The Olympics have commenced, and highlights abound, as do the smaller scandals of minor doping, misconstrued tweets, badminton game throwing and an oddly ominous opening ceremony.
Hail to Danny Boyle’s audacious if not equally lengthy tribute to global warming. Did anybody else get concerned for the athletes when giant brick chimney’s spewing plumes of soot shot up from the ground like so many unmitigated, coal-burning phalli? Did we really need to experience the death of the agrarian working class at the hands of ruthless top hat, muttonchop-wearing industrialists? Karl Marx, who lived, and eventually died in London, was indubitably turning in his grave at Highgate Cemetery.
And so was Charles Dickens, considering the IOC refused to pay any of those thousand and half actors and musicians running about. They should do it for the pride of England, they were told. But you know damn well that the 120 million plus viewers who tuned in for it were hard statistics for sky high ad rates.
Like all proper corporate mega-events, the organizers will earn twenty times more than all of the athletes combined. To whom does all that revenue go to, one wonders? Hopefully some of it went to David Beckham in a speed boat; hands down, the opening ceremony’s pinnacle WTF? moment.
Yes, we’ve strayed quite a bit from Pheidippides historic steroid-free run from Marathon to Sparta. Our present games are not nearly as pure as we’d like them to be. But unlike Wall Street, or say, Hollywood, where who you’re in bed with is more important than what you think you have to offer (I won’t dare say “talent”), the Olympics offers the crucial difference of judging people on a set of visible skills. Be it flipping through mid-air and re-landing on a four inch balance beam, heaving an 16 pound metal ball, or dolphin kicking in the 200 butterfly, you at least have to be able to do it to participate.
Such is not the case in finance or entertainment, unfortunately. We see, over and over again, a class of so-called elite professionals making exorbitantly high priced blunders and keeping their positions, or worse, rising in the ranks. Where are the judges for these vocations? Why not have deductions and disqualifications for them, as we do in our Olympiads? Is there no hope for even a fair evaluation, much less justice?
Or maybe we should just go the complete other direction already and make the Olympics more like our overtly corrupt, crony-capitalistic-odds-stacked-in-favor-of-the-big-guy system. Instead of trying to restrict performance enhancing drugs, let’s encourage them out right. Even better, we should award gold, silver and bronze medals to the pharmaceutical companies creating the most effective pills. The only rule the IOC has to enforce is that you can’t take drugs from a country not your own. Obviously this would screw the smaller nations like Togo and Djibouti, but it will also also force them to join the modern age and start fucking with human biology like the rest of us are.
The award ceremonies would be a lot more interesting. Instead of raising the flag of the victorious athlete’s home nation, a company logo would proudly fly, with their corporate jingle resonating through the cool London air. It would certainly be a lot less sentimental.
It would also flow perfectly into multiple cross marketing and commercial campaigns. This athlete was brought you by Ultragan, America’s most popular anabolic steroid.
We’d end up losing to China, of course, as that’s where so many of these drugs are synthesized. Mexico and Canada might also see a boost, and at a cheaper price too. But it would put this entire multi-billion dollar Olympic debacle into the right context for once.
Our Team USA spokesman would be Charlie Sheen, and his pep talk about winning, on every level, would be supported in practice as well as in philosophy. If anyone knows about high stakes, it’s Charlie. Imagine if he had to wait four years between rants?! It’s an amazingly long time to prepare and feel the pressure. So why shouldn’t our athletes be high as well. Why pretend that it’s not the drugs that are making them winners? Tiger blood, baby!
Clearly the people who decide what events qualify as Olympic sports on are high. Solo sycronized swimming? What crack are you smoking to even enter that event? Isn’t the entire point of synchronization to have more than one person to be in sync with? It was a sport in 1988 and then tossed out in 1992, but I think now, under this new format, it could be brought back, especially if there were a drug that allowed you to hold your breath longer underwater after a few injections. Wouldn’t it be so much more compelling if the whole routine had to be done on one breath?
And why aren’t we seeing more muscle-jacked Badminton players? You know the beet-eating Aussies would dominate if they could get themselves a little more edge over that feisty shuttlecock. Someone made this game an Olympic sport. So where’s the fucking television coverage already? Who do we have to blow to get some live footage of the early rounds? It’s totally outrageous! And could they possibly add some full-contact to the game?
Wouldn’t it be cool if they added dynamite to the arrows in the archery contest? I also think the Shooting event should allow automatic weapons. Instead of launching two clay pigeons, launch all of them at once and see how many the Israeli team could take out with Uzis, for example. Of course we’d want most of the Arab nations competing in difference heats, but that’s what all the pre-planning is for.
Then during the closing ceremonies, in addition to displaying the various countries medal counts, and the chemical compounds that got them there, we’d also list the various side effects and over doses the athletes had suffered in their long drives to achieve greatness. We’d see them standing tall, with their hands over their hearts, twitching and blinking and giggling out of context, as their proud pharma-anthems blare through the airwaves. I‘d tune in for that, high as a kite on something synthetic, no doubt. Wouldn’t it be so much fun?