So Colombian, it hurts

Through the years, most internet users in the United States, Europe (and places along those lines) have developed a certain level of internet decorum. As a result, people generally know that emails from an African prince who needs help getting to millions of dollars that are rightfully his are just spam, and that forwarding chain letters via email is a bit of a no-no . We Colombians, however, have not developed such a sense of decorum. Hell, we were using Betamax as our video standard well into the 1990s, so things are just slow to come our way. This means that my one uncle still sends me chain letters via email, along with five thousand word emails about how the last month at their house has gone. But at least they are better than the chain faxes that he used to send a few years back.

But my personal favorite type of email that Colombians still send comes in the form of gigantic Powerpoint files, which feature an endless amount of Colombianadas. This is our term of endearment for images that show something so insanely, uniquely Colombian, that you either laugh, nod in approval, or cringe. If you want an example, see here.

So while I'm annoyed by the sheer size of the documents, their design, the mere fact that they are Powerpoint files, the content is actually rather entertaining. 

With that spirit in mind, I share these two Colombianadas with you. First up, Carlos Alzate from United Health Care. Carlos is a fantastic rider, who I interviewed some time ago. A powerful sprinter, Carlos doesn't necessarily fit the mold of what many think Colombian cyclists should be like. This being the off-season and all, Carlos decided to have some pictures taken, and the one below is my absolute favorite. 

Some day, a student getting a PhD in art history with a focus on photography, will write a dissertation about this picture. Mark my words. If you have any suggested captions for this picture, feel free to leave them in the comments section. 

Next up is a picture that speaks volumes about Colombia's sense of community and ingenuity. I first saw this method of transportation at the Clasico El Colombiano in Medellin a few years back. Young riders who live in small towns don't have their own cars, and their parents certainly don't either. So they will get together, and rent a local chiva (a bus used for rural travel, like you see below), and have the driver take them to the race. In some cases, the bus drivers are fans of the sport, and will gladly volunteer their time, transporting young kids and their bikes to races in far-away towns. Fantastically Colombian in every way.

Photo: Nuestro Ciclismo

Colombianadas aside, I also wanted to share my favorite reader-submitted drawings from the first-ever (and possibly last-ever) Cycling Inquisition drawing contest. As it turns out, readers of this blog are actually less artistically inclined than me.

As far as awful drawings go, this one is not insanely horrendous. Is it good? No, but it certainly depicts a human being with an earring, which is way more than I can say for many of the other submissions.

Is it just me, or does Pantani look a little bit like Yasser Arafat in this depiction?
If this drawing had just a few more colors brushed in, it would look like something worthy of going on a Traper Keeper
And we have a winner. This drawing was submitted by a reader named James Y.  I mean, come on. The guy used TWO different pens to draw this. By that fact alone, I'm awarding him a super-secret prize, which will be mailed out to him this week. Congratulations James!
With that out of the way, here's an image I've posted before but bears repeating in light of recent events. I hope Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld have lawyers on retainer, and/or enjoy making awkward videos where they shake hands with the people who try to sue them.

But please don't think that I'm against the concept of intellectual property, trademarks or anything of the sort. While I believe in re-interpretation, for example, I do see things from time to time that I make me uncomfortable. Consider the newly launched website for Ignacio Labarta, who was sentenced to four months in jail earlier this year as part of the Operacion Puerto trial, and is now running an online training business. Labarta, it's worth mentioning, was welcomed with open arms in Colombia before, but I suppose he's now opting to stay in Spain to do his work. Below you'll see what his website looks like, which is curiously similar to that of Brazilian clothing company Kirschner. Man, if you can't trust a guy like Labarta to do the right thing, just who can you trust these days? We're all doomed I tell you. Doomed.

Interestingly, this has happened to Kirschner before. Just look at their logo above, and compare it to the label below from an American clothing company.

Things that make you go "hmmmm"