Thoughts On The Dead

Musings on the Most Ridiculous Band I Can't Stop Listening To

Tag: olympics (page 1 of 2)

Spanish Jam

These are Lithuanians, Young Enthusiasts; they’re supposed to look like that. This is 1992, and the Soviet Union had just broken up–it was a mutual decision–and so this would be the first time that Lithuania could have their own basketball team in the Olympics, and that was important to them because Lithuanians are nuts for basketball, and they’re good at it, too: in 1988, four out of the five starters for the Soviet Olympic team were Lithuanian.

Commies were all about the Glory of Sport: their athletes were selected at young ages and trained in academies; they may also have been educated. Drugs and beatings and (I’d wager) uncountable acts of child abuse and punishment for losing. In Soviet Russia, the cover of the Wheaties box went on you.

What does that mean?

Shh. I’m talking about history. Anyway, the Soviet system was basically a gulag archipelago of gyms, but there were also perks. Winning had its rewards, comrade. A new Lada. Dacha on the Black Sea. Extra potato. Or, maybe, you could get a ticket out from behind the Iron Curtain. The Ministry of Sport–seriously, it was called that–promised the four Lithuanians on that ’88 basketball team that if they brought home gold for Mother Russia, then they could go play for the NBA. (They’d have to send all the money back home, but it was better than nothing.)

The NBA’s the important part here, Younger Enthusiast, because it serves a position in the story of both carrot and stick. The Lithuanians’ desperation to get to the NBA led to them beating the United States and taking home the gold. Said beating caused America to stand up from its chair, shivering with rage and aching with fear at the terrible thing that it knew it must now do.

“Release the Jordan.”

And so in 1992, you had the Dream Team–Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Charles Barkley, and eight other Hall-of-Famers who weren’t Isiah Thomas–and no matter what you promised a Lithuanian, no one was beating them.

I’m ahead of myself: remember how those rotten, collectivist, turnip-fucking cossacks promised the noble, brave, hardworking Lithuanians that they could go to America and play in the NBA in return for the medal? They lied. Only one guy was allowed to go, a 6’5″ shooting guard named Šarūnas Marčiulionis, and he ended up on the Golden State Warriors, who play in the city of San Francisco. This was ’89. Couldn’t speak the language, but he was outgoing and friendly and so he ended up going out with his friends a lot. Some of his friends were associates of a certain semi-defunct, choogly-type band.

On Christmas Day, 1991, the Soviet Union fell. (And God bless us, everyone.) Marčiulionis had one goal: put together a Lithuanian national team to compete in the Olympics, and kick the shit out of the Russians. He had the players, but not the money, and so he started asking around town. Up and down Market, and all around Lombard, and door-to-door in the Castro. He even brought his beggar’s bowl to Front Street.

The Dead sent a check, and a couple boxes full of shirts and shorts. These were men who had grown up under Soviet rule: they were not familiar with tie-dye. The bright colors seemed right, though. Marčiulionis and the Lithuanians made it through the qualifying rounds, and went on to Barcelona. They played the Dream Team: 127-76. The score makes it seem closer than it was, but that wasn’t why they went to Spain.

In the bronze medal match, Lithuania beat Russia 82-78.

By now, the team had attracted sponsors and they had fancy workout clothes, but they wore their tie-dye onto the medal podium, both to show their national colors and to thank the Dead. Skully–that’s what they named the slam-dunking skeleton on the front of the shirt–is in the Basketball Hall of Fame, right alongside all the members of the Dream Team. We really are everywhere.

It is not clear whether or not the team’s fanny packs were provided by Bobby.

Things Faster Than Usain Bolt Over 109.36 Yards*

  • Light.
  • Sound, through most mediums.
  • The Reticulated Snerf of Lasapong B, the hunting-preserve planet of the Felis Empire.
  • Tesla. (Holy shit, is a Tesla faster than Usain Bolt off the line. Those suckers out-accelerate Ferraris; each wheel has its own motor, and each of those motors is made from carbon fiber and torque. They’re not fast–governors keep the top speed at 155 mph–but they’re the quickest vehicles on the planet that don’t require a pit crew.)
  • Some dogs are faster than Usain Bolt, but other dogs are dachshunds or bulldogs or just lazy.
  • If a cat chooses to race Usain Bolt, then the cat will be faster, but it’s up to the cat whether or not it’s going to participate.
  • No human.
  • Literally not one other human being out of the seven billion on the planet.
  • I know, right?
  • Fucked up when you think about it.
  • If they are not the first 109.36 yards, then the Saturn V rocket that took the Apollo crews to the moon; if they are the first 109.36 yards, then Usain Bolt takes it, because those rockets did not leap off the ground: it took a little bit to get up to speed.
  • Hippo, bear, lion: Usain Bolt would not outrun these predatory animals, but he would outrun the other people he was with, and that’s really all you need to do if you’re being chased by one.
  • Pyroclastic flow.
  • Somehow–even though he is ambling slowly and ominously–Jason Voorhees is faster, or at least would be waiting for Usain Bolt at the end of the race.
  • Turtle, but only if launched via a trebuchet.
  • At the beginning of the race, Usain Bolt practices positive visualization and pictures himself victorious at the finishing line, so I suppose we can say the power of imagination is very fast indeed.
  • Harambe.

*You know my feelings on the metric system.

A Chronological History Of The Olympics Without Research

An Incredibly Long Time Ago, For An Incredibly Long Span – Greece The Granddaddy of ’em all. Every four years, all the city-states would stop fighting (except Sparta, who was typically dickish about things) and assemble at Olympia; there was no water polo. Running, throwing stuff, beating each other up, and being naked. Literally invented Olympic cheating: so much cheating. Several commentaries on the ancient Olympics still exist, including one by Anaphylaxis that’s just hundreds of pages ranting about Bob Costas.

1896Greece Pierre de Coubertin was a French person who liked crowds, and wanted to give away necklaces to men in shorts, so he resurrected the Olympics. Despite the aforementioned Gallicism of Count Cucumber or whatever the fuck his name was, these new Olympics were thoroughly injected with Victorian bullshit, and the real high-test bullshit, too. Amateurism for the athletes (but not the organizers), mostly; keeps the filthy yobbos off the pitch, dontcha know.

1900 – Paris The idea to let Greece permanently host the Games while letting everyone else pay for them is not a new one: it was one of the competing beliefs when the Modern Games started, but Peter de Coubertontail was a complete asshole and moved the Games home, setting the precedent of having them in a different city each time. This led to the emerald-pooled disaster we see today. (But here’s the thing: this may be seen as the Good Old Days in a few decades if we keep up the roaming-city model. People have caught on to the scam, and the only countries that can still host the Olympics without a public uprising are dictatorships.)

1904 – London These were the games that “re”introduced the marathon to the world. There’s all that Battle of Marathon bullshit, but there was no ancient marathon. Excellent sales hook for an otherwise counter-intuitive endeavor. I mean: if you have to go 26 miles, then you should use a vehicle. Why didn’t Phillipides (or whatever) take a horse? The marathon is stupid.

1908 – Rome? It is at this point that I realize the folly of this foray into the depths of Without Research. I got nothing. WAIT: Johnny Thorpe. Johnny Thorpe was 1908. Johnny Thorpe got fucked, man. Free Johnny Thorpe.

1912 – New York? Seems like they should have had one in America by now. And if they did, it would be in New York. Los Angeles? Was there even a Los Angeles in 1912? Goddammit, how did I make it out of college this dumb?

1916 – Cancelled (World War I)

1920 – Cancelled (Spanish Flu)

1924 – Cancelled (Mickey crashed his Porsche and broke his arm.)

1928 – Los Angeles? Even if I’m wrong, LA in the 20’s, right? Art deco and orange groves and pants held up by suspenders. In the fields of Pasadena, the new crop of starlets came in every May just like clockwork, and at night Benedict Canyon echoed with cries of “Why me?” from Fatty Arbuckle’s place. It was the Golden Age of Hollywood.

1932 – If younger Enthusiasts want a giggle at their elders, then dig up Mr. Mom. It’s from ’82 or ’83, and the story is that Michael Keaton–who is a man–loses his job at the same time his wife–a woman–got a job, forcing Michael Keaton to do all the lady jobs. He is so bad at them! Completely flummoxed by the supermarket, and I think one of the children falls into a paper shredder. Groceries and kids are lady jobs! From 2016’s perspective, though, he just seems mentally disabled and it’s impossible to root for him. It’s the supermarket. Not that tough. Also, Teri Garr is his wife, and because it is 1982 or ’83, when she goes back to work, she is immediately sexually harassed by every man in the building and it is played for laughs. Not kidding: the second she walks in the door, four or five guys in suits start sprinting at her screaming “WO-MAN! WO-MAN!” like Animal Muppet.

1936 – Berlin Thank God, I know this one. I’ve never been so happy to see Hitler. ’36 were the Nazi Olympics, and were not topped in Jew-hatin’ until 1972. Jesse Owens won four gold medals, and then went on to become the first African-American to break the color barrier in baseball, playing shortstop for the Brooklyn Dodgers. Was Johnny Weismuller at these Olympics?

1940 – Cancelled (World War II)

1944 – Cancelled (World War II, too.)

1948 – This couldn’t possibly have been in Europe, could it have? Europe looked like a hobo’s ass on Easter Sunday. You couldn’t have Olympics there. Or Japan. Moscow? Australia? I need to know.

London? You’re shitting me. The United Kingdom was on food rations until ’54, and these fuckers were wasting money on water polo?

1952 – Arrakis The rhythmic gymnasts attracted the sand worms. Everyone was eaten.

1956 – Montpelier, VT Very chill Olympics. Down to earth, laid back. Large number of athletes never left, and live there to this day.

1960 – Rome I know this one, too. This was definitely Rome, and Cassius Clay won a gold medal. Later on, he would tell a story about throwing this gold medal into the Louisville River, but he told a lot of stories. Rafer Johnson? I want to say Rafer Johnson, who was a decathlete who would later go on to be Robert F. Kennedy’s security at the Ambassador Hotel. (Before RFK got shot, candidates didn’t get Secret Service protection, so Kennedy’s security that night was an Olympic medalist, and Rosey Grier from the Rams. The past just made shit up as it went.)

1964 – Tokyo? I think this was Tokyo. Interesting fact about Japan: when you see street scenes of the country and note all the people walking around with surgical masks on their faces, it’s because 40% of Japanese are born not with mouths, but with what could best be described as a reverse anus on their face. That is actually the direct translation of the Japanese word for the orifice: “reverse face anus.”

1968 – Mexico City Shit was so fucked up in 1968. Fussing, fighting, whatnot. People dying, Nixon lying. Viet Cong gonna getcha. Mayor Daley ate Abbie Hoffman’s brain in public, and the police cheered. There were two professional football leagues, and I’m sure that crazy nonsense was happening in other countries, too. And here’s how racist ’68 was: the black guys with the fists? Not only were they openly reviled by the world, but the other guy on the podium–a white Australian–was also blacklisted. For the crime of Proximity to Negritude, I guess.

Also: the 1968 Olympics were the first Modern Games to take place while the Grateful Dead existed. Remember the Grateful Dead? This is a blog about the Grateful Dead.

1972 – Munich Remember how fucked up I said shit was in ’68? SO MUCH MORE IN ’72.

1976 – Montreal Bruce Jenner won the decathlon, appeared on a Wheaties box, and was then never heard from again.

1980 – Moscow The first of two Cold War-boycott Games, this Olympiad saw Jimmy Carter, who has led an exemplary and admirable life except for those four years he was President, pull the US out, and then I would assume that they cancelled the games, right? If we’re not there, then it doesn’t count.

1984 – Los Angeles If they’re not there, it totally counts, though. America kicked ass in every possible way at the ’84 Olympics: they were produced by Pete Rozelle and big and flashy and featured a jetpack guy at the Opening Ceremonies, Mary Lou Retton and her dimples in the gym, and Carl Lewis on the track. And, you know: the USSR wasn’t just Russia. All the Commie countries boycotted (except China, because the day China gives a fuck about what Russia thinks is the day China sucks its own dick in Tienanmen Square) and we won everything. Best Olympics ever.

1988 – Seoul “Seoul part of Only Korea. All Korea is Only Korea.”

Get out of here! I’m talking about the Olympics!

“Father invent Olympics. I got best Olympics.”

kim jong un archery

Could you leave, please?

“Love our banter.”

How big are those heels, buddy?

“Gotta go.”

1992 – Barcelona Dream Team.

1996 – Atlanta There was a bomb. Kerri Strug. I’m sure there was swimming. Was the Jamaican bobsled team at the Atlanta Olympics? I think they were.

2000 – Sydney Nothing. I got absolutely nothing, and y’know what? I totally cheated and glanced at the Wikipedia page; even after reading it, I still have no memory whatsoever of these games. In my defense, this Olympics is the closest one to September 11th, and I feel that has something to do with it.

2004 – Athens The Olympiad returned to its ancestral home; Nia Vardalos from the surprise comedy smash My Big Fat Greek Wedding lit the Olympic Torch. Should be noted that in 2004, Greece still had a little money left, or at least still had people willing to extend credit.

2008 – Beijing The Opening Ceremonies were the equivalent of John Holmes walking into the room and whipping it out. Awesome and terrifying and a bit arousing. There were also sports, I assume.

2012 – London Queen jumped out of a plane. Usain Bolt did. Bob Costas did not get pink-eye, but I wish that he had.

Could LeBron James Medal?

ARCHERY Yes, definitely. LeBron James has superhuman hand-eye coordination, plus super-long arms with which he could just reach over and stick the arrow in the bullseye. Don’t discount his mental toughness.

BADMINTON Are you kidding me? King James rushes the net, which is somewhere around his knee, and dominates with his physicality; he would figure out the rules and scoring as the game went on. The only problem would be that LeBron would need to temper his mighty strength and not swing the racket so hard that the shuttlecock exploded every time he hit it. He would also have to stop laughing at the word “shuttlecock.”

BASKETBALL I think so.

BEACH VOLLEYBALL Huh, I wonder what would happen if an NBA player became a beach volleyballer?

wilt beach volleyball

Oh, right. Another gold for LeBron, and whoever he lets be his Scottie Pippen.

BOXING LeBron would not medal in boxing, as he is a man of peace and would not participate.

CANOE/KAYAK/SAILING/ALL THE OTHER BOAT BULLSHIT LeBron James grew up in Cleveland, which is on Lake Erie. Therefore, he is most likely a skilled watersportsman. (Not like R. Kelly. The wholesome kind.) And sailing is 95% being rich enough to afford the best boat and crew; LeBron is rich as shit. He would win these medals.

CYCLING Those seats hurt LeBron’s taint, and he would not cycle. No medal.

DIVING There’s a reason Tom Hardy and Greg Louganis weren’t 6’6″. No medal.

EQUESTRIAN There is also a reason jockeys aren’t 6’6″. He would need a Clydesdale, and I don’t think that’s a particularly graceful breed. No medal.

FENCING LeBron James is already a world-championship caliber fencer, and he holds private tournaments at his house twice a year; they’re the highlights of the fencing social season. The only reason LeBron hasn’t already won several gold medals (in all three classes: epee, sabre, and foil) is because of a promise he made to his dying fencing instructor.

FIELD HOCKEY Yes.

GOLF Also yes.

GYMNASTICS LeBron would win gold in the all-around, and silver in both the rings and pommel horse, except he is not about to be seen in public in that wack-ass tight leotard shit.

HANDBALL Are you kidding me? Send the Cavs to the handball tournament. No prep whatsoever. In fact: deliberately misinform them about the sport. They’d still win by a billion and five points.

JUDO/MODERN PENTATHLON/RUGBY LeBron is still technically human, and is reported to become weary just as the mortals do. Therefore, he would skip these sports to give his awesome muscles a rest. Rest assured, though: if he had two weeks to watch tape, then he could win the gold in all three of these sports. Also, these are rather foreign sports and LeBron holds them in low esteem.

SHOOTING A lengthy conference call involving the NBA, Disney, Nike, Gatorade, and several other multinational corporations decided that LeBron had a scheduling conflict that left him unable to be photographed with a rifle.

SYNCHRONIZED SWIMMING/SWIMMING Two days ago, LeBron James and his entourage entered the Aquatic Center; LeBron refused to take off his sunglasses or Beats by Dre headphones. If you hadn’t known him since childhood, you couldn’t see the head shake, and the shift in his shoulders that meant you were leaving. LeBron and his entourage exited the building, and he signed an autograph or two on the way out, but did not remove his headphones.

TABLE TENNIS/REGULAR TENNIS LeBron James is a master of all forms of tennis, and so large that he is his own doubles partner. Gold medals.

TRACK AND FIELD LeBron James is a master of both track and field. Many medals.

TRIATHLON If LeBron isn’t getting in the damn pool, what makes you think he’s getting in the damn ocean? That is pure foolishness. People with billion-dollar endorsement deals based in large part on their physical fitness do not go swimming in the waters off of Poopacabana. And let’s just dispense with the notion that King James is going to be part of any water polo bullshit.

WEIGHTLIFTING The weight room? You gonna talk about the weight room? Not the game! Not the game, the weight room? We’re talking about–not a game–the weight room? No medal.

WRESTLING Honestly? One of those Russian ogres would rip his arms off in five seconds. No medal.

OPENING AND CLOSING CEREMONIES LeBron James would be the best at both the Opening and Closing Ceremonies. Two medals.

Donald Trump Responds To Today’s Gold Medalists

Women’s 200M Breaststroke Final – Rie Kaneto, Japan (“Barack Obama founded the KKK. Absolutely. We know this. Is Obama a clone of Hitler? Tell me this: have you seen one shred of evidence that Obama is not a clone of Hitler? Nothing! No where, and I have sent teams of very private investigators to look for it. No one has investigators as private as mine. Hitler clone, right. Obama. Sure he’s black! Hitler’s sneaky. No one expecting black Hitler, and then? Black Hitler. Obama is black Hitler and remember that thing where the Tylenol got poisoned? Obama did that, too.”)

Women’s Epee,  Team – Romania (“I’m gonna win, but if I win, I win. Otherwise. I tell the truth. Can’t stop! I tell the best truth, unlike Crooked Hillary, who lies constantly. Constantly! You ask her what two plus two is, she might say ‘nine,’ and she might push you into the polar bear enclosure at a zoo because in addition to lying, Crooked Hillary enjoys murdering. Whatever an epee is, I’m sure Hillary has killed many people with it. Baseball bat. Machete. For a while, she liked bombs. You ever see Hillary in a hoodie with sunglasses? Maybe she was the Unabomber and she had the Department of Justice, which is corrupt and weak, frame the wrong man? Questions!”)

Canoe Slalom, Doubles – Ladislav Skantar and Peter Skantar, Slovakia (“The debates need to be fair. I have won every debate so far, beaten seventeen professional debaters. The club in high school? All these guys were in it. I had a girlfriend, but I don’t remember how many languages she spoke. Best girlfriend. These guys? C’mon. Everybody that came at me? Remember Chris Christie? Big Chris? I’m still beating him. Invited him to Mar-A-Lago and had Roger Stone slingshot McNuggets at him at the pool. Kept his shirt on in the water. Like we don’t know. Big Chris. Beat him!”)

Rowing, Men’s Quadruple Sculls – Germany (“Last rally I had 10,000 people, but the polls don’t reflect this. 14,000 in Miami, 45,000 in North Carolina. Crooked Hillary plays to empty rooms. Empty! In Arizona, we had three million people. You can check! And if it turns out not to be true, then you’re lying. A lot of haters. 50% of the media reports correctly on 30% of what I say. 10% are paid spies from the DNC. I hear this from many people, that a lot of so-called reporters are actually working for Hillary. I heard that about Joe Scarborough. Working for Hillary. Maybe Hillary killed that intern they found in his office. Maybe Ted Cruz’ father killed the intern they found in Joe Scarborough’s office. Both? Both!”)

Archery, Women’s Singles – Hyejin Chang, Korea (“Good sport for them. Already got the eye squinted. Good. What does it hurt us if South Korea falls? A lot of money goes that way, and not a lot comes this way. Need a better deal! If they can’t pay, they can’t pay. Who knows what happens, but whatever does will be Obama’s fault. This president, who is the worst president we’ve ever had and also he’s a grave-robber, is very weak on South Korea. Although that is a great wall. Between those two. That’s what we’re gonna have, but much better. Bigger. And we’re gonna make South Korea pay for it.”)

Cycling, Men’s Team Sprint – Great Britain (“Team is good, I’m great at teams. Teams need a leader, and I’m a leader, very strong, strong leader. I’m gonna stop illegal immigration, but you know who’s not a strong leader? President Obama. Needed help to start ISIS, which he started. Couldn’t do it without Hillary Clinton. Did President Obama, who is a Secret Muslim, convert Hillary to Secret Islam? They founded ISIS, the two of them. Like a start-up. Obama and Hillary in a garage in Libya, packing the explosive vests themselves. After President Obama and Hillary started the Iraq War, they were bored and wanted to destroy America some more. ISIS!”)

Rugby Sevens – Fiji (“I have my finger on the polls, and I can also smell if they’re biased. Many polls are biased, but how biased depends on how I feel about them at the time. Hillary’s numbers are terrible, terrible. Paying for things with change. I have heard this from many people. Change. Sad! right now, I’m probably up by eight or nine points. It looks like a landslide because people know Crooked Hillary will appoint unacceptable judges to the Supreme Court, almost certainly a black. And then what can you do? You’re stuck! Maybe, I don’t know, maybe gun-owners have to wait for her to visit Dallas? Go to the theater? Look what she’s forced people to do to make America great again. Evil!”)

Swimming, Women’s 100m Freestyle – Simone Manuel, USA (“Captain Khan was a werewolf, and his men had to shoot him to keep him from eating everyone. I have to tell the truth, I’m a truth-teller. But when the parents get up there and speak–well, one of them spoke–and say that Donald Trump doesn’t know what he’s talking about? They attack me just for telling the truth that their son was a werewolf? Hillary Clinton will not keep America safe from the threat of Radical Islamic Werewolves.”)

Rowing, Men’s Coxless Pairs – Eric Murray and Hamish Bond, New Zealand (“I was asked to produce New York’s Olympic bid many times. Mayor after mayor begged, begged me. ‘Mr. Trump, please bring us the Olympics.’ Begged! This was in my office, mayors come to me but I don’t let them use my bathroom, especially Dinkins. Not because of the black thing. The sweating thing. Mayor of New York sweating like a whore in a church. Weak! I never made the deal, even though I could have very easily. I also could have competed. One year. Gimme one year? In the Olympics. Determination!”

Gold Medals, Rhinestone Shoes

Screen Shot 2016-08-11 at 8.43.12 PM

I suppose you’ve heard the lurid stories of the Olympic Village, of terrible things done with the blunt ends of javelins, and writhing tangles of sinewy sweatiness. Taut muscles straining and necks clenched in sexual championshipness. Fierce competitors on the field of play, these young and fit stallions and mares hump with gleeful abandon.

Perhaps you’ve read this other places, but there are condoms provided to the athletes. Free of charge! They go through many of them, but there’s quite a bit of barebacking and rawdogging, this reporter is told.

Anxious to get my toddy hot, I skulked about the Village while on several dating sites. It should be noted at this point that I told no lies, except for using a fake name and photo and a cover story. Also, I wasn’t on several dating sites, just Grindr, because slut-shaming is frowned upon but queer-baiting is always good for a click or two.

My phone dinged with dongs. A handball player who wanted to play with my balls, with his hands. A pole vaulter who wanted to vault onto my pole. A tennis player wanted a blowjob. Several were black. There were pictures of their penises, which were lean and muscular, laid upon flags and other patriotic gear. One photo, from a judoka, was of the Olympic Rings, but the middle ring was a butthole.

A number of these gentlemen desired sex before five o’clock, like animals or Irishmen, and I had to call my straight home where my straight lady wife and her vagina, from which my straight children slid, reside. She calmed me. Oh, thank the Lord for women.

An hour saw me with three dates! I rushed to my first assignation in the Olympic Village, and found my homosexual. I shall leave out his distinguishing details, but he is a wrestler from Iran, and I will not reveal his name.

“Farouk Ismail,” I said to him. “I am actually a reporter with the internet. Tell me all about your gayness.”

“Oh. Oh, um. Please, uh, please don’t…why are you doing this? You know where I’m from? This could literally get me killed. I’m having the best two weeks of my life, and you know what? My life is unbelievably complicated on every level: emotionally, politically, financially. I gotta deal with my fucking mother, man. Don’t do this. Forget the fact that you’re gonna come off like a complete fuckhead, you could literally–literally–get me killed. Murdered. Just go away and forget you met me and rethink the thrust of this article.”

“How did you spell ‘Farouk’ again?”

And then he put me in a headlock and ripped my skull from my body and tossed my body in a favela and the dogs ate it and except for my wife and children–straight, all of them–everyone was surprisingly okay with it.

Things That Have Gone Right At The Rio Olympics

  • Time and space have so far remained constant; no athlete fell asleep Monday night and woke up in 1983, and in Cleveland.
  • While the water in the diving pool two Olympic pools has turned bright green, it is still water; there has been neither phase transition nor transmutation, and we should be glad of it.
  • (Furthermore, green is not out of the question when it comes to the color of water. The ocean’s green sometimes, and so are lakes; it’s not like the pool turned yellow or black. If you were on Family Feud and they asked 100 random people “What color is water?” then green would be the number two answer. The pool thing could be worse, is what I’m saying. It didn’t turn blood-red. Green is not optimal, but blood-red is a bad look.)
  • Only some of the horses have come down a mysterious illness.
  • Everyone in Brazil has not suddenly and inexplicably gone blind, like in that Julianne Moore movie.
  • Overwhelming majority of the venues not in flames.
  • There’s been quite a bit of dull xenophobia and demonizing of the usual suspects (Russia, China), and while some may think that a bad thing, it just wouldn’t seem like the Olympics without it.
  • While there have been wild dog sightings, no children have been eaten yet. (At least no tourist children; many native children are eaten every day.)
  • NBC didn’t show this, because the media is very dishonest and unfair to me, but a giant anaconda slid into the weightlifting arena and threw up the half-digested corpse of Jon Voight.
  • So far, the shuttle buses have only come under fire from light arms.
  • Zombie invasion put down immediately.
  • The Algerian beach volleyball team was nowhere near medal contention, so it’s not a huge tragedy that they were eaten by a Sarlacc during a game.
  • Instead of pointing fingers at the boxers who may be rapists, why don’t you congratulate the boxers who haven’t been caught raping yet?
  • Absolutely no gold has been found in the Olympic Village, so George Hearst and his Pinkertons have not moved in and started fucking shit up.
  • Not one sniper so far.
  • None of the New Zealish fencing team’s epees have begun to glow, which means orcs are not near.
  • Capybaras do not carry rabies, so none of the golfers that were bitten have that to fear.
  • Food and beverage shortages have been drastically overstated: while there is no coffee, tea, wine, beer, potable water, fruit juice, energy drinks, soda, or root beer, there is still a two-day supply of Yoo-Hoo in a can. (It is warm because gangs of thieves have stolen all the freon in the city, so there is also a bit of a refrigeration shortage.)

Shooting Dirty Pool

rio pool

You thought I was kidding. You never trust me. (It might be all the deliberate lying I do to you, sure.) No, TotD: you are exaggerating for comic effect. Hell, someone picked a fight on Twitter about this very subject with me, albeit incoherently.

You never trust me.

The Year Of Incompetence

We have already established that 2016 is the year that the 20th century dies, Enthusiasts; each day that passes, each paper thumped against the welcome mat, each new though, and every new prayer proves me more and more correct. I would like now to add to our understanding of this terrible year: 2016 is the Year of Incompetence.

Bias! the internet says; and, Rigged! the voters moan; and, Crooked! and Corrupt! and so on, but these accusations are not the truth: incompetence is salted soil from which 2016 grows, gnarled and mean. Trump’s fatal flaw isn’t his arrogance, or racism: these are merely the by-products of deep lack of knowledge about the both the job he’s currently doing (candidate) and the job he says he wants (president). The man does not know what he’s doing, but–and here’s why this is the Year of Incompetence–30-40% of the electorate does not see this as a disqualification.

Here, Enthusiasts, I was going to be fair and balanced and declare Hillary Clinton among the incompetent, as well, but that’s one of the things she’s not; if you tell Hillary Clinton to start a war, and she gets shit done. She goes into meetings with an agenda, keeps to a schedule, remembers not to insult dead soldiers’ mothers: all that base-line stuff you want in a chief executive. In terms of competence, Hillary Clinton is above the Mendoza Line.

The NFL managed to fuck up grass today; yesterday, the Olympics could not handle water. The internet is collectively dumber than a car full of masturbating gibbons. Suicide Squad made $135 million. Dipshittery runs rampant, and–the worst part–has become normalized.

Doesn’t anybody here know how to play this game?

An Open Letter To Rio

Dear Rio,

Hi. How are you? Feel free not to answer that question. I’m fine.

Let’s get to the point, Rio: explain yourself. You failed to keep a pool clean enough for people to swim in, Rio. The world knew about your seas, which you have been dumping raw shit into for decades now, but this was a pool. Newly-constructed, in fact: an artificial body of water within a controllable environment, and you managed to fuck that up.

I mentioned my Uncle Arty before, Rio: he and my Aunt Barbara had a pool when we were all growing up in New Jersey, and that sucker was pristine. You could eat off my Uncle Arty’s pool. And, Rio, my Uncle Arty is a good man–raised four boys and sent them to college–but he’s not Einstein; if he could do it, then you can, too.

Failing that, perhaps you could have called the pool guy, Rio? Three out of every four vehicles on a South Florida highway at any given time is a pool guy’s pickup truck. There are also a lot of Brazilians in South Florida. Perhaps one is a pool guy, and you could have had him do the job as a favor, out of patriotism or something?

Did you forget to stop at the pool supply store? Was the bucket of chlorine too heavy and your shoulder hurt? Did the filter get clogged up with endangered tree frogs? Was the pump stolen? Did the Joker sneak in and poison the water? Was the Aquatic Center built on a graveyard with a shitty foundation that cracked and now there’s corpse-juice seeping up into the pools? Is voodoo, or whatever the Brazilian equivalent is, involved?

Help me understand, Rio. Help me understand how you fucked up something this unfuckupable. Please tell me the fact I’ve missed; otherwise, this small incident must be read as representative of mind-blowing incompetence of a depth and breadth never seen before. You drop the doohickey in the water, you add some stuff, you keep the filters clear, and you make sure the pump is working; there is a small bit of math involved, but it is not taxing.

It’s an indoor pool, so you don’t even need to skim leaves off the surface. Jesus, Rio.

Anyway, Rio, I hope it doesn’t come across like I’m rooting for disaster. I’m not; I’m rooting for you; there’s still time for a comeback. But you have to get your shit together, Rio. And then, when you have the shit all together, don’t throw it into the pool.

Sincerely,
Thoughts on the Dead

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