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Old 06-12-2017, 12:04 AM
DKW is online now
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Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Hawaii
Posts: 2,964
All right...I said I'd get back to this, so let me state my position as succinctly as I can in my current mental state.

During the time I was growing up, the 80's, every bit of prejudice was mainstream and completely ingrained into the national psyche. Any life other than straight, married with at least one child, fit, passionate about if not utterly obsessed with sports, religious, simpleminded, unquestioning, utterly terrified of any song harder than Rock This Town, and having absolutely no gender or psychological or identity issues whatsoever, was abnormal and made it perfectly acceptable to heap endless abuse upon that person, and the more that person differed, the more vile the abuse could get. As you may have guessed from several dozens of posts I made about this subject over the years, I was one of them. And while admittedly Hawaii is better than most parts of the country, believe me, the penalties for not toeing the line to the absolute letter could get severe.

And that was why I was an Olympics homer growing up...because the Eastern Bloc, to me, represented the forces of jerkishness and sliminess that plagued me my entire childhood and were coddled and enabled to an absolutely freakish extent by the very adult authority figures who were supposed to be teaching them manners. They doped, they flouted rules, they got inflated marks from judges (who, if they could be bothered at all to defend their howlers, would offer mealy-mouthed evasions sightly less credible than "They're not laughing at you, they're laughing with you"), and on the extremely rare instances they were challenged, they'd just stack the ruling panel with their bought-and-paid-for cronies. In the most brazenly corrupt sports competition I have ever known in my life, the Eastern Bloc had the long end of every stick. A victory against them was not only a blow against a truly evil empire, but a triumph against impossible odds. And even though we would never stand atop the medal count, even though the deck was hopelessly stacked against us, even though the USSR always had the final laugh in the end and there wasn't a damn thing I could about it, I watched the struggle religiously and cheered the red, white, and blue. And when that chant of "USA" went out, I chanted right along...in spirit, if not verbally...because our athletes' fight was our fight, and for those 16 days, we were all brethren.

Well, guess what, things are freaking different now. The USSR has been toast for an entire generation. After Russia and China both had one last pitiful gasp, the IOC is done with propping up human rights nightmares for a long time. The old enmities are gone, the old order is in the dustbin of history, entire empires have ceased to be. More to the point, we're no longer fighting a doomed uphill battle. Did you see the medal count in Brazil? We kicked butt. And we've been kicking butt for years now. The struggle is over, and WE WON.

It's been very liberating for me; since I know our squad's going to succeed, I don't have to worry about it anymore, and I can focus on what the Olympics should've been about from the beginning: Great athletes giving their all in a variety of exotic athletic contests. They're what matters now, not crooked judges or petty officials or stacked ruling panels.

And that is the very reason I could barely watch USA vs. The World 3. Because, for whatever damned reason, it's fighting a battle that ended years ago, and when NBC gives short shrift to the opposition, it's not a blow against a corrupt system, it's good athletes getting shafted. The USA isn't a scrappy underdog fighting and clawing to the bitter end against an evil empire, it's a powerhouse. We SHOULD win the damn thing, because we get our pick of the best of the best Ninjas, some of whom have been practicing on these specific obstacles for years. Anyone who chants yoo-ess-ay is rooting for the house, and I can't ever get behind that.

On top of that, it's REALLY FREAKING IRRITATING. Heck, I never liked "beeh daah waaw", but it's only a few seconds, and only if someone gets to Warped Wall and doesn't get up right away (which is becoming rare these days). But the same three damn syllables over and over and over, on and on and on (did I mention this thing was three flippin' hours?)...cannot, cannot tolerate.

I'm done with USA vs. The World. Will not recap, will not watch, will not even think about. I'm too old for this crap.

(Hey, I said "as I can", dangit! )