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The Great Race: An Allegory

(To be read quickly in the style of a horse race radio announcer.)

George Stelluto


Welcome, everyone, to the Arts Triple Crown. Just out of training for the race of their lives, our magnificent specimens are approaching the gate, confident and full of anticipation after years of excellent preparation and unparalleled individual attention. It is hard to predict a winner among this highly motivated group. The Arts Triple Crown, which includes this first race, “The Next Five Years,” followed by “Long Term Success,” and “Lifelong Artistry” is brought to you buy the friendly folks at Enlightened Society Bank—“Values and Humanity are Our Greatest Assets!”

Our champions are in the gate … and they’re off! The Class of 2010 is out and running hard. In front early are Mere Talent and Hard Work, followed closely by Perseverance and Ambition. Back by a length, Heart and Soul are running neck and neck. Bringing up the rear: Politics, Excuses, and Schmoozing.

Approaching the first obstacle, the infamous Standards Hurdle, Perseverance jumps easily and has taken the lead. Hard Work seemed prepared for the challenge, while Mere Talent struggles to overcome and drops behind. Ambition, now with the front-runners, is undaunted after a slight faulter. Heart and Soul, a bit bruised, both seem to have deepened their strides. Wait a minute! Politics and Schmoozing have suddenly appeared past the hurdle! How did that happen? Oh no! Excuses has fallen and is out of the race!

I have to say, ladies and gentlemen, it is easy to see why these hard driven competitors were chosen for this race. They are all potential winners. 

As they approach “Disappointment Turn,” a muddy patch has slowed the pace. Ambition and Hard Work are plodding in tandem and ahead by a nose while Heart, Soul, and Mere Talent appear inspired by the spirit of Perseverance. Politics and Schmoozing are coming up on the inside.

Now on “Opportunity Stretch,” the front of the pack is finally running full out after their previous difficulties. Mere Talent is breaking free and in front by a length! And here comes Ambition—so fast he seems to be getting ahead of himself! Wow! Perseverance and Hard Work are running steady but being overtaken by Politics and Schmoozing. Heart and Soul lag behind—caked with mud.

Rounding “Moral Dilemma Turn,” the pace slows and the pack seems hesitant. Hold on, folks! Ambition has exploded forward two lengths by avoiding the obstacle altogether. I am not sure what the judgment on this will be, but it is surely a dramatic development, and the crowd is on its feet! Mere Talent has been waved through by the judges to more wild cheering! What an amazing display! The crowd is surely getting what it came for today! 

Watch out! Heart and Soul have been bumped by Schmoozing and Politics! In the dust it is hard to tell, but it appears they are hurt and limping. Schmoozing and Politics, unaffected, are once again coming up fast on the inside, now threatening the lead. Hard Work and Perseverance have worked through slowly but are far back in the pack.

In the final stretch, the pack is tightening as Ambition and Mere Talent seem to be losing steam. Hard Work and Perseverance, running steady, have joined up, and Heart and Soul are both picking up pace. Politics and Schmoozing are keeping stride. There seems to be much jockeying for position within the ranks. It’s going to be a close race, fans! At this point, it is impossible to identify a leader. They’re running neck and neck. Out front—now Mere Talent, now Hard Work! Ambition is pushing from the outside! The crowd is jumping, screaming! And here come Heart and Soul up on the far outside running full out! Unbelievable! Now Politics is out front and using blocking tactics. Schmoozing is crowding from the inside! Mere Talent, Hard Work, and Ambition have pushed through—ahead by a nose! Heart and Soul keeping pace! It’s going to be a photo finish! They’re in the last leg! Dust rising! Impossible to see! They have crossed the finish line! Tumultuous cheering!

The crowd has gone silent as the judges try to determine the winner in this all-important first contest of the Arts Triple Crown. Everyone is holding their tickets close and hoping their favorite will be victorious. One thing is certain; these incredible competitors will all qualify for the next race and compete against each other in the quest for future glory.

Please stay tuned as the judges review the race footage to determine today’s winner and who will compete tomorrow. And now: a word from our sponsors. … 


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