Tuesday, August 12, 2008


I haven't been watching the Olympics. We tuned-in last Saturday to no avail. I was hoping that, being so nearby, continuous Asian coverage might allow me access to those events most frequently ignored by big network TV back home--like shooting, judo, and fencing. Really, US network television, do you actually think viewers prefer watching people running around an oval? I would rather watch a swordfight. So I tried; Women's Sabre was scheduled all day Saturday. But Vietnamese television is often wonky, and we were unable to find any Olympics coverage that day. It's normal: sometimes scheduled entertainment events, even nationally televised ones, don't actually end up on TV. We've anticipated live programming before, only to watch it go dark after fifteen minutes and be replaced by some dubbed soap opera in progress. The Olympics aren't much of a loss, really. I remember being excited about them when I was a kid, when they only happened every four years. Back then, the rampant and jingoistic politicizing didn't seem so insufferable; but that's only because I was still a kid. The jingoism has always been, at best, insufferable. This year, China is using this event to affect a posture of benevolence while sweeping many realities under its exportable carpets. The world has taken a lazy stab at protesting Chinese social transgressions and geopolitical avarice by protesting the Olympics themselves. While I write this, the guys who work in our apartment building's lounge are cheering for some very small women lifting very large barbells--and it's pretty infectious, I'll admit. But on another channel, CNN is reporting the advancing Russian invasion of Georgia, a reciprocal aggression in the South Ossetian tug-of-war, a long-awaited outburst which no doubt waited for the world's attention to focus on people running around an oval. [Cavin]

Then, a 0 sided conversation ensued...

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