Sunday, October 4, 2009

The Chicago Thing

I didn't really follow it, but apparently His Serenity came up empty in his efforts to land the 2016 Olympics for his adopted home town Chicago the other day, and all of Wingnuttia is in ecstasy at his loss. Rio has also exploded in glee.

Which reminds me of a song, YouTube video of Hugh Jackman rehearsing it appended herewith:

Now there's nothing Wingnut about Rio, and their President Lula da Silva seems to have his head screwed on OK, but the Olympics are something of an odd duck in the corporate firmament, strangely Puritanical and blithely corrupt at the same time. Anachronistic besides.

A major reason for the IOC's rejection of Chicago appears to be the difficulties encountered by travellers at the borders of the USA, something few Americans ever actually have to endure or even witness. The stories are legion of assholitry by various customs and immigration and security officials, attitudinally suspicious and hostile, often arbitrary, and overly officious to no apparent purpose. Whether or not His Serenity addressed that issue, the fact is that for foreigners coming into the USA, the experience can be anything but pleasant.

So the World says why bother? Rio has the samba and the Copacabana -- among so many other inducements -- so why the fuck bother with the constant crabbiness of La Migra?

Of course there are many other problems, too. Apparently Chicago's reputation for corruption shocked (!) even the IOC. Oh. My. God. It must be really bad then. But maybe there is something else...

First, the Olympics have been held in the United States an abundance of times; second, some of the experiences in the USA (like bombings and such) haven't exactly been in the Olympic Spirit; third, South America has never hosted an Olympics, and Rio is one of the most unique locales anywhere, so why not have the Games there?

Besides which, one wonders whether the Olympics would be a net boon or a loss to a city like Chicago. Often the Games cost way more than they return to their host cities and countries. Given the rickety status of the American economy (job loss numbers just out are appalling), and the sheer level of growth potential in places like Brazil as opposed to the predicted continued decline in the USA, the overall cost of presenting the Games in Chicago might have proved ruinous.

All rationalizations of course.

What's striking, though, is that practically the whole right-wingnut-o-world is having a simultaneous orgasm over Obama's Big Loss. This is his Waterloo! His reign is So Over! On and on.


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