M. Giant's
Throwing stuff at the internet to see what sticks

Monday, August 16, 2004  

Olympic Fever Immunity

I just realized today that this is the first Olympics since I started blogging. That meant I was free to come up with some kind of neato Olympics-related feature that we could all look forward to in 2006. And then I realized that I'm really not interested.

I'm kind of out of touch as far as the Olympics go this year. I watched part of the opening ceremonies on Friday night, but that's about it. I'm sure I'm not even the first person to comment that the Olympic Cauldron looked exactly like a 120-foot joint when the guy was lighting it. The only thing missing was another dude sucking on the other end. But I couldn't tell you who else mentioned that, because I'm not even reading any of the coverage.

It has been fun seeing Athens again, although it looks quite a bit different than it did when I was there. Naturally, that was over eight years ago, and we were only there for four days, and we didn't see much outside of walking distance from our hotel (which, not to worry, did include the Acropolis), but I think I would have remembered a big-ass stadium in the middle of everything.

I think the Internet has sort of wrecked the Olympics. By the time you watch it on TV, you already know what's going to happen. If you have Yahoo! or Google News as your browser homepage, you can't avoid seeing at least one headline that gives away the most interesting thing about whatever NBC is going to be broadcasting that night.

For instance, yesterday afternoon Yahoo! told me that some American swimmer dude now has the exact same chance at winning eight gold medals this year that I do. Later, I went downstairs, where Trash and her mom and aunt were watching the Games on TV. I saw the big windup for the relay thingy that Mr. No-Eight-Golds-For-You was about to participate in, with the announcers all breathless and shit. The drama of it all should have riveted me to a seat. Instead I went back upstairs to check my e-mail, because I already knew it was totally blown.

People have been bitching about this kind of thing for a while, of course. Hell, I even remember finding out about Kerri Strug's winning vault before the broadcast back in 1996. Of course, we were still on AOL back then, so it was a near thing. It's gotten much worse. Now, if you know where to look, the Internet will tell you who will win the fencing events later this week, the luge in 2006, and zero-gravity diving in 2052.

I think there was even a time or two when the Olympics were in Next Thursday Daylight Time and even the newspaper told us some results before we saw them on TV. When dead trees beat the tube, it's a sure sign of the end of civilization.

I just find it kind of hard to believe that this planet somehow did not come equipped with a time zone that can host the Olympics in some kind of time slot that will allow us to watch them live. And don't think I don't know how Amerocentric that sounds, but so what? Even other countries get screwed, since a lot of them are stuck with the NBC feed. Which is bad enough when you're stuck with ten years of badly-dubbed episodes of Friends, but if your average Athenian has to wait thirty-some hours to watch what happened just up the road, something ain't right.

I'm not going to tell you to avoid the Internet, because look at what you're doing now. I do have another solution, however: set your browser homepage to this one. There hasn't been one Olympic spoiler on this site in its entire history, and that will continue to be the case. That's my promise to you. It's a promise I can confidently make, because the Olympics are something that I myself care about not one bit.

Today's best search phrase: "What time is Mall of America open until tonight?" That's not a strange search phrase on its own. What's strange is that I'm the top-ranked Google hit for it.

posted by M. Giant 5:01 PM 13 comments


You added some sort of new Blogger bar to the top of your blog. Or did they just do that without asking you?

By Blogger DeAnn, at August 16, 2004 at 10:29 PM  

Oh my dear sweet Lord. I just realized it's on mine, too. I HATE it!

By Blogger DeAnn, at August 16, 2004 at 11:22 PM  

Re: Zero-G diving 2052You mean the semi-finals? Aw, man, why you got to bring that up? Pak Tranh got BONED! I know we've had this discussion a thousand times, but I'm telling you: the field was off. The edges of the pool globule were clearly rippling! Come ON! Of course there's going to be axial asymmetry. Jeeeeeez.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at August 17, 2004 at 6:28 AM  

Check the comments to this post to get rid of that new blogger bar.

By Blogger zw, at August 17, 2004 at 5:53 PM  

...or, since I'm obviously too stupid to link properly:


By Blogger zw, at August 17, 2004 at 5:56 PM  

Is it just me or is anyone else starting to get pissed off at the commentators for these events? I mean Michael Phelps "failed" because he didn't get all of the gold medals-give me break! The guy is doing more physical activity than most Americans do in a year and he's still getting medals in every event-they are just not golds-and that's a failure or a disapointment?!? And then you get to the gymnastics where these commentators remark on a wobble/bobble/stepped landing with pity in their voices after the athletes have just done something humanely impossible. No wonder we are such a neurotic, perfectionist culture. Hell, if someone criticized me like that I would make them do what I just did and then talk about it. It only seems fair. I'd like to the some of them commentators try a triple lugey, twisting, one and half backwards somersault dismount. Now that would be much more entertaining than watching the atheletes!

By Anonymous Anonymous, at August 18, 2004 at 8:00 AM  

Yes, but... I mean, you do understand what the Olympics are, right? We should give people credit for trying? Yes, okay, actually we should -- but that's real life. This is competitive sport, here.


By Anonymous Anonymous, at August 18, 2004 at 8:13 AM  

OK, you MUST read about this, because that girl (an Oregonian) makes me so proud!

Oh, and I just realized I want to keep the bar. It allows people to do a Google search of just my blog (or yours).

By Blogger DeAnn, at August 18, 2004 at 12:00 PM  

The fencing story? Now THAT is what I am talking about. Thanks for linking it.


By Anonymous Anonymous, at August 18, 2004 at 1:33 PM  

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at August 18, 2004 at 11:03 PM  

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

By Blogger DeAnn, at August 19, 2004 at 10:36 PM  

Play nice, people. It took me several weeks to figure out how to add comments, and I imagine I could take them down just as fast.

By Blogger M. Giant, at August 19, 2004 at 10:56 PM  

What about the opening ceremonies themselves? Dear god, what was that? The most surreal moment ever, man in leotard balancing on spinning stryofoam cube about a manmade lake surrounded by spinning dismembered statues. And this we are told, "Celebrates man's evolution into logic and rationality." The hell?

By Anonymous Anonymous, at August 23, 2004 at 9:22 PM  

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