8.13.2008

We're not going to go see Mama Mia again

Talk about a man taking a stand eh? I love other people's conversations sometimes.

Five dollars for a minor league doubleheader at Fenway while the Sox were out in Chicago. It wasn't lost on me that I was seeing two baseball games for less than the cost of a "beer" at the ballpark, and far less than the price of a real beer. That my cargo pockets could have easily concealed a couple of Coronas wasn't lost on me either.

It's important that we learn from these experiences.

The atmosphere of a ballgame that no one who's watching really cares about (at least not the outcome) is interesting. This isn't to say that the excitement wasn't there, it was. If you aren't at your feet when the game is tied in the twelfth, you aren't a baseball fan. And there's something especially rewarding in knowing that the kid up at the plate was playing high school ball earlier this year, and that recieving a 12th-inning standing O at Fenway is huge for him.

In any case, the ballpark somehow managed to actually be a pretty decent place to get some work done. And for more or less as much as I'd spend on coffee at one of the usual sorts of places I'd go to write.

re: The Olympics-- I can't seem to fully explain my comparative lack of interest this time around. The locale is a factor, no doubt. Being accused of racism on a forum due to my opposition to the Chinese government by an Afghani-born Canadian who has nothing but (often but not always warranted) bad things to say about the United States left a bad taste in my mouth that still hasn't faded. As have the reports about people's homes being demolished to make way for the games-- for those of you playing along at home, that's human rights violations for the expedience of an event that was offered to Bejing on the condition that it clean up its human rights record-- and all the pomp and circumstance that's glorified an utterly corrupt government...

The first event that's made me perk up and say, "I need to see this" came just as I'm typing these words, upon learning that one of the semifinal matches in Judo is going to be Russia versus Georgia

I'm fully aware that I may, in fact, be a bad person.

But when I compare this morbid fascination to my exuberant cheering in 1996 as Kerri Strug landed on a fucked-up ankle it adds perspective .

Good lord, I want to vomit whenever I see a team of Olympic gymnasts and I have to wonder how much of it is age falsification-- at least one of gymnasts on the Chinese team has been credibly accused of lying about her age-- and how much of it is that these girls actually are sixteen and just look like they're in grade school because of what the sport has done to them.

Which maybe drives more to the heart of the matter. The International Olympic Committe, in the spirit of sportsmanship and fair play, has enacted anti-doping restrictions that preclude a compettitor who used an emergency inhaler when suffering an asthma attack the night before an event. In the spirit of human kinship, they extended a hand to a country with a bad rep so long as they cleaned up their act, knowing full well that there was no way they could enforce the caveat and indeed no way that the Chinese government would take it seriously. In the spirit of human decency, they raise the minimum age requirement for competition in certain events that take a particular toll on a young athlete's body and yet declare it to be Someone Else's Problem when there's a confirmed instance of falsification.

The question is, does this capitulation to China reveal anything about these people that we didn't already know if we were paying attention?

Should be a hell of a match...

2 comments:

  1. Russia versus Georgia had words during volleyball, didn't see it as the only thing I'm watching are events which allow me to gawk at almost naked men.

    Those Chinese gymnasts look pathetically young, and it is scary they are taken as toddlers to train. Some might say the way parents here choose a sport for their child at a very young age and then push them through it is pretty close. I don't think there is much comparison.

    I get this picture of little girls being held over burning coals if they don't perform as expected.

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  2. I can only imagine how brutal it is in China. But it's ugly everywhere

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