Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Reflecting on the flame

Thoughts from the five-ring circus as everyone comes home and the Paralympics are coming (great report on Speed Center Sunday about the Italian handcycle competitor).
219 Million at an Event? Comcast claims 219 million watched the Games of the XXX Olympiad, the most watched event in history. Of course, that's spread over 19 days, and coverage was from early dawn (9 AM GMT in some cases) all the way to highlights at midnight ET, including the three days of football tournament coverage before the Opening Ceremony (which we learned only one broadcast team was assigned to football, and only to selected women's games – the men's tournament and most women's games had a Formula One-style broadcast setup that left NBCSN's MLS broadcast teams frustrated.). And it turns out Comcast edited out pieces from the Opening and Closing Ceremony of the Games in question!

Attacking God is Acceptable? During the Closing Ceremony of the aforementioned event (I skipped it fortunately after photos were shown from the event), the theme of the worst music of British history (compared to what we discuss on Our Word) was paraded. Yes, some of the acts were over the top, and some acts were pale, but to push humanism during the event was absolutely appalling when a Communist and Humanist promoting song was played on a recording with children performing sign language to this tune that is acceptable in our society, but if you dare push serious Händel work, you will be censored. It is a sad state of affairs when Händel was ignored, but Lennon was deemed acceptable.

We need to pick it up! A few years ago, CBS shot a pilot for a proposed local adaptation of the ITV stunt show The Cube, an extremely hard game that nobody had completed the seventh, and final, level of the show. Well, one did. Mo Farah, the eventual 5,000 and 10,000m gold medalist at the Olympics, became the first. Is it time this format, with an Olympic champion being the only one to conquer, be picked up for United States television?

Flooring It. Aly Raisman's victory in the women's gymnastics floor exercise event received accolades from Jewish media, and setting it to הבה נגילה (Hava Nagila), a Hebrew folk song, made some think it was a slap at organisers who had refused a moment of silence in memory of the eleven Israeli athletes killed during München 40 years ago by Arab terrorists. It had been used twelve years ago during the 2000 “Summer” Games (held during the spring) by another gymnast, Екатерина Лобазнюк (Россия). But wasn't there a controversy in 1996 when the United States gymnastics team pulled one of its members off the floor because her floor piece was Daniel Emmett's “Dixie” (and that was at the Georgia Dome, the true Bird's Nest (Falcons' Nest actually) of Olympic Games lore)?

Is Title IX Spelling The End of the American Male? Is the government's anti-male policy in schools resulting in the demise of American male sports while the women's sports are growing in winning at the Olympics? We saw it in football, gymnastics, and volleyball most notably, but athletics and swimming are not far behind.
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