• An Olympics Without Joy

    August 21, 2021

    Tags: , ,
    Posted in: Other Ideas

     

    I am glad the Olympics are over. There was little joy in them. The closing felt more like a mercy killing than a ceremony.

     

    The absurdity of holding the Games at all when in most countries people suffer under various restrictions was enough. Was this all really, really necessary, now? The silliness of Japan keeping the “2020” on all the signage and the announcers calling them the “2020 Games” was too cynical. Japan barring foreign tourists while allowing in athletes to live like hermits so they could pay off TV contracts (NBC presold over $1.25 billion in advertisements) even more cynical. When athletes celebrated a victory, they by mandate drank alone. Everyone play acting like all this was normal even as only 22 percent of Japanese wanted to games to happen at all was the most cynical thing of all. It was like everything hypocritical about Covid was rolled into one event — how can a wedding in St. Louis be a superspreading event but gathering athletes from around the world, 20 percent of them unvaccinated, not be? Quiet now, and go about your business, Citizens.

     

    The idea of holding events like the opening ceremonies in an empty stadium created new frontiers of absurdity. People waving at empty seats, fireworks shot off with no one to watch them. It would have been better to have done the whole event in a studio in front of a green screen, the way some knuckleheads think the moon landings were faked.
     
    With all the world’s problems, somehow only Team USA had so much political commentary to share. It seems racism is only a thing in America, and only black (American) lives matter much. That they backed it all up with so many dreary performances made them seem like braggarts. It is really telling when the biggest story from the Games was about someone quitting, not someone competing.
    All the self-proclaimed victims along the way, same thing. They might have dropped out with their lifelong issues a few months ago and given someone else the chance to compete instead of waiting to do it on international TV. If it’s really a personal matter don’t announce it on TV then ask to be left alone. No one needs your awareness raising anyway, we all get it by now. Funny, but being a green-haired shot putter does not give you any special insights into society. Your job is literally just to throw a heavy thing, so just do that and be quiet. And a note to all those protesting: black athletes have been protesting against the same things at the Olympics since the 1960s. According to them, not much has changed. That might be a hint to how effective the protests are. 
    It wasn’t any better in the media. ESPN’s William Rhoden said he couldn’t enjoy the opening ceremony because the American flags reminded him of the Capitol riot. “I saw a lot of, you know, U.S. flags.”
     
    Same for all the extra-virtue of winning something while gay. That is soooooo 1980s. Gay people have been winning and losing since the Greeks invented the Olympics, we just didn’t have to have it rubbed into our faces as some sort of extra special achievement that straight medalists can only envy. Same for women and trans people; each victory does not really mean something significant in the advancement of human rights. Everything does not always need to be about social engineering all the time. Same for other forms of suffering; most athlete profiles focused on how hard it was training with a single parent, or a dead aunt, or while being black, or the only ____ on your high school team. Does the U.S. Olympic Committee screen for miserable biographical details as part of the selection process? Do athletes who just work really hard at their sport hire consultants to gin up bad childhood experiences the way rich high school kids suddenly start volunteering at the end of junior year so they can write weepy college entrance essays about giving back?

     

    Media, stop telling us a kid whose family had enough money to move cross-country so he could work with a specific coach (elite training in Olympic gyms can cost $500 a month, plus about $1,000 a month for coaching), or whose parents spent the $100,000 a year needed to train as an Olympic swimmer, overcame adversity to excel. The media might however ask why a parental decision to hyper-train a child without their informed consent from age 3 into a superhuman ubermensch gymnast, messing with her growth along the road to sacrificing her childhood to Mommy and Daddy’s show pony dreams, is not a form of child abuse. And what happens to these children, bred to excel at an obscure sport? Is there some island they are sent to to live out their days because except for the tiny handful who endorse something most are never heard from again. This bizarro-world running Matrix-like just below the surface of our own is enough reason to shut down the Olympic forever.
     
    And enough with the representation thing. As a kid the athlete I looked to for representation was Jesse Owens, the black runner who called out real Nazis and their myth of racial superiority simply by running faster. He and I did not look alike, but I did not care because what mattered was his courage and heart, not his skin color.

     

    But as much as any of that, the Olympic were… boring. With the time difference the TV coverage ended up focusing on sports like kayaking that few follow. Endless heats repeat and repeat, tiny heads in kayaks moving from the right side of the screen to the left for a few seconds, repeat. Other junk sports like surfing and skateboarding simply fill time. A whole catechism of points and ratings was invented to allow judging simply to shoehorn these pastimes into the Games, presumably to attract an audience of “young people” unlikely to be watching network television anyway. To get karate into the Games, the fighters were punished for fighting too well. Pull your punches to win, kids, that’s the new Olympic spirit.
    There is little joy in any “sport” that depends as much on technology as athletic skill. The fastest (i.e., most expensive) Olympic bicycles cost $80,000, suggesting a rider can buy his way into a higher place finish. But that’s nothing compared to shooting. Professional shooters in training run through 500-1,000 specially made rounds a day. That comes to $5,000-7,000 a day for targets and ammunition in full training. A gun can cost anywhere between $6,000 to $300,000. Sailboats run $500k, a jumping horse like Springsteen’s $100k.

     

    And that’s before we get into the real money of developing performance enhancing substances that can slide under current testing. Like in bodybuilding pre-Schwarzenegger, look at some old black and white photos of the Olympics, where all the very best athletes had rounded, in-scale muscles. Where did the over-broad shoulders in women’s swimming and the blocky square heads of juiced up champions come from anyway? The idea of pure amateur athletes went out of fashion years ago, but now the Olympics is now a financial sport.
    And a note to the Olympics: the Cold War ended three decades ago. Enough with national medal counts. Our current state of the planet needs more nationalism to promote harmony and world peace?

     

    Many of us are tired of all this. At this point, waiting four years isn’t long enough. What? You say it’s actually only three more years until the next summer games, Paris 2024? Oh joy.

     

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    Copyright © 2020. All rights reserved. The views expressed here are solely those of the author(s) in their private capacity.

  • Recent Comments

    • Rich Bauer said...

      1

      Peter,

      NOBODY CARES ABOUT THE OLYMPICS. NOBODY WATCHED THE OLYMPICS.

      GEEZ, you are reaching here for easy things to bitch about to make your weekly submission due date, pandering to your old TAC readers and beginning to sound like Grandpa Simpson. Here, I will be your TAC editor and give you something worth writing about next week:

      1. Why do covidiots think vaccines are too experimental and threaten their bodily fluids, yet accept EXPERIMENTAL monoclonal antibody treatments? Are they brainwashed by constant subliminal messages in the background of FOX News broadcasts or (gasp) were they infected years before by some Deep State microchip planted in their brains?

      08/21/21 4:34 AM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...

      2

      I wanted to watch a few swimming events but even my rabbit ear antenna drooped after a split screen with an event and a commercial running side by side. Here’s a suggestion in keeping with PVB’s idea of making it completely commercial. Forget nations altogether- make it open to anyone or any corp. The Red Bull guys vis Eric Prince’s latest boy group. Forget paper target shooting let’s go District 9 with prisoners (prawns) down range. It would be a smash completely sold out to advertisers very quickly. Best of all- official on site betting on all events.

      08/21/21 2:03 PM | Comment Link

    • Joe said...

      3

      Gonna have to agree with Rich on this one PVB – posting something on the Olympics, as mildly interesting as it was, seems like a weird way to go at this point given everything else that’s been going on. (Though I did have to laugh at the article recounting how the poor Saudi karate guy *lost* a gold medal by KO’ing his Iranian opponent in the finals – yeah sure, the modern Olympics is all about “sportsmanship” and not money, raw talent at a combat sport be damned!) Us Three Amigos have all commented on the Afghanistan debacle, John and I have talked about the “Infrastructure” Bill and Rich clearly wants to get back to “COVID will kill us all!” So while we may just be your Three Musketeers (we can fight about which one of us is Athos, Porthos or Aramis) you, as our D’Artagnan, have the responsibility of keeping this blog interesting and *relevant* – especially since it seems like only us four actually read it!

      P.S. Sorry you lost your gig helping those poor dogs, but you should’a just sucked it up and worn the stupid mask for their sakes – just sayin’! Cheers.

      08/22/21 7:02 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      4

      Biden Plans Purge of White Nationalist Covidiots in Military with vaccine mandate

      US military will make Covid-19 vaccines mandatory following FDA approval of Pfizer’s shot. Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby said that the US military will now require all service members to be vaccinated from Covid-19 following the FDA approval of the Pfizer vaccine.

      Speaking at a press conference this morning, Kirby said that the Department of Defense is “prepared to issue updated guidance requiring all service members to be vaccinated,” adding that a “timeline for vaccination completion will be provided in the coming days” by DOD.

      “We’re going to move forward, making that vaccine mandatory. We’re preparing the guidance to the force right now. And the actual completion date of it, in other words, how fast we want to see it get done, we’re working through that guidance right now.”

      Good way to cut the ranks after the war drawdown.

      08/23/21 11:24 AM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...

      5

      Bauer- I’ll assume when PVB lands on a subject or chooses a theme it is to tie them in with our current American lunacy. Spectacle viewership is said to be down noticeably. I haven’t watched any pro sports in decades and none of the awards shows and I’m still in the entertainment business. I also stopped igniting petroleum for fun and thrills thirty years ago and rarely ride my supersports Kawasaki. I know the damage that its hyper masculine power plant does to the air my grandchildren will be breathing. Let’s all be a little easier on PVB. I appreciate he hasn’t bumped me off his blog for some pretty lame responses.

      08/24/21 3:12 PM | Comment Link

    • Joe said...

      6

      Rich – Interesting comment on how DOD might use the COVID vaccine’s approval to rid our post-Afghan war military of all those pesky “white nationalists” currently plaguing it; I’m sure you have a nice solid source that shows there’s a correlation between vaccine hesitancy and white nationalism in the armed forces!

      And speaking of correlations involving the end of our Afghan war and DOD, I’m personally looking forward to seeing how deeply the peace loving liberal Democrats who now run the USG are gonna cut DOD’s budget. All the money *that* is going to save will be really helpful when it goes towards COVID relief or paying off the billions of dollars in extra debt the “Infrastructure” Bill is gonna rack up! Of course doing that might cheese off their donor class or cut into the profits Nancy Pelosi’s husband can make insider trading – woops I mean making “lucky investment decisions” – but since they’re the good guys I’m sure they’ll do the right thing by the American public. Hold your breath for that to happen everyone!

      08/24/21 4:31 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      7

      Don’t worry about the MIC. It already has plans to WASTE trillions on Space Force, Jewish Space Lasers to protect US from imagined threats from China and your country. I said WASTE, as Chinese and Russian hackers already have the capacity to crash the entire Defense network.

      BTW if you think either political party controls the MIC, you haven’t been paying attention. THE MIC CONTROLS THE HORIZONTAL AND THE VERTICAL. AS FOR THE REST OF
      US, WE ARE IN THE TWILIGHT ZONE.

      08/24/21 8:49 PM | Comment Link

    • Joe said...

      8

      Rich – Thanks for admitting you have no source for your insinuation that vaccine hesitant military members are all white supremacists, and also admitting that the Democrats are indeed now as much a part of the Military Industrial Congressional Complex as the Republicans are. But I’m puzzled by your mention of Space Force and Jewish Space Lasers in the same sentence. Are you now insinuating that:

      1. The whole “Jewish Space Laser” thing was based on fact? Or…

      2. That Space Force’s plans to spend hundreds of millions of dollars (given to them by Congress) on researching orbital energy weapons is just a wacky conspiracy theory? Or…

      3. That Nancy Pelosi is as big a piece of shite as Marjorie Taylor Greene, and just a whole lot better at covering that up most of the time?

      Enlighten us oh Swami Rich, for inquiring minds want to know and ofttimes thou speak in riddles that maketh thee sound more crazed than an outhouse rodent!

      08/25/21 11:20 AM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      9

      Joe(Stalin),

      Just to give you a heads up, the SpaceForce has developed space-based lasers to shoot Russian and Chinese ICBMs, even in their silos. (Ms Greene is an idiot, so nobody took her seriously when she blabbed state secrets.) They are using Elon Musk’s Starlink system. Putin already knows this, so expect him to keep his head down.

      08/27/21 2:39 PM | Comment Link

    • Joe (Biden) said...

      10

      @Rich Bauer – Rob: Great job as always my friend! As you know I’m getting the cr@p kicked out of me in the press and polls right about now – that’s not supposed to happen, since I’m “not-Trump” after all! And it’s really unfair! I mean sure, I’ve been the Commander in Chief and architect of America’s foreign policy for almost eight months now, but you can’t really hold *me* responsible for all those dead people in Kabul – I like to nap a lot, and when *those* people from Langley start talking to me it gets *so* confusing! Sure, a bunch of spooks might have told me the Afghan military was gonna collapse in a matter of days, but to *me* that’s like saying my favorite ice cream shop might be out of frigging pistachio the next time we do a press appearance there!

      Anyhow I can’t tell you how much the Party and I appreciate having toolbags … oops I mean useful idiots … oops again, I mean utterly faithful Party members like you around to defend me and us no matter what – sure some folks might think you’re mentally ill or a Party hack, but just keep taking those horse pills I got for you and also keep denying you’re our shill! Oh and by the way, Nancy P. says she likes how your tongue feels when it’s inside her *hoo ha* as well as her *naughty place* – the first kind of feels like sandpaper to me and the other stinks of Geritol most of the time, so I appreciate *you* taking my place for awhile; it’s tough enough for me as it is, trying to avoid being blamed for my poor judgment and all the unnecessary deaths I caused!

      Thanks again Ronaldo!

      08/27/21 11:33 PM | Comment Link

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