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Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Earth to Morrissey: sit back, relax, and try to appreciate the Olympics

Posted By on 08.08.12 at 07:06 AM

Still to come: swimming, horseback riding, and shooting guns
  • Tim Hipps/Wikimedia Commons
  • Still to come: swimming, horseback riding, and shooting guns
If I had read Morrissey's rant last week about the "blustering jingoism" of the Olympics, I would've sat him down for a soothing decaf and ardently spouted off about the gold-medal match in women's archery between the Republic of Korea and China. I would've recounted how I marveled at the archers' composure slinging arrows from high-style, intensely complicated bows during a dead downpour of rain. Then I would've impressed him by noting that it was the Korean team's seventh consecutive gold in team archery—a stupidly unfathomable accomplishment.

And if days later Moz continued to insist that the royals have "hi-jacked" the games to fulfill "their own empirical needs," I would've been a good listener and sympathized with his points just before going off about water polo's physical demands and the incredible shape the athletes must be in to tread water for minutes at a time. Then I would've followed with a synchronized-diving discussion about how fascinating it is for two individuals to devote hundreds of hours of their lives to entering the water at the exact same time, in the exact same position.

If he still wasn't convinced today, however, and continued to berate the Olympics and royals as mimicking the "spirit of 1939 Germany" through media branding, I'd be tempted to bring out the big guns and schedule a meeting of the minds to pore over the accomplishments of Oscar Pistorius—the first double amputee to compete in the Olympics—whose story, while inspiring, has prompted some to call out the 400-meter runner for having an unfair advantage because of his prosthetic legs.

And if even after all the cajoling, Morrissey remained intent on labeling the Olympics a lavish, media-run spectacle that consciously ignores the destitute areas beyond the walls of London, I would implore him to lighten the hell up, watch this Saturday's pentathlon—a bizarre, archaic event turned "modern" that combines fencing, swimming, horseback riding, running, and shooting—and don't pose for a press photo with a cat perched on his head if he hopes to be taken seriously.

(h/t Stereogum)

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