Random thoughts from watching the first weekend of the Beijing Summer Olympics:
1. The quality of superbowl halftime shows will really go up when this country becomes an official one-party state.Nothing like being a ruthless dictatorship to be able to mobilize several million people to put on what is fundamentally a silly spectacle. But the Chinese get fireworks in a way those of us in the West are still working on.
2. Hint to NBC: not everything is about us. It's OK to show and tell us about people from other countries. That might just be what this whole "Olympic" thing is about.
3. Hungary, the person who told you that the "Heavy Flow Day" pattern from J.C. Penney's "My Menstrual Period" collection was the hottest thing in fashion today was kidding.Sweden, on the other hand...wow! You rock. So it's not just IKEA and the Nobel Prize for you, eh?
4. Was anyone else embarrassed by the shots of Dubya looking bored and glancing at his watch during the other nation's teams entrances and only putting on his jacket and public face when the U.S. team entered?
I mean, Sarkozy and Putin and the other heads of state managed to at least pretend to be interested AND keep their jackets on in the heat. Oh, and NBC? Another thing: when a President's approval ratings are below 30%, it probably means that about three quarters of us don't want you to keep cutting back to show him to us every other freaking minute. Show us Malian shotputters or something, Jesus...Nice summation of a man who probably didn't know there WAS a country named Mali until the Chinese woman entered carrying the little sign...
5. Water polo is God's own most boring sport to watch.
6. Some Olympic sports should still be played nude as the ancient tradition demanded. Swimming and men's gymnastics are two. Yachting and weightlifting are not. Soccer should be. Cycling probably shouldn't, just for the bicycle seat issues. Women's gymnastics is not, either, at least not until the age of the athletes climbs past the age of consent in, say, Utah.
7. Why is "beach volleyball" an Olympic sport? Is it that the rules require the athletes to wear bikinis (see #6)? And, if we have to include it, shouldn't the rules also require the losers of a point to slam a beer? I mean, it's fucking beach volleyball and it's played in fucking bikinis...
8. Weird to see the same guys we just saw in the Tour de France riding for their countries. I'm old enough to find pro athletes as Olympians a little uneasy.
9. Are we weird in finding this quadrennial sports oddity interesting?
Regardless...have a happy Monday and a good week.