Monday, July 4, 2016

The Obvious Olympic Question

With Cause
So we're nearing the final month or so of hype before the Rio Games, and as is now becoming the new tradition before such things, it's time to check in on the host suck -- err, country -- and see what disasters they have to overcome in the last minute, so the press can not tell the hard news story of what awful things have happened to let a party happen, and just, well, cover the party.

Oh, wait, you know what? I'm not going to bother with any of that, because that's what the rest of the Internets is for. Instead, I'm going to tell you the new normal, which is that every Olympics is a disaster. It's just a question of magnitude, and if the disaster is going to be really reported on, depending on whether or not the journalists are being stepped on or not. Kind of like how every Presidential race will be close until the actual results are in, and how every Super Bowl will be exciting, and so many other things in which the media's need to be a profit-making machine means that no new news will be generated?

Need proof as to why the Games have become a con? You don't need to look any further at where the games have been recently (Russia), where they are going to be now (Brazil), and where they are going to be next (South Korea for 2018 Winter, then Japan for 2020 Summer, and China for 2022 Winter). Notice the distinct lack of forward-thinking nations and cities, prosperous areas or homes to established political situations that won't just roll over? Yeah, me too. All of the places that the games go to now are newer to prosperity, still prone to the siren call of World Opinion, and ready and willing to lube and pony up briefcases full of cash to the human garbage that's employed by the IOC. (Open question as to which is more corrupt: them or FIFA. I'll take your answer in the form of a payment.)

Real countries no longer want, or should want, the Olympics. Sure, your advertisers are all kinds of happy about it to get non-DVR content and a potential ratings number, but without the Cold War storylines, the chance of the ratings going in the dumper is just as high as the rights fees. And you can dream your dreams of tourists from all over the world coming to fill your cash registers with food and drink and hotel orders. But the ticket sales to non-major events tell a very different story, and most of the Games are just sports that we don't care about enough to watch routinely. The ones that are, like basketball or golf, we can see better routinely. I realize that I'm not the target market for things mattering just because flags are involved (yay, flags!), but getting me to care about the Olympics is a hard sell in the best of times, and in an era of high definition television and countless streams, I can do better. And so can everyone else.

A final point on this... the Games involve logistics nightmares that no city can properly deal with, which means a ton of new and pointless construction that will go to seed the second the Games are over. Kind of a cruel joke to Brazil, who just got through this for the World Cup in soccer recently, and now have more empty venues to make and abandon now. Even for an economy that isn't ravaged by political instability and a booming virus outbreak, it's just too much graft. Add in the graft, and it's really over the top.

So, no, there will be no watching of the Games, other than to see if any meaningful hoops player gets hurt, because I could truly not give a damn. And anyone who doesn't want Zika virus, or the potential of a kidnapping for ransom during the Games, or to pour money into a country that just pulled off a coup d'etat over an elected regime because the media has been made powerless through violence and intimidation? Probably should take a big miss on the whole thing, too.

Which makes me wonder, really... why do we still have this thing in the first place? And wouldn't the world be better without it?

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