Talking Ambient Scuzz, Athletic Transcendence, and the Olympics


Even before the tearful denouement of the women’s figure skating event dropped a neutron bomb of bad vibes on the proceedings, there was something wrong with these Olympics. It’s the same thing that happens with all the Olympics, most of the time, and the difference is less a difference of degree or kind than a simple aesthetic. There’s still plenty of executive and scuzz crap chomping at the periphery, and there’s still a sense that the legitimate athletic magic at the center of the games is being exploited by some of the world’s most obnoxious cynics. As with most sports, the Olympics are only truly fun when they don’t remind you of everything else.

The fun, or part of the fun, is how the transcendent in games overwhelms the prosaic and gross about everything around it. When it works, it really works. When the story of the games is that of a 15-year-old skating genius who may have been given banned drugs by his sadistic coach and his country’s notoriously filthy sporting institutions, and then collapses from racing to medals in the midst of tears and recriminations, it really doesn’t work at all. For most of this episode, that’s what Drew and I have been talking about.

Well, sort of. Drew talked about his colonoscopy and having his vas deferens complimented by a horny urologist before it came to this, and we also shared a brief and enthusiastic reassessment of the exciting European dance music of the early 1990s, then it was time to dig into the Olympic stuff. Again, sort of: our Olympic expertise peaks at the level of distracted enthusiasts, but at some point, addressing the weird spectacle of it all is as close to talking about the thing as it gets. Anyway, it was about as close as either of us is likely to get; I don’t imagine it hurts anything to note that we both agreed that obviously bad things that made us feel disgusting/sad should be stopped immediately. We will be watching the situation closely to see how the IOC responds to this clarion call to “bring it down”.

At the very last minute or just after the last minute such a conversation is allowed, Drew and I also talked about the Super Bowl, the delights and dissatisfactions of having A Defensive Line Game take place on the biggest stage in sports. , and the mystery of who and where Rams fans are. This led me to say “Orange County” several times, which I was told is in a very New Jersey accented way. In accordance with my longstanding policy of refusing to give dignity to such outrageous accusations, I will simply say that this issue was addressed in the episode.

As we opened the Funbag, we were joined by conniving defector Luke Forster-Broten. His reward for supporting our website was to think about questions like “Can you shoot a gun in space?” and “How did you grow up in Iowa and become a Yankees fan?” (He actually had a pretty good answer for that one.) We discussed the importance of “juice” when using canned vegetables, and he and Drew were subject to my brief review of the extremely stupid and totally delicious from Amazon Prime. To reach. The actual reward this represented for him is debatable, I suppose, but we were damn happy to have it.

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