Thoughts On The Dead

Musings on the Most Ridiculous Band I Can't Stop Listening To

Horse, Sense

Seaworld will close soon; they’re rearranging the walruses on the Titanic, but the end is coming and I think the next thing animal activists ruin for everyone should be horseracing. Fuck everything about it: the shady equine eugenics in the stables, and the sybarites with too much money in the boxes, and the bulimic pygmies with their custom-made puke basin in the locker rooms (look it up), and the degenerate gamblers in the stands, and all the women in hats.

(Also: fuck the horses, but that’s a personal thing and we all know it. TotD firmly believes that horses are nightbeasts loosed from Hell, and that they have chompy chompers and stompy stompers. I do not deny that it’s a phobia, but it’s one I’m okay with. Actually, I consider myself lucky in the phobia realm: some people have fears that destroy their lives, but I just stay away from petting zoos and rodeos and things are copacetic.)

Racetracks have contributed nothing to mankind except a few classic movie scenes, and this is a long-time problem. The crowd at the Circus Maximus was the same as the crowd at Santa Ana, but they were yelling at horses in Latin. The lawlessness extends into the paddocks (or stalls or kennels or whatever you call a horse’s dressing room) and these super-charged brutes with their giant ass-muscles and tiny leg-stalks are jammed full of painkillers and speed and steroids and diuretics

(Speaking of which: happy birthday, Billy.)

What argument can be made for this so-called sport’s continued existence in 2016? Bullfighting is inhumane, because the bulls die in front of everyone; horse racing is fine, because the horses die in private, but also sometimes right on the track. I actually did some research: this 2012 New York Times article spells it out better than I can, but there’s a number I’ll share with you: 1000/2. For every thousand starts, there are two dead horses.

If you applied that number to the NFL, 3.4 players would die every single week. And, you know: eventually one of the dead guys is going to be a quarterback, and the nation would have to mourn.

To add insult to lethal injury, the horse’s performance doesn’t matter: what matters is whether you correctly foretold the winner. The animals are necessary but not the point. They are dice, or cards, or shirtless homophobes punching one another: just an excuse for a bet. Horse racing isn’t really about the horses, so why not get rid of them?

Allow me to suggest some alternatives.

  • Make the jockeys fight each other.
  • (Wait, hold on: that’s bullshit. That’s a bullshit joke. My whole point is based on consent–animals can’t give consent, so therefore their participation in your bullshit is cruelty–and to deny the jockeys agency makes me a hypocrite and undermines my argument. I apologize.)
  • Let the jockeys fight each other.
  • What if the jockeys rode very large people?
  • In a piggy-back configuration, I suppose.
  • Instead of riding horses around the track, what if the jockeys drove cars? (Is this already a thing? I think this is a pretty good idea. Also, instead of jockeys driving the cars, it should be Lillian Monster.)
  • Maybe you could go one day without making a bet, you goddamned degenerate?
  • Replace the track with a large room filled with many varieties of gambling options, and free drinks, and ugly carpeting.
  • I would allow horse-related wagering if it were limited to the rural fair game where they chalk out a numbered grid in a field and you bet on which square the animal will poop in; usually, the pooper is a cow, but a horse would probably work.


  1. Love horses, fuck horseracing.

  2. As I recovered from my auto accident, I made friends with an awesome horse.
    I live minutes from Saratoga’s two tracks and though I regularly entertain in the various bars and clubs, I have not set foot on the grounds. I have always thought the racing to be very uncool

    We were cleaning the storm drains out in Laurel Md. years ago and flushed out a woodchuck. My co-worker felt bad and gave it the rest of his doughnut. But alas. the woodchuck died. There’s a lesson there, but I hate learning

  3. If you go to a Minor League Baseball game, or even some Major League ones, they often have a “race” in which interns run behind the outfield fence holding up big heads on sticks. Thus the crowd just sees the heads running along the outfield fence (except for the poor schlubs in the bleachers, if there are any).

    Just allow gambling on it, and you’re good to go. Plus you get to see a baseball game.

  4. Luther Von Baconson

    May 8, 2016 at 11:59 am


  5. NoThoughtsOnDead

    May 8, 2016 at 6:05 pm

    A dear friend (whose sense of humor is rather like yours, but whose taste in music is different) studied and achieved both a DVM and a PhD. At one point, much of his money for his bone-density research came from a state’s Horse Racing Board. Because 2- and 3-year-old horses aren’t grown enough to run lots and lots without their bones shattering! Of course, the solution is to patch up the current system, not to make everyone wait until horses are 6-year-olds and likely can take the training & racing.

    Our species is capable of such extreme kindness and awfulness, and some days I can’t handle the latter.

    Also, good for you for managing your phobias so they haven’t run or ruined your life.

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