Wednesday, August 18, 2004

2004 Olympic Crap

Since 1984, I have found the Summer Olympics to be duller and duller and duller each time they come around. As leader of the Los Angeles Olympics that year, Peter UberAlles introduced unbridled commercialism to the previously amateur-oriented, blatantly non-commercial Games.

It has been a disaster since.

The worst part of Olympic television coverage by NBC is the plethora of commentary and special features shown in lieu of actual sporting events. Long tedious profiles of 18-year-olds whose lives have been so dramatic that they have actually been sick and had fevers and rebelled against their elders. Imagine! Is there anything more insipid than a five-minute profile, or a three-minute profile of a teenager? Nothing.

Last night, at about 8:30 PM, we were tuned-in and a reporter was being interviewed by a commentator about the interesting feature he produced about being a reporter in Athens.

OK: So this is one television personality talking to another television personality about how important their experiences are as television personalities at a television broadcast. Scintillating!

A Discovery-channel style profile began by following an ancient Greek road outside of Athens, and the self-important reporter who was sharing his experience offered a voice-over that said: "Evolution may be controversial . . . "

What?!?!?! Let me understand: NBC considers evolution to be controversial? What is the controversy? Does NBC really think that homo sapiens have developed via the lovely creationism story proffered by malnourished prophets who lived in a desert 5,000 years ago?

It gets better! In a description of Ellis, an outpost of Athens used for athletic training, the voice-over explained that "Prostitution was rampant . . . " as if it was some sort of disease or crime. In case you don't know, most civilized nations do not ban prostitution, because it cannot be stopped. Prostitution is an honorable profession and it was no more rampant in 770 B.C. Greece than is corporate deregulation in modern America.

(Which do you think is more vulgar and has had a more negative impact on humanity: Prostitution or Bank Deregulation?)

It's not bad enough that NBC has commercialized the Olympics beyond recognition; but their moralizing against evolution and their Victorian attitudes about prostitution are downright offensive.

More important than the moralizing, though, is the idea that NBC considers evolution to be controversial. Evolution is not controversial. Please send them an email at and ask them why they think it is controversial.


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