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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Ukraine – This is not the end of the beginning

I will admit I am rather surprised to see this level of violence.  You would think Uncle Vladimir would have asked Cousin Viktor to hold off for at least for another week until people can no longer spell Sochi.  I think a couple of things are at work here:

–  The vast majority of the protestors appear to have accepted the government’s amnesty and abandoned their posts over this last weekend

–  This left a very small (perhaps about 20 thousand) but hardcore group who desire neither amnesty or the status quo

–  Cousin Viktor decided to use this window of opportunity to dispense with this hardcore group before the more moderate opposition realized he was playing them for fools and got back on the streets

–  Cousin Viktor may have been told to wait for a week by Uncle Vladimir; but likely told him to go back to watching figure skating; Viktor knows a week may have closed out his window; thus the assault on Maidan

The security forces’ attack did not go according to plan.  Syria has shown what you need to truly crush this kind of revolt:  An army or police force that is willing to employ automatic weapons against unarmed civilians like it’s the Fourth Reich come to life.

At this point, the Ukrainian forces aren’t willing to do that.  So what they confronted was a highly organized, motivated, and disciplined protest force.  The hardcore opposition was apparently planning for this kind of battle for weeks.  As the security forces aren’t willing to use their overwhelming lethal force, you get stalemate and chaos.

Some countries are perhaps not meant to be.  I heard an interesting stat on the radio yesterday.  About 40% of Ukraine’s population supports the protests, while 40% support the government, leaving 20% who are too dazed or stupid to respond to reality.  However, a very large majority from both sides do not support Cousin Viktor.  This is not a recipe for a sustained nation.  You can easily see how the Russian eastern half could make a push to remain in charge or transfer to Russia while the western half goes elsewhere.  Anybody think this will all occur cleanly?

This is only going to get worse.  A line is now crossed.  When this much blood is shed, emotions & then positions harden.  Cousin Viktor is now about to learn a very important lesson of our cowardly post-modern world.  When you spill your citizen’s blood, it’s not as bad as you think.  I suspect he’ll actually be rather surprised at how little the UN, EU, and/or USA will do to him and his ruling elite.  A lot of talk will occur, but Viktor’s going to discover that he can still act while everybody else talks.  Then the only limiting factor on whether he can remain in power is how willing he is to kill and whether his men are willing to obey the orders to slay their neighbors.  Either way it’s going to be awful.

maidan19feb

“I am the hand of God, the fate of all lies in the decision I make.”

Sochi 2014 – It’s time to separate into two teams

I did not watch the opening ceremony.  I will not do so.  I know what message Putin will attempt to send.  I don’t need to see it produced as theater.  He’s made himself very clear these last fifteen years.

Read about Sochi and you’ll get a different view depending on who’s speaking.  Most folks seem keen to support the games while offering disgust at the hosts.  Above all, it is Putin’s anti-homosexuality comments and laws that draw the most hate.  I wonder if Putin had just left homosexuals out of it.  Could he have sold these games as the spectacular statement about his miracle that he’d intended?  He certainly has willing accomplices.

Last night I watched the sewer scrappers at NBC Sports sing the praises about how this Russia is so much better than the old Soviet Union.  This filth comes from the mouth of ‘reporters’ who have never and will never live the life of a normal Russian citizen.

Yet I’m sure they don’t give a damn.  For them, Sochi is about cash.  Lots of cash.  Damning the hosts to hell over their behavior is not a way to widen your audience when you’ve invested billions in production and purchase costs.  NBC Sports wants one thing from Sochi:  profit.  If you think they care about anything else, regardless of the prophet-like statements that emerge from Costas’ arrogant mouth, you’re a fool.  They want your eyes.  They’re in your wallets.

Lost among the massive hate of Putin’s anti-gay remarks (this blog has equally hit upon them) is the general awfulness that is present.  The simple truth is this:

These games should never have happened in Sochi.

I’m sorry, but I’m over it.  It’s time that those who care about freedom and democracy stop pouring muck into the trough that is other people’s lives.  Building international relationships is generally overrated.  There will be no tangible benefit to Russia’s place in the world from Sochi.  Putin is not going to embrace reform, fight corruption, or generally be a better guy because of Sochi.  All the Olympics have done is feed an evil man and his parasitic ruling structure.

And for what?  Well, for a cherished tradition?  Wrong.  We’ve only done this Olympics thing for just over a century.  For money?  Only partially, the athletes are out there for the spiritual awesomeness.  Most of them (except those in the commercials) don’t care about money.

It’s about momentum.  The corrupt IOC chose Sochi.  So everybody goes to Sochi.  Even if they think Putin is a criminal.

Well friends, the author of this blog thinks it’s time for a change.

I’m not asking for bad things to happen in Sochi.  I want these games to go forward without violence and without any major issues.  It’s about the athletes now.  They’ve worked very hard for years to get there, everybody agreed to participate, and so off they go.  I hope they all can succeed, have fun, and accomplish their goals.

However, here is the honest truth.  These games are immoral.  The average Russian will see their life made worse by deliberate sleaze, expense, and by the international legitimacy their dictator gains from playing teenage party queen.

It’s time to change.  The portion of the planet that believes liberty is a good thing needs to back it up.  It’s just sports folks, we can live without it.  Let every decent nation on the planet refuse to participate in events where the wicked are allowed to put on a show, where we are all charged admission, to watch justice play a bit part.

The Olympics, Word Cup, Commonwealth Games, whatever.  Let democracies hold their own games, where only other republics can play.  Let all the tyrannical lunatics hold their own games, with all their narcissism, alone.  At least then we could have a clean conscience while we watch brilliant contestants at their best.

And if we ever decide to hold another worldwide Olympics?  Let the team of freedom and justice play against the team representing hate and darkness.  We can compete on neutral ground, say Switzerland or Valhalla.

I know who’d win.

sochi_opening_rehersal_840_533_100

Brought to you by the blood of a nation’s future.

Sochi 2014 – There’s only one child here, Vladimir

I may hammer away at Sochi, but you just can’t let this stuff go. One of my greatest problems with today’s international community is moral cowardice. More on say, Syria, later. That’s a crisis that is probably too hard for the world to solve. But what made the world participate in Sochi?

A good chunk of the globe’s leadership is staying away from the games and that’s good, but it’s not enough. Where are the world leaders telling Uncle Vladimir he’s a fucking idiot? Well, they either don’t care, or they don’t want to ruffle Vlad’s feathers because their athletes are on the way. I’m voting that it’s both.

Either way, if the modern planet won’t stand up for its values, who will? Satan? Hitler’s ghost? Maybe Winston Churchill and George Washington will rise from the dead to claim Vladimir’s soul in an orgy of red misty violence. Now that’s an Olympic event worth watching.

At least Putin tells us what he thinks. We’d all be a lot better off if politicians spoke their minds more often. In today’s machine engineered media, five misplaced words can destroy a human’s career. So now, anything that is said is suspect. This is not healthy for a culture that we all hope is built upon things like free speech.

I think one of the reasons people tend to favor the likes of Chris Christie, Boris Johnson, and Joe Biden, even if they substantially disagree with their policies, is that all of these men say what’s on their minds. People find it refreshing to hear from a leader who, you know, leads, and treats the voter with enough respect to be honest. Even if they sometimes roundhouse kick themselves in the mouth.

Disagree with me? Well how about this. Can we all agree it’s usually not a good idea for our leaders to lie? Why yes! Well, I submit that when a leader says only things that are vetted through a team of twelve interns and public relations slime, it’s equivalent to lying. Either way the public doesn’t get the truth. So don’t take this the wrong way, I don’t want Putin to shut up, I want him to say more. But I also want our leaders to speak their minds too. Try this delight on for size:

Putin: I hate fags, they are immoral.

Merkel: You’re wrong Vladimir. You’re a bigot and a dictator and this shows it. People are free to determine their own lives.

Obama: Yes, I agree, there’s a reason you keep saying these things.

Putin: But…

Cameron: No, they’re right. All you want to do is distract people from the rotten state of your shitty leadership. We have values and morals, you’re just an asshole.

Abe: Yes, a total piece of rat feces.

Putin: #d8c^kk!!!

But instead, all we get is this:

“You can feel free in your relationships but leave children in peace.”

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-25785161

Followed by silence.

This coming from a man who authorized the use of fuel air explosives in an urban environment when it was pretty clear to everyone that civilians, including a lot of children, were hiding in basements.

As you’re enjoying the figure staking, make sure to remember that Sochi is about 300 miles from Grozny. And then bask in the deafening silence of cowardice from your leadership.

nicetalk

Sochi 2014 – This slope leads off a cliff

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Now that the Christmas ads are over; the conglomerate mandated buildup to Sochi is at full speed.  Your locally owned deodorant and soda companies want you to know they’re in your nation’s corner (and wallets).  Your television needs your eyeballs (and wallets) for two solid weeks of winter delight.

As a human of eternal light (or darkness), all their millions (or billions) in advertising and marketing are of no use on me.  The emptiness of space has more interesting qualities than this shit show.  Here are just a few reasons.  Best of luck to the mad men (or women) at fixing any of these to get my eyes back:

1)  A $50 billion price tag run up by a magic wand waving totalitarian bigot

You too can charge the Russian taxpayer $800 per mosaic title in the bathroom of the inn sixty miles from the Olympic stadium next to the petrol station

2)  Sochi is a handful of miles from occupied territory

Most people think Abkhazia is a sausage and Georgia is the next bowl game

3)  Such exciting sports

Carving intricate designs into asphalt with a butter knife is more interesting than the ski jump or bobsled

4)  The privilege to observe recorded events chosen for you by the network, hours afterwards, with a commercial every four minutes

In this sport, the commercials are the main effort, the Olympics are what you see on break

5)  Professional athletes so machine engineered that the margin of error is less than the time it takes you to read two words

Some people call this exciting, for me nothing is more boring than a finish so close a supercomputer is required to determine who folded time and space to win