» In Extremis
Lesson No. 1: Jamaica kicks our butts.So what did learn from these Olympics?
• That the USA is shit at sports. No, really. Okay, so we might have won one a heck of a lot of medals, but if you handicap the competing nations, penalizing them for the following:
3) Propensity for stealing athletes from other countries like Russia and Sudan
5) Number of innocent foreign civilians murdered, maimed. kidnapped and/or tortured in the previous four years
6) Contribution to global pollution and/or damage done to world peace
7) Superiority of steroid and human growth hormone detection avoidance technology
8) Tendency towards blind, unthinking. triumphalist petty nationalism
9) Tendency to elect and then re–elect drooling brain damaged quasi–fascist chimps
10) Tendency towards the incredibly annoying habit of labeling the winners of national sporting competitions ”world champions”
11) Tendency towards assuming that one lives in the best fucking country in the world ever, despite never having lived in any others.
12) Propensity towards labeling any and all comments about the USA that aren’t 100% gung–ho, humorless, willy–waggling and blindly patriotic woof–woof bullshit as ”anti–American”
13) Inability to pronounce the letter ”t” in the words ”metal” and ”water”
14) Inability to take a joke. Or indeed, understand a joke.
… then the USA comes an appalling 187th. And Jamaica come top. And that’s both shocking and embarrassing.
• That Spanish sports journalists and officials are uncannily like Morrissey fans. (There was no racism. What happened wasn’t racist. And if it was—what’s wrong with a bit of racism? It’s people like you who go around seeing racism everywhere who are the sole cause of racism. There is a sinister and far–reaching conspiracy to paint us as racist. Etc.)
• That badminton is the most macho sport going. After every point the etiquette of the game seems to demand that the successful player laugh and scream abuse in the face of the downcast opponent like a rabid stag on Viagra. I’m thinking here primarily of the women’s double gold medalists Du Jing and Yu Yang. They were Tasmanian devils. Totally insane. Badminton is kinda like the WWE on steroids if everybody in the WWE wasn’t already on steroids (and assuming, just to be charitable, that nobody in badminton is.)
Du Jing and Yu Yang made the cocky and unbearably arrogant New England Patriots look like the Old Corinthians. I don’t know what the Mandarin for ”In your fucking face, bitch!” is, but I bet they do.
• That Michael ’Fred’ Phelps is a really good swimmer and if he ever challenges you to a race you should probably ask for about a length and half start to make it fairer.
• That this is how NBC reports the results of any race won by a USAian.
”Oh, excuse me! Is there anyone else actually taking part in this race?” roared my wife, frequently.
• That the most annoying sight in the world is an American athlete leaning into the camera, making a faux gang sign and yelling ”Whoo, USA!” You don’t see athletes from other countries doing this, do you? You don’t see Belgians going ’Yeeeah! Belgium!” No. That’s because they
know it would be a really crap thing to do and that it would make them look like a fucking tool. So stop it.
• That tumbling and whizzing about on the parallel bars and stuff should be taken out of the hands of the judges who know what they’re doing because they clearly haven’t got a clue what they’re doing. Every Olympics some flash Harry will make the crowd literally defecate with joy but then be marked down in favour of some dullard because of some tedious and arcane rules that nobody in the real world has a chance of understanding. It’s whizzing about doing amazing bendy stuff in a leotard, for heavens sake. It’s not rocket science. Points should be awarded strictly based on the oohs and ahs they elicit, with extra bonus points for what–the–fucks, how–is–that–even–possibles and now–that’s–just–taking–the–pisses. And for not looking like a seven year old.
• Olympic archers are crap. Even using scientific space bows, they hardly ever hit the bullseye even when they’re only 70 ft away. Why this should be is puzzling— especially given that every actor who’s ever played Robin Hood could put two hand–made arrows through a Norman knight’s eye–slit in about two seconds from about a mile away, using a piece–of–crap old school bow made from an old stick and a shoe lace. I think you should only get the gold if you can hit the bullseye dead centre, and then split your own arrow. And then sword fight your way out of a castle while laughing heroically and looking incredibly handsome.
• That screaming (while overweight, unfit, drunk and smoking) phrases like: ”Oh you useless, lazy, stupid piece of crap!” at an incredibly fit superhuman who finished one billionth of nanosecond behind another incredibly fit superhuman is incredibly satisfying.
• That the quote of the games, uttered by a British ex–pat in a Philadelphia pub, is almost certainly going to be: ”Fuck off, Phelps, nobody likes a showoff.”
• That Michael Phelps—by beating another really good swimmer by one hundredth of a second despite the fact that the other swimmer was actually almost like a one gazillionth of a second away from touching the side of the swimming baths when Phelps was like about a mile away—can somehow not only swim through space, but through time!
• That Michael Phelps might be a really good swimmer but here’s a by–no–means exhaustive list of things that almost everybody in Britain’s better at than him:
d) Drunken fighting
e) Cruelly mocking others under the guise of affectionate humour
f) Sketch comedy
g) Spitting, dive–bombing and petting.
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