Monday, February 10, 2014

Nurse the Hate: Hate the Olympics

I have no interest in the Olympics whatsoever.  This may be rooted in the fact I have little background in following international curling, biathlon, or team figure skating.  Luge is not exactly a great spectator sport.  I would imagine whipping down an ice chute would be pretty kickass to do; it just doesn’t interest me to watch.  It reminds me of the time I killed a couple hours at the Kanawha Drag Strip waiting to go play a show at the Empty Glass.  Greasy hillbillies had descended down whatever mountain outpost they called home to run their piece of shit car down the track at dangerous speeds.  The first couple times the Christmas Tree hit green and the cars took off, it was “Wow!  Check it out!”  Then by the third time I was bored and found myself wondering the odds of winning the 50/50 drawing and if people were actually going to eat that crockpot chili out of the “fun sized” Frito bags from the Snak-Bar.

While Sochi seems a little less developed than Kanawha WV, the only thing I find interesting are the pure Russian accommodations, construction disasters, and rampant corruption.  It’s hard to get fired up about meaningless hockey games and ski jumping when pictures of side by side toilets capture my imagination so much more robustly.   While I assume that a bunch of Swedes are totally jacked about the Nordic Combined Ski finals, I don’t truly understand why.  I don’t understand the Scandinavian Death Metal scene either, so it’s probably all on me.

The worst events are the snowboard and free-style skiing.  The media attempts to tell the public how popular these X Games events have become.  “It’s part of the Millennial Lifestyle!”  While that makes great copy, it is also patently untrue.  For example, the recently televised X Games attracted about 1% of the viewing public, while an NFL Playoff game will attract about 40%.  The guys that are always really high with goatees and skateboards and NOFX patches on their jackets?  That’s who watches that shit, assuming they can remember it is on TV in the first place.  I get the idea that people like to see dudes to flips on snowmobiles and spin around a pipe on a snowboard.  It looks pretty cool.  Am I the only one that notices that there are a set limit number of things that are possible, and each competitor does the same basic thing over and over and over and over?  Guy goes down half pipe, flies up on the side, lands, flies up on the other side and twirls around, and repeat.  Unless I am crushed by depressants and unable to reach the remote, I’m not sitting through that shit.

The figure skating is awful.  Prissy little figurines and their overbearing coaches/stage mothers all preen for totally subjective scores.  I am continually creeped out when I see a heavily mustached coach with a much too close relationship to a 17 year old girl skater.  The guy is always two feet taller and about 150 pounds heavier when he stands next to the always crying skater after their routine.  It always seems like that right after the event this poor girl is going to be returned to the shackles he has in his basement by the hot water tank while he eats sardines from a can yelling some gruff Eastern European language.  “Sasha!   Stop the crying.  I will beat you with broom handle.  Rest.  You skate tomorrow.”

The Olympics last for what I believe is 113 days.  Television hosts are straining even now to manufacture enthusiasm for people and events they have never heard of prior to getting their assignments.  Soon these speed skaters, skiers, and bobsledders will return to their almost total anonymity and we can pretend to stop caring that any of this matters.  It can’t happen soon enough for me.  Well, unless the Russians can keep building shoddy hotels and western journalists can write about them.  If that’s the case, these Games can continue forever…


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