August 19, 2008
The Phelps sweep is over, and now what? Last night, I was talking on the phone and had the Olympics on — I forget if it was live or the previous night's recording — and it was vaguely interesting watching horses jump — strange that an animal's athletic powers count — and pretty uninteresting watching boats go from left to right. I'm still theoretically interested in gymnastics, but I am incapable of avoiding spoilers like the one the NYT has spanning the top of its website right now. I watched the long competition for the women's all-around medal the other night knowing who won each medal, but since then, spoilage has put me off. Now, all the track and field is coming up, and I realize I don't care at all. I know from reading comments on previous Olympics posts that many of you prefer the events where the winner is determined by who crosses a line or touches a wall first, rather that by mystifying numbers produced by panels of experts, but I like the events where form and complexity vary infinitely. I can develop my own perception and judgment, and if the judges do something else, I can think about that and try to figure it out or get pissed off. What's the point of monitoring races to see who crosses a line first? Check. That happened. So-and-so is the fastest man in the world. Well, of course, someone is the fastest man in the world.