The Whale Whisperer: FU Landowski Kumbayas His Inner Humpback and Orca.
Isle of Dr. Moreau, near Cougar Island, in the South Pacific

January 15, 2009

FU Landowski contemplates his Whalehood.
“Sometimes, to fight, a man’s got to learn to float.”

“The secret to [His Lordstrong’s tm past success...[is His] unique ability to convert anger over his critic's words into a combustible, high-octane fuel for riding his bicycle..." - Professional Journalist, Outside (February 2009).

“[His Lordstrong tm has always drawn motivation from anger and resentment.” - Kohan Bruyneel, Professional Non-Internet Coach.

MKA has found himself wanting. Agro has always been his stock in trade. Before now, Max Kash Agro tm could tap into it, or manufacture it, at will. Win a race, get Agro. Lose a race, get Agro. Train well, get Agro. Over train, get more Agro. Anger, hostility, belligerence - MKA could always count on copious amounts of this “combustible, high octane” stuff to rev up his engine.

Unfortunately, today, the Agro has remained elusive. Frankly, life’s pretty good. Got a decent job. Kids got their teeth. Wife has a pretty smile. Fridge always full of hand-crafted ales. Hip’s functional. And people in general have become tolerable.

How, then, can MKA hope to mount a successful World’s Watching Comeback Tour? tm While madmen all about are raging, and gnashing, and lashing, and losing their heads? Does MKA need a testosterone booster? A family tragedy? An unwanted pregnancy? A slap in the face? A contrived, or imagined, slap in the face, which he can pin up on his imaginary bulletin board, which he can then dutifully trash up with all sorts of imagined insults which, spiced and diced with the right dark arts alchemy, he can transmute into a yo mama, over-the-line, act of war?

Landowski Prepares Valued Semi-Burnt Offering.
“You give away what you cherish most.”

Questions. MKA needed answers. MKA decided to seek counsel from a man renown for his ability to tap into both the biblical anger and the cosmic silliness. A man who once gladly broke wind for His Lordstrong™ before deciding to go it alone. A man who apparently did not get the memo from his former boss after the latter’s retirement directing that no former (or future subject) shall do well, win races, enjoy glory or do anything which might faintly be construed as attempting to fill the giant sucking vacuum of His absence.

MKA caught up with FU Landowski at his monastery on Cougar Island overlooking the Pacific Ocean. He was seated inside a fire ring, surrounded by various totems, and herbs, in deep meditation. He was wearing a black robe.

MKA: The robe, sir?

FUL: Frees up the radicals. Just rode very hard. Demons easier to terminate when flushed out of their dark crevices.

MKA: That’s, uh, weird, sir. But look, I’m bereft. I don’t feel any rage. How am I going to compete?

FUL: Ah yes. Rage is all te rage these days...Raging off the front. Raging back from injury, retirement or calamity. Full of fire, fury, and rageRaging against the dimming of the light. Raging for the spotlight. Road rage...Rage, rage, rage.
MKA: Right - it’s vital. Absolutely vital, this rage. I need it. Need to fill up my tanks with it. Burn it. Throttle down. Crush, smash, punish, pummel.

FUL: Vital? Perpetual pugilism All fists and fury, all the time, enriches the soul? Is that what makes a man The Man?

This FRS Stuff Really Works!
Landowski offers his most cherished beverage to The Dude, as a prelude to summoning his inner Humpback. “After much attacking and flesh-ripping, I need peace and quiet. My Whale song helps me rest. Rest, I’ve learned, is the new Hammer tm."

MKA: Well, yes. I think. That’s what I’ve read, anyways. In order to Comebac tm, with zeal, on A Mission tm you need to have a memory, but to be Awesom tm, you need to have The Memory tm -- the ability to squirrel away insults and dig them out years later to punish blasphemers and propel oneself through the smoke and ashes of the killing fields of slain infidels enroute to Everlasting Glory. tm I need a bulletin board. You need to help me conjure up the nasty shit I can draw on to whip up a well time frenzy, tizzy, or tantrum… uh, please, sir.

FUL: Take a deep breath. Put down the Sparks. Stop eating my garlic, and listen up. Inside every man, there’s a battle being fought. A battle between one’s inner whales – the Humpback, and the Orca.

MKA: Whales. Whales? Those big ass ocean going behemoths, always washing up, getting hit by tankers? Inside this aspiring skinny ass whippet? I’m not seeing it, Dude, I mean, sir.

FUL: Close your eyes, relax your mind, and hear the purrs, groans, clicks, wops and yaps of the Humpback inside you. This is your whale of peace. He represents tranquility, taking it easy, not because it is easy, but because suffering sucks. The Humpback in you wants mainly to be left alone, except maybe to rut. He’s humble, gentle, kind and wise. He can handle the freezing arctic waters, but prefers the warm coves along the Baja.

MKA: Don’t Humpbacks lack teeth?

FUL: Yes. They have baleen. They don’t chomp, they sift. They don’t look for a quarrel. Mainly, they enjoy singing. But when disturbed, or attacked, they can defend themselves, robustly.

MKA: Singing. The Humpback sings?

FUL: Yes, it’s his beast weapon. A good singer will deter other whales from attacking or attempting to diddle his mate. The deeper the voice, the stronger the sound, the longer the life. The Orca, on the other hand, represents rage, vengeance, anger, bitterness, bloodlust, savagery, vanity, pride, and a thirst for world domination. Orca’s thrive on war.

MKA: Cool. A killer whale. That’what I want to be. Big teeth, perfect for ripping and tearing flesh.

FUL: Your Orca, the fighter, can get you off the couch. It can get you on the bike. It might even help you bridge across to a breakaway, or launch a solo journey, or throw a few punches. It can gain you…notoriety.

Switching to the Whale Phone.
Sometimes the FRS doesn’t work. Admittedly, the bottle was a bit dated. No mind. Landowski uses his Didgeridoo to call up his Humpback directly.
MKA: That’s what I want! The spotlight. Like Shamu! I want to attack, or bridge, or solo. I really don’t care about the end of the story, as long as I’m a big part of it.

FUL: You do know why the Orca is called a “Killer Whale,” don’t you?

MKA: Because it kills humans, right?

FUL: No. Orcas do not kill humans. They’re reputed to kill other whales, or at least they have tried to.

MKA: Including humpbacks?

FUL: It has tried, but as I said the Humpback is wise and resourceful, and you wouldn’t want to be on the receiving end of it’s lob-tail, or flipper slap, or tail-slap, or full speed head butt from down under.

MKA: So, as I understand it, our inner Orca, the rapacious warrior, is trying to kill, or at least harass, our inner Humpback, the lumbering songstress?

FUL: Yes.

MKA: Who wins?

FUL: The standard answer, of course, is whichever whale you choose to feed.

MKA: Can you feed both?

FUL: Yes. When both your Orca and your Humpback work together, you will inch closer to becoming A Whale of A Ma tm.

MKA: I don’t get it. How does getting in touch with my inner Humpback help me? I’d rather feed my Orca and at least derive the satisfaction of pounding peckerheads.

FUL: Yes, pounding has its place, but extreme peckerhead heading pounding is suicide. You wind up punishing only yourself. Have you ever been in a break, a winning break, barely holding on, when you can’t find the right gear? When you alternate between standing up and sitting down? When your legs are starting to load up, your lungs are ready to explode, you can’t breathe so well, and the wheel in front of you is starting to slip away?

Bubble Net
Tuck inside the Swaddling Bubbles and pray your humpback can revive you. But don’t overuse. “Prayers are like complaints, after awhile, nobody listens.”
MKA: Suffering. You’re talking about suffering. I love that. That’s what I want, to suffer, because it makes me strong.

FUL: No, suffering makes you suffer. Suffering makes you weaker, and the fact of your death spiral should make you angry. Anger, we read, is supposed to fuel power. But can anger revive the lungs and legs when you’re at that point where nothing seems to work?

MKA: I see what you’re saying. That point at which you’re begging for more life. Begging for your tormentors to slow down. Begging for a moment of peace. You start praying, even though you believe in nothing. I don’t like to admit this about me, that weakness in my spirit that conjures up a higher power to come to my rescue.

FUL: Your weakness is in failing to feed your Humpback. Orca can get you into the ring, but the Humpback can help you endure the beating, and possibly walk away from it with arms in a Vee.

MKA: How? By singing a song?

FUL: No, by holding on. When the rage wears off, when your Orca is spent, you need to make a transition. You can’t hold the speed. You’ve gone from predator to prey. You need to find a steady state, a sweet spot, away from the billions of tiny mechanical break downs.

MKA: Yes. But what do I do? Tell me. Take a swig of FRS? E-caps? Dial up my Comeback Coach tm? What!?! “Hold on?” Hold on with what? Humpback’s got no arms, ferchrist! Talk to me, sir.

Communing with his Humpback.
Landowski’s inner leviathan surfaces, as the free radicals vanish. The Dude bobbles happily.
FUL: You need to form a bubble net halo. tmYou have become the prey. You need to dive down deep, regain control of your breathing, and emit a few short gasps of precious air. Then tuck inside the bubble net and work your way up to the light, protected from the wind, acid and anguish. While cocooned inside, conserve what energy you have, whisper happy thoughts, and pray you can hold off being eaten alive long enough to recharge your batteries, juice up, and think clearly enough to get mad again proper. tmIf luck and patience are on your side, you can recover enough to declare war again, and bring back a revitalized inner Orca.

MKA: I need to go into some sort of trance like state where I rise above bad lungs, bad legs and dark thoughts?

FUL: Yes, sing to yourself. Coldplay. Or Johnny Cash. Try to avoid Springsteen’s Nebraska album. 

MKA: What if that’s not good enough?

FUL: Harmony is it’s own reward.

MKA: What if I prefer to ride my Orca more than my Humpback?

FUL: If you live by the storm, you’ll die by the storm.

MKA: I don’t understand.

FUL: Imbalance. War is easy and sometimes great fun. It can also render you a hideous freak, a malcontent, an insufferable bore or a ghoulish man-zombie – a mutant albino with claws and yellow teeth - a Moby Dick, or worse.

MKA: Worse? What can be worse than a hateful Moby Dick?

FUL: The legend is not yet written. But I sense a disturbance in The Force – a spike in the cosmic neural hyperactivity. Bigger than a sun spot, but smaller than the Big Bang. It’s murky, but shapes are beginning to form, of something...beyond our mortal coil.

Thar Shee Blows!
Landowski pays homage to his Humpback, while his Orca rests, for now. “They get along pretty well, for the most part, but I got to keep them apart.”
MKA: Beyond our inner Whales and whatnot?

FUL: I think so. I’m privy to sounds from The Deep of an unchartered creature, a troubling figure whose whale song is being drowned out by the constant onslaught of rage and vainglory. This uncontented soul finds solace in permanent dissatisfaction and perpetual dissonance. And yet…I sense a record of vast and noble achievement. I see fast cars, rock stars, and Power Bars tm. But that’s...not..enough.

MKA: Cool! I want to be like that. Not just The Life, but the Gooder ‘n Shit Life tm! The Look tm, The No Look t,, the Tongue, the Be Like Mike tm, all rolled into one.

FUL: Yes, but this Whale already has the Good as Excrement...Life. He’s just not satisfied to simply rule the oceans. He wants to replace his flukes and fins and blowhole with legs, and wings, and an imbedded Twitter device that records his every epic movement. He desires to transcend mere Whaleness. He yourns to walk out of the water - perhaps on top of it - and once ashore, flap his wings, rise higher than any man whale-man before him, God...If I’m reading this right, he wants to punch out the sun.

MKA: He wants the impossible?

FUL: And thus he’ll never be satisfied.

MKA: What do we call this abomination?

FUL: Well, it has Gold Fever. It has a supernormal VO2max. It’s sperm is highly coveted. It prefers luxury private jets. And it bows to neither Man nor Zeus.

MKA: Do you mean, like, a Flying Yellow Sperm-Blowing Whale God tm?

FUL: We shall see. For now, I need you to leave.

MKA: That’s OK. I get that a lot.


* Any resemblance to anything real is just your imagination up to its old tricks. Except the expiration date on the FRS, which was about 17 months beyond it’s shelve life. The Dude didn’t mind. It was free.


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