February 10, 2018

I had 2 big problems with the Olympics opening ceremony.

1. Phony nationalities: There were way too many "Olympians" who were there because they marched under a flag that was not, in fact, their home country, and these people seemed to be mostly Americans. It was really irritating to watch these people soaking up screen time under false pretenses. There are so many countries that lack winter sports. So what?! It's the Winter Olympics. Let it be what it is.

2. All those references to "Asia" in the script: The NBC announcers had a script to read as the dance/theater extravaganza unfolded, and for some reason, instead of telling us about how the various costumes, symbols, movements, and projections said something about Korea, they kept saying things like "and Asia," "and all over Asia," and "and Asian people in general." Why?! Asia's a big place, with culture and history that didn't take place in one united whole group (even though at one point we were told that Asians really believe in the importance of the group, and we were told that dancers, dancing together, prove what people can do if they work as a group (the implication being that individualism is non-Asian)). Was that South Korea's idea, some subtle way to include North Korea without saying it outright, or was this some NBC idiocy cooked up for Americans?

I haven't read any reviews yet, but now I will. I just want to see how much the 2 things that annoyed me annoyed the professional critics.

The AP article "What NBC talked about at Olympics opening ceremony, and what it didn’t" doesn't talk about my 2 problems but raises this one, which I'd forgotten:
We get that Lindsey Vonn and Shaun White are two of the biggest stars heading into the games, but even [NBC announcer Mike] Tirico seemed to get sick of NBC flashing pictures of them. “There’s Lindsey one more time,” he said. “Getting some major camera time and not shy about it.” She doesn’t own the cameras, Mike.
And AP raises something else I just didn't know about because it's about something we didn't hear about:NBC didn't mention it: "Two-time Olympic speedskating champion Shani Davis’ anger at losing a coin toss to determine the flag bearer for the United States, and his decision not to attend the opening ceremony." That links to a more detailed article, here:
Davis and luger Erin Hamlin tied 4-4 in voting by fellow athletes to carry the flag. Hamlin won the honor in a coin toss, a process the 35-year-old speedskater said was executed “dishonorably” in a post on his Twitter account. His tweet included a hashtag mentioning Black History Month, which raised the question of whether the five-time Olympian was suggesting that race played a role in the decision. Davis is black, Hamlin is white....

Davis has trained separately from his U.S. teammates for years, including the last two summers in South Korea. In a Feb. 6 blog post he wrote for TeamUSA.org, Davis explained that he chose to complete his pre-Olympic preparations in Germany while the U.S. team had its camp in Milwaukee.
He should be honored, under the circumstance, to have received as many votes as he did. What was going on there? And then he complains about losing a coin toss. That's got to be the ultimate in poor sportsmanship.

Here's the NYT analysis, "Winter Olympics 2018 Opening Ceremony: Highlights and Analysis":
Vice President Mike Pence waved at the huge American contingent — at 242 it is the largest for any country at any Winter Games. The United States also got the chance to walk out to “Gangnam Style,” by far the most successful Korean pop song ever.
I enjoyed hearing "Gangnam Style," but thought it was politically incorrect to be playing the words "Hey, sexy lady" as athletes marched.

USA Today leans on social media with "What viewers thought of the 2018 Winter Olympics opening ceremony." This lamely collects mentions of "Tongan shirtless guy," which is almost a gesture at my problem #1. Now, I've got to give this post my "MSM reports what's in social media" tag.

Deadline Hollywood has "Olympics Opening Ceremony: Katie Couric & Mike Tirico Prove Gold For NBC," which gets a close to seeing my problem #2:
[NBC Olympics contributor Joshua Cooper] Ramo seemed intent on delivering the pummeling gravitas that characterized the worst aspects of Bob Costas’ long Olympic commentator reign. Dropping generic Otto von Bismarck and cul-de-sac explanations of Korean and Asian culture, Ramos seemed to be striving for purpose most of the night. Answering a question from Couric early on about the significance of the joint Koreas entrance at the Opening Ceremony, his response of “It’s going to be one of these unforgettable, electric, historical moments. But what we honestly don’t know yet is why it’s historic” was more pabulum than political insight.
Here's Variety, "The Opening Ceremony of the Pyeongchang Olympic Games Finds Poetry Amid the Politics." The critic here, Maureen Ryan, sees something of the "Asian" problem that bothered me:
As athletes excitedly entered the stadium, Tirico, Couric and analyst Joshua Cooper Ramo offered tidbits about the histories of individuals or nations, and not all of those factoids were upbeat. As they bantered, they didn’t step on each other and they shared a polite, calm liveliness, but I did get tired of the endless generalities from Ramo about what constituted “Asian” culture, which felt about as deep as a Wikipedia entry.
I didn't mention the costumes, but here's "Ranking every piece of Team USA’s Winter Olympics opening ceremony outfit," putting the bandana in 8th (last) place and the gloves in 7th. I loved the gloves, which I associated with cowboys, but this article says they were "very close to crossing the line between being 'inspired by' traditional Native American clothing and completely crossing over into cultural appropriation." And I see the jacket's self-heating technology is the kind they put in car seats. I could use that, but I don't think I'd like it in my jacket alone. If it weren't also in my shoes and mittens, I think I'd end up colder and, simultaneously, hotter.

128 comments:

Triangle Man said...

Asia? Shocking orientalism from the marxist NBC.

Tim in Vermont said...

When the athletes decided to make it a platform for Trump bashing, it went the way of Facebook for me. I might watch women's curling though.

Quayle said...

That fact that there still is a Korea, given that the Korean peninsula sits between China and Japan - that fact that Korea hasn't been totally swallowed over the centuries - should be a clue as to how they view themselves and how much they don't have in common.

And regarding the Olympics, let's face it. The old formulas for covering these things are getting beyond threadbare. I call it Katie Couric kitsch.

Big Mike said...

Of course they gave Vonn a lot of attention. She posed for “Sports Illustrated” wearing just a thin coat of body paint. Do I think she enjoys attention? Does the brown bear ...

exhelodrvr1 said...

Is it supposed to be for the joy of the competition, or for representing a country? I think in theory, the former, but over the years it has become the latter.

Eric the Fruit Bat said...

I think maybe I'd watch that sort of crap if Jason Kelce were one of the announcers.

Kassaar said...

Maureen Ryan doesn’t know a thing about Wikipedia. To take just one example, here is a link to the article about Hangul, the Korean alphabet. Recommended if you think Wikipedia is superficial.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hangul

Hagar said...

It's a made for TV spectacular. What did you expect?

BudBrown said...

Thing I'm still wondering about is the long stair climb the two torch bearers made.
I wonder if the golfer could have made that climb.

Earnest Prole said...

NBC repurposes an athletic competition into a least-common-denominator product it can sell to those who don’t actually like sports. It reminds me why I haven’t owned a television for nearly twenty years.

AllenS said...

How long until we get to the agony of defeat? Or, did we have it already with the coin toss? I think we did.

John said...

While not one of your top two issues, I agree completely with your observation NBC directors and producers seem to believe there are only two athletes on the US team worth broadcasting.

I would also add the self-righteous approach of a scandal-plagued Olympic Committee, who banned Russia but is allowing their athletes to compete under s the Olympic banner. Then using the ceremony to lecture everyone on the need to complete without the use of performance-enhancing drugs.

There was a time when only amatures were allowed to compete, the USSR gamed that requirement for years, until the Olympic committee finally changed the rules to level the playing field.

I wonder, what will give way first the dopping used in sports or the Olympic committee's condemnation? After all they want to get the best athletes for their stage and make a lot of money in the process.

Humperdink said...

Hamlin won the honor in a coin toss, a process the 35-year-old speedskater said was executed “dishonorably” in a post on his Twitter account. His tweet included a hashtag mentioning Black History Month, which raised the question of whether the five-time Olympian was suggesting that race played a role in the decision. Davis is black, Hamlin is white...."

One commenter suggested a 2 out of 3 coin toss to get the desired outcome. Or best of 5 if that fails.

Tim in Vermont said...

Competitive golfers walk several miles each day of o tournament. I think that they could make the climb. Yeesh!

David said...

The North Korean effort at a minor and probably fake rapprochement during the Olympics has been brilliant statecraft. People get all gooey and hopeful while ignoring the huge and obvious story. That story is the vast difference between North and South Korea, the economic success and relative freedom of the south vs. the poverty, malnourishment and immense state brutality of the north. That story gets submerged at a time it should be broadcast to a complacent world. Well played, Norkos.

Tim in Vermont said...

No Russian hockey team? What's the point?

David said...

Kassaar said...
Maureen Ryan doesn’t know a thing about Wikipedia.


Indeed. The remarkable thing about Wikipedia is how much of it is outstanding. One of the great success stories of the internet age.

Big Mike said...

And to the best of my knowledge, fringed and decorated gauntlets, which are the inspiration for the USA gloves, were first used by American cowboys. I believe that Indians (as they call themselves when not speaking in their native languages) used mittens. You’d think someone would research costuming before commenting on ... costuming.

Big Mike said...

[Shani Davis] should be honored, under the circumstance, to have received as many votes as he did. What was going on there? And then he complains about losing a coin toss.

He was expecting the same coin tosser who did so well for Hillary back in the Iowa caucuses.

PB said...

If Shani Davis wants to be on the US Olympic Team, he should be part of team activities. If he elects not to be part of team activities, he should be dropped from the team.

retail lawyer said...

The "Asia" references are just a stage in the overall development of identity politics in America. I first noticed this a few years ago when a Japanese lawyer I was working with was professing some sort of vague solidarity with "Asians".

But don't all non-Japanese Asians hate Japanese?, I asked.

Well, if they're in America, all Asians can bond over their mutual issues with White people. See how that works?

PJ said...

I channel-surfed by as the Americans entered among the Ms, so I lingered a moment. The gloves were my favorite costume part and the most distinctively American in style; screw the offense mongers.

PS, every time I begin to hope Couric’s career is really quite sincerely dead . . .

MountainMan said...

Won’t be watching. Didn’t watch Brazil Olympics either. My Facebook feed this morning was nothing but rants from progressive friends about something involving Mike Pence.

Michael K said...

I don't even wish I cared about the Olympics, Especially the winter.

Lloyd W. Robertson said...

"Asian" reminds me of a Margaret Cho story. Years ago she was the star of a sitcom, "All American Girl." Weirdly, the wholesome family in the show was obviously of various different Asian backgrounds--South Asian, Chinese, Japanese, and Margaret whose parents were Korean. How they made up a family was never explained. The business people kept congratulating Margaret for representing Asian people on TV, and of course they were flattering themselves for being so progressive. She finally said something like: "Listen assholes. Asia is a huge part of the world, with many different people. May parents came from Korea, a very specific place."
Sometimes it seems we will all regard diversity as a great thing as long as it turns out be a celebration of a kind of monotonous sameness--something you'd associate with Disney.

Rob said...

I didn’t watch—I’ve got better things to do with my time, and that’s coming from someone who watches Judge Judy reruns—but I still remember with amazement and disgust NBC’s commentary during the Beijing Olympics opening ceremony. They inserted every phrase from the Wikipedia article on China in the most glaringly inappropriate contexts. Let me paraphrase. “It’s been a long march for these athletes to the 2008 Olympics. They’re hoping to make a great leap forward to win gold.” The Great Leap Forward resulted in between 18 and 55 million deaths.

MayBee said...

Did Native Americans wear gloves?

MayBee said...

I would also add the self-righteous approach of a scandal-plagued Olympic Committee, who banned Russia but is allowing their athletes to compete under s the Olympic banner.

Yeah, this bothers me and it's why it feels political to me.
Why ban the whole team, and then let so many back in? It feels like a way to punish Putin on our behalf....because we pay so much for the tv rights.

Test the athletes and punish the ones that cheat. Get rid of the coaches that perpetrate cheating. US teams weren't kicked out of the Tour de France after our riders were caught cheating. Why should the whole Russian team pay a price?

AllenS said...

Indians did not wear gloves and cowboys did, and I can prove it --

LINK TEXT

Big Mike said...

@Maybee, go read my comment at 7:04.

MayBee said...

Thanks, Big Mike.

Hagar said...

And to the best of my knowledge, fringed and decorated gauntlets, which are the inspiration for the USA gloves, were first used by American cowboys.

If you count Buffalo Bill as a "cowboy."

"Cow-boy" incidentally, is a derogatory term for the rough elements of small-time rustlers and horse thieves typified by Billy the Kid and his "Regulators, "the McLawrys, etc.
The preferred term for men working cattle is cowhand.

mockturtle said...

Americans competing under other flags? Yeah, that sucks. And an amazingly high number of foreign athletes do ALL their training here in the US. We're a generous folk.

Ski jumping on live right now. One of my favorite events.

MayBee said...

This page: http://www.forttumbleweed.net/nativebeadwork.html

Has 1870s beaded gloves for sale and says:

19th Century Beaded Leather Gauntlets

In the 1870's, Native American artists began adding beadwork to Euroamerican leather gloves. These beautifully-beaded gauntlets were worn in both Indian and non-Indian communities. By the late 19th century, beaded gauntlets gloves were necessary components of the western cowboys' fancy dress wardrobe and quickly became favorites of eastern "dudes" who kept them as souvenirs of their western adventures.
===========
Europeans brought gloves to America, Native Americans added the beads. A blending of culture.

mockturtle said...

Vonn and Davis know that rude or controversial behavior will get them the publicity they crave.

John Lynch said...

I was darkly entertained by the need to bring up whatever horrible history each country had. Puerto Rico's hurricane, Bosnia's civil war, etc.

bgates said...

they marched under a flag that was not, in fact, their home country, and these people seemed to be mostly Americans

I've been assured that there's nobody more American than the people who selfishly, cynically, and temporarily wave the flag of a country they don't really view as their home if it benefits them personally.

One commenter suggested a 2 out of 3 coin toss to get the desired outcome. Or best of 5 if that fails.

Oh, for shame. Suggesting a three-fifths compromise - and during Black History Month, no less.

steve uhr said...

Any talk about what would happen to the family of a NK Olympian if they defected. Or if they fail to live up to expectations. Or whether they have any choice in the decision to become elite athletes if they show talent at an early age? Or how they are under constant watch and not allowed to mingle with the other athletes?

Clyde said...

The coin was racist!

MayBee said...

steve Uhr- yeah, I've wondered the same thing about the N Korean athletes. It seems to me any country that has been caught beating its athletes or torturing their families back home should be the ones not allowed to have a team in the Olympics.

ISTM the two Koreas marching together has been a huge PR coup for Kim Jung Un.

chuckR said...

Cultural appropriation? The Koreans have culturally appropriated the hell out of television hardware, with their inexpensive 4K flat panels. What would Philo Farnsworth think? Probably 'more power to them'. Regrettably, what is shown on those TVs isn't nearly as excellent as the hardware.

chuckR said...

Don't like the gloves? Maybe the US contingent should have recognized the on-going state of war in Korea by wearing the old fashioned olive drab canvas US mil surp mitts with a separate trigger finger.

Fernandistein said...

I was boycotting the Olympics until they allowed badminton and now I'm boycotting the Olympics until they allow tiddly-winks.

Birches said...

I got so bored during the parade of nations. Stopped watching.

exiledonmainstreet said...

MayBee said...

steve Uhr- yeah, I've wondered the same thing about the N Korean athletes. It seems to me any country that has been caught beating its athletes or torturing their families back home should be the ones not allowed to have a team in the Olympics."

Saddam Hussein's vile spawn used to punish Iraqi soccer players who did not perform well abroad by making them kick concrete soccer balls with their bare feet.

Inga said...

Pence and wife couldn’t muster the decency to stand like everyone else when the Korean team entered the stadium. What a petty ignorant thing to do. How does this help American/Korean diplomacy?

CWJ said...

David and MayBee,

I respectfully disagree as to which Korea profits most from the joint team. A large team of cheerlears aside, it's painfully obvious that the South is carrying the North in this "joint" effort. The propaganda will be what it always has been, but it's more dangerous for the NORKs for even a couple of hundred of their people to see some of the rest of Korea than the other way around.

steve uhr said...

I'm okay with Pence not standing. If anything it give a flicker of hope to the NK athletes that somebody in the rest of the world gives a damn about their plight

CWJ said...

Also, I miss Bob Costas compared to this crew. He at least delivered his lines in a more relaxed way. You almost felt that he was recalling his "fun facts" from his own memory, or at worst a stack of hand written note cards, rather than a teleprompter. This crew was so tightly scripted that you felt you were watching the Rose Bowl parade. Couric could have been replaced by a block of wood.

Tim in Vermont said...

In that picture, the oritgnal Tanto does look amazingly like Johnny Depp.

MayBee said...

but it's more dangerous for the NORKs for even a couple of hundred of their people to see some of the rest of Korea than the other way around.

CWJ- I'm supposing those Olympic athletes are never allowed to mingle with regular N Koreans again. Not without a minder, at least.

CWJ said...

As to "Asia," I'll just note that Israelis are Asians too.

Humperdink said...

Inga said: "Pence and wife couldn’t muster the decency to stand like everyone else when the Korean team entered the stadium. What a petty ignorant thing to do. How does this help American/Korean diplomacy?"

Maybe he was channeling Nancy Pelosi from Trump's State of the Union address. You might ask: "How did sitting on her hands help Republican/Democrat bipartisanship?". Pretty ignorant thing to do, would you not agree? And it wasn't just one congresswoman, it was the entire Democrat caucus, save Joe Manchin, who's up for re-election. Bless his heart.

CWJ said...

MayBee,

Athletes, cheerleaders, drivers, the minders on this trip, etc., and all their friends and relations back home. Word will seep out, and more effectively than any amount of propaganda broadcast into the North. In any contact between the two Koreas, the risk will always be greater for the North.

Rick said...

He should be honored, under the circumstance, to have received as many votes as he did. What was going on there?

We design our entire sociological framework as redressing victimhood but the honored victims entitlement comes as a surprise? How? Or did you not understand his expectation is linked to race and his expectation everyone should offer race preferences as all people and institutions he is familiar with do?

In case you think this is some minority view (ha!) recall Obama's pitch for the Chicago Olympics which could be summarized as "America deserves the Olympics, after all it elected a black President!".

MayBee said...

These North Korean cheerleaders are super creepy.

Humperdink said...

Having the summer Olympics in Chicago would have been a real treat. Once the gunfire started in the shooting sports, return fire would probably be heard throughout the city.

TwilightofLiberty.com said...

I saw 'I, Tonya' last weekend. It was quite good. The bloom for the Olympics has been off the rose for me for a while, and to be expected to give a shit about famous 1-percenters like White and Vonn and angry homos like the skier and skater is too much.

Also, NBC's intro was barf-inducing.

Getting old sucks. You can't enjoy anything anymore.

GET OFF MY LAWN!

MayBee said...

Athletes, cheerleaders, drivers, the minders on this trip, etc., and all their friends and relations back home. Word will seep out, and more effectively than any amount of propaganda broadcast into the North. In any contact between the two Koreas, the risk will always be greater for the North.

We shall see. They've participated in prior Olympics and marched with S Korea in 2000, 2004, and 2006. Not much changed then. I guess N Korea even backslid, having tested nukes after that.

rhhardin said...

Angry homos sounds like good entertainment.

glenn said...

Leave Pablum alone. It’s good for you.

Mark said...

A MAJOR problem with the Olympics and NBC's perennial awful unwatchable coverage -- the U.S. has basically adopted all of the bad aspects that we used to condemn in the East Germans and Soviets.

Ann Althouse said...

"Pence and wife couldn’t muster the decency..."

Pence and wife were there with the parents of Otto Warmbier. There are various possible calculations of decency. If you were sitting with the parents of Otto Warmbier, when the Koreans marched together, would you stand, sit, or take a knee?

I know, Pence rigged the scene by bringing parents of Otto Warmbier as props. Why were they there? Isn't their existence — in Korea, where their son suffered — indecent? Why couldn't they muster the decency to stay home?

Just a few decency-mustering questions to keep you from devolving into a blob of Pence-deploring.

Mark said...

Watched the livestream of the 5AM live simulcast via Chromecast and the NBC app (acailable to rewatch today).

No editing, no commentators, no huge focus on shirtless dude .... and nothing cut.

Half an hour shorter than the primetime show, lacks ads, and far more Korean seeming than the Americanized Primetime product which we turned off not halfway thru.

WK said...

Shani Davis seems to be following the “Carl Lewis Guide to Olympic Endorsement Opportunities”.

WK said...

Listening to Katie Couric during the opening ceremonies made me think I was watching the Macy Thanksgiving Day Parade.

WK said...

My 17 year old son suggested that we google Katie’s commentary to determine if it was factual.

Inga said...

“I know, Pence rigged the scene by bringing parents of Otto Warmbier as props. Why were they there? Isn't their existence — in Korea, where their son suffered — indecent? Why couldn't they muster the decency to stay home?”

Yes and who knows?

“Just a few decency-mustering questions to keep you from devolving into a blob of Pence-deploring.”

Blobs of Trump and Pence worship seems indecent as well. Sickens me.

Mark said...

Katie Couric & Mike Tirico Prove Gold For NBC,"

I only saw about ten minutes, which was more than enough for me wishing I was back in Michigan where I could get Olympic coverage from Canadian TV.

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

Deadline Hollywood: Answering a question from Couric early on about the significance of the joint Koreas entrance at the Opening Ceremony, his response of “It’s going to be one of these unforgettable, electric, historical moments.

There are two phrases in search of a verb.

Snot spad trite justice people sait.

Writing need not be more grammatically disciplined than spoken language. It is not so bad to write just as people say it.

Inga said...

If Otto Warmbier’s parents wouldn’t have been used in that fashion, Pence could’ve represented our country as an American Vice President should. What an awful thing to do, bringing the parents.

Mark said...

From the time I did watch, I wondered how Puerto Rico is now its own nation.

ken in tx said...

I don't know how much of NBC's commentary was just made up stuff, but what was said about the meaning of the word 'Migook' does not match what I was told by Korean friends when I lived there for two years. Migook is what they call Americans or America. Gook is the Korean word for people. They call themselves Hangook, People of the Han River. I was told that Migook meant Brother People, not Beautiful Country as NBC said.

Also, The Republic of China (Taiwan) marched under a fake name(Chinese Taipei) and a fake flag. There was not just Americans going fake.

mockturtle said...

Watching opening or closing ceremonies are analogous to watching a football halftime show. Not my cup of coffee.

Mark said...

Pence and wife couldn’t muster the decency to stand like everyone else when the Korean team entered the stadium. What a petty ignorant thing to do. How does this help American/Korean diplomacy?

Because they would have stood up the Koreans if they had stood. They were right next to the Korean delegations. And it was the Koreans' moment, not the U.S.'s or Pence's. He did the right thing in letting them have their moment and humbly keeping in the background.

mockturtle said...

Mark notes, rhetorically: From the time I did watch, I wondered how Puerto Rico is now its own nation.

Yeah, they're a nation when it suits them. When they need help, they're a 'US Territory'.

Mark said...

Just for clarity -- we now have two "Marks" commenting at the same time.

JaimeRoberto said...

A couple decades ago I used to sail against a couple of guys who represented Taiwan in the Olympics because their dad was from there. I was always kind of envious that they were able to do that.

My daughter competes in gymnastics, but unless some kind of miracle happens, she'll never be at a level to compete for the US. She has dual citizenship from my wife's home country, which isn't very strong in gymnastics. I suggested she try out for their team instead. She said, "Yeah, I could, but that wouldn't really be earning it." I think she'll turn out ok.

Big Mike said...

Sickens me.

Yeah, I’ve thought for some time that you were one sick individual.

I don’t understand where a person with at least a nominal level of intelligence would conflate support — and often qualified support at that — for Trump’s policies with Trump “worship.” Between the summer of 2008 and January 2017 I witnessed many signs of Obama worship. What I mostly see are folks who are happy that someone was elected president, no matter how flawed, who actually cares about Americans.

Yancey Ward said...

The Atlanta Olympics was probably the last Olympics I watched comprehensively, and the Calgary Winter Games was the last Winter games I watched at all. I have long believed that there should be no flags allowed in the games- period. If you want me as a viewer, you get rid of the studio with Bob Costas or whatever shit sack has taken his place pontificating for hours on end. Show me an event- any fucking event- beginning to end, and I will watch. I love watching competition- even those with high subjectivity scoring systems, but NBC has a difficult time doing that, so I don't watch any longer.

Bill said...

It was really irritating to watch these people soaking up screen time under false pretenses.

Thank you for pointing this out. I actually burst out laughing when team Madagascar entered the stadium.

Big Mike said...

@JaimeRoberto, good for your daughter.

Mark said...

What was much more satisfying was watching clips on YouTube of America's Sweetheart Dorothy Hamill at Innsbruck in 1976.

And the Olympics have never been the same since NBC took over from ABC. Jim McKay will always be the face of Olympic coverage.

MayBee said...

ken in tx-
Beautiful Country as NBC said.
--------

I didn't see it, but "Beautiful Country" is how "America" is translated in Chinese. Mei Guo.
It's used because it sound like "America, and not necessarily because they think we have a beautiful country.

Ken B said...

I'd like to see Davis booted from the event. Some politicians are trying to make a "resistance" here.

MayBee said...

Oh, and according to the internet, that is what the Korean mee-gook is based on- the Chinese name for America.
But perhaps "gook" means national more than nation in Korean.

Sam L. said...

Would it have been SEXXXXXIST if the woman had lost the coin toss?

MayBee said...

As I understand it, Otto Warmbier's parents are activists for the freedom of the North Korean people. Which is beautiful of them.
Pence was seated directly in front of Kim Jung Un's sister. Of course he wasn't going to stand. Come on, people.

Also, let's not imagine we are the only country who has leaders making politically fraught decisions in these Olympics.
This from the South China Morning Post : http://www.scmp.com/week-asia/geopolitics/article/2132790/why-abe-risking-japanese-backlash-over-pyongyang-olympics
Says just over 50% of the Japanese people agree with Abe even attending the games, and Japanese activists whose families were abducted by N Korea are especially unhappy.

Just be glad you live in a country where you can (still) express your opinion disagreeing with the leadership.

Bill said...

Katie Couric seems to have an odd fixation on indigenous Australian athlete Cathy Freeman, who retired from track in 2003. She mentioned her at least twice at various points.

exiledonmainstreet said...

What an awful thing to do, bringing the parents.

2/10/18, 10:35 AM

Were they forced to do it? Or did they do it of their own free will to remind people who want to forget just how evil the North Korean regime is?

No surprise that you insult the parents of a young man who was horribly murdered by the North Koreans by implying they are stooges. No surprise that you're more upset at Pence than at totalitarians who starve and torture their unfortunate people.

MountainMan said...

Mark said: "A MAJOR problem with the Olympics and NBC's perennial awful unwatchable coverage"

One of the main reasons I no longer watch the Olympics. I grew up watching the Olympics with ABC Sports and Jim McKay, who was the voice of the Olympics. No one since has equaled the coverage that he and the rest of the ABC sports crew provided. The coverage he gave during the terrorist incident at the 1972 Olympics in Munich is unforgettable.

I recall in particular the awful NBC coverage of the Atlanta Olympics in 1996. That was the first year that women's soccer was included and the great team that America had was heavily favored to win the gold, and did. But NBC almost completely ignored it. On the evening the final was played, they did not broadcast it, they showed a taped replay of a men's cycling race from earlier in the day. I learned later the reason they ignored it was because ABC was known at the time as the US network mainly promoting broadcast soccer and they didn't want to promote a sport associated with a rival network. That's an example of what a sorry operation they are.

Also, the IOC is as corrupt as the UN and FIFA and no more deserving of respect than they are. I can easily find better things to do with my time for the next couple of weeks.

Inga said...

“Sickens me.”

“Yeah, I’ve thought for some time that you were one sick individual.”

The sickness I see here among you folks is the absolute support that Trump is given, despite the shit show that we see every day in the White House. The excuses, the white washing of his words to mean things less outrageous, the mischaracterization of his words as mere humor, the ignorance the policies he’s pushing through under your noses, smacks of cultism and yes, even worship. The self deception that he cares about America, the effort it must require of your psyche to mold him into something admirable in your eyes. Your unwavering support is not normal, but we’re not living in normal times.

Ugh, and yes, it’s sickening. I feel like Althouse does when she comments on Facebook, soiled.

“I feel so clean and fresh!!” Althouse, after day 2 of staying off Facebook.

I’m thinking it’s time for me to take Althouse’s lead and stay away from a place that’s not uplifting in any way, shape of form anymore. Even the most benign blogpost gets tainted by Trump worship. It’s not a healthy place, too many nuts and bolts, too many conspiracy theories and people who can no longer recognize the truth. This place isn’t for me, nor for any liberal with a sense of decency, it probably never was, but it’s become ever so much worse than it ever was before. I’ll make a comment when the Mueller investigation is over and Trump is impeached.

Time to renew and cleanse myself. I’ve had my fill of your Trumpism. It’s a sickness of the spirit and it’s making me come away from here feeling ill and demoralized. Life is too short to feel that way.

MayBee said...

the ignorance the policies he’s pushing through under your noses,

Like what?
To me, this is the absolutely least offensive thing about him.

Mark said...

As part of that cleansing, you might come clean as to who you really are, because you are certainly not the original AllieOop.

exiledonmainstreet said...


Time to renew and cleanse myself. I’ve had my fill of your Trumpism. It’s a sickness of the spirit and it’s making me come away from here feeling ill and demoralized. Life is too short to feel that way.

2/10/18, 11:21 AM

Does this mean you're leaving? Don't get my hopes up...

mockturtle said...

Jim McKay will always be the face of Olympic coverage.

Wasn't it McKay who did the 'up close and personal' segments? I hated those. More events, less talk please.

We used to get Canadian TV and they were a little better about showing more athletes and less BS.

The Cracker Emcee Activist said...

"If Otto Warmbier’s parents wouldn’t have been used in that fashion, Pence could’ve represented our country as an American Vice President should. What an awful thing to do, bringing the parents."

Wow, and here I thought ARM's MS-13 equivocation was the most craven thing I've read on the Internet. This is taking the whole "no enemies to our left" thing a bit far. But your eager support of the North Korean slave state is duly noted.

Seeing Red said...

But don't all non-Japanese Asians hate Japanese?, I asked.

Well, if they're in America, all Asians can bond over their mutual issues with White people. See how that works?


If Asians don't get antsy, no issues. See how that works? That would have been my response.


We were flying to Hong Kong for vacay. The longest part of the flight was to Seoul. A lot of armed forces going there. But I'm sleeping, hubby's walking and he starts chatting with another passenger. So OF COURSE it turns into a bash America session and we wouldn't have all these problems, yada yada, and hubby ended the conversation with, " That's because you don't let anyone in."

Seeing Red said...

I was reading an article on "Asians" rioting in France or England a few years ago and thought Asians don't riot.

That "Asian" term covered a lot of ground. Religious ground, too.

Seeing Red said...

Katie Couric seems to have an odd fixation on indigenous Australian athlete Cathy Freeman, who retired from track in 2003. She mentioned her at least twice at various points.


Couric looked like she had bad Botox or the leftover of a stroke affecting her mouth.

Seeing Red said...

I loved the gloves!

The 70s is back and fringe is in again.

Seeing Red said...

Ooh little Kimmeee invited the SorK pres to visit.


I wondered if the Olympics was being shown in North Korea and the NirK population was having a Rusdian they own cars moment?

Fancy heavily-edited camerawork will be required to not show the vast wealth of the South.

WA-mom said...

I love how the gloves were made in Gloversville, NY. If that's not Americana, what is?! “The bison are raised in the U.S., the meat is sold in the U.S., the skins are tanned in the U.S., and the gloves are made in the U.S.”

Seeing Red said...

Deadline Hollywood: Answering a question from Couric early on about the significance of the joint Koreas entrance at the Opening Ceremony, his response of “It’s going to be one of these unforgettable, electric, historical moments.



We didn't get peace in 2006 when they did it, we will try again.RME

Seeing Red said...

Pence was seated directly in front of Kim Jung Un's sister. Of course he wasn't going to stand. Come on, people.



The sister saw nothing, NOTHING!

Big Mike said...

Obama policy: I pay more for worse healthcare coverage (while still employed)

Trump policy: I get a $2500 tax break (important for a retiree, “crumbs” according to Dumbocrats)

Gahrie said...

If Otto Warmbier’s parents wouldn’t have been used in that fashion, Pence could’ve represented our country as an American Vice President should. What an awful thing to do, bringing the parents.

I bet you would have suggested keeping Jessie Owens off the 1936 Olympic team....

Seeing Red said...

Trump has to be impeached Inga. It's revenge time. For Clinton, for winning, for exposure, for the deplorables saying FU. You think we don't know what's going on? Lolol



Seeing Red said...

If Otto Warmbier’s parents wouldn’t have been used in that fashion,....


The parents had a message to send to the world, and that platform allowed it so they used it.

Big Mike said...

@Gahrie, Owens was allowed to compete, but several American athletes who were Jewish were not permitted to compete in the Berlin Olympics. Avery Brundage was cool with that, of course.

Birches said...

Who came on this post and started getting political, Inga? There was a vague reference to Trump bashing by athletes and liberals being upset by Pence but then you came out guns blazing. As far as I can see, no one even mentioned Trump positively before your comment and even after people are discussing North Korea and Pence, not Trump.

If seeing people comment about the Olympics makes you angry maybe you should go.

Gahrie said...

Owens was allowed to compete, but several American athletes who were Jewish were not permitted to compete in the Berlin Olympics.

The only two Jewish athletes not allowed to compete were two members of the men's sprint relay team. They finished fifth and sixth at the Olympic trials, but were scheduled to run on the relay teams in Berlin. At the last moment they were both replaced by Black athletes...including Jessie Owens. The two Black athletes both finished ahead of the two Jewish athletes at the Olympic trials, and the sprint teams did set world records.

However, like you, I do think there was anti-Semitism involved.

Jupiter said...

"I enjoyed hearing "Gangnam Style," but thought it was politically incorrect to be playing the words "Hey, sexy lady" as athletes marched."

I am hard pressed to think of any context in which "Hey, sexy lady" is not politically incorrect.

Jim at said...

Nobody tell Shani Davis he's going to be skating on white ice.

#whiteicematters

Jupiter said...

Inga said ....
"I’ve had my fill of your Trumpism. It’s a sickness of the spirit and it’s making me come away from here feeling ill and demoralized. Life is too short to feel that way."

Trump, Igna. Trump, Trump, Trumpety-Trump TRUMP!

Jim at said...

Pence and wife couldn’t muster the decency to stand like everyone else when the Korean team entered the stadium. - Inga

Did they kneel?

Jim at said...

Pence was seated directly in front of Kim Jung Un's sister. Of course he wasn't going to stand. Come on, people.

Consider who you're trying to reason with.

Jim at said...

Even the most benign blogpost gets tainted by Trump worship.i

You're the snarling bitch who started blasting Pence on a thread about the Olympics.
And yet you constantly complain about the content of the threads.

If you hate it so bad, leave. Go peddle your shit somewhere else.

buwaya said...

The Philippines is a minor culprit in the tropical countries sending in ringers scam.

But these days they have an actual homegrown competitor, Michael Christian Martinez, who is native born and home-grown, starting figure skating at Philippine skating rinks (yes they have them). He did spend plenty of time training in the US, with US coaches, but thats acceptable I think.

pacwest said...

With the news about the 'investigations' taking a very negative turn against the Dems and LLRs, it would be a normal reaction for the Ingas to start spitting and clawing. It has to be very depressing. It will take a long time to come to grips with the final outcome (assuming she doesn't go into a complete denial).

This won't be pleasant. At least Inga has had some exposure to what is really happening by spending time here. The echo chamber babies are going to be the hard cases. I can only hope that President Trump will make an effort to heal some of them after the truth is out. I know I'm not that big of a person.

n.n said...

Color diversity for social progress and athletic gerrymandering.

Big Mike said...

@Gahrie, the man who finished second to Owens in the 100 in Berlin was Ralph Metcalfe, who went on to be a distinguished congressman from Illinois in the 1970s. I saw him in a TV special decades ago where he claimed he hit the tape even with Owens but under the rules then in effect the tie went to whomever got the rest of the body across the line — and Owens had a smaller ass. He was laughing as he told the story, so who knows if it’s even true? FWIW Owens was credited with 10.3 and Metcalfe with 10.4.

C R Krieger said...

I like the Professor's note about Americans on the teams of other nations. The prime, for me, is people from Puerto Rico competing, not as Americans, but as Puerto Ricans. If Californians or New Yorkers did that we would cry foul. I think the only solution is to fix up the Island to restore it after the Hurricane Damage and then cut it loose as an independent nation, with an option to apply for Statehood as a 51st State in the United States of America, some five years in the future.

Regards  —  Cliff

mockturtle said...

with an option to apply for Statehood as a 51st State in the United States of America, some five years in the future.

Only if we cut California or Hawaii loose first.

Gahrie said...

I think the only solution is to fix up the Island to restore it after the Hurricane Damage and then cut it loose as an independent nation, with an option to apply for Statehood as a 51st State in the United States of America, some five years in the future.

Puerto Rico holds regular referendums on their status: statehood, independence or the status quo. Status quo always wins.

chickelit said...

[Davis]' s tweet included a hashtag mentioning Black History Month, which raised the question of whether the five-time Olympian was suggesting that race played a role in the decision. Davis is black, Hamlin is white....

Sorry, but Black Histrionics Month is not international.

Walt said...

I was born in Panama Canal Zone but my American parents left with me when I was six months old. I am now seventy six and I see how the game is played. I know where there is an old Flexible Flyer sled. A little steel wool, paint and duct tape, plus some finagling with the authorities — whoever they are, and you can watch for me at the next Olympic Games. I will be waving a Panamanian flag competing in that thing where the slide down hill on their back, feet first. My only concern is whatever the hell am I going to do with all the prophylactics they give to Olympians

Suggestions?

SY said...

I think I can offer a little bit of explanation for the "Asian" reference instead of "Korea" or "South Korea."

The fact is that a lot of the symbols and cultures of Korea are deeply rooted in East Asian culture in general with a lot of them originated from China, e.g. the white tiger. They are not uniquely Korean. In fact, some Chinese got a bit offended seeing all the "Chinese" culture symbols used in the opening ceremony thinking the Koreans "stole" the Chinese culture. But what is Chinese culture? It's a mix of the cultures of Chinese, Korean, Japan, Mongolian and others. Personally I think these arguments are quite immature (it's all a mix! Just like East Asian people! Many Koreans have Chinese/Japanese blood and Chinese living in the Northeastern region definitely have Korean/Japanese blood).

But then, I do hear native Americans and black people in America complain about white people's appropriation of their culture. So maybe these things are important to some people.