Saturday, August 4, 2012

Political Adds During The Olympics?

Every four years the Olympics invades my house, dominates my television and captivates my imagination. I find myself mesmerized by the sheer size of the thing, the spectacle. There I sit, night after night, totally consumed by breastless women and gangly men swimmers in their hideous techno head wraps, as they slice and dice through the water. They bob, they whirl, they flail and then they lunge for the wall, where some body's heart gets broken. Then there's the gymnastics, those, steel-spined dynamos with the garish makeup, and hands always encased in tape and flowered with chalk. They bounce across the floor, they swing from ridiculous bars, they fly through the air with murderous intent and stick the landings with their size two velcroed feet. All the while, you know that catastrophe is one slip away. These girls live one inch removed from failure. After a successful routine, they stick out their tiny torsos, thrust their arms wide in the air and a triumphant smile replaces what were the faces of cold-blooded killers. The athleticism, the gracefulness, the jaw-dropping brilliance of their practised skills executed in a crucible of pressure with video cameras capturing their every emotion is edge of your seat entertainment. Then, after being plunged and lifted from the agony to the ecstasy of this ultimate competition, NBC breaks for commercials, and all of America is forced to watch paid political propaganda from Obama and Romney.

Ordinarily, during Presidential campaigns, Americans of all political persuasions grow weary of having our intelligence insulted by these 30 second assaults, but we understand that it's an unavoidable fact of our democratic life. After a month or two we all tune them out, or hit mute, or mostly, we go to the bathroom. But during the Olympics, campaign commercials seem especially galling, especially obscene, and if it were possible, even more shameful. On the one hand the Games show us how high and lofty our aspirations can be, politics shows us how low and despicable. If Olympians were like politicians, they wouldn't be showing us what hard work and dedication can do when applied to sports, they would be giving interviews explaining why they needed to win simply because their opponent was an idiot.....

BOB COSTAS: So, Michael Phelps, you're about to compete in the 200 IM final against your long time foe Ryan Lochte. What are your feelings about the race?

MICHAEL PHELPS: Well Bob, I don't know if you know this, but, Ryan is a real jerk. Not only is he a  notorious womanizer, I have irrefutable evidence that he hasn't paid taxes in five years. Is America really ready for a 200 IM gold medal winner who is a womanizing tax cheat?

Both political parties should do themselves and the rest of us a HUGE favor by agreeing to not run adds during the Olympics. The juxtaposition is just too stark, too embarrassing for them..and us.