Tuesday, 23 February 2010

and the olympics

continue. i look for mentalist canadian media to see them jumping up and down but the hand wringing and self recrimination is something the uk media seemed to have cornered the market in. some of them do appear to see sport as some sort of investment (take note uk olympic committee) in which money=results.

what i do come across, not that it or anything remotely like it has appeared in any of the olympic coverage i've seen, is mention of the cultural olympiad. i have a bit of an interest in this having been knocked back by our own committee whose final selection, i have to say, is a bit uninspiring and, in most cases, fails the brief.

the canadian version looks, at this stage, to be more interesting. not only do they claim a two year build up (again. london, take note) but they have stuff that seems to genuinely engage the public. i love the notion of vectorial elevation even if yes, there'll be light pollution and yes, it'll use electricity - they did something not dissimilar here a few years back but had to discontinue it as people kept complaining to the police that they were seeing ufos. perhaps the canadiana will do the same.... laurie anderson does a new show. i'd go just for that. at least there's a recognition that maybe, just maybe, not all of us like sport.

and to the sport. skating. great, in all its guises. when i become emperor there will be speed skating rinks everywhere, oh yes there will. missed almost all the men's half pipe bu there were no surprises anywhere. seeing torah bright win was good tho. i can't be doing with the snowboarders and their 'stoked' nonsense and the same stupid clothing choices that mar mtb downhill. step up usa. and canada. and a special mention for hannah teter. yes, you can do daft wee dances, come up with the snowboardy language but when you lost, your face was tripping you. that's okay, just don't pretend you're one big happy snowboard family.

snowboarding will be yesterday's news if the skicross is anything to go by, a proper sport for mentalists tho it appears if you do it on a boardercross course you win if you're big and heavy. good fun tho and, i'm told, the ski half pipe, whatever that'll end up getting called, is way more exciting than its monoplank equivalent.

i've really gotten into the biathlon, thanks eurosport. great crowds, massive cheers at the shooting. xcountry has been great also, nailbiting finishes and drama. sweden have been doing okay in this, which is good and while i was mildly interesting in the downhill and its variants my main question is just how anja paerson could walk after that crash.

not that the bbc were asking her. actually speaking to the competitors, let alone the spectators (unless they're the family of british medal prospects) is something they just don't do. they like it presenter led yes they do and how those presenters go on. there are exceptions, the double act of graham bell and ed leigh works but even tho they obviously know some number of the competitors they don't actually speak to any of them. there is no excuse for this. just about all of them speak english! the eurosport guys trump the bbc on this yet again as they can actually understand a range of commonly used european languages. use of radio mikes in the curling means you can actually pick up the competitors (when the commentators aren't speaking over the top of them!) but if any interpretation is required there's a looong silence. the bbc coverage is dismal. one wonders if the producers actually enjoy sport at all. certainly any of the excitement of a big multicultural event that people have trained for years for seems to have been drained away.

which brings me to another point, one that we debated long and hard at fragile's the other night. anyone who reads the right wing press should be under no illusion that europe (and WESTERN CIVILISATION its very SELF) is under assault from a tidal wave of immigrants. so where are they at? i put it to the boys under discussion that even in scotland there's a sufficiently large population of asians and africans, let alone eastern europeans (someone may point out germans but they don't count as they're just omnipresent) that we should be meeting some of them out on the hills or on the bike. in my life i've only seen two people on the hills who weren't obviously scottish or english (no welsh either but they're a special case). cycling's slightly better. at the races last year there was a turkish team and a team of indians. i could've danced a jig. i put it to the boys there's something odd happening in our sports if large segments of the population just aren't doing them. why should it be that cycling and hillwalking are so predominantly white middle class and male sports?

and so to the olympics. i wish i could find the quote that suggested that the bbc's white blonde female presenting team was because of the uk's position as 'a northern european country'! are the winter olympics, and winter sports, just for white people? you'd be forgiven for thinking so. compare with the summer events. people from everywhere. the winter version? not. in an ethnically diverse population this strikes me as odd. of course this is to except the chinese and the koreans (to a lesser extent the japanese) - is it then that winter sport is something to do with affluence?

and then there's the ice dancing. can anything top the russian pair? perhaps someone else will come out dressed as black and white minstrels. i heard one explanation which basically amounted to - ice dancers are too stupid to notice this is offensive to anyone. perhaps this is true given the tone of the programme which represented everyone from ireland to india. the russians were tho, the only ones in brown suits. unbelievable. equally unwatchable, which was a shame because they're from just up the road, was the brother and sister pairing of sinead and john kerr. dressing up your sister as daisy duke for the dance is just plain wrong!

all of which is a shame as it masks the skill on display. the canadians who won were undeniably good but we still had to watch blades of glory a film that now looks like some form of documentary genius. it even has a poetry joke.


Dominic Rivron said...

Really like watching the winter olympics - i just seem to have missed most of it this year, being busy. I have a real weakness for luge and bobsleigh. I could watch it all day.

strangepress said...

'you made us disrespect marky mark'

blades of glory is surely one of the best ones out there!

strangepress said...

i think that 'beyond eden' was performed at the cultural olympiad!

swiss said...

i like the human drama around pretty much all the events, the notion that people have been training for four, eight years for their two minutes in the snow. i'd bite my own arm off for such an opportunity!

good too, tho not via the bbc, to see my argument punctured somewhat with the presence of mexican, pakistani and senegalese competitors in the super g. every one a great story - not that the bbc showed any of it.

i have a standing bet with t that i must, at some point, do a performance that includes 'let me put my poems in you'

strangepress said...

is there meat involved?

swiss said...

i suspect there will be pelts. but as to the poetry - it's his book!