I hate being told what to like.
I never liked American Idol for that reason- maybe 3 industry hacks can tell what Americans want, but I'd imagine that Simon and company have a dozen flops for every star they make... and Paula Abdul married Emilio Estevev, so that shows what she knows.
I hate the Olympics for the same reason. Not really for the events... I like watching grown men sled as much as anyone else. I just can't connect to any of the Olympians.
While I'm sure there are a few who were raised by some factory worker, too many of them are rich kids playing rich kid hobbies. They are then showered in money- much of it from your taxes- and stuffed down our throats for months.
It's not my lack of Patriotism that gives me this attitude. I just don't think that much of America is represented in these games. I still haven't seen a black guy, and we're a week into it. It's not a money thing, either. I have plenty, thank you.
It's just... goddamnit, it's hard to like these people we have representing us. Let's go through the list, shall we?
- Lindsay Jacobellis is a snowboarder or something, and she's been Visa'd and Dunkin Donutted all over my TV for about a year now. I don't feel badly about wagering that 99% of Americans had no idea who this broad was before the Olympics, and I'm pretty sure that she'll fade from prominence now.
Why? With the snowboard (imagine standing up on your sled, and you'll be in the right neighborhood) race all but won, she decided to showboat a bit. While doing a board grab makes for a hell of a Visa commercial, it also has the ability to cost you a race if you fall flat on your stupid face doing so... especially when you do it on national- no, world wide- television, and cost your country a gold medal.
I laughed while watching it, and my friends and I began laying down hard money as to when her incessant commercials will be yanked off the air. She's lucky Americans don't care about her sport, because soccer players in Colombia get SHOT for that kind of stuff.
- Bode Miller was important enough to merit a 60 Minutes story, and he bad-mouthed a lot of guys who have succeeded at a higher level than he ever will. How'd he end up doing? He straddled a gate, and ran himself right off the medals podium.
Bode was home-schooled in NH, before swallowing your tax dollars to ski drunk and talk sh** about Barry Bonds- who at least performs up to par when the camera is on him. I'm pretty sure we've seen the last of this joker, although there'll be another "rebel" ski goof trotted out in 2010.
Wanna be a rebel? Ski up the hill.
- Even the Brokeback Mountain cowboys goof on Johnny Wier, a figure skater who describes himself as "princessy." He complained about the accomodations your tax dollars are giving him, he talked of his need for a positive "aura," and he managed to miss the bus that brought him to the big skate-off.
You won't have to worry about him anymore, unless you decide to write a blog entry about failed wannabes. Maybe they'll make a karate film in which all the fighting takes place on ice.
Hey, Capote... you have to actually SUCCEED before you start acting like a diva.
- The hockey team probably has some (once) poor folk, and they can trash a hotel as well as any college kid. They have just ceased to be compelling. Maybe in 1980, it was fun to watch a bunch of nobodies knock off the menacing Red Army team from the Evil Empire.
Now we send our pros, and it just isn't the same. The last time I saw a truly neat underdog story at the Olympics, it was Argentina beating our basketball team.
- At least we have the figure skaters to fall for. Ooops, ours went home a loser. While a lot of lisping commentators spoke of Michelle Kwan's "courage," I saw someone with no other talent keeping some more worthy kid home so that she could punk out about 3 days in. I found myself wishing that someone would hit her in the knee with a pipe.
- There are other stories. Apollo Anton-Ohnoooooooo fell during the speedskate for the second straight Olympiad, and he amazingly became America's second-best Ono. Another hot-shot skier- Lisa Kudrow or something- took an Agony Of Defeat fall down the mountain, before finishing Notfirst.
I think my point has been made. As badly as Visa wants us to love Jacobellis, it's hard not to laugh at her toaster-in-the-bathtub board grab that cost her what she no doubt assumed was her place at the top of the American media machine. You still see Peggy Fleming on the tube now and then.... think we'll be seeing ol' Kinky Hair beyond next month?