Is it weird that I'm still excited for the Olympics? and not even just for the basketball. I like that I can barely remember the last summer games without thinking of a Bronze in b-ball and that one swimmer spitting into the other girl's lane. Oh, and Michael Phelps. I flipped through an issue of SI the other day that had like a 14 page photo spread of that guy. Okay, so that diminished my expectations some, but that also reinforced my belief that by avoiding TV and magazines like Sports Illustrated, I've immunized myself from the hype wear that surely would've ruined it for me months ago had I been watching/reading.
Sure, I've read about who's going to boycott the opening ceremonies. and I can understand that, really. But I'm not gonna miss that for anything. Are you kidding me? China? Do you have any idea how eager those people are to prove themselves in a high-profile even like this? I mean, you realize that they're risk everything to make this show awesome, right? Oh, and uh, FIREWORKS. If you still have a fireworks hangover or missing digits from the 4th, T.S. my friends. Because China is totally getting psyched up to remind us who invented them. Still not enough for you?
What about them CONTROLLING THE WEATHER? Seriously? Are you going to tell me that doesn't mystify and amaze you? Well, if must hurt to be reading the internet when you're made of wood.
Sure, China has a pretty spotty record with human rights violations. We all know this. But does anyone think that boycotting the Olympics is going to change that? I'm not sure who started the impression that the IOC is in a position to affect anything other than endorsement deals and who loots Detroit or wherever when they're not picked as an upcoming site. My point is, if you want China to acknowledge their horrific actions is to beat them the same way we beat the Nazis. By besting them in athletic competition after they describe us as genetically inferior. That's how it worked, right?*
In any case, the Olympics aren't about rooting for your country, or even about rooting against France. It's about picking out those teams on the opening night. The teams from Cameroon or somewhere like that, that only sent four athletes. THOSE are the people you root for. It's hard to earnestly root for the US teams when you see our athletes swarm the track that first night. Our guys make up like 40% of the total athletes there. So I mean the odds alone should have us bringing home more medals than we usually do anyway. Hey, I'm all proud of them and everything, but I always like the idea of of someone from a tiny country winning, and making their people swell with pride. Do we do that here? I'm not sure what the Olympics mean to the average person in terms of national pride, but I'd think it's just another reason to stare at Bob Costas and drink beer with the rings on the can. I mean, look at how well we treated Jesse Owens after he saved our asses. Anyway, just try to remember that it's fun to root for the underdog.
Anyway, I know that's rambling and incoherent. I've been away for awhile. Some other notes about these games:
- Wait, wouldn't it be even better if the Chinese female athletes totally bested all of their male athletes?
- Chinese Feline Death Camps? Okay, that's pretty fucked up right there. Still, I can't help but assume that Salt Lake City was firehosing homeless people and jive-talking bison out of Utah before the TV crews showed up there.
- I'd say the same thing for Afghanistan, but since their national sport involves riding on horseback with a goat carcass, they might be waiting awhile for that to be admitted into the games. Hell, I'm still waiting on the Caber Toss**.
- If nothing else, the Olympics is to remind us that Goldschläger is disgusting and should only be ingested as punishment on the biennial opening ceremonies, as I've done since Atlanta 12 years ago. My god that is depressing. So yeah, join me for that night of shame.
- um, did you see the Olympic mascots? HOLY CRAP DRAGONBALL!!! Though it's curious that they'd throw a Tibetan Antelope in there, isn't it? You'd think they'd be trying to divert attention from Tibet...
* Seriously, though. If you're upset about the way China conducts themselves in with era human rights or environmental capacity, or if you wanna bitch about John Woo or whatever, don't expect an international sporting competition to be your outlet. Write a letter to your congressman or senator, or the head of Nike, or someone that they actually give a shit about. YOU should be doing something about it, not expecting this sort of thing to right itself when there's billions of dollars to be made. This pretty much goes for anything. If I can watch our State of the Union addresses, then I can certainly watch some insanely expensive Chinese eye candy ceremonies. I'll write letters about both, too.
**Hot Dog Fingers in no way endorses or even understands the Caber Toss. It seems like it would be pretty funny to watch. But then so, probably, would that goat thing.