Have been spending a lot of time watching the Olympics over the last few days. Lots of fun, even though I must confess to utterly failing to see how some of these sports became Olympic events. Seriously, softball? Beach volley ball? Doing dumb shit in a river with a canoe?
Fine and upstanding things to occupy your time with, surely, but Olympic events? Is there no end? Will every sport known to man become an Olympic event? Dammit, if doing dumb stuff in a river with a canoe is an Olympic sport, why not croquet? Why can’t croquet get any respect?
Darn those snobs in the Olympic Committee.
The two highlights so far for my money have been swimming and gymnastics. When it comes to swimming, the Australians have been kicking massive tail in the pool, and it makes one wonder if there’s some sort of national Australian subconscious thing at work here … “The next time somebody puts us on a boat and deports us we’ll bloody well swim right back, matey! No worries!”
The gymnastics competitions so far have been sublime, both the men’s and women’s. In gymnastics you have what could be called Ultimate Athletes, people who have been drilling their bodies so hard and with such single-mindedness of purpose that they can do things human beings simply should not be able to, and can do it over and over again with an eerily machine-like precision that is still full of grace.
Add to that the incredible pressure of performing these acts–which require such massive focus and concentration and utterly push the envelope of human ability–in a stadium in front of judges, said minute or so of performance being the end result of a lifetime of discipline and sacrifice and you can screw up completely and it will all have been for nothing. One tiny fraction of an inch misstep or just a microsecond’s lapse of focus and it will be a complete disaster. And there they are, sucking down their nervousness and fear and going out there and–mostly–triumphing.
At the same time, while watching women’s gymnastics, I wonder what is going on with their makeup? It’s completely understandable that you want to present a good front to the judges, and perhaps you’ll go a little overboard with the eyeliner just to make sure it looks good from a distance. Sure.
But the whore-glitter? Why do these women sprinkle their cheeks and hair with glitter? Are the judges ’70s pornstars?
**Listening To: ** Stream from Groove Salad
Posted Thursday, 19 August, 2004 by Nic Lindh
Another book roundup, including some stellar athletes and soldiers, what might be the most jaded, soul-weary protagonist ever, and some grimdark fantasy.
The Internet is getting creepy, and Nic is breaking out his tinfoil hat after newspaper paywalls push him over the edge.
Nic is tired of tech sites obsessing over Apple’s financials and business strategy. So very tired.
Nic reads a book about the processed food industry and is incensed.
Computers are complicated. This brings out the irrational in people.
Nic proposes the loan word Rechthaberei be incorporated into American English.
The Core Dump is back! Books were read during the hiatus. Includes The Coldest Winter, Oh, Myyy!, Tough Sh*t, The Revolution Was Televised, The Rook, Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore, Gun Machine, Fortress Frontier, Standing in Another Man’s Grave, and The Memory of Light.
This site will return in February.
From a true patriot to a world-weary detective, a dead god, and a civilization about to sublime from the galaxy, this book roundup spans the gamut. Includes Where Men Win Glory, Wild, Inside the Box, The Black Box, Three Parts Dead, Red Country, and The Hydrogen Sonata.
Springsteen gives a concert in Phoenix. It’s fantastic.