Some of my many opinions
Mark Spitz was not invited to the Beijing olympics and is in a minor snit about it. I think he's an idiot and needs to get over himself. Seems like even the person writing the article found him annoying and couldn’t help putting in a little dig about how his show business career never really took off like he’d hoped. In any case, reading his comments make me think maybe people knew him and that's why he didn't get invited...
I find this article on Beijing gymnastics a nice piece of writing. No, it’s not War & Peace, but for what it is, I think it’s a job well done…
The Spanish basketball team is in trouble for making slanty-eyes in an advertisement.
It was dumb. Someone should have realized at some point that maybe this was a bad idea. And I would expect any number of the Spanish basketballers to be racist to some degree – pretty much all of us are. (In my experience, people who feel the need to announce that they are not racist are almost always the least educated on racial issues, the least self-aware, and the most racist people in the room.)
a) I think there are contexts within which one could highlight the eye thing -- one of the single most obvious differentiating features between our phenotypes -- without it automatically being an issue of malice, or racism. We are “round-eyes”, they’re not. Noting that is not in itself racist.
b) painting with an extremely broad brush, if we were to rank various cultures’ “xenophobic-ness” based on my limited experience/impressions, I’d put the Chinese up near the top.
I can understand Beijing’s taking offense. But I can also believe that for some players it could have been done with a large measure of innocence, and understand their suspicion that the whole thing is an issue of the media looking to stir up controversy...
I know I’m starting to sound like Ted Kasczcszcynski, but once again the guv’mint is being assholes. There are apparently a lot of people born in South Texas who were delivered by midwives and so don’t have birth certificates. Add the fact that (in exchange for cash) some midwives were apparently making false statements about who was born in the USA to help people fraudulently get citizenship. So now we have people being refused passports because they have no way to prove they’re Amerkins. But is this really where the terrorist threat lies -with people who’ve lived their whole lives here?
And what’s worse: to give someone like that – who is effectively socially indistinguishable from his neighbor who was born here – a passport when he doesn’t deserve it, or to deny a legitimate citizen a passport on the basis of paperwork that might be impossible to produce, thereby preventing him from making a living?
People need perspective.
I saw Robin Williams last weekend – he was right behind me in a crowd of people in Seattle. I have a thing about wanting to be chill with famous people and not fawn over them or bug them. So anyway...
Bryan [over shoulder]: Love your work, dude.
RW: Thanks, dude.
Guess that was my 15 minutes...