I think NBC is doing a fantastic job. The only way to fully see that is to leave the TV on for the duration of the Olympic broadcasts, which doesn’t work too well for those of us who have to get up and go to wurk in the morning. But when there’s a day off in the picture, oh boy. NBC has a lot of practice keeping people up past midnight anyway.
I’m impressed. I think our hosts have provided the most challenging courses, in the most awesome scenic locations, the smoothest ice, the biggest venues, the most camera-accessible angles, it’s just great. And it’s all for the athletes. People who have trained for years, much of their lives, who have lived their respective sport in monastic concentration so they can be the best they can, and come up to Vancouver to show off and kick ass and what not. And sometimes blow it.
Last night was chili night on the wood stove in my barn. I can light a fire and wash dishes and feed the stove and cook and watch the Olympics all at the same time, pretty much. It’s just been so cool to see how this game cycle has progressed, not so much the "medal count" but to see the effort and endurance and style that these athletes have. They are all amazing. You watch any of these things like the women’s downhill and you think (or say to your man friends) now there’s a girl who can do something you can’t do! Plushenko, for God’s sake, you don’t even know anybody who can do that on solid ground, and he’s doing it on ICE!!
NBC took pains to do a portrait of Shaun White, half-tube snowboard champion for at least the last two Olympic cycles. This guy made so much money from endorsements I reckon he’s his own corporation by now, and he went out into the mountains of Colorado and built his own personal half-tube. The only way to get there is by helicopter. He just goes out there and practices whenever he wants. Nobody knows what he’s doing until he comes to the competitions like Vancouver and blows everybody else’s score right off the screen.
Appropriately, Bob Costas (who’s usually a nit) interviewed Shaun some time shortly after his gold medal performance, and they aired it after midnight, also appropriately. I can totally see why you might not want Shaun speaking on prime-time TV. He responded to almost every question by saying "it’s just one of those things" with a big smile on his face, talking about hanging around the Olympic village, meeting the other athletes, and Joe Biden (who’s also a nit). Bob asks Shaun if he’d like to meet the president. This is not political, no, every gold medal athlete from the US stands some chance of being invited to the White House by any president. Shaun says sure, he’d like that, yeah, whatever, why not, you know, it’s just one of those things. Bob says OK Shaun, just ask him, he’s watching TV right now, just ask the president if you can come visit after the games. So Shaun looks at the camera and says, Yo Obama, you know, if you want, it would be cool with me, I mean, it’s just one of those things. It was hilarious.
I mean, you know, he’s a gold medal athlete, he loves what he does, you know, it’s everything, he’s widely respected and loved, you know, as wealthy as he wants to be and maybe more, probably, I don’t know, but you know, yo Obama, you could probably learn something from this guy. Isn’t Canada beautiful? It’s just one of those things, man.
Well, that’s what I thought. I Binged or Googled "maple leaf T-shirt" and found some really agreeable designs on Zazzle dot com. I saved one in my favorites. Then later I went back and Googled Zazzle to see if it was a reputable retailer, and I found this Google entry from their blog, about the Psalm 109 product line. I guess I’ll have to explain what that is but it’s just one of those things.
Apparently King David had an enemy who was just extra despicable, so he composed Psalm 109 in the hope that the God of Abraham would do something about this despicable enemy. If you read Psalms, you’ll discover that King David asked for God’s help many times to defeat his enemies, in battle, and what not, you know, it was just one of those things. And David was quite successful for many many years.
The patriots have adopted Psalm 109 verse 8 "may his days be few and may someone else take his office" in reference to the Obama presidency. Apparently some of them created Psalm 109:8 "pray for Obama" merchandise on Zazzle and someone thought it was a terrible thing. Zazzle management published a blog entry saying that Psalm 109:8 "pray for Obama" merchandise was offensive and represented a threat on the life of the president of the United States, so they are pulling all the Psalm 109 merchandise off their site. And that’s that. It’s just one of those things.
When I saw this I Googled further and found a different place to get an equally cool maple leaf T-shirt. Then I went back to the Zazzle blog and posted after some 200 others what I thought. I said:
"I also had browsed for a Canada maple leaf design T-shirt on your website, found one I liked a lot, and saved it in my favorites. Later, credit card in hand, I Googled you to see if you were reputable, and found this controversial stuff in your Top Ten.
"I suppose you could have quietly removed the Psalm 109 merch and no one would be the wiser. But that’s OK, other people have Canada maple leaf design T-shirts just as cool as yours, and that’s how free market economics works.
"As a rule, Americans are supposed to like free speech and dislike censorship. I figure you have a right to interpret a Bible verse any way you want. But all I wanted from you was a freaking T-shirt, and I have a right to buy one from somebody else if I want. Consider it done."
My comment is awaiting moderation, however the Psalm 109 entry has disappeared from Zazzle’s top ten Google searches. I guess it’s just one of those things. If you’re curious, my new Canada maple leaf T-shirt is coming from Cafe Press. You know, man, why not, it’s all cool with me. Canada has awesome snow. (so do we)