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Sundries
...a sweatshop of moxie

Saturday, February 11, 2006

The Olympics -- That 70's Show

(Welcome Reader_Iam readers!)

What the hell was that all about?

I mean, Yoko FRIKKIN Ono?



After the delectable and artful rendition of their country's history in the Athens Olympics, now almost two years ago, I was expecting a more low-key Opening Ceremonies to the Torino Winter Olympics.

Let's face it.

The Winter Games have nowhere near the caché Summer Games have, and are always on a smaller scale, comparatively.

In Athens, we got that wonderful drummer scene, surrounded by a pool of water, and as he banged rhythmically, his colleague in the ancient site of the Games, in Olympia, would beat his drum at the same time, thus giving the Opening Ceremonies a fusion of old and new, a linear line of history from our ancestors to us.

In Torino, we got Luciano Pavarotti in a cape, singing an ironically soporific version of "Nessun Dorma".

And the parade of nations, oy, my liver hurts.

Not too sure why the country of Verdi, Donizetti, Puccini and Zucchero went the route of Disco Duck, but you can imagine my reaction, as my mother and I watched each country's name being announced, to the background of the Bee Gees and Donna Summer.

FINLANDIA! Freak out! Le Freak! C'est Chic! GERMANIA! You should be dancing, dancing Yeah!! GRAN BRETAGNA! Looking for some Hot Stuff baby this evening!

I won't even mention the skating moo-cows, with their exposed lactating udders. *shiver*

Now that the US failed to secure a position in the Olympic Committee, it's not surprising that this happened.

I'll take a million cowboy skits, with Conestoga wagons, and settlers whooping it up in line-dancing boots to one rendition of Yoko Ono reading...I don't know what she read.

I think it was an Iraq War peacenik take on Imagine, but with her unusually thick accent (what, still?) she could've been reading Molière and still I wouldn't have understood a word. Like the Duchess of Windsor, Yoko Ono is one of those women you look at and think,

"Wow, he gave up all of that for THIS? Dude."

But no.

As if Peter Gabriel singing a suicidal version of Imagine wasn't enough, we were treated to the vision of 8 lovely, sexy 60-somethings, holding the Olympic Flag.

Mother: "Look, it's Sophia Loren."

Victoria: "Is she out of tax prison yet?"

Mother: "Don't be catty. She looks wonderful!"

Victoria: "I thought you said she looks like Harpo Marx with those glasses and hair?"

Mother: "Just pay attention to the show."

Victoria: "Oh. My. God."

Mother: "What??"

Victoria: "Isabel FRIKKIN Allende?"

Mother: "Probably representing South America."

Victoria: "Come on! You think they'd invite a niece of Pinochet to this gig??"

Mother: "You're getting maniacal about how popular culture takes every opportunity to show just one ideological side of the story! I'm sure it's just a coincidence."

(pause)

(shot to Susan Sarandon holding up the other side of the flag)

Victoria: "You were saying?"

Mother: "Hmm."


I'm not sure what kind of message the IOC were trying to send, but I for one read its subliminal messages loud and clear:

The 1970s rocked.

Vietnam was raging.

Allende was killed.

People were protesting.

Yoko Ono broke up the Beatles.

Disco was hot.

Gay people were flaming rollerbladers.

Susan Sarandon smoked up the screen in Rocky Horror Picture Show, and Sophia Loren...looked exactly like she does now.

Thanks Torino.

ADDENDUM: Which reminds me! You may be aware that there is a raging "Turin" versus "Torino" debate going on, trying to see which version of the city's name is the most politically correct to use.

Now, as you know, I loathe political correctness for what it has become.

Whenever possible I say Bombay, not Mumbai. And it's still Burma, darn it, not Myanmar.

And I see nothing wrong with spelling the Qu'ran as the Koran, because, well it's English -- what's the problem?

No one gives the French a hard time for calling Beijing in French: Pekin.

Oh noooo. Only us Anglophones must hand-wringingly consider people's reactions if we use Turin instead of Torino.

Why are we so lame??

Here's one article, which also mentions the profuse usage of faux and real fur used by the participants in the Opening Ceremonies, which gives us an amusing look at the controversy:


We used to think that in the Western media world, there were two distinct sides in the ongoing Turin/Torino debate, namely:

• NBC, which decided it sounded coolio to use Torino — and, since it virtually owns the Olympics, can do whatever it wants.

• Everybody else, noting that traditional newspaper style dictates using Americanized versions of foreign place names (i.e., Milan, not Milano, Rome, not Roma, etc.).

But down in the piazza the other day, a copy of USA Today came blowing across our shoes, and we couldn't help notice the dateline: "Torino."

Traitors.

Given this, we're all eagerly awaiting the paper's big feature piece on the Shroud of Torino.

So, just to keep all this straight:

Shroud of Turin: Cloth in a local museum, considered by some to be the burial shroud of Christ.

Shroud of Torino: Soiled polyester seat cover on the back seat of Starsky & Hutch's car.

Me, I decided I will continue to use Torino, but order Parmesan not parmeggiano cheese.

As for Chinese Taipei instead of Taiwan -- they're on their own.

16 Comments:

  • Best take-down of that lame-o opening!

    Linked.

    By Blogger reader_iam, at Sat Feb 11, 01:50:00 pm GMT-5  

  • English is the most successful language of all time insofar as it has adopted many different words and usages from many other languages and has never been taken over. It makes teaching grammar and spelling difficult, but ENGLISH RULES!

    By Blogger Ruth Anne Adams, at Sat Feb 11, 02:14:00 pm GMT-5  

  • First, omg x2!

    Reader_Iam put her baby pic, the same day that Pastor_Jeff changed his!

    Well at least that's when I saw both of them.

    Second, thanks RIA!

    I backlinked you in thanks. :)

    P.S.: If you find more take-downs let me know, please, I as I want to read them, then link to them.

    Cheers,
    Victoria

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Sat Feb 11, 02:35:00 pm GMT-5  

  • English is the most successful language of all time insofar as it has adopted many different words and usages from many other languages and has never been taken over. It makes teaching grammar and spelling difficult, but ENGLISH RULES!

    Listen. Preaching to the choir is my angle here, get your own!

    P.S.: Just messin' witcha. But I have long had a problem with people being too touchy when it comes to English-speakers' usage of place names, when no one, and I mean no one, complains when the Argentinians call São Paulo, San Pablo...or the Brazilians write Nova Iorque for New York.

    I even had an Iranian correct me, when I use the more American-accented Eye-ran instead of Ih-ran.

    Dude, it's English.

    Even the French don't mind when we say Fraa-nce, not Frah-nce.

    ALL HAIL ENGLISH! The most bastardy tongue of them all.

    Cheers,
    Victoria

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Sat Feb 11, 02:38:00 pm GMT-5  

  • Does this mean you're not on board with the "Peking 2008" campaign?

    Boo.

    By Blogger JSU, at Sat Feb 11, 03:28:00 pm GMT-5  

  • You are hot today!

    Holy smokes! You mean turino = Turin? I am a clueless, simple person. Well, I have to go with Turin because that's what I was taught. Burma too. Peking and Pittsburgh, some things never change and shouldn't.

    English rules, England too, except for certain times in our history but if Hillary gets elected, I'll be petitioning the Queen for annexation or whatever England does to repossess a continent.

    Yoko, Yeecch! She broke up my Beatles, people say there are other reasons, ha, I don't think so.
    Sarandon was there? How about Fonda? How about Sheehan? Bin Laden? How about the ref's in the girls hockey game? It's going an interesting Games. Those skating cows freaked me out too.

    By Blogger Paul, at Sat Feb 11, 03:36:00 pm GMT-5  

  • Yes I saw that "performance" by Yoko and was not impressed at all. I know they say love is blind and that may explain how John chose Yoko.

    By Blogger Jose Aguirre, at Sat Feb 11, 04:45:00 pm GMT-5  

  • Hi-larious! This is a new peak in Sundries humor! I now have no need to watch the Olympics, I'll just read your commentary, Victoria!

    Alas, although I have no love for her myself, I think the Fabs broke up before Ono came along...the tensions, the anger, were all there...if not Ono, perhaps that usurper Linda...

    By Blogger Ron, at Sat Feb 11, 04:55:00 pm GMT-5  

  • ALL HAIL ENGLISH! The most bastardy tongue of them all

    Not bastardy so much as polymorphously perverse in my opinion. (English is a pleasurable tongue)

    (makes no sense, but I just love the phrase 'polymorphously perverse')

    You want more take downs, I humbly submit my own.

    (If Islam is submission to Allah's will, what's submission to Victoria?)

    When I saw who all was carrying the olympic flag, I was a little surprised that she wasn't clutching a bit of it, too (she would have been closest to the red ring, no doubt).

    By Blogger XWL, at Sat Feb 11, 05:46:00 pm GMT-5  

  • Reader_Iam put her baby pic, the same day that Pastor_Jeff changed his!

    Heh. I was playing around earlier this week--there are others up, in posts, including one where I'm playing dead on a bulldozer.

    Thanks for the backlink.

    By Blogger reader_iam, at Sat Feb 11, 07:42:00 pm GMT-5  

  • Does this mean you're not on board with the "Peking 2008" campaign?

    Boo.


    Tell you what, my fine feathered friend.

    You make the t-shirts, and I wear them, capiche?

    Size small, but medium if you don't mind my wearing it around the house in my underwear.

    Cheers,
    Victoria

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Tue Feb 14, 12:06:00 am GMT-5  

  • English rules, England too, except for certain times in our history but if Hillary gets elected, I'll be petitioning the Queen for annexation or whatever England does to repossess a continent.

    I have a friend who wants Canada to annex the US, so Americans can be under HM the Queen's juridisdiction again. What a weirdo.

    Yoko, Yeecch! She broke up my Beatles, people say there are other reasons, ha, I don't think so.

    So I read below that they broke up before she got there?

    But surely not! Where's my copy of Yellow Submarine?

    (Kidding. I hate that movie)

    Sarandon was there? How about Fonda? How about Sheehan? Bin Laden?

    And what do these three people have in common? Bad hair days, all.

    Please. Did you ever see Fonda in Klute? Or Barbarella?!

    How about the ref's in the girls hockey game? It's going an interesting Games. Those skating cows freaked me out too.

    First the Steelers, now this. We'll be finishing each other's sentences before long.

    Cheers,
    Victoria

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Tue Feb 14, 12:10:00 am GMT-5  

  • Yes I saw that "performance" by Yoko and was not impressed at all. I know they say love is blind and that may explain how John chose Yoko.

    And what causes sudden blindness?

    That's right.

    Cheers,
    Victoria

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Tue Feb 14, 12:11:00 am GMT-5  

  • Hi-larious! This is a new peak in Sundries humor! I now have no need to watch the Olympics, I'll just read your commentary, Victoria!

    Thanks Ron! I have decided to add a little something about the Olympics, at least once daily.

    Then we can look back one day, and see how events unfolded, without the 20/20 of hindsight getting in the way.

    Alas, although I have no love for her myself, I think the Fabs broke up before Ono came along...the tensions, the anger, were all there...if not Ono, perhaps that usurper Linda...

    Or George Best. ;)

    Cheers,
    Victoria

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Tue Feb 14, 12:12:00 am GMT-5  

  • (makes no sense, but I just love the phrase 'polymorphously perverse')

    I love the word "gorgeous".

    You, like me XWL, are a wordsmith. You love the sound of words, and the look of them.

    You want more take downs, I humbly submit my own.

    Cool! I read. :)

    (If Islam is submission to Allah's will, what's submission to Victoria?)

    "Marriage".

    When I saw who all was carrying the olympic flag, I was a little surprised that she wasn't clutching a bit of it, too (she would have been closest to the red ring, no doubt).

    OMG. I hadn't realised that when I saw it. :(

    Is there any doubt whatsoever, what message that moment was supposed to send...

    Cheers,
    Victoria

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Tue Feb 14, 12:15:00 am GMT-5  

  • Heh. I was playing around earlier this week--there are others up, in posts, including one where I'm playing dead on a bulldozer.

    Show!

    Or rather, link! ;)

    Cheers,
    Victoria

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Tue Feb 14, 12:16:00 am GMT-5  

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