and classy all rolled into one. That's about when I stopped reading.

  4. I am still a loyal reader even if I like to poke fun and didn't always agree. CL was trying to protect the integrity of our sport, and in the process many feel he gave up some of his journalistic integrity to do so. SwimNews is not my only source, but I still feel it is a valid source. I have often wondered if anyone has tried to submit opposing viewpoints for print and if they have ever been denied? Who knows? My local paper has several sections devoted to Op-Eds and even investigative journalism that could be looked at as biased. Remember, SwimNews gave us a lot of insight into the FINA process that made the mess. It had great value and still does. I can't condemn Craig Lord, but I don't grant total amnesty either... I don't read it in the same mindset with which I read Swimming World. I guess I am just glad to be the crazy blogger shouting from the sidelines.