Gymnastics, the Press, and Atlanta

July 24, 1996 - Jeremy Hubble

The Australian Olympic committee has said that they want to use the Olympics as a chance to show the world that they are not all ‘Paul Hogan's The Atlanta committee wanted to show the world that were not the ‘old south' Scarlet O'Hare and Rhet Butler. What a pity! Both are hiding away their culture and history in favor of a global equalization. Pretty some nobody will have their individual identity and everyone will be the same. Isn't this sameness defeating the diversity which we are striving for?

On a similar tone, the noble Atlanta Olympic Committee recycling program was brought to a screeching halt by ‘one' black Atlanta politician. It seems she was able to use an obscure affirmative-action contracting clause to fill up land-fills instead of inflicting the slightest bit of damage of anything anywhere near her. That's just one of the many problems that the very mis-named affirmative action has caused. In an attempt to create equality, it instead tries to give an advantage to those who have been oppressed in the past. One problem - those past oppressions are now long since gone. Instead, today, there are a notable few people who use this to gain more power for themselves, and essential enslave others, committing perhaps a worse travesty than those before had committed. (For now that we know better, why are we still caught in our same old ways?) Unfortunately, somebody can get hold of the press with any mention of controversy, and immediately any tradition is labeled as evil.

In the past week, the press have really proved what dorks they are. In the TWA disaster they managed to ask some of the dumbest questions around. Now comes the Olympics. Kari Strugs goes out on a stretcher. Only problem is she can barely make it there due to all the camera-men and reporters surrounding her. Even as she is being welded out a ‘faithful' NBC reporter shoved a microphone in her face. Please! Give the girl a break.,

At least John Tesh finally realized that the female gymnasts are not women, but merely "little girls". Unfortunately, he didn't realize that Ukraine is no longer a part of the Russian Federation.

I happened to be on CNN and saw that the gymnasts had won a gold medal. Darn! I thought I had missed it all. Nope! It would be another hour before NBC started their telecast. You'd think with such a long delay that somebody might actually go through and edit the event. Hah! Edit? They want it to seem live, so they kept in all the changes, all the back shots, all the long waits, everything that you would fast-forward through if it weren't live. And they even missed a few live events. Worst of all, they couldn't get Dominique Moceanu's score up in one event! Come on! You're talking so long, and can't even slip in the score.

In NBC's coverage, talk was one thing that was not in short supply. It seemed for every two minutes of actual event, there was another five minutes of Bob Costas, et al talk, a couple minutes of commercials, and maybe a documentary or two. During one half hour block the only athletic event show was a four minute swimming race. Sure the documentaries are a nice touch. But the mindless blabber? Please. And since they are taping everything anyway, why not add a small window that shows some other event. How about silent wrestling in a corner while they're blabbing about swimming? Or during gymnastics, why not show some of the other competitors at the same time? After all, you can already hear everything that's going on. Wouldn't it be nice to actual see why everyone's cheering. There are a few countries competing besides the United States.

Boy did Dominique Moceanu look like a little mouse out there. She almost looked like she would fly into orbit from the bars. Then came the vault, where she just plopped down like a little kid. I wanted to find out a little more about her, so I tried to search IBM's official web site. First I typed in her name, selected Artistic Gymnastics and US. No dice. Oh well, I probably misspelled the name, so I tried to get just a list of US Gymnasts. Nobody. Maybe I was using the wrong syntax. Nope, a list of US swimmers came up fine. Maybe if I get all the gymnasts. Nope. Nobody. Maybe it was flipped with rhythmic. Nope! Nothing there either! Great site, heh?

IBM went through a great re-write of the reporting software so they could show off how ‘great' they are. Well, I guess that's what you get for showing off. Worse yet, they have managed to annoy the press. We all know that the press is filled with idiots, yet they are the ‘thought police' that control what everyone thinks. They put their own spin on everything they do, even single-handily starting riots. You make them made by not getting their data, and you might-as-well take the next train out of town. IBM has gone down-hill ever since they dropped the Chaplin ad campaign.

Unfortunately, IBM isn't the only one suffering. The high and mighty Atlanta Olympic committee even resorted to name calling in response to the problems. Transportation is a total mess. What do you expect with a bunch of drivers imported from all over the nation, with just about no experience other than a driver's licence. Atlanta came recruiting, and if they could drive, they were there. They didn't even have to know how to read a map. Then there were other transportation organizations trying to make the big books while cutting back on promises. It's just not gonna work. When a bus-hijacking makes the news, you know you're in trouble. Especially when it's athletes trying to get to their event. (Foreign athletes, mind you. Maybe it's a US ploy. After all, the gymnasts were staying in a posh hotel while the others suffered in the village.)

And perhaps the biggest problem is the lack of coordination between city and Olympics. Only in America could the city actually bill the Olympic committee for extra police activity. I'm surprised that Atlanta didn't charge for rights to use it's name in Olympic propaganda. (Of course ACOG isn't much better, going ballistic over postage stamps.)

Despite attempts to mask all the history, the leaders in Atlanta are showing all the bad sides of the south, while trying to mask the rich history. Hey, what's the matter with a redneck? Let's just remember that the olympics are supposed to be fun! If everyone would just be themselves instead of trying to show of, we could have some serious entertainment. (And if NBC would share a little, CNN might show something other than their Izzi story!)