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I think what has irritated me most in these Olympics (not that it is anything new), but newly as annoying, is the hyperventilating media pressure about gold medals. Listening to these stupid commentators is always the same:
“Mary, we don´t really want to put any pressure on you, but we all know that gold is what matters and if you don´t win it, well, you´re trash. Everyone is counting on you to bring that gold medal, is that clear? If you don´t win, we´ll really tar your perfomance, we´ll execute you with our stupid questions about why you failed before the entire nation, because gold is the only thing our enlightened minds can think of regarding the Olympics.
That doesn´t mean the Olympics aren´t about brotherhood and that other nonsense stuff, do not get me wrong, we aren´t some rapacious gold vultures, but if you don´t get that gold medal, you´re a total loser, you hear? A total loser!”
Can´t we have a “Who can throw more stupid commentators in the mud” contest?
Although I am tempted to write about everything that is profoundly irritating with the Olympics, I´ll blog a little about what´s nice (or maybe both).
ATHENS, Aug 27 (Reuters) – Bryan Nickson, the smallest Olympian in Athens, stood tall after a bold performance on the 10-metre diving platform at the Games on Friday.
Nickson, who turned 14 in June, is just 1.38 metres (4 ft 6 in) in height and only 30 kg (66 lbs) in weight.
He was unfazed by competing on the world’s biggest sporting stage and finished tantalisingly one rung short of a place among the 18 semi-finalists.
I saw him today. A great sight, his body still the size between child and adult, much smaller than the hunky well-toned divers, but that said nothing about his beautiful concentration, as the article said, unfazed was the word. Doesn´t that speak volumes about the power of the mind in sports?
Commenting on the post below, J Rice says:
- That would be the belly flopper which is a Kerry specialty, perfected in Vietnam — did he tell you he was in Vietnam? Used to scare away the crocodiles, well maybe they were not African crocodiles but JenJisKan size maneaters.
He had a friend who told him that they were imported by Americans to try to ruin the rivers of Vietnam, an act of ecological disaster.
That’s why Kerry had to belly flop.
Actually he only told me he was in Vietnam after the polls showed that that was the place to be for him to get a few more votes. Up till then, he had never been in Vietnam. He had been in New Zealand, playing with a dog (poodle). His publicity people thought it was close enough, Vietnam/NZ (it´s over there) and crocodiles/poodles (both have tails). All is well that is reported well, his courage with Vietnam crocodiles, belly flop! 😉
What makes diving competitions so dull? It just fizzes out at the end of each dive, ploop.
And why should we care about how much water is splashed when they enter the pool, anyways? I actually like it better when there is a splash. I think they should change the rules or create a new competition to see who can make the biggest splash 😉
I have just received one more spam e-mail advertising incest pornography, the catch phrase being, “Would you like to ********** your daughter?”
Now, only in a very violent, sick society, is this labeled free speech and not immediately framed as what it is, incitement to sexual violence in the sphere of the family.
In our deeply putrid world, “hate” speech is defined as:
- Hate speech is a controversial term for speech intended to hurt and intimidate someone because of their race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, or disability.
Notice that no speech that intends to hurt and intimidate someone (even in the case of a child) regarding the sexual sphere is included above.
- For example, for a college professor to say, “Lesbians should not be schoolteachers,” could be considered hate speech. The professor could be denied tenure, even if he were expressing his religiously-based belief that homosexuals should not be put in positions where they can influence young people. Underlying such a claim is the belief that homosexuals in positions of influence over young people might influence their sexuality. Opponents would argue that the underlying theory behind the words suggests a false understanding of the nature of human sexuality with their usage designed to promote fear of homosexuals and their supposed influence on children among non-homosexuals, so leading to hatred of, and discrimination against, homosexuals. (same link as above)
It is easy to note the irresponsible pro-homosexual bias in the above explanation.
Adults, the media, peer pressure, family experience, etc., are always having influence and impact on an individual. What influence, how much, in what way, etc, is what varies.
Furthermore, the above explanation, in order to legitimize homosexuality, does not distinguish between desire (or the ridiculously murky concept of orientation) and sexuality. Human sexuality is the full aggregate of a person´s psychology (both conscious and unconscious), their intellectual thinking, their attitudes, their values, their desires, their dysfunctions, their emotions, and their behaviors about sex/body/intimacy. It is like comparing a pebble to a mountain.
Therefore any adult could possibly influence another person´s sexuality. A person´s environment, their experiences, their relationships, in short, anything and everything can have an impact on a human being. This does not mean we are clones and experience everything in the same way. Given that human beings are not ameobae and a lot of our psychological make-up is due to external influence, to say a homosexual could not influence others regarding sexuality is profoundly untrue.
Notice also that in the example given, the criticism is from a religious perspective. That is only one anti-homosexual perspective, but there are other ones, such as the social sciences themselves. One does not need to be of a certain religion to understand why homo and bisexuality are dysfunctional and to know they include every form of psychological and behavior problems we have in the world (such as psychological/sexual violence, prostitution, sexual harassment, emotional/personality development problems, bigotry, ignorance, lack of respect/aggression, etc).
This is where the current homosexist culture we live shows it´s true colors. When it frames the objection to homosexuality (which includes all these problems above) as a form of hate and not as a legitimite criticism to a whole set of dysfunctional, and in many cases, harassful and violent actions, it is simply legitimating a lot of aggression, denigration, and violence committed by homosexuals and bisexuals.
So, how is speech being framed in our wonderful society? Objecting to homosexuality (which includes the full range of violent behaviors we know of regarding sex between people of the same sex, although not for all homosexuals) is currently framed as “hate” speech. Pedophilia, which is very similar to adult homosexuality, another dysfunctional form of human sexuality, is just barely not being framed as a legitimate make-up of a person. Therefore, we can still object to pedophilia and not be labeled filled with “hate.” Who knows how long that will last. Inciting people to sexually torture children is “free” speech, specially if framed in a pornographic text format.
One of the reasons for this barbaric state of affairs, is that homosexuals are one of the most prominent circuses in society (in the bread and circus sense – see below). Their propaganda functions as a distraction to the horrible problems we have with violence and emotional and mental diseases, which are very much a part of many people´s sexuality.
I also think that to denigrate sexuality, in all its expressions and behaviors where there is a component of sleaze, is a form of aggression. Obviously, in a sick society, denigrating sexuality in every way, except when it has something to do with objecting the norm/legitimation of homosexuality, is deemed free speech.
A homo or bisexual can write or say sexually sleazy things to a person, and this is not hate speech, but if this person objects to homosexuality, this is hate speech. To take the contrast degree one level higher, a homosexual can incite homosexual incest with children, such as in the initial example, and that is not deemed hate speech, if it is done in a pornographic format, but if the child objects to homosexuality, the child is “filled with hate,” to use one of gay activists most used propaganda slogans.
It´s just barbaric.
Double good commentaries from J.Rice – which might seem disparate at a first glance, but are very much a mirror view of the same problem.
First, a reminder about some problematic consequences of the Olympics as a distracting spectacle.
Which is why, no doubt, the Olympics have begun to pall for a lot of people. Poor judging, crybaby Olympians, a monster monopoly on Olympic stories that you have to pay to cover, the whole Olympics has become just another ineptly run Internationalist boondoggle. There is something obscene about a country as poor as Greece spending $10 billion on the Olympic facilities that are unlikely to ever be used again. And there is something unwholesome about pictures of well-fed athletes with unflattering leaf crowns that make them look like bacchanal, waving in triumph of banality. That these pictures crowd out those of the victims in the Sudan who are still waiting for the U.N. to do something — anything, isn’t the athletes’ fault. It is, though, a symptom of the sickness that old media focus on such frivolity to avoid focusing on the wholesale corruption of the international organizations they would have us defer to on our decision to go to war.
The Olympics have become the gladiator contests that serve to amuse the masses and distract them from the serious business of self-governance. There isn’t even the pretense of an Ideal anymore. Pity. If the world needs anything right now it is idealism.
Next, Rice blogged a case that was widely featured in the conservative media, about a psych professor that faked “hate” crime actions against herself.
Hate crime on campus -At least we now know where the hate comes from on campus.
Her gold Honda was sprayed with racial and religious epithets March 9 in a parking lot at Claremont McKenna College. She reported discovering the damage after speaking at a forum on hate speech.
The college canceled classes for a day of anti-hate rallies.
Only thing was, the psychology professor faked the crime, spray painting her own car, slashing the tires herself. She was found guilty of the hoax.
“Mike” asks (comment on above blog):
First of all, what sort of significant crime _isn’t_ a hate crime? I just don’t understand that whole concept.
The “hate” crime framing is a profound mimicry of Orwell´s Animal Farm tale, when the pigs take over power.
And this faked “hate” crime post and Mike´s comment couldn´t make for a better tie to what Rice wrote regarding the distraction that the Olympics represents from other much, much more serious issues.
Homo activists have pumped up the propaganda for their “plight” and people love to be distracted with this instead of facing how many serious problems with sexual violence and dysfunctions we have in society, not to mention all the other serious problems, such as mass hunger, etc.
Finally, a much needed commentary on the unpleasant sexing up of athletes. I had been particularly displeased with the track and field female athletes. We do not care to see more than half of their behinds, thank you. We would like to see them run, nicely clothed, not turn into some cheap shots.
One more athlete disqualified because of doping. Serves them right. Get them all out.
- ATHENS: The fact that Russia’s Irina Korzhanenko, who became the first woman to win a gold medal at Olympia – the site of the ancient Games – failed a drugs test should not come as any surprise.
And a nice trivia note on ancient “steroids” from link above.
There are several references in the history books to competitors consuming sheep’s testicles, whose performance-enhancing qualities were thought to include boosting testosterone and providing a competitor with more strength.
Mixing the poison-cum-stimulant strychnine with wine was another favourite potion, although getting the proportions wrong could be fatal.
The pitfalls of taking such a drug has lead many pundits with a passing knowledge of ancient Greece to draw parallels with the drug programmes of former Soviet Bloc countries during the 1970s, which have already lead to several premature deaths.
I can understand the extreme pressure these athletes are under to win, both for personal gains as well as all the sports federations, corporate and nationalistic interests behind them. Given the direction the world is going, the pressure should only get worse in the future. That´s why we need some strong “no dope allowed – period” enforcement in all games.
p.s. hard to tell from the 50 posts in 3 days that I´ve been hooked on the Olympics…
This really surprised me, but it seems popular opinion is upholding the “right thing to do” over the “winning gold by cheating or error is just fine” attitude.
What’s the best way to handle the scoring error that led to Paul Hamm’s all-around gold medal?
Give both Hamm and Yang Tae-young gold
26% 6537 votes
Give Yang gold and Hamm silver
48% 12116 votes
25% 6359 votes
Yahoo vote on Aug.23-04
I was following the judging mess in this case at first with a suspicion for wrong doing. When many in the media started to compare the wrong Yang scoring with a football error that you cannot undo, it only made it worse. This media was much too quick to say the Hamm fiasco had nothing similar to the corrupt actions of the 2002 skating scandal. They obviously wanted to rule out the possibility by shouting it didn´t exist, rather than by investigation. If judges simply made a human error, read clean, there is no need for any of punishment, such as suspension.
I found it very suspicious that this error should happen exactly in this competition and exactly having this significant result of making Korea lose its gold and Hamm get it, after he not insignificantly fell with a thud. To make matters more suspicious, the judge responsible for the error is American. And when it couldn´t get any worse, we get reports that the other “Colombian” judge has lived and worked in Ohio for several years. One has to concur there are a lot of “coincidences” of Americans involved in the “human error” points award.
Fortunately, as in the Hamm comeback itself, several sports journalists jumped into writing some of the most get-go for ethics and sportsmanship articles and opinion pieces you´ve seen this Olympics (see links below). One surprising news report even suggested the lead came from part of the American media followed by the Koreans. I didn´t go check, but if true, kudos for those who did.
Next in the Hamm saga, the Hamm parents got protectively involved, his father stating that he didn´t know if he should warn Paul of the controversy before last night, because it might hinder his spirits, but he was afraid his son would get booed when entering the stadium. One can understand his dilemma and how he felt for his son. Then news reports came out stating Paul “bravely” said he would return his gold medal if the authorities decided he needed to do that.
So it seemed Paul was trying to do the right thing in difficult circumstances. Not only all the stress of an Olympic competition, and then this. But that was exactly before he opened his mouth and showed what an egotistical, no sportsmanship athlete he is. “This is not my issue, I won it, who cares how, and I´m upset at anyone who dares to suggest I´m not going to keep my toy. Be quiet and go away.” Worse still, Paul´s mother offered a press statement defending her son, saying “he hadn´t done anything wrong, so why the big fuss with my little boy and his tarnished gold medal?”
Certainly Paul did not do anything wrong at the competition, quite on the contrary, but now that´s no longer true regarding his attitudes and actions. He didn´t ask to be thrown in this mess but he was. Now it is a different kind of meet and points are scored by honor, not petty selfishness.
As several people pointed out, he could have led the way to request Yang get a gold medal too, and he wouldn´t even lose his, even though he didn´t earn it properly. Although not the most noble, that would even spare him the sting of losing the gold he thought was his. It´s an all-around win-win solution. If he shared gold with the Korean, he would have become the symbol of sportsmanship for a lifetime. But even this has been to good for him so far. I wouldn´t want him on my Wheaties box.
What worries me, however, is that, if there was a little persuasion for such a judging mistake to occur, and Hamm is allowed to then really rob the gold from the Korean, this sends an unmistakable message to everyone: gymnastics is the sports to cheat, corrupt, and get away with it. Go for it.
Related- Greed for gold is more important:
NYPOST – HAMM STANDS TALL IN MEDAL MUDDLE (— like 2 feet tall —)
CNN – Back off – Despite judging error, Hamm’s gold medal shows no tarnish
The right thing is more important:
MSNBC- Hamm should give up the gold – American has the opportunity to show he’s true champion – COMMENTARY By Mike Celizic
USATODAY – Only one maneuver remains: Give up the gold
USATODAY – Hamm should share gold, not Wheaties box
Bob Kravitz – INDYSTAR – An American gymnast’s Hamm-handed move
Slate has an interesting article on Svletana, her career, her bitterness at not winning just now. I have a question on how thin she looks.
What is appealing about Khorkina is that she grasps the magnitude of every moment. In a pre-Olympics interview, she told NBC that she loved being called a diva. “A diva is magical; you can’t catch her,” she smiled. Before the awards ceremony, she changed into a sleeveless bright-blue leotard that appeared to be made of shiny vinyl, of the sort usually seen on miniskirts in night clubs. With a body that was much too tall and supposedly much too old to compete at the highest level in a sport given over to springy squirts, she refused to let anyone tell her what her place was. She would remain undefeated in her own mind.
I agree that Svetlana has fierce determination, grace, is a great gymnast, etc., etc., but was anyone disturbed about how thin she looks?
She certainly seemed full of energy in her routines, not like she had anorexia and was wasting away, and had often a brimming expression (except at the end), but she looked like she had just stepped out of a concentration camp to me.
Now that it´s over, even though she is not happy, maybe she´ll allow herself some good, hearty milkshakes and become something other than skin and bones.
By the reports we have of so many broken lives of these gymnasts after they are forced to end their often very neurotic short lived careers, I hope she finds her way in life, whatever that may be.