TMFD

9
Aug 08

Olympic Avoidance Log 2008: Day One – Rowing

FT + TMFD2 comments • 175 views

I hate the Olympics. But it is everywhere (except for the fencing), so it is very easy to accidentally stumble across it. In the last Olympics I managed a personal best of racking up less than an hour of viewing, but I hope to beat it this time. However occasionally I get tricked into watching some by virtue of something interesting happening. It is rarely the sport itself.

This morning it was an explosion at the rowing.

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Foiled again! etc etc

Do You See + FT + TMFD//3 comments • 313 views

Unlike, say, sailing, fencing is a naturally telegenic sport. Violent and shrouded in darkness with dramatically spot-lit little runways for the fencers to jab at each other, each point of a bout will take up at most a few seconds of one’s precious, attention-deficit-addled time. In fact, bouts at this highest of levels are like that old nature film of the grizzly bear swiping salmon from a stream – the crucial action simply takes place faster than a human can see it. Like chess players, fencers are always several moves ahead of what’s actually happening. But with the camera and playback technology available today, every bind, circle-parry and change of engagement can be slowed down, isolated, remarked upon and put into the context of the bout. And like the other combat sports, fencing requires ingenuity, creativity and grace yet thankfully doesn’t depend on a judge somewhere. You either hit somebody or you don’t.

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7
Aug 08

Olympic football and Eurosport commentators

TMFD1 comment • 279 views

“No score at the break – the mighty Brazil being held by Belgium.” We have the old problem here of commentators having stereotyped ideas fixed in their small brains before they have seen a team play. The best attempts and chances in that first half unquestionably went Belgium’s way. They continued to look the better side until a soft red card reduced Belgium to nine men, after which Brazil managed a goal. Belgium had another man sent off in what looked a crazy misjudgement by the ref, but there was still the sense of “mighty” Brazil hanging on, diving and wasting time, as the commentator admired Belgium’s plucky spirit, as if they were hopelessly outclassed but still fighting bravely. Brazil have never won the Olympic football competition, and it looks highly unlikely that this lacklustre team, even with Ronaldinho as one of their overage players, can change that.

So who looked good? Italy did outclass the opposition in a 3-0 win, but I can hardly assume that Honduras are especially high quality. Argentina look very strong, but the Ivory Coast gave them a good game in losing 2-1. Holland and Nigeria both looked pretty good in a 0-0 draw.

On a side issue, why do commentators keep using the phrase “he plays his football in [country]” when we are seeing international football? Is there more information, denotative or connotative, than “he plays in”? Would we think they meant something other than football, or that he plays someone else’s football there?

Premature Sports and British Withdrawal.

FT + TMFDPost a comment • 165 views

Isn’t the Olympic opening ceremony tomorrow? You know, 08/08/08 = money, money, money? (Actually the games start at 8.08pm, which suggests that the first track should be a cover of the Abba tune by 808 State). What I understand the term “Opening Ceremony” to mean is that it takes place before any of the sport starts. So why have the Women’s Football games already started? Yet more proof that the Olympics are rubbish, they can’t even start on time! Of course in the UK we have no interest in the football due to the pesky Scots not allowing us to field a Team GB football team – possibly on the correct assumption that no Scot is good enough to make the team. That said the suggestion of a home nation tournament in 2011 to select a GB team for 2012 I think could be quite good fun. But then it is football, they have their own World Cup and football has never really felt like an Olympic sport to me. Unlike, say, Hitler’s favorite sport Handball – which is as Olympic as they get (pointless silly foreign sport that no-one plays).

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5
Aug 08

Olympic Preview: WEIGHTLIFTING

FT + TMFD3 comments • 826 views

Some of Freaky Trigger’s Olympic coverage, you will have realised reading Kat’s swimming piece, is being provided by writers who are genuine experts and enthusiasts in their field – as well as possessing a gift of bringing the drama of sport to you the reader.

Others, however, have chosen sports based on what was left over when everyone else had picked. Since this is very much how my participation in sports has always worked it seemed a fair method. Thus I introduce myself to you now as Freaky Trigger’s newly appointed weightlifting expert.

Weightlifting as a sport is both simple and mysterious. The simplicity comes from the fact that every single event in every single category at the Olympics is the same: no variance in victory conditions, rules or tactics, just in how enormous the participants are. The mystique comes from the fact that it’s never on the TV except when the Olympics come round, when it seems to fill up the whole schedule. Also, Britain don’t take part in it* so when I was small it seemed doubly baffling, as it was always there and yet nobody had anything much to say about it. It was dominated back then by the Eastern Bloc countries who were Our Enemies: while we concentrated on breeding a race of lanky fops good only for running away the iron men of Bulgaria and the DDR were busy practicing by lifting whole tanks.

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4
Aug 08

Olympic Preview: SWIMMING

TMFD8 comments • 1,081 views

Have we got a chance in the backstroke? Or will we sink without trace? As one of FT’s diligent aquatic correspondents I’ve put together a quick guide to the swimming events – the form, the favourites and whether Great Britain has a minnow’s chance at winning anything at all. So if you think an Individual Medley is something off the Dirty Dancing soundtrack, read on!

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1
Aug 08

Announcing The Comprehensive FT Olympic Coverage (Snidely)

FT + TMFD3 comments • 215 views

I hate the Olympics. Once every four years the world seems to stop –for some sort of celebration of fair play, school bullies and bizarre stage management. This seems all kinds of wrong to me, particularly in the middle of a balmy summer that grotesque mutants and posh people fill up our television schedules just for being quite good at something which is useless. Bookend the whole affair with staggering jingoism and an opening ceremony which is the last vestige of hyper-interpretive dance and I really do start to wonder the gawmping masses watching are actually pod people. So someone can throw a stick quite far. SO WHAT!

Sadly it appears that on Freaky Trigger, I am alone in this view. And so it falls to me, sipping my special edition Olympic Hatorade, to announce the comprehensive Olympic coverage on Freaky Trigger.

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24
Jul 08

Blurzillas, the Olympics and Jet Li’s Piss

Do You See + FT + TMFD/Post a comment • 684 views


So the BBC have launched their slightly abstruse trailer for the Olympics
. It being a two minute summary of Wu Cheng’en’s Journey To The West, better known in the west as MONKEY. The animated two minute trail takes a while to get on to the subject of the Olympics, and is subtitled Journey To The East – as that is what the BBC will be doing to cover the Olympics (DO YOU SEE). One assumes the music and imagery are largely based on the recent stage version of Journey To The West by Damon Albarn and Chen Shi-zheng, designed by Jamie Hewlett whose animation is unmistakable here. Fun that it is, it will probably infuriate a lot of people, and confuse anyone under thirty. Unless they know the story of the Monkey King all that well. Which they may have picked up a bit from Dragonballz, or seen the recent Jet Li, Jackie Chan film The Forbidden Kingdom.

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14
May 08

Punk Metaphor Watch #1: Guess His Theory

FT + TMFD4 comments • 400 views

With the biting winds of PUNK ROCK beginning to blow through the Popular comments boxes it’s time to examine the ways in which punk has become institutionalised as a metaphor – starting with Richard Williams on the Guardian football blog: Stadium Rock of Top Flight looks Bloated Against The Joy Division.

stoke.jpgducks.jpg

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5
May 08

cthulhuedo

The Brown Wedge + TMFD/////4 comments • 410 views

chthulhudothe hideously maddening game from World of Lovecraft:

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