Bigger, Stronger, Faster: Exporation on the Side Effects of Being American

In America, we define ourselves in the superlative: we are the biggest, strongest, fastest country in the world. Is it any wonder that so many of our heroes are on performance enhancing drugs? Director Christopher Bell explores America's win-at-all-cost culture by examining how his two brothers became members of the steroid-subculture in an effort to realize their American dream."

Last night the Wiz and I sat down to enrich our knowledge (after the previous night's debacle over The Day The World Stood Still) Bigger, Stronger, Faster did not disappoint. Filmed in a style similar to Morgan Spurlock (of SuperSize me fame), Chris Bell exposes some of the inconsistencies in steroid use, and the reasons behind some of the use. He also sheds some doubt on the lethal effects of steroids, but manages to pose the questions, and build ideas in a way that doesn't necessarily endorse steroid use... it's a slippery slope.

It's a particularly ironic production, in that Chris' older brother, Mike "Mad Dog" Bell recently passed away this month (December 2008). Both of Chris' brothers provided significant candid commentary and personal experiences with steroids for this film. The underlying message of the film centres around the American ideology of winning at any cost. Chris manages to weave the competitiveness of the American spirit into the hypocrisy of major American spokespeople's messages of playing fair and good sportsmanship a la Arnold Schwarzenegger's stance on anti-steroid use, Major League Baseball's scandals and pro wrestling.

Neither the Wiz nor I have had much exposure to this irony, and this documentary was an excellent thought provoker. A+