August 27, 2009 - August 20, 2009
If you're anything like us, you're wondering where all those Chinese
gold medals come from. Why do most other nations have approximately the
same number of silver and bronze medals as gold medals, while China has
approximately double the number of golds compared to their silvers and
The answer is actually quite simple. As part of its '119 Program' China has been fielding teams in events no one else even knows are Olympic Sports. It started with ping-pong, which everyone else in the world thought was a children's game. The Chinese decided sometime back in the days of Mao that it was their National Football League, which is why we still confront the ludicrously overblown spectacle shown in the YouTube video above. Who gives a flying f___ that there are people who play ping-pong as if they were on the center court at Wimbledon? No one. So China gets the gold medal while nobody else plays at all. Which is exactly the right response. And we're not suggesting any nation seek to change the situation.
But just for your information, we've compiled a list of some of the other sports China is "dominating" at the Olympics.
The only aspect of all this that might occasion some concern is the
accumulating evidence that the Peoples Republic of China is taking this
whole dimension of semi-sport way too seriously and possibly abusing
children in the process. We've managed to procure some videos which
are, in aggregate, more than a little alarming vis a vis Chinese
Should children as young as one or two be conscripted into Olympic mah jongg training programs?
(Particularly in light of the enormous high-tech investment being made
in big-league mah
And, yes, it is a pattern. Tibet is much in the news, but has anyone reported the shame of Tibetan toddlers forced into marathon caroms practices?
Or children who are inducted into the game of quoits by being compelled
to become quoits?
This is the kind of sports-obsessed cancer that could easily lead to
the quoit-subjugation of mere infants, even in our own supposedly
enlightened nations. It just makes you sick.
And perhaps worst of all, what about the small children who get hijacked into the moral quagmire of Twister before they're old enough to know anything about "good touch/bad touch"?
It would seem that some very serious investigations need to be carried
out into the entire Chinese Track & Field athletic program.
But does anybody really care?
We've thought about this long and hard, and we've come to the conclusion that we don't care. As far as we're concerned, China can get as many ping-pong and tiddly winks medals as it wants (as long as there's no stick-beating terrorism involved). That doesn't mean you couldn't get all fired up about it if you felt like it. You could start with a Jarts witch hunt. Why can't we see the teams's faces? Are they so riddled with Jarts puncture scars that we couldn't bear to see them? Are Jarts made of lead now? And why are dogs being systematically exploited in quoits training? And on and on. Don't get us started. The last thing we need is to get involved with some group of concerned world citizens based in San Francisco...
But what else do you have to do?
. When you see it, it seems so obvious. Heavy Metal + Rap
= Rock'n'Roll Renaissance. With Pakistan imploding, Europe and Canada
sinking into the maw of Islam and cultural suicide, Russia on the march
back to their twentieth century fantasy of dominion through Cold War,
Iran itching oh-so-publicly to develop and
use nuclear weapons on the Jews while the Jew-haters of Europe do
nothing, and China getting away with its Olympic snow job
on the feminized democracies of the west, it IS time for American pop
reassert itself as the voice of the freest people on earth. This should be the
soundtrack of the McCain campaign. Obama Girl vs. Stuck Mojo. Let the
people choose. We'll close
with a number that's even better than the one above, but be warned:
It's definitely NSFW.
that the Michael Phelps story has been completed and everyone in the
U.S. will stop watching the Olympics, it's time to call NBC to account
for a few things.
Does it bother anyone else that facts like these -- reported in the London Times -- don't receive NBC airtime equivalent to all the lovely cinematography of Chinese countryside and dynastic architecture?
Yes, I understand the argument that the Olympics is a sporting event
and shouldn't be ruined with a lot of unpleasant politics and news
that's embarrassing to the host country. I don't happen to agree, but I
do understand the argument. Nonetheless, the fact that these games are
being conducted in a semi-totalitarian state as opposed to an open
democracy is relevant, even with regard to the coverage of sports. NBC
has been notably if not maliciously disingenuous in this respect.
Yes, despite some lapses -- its odd characterization of the USA women's gymnastics team and Chris Collinsworth's bizarre exchange with Kobe Bryant -- NBC has done its requisite home-team rooting for Phelps, Torres, and other high-profile American athletes. On the other hand, anchorman Jim Lampley (oh how we miss Jim McKay) and his counterparts at MSNBC and USA Network seem to regard all the various Chinese teams and athletes as a kind of secondary home team we're obviously rooting for. If there's nothing big and American underway, the automatic broadcast default is to China (including damned ping-pong and badminton), where the announcers and color commentary experts never seem to run out of admiring superlatives, even though they're fearlessly critical of American performances. And just when you start to think there isn't a sport so insignificant that the Chinese haven't produced an overnight world class sensation in it, NBC finally confirms it by reporting enthusiastically on the "119 Program," which was chartered to do exactly that -- win medals in every possible Olympic sport, regardless of what may be any native tradition or interest in it.
It's as if we're really supposed to feel unabashedly good about this. As if such a top-down, state-driven, quasi-military effort is somehow equivalent to the kind of financial sponsorship advertised during the nonstop commercial breaks by Home Depot, Coca Cola, and other U.S. companies (which, incidentally are paying for NBC's unending commercial endorsement of the Peoples' Republic of China). It isn't. And this Olympics is replete with abundant evidence that it isn't.
Other news and wire services contain stories indicating that China cheats on the Olympic rules (here), may be intimidating or manipulating the International Olympic Committee (here), and may be exploiting (here) if not actually abusing (here) thousands of the nation's athletes -- all for the purpose of winning Olympic medals. Even some of the judging within events is highly suspect. (if you can muscle the IOC, who can't you influence?) Last night's absurd vault competition in women's gymnastics awarded two medals to communist athletes who simply failed to land their jumps as we've been led to expect, for a generation, that medal winners must; the X-Games have higher standards for form than this. NBC's expert commentator seemed disappointed but not outraged that Sacramone, the lone American in the finals, who landed both her vaults with small hops that he tutted over, ultimately lost the bronze medal to a Chinese girl who finished her second vault on her knees. He explained that the differential had been made up by degree of difficulty. (Let's see: if I promise a vault that will take me over the Snake River Canyon and I land instead in the Snake River Canyon, it must count as a success, right? Uh, not at the X-Games anyway.) The worst moment of the night was Bob Costas's subsequent interview with Bela Karolyi, who decried the judging as an unspeakable corruption of the sport. Costas was actually jolly in his dimissal of Karolyi as a partisan.
In my first notes on these Olympics, I suggested NBC might have some kind of subconscious hidden agenda. I no longer have any doubts about it. All those ads for MSNBC election coverage pretty much tell the tale. They're working to ensure the election of World Citizen Obama, and that's a title which sounds pretty empty if there really are ruthless, scheming, unprincipled, genuinely evil governments in the world -- Look at the pretty pictures and faces instead.
I still hope they'll try to make up for it in the remaining coverage, though the truth is, it's too late. No one's going to be tuning in to the long track and field gauntlet in which American defeat and humiliation is apparently inevitable. Although -- if anyone tries to steal the gold from our two basketball teams, even NBC might finally get pissed off.
P.S. And what's up with the Nike "I've got soul but I'm not a soldier" campaign. Yes, athletes frequently have courage. Is it a better kind of courage than a soldier has? Is that the message? If so, I strenuously disagree. Putting your life on the line on behalf of your fellow citizens is several orders of magnitude above risking injury for trophies, gold medals, and seven-figure endorsement contracts. Sorry. That's just the peculiar way I think..
I think it's insulting to our troops, and Nike marketers should be
ashamed of themselves. Surely there are ways to celebrate athletes
without making implied value judgments such as this.
P.P.S. In honor of our illustrious commenters, Brizoni has designed a new InstaPunk graphic, which you can see at the About InstaPunk posting in the lefthand column of the website. The text has also been revised to give you a better idea of who we are -- more info, I guarantee than you'll find at any other blogsite -- and just how much freedom you have as commenters. Which is also, I gurarantee, much more than at other websites.
No, we don't normally do this. Cute isn't our thing. We can't confirm
the scant info we received about it, which we half expect to be
debunked at Snopes.com
in a week or so. But what the hey. Aren't you sick of just about
everything else? We are. It's nice to entertain even the possibility
that this little anecdote is true:
In its favor, the story contains specific local information, the lack
of which is usually Snopes's first criterion for skepticism.
And the beagle looks as if he's intensely aware the interloper is there, doesn't he? "uh, I don't know if he's supposed to be here, but I am keeping an eye on him. At all times." That argues against a PhotoShop.
Hell. Let's all believe it. For right now. Who could it hurt?
P.S. In honor of our illustrious commenters, Brizoni has designed a new InstaPunk graphic, which you can see at the About InstaPunk posting in the lefthand column of the website. The text has also been revised to give you a better idea of who we are -- more info, I guarantee than you'll find at any other blogsite -- and just how much freedom you have as commenters. Which is also, I gurarantee, much more than at other websites.
. What a relief.
Not to have to keep tabs on the continuing catastrophic implosion of the
U.K. Because Rachel's on the case. Go here.
Read it all. Enjoy.