Sunday, 30 March 2008

Thought For The Day

Flaubert wrote,
"To be stupid, selfish, and have good health are three requirements for happiness, though if stupidity is lacking, all is lost."

But what did he know?

Sunday, 23 March 2008

Mixing Politics and Sport

In yesterday´s blog I went off the rails a bit. you can do that with blogs.

I had intended to make the point, regarding the fifth anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, that the Bush Republicans and John McCain too now, keep talking about ´´winning the war. For about four years now, I have been asking this question and have not had even a vestige of an answer.


This is not the sort of war where the losers end up signing a document of surrender and handing over their swords (or scimitars, maybe) to the victor. All I can suppose is that the President at the time will announce that all members of Al Queda have been killed. Official. Peace in our time from now on. And, when another deadly attack takes place, we can say with confidence that it was not Al Queda but some other bunch of bastards - either not so bad, or even worse, depending on what side the coin comes down.

However, this line of thinking will get us nowhere, so let us go back to brooding on yesterday´s other topic, The Olympic Games.
My ideas generated some debate, mostly in favor although it is perhaps not extraordinary that syncopated swimming elicits scant support among my readers.
I was persuaded to look up the official list of Sports´ currently on offer in Pekin. One that stands out as a candidate for immediate dumping is Shooting. Worse even than Ping-Pong, (which is on the Olympic list) or Golf, (which unaccountably, is not), the criteria are not even consistent. Handguns, rifles and shotguns are listed as OK, but not machine guns. Why not? And not a whisper about Bazookas. But why stop there? If Shooting is considered a reasonable way of winning glory and a gold medal for one´s country, why not Bombing?
No, Shooting must go.
Along with Boxing, Wrestling, Tae Quan Do (whatever the hell that is), and Sword Fighting, better known as Fencing. All too violent and silly. I had to think a bit before dropping Archery, but although it is fun at first, SOMEONE COULD END UP LOSING AN EYE, and we don´t want that, do we now?
Doubtless the Chinese have flirted with the possibility of suggesting Baton Charging as a likely addition. Many nations would fancy their medal chances in that event.

If all the nasty activities currently on offer continue to be approved Olympic material, it can only be a question of time before Mugging makes the list. Which, considering how the Bush gang won the last two elections, and treated John Kerry, brings us back to politics. And out.

Saturday, 22 March 2008

Unsporting comments

The Invasion of Iraq was, ´Just, noble, and necessary,´says Bush, which means, of course, exactly the opposite. It´s easy to know where you are with George. If he says there is no recession, you know that there is a recession. If he says we are winning in Iraq, we must be losing. When he says things are getting better there, as does McCain, we know that best best we can hope for is that they are getting less worse. Which they ain´t.

Anyway, here are a few predictions.

The Olympic Games will not be held in China this year. Too much pollution and persecution.

McCain will win the Presidency over either Clinton or Obama, probably Clinton. Race and religion will do Obama in.

Sarkozy will overcome his crippling inferiority complex.

I must say, however, that all of these will no doubt turn out to be erroneous. My record of picking election winners is totally consistent. I am always wrong. This is because I can´t imagine anybody thinking or voting differently to myself. I was confident Thatcher would not be elected. Who in their right minds would vote for her? The same happened both times with Bush, of course. Come to that, I wouldn´t have given a rat´s ass for Ratzinger´s chances in the Vatican Stakes. Wrong stable.

While I am on a tear, we might as well tackle the Olympics. I used to look forward to them with great anticipation, particularly the 5k, 10, 1,500m and the marathon. I still like these. I even like the swimming races. But the whole package is now way out of hand and silly and the majority of events should be dumped.
Not just the obviously dopey stuff like synchronised swimming, but also walking races (if you are in a hurry, just bleeding run), the triple jump (hop, step and jump; meaningless. Why not the jump, step and hop?) Then all events that require a panel of judges, all soccer matches (no point - enough soccer competitions already) The pole vault, (too much reliance on technicality), and last , but least, those bike races where the two riders go as slowly as possible for about nine tenths of the race then pedal like crazy at the end (too philosophical).

If the was a Waterboarding event, I would ban that too. The Americans would be denied a certain gold there.
All flags and national anthems should be banned, and all athletes should wear the same white vest and shorts.

When people say that sport and politics should not mix, I remember years back when the British Rugby teams were prevented from playing the South Africans. That was what the dolts who wanted the Springboks (as the lily-white South African team was called) to compete used to bleat. The fact that the Springboks refused to have black players in their team aparently did not count as politics.

So let´s eviscerate The Games. Cut out all the all the Dressage and Three Day Eventing and Show-jumping - if we allow animals in, we might as well include fox hunting and bullfighting (certain golds for Spain and England, though not necessarily in that order), and move the handful of remaining events to Finland or somewhere else decent and leave the Chinese to kicking the Tibetans around and wondering what to do with the five thousand tons of Egg Fu Yong they have ordered in advance to feed the serried ranks of synchronised slow cyclists, to name but many.