Open Thread #43
Fair warning: Rantiness ahead, but feel free to comment on non-ranty topics below!
Phew, for one who hadn’t intended to follow the Olympics to any close degree, I spent the early part of the week unintentionally watching almost everything (TV has been left on while I tune in and out, but inevitably I find myself watching most of the coverage). Then I got sick of wasting so much time listening to hyperbolic, jingoistic commentators blathering on about anything and everything to fill up air time and maxed out on my retarded-commentary quota.
For instance: saying that a gymnast’s last-minute injury was “like having a tear in your wedding dress before you walk down the aisle”? That is insulting to gymnasts and brides both. Oh yes, the elite gymnast who’d trained on an incredibly intense level for more than half her lifetime and was taken out of the Games at the last minute due to injury is really the same thing as a woman having a minor wardrobe mishap on her wedding day. How tragic. First off, you’re an idiot for making such a retarded comparison. Second, you’re an insulting idiot for perpetuating the stereotype that all women are frivolous, fashion-frenzied bridezillas who lose all sense of rational thought when it comes to her Day of Princessly Wedding Perfection. Some of us have never coveted a Vera Wang white dress, matchy-matchy flowers-to-cake-to-eyeshadow color coordination, or a $40,000 Big Waste of Money. Some of us are even capable of handling wedding days — or high-pressure moments — with self-control. I know! How novel! And here you thought all us women fret over a broken nail and simper over boys we like and cry when we’re frustrated.
Then we followed that bit of belittling commentary with the oh-so-clever quip following the women’s Cuba-U.S. beach volleyball match in which both teams came out sporting the same color beachwear. One team changed to alternate suits of a different color, but not without one correspondent remarking with relief over the suit change because showing up in the same outfit as another woman “is every woman’s worst nightmare.” Really? Because I have had a lot of nightmares in my life, and the color of my outfit matching the color of another woman’s outfit has never figured in any of them. Thanks for showing how thoughtful and elevated the discourse can be in women’s athletics.
Also getting on my nerves? The multiple anchors and commentators who describe the U.S. team athletes and coaches of Chinese descent as “returning home to their own country” for the Beijing Games (e.g., Shawn Johnson’s Chinese coach, the women’s volleyball coach). You know what? They’re fucking representing this country, they’ve devoted their livelihoods to furthering the sport for the U.S.’s teams, they’re contributing members of American society. So why are they all of a sudden chink-eyed foreigners “returning home”? I nearly threw my remote at my television set when one commentator essentially assured us, the American viewing public, that the U.S. volleyball coach Jenny Lang Ping (who’d formerly played for China and has since moved to the States) COULD BE TRUSTED not to compromise the U.S. team with divided loyalties to China. And what about Kevin Tan, U.S. men’s gymnast who happens to be Chinese-American. AMERICAN. Yet the commentators repeatedly had to blow smoke up their own asses about how amazing and progressive the U.S. is for having an Indian(-American), a Chinese(-American), and a Belarusian(-American) gymnast on the team.
Way to make it stunningly clear that you consider “true” Americans to be corn-fed, blue-eyed, blonde-haired white people, while the rest of us are merely The Foreign Other, no matter our citizenship or country of birth. We just happen to be benefiting from the U.S.’s benevolence and magnanimity in allowing us to live here, pay our taxes, and contribute to society, right?
Fuck you, NBC. Plz to be hiring some competent correspondents nxt time!
Suffice to say I’ve now got a heavy hand on the mute button and have switched to watching DVR-recorded broadcasts with most of the filler fast-forwarded. Because it’s stupid to give myself any aggravation over such a small thing (in my life) as the Olympics.
SONG OF THE DAY
Supergrass – “Run” [ Download ]