Obligatory Olypmics Post

Only this year did I realize the essential difference between the summer and winter olympics. Summer Olympics are about pure athleticism - how fast can you run? How high can you jump? (Though I still think LeBron James and Michael Vick are better athletes than any summer olympians).

Winter Olympics are about conquering fear. Most of the events involve performing feats with a decent risk of death: jumping off a mountain, doing multiple flips in the air on a snowboard off a halfpipe, riding down a mountain in a sled doing 90 mph, etc. You have to be a little bit crazy to get good at doing these things.

Maybe as a result of this realization, I find myself enjoying this Olympics, whereas in the past I usually changed the channel. Or it might be that one of the events combines skiing and shooting a rifle.

Also, short track speed skating is awesome.

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Olympics as Bull Fighting

I read some where that bull fighting is only made exciting by a paradox. We want to irreconcilable things. On the one hand, spectators want the possibility of death. It would be really boring if the bull fighter automatically won every time. We want some risk and some danger.

On the other hand, we want this particular bull fighter to live and kill the bull he is now fighting. It would be wrong to wish this man dead.

The winter olympics are really just modern day versions of bull fighting. We are sad when the german luge guy flies off the tracks and dies. But his death confirms the possibility of death that heightens the excitement of every other attempt.

It would be wrong to wish

It would be wrong to wish this man dead.

Por qué?

Is it cool if I merely wish him maimed for my entertainment? Would it be wrong of me to cheer on gladiators if they voluntarily entered into mutual combat with the explicit goal of killing the other man for sport?

The Bull and the matador enter voluntarily to engage in bloodsport. Some mammal is going to die in that arena. Having someone tell me who I root for is "wrong" simply because of species, is asinine.


Elmo, I concede this point readily. I should have made clear that I was summarizing what I had read. I remember it now. It was a passage in Ted Cohen's Talent for Metaphor.

As I am not a fan of bull fighting, I think I would cheer for the bull. The bull does not voluntarily enter the arena. Two gladiators or two aggrieved French aristocrats fighting a duel do. I would watch those events.

Thats fine, I was just

Thats fine, I was just trolling anyways. Something I do a lot of around here.

As for the bull volunteering? The bull - lacking sapience - cannot decide whether or not to volunteer, so the decision is left to the owner of the animal.

The Bull and the matador

The Bull and the matador enter voluntarily to engage in bloodsport.

I'm not aware that the bull has any choice in the matter.

I'm not aware that the bull

I'm not aware that the bull has any choice in the matter.

Thats what sucks about lacking sapience. Some sapient being is going to make a voluntary decision for you that may not be in your best interest as a living organism.

ie. Terry Schiavo.

Counterpoint: Ice


Ice Dancing.

Any event that has a smarmy French pair dancing on ice skates to John Denver's "Thank God I'm a Country Boy" is, by definition, absurd. It was more of a train wreck than Jersey Shore.

I agree

I have to agree that was one of the funniest one I saw!