Beware of Greeks bearing Games
Again it is Olympic summer. I am looking forward to the games though not as much as I used to. As a kid I thought the Olympics were the bomb; the single best think human beings got together and did as a people. Our other main gig -- World Wars -- lack the dopey charm of reinstituting a set of athletic competitions we barely understand the social purpose of from two thousand years ago.
Part of it is the unfulfilled promise of the exotic. Beach volleyball is... not entirely what I had in mind there. Sailboat racing, crew, white water kayaking, BMX biking, velodrome biking, archery. That's what I want to see, along side the traditional and honorable track and field events which are the heart of the Summer Olympics. Diving Contests I'll tolerate, there is something aesthetic about it. Gymnastics I don't care for, but I know many other people do passionately. And I admit, it can be pretty dramatic. But ever since the network carrying the games discovered they could slew off the non revenue, non bikini games to the cable and streaming side most of what I care to watch has disappeared from the their broadcast game.
I really want to say a special word about fencing in this regard. I always found fencing fascinating and the olympics frankly is the only occasion I've ever seen it on television. I was especially keen to see it this year because my nephew Grant has taking this up; fencing with the Chevy Chase Fencing club (featured in the second segment of this CNN piece: Less known Olympic sports). The air broadcast feed does not seem poised to show any fencing at all this year.
This Olympics seems to be a veritable demonstration of content lockdown in action. NBC's control of web distribution of Olympic events. (1) air broadcast in delay (2) (cable) NBC Sports also largely in delay, (3) web supposedly blanket coverage in Greenwich time, is only available to people who had some kind of cable subscription. They are keeping it largely sealed up. I have heard of no mass resort to proxy servers to watch it in real time. Where as at this same time a half world away my other nephew, Lucas (older sisters family) going through a Chinese immersion program in Beijing had to resort to proxy servers routinely just to get on Facebook. It is what you want and how much you want it, at the end of all endeavor.
Reflecting back to the Beijing olympics in 2008 vs London in 2012, which city really has the most surveillance camera. I think that may be another panopticon gold for Team GB. But we are all Benthamists now.
Maybe the most I can hope for is a short midsummer respite from the election. From the campaign ads that are lizard ugly and getting uglier by the minute. Like flies on sherbet. I blame the candidates certainly for the tone of this election, the press for covering it like the opening of a hometown amusement park. They own their actions and are praiseworthy or blame worthy for it. At end when I reach for the remote to mute the messages of incipient American doom I reflect that our politician are never, can never be more, than a mordant mirror of ourselves. Lets all watch some beach volleyball.
11:00:27 PM ;;