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...a sweatshop of moxie

Saturday, May 28, 2005

If You Can't Get Enough of Spelling Bees

And who amongst us can't, you can tune into ESPN'S coverage of the Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee on ESPN1 this Thursday, 2 June.

I personally love this American tradition, but am mystified why it's transmitted on a sports cable network. This must be the same logic which propelled Australia to suggest bridge (not the structure, the card game) as an Olympic sport.

As you WTF alongside me, let me just add that one of the best documentaries I've ever seen was based on following a group of spelling bee hopefuls as they tried to win the title one year.

If you thought kiddie beauty pageant mums or backstage parents like Macaulay Culkin's folks were annoying, not to say creepy, you have NO idea what awaits you in Spellbound.

One poor youngster studied up to 8 hours a day, had French and German tutors, and his grandfather even paid a group of people in India to chant 24 hours a day for good karma a full year before the event.

And as usual, the dad says it's nothing to do with him, but rather because his son wanted to.

Sure he did.

Just like my mother had me holding a tennis racket at the age of 2, with private coaches as early as age 4.

I still can't hit a return volley.

UPDATE: Anurag Kashyap, 2005 Champion. Winning Word: appoggiatura. I knew that.


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