Sunday, August 17, 2008

News Flash: The Olympics are for Douchebags

Hey everybody, it's your old pal Harry, and I've got a new bone to pick.

So I was walking by the newsstand today on the way to and I noticed a curious picture in the NY Times:

Fig. A: two dudes about to throw a kegger

I've never watched the Olympics before, so I think, "Holy shit, those guys are Olympic atheletes? They look like douchebag fratboys getting ready to pull out the old beerbong and go on a drunken joyride in their hummer with one guy sticking out of the sunroof while shouting lewd comments and thrusting his erection at random pedestrians!"

I don't give a shit about sports, but I always thought the Olympic athlete was supposed to maintain a more noble image than your average jock, sort of like this guy:

Fig B: the myth

Then I get home and do a little research, and I find out that the douche in the picture goes by the name of Michael Phelps. The media is currently fellating him and calling him an American Hero or some shit because he won eight gold medals, which is something nobody has ever done before, apparently.

Anyway, although we're supposed to believe this crap about how the Olympics represent some magical time when the human race comes together for a common cause (to compare penis size) like we're told in that stupid Visa ad with Morgan Freeman (Goddamn, is there any gig this guy won't do? I swear, no matter how many blockbuster roles he lands, he'll appear on the Honey-nut Cheerios box if they ask him to), the hype is bullshit. The Olympics are about as humanitarian as college football is academic. While the games might be a peaceful gathering, they're an expression of the same base impulses of rivalry and aggression that form the basis of all bloodshed and injustice in this world. But because these expressions are confined to a safe, controlled environment, it's supposed to be productive healthy competition and shit.


Fig. C: sports are a safe and harmless outlet for multicultural tension

Speaking of Edward Norton with a swastika tattoo, why do you think Hilter loved the Olympics so much?

But anyway, this article isn't about the Olympics being evil and racist or anything like that; it's about them being an extension of the same douchebag jock-worshiping ideology that makes high school a living hell. My point is that this ideology doesn't end with high school; the Olympics are proof that this exact same bullshit is ultimately waged on global scale.

Whether he is a gold medalist or captain of the high school football team, the athlete hones his physical form not simply for personal power, but as an agent of ideology. His perfect, Apollonian physique becomes the body of the state, just as Foucault reasoned that the broken body of corporeally punished criminal becomes the body of the enemy of the state ("Discipline and Punish"). No matter how physically powerful the athlete becomes as an individual, he always serves his ideology first, surrendering his volition to "The Man". This is why we often see the curious sight of a lumbering quarterback who could rip a phone book in half lowering his head like scorned child when his fat old coach who can barely chew gum without having a heart attack yells at him for dropping the ball.

All his life, the athlete has had the motions of his body dictated by what the coach says. If Coach says straighten those legs, he straightens those legs. If Coach says give him fifty, he gives him fifty. When these young men enter high school, the coach evolves into something of a pederastic mentor, instructing them in the ways of manhood. If there's a party happening that night, Coach will say something about drinking responsibly and then, with a wink and nudge, something about proper condom usage. Without Coach's tacit approval, these boys probably wouldn't even be able to get an erection: his word is more deeply ingrained in their physical being than the word of God Himself.

The athlete's body is not built for his own pleasure, but for the vicarious pleasure of others. He performs so that his physically inferior coach and obese, chili-dog gobbling spectators may share in the triumph. The idea is not to become the ideal independent body, but the ideal appendage. The athlete's destiny is to become the giant throbbing cock on America's flabby, diabetic body, a proxy phallice for The Man to fondle as his own.

Fig D: fondling and pride

-- H.A. Farber

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