I might not watch one frame of these Olympics

I actually gave this some relatively serious thought this weekend. It was essentially my first full weekend home in two months, so I had the time. But my television is not typically hooked up to receive the necessary signal (don’t ask). Connecting the television so I could watch the Games would have required about two minutes of hardware work, plus about ten minutes of boot time. I had so little zest about watching that I decided twelve minutes wasn’t worth it. So my box remains unconnected, and I haven’t watched one second of these Olympics. We’re a few days in and I’m wondering if I’ll watch any of it.

1) NBC: I see from the online reactions that NBC is up to their usual tone deaf arrogance with this year’s go. Sadly, the usual shallow outrage trolls seem to be having the same issues with NBC (or anybody) over fake ‘…ism’ or ‘…ist’ type stuff. Whatever. Eh, my beef with NBC is more along the lines of poor pacing, incessant commercials, lack of live content, hack fraud interviews, and Bob Costas. I can’t begin to describe to you how badly I think they broadcast this event. This is what lack of competition does to quality. NBC owns the product in America, they paid handsomely for it, but without CBS or ABC/ESPN to challenge them, why should they bother to deliver a decent broadcast when they can simply count their money?

2) Supermen / Superwomen: There is something vaguely and disturbingly fascist about the basic intent that, “our Superman will beat your Superman by 0.86 seconds on this event”. These people train for four years to win some race by less than a second. Can you mentally comprehend that margin of error against the number of pushups these dudes have to crank out in four years? I can’t. It’s just weird. Unless your last name is Phelps or Ledecky, it seems it’s actually a competition not between athletes, but between National Olympic programs. As in, which National Olympic committee can machine engineer their athlete better than the other one. It’s creepy. Do you doubt this? Name me one gold medal swimmer or track & field winner from a non-rich and/or non-former Communist country.

3) Retread / Weird Sports: Some parts of the Olympics are appealing in that I don’t typically get to watch fencing or wrestling or whatever. But when golf or soccer or basketball is already everywhere, why should I care? I’ve heard the point made in the last month or two and I wholeheartedly agree that basketball already has their pinnacle of competition in the NBA. Soccer has the World Cup. So why is this stuff there? It takes broadcast time away from the more obscure but no less difficult sports that I couldn’t typically see. Then on the other end of the spectrum you’ve got questionable sports like badminton or table tennis. Games I would typically only play while drunk are not exciting to me.

4) Brazil: Normally I don’t want to go down this road of social guilt / whining. As in, well, we can’t enjoy anything because the world is total shit. But in Brazil, I somewhat make an exception as I did for Sochi with Russia. Brazil is essentially in an economic depression, the president’s under impeachment proceedings, half of Rio is a dystopian wasteland, the country while essentially bankrupt has had to hand over billions it doesn’t have, mosquitos are going around giving people the plague, half completed Olympic venues are populated by aggressive zombies, etc, etc, etc. I have a hard enough time watching a football game hosted by Chicago (ps Bears suck). Rio is just too much. Just as Sochi was too much.

5) Sacks w/ $ On It: Oh, 84% of Russia’s athletes were doping? What planet must somebody have lived on to not understand that was already happening for decades? And in any case, it’s been well documented that the International Olympic Committee has been taking sacks with a $ on it for years. And now these corrupt goons are going to judge some poor Russian automaton on what they put into their body? The IOC isn’t exactly as corrupt as FIFA, but it’s certainly not the totem of athletic morality. I think if we all lived in 584 BC, that the religious handlers would put all the IOC ruling body members to death for pollution of Zeus’ divine pure will. Then when you add in all the ongoing Brazilian corruption investigations to include Lula himself, it’s pretty clear that Brazil probably bought these games. Just like Vlad bought Sochi. It gives the Games a very mafia-like feeling, like you’re watching the proceedings of an ongoing criminal enterprise. It’s the last in a long list of straws, and I just don’t have the motivation to tune in. Maybe I will, but at least not for today.

rio

Not feeling that good ole spirit.

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The definition of insanity is not knowing why you did what you did

We’ve all been there. You do something entirely rational. Nothing bad happened. There isn’t a problem. You do it, you move on. But then you spend days asking yourself, so, uh, why did you do that?

Everybody’s got a completely pointless story on where they watched America and Germany play last Thursday. As if to say that on any given day, people normally do not watch a competitive sporting event. So it’s special when you do, and you should broadcast to the planet how you did it.

Maybe you watched the game on an illegal feed in your cubicle. Maybe you watched it in a bar with friends. Maybe you were holed up in a creepy basement in the dark in front of a thirteen inch black and white wonder while sharpening knives. But who cares either way?

Well, I guess a lot of people. Because everybody tweeted how they did it, showed pictures, posted to social networks, told their friends, and so on. It’s like the purpose of the game is to tell folks where and how you watched the game. What was the score? Who cares bro, we were at this bar, out of work, and like, we did shots. Oh, uh, …

So now that I’ve addressed that key issue, I’m going to talk about how I personally watched the game. Because if you foolishly read this far, you deserve what you get.

The ability to take off from work to watch the game? Banned. Why? Well, I have no idea. I’ve reached the point where the decisions and actions of my supervisor(s) are more bizarre than doing long division while having your head beat with a plastic bat wielded by a screaming ten year old girl.

Oh, I can’t take off to watch the game with my family, okay boss. Understood. Thanks for hearing me out. Why boss? No, don’t go there. If you ask, you won’t understand the answer. Move along.

So in my cubicle I was. I knew how the game would end. I figured it’d be close and Germany would win. It’s not rocket science. But I wanted to watch the game because it felt important to me. So I journeyed around like a lunatic looking for an option.

Watch the game in the common area? Banned. Watch the game in the break room? Banned. Watch the game on an illegal feed at the desk? Site blocked. Watch the game in the food court? Banned. It’s delightful to discover how much your employer does not value your own country.

So I ended up huddled in front of the abandoned security guard station, watching it on a very small color square, on Univision (ESPN blocked), with about a hundred of my best friends who I’ve never met. As a separate issue, I was probably the youngest person there, which probably says something about me (not sure what, really).

You want to experience something unsettling? Stand for over an hour with a hundred suit and tie wearing old guys you don’t know, who say not one word to each other as they watch a game in Spanish when none of them speak Spanish. But I didn’t leave, I didn’t walk away.

So the question that’s come up later inside my brain was why?

1) It’s America

If the USA cricket team was playing Germany in an important game I’d probably at least care enough to watch. When in doubt, experience the joy of raw primal patriotism. And why not?

In today’s joyful Command & Control world where everything is existential, without happiness, and you must conform to the values of others? Well, this is probably the closest I’ll ever get to cheering for our side alongside the rest of the culture like its 1945. By the time this is over in a month we’ll all go back to hating each other again. Trust me.

Even our favorite Kraut (not our favorite) Herr Klinsmann got in on this by ghost writing an absence letter for folks to take off work to watch the game. It was a neat touch. It had style, class, humor, and was fun to read.

Now it might not have come from inside Klinsmann’s brain and instead got generated by some faceless public relations hack at USA Soccer. But we’re going to go ahead and give our Kraut friend the credit because it’s his signature at the bottom.

But this isn’t the true answer for me. Because as much as I love the Colors, I’d never watch the American cricket team on Univision.

2) I do like the game

I do enjoy soccer. So this obviously increases my ability to care. But I don’t snake out of work to watch MLS or EPL. So that’s not it either.

3) I hate my job

Maybe the excuse to depart my cubicle for an hour is enough. Maybe I’ll watch cooking on Univision next week at the same security station. Just to escape. Now don’t get me wrong, I know how lucky I am. There are people literally breaking rocks for a living. But that doesn’t mean I have to enjoy it when I clearly don’t.

4) It’s the event

The clearest answer I have is one we’ve addressed earlier when discussing this last Super Bowl (not actual Super Bowl due to blowout factor). It’s the event, friends.

Just as 100 million people watch the Super Bowl, when at least 60 million of them don’t follow football, so 60-70% of those who tuned in last Thursday could not care less about soccer. It’s about the event.

You go watch the game in the park with thousands because thousands are there. If you got out of work, even better. It’s cool to have fun when you normally are trapped behind a desk. Go socialize, go live the experience. Go share something with friends and family. The game isn’t the event, the experience is the event.

Why did I feel weird about my situation? Maybe because as much as I actually did care about the game, I was also searching for that experience. I didn’t get it. I got Univision with a bunch of weirdoes like me. So it felt wrong.

Well, we’ve corrected that in preparation for tomorrow’s bout. I took leave from work. I’ll depart my sour box shaped cage early. Going to watch it with family. So I’ll have both the game and the experience. Win or lose, it should be fun. But winning would be nice. USA! USA! …

_75870282_75870281

This California beach crowd was a slightly different soccer viewing demographic than the one I enjoyed

We fire coaches who are self-proclaimed losers

I don’t care that it starts tomorrow.  Fire him now.  When a coach states the team can’t win, he’s admitting he’s a loser.  What kind of coach tells a team they’re going to lose before the first game?  I don’t care how accurate a statement this is or is not.  You play one game at a time, to win.  We’ve previously articulated our thoughts on this man.  Sadly, it seems we’re proven right.  He should never have been hired.

US Men's National Team vs Brazil

The greatest loser of a German leader since Hitler’s torched skull

There are violent exceptions to every rule

Sepp Blatter is worth more to the human race as fuel than as a breathing human being. So we should add him to the feed stock of his local power plant.

Now generally, such a belligerent statement is not productive. Who wants to promote the rapid disintegration of people? Well, my guests I suppose. But this is typically not a good idea. Yet there are exceptions, and in Sepp’s case, I’m willing to break all the rules to remove his form from our lives.

Sepp’s latest drunken boast is that those who oppose the selection of Qatar for 2022 are racist. No, really, this actually happened:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/27762435

You have to at least admire how ridiculously carefree Sepp is. The dude’s been on the take for decades. Everybody knows he’s stolen as much cash as the world’s biggest kleptocrats. On his watch, soccer is among the world’s most consistently widespread corrupt sports. Why? Because when the guy in charge is lining his pockets and always getting away with it, well, why not you too?

But no, no, we’re not upset that Qatari cash bought 2022 despite the fact that the country is unfit to host. No, we’re all just racists. Oh, okay Sepp. I’ll be sure to remember that as I think about you sleeping in your palace tonight. Right before my guests rip you from your bed, throw you into the back of their Teledar, and fly you over to your local generating station for the aforementioned end stage of your existence.

But don’t worry, FIFA is personally investigating the claims that FIFA is corrupt. So you know the report is good. We’ll have this cleaned up before 2015. Truly.

I suppose it’s natural that we’d want to discuss what’s going on with 2018 and 2022 just as we’re about to begin 2014, but you have to wonder why Sepp wants to bring this up now? Uncle Vladimir and a bunch of oil barons bought the next two tournaments. But you can reasonably claim that Brazil earned 2014 fair and square. I think?

So my only conclusion is that Sepp is a lunatic. And he just does not care. He’s survived this long. He’ll be around for the next one too. So it’s Russia in 2018, Qatar in 2022, and Sepp Blatter in a gold laced, diamond encrusted casket one day. Either that, or the power plant option. Don’t sleep too deeply, Sepp. You never know.

sepp-blatter

How the fuck do I keep getting away with this shit? [hmm] Eh [shrugs], whatever, fuck it. [lights cigar with cash & orphan’s tears]

Sadly, this is now over before it begins

It’s bad enough that the bribes provided to FIFA weren’t sufficient to secure better group placement. Accordingly, the joy of facing off against two of the top three teams on the planet awaits. And we now add the disturbance of broadcasting to the planet that the team is dysfunctional. They’re not even in Brazil yet and it’s already a mess.

Herr Klinsmann decided to cut a living legend. Now granted, Donovan’s recent play leaves this an understandable move. But given his past performance, his name recognition, and status you’d think he’d be in for sure. Well, I guess never underestimate the probability that a German guy is a dick.

The problem for Klinsmann is that he has personal revenge written all over this. Donovan washed out of Bayern Munich and a few months later Klinsmann was taken to the wood shed by his masters. It’s no secret these guys don’t like each other. Maybe in a vacuum Klinsmann would have arrived at the same decision. But for Klinsmann to actually pull the trigger makes him look petty and dishonorable.

Both of them are playing it professional:

Donovan: “…I will be cheering on my friends and teammates this summer, and I remain committed to helping grow soccer in the U.S. in the years to come.”

Klinsmann: “I just see some other players slightly ahead of him.”

Slightly? Wow. Slightly is a real good reason to detonate your team. Well, Jurgen, sorry, but what you may not realize is that as far as this tournament was concerned nobody could be that far ahead of him. The only thing folks are going to talk about for the whole first week is that Donovan isn’t there. This is the very definition of a distraction. How does that help the team battle an already impossible situation?

Granted, I’m biased because I never understood the decision to hire Klinsmann to begin with. How to you build a competitive team by hiring a guy from a soccer culture so adverse from the very basis of American values and style?

Oh, the guy’s a FIFA legend? So what? At the hardest sports moments, culture can be everything, more powerful than skill. Every single person on the team is now looking over their shoulder, or maybe looking even more. “Hey man, if that angry kraut can end Landon and get away with it, he can end any one of us.”

Uh, at least it’ll end quickly. It won’t take long for the echo of embarrassment to fade, again. Maybe we should have just hired some dude from Milwaukee.

KlinsmannDonovan-ISIPhotos_com_

They’ll show this photo in psychology classes to depict two men who despise one another

Arcturus News Muster – 20 April 2014

Every day (not every day) we get together in our hovel and produce the finest and most professional news product this side of the Crab Nebula.  As always there are two smart things you should do with this breathtaking creation:

a) Don’t read it; never visit this blog again

b) Read it; enjoy yourself

Esh-Ala’s challenge to you this Easter is to accomplish both (a) and (b) simultaneously.  If you do, he’ll provide you with a congratulatory death ray demonstration on the bitter, ancestral foe of your choice.

 

1) Israeli Security Forces Channel Inner Asshole

The Arcturus Project News

In the latest successful act in a comprehensive quest to alienate the entire human race, Israeli police are under fire for preventing various Christian groups from accessing the holy sites for Easter.  The latest “rat-faced terrorist” barred was in fact United Nations Middle East peace enjoy Robert Serry.  Mr Serry was unable to participate in a Jerusalem ritual as Israeli security forces were attempting to conduct a rectal scan on him to find the source of his hatred for the “Jewish State”.  Similar criticism erupted when a band of Christian Palestinians were also denied access.

Israeli authorities fervently dismissed the bizarre notion that any individual or groups were refused entry on religious grounds.  Said an Israeli foreign ministry spokesman, “Anybody turned away was for purely safety reasons.  We were truly worried about stampedes and other considerations.  Mr Serry is a bigot for asking us to properly plan and execute a crowd control movement that happens on a scheduled date every single year.  We question his overall intelligence.  In fact, he should thank us for saving his life.”

Yet experts question the overall impact of such actions on the international community’s view of Israel itself.  “I don’t quite understand why there is this deliberate attempt by the Israeli’s to anger just about everybody they can on a constant basis.  It’s baffling,” commented one European Union official, “every day I wake up and expect to see a story on an Israeli agent kicking the shit out of a lame, sick cat on live television.  If the Palestinians denied Jewish access like this on a holy day, they’d cluster bomb the checkpoint.”

Israeli police have promised an attempt to improve the crowd control situation next year by implementing a more refined, “iron fist” security plan.  Efforts are in the works to string barbed wire and a concrete blast wall around the Church of the Holy Sculpture in time for the 2015 Easter celebration.  Reached at his castle in Hawaii, and told of the proposed plans, Jesus commented to a TAP journalist, “Bro, seriously?  I mean, really?”

 

2) Japan Garrisons Island with Sacrificial Human Meat

The Arcturus Project News

In the latest escalation of the growing tit-for-tat exchange over the disputed Sankaku/Diaoyu Islands, Japan plans to construct a radar station close to the north of the chain.  The installation and its 150 support personnel will establish on Yonaguni Island located just 90 miles from the Senkakus.

Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera cautioned that given the circumstances, Japan should be expected to increase its military presence within the region, if not the Senkaku’s themselves.  “We have a duty to protect sovereign Japanese territory.  These brave men will provide the necessary speed bump we require to mobilize after the first wave of missile fire obliterates this new base in the first twenty minutes of any larger struggle.”  Japanese military troops, the first on the island, were supportive of this patriotic action.  “Wait, hold on,” said one junior sergeant, “What the hell did he just say about twenty minutes?”

The move comes in response to continuing aggressive actions by Beijing in its near territorial waters.  The most recent changes include the establishment of an Air Defense Zone in the East China Sea and clashes with the Philippines in the South China Sea over the resupply of a Philippine garrison.  Beijing officials lightly brushed off the minor Japanese action with the typical professional statements offered by a responsible and established world power.  “What,” said one Beijing foreign ministry spokesman, “those fucking cowards!  We’ll target that radar with six nuclear warheads within the week.  And then we’ll find out where their families are and nuke them too.  Fuck them.  Fuck you all!”

 

3) Brazilians Protest Aspirational Police Brutality

The Arcturus Project News

In response to recent Brazilian protests against the deaths of two civilians caught in police and drug dealer crossfire, The Arcturus Project sat down with Brazilian Police Captain Arturo “The Bullet” Pamiro.

The Arcturus Project:  Captain Pamiro thanks for agreeing to speak with us via Arcturan remote tactical mind link.

Captain Pamiro:  My pleasure, happy to talk with you.

TAP:  So it’s been a rough week in Rio?

CP:  Yes, we had a sharp exchange of gunfire between our men and drug enforcers.  Unfortunately, two civilians were caught in the middle and killed.

TAP:  These clashes are increasing the more you and the police move in and secure the favelas?

CP:  Of course, the more we slide into drug territory the harder they push back.

TAP:  How do you respond to the accusations that these incursions are only a preparatory action for the World Cup and the Olympics, that maybe you’re too aggressive?

CP:  We can never get too aggressive.  But as to the World Cup concerns, well sure, what else would we be here?

TAP:  To police the city?

CP:  What?  You’ve got to be shitting me.  The police simply don’t have the manpower or resources to control the whole city.  I can’t work miracles.  Our orders are to infiltrate the favelas closest to World Cup transport links and sports venues.  The rest of the favelas can just rot for all we care.

TAP:  …

CP:  Plus we try and limit how many drug dealers we engage in certain circumstances because so many members of the force and our political masters are on the take.  We can’t take too much of the pie of out play.  We’re not stupid.

TAP:  … So, ah, wow.  Hey, hold on for a second.

CP:  Certainly.

TAP:  (unintelligible mutterings)

CP:  …

TAP:  So, so, do the police intend to remain in these recently conquered favelas after the World Cup and the Olympics are over?

CP:  Ah, maybe, we haven’t received definitive guidance yet.  Maybe we’ll stay afterwards, but if we don’t we’ll just leave and return these areas to the shitholes who ran them before.

TAP:  The dealers?

CP:  Yeah, fuck them.

TAP:  So if a significant portion of your force and local politicians have your hands in drug money, why didn’t you all just cut an agreement with the dealers that didn’t involve a full blown military style operation with armored vehicles and lots of gunfire?

CP:  Are you shitting me?  Do you know who those fuckers are?

TAP:  The guy’s you do business with?

CP:  Right, but I don’t trust them to even look at my car without disaster occurring.  We know these guys, we simply could not trust them to execute a non-interference policy for such a high profile international events.

TAP:  I see.

CP:  Plus, every once and a while we have to conduct police work.  We need to roll in and break shit, show folks the cops are on the job.

TAP:  That doesn’t really sound like real police work to me.

CP:  I don’t understand.  Are you saying we aren’t cops?  Everybody does this shit.  Just look at America now, if you traffic in illegal flowers the cops will roll in with enforcers, shoot your dog, and bash your head in.  Get off my fucking back!

TAP:  Right, I know.  (unintelligible muttering)  Right, they think they’re all Nascimento.

CP:  What’s that?

TAP:  Uh, nothing.

CP:  No, no, I think I heard you right.  Of course, Elite Squad is a barracks favorite.

TAP:  Plastic bags and such?

CP:  Of course, of course.  Every force has to have its heroes.  For us, that’s our aspiration.  We’ll control the show just like Nascimento did.

TAP:  So you know there was a sequel right?  The Enemy Within had kind of a different flavor that I think you’re missing.

CP:  What do you mean?

TAP:  So if I remember right, Nascimento kind of took a different view in the second film after, you know, they shot his best friend in the back and then put one into his son?

CP:  No, I mean, what are you talking about?  There isn’t a sequel to Elite Squad, there’s only one movie.

TAP:  No, really, I mean it’s right there…

CP:  Now hold on, I’ve seen Elite Squad like fifty times, there’s no sequel I ever heard of or seen.  Nascimento ends that movie by handing Matias a shotgun, and around and around we go…

TAP:  No dude, really, listen, so…

CP:  No you listen buddy, don’t you tell me what movies do or do not exist in my own fucking country okay.

TAP:  The Enemy Within ends (pounds fist) with Nascimento narrating as they overfly fucking Brasilia and he’s totally pissed off!

CP:  (unintelligible profanity)  Fuck you pig, where do you live!  (unintelligible profanity)  (phone line terminated)

TAP:  For fuck’s sake (throws chair) next time we need to do an interview about happy elves or a barbeque or something.  Talking heavy shit with these assholes is really ruining my buss.  (unintelligible muttering)  No, no dude, I don’t care that you guys find this so amusing.  (unintelligible muttering)  Yeah, and I don’t care that you guys think that guy is cool either.  What the hell is wrong with you?  (unintelligible muttering)  Oh, yeah, right. Sorry.

(end tape)

 

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-27090580

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-27089658

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-27092318

Elite Squad 2, Sundance Film Festival 2011

“Copy, understood, but I still think you’re missing the point.  Don’t you know what I am?  Don’t make me drive down there and tell it to your face you dumb fuck.”