Pet Cobra

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Friday, August 13, 2004

Friday! After a moderately successful week at work, I'm ready to devote hours of my off-time to the Olympics. I look forward to tear-jerking stories about the Iraqi soccer team and the legally blind triple-jumper on the U.S. track squad. I'm fervently hoping that Phelps wins all of the golds in swimming, for no Olympic record should be held by a guy with a mustache. Add to that the spectre of terrorist attacks and big-name athletes failing drug tests - that's entertainment! Tonight's opening ceremonies will raise the bar for tasteless spectacles; not only will we have the standard hordes of children in Day-Glo outfits singing some stupid anthem accompanied by guys on stilts, we'll also get a re-enactment of the Greeks' finest moment, the Trojan Horse! Yes, Homer tells us that by sneaking in their troops using a fake peace offering, the Greeks were able to overrun Troy, slaughter the remaining Trojan army, burn the city to the ground, and take the women and children back to Athens for slave labor. A lesson in sportsmanship for the ages. I understand there will also be a re-enactment of Achilles' victory celebration after he defeated Troy's champion Hector in battle (he did a few laps in his chariot around the city of Troy, dragging Hector's dead body behind him for all to see.)

Hopefully you all had a chance to read that article I posted yesterday, concerning the reporter who apparently witnessed a group of Middle Eastern men rehearsing a hijacking/bombing while on a domestic flight. What I find most interesting about this is that, so far, none of the major print or broadcast media have bothered to report on it. The sheer incompetence of the TSA, and the inadequacies of our air marshall program (let's see - 12 guys armed with a bomb and God knows what else, versus one guy with a pistol, in close quarters, surrounded by dozens of civilians who are going to panic once the shit hits the fan. Did Tom Ridge come up with the air marshall program while smoking a joint and watching "Passenger 57"?) are not going to stop a hijacking, and a story like this could be proof positive of that. So why is it still relegated to the realm of email forwards and blog dorks like myself? Are we still so unwilling to directly confront our collective and ongoing failings in "The War On Terror" for fear of being branded as "soft", unpatriotic (or worse) by those in authority? (Sidenote: for all of his mockery of Kerry's reference to a more sensitive war on terror, it seems to me that Cheney is running one; not profiling Middle Eastern airline passengers who look suspicious is the very bleeding-heart-liberal thing to do). The biggest tragedy of this story is that it will probably remain an obscure, scary curiosity.

What does rugby have to do with all of this?

Four things to note about George Bush, rugby player. One, he's executing a high tackle (illegal to tackle around the neck - penalty against Yale). Two, he's leaving his feet during open play (illegal - penalty against Yale). Three, he's punching his opponent (incurring a red card - Bush should have been sent off for the remainder of the game). Four, it would have been open season on that bitch. Despite the roughness, rugby is considered by players to be a gentleman's game; cheap-shot artists (typically players with no skill to speak of) like Dubya are scorned and get what they give in spades from their opponents. I take heart in knowing that if Bush stayed in the game, it's very likely that someone gave him the boots or a nice shot to the ribs. That picture probably speaks more to Bush's character than anything else we've seen. Wonder he if practiced that right hook on Laura during one of his beer-and-coke binges.

Big game this weekend. Springboks v. All-Blacks, on 'Bok soil; Ellis Park in Joburg. It'll be a tight game, but New Zealand can't score tries this season. Springboks by 5. Go Bokke!


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